Kanha National Park: A Jungle Paradise
Exploring Wild India
Year 2020 was a challenging year for all of us. After months of staying at home, what better way to end the year in the lap of nature. And so, I headed to Kanha National Park, also known as ‘Kanha Tiger Reserve. This is one of India’s largest tiger reserves and the largest National Park located at Madhya Pradesh. Other than its abundant wildlife, one of its main claim to fame is that it served as the setting of Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book”. One needs to see it to believe it.
Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky, And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.Rudyard Kipling
Travelling to Kanha
To reach Kanha National Park, I boarded a flight from Mumbai to the Orange city, Nagpur. From Nagpur, I drove for about 5 hrs to reach Kanha. This proved to be quite a scenic drive, as we passed through past green pastures and wildlife corridors. My wild journey already began on this journey as I got a chance to encounter some wildlife en-route!
As I was nearing the National Park, that whiff of fresh forest aromas was refreshing for a city resident like me. It literally soothed me – mind, body and soul inside out! I just couldn’t wait to explore this little piece of heaven!
Starting for the Game Drive
After a restful sleep that night, I woke up as bright and early as 5.30 am to get ready for the game drive. The gates of the Park open at 630 am. Already, there was a beeline of jeeps. The excited chatter of people about their encounters of the previous day’s tiger sighting was all around me. I was just wishing, hoping & praying that I would just be as lucky as them.
There are 4 zones in this National Park; Kisli & Mukki, Sarhi & Kanha. Depending on what is booked that day, you head to that zone itself.
Inside the National Park
As our jeep entered the gates of the reserve, we witnessed the most beautiful sunrise. The image of the rays filtering through the tall trees and lighting up the winding roads ahead was just magical. As if we entered into a storybook itself. We drove past pristine lakes glittering in the morning sunlight. All around us, the forests slowly awakened to a new day. Birds were fluttering & chirping away. Our first glimpse was a herd of spotted deer. Grazing along with them in the lush green meadows were the sambhars, black bucks among others. We also spotted the very special Barasingha – a native to this forest.
In Expert Hands
Our vehicle had an experienced driver and an approved official forest guide. They were experts in their domains and were exceptionally alert for any sign of wildlife.The safaris were sheer excitement as our senses were alive. We were on the watch for wildlife all around. They gave us so much of insight about the forest. They spoke about the native wildlife. Also, they educated us on how men & animals co-existed together in harmony. The driver skillfully navigated through the dense forest to show us the most magnificent of the animals.
The park is home to the majestic Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, barasingha and dhole among other animals. Also, it is the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, Bhoorsingh the Barasingh. As our jeep went along the meandering pathways, we saw much of the wildlife. A family of spotted deer crossed the winding path in front of our jeep, their gait graceful and unhurried. They stopped to look at us in curiosity. We saw a herd of bison grazing, raising their heads as we drove past them.
Langurs lined the trees and the paths and watched us drive by. These were, I reckon, literally the watchmen of the forest, looking out for the predators as well. They are always on high alert when the predator is near.
The search for the big cat was still on, I didn’t spot the tiger on day one. Our driver and guide asked us to have much patience and more faith. Over the next 5 safaris, we did manage to spot about 8 tigers in total. Now that’s what you call being lucky!
Nature Lover’s Paradise
To nature lovers, this National Park is breathtakingly mesmerizing. It boasts of such rich flora & fauna that is riveting to watch and immerse in. The tall bamboo trees & thick Sal trees are a haven for birds. It is truly a paradise for birdwatchers. To witness such rich bio diversity under one canopy is a sure treat for the eyes. Kanha National Park is truly a hidden gem and so much more to discover and bond with nature. I would love to go back in time just to experience this all over again.
What to expect?
• As a first time traveler exploring the jungles, I would personally say that go without any expectation. The forest is a beautiful place to be. And there is so much more that just spotting tigers. Of course, if you do spot them it is icing on the cake. The forest is place for those who seek peace from the big city lives. It’s a great way to unwind and explore the unexplored. I highly recommend it for family vacations.
• Be prepared to rise early for the morning safaris . Morning safaris begin at 6.30 am right up to 11 am. Evening Safaris – 3.00 pm right up to sunset.
• The game drives can get very bumpy! So, be careful.
Post Covid-19 rules
• Do carry your govt id’s when heading for the safaris.
• You can be assured that visiting the Kanha National Park is absolutely safe. All the hotels & resorts as well as wildlife staff are observing the COVID-19 guidelines. • Face masks are to be worn at all times while on safaris. All the safari jeeps are sanitized before entering the forest zones.
• Tourists should always sanitise their hands after visiting the restrooms, entering & exiting a vehicle and touching any other object used by the public inside.
• Once the rules are adhered to, everything else is seamless.
Please note: These rules are very dynamic. Please check with the concerned authorities for the current applicable rules.
You can visit Kanha National Park on the tour of Wild India: Exploring the Jungles of Kanha & Pench offered by Monograms India Discoveries.
Monograms has created packages that are a cut above going on your own, while leaving the group behind. Each package comes complete with quality accommodation, hand-selected based on location, amenities, and service. Take advantage of the services of your Monograms Local Host—a local expert on call and accessible throughout your stay to help you make the most of your trip. We’ve arranged sightseeing with expert Local Guides, complete with some of India’s most incredible attractions. Plus, Monograms can take care of your transportation needs when traveling between cities. And that’s not all. With Monograms, you can travel independently in style without going it alone—or getting lost in the crowd. There’s nothing like it. Why travel any other way? Exