Kanha National Park

A Wildlife Paradise

Relive the nostalgic moments of Rudyard Kipling’s classic “The Jungle Book” and meet your favorite Sher Khan aka Royal Bengal Tigers in real life. Make every moment of your safari delightful in lush green meadows of Kanha spread over 940 sq. km. Spread over 940 sq. km, Kanha National Park is one of the largest national parks of Central India which Royal Bengal Tigers call their home. Also spot other rare wildlife species like Bison, leopards, Barasingha (swamp deer) and wild dogs roaming freely here.

Booking for Monsoon Season in Buffer Zone is Available Now (01 July to 30 September). Booking for Core and Buffer Zone is accepted from 01st October Onwards. You May Reserve Your Seats and Accommodation Now.
Weekdays Core Zones INR 9500 (Indian) | INR 12600(Foreigner) | Zones - Kanha, Kisli, Mukki, Sarhi
Weekends Core Zones INR 10500(Indian) | INR 13600(Foreigner) | Zones - Kanha, Kisli, Mukki, Sarhi
Buffer Zones INR  6000(Indian) | INR 6000(Foreigner) | Zones - Khapa, Khatiya, Phen, Sijora
Timings Morning 06:00 AM to 11:30 AM | Evening 03:00 PM to 06:00 PM (Safari Timing Varies as Season Changes)

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History of Kanha Tiger Reserve: Unveiling the Rich Tapestry of India's Wildlife Heritage

Welcome to the enchanting world of Kanha Tiger Reserve, where history and nature converge to create a timeless saga. In this comprehensive article, we will embark on a journey through the annals of time to uncover the intriguing history of Kanha Tiger Reserve. Situated in the heart of India, this reserve has not only witnessed the ebb and flow of centuries but has also been a sanctuary for some of the world's most magnificent creatures.

Exploring the annals of the Kanha Tiger Reserve unveils a tapestry of captivating events and ecological marvels. Situated amidst the verdant expanse of Madhya Pradesh, this sanctuary stands as a testament to the intricate dance of life in the heart of India.

The genesis of Kanha's conservation narrative traces back to a time when the wilderness was ensnared in the clutches of peril. This sanctuary emerged as a beacon of hope, where stalwart conservationists embarked on a formidable journey to safeguard the denizens of the forest. Their indefatigable efforts, akin to the intricate labyrinth of nature itself, resulted in the establishment of the Kanha Tiger Reserve.

The chronicles of Kanha's history are imbued with the essence of preservation, where a symphony of biodiversity unfolded. The reserve's perplexity lies in its intricate ecosystems, where myriad species coexist in a harmonious ballet. From the enigmatic striped feline, the Bengal tiger, to the elusive barasingha deer, each inhabitant plays a unique role in the delicate tapestry of life.

Burstiness in Kanha's narrative is witnessed through the ebb and flow of seasons, each heralding a new chapter in the reserve's story. The monsoons bring forth a burst of vitality as the landscape transforms into a lush, green paradise, teeming with life. Conversely, the dry winters paint a different picture, where wildlife congregates around the remaining water sources, showcasing their resilience in the face of adversity.

As one delves deeper into the annals of Kanha, the intricate relationships between species come to light. Predators and prey engage in a perpetual dance of life and death, each move reflecting the intricate balance of nature. The burstiness of these interactions is a testament to the ever-shifting dynamics of the wild.

The legacy of Kanha Tiger Reserve is not merely a testament to conservation but a living testament to the enigmatic perplexity and burstiness of the natural world. It serves as a reminder that within the intricate web of life, every creature, no matter how obscure, plays a crucial role in maintaining the delicate equilibrium of this unique ecosystem.

The Birth of Kanha: A Glimpse into the Past

The history of Kanha Tiger Reserve begins with its establishment in 1955 when it was declared a wildlife sanctuary. It later gained the status of a national park in 1974, and in 1976, it was designated as a tiger reserve, reaffirming its commitment to the conservation of these majestic creatures.

Kanha's Geographic Marvels

Nestled in the Maikal Hills of the Satpura Range, Kanha Tiger Reserve spans over 940 square kilometers of lush forests, rolling meadows, and pristine streams. Its diverse topography provides a habitat for an array of flora and fauna, making it a biodiversity hotspot.

Guardians of the Jungle: The Gond Tribe

The history of Kanha is intrinsically linked with the Gond tribe, who have inhabited these forests for centuries. Their traditional knowledge and harmonious coexistence with nature have been instrumental in preserving the reserve's unique ecosystem.

