Aug 8, 2012

Call of the Wild- Kanha National Park


Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh is one of the India's Tiger Lands and also is on the world tourism map. The  park, largest in central India, is well developed by Forest Department and also Tourism Department. But, the question is- how is this development affecting tigers? 


Kanha National Park is around 175KM from Jabalpur. I took a bus to Mandla and then another bus to Khatia which takes you to the National Park gate near Kisli. There are many options for accommodation. I took a room at Forest Rest House which was cheapest option available. Rs. 400 per night for a spacious, clean double room with LCD TV and a heater, large clean toilet with hot water! The kitchen served simple and tasty meal for Rs. 80. 

I saw the tiger just few meters away ... sleeping royally. After hearing continuous clicking he gave me a look. After staring at me for few seconds he realized I was harmless human and got back to the lazy mood.

Tough popular for having significant number of Royal Bengal tigers the place is bustling with other wildlife too. It is only home of Hard Ground Barasinga (swamp deer introduced to hard ground). Leopards, sloth bears, deers, antelopes and Indian wild dogs roam freely though elusive. Plenty of birds and bamboo bushes also can be seen.

Indian Gaur is seen in herds. Nilgai were seen in pairs. Sambar families were startled to hear the slow moving Gipsy. As always I saw many spotted deers. The males were adorn with full grown antlers.

I took jeep safari, one in the evening and one in early morning. For a solo visitor these trips prove to be very expensive. The entrance fees to the park in the evening (for smaller round) is Rs. 1200 plus the Gipsy rental is Rs. 800. For morning rounds forest entrance fee is Rs. 2200 plus the gipsy rental is Rs. 1800. Is a sight of lazy Royal Bengal worth it? My answer is, by all means YES! I took shared rides, since the prices are high you will find couples and small families or other backpackers to share. I paid only Rs. 1,600 for both safaris :) 
I want to take an elephant ride when I visit next time. I find it more exciting than a jeep safari. It takes one to inside the forest away from the roads. Goes up the mud hills, down to water sources etc ... On that it is much cheaper affair :)

Another important info is- cellphones are not allowed inside the park. If you are planning to take pictures with fancy-flashy iPhone or Galaxy forget about it! Even if the guide says take one picture when nobody is around just think- why is this rule in place? Cellphone signals are killing little birds. Turn on Airplane mode (all radios transmitting signals turn off)  even if you think of breaking the rules!

Langurs were having a morning chat under the warm sun. Whatever may be the season, whichever is the place, monkeys are always busy. They run around, play, fight, clean-up each other, and even sit in a contemplating pose! Some day I will write an article about monkeys with all the pictures I have!

There is a lake called Shravan Tal in the heart of Kanha. The legend is ... In Ramayana, an young man Shravana Kumar was fecthing water from the lake for his tired, blind and old parents. King Dasharatha accidentally kills this young man thinking that it is an animal. Shravana Kumar's grief-striken parents curse the King that he would also die of grief of separating from his beloved son. And after cursing they die of grief and shock! So, it happens ... King dies when Sri Ram, his son leaves for exile. Shravana Kumar was killed at this lake while fetching water! I was really excited to know that lake was in Kanha and I saw it! Ramayan and National Park- that is why I call my trip to Madhya Pradesh is a Parallel Journey.
I was extremely happy sighting a tiger ... mission accomplished ... I headed to my next destination ... holiest of holy places ... the birth place of Sacred River Narmada, Amarkantak.

As an end note: Yes! sighting a tiger is unparalleled experience which all of us want. With the increase in tourist inflow the disturbance in the forest is also increasing. Shutting off tourism may not be an option but control and spreading awareness might do the work! Save our Tigers!
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Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Click HERE to read more articles about Kanha National Park. To check complete Backpacking India series click HERE.

This post is linked to Nature Notes.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

25 comments:

  1. Super nice pictures you show :)
    Hanne Bente

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  2. how incredible to see the tiger

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  3. And you got such a wonderful photo of it. It is difficult to watch many of our natural habitats decrease, even here in Florida, by progress, by people who don't get that we are to take care of our planet - which includes the wildlife. Thank you for sharing your part of the world, I really enjoyed it.

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  4. That's a majestic,royal & lazy tiger !

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  5. That is quite an adventure Kusum. You have spotted the tiger, magnificent. I guess that is every wildlife traveller dream! Oh wait, that has now become everybody dream!

    Once upon a time in Manglore, tigers used to come upto to our doorsteps and sleep outside it at night!This was when my father was a child.

    The photos are beautiful. I loved the sharav lake one. and the rates are indeed pretty cheap. I mean a room for 400 with all those amenties, how cheap is that.

    Elephant ride, well that sounds dangerous. This kind of reminds me of the near calamity experince which you had before with tigers!

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    1. Yes! Near Mangalore my Mom's aunt has many stories to tell! About snakes, pythons, tigers and so on :) Only room was cheap :) Nope, elephant ride is no so dangerous as being on foot.

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  6. Nice post and photos.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  7. I so admire you for all the traveling you do on your own and your determination to see the areas of your country. What an amazing wildlife park. To see a tiger especially as we know how endangered they are..what an opportunity. I didn't know about the cell phone problems. I will have to look into that as I have never heard about that. Thank you for linking in this week Kusum...I enjoyed this post as always..Michelle

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    1. Thank you Michelle for visiting and for kind words.

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  8. Interesting post. The tiger is magnificent!

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  9. Nicely written.I have been very unlucky in spotting the tiger.Have been to Pench,Tadoba and Kanha few times,missed Panna,Badnhavgarh,Kaziranga and Corbett and few more because i reached there in wrong season.Had to come back empty handed.
    Btw,Kanha is very close my hometown.

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    1. Yeah, these cats are sometimes elusive. So, are you from Jabalpur?

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    2. Well,I am from Seoni district.There is a Taluka/Tehsil named 'Keolari' in the district,which is my hometown.

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    3. Really? I passed Seoni when I travelled from Khawasa (Pench NP) to Jabalpur!

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  10. hi sis.. well written and i found it very helpful indeed as i will be travelling solo too comming february. can you please provide me the contact of the hotel which was inexpensive.? my name is deep i am from kolkata.

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    1. As mentioned in the article i is the forest rest house located right at the Khatia gate.

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  11. very well written Kusum.Your blog is very informative to first time traveler to plan and foresee things.btw just wanna ask did you make all bookings in advance or accommodation and safari is easily available if you just go there with no advance booking?

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    1. No, I didn't book anything in advance. I don't find it very flexible :)

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