Spread over a sprawling area 940 sq. kms, the Kanha Tiger Reserve houses a huge collection of tigers. It was built in 1974, under Project Tiger, in India and alongwith stringent conservation measures for both flora and fauna over the last few decades, Kanha National Park has become one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in Asia. Situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, in the districts of Mandla and Balaghat, the two valleys – Banjar and Halon form the eastern and western halves of Kanha. This scenic Wildlife Park, with its expanse of Sal trees and a selection of wildlife species, is said to be the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. Today, Kanha National Park is considered as one of the best reserves of wild animals, especially tigers not only in India but whole of Asia.
The vast grasslands of Kanha National Park, are surrounded by the Sarputa Range, which stand at heights ranging between 450 and 900m. Between 1879 and 1910, Kanha was the gaming ground for the British, though at that time Banjar and Halon valleys were included in the former provinces of Central India.
Besides the yellow and black striped majestic cats, Kanha National Park also houses and rears the Barasingha, a type of deer and a rare species. Though a home of the tigers, mammals like Leopards, Civets, Striped Hyenas, Jackals, Nilgai, Indian bison or Gaurs, Cheetals, Wild pigs, Dholes and sometimes a Bear can also be spotted. Reptiles include Python, Indian Cobra, Indian Krait, Russell’s Viper, Indian Monitor, Common Rat Snake and Indian Garden Lizard etc. are also found in abundance.
A bird watchers’ paradise, this forest is the habitat of as many as 200 species of avian creatures that include Black Ibis, Bee-eaters, Egret, Drongos, Blossom-Headed Parakeets, Common Teal, Grey Hornbill, Crested Serpent Eagle, Indian roller, Minivets, Pied Hornbill, Woodpecker, Pigeon, Paradise Flycatchers, Mynas, Kingfisher, Flycatcher etc.
A project Tiger reserve harbouring an abundance of wildlife species, Kanha enjoys the status of a well-maintained and tourist-friendly National park.
Kanha can be approached through three points namely Khatia, mukki and Sarhi, out of which the Mukki point is easily accessible from Nagpur and Raipur while Katia and Sarhi and more convenient from Jabalpur. Sarhi can also be approached from Raipur. There is no accomodation on the Sarhi gate side.