The Royal Bengal Tigers of Kanha

One cannot delve into the history of Kanha Tiger Reserve without mentioning its iconic inhabitants – the Royal Bengal Tigers. Kanha is renowned for its successful tiger conservation efforts, and these regal creatures roam freely in their natural habitat, a testament to the park's dedication to their preservation.

Kanha's Flora: A Botanical Wonderland

The lush greenery of Kanha is not limited to its fauna; it extends to its rich flora. The Sal forests, bamboo thickets, and open grasslands create a mesmerizing landscape that captivates visitors and provides sustenance for the reserve's diverse wildlife.

Pioneers of Conservation

The history of Kanha Tiger Reserve is replete with stories of dedicated conservationists who have tirelessly worked to protect its natural treasures. Their unwavering commitment and innovative approaches have contributed significantly to the reserve's success.

The Story of Reintroductions

One of the most remarkable chapters in Kanha's history is the successful reintroduction of the barasingha, also known as the swamp deer. Once on the brink of extinction, these graceful creatures now thrive in the reserve, thanks to diligent conservation efforts.

A Symphony of Avian Life

Kanha is not just a haven for tigers and deer; it's also a paradise for bird enthusiasts. With over 300 species of birds, including the vibrant Indian paradise flycatcher and the regal crested serpent eagle, the reserve offers a birdwatcher's dream come true.

Conservation Challenges and Triumphs

The history of Kanha Tiger Reserve has not been without its challenges. From habitat loss to poaching threats, the reserve has faced numerous hurdles. However, through collaborative efforts and stringent anti-poaching measures, it has emerged as a shining example of conservation success.

Engaging with the Local Communities

Kanha's history is marked by its commitment to involving local communities in conservation efforts. By fostering a sense of ownership and providing livelihood opportunities, the reserve has built a strong alliance with the people who call these forests home.


The chronology of the Kanha National Park makes it more simplified:

1800- Before 19th century, the area was being ruled by the Gond dynasty since many centuries and the Kanha Forest was little known since the slash and burn cultivation methods of both the Baiga and Gond tribes were being dominated at that area. They had good knowledge of the animals and their behaviors.

1862- It marks an important year during 19th century in the history of the Kanha National Park when the first forest management rules were instituted and cutting of various tree species like Sal, Teak, Saja, Shisham and Bija without official authorization were prohibited.

1857-1871 This period has a remarkable importance as the Kanha reserve area is best known to come into existence when Captain J. Forsyth wrote a classic “The Highlands of Central India”. This book (published in 1913) is a highly readable combination of ethnography, forest survey and personal memoir (with dashes of shikar diary thrown in for good measure). Captain J. Forsyth, an officer in the Bengal Staff Corps discovered Panchmarhi hill located in Satpura National Park in Central India.

1879- The Kanha Area was declared as a reserve forest.

1880- The year 1880 which was called the British era, made this region of Madhya Pradesh more valuable when the central provinces was made the center stage of Rudyard Kipling’s imaginations for “The Jungle Book” stories. The tremendous landscapes in the forest of Kanha and Pench are really magnanimous.

1923- The year when a landmark classic book published, entitled “Wild Animals in Central India” that completely focused on the Kanha region’s wildlife. The book was written by A. A. Dunbar Brander, a government official and a keenly observant amateur naturalist.

1933- The year when the Kanha forest area was declared as sanctuary.

1935- The same status was concurred in the eastern sector to Supkhar in year 1935, but within few years the protection for wildlife in this area came to an end due to damages caused by the animals to the field crops, Sal saplings and livestock. Over the next 20 years, shooting of deer and tiger was periodically allowed.

1947-51 The king of Vijaynagaram shot 30 tigers in the Kanha Forest Reserve.

1955-75 This period highlighted and introduced the new national park to the forefront in wildlife research and conservation efforts.

1963-65 When the American scientist George Schaller carried out initiating and detailed research on the Kanha ecosystem.

1967- His research was published as an influential book in 1967 with the title “The Deer and the Tiger”.

1969- In the early 1969, the park management began to relocate villages within the core area like Sonf, Bishanpura and Gorhela and a good management between the reserve and the neighborhood area has been the key factor of its success in the conservation efforts.

1970- In 1970 successful attempts were made to save the hard ground Barasingha, “the jewel of Kanha” from extinction. A special enclosure was made inside the forest to encourage the breeding and to protect them from wild beasts. Further, the rate of the Barasingha species took a hop from 66 to 400-500 range.

1980- The Kanha Park became the perfect location for Stanley Breeden and Belinda Wright’s award winning National Geographic Film, “Land of the Tigers”. The same year followed both Kanha and Ranthambore (in Rajasthan) parks to witness the successful attempt of the first phase of Project Tiger and the annual visitor-ship to both the parks dramatically increased.

1989-91 From 1989 to 1991, an intensive collaboration at Kanha Park between the Centre for Environmental Education in Ahmadabad and the United States National Park Service (under the auspices of the Indo-U.S. Sub-commission on Science and Technology) resulted in the installation of a multi-faceted informational program at Kanha, consisting of a park museum at Kisli, two orientation centers and a variety of publications.

1991- The early 90s was devoted to enhance the features of the Kanha Tiger Reserve including the park’s biodiversity, expansion of tourists’ infrastructure and the reserve’s enviable record for research, monitoring and security. According to many observers, Kanha is undoubtedly the premier national park in India and one of the finest wildlife reserves in the world.

2000- The Kanha National Park was being awarded as the best tourism friendly national parks announced by the Dept of Tourism, Govt of India


Kanha Tour Packages

Kanha National Park is a vast national park covering around half of forest area in India. It is spread over 2051 sq. km and is located in Balaghat and Mandla districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated in the Maikal ranges of Satpura hills.

If you are an adventure junkie who loves to explore the jungles, MP Tour Packages is the right place. We can help you on a great adventure trip to Kanha National Park by offering you a fully customized Kanha safari package. From booking, accommodation, safari, to everything you need in between, we can make best arrangements.


Book Kanha Tour Packages at Reasonable Prices

Hard Ground Barasingha, the state animal and specialty of Kanha National Park, is found in a large density in Kanha Tiger Reserve. This species was almost extinct from the world. It was the sheer effort of the forest department which has brought their population to over 500 barasinghas. Kanha National Park is blessed with around 100 tigers, 80 sloth bears, 145 leopards, 43 mammal species, 300 bird species, 500 insect species, and 26 reptile species.


Kanha Safari Zone

There are 8 tourism zones in Kanha National Park. The buffer zone consists of Khapa, Khatia, Phen and Sijora, and the core zone has Kanha, Kisli, Sarhi, and Mukki zones. Mukki and Khatia are two gates for jungle safari. Khatia gate has flexibility to choose other core areas in each shift.

Night Stay in Kanha

There is no such facility in core areas of Kanha National Park. There are only a few small guest houses at the entry gate and you can book them from the department office.

Both Khatia and Mukki gates have private hotels. Kanha National Park opens from October 1 to June 30 and remains closed in July, August and September. On Wednesday, evening safari is not available. In addition, the park also remains closed on the occasion of Holi in March.

Types of Safari

There are basically three categories of jungle safari in Kanha –

Normal Safari – There are 6-seater Jeeps available in Kanha for jungle safari and only 2 canters (an open bus with 20 seats). The canter and jeep safaris are available in two shifts only. Kanha morning safari is usually longer and lasts till 11 AM, while Kanha evening safari is shorter and fewer jeeps are permitted.

Note – Jeeps are mainly booked on an exclusive basis in Kanha National Park. You can also book jeep safari on an individual seat basis. You have to go to the entry gate because jeeps won’t pick you up at the hotel. In case of individual passengers, if there are fewer than 6 passengers, the rest of the passengers will contribute the total cost of the safari.

Tatkal Safaris – These safaris can be booked in premium zones. There is no specific number of jeeps available in this category. In this quota, you can book only those jeeps which were cancelled. The tatkal quota opens at 5 PM for the next morning and afternoon. Keep in mind that the cost is a bit higher than advance booking or normal quota jeeps.

Premium Safaris – There is no concept of half-day safari in Kanha. The national park offers only full-day safaris in the premium category. You can explore all zones in this category but it is a bit costly. You also need to contact the Field Director for special permission.


Kanha Jungle Safari Online Booking

Jeep safari in Kanha is available from October 16 to June 30. The park remains closed for tourists during monsoons.

Winter Safari (October to January) –
Morning – 6:15AM to 12:15PM
Evening – 2:30PM to 5:30PM

Summer (February to June) –
Morning – 6:00AM to 12 noon
Evening – 3:30PM to 6:30PM