Kanha The Best Tiger Habitat In India

by pateluday

People yearn to see the tiger at least once in their life. The majestic beast captivates as none other does. The tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures ever created...

In the remote confines of Central India or the state of Madhya Pradesh at Kanha National Park tourists throng the destination in order to have a glimpse of the tiger if not more. But Kanha is all-encompassing and the best habitat in India to pursue animal watching and witness the big cat in action.

The prime carnivore at top of the food chain the animal is generous and tourists can see it often on drives in the core zone of the park. Greatest thrills accrue whence you come across a family - a tiger with cubs. Another exciting encounter is whence you come across the big cat on the hunt. Albeit luck is what you need to come along with in order to experience the best in this ecosystem with the finest habitats the search for the tiger is as exciting, heart-thumping, and a revelation about the animal's elusive behavior.

Bengal Tiger

Male Tiger
Male Tiger Kanha
Male Tiger Kanha
Uday Patel

Kanha National Park

Pristine & Preserved

Wild DogAmong the first to be conserved the National Park is early days witnessed conservation of Halon and Banzar Valleys. The amazing biodiversity in terms of fauna and flora invited few visitors during the Raj. Then after that hunters and shooters followed. In order to preserve the invaluable offerings of nature in this present-day National Park this area was declared sacrosanct and two little sanctuaries came into existence.   

But a turbulent period followed later on whence a prince managed to shoot thirty-two tigers in a spate of two months. Eventually, the park was notified as a National Park in 1958 in order to accord protection to this invaluable and fragile ecosystem. But the major step forward was the passing of the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 and hunting was banned totally all over India. 

The park was notified as a Project Tiger under the act in 1973 and the core area of 940 sq. km was demarcated along with a buffer of 1000 sq. km. In the core area, no human habitation is allowed hence the villages were evacuated and settled outside in the buffer. Adequate compensation terms of land and money were provided.

A park is now a conservation unit though tourism is allowed in twenty percent area the rest of the area is completely out of bounds to the public.  

With the absence of humans in the core, the habitats began to bounce back and animal populations began to increase. The canopy too became denser and grasslands flourished thus repairing the ecosystem.  


Big Cat
Uday Patel

Kanha Conservation Initiatives

Ecosystem Repair

PrimateTwo years back a pair of mouse deer were sighted and photographed. This was an encouraging sign of recovery of species long taken to be extinct. The birds, bees, snakes, and mammals all began to recover in lieu of the protection provided. 

With continuous growth in the number of tigers, the population now stands to hundred plus. The big cats have now occupied a list of territories in the buffer as well along with the deer species, bovines, and primates their prey base imperative for sustenance. 

As a matter of policy, human interventions are minimized but they are glaring examples of success. The swamp deer population had decreased to only sixty-six heads and was on verge of extinction. The large pen that now stands as testimony to Kanha's grand conservation success is still there. The remaining herd of swamp deer has enclosed in the pen devoid of all predators and in absence of predation, their population bounced back. 

Now over five hundred a herd has been trans-located to Satpura Tiger Reserve in Central India. Kanha is proving to be an excellent breeding ground for the big cats.

The robust tiger population has resulted in the translocation of individuals to reserves with population deficiency thus aiding in the survival of this critically endangered species. Constant monitoring and surveillance of habitats mean greater protection of the endangered species.

Kanha Forests

Kanha Water Body
Kanha Water Body
Uday Patel

Kanha Wilderness

Pristine & Enchanting

GuarThe swamp deer stag is one of the most enigmatic animals in the park equaling the majestic tiger. In terms of shape and size and majestic antlers is the most photogenic and as graceful and stately as a handsome male tiger. 

The park is full of enchanting animals not be outdone is the leopard the lithe and well-toned is the wild dog. The sloth bear though slothy is nevertheless captivating by its antics. Bison or Guar population of bovine are an impressive lot whence you encounter the large herds while the solitary male is indomitable and can be aggressive. 

Kanha is a picture of excellence be it the common spotted deer, sambar, wild boar of the ubiquitous langur, or gray monkey. Barking deer barks like a dog while paradoxically the wild dog is a whistler. The tiger at the top of the food chain is the supreme or tertiary predator and an indicator species. 

Small nocturnal mammals and reptiles though elusive can surprise you in broad daylight and enhance your safaris. No luck then take a night ride in the buffer. 

The winged creatures bats included are abundant in the park and all over. There are two hundred and fifty plus species of avian with winter migrants included.

Kanha National Park is one of the finest birding destinations in Central India and a visit could be a revelation. Malabar pied hornbill, Shama, Indian pitta, paradise flycatcher, orange headed ground thrush, spangled drongo, red and painted spurfowl, painted francolin, Jerdon's Baza, King vulture, warblers, oriole, parakeets, bush chats, shrikes, raptors, owls,.....come and see yourself. 

The Sal dominated forests are habitats of a large variety of floral elements big and small. They are not only in the background but in the forefront as well. See how they have shaped the panoramic landscape amidst tabletop mountains, deep valleys, mountain rivers, grasslands, and bamboo. 

Nature's abundant bounty becomes evident upon one excursion in the tourism zone.   

Male Tiger Video

Tiger Safari

The Tiger Safari

On Nature Trail

Swamp DeerThe twenty percent area reserved for tourism requires a permit for excursions. The permits for tiger safari at Kanha National Park are available online. You can ask the resort you plan to stay at for booking. Or visit the MPOnline website to book yourself.

The tourism zone is divided into four and at the time of booking, you can pick anyone. A photo ID details are required which you have to fill in the form and submit. This photo ID you have to show at the Gate before entry. This is a must.

The accommodation providers should be able to assist you in booking the excursion permits or you will find all details on the website mentioned above. 

The park is closed from July 1 to 30th June. every Wednesday evening the park is closed at Kanha. 


Reaching Kanha

The Best Route

AntelopeFlights from New Delhi and Mumbai are available to Jabalpur and Raipur Airports in Central India. Upon arrival, four hours plus drive is required to reach Kanha. Train services are also available to these destinations. 

Flight to Nagpur Airport is also available. A drive for five hours is required to reach the reserve. The National Park is also connected by road to Bandhavgarh and Pench National Park both in Madhya Pradesh.

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Updated: 07/12/2021, pateluday
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pateluday on 11/13/2020

You can visit one zone in each safari hence you will require four safaris to visit each zone. The animal in picture is Guar or Indian Bison male.

DerdriuMarriner on 11/12/2020

pateluday, Thank you for the pictures and the practicalities.
What animals is in the image beneath your heading Kanha wilderness?
Would it require four separate reservations to visit all four of the tourist zones in one's lifetime?

pateluday on 04/02/2020


blackspanielgallery on 04/01/2020

You always provide excellent photographs of interesting animals and scenery.

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