Bandhavgarh National Park
A wildlife retreat, where history and nature meet, Bandhavgarh is not too far away from Kanha. Set amidst the Vindhyan ranges, the Park has a series of ridges running through it. Initially just 105.40 sq. km. in area, Bandhavgarh with 25 resident tigers, was noted for its high density tiger population. Today, it has been extended to an area of 437 sq. km.
About half the Park is covered with fine stands of sal, while mixed forests are found in the higher reaches of the hills. Stretches of bamboo and grasslands extend to the north.
The main viewing area is still in the core of the Park with its 32 picturesque, wooded hills. An ancient fort up on a precipice, 800 metres high, dominates the Park.
Bandhavgarh's history goes back 2000 years in time and the earliest signs of habitation can be seen in the Caves excavated from the cliffs to the north of the fort. Brahmi inscription here, date back to the 1st century BC A hunting reserve of the roya! family of Rewa in more recent times, Bandhavgarh was declared a Park in 1968. This is where the famous white tigers of Rewa were discovered.
Wandering through the Park on elephant back, the chances of seeing a tiger are quite good. Also to be seen here are nilgai, chausingha, chital, chinkara, wild boar and sometimes a fox or jackal.
Other inhabitants of the Park include the muntjac, jungle cat, ratel, hyena, porcupine, the rhesus macaque and the black-faced langur. About 150 species of birds are also found here and include the migratory birds that arrive in winter like the steppe eagle and various water birds.
It is possible to climb up to the Bandhavgarh fort for a breathtaking bird's-eye view of the Park and there is also a small population of black buck that lives here, protected from the predators below. General Information:
Best Time to Visit: November to June.
Nearest Town: Umaria (30 km)
How to Get Here: Air: Jabalpur (170 km), Khajuraho (210 km) Rail:Umaria (30 km), Jabalpur (170 km)
Kanha National Park
Located in the Mandia district of Madhya Pradesh, the Kanha National Park is a Tiger Reserve that extends over 1945 sq. km. of undulating country. Elevations range from 450 to 900 meters.
A horseshoe shaped valley bounded by the. spurs of the Mekal ridge gives Kanha an interesting topography. The Surpan River meanders through Kanha's central maidans - grasslands that Dover the extensive plateaus. Steep rocky escarpments along their edges offer breathtaking views of the valleys below.
The grasslands at Kanha interspersed with forests of sal, teeming with varieties of deer - the barasinqha, chital (spotted deer), chousingha, nilgai, the majestic gaur (Indian bison) and wild pig, is 'tiger country'. It is ideal for viewing both the predator and the prey.
It was here at Kanha that the eminent zoologist George Schaller undertook the first ever-scientific study of the tiger. Another landmark at Kanha is the preservation of the "hard ground' barasingha (cervus duvauceli branderi) - the only surviving population of this Central Indian subspecies. This was achieved by extending the grasslands, relocating villages and by increasing the habitat.
The animals at Kanha are best observed from elephant back and the open country makes the chance of sightings reasonably good. Deer are seen along the maidans and gaur at Bamhindadr or in the Bishanpura Sondhar- Ghorella area of the Mukki range. This area is also ideal for spotting the dhole or wild dog. spotting the dhole or wild dog. Langurs, wild boar, water fowl and birds are also commonly seen.
Best Time to Visit: March to June
Nearest Town: Mandla (65 Km)
How to Get Here:
Air: Jabalpur (170 km), Nagpur (270 km)
Rail: Jabalpur (170 km), Nagpur (270 km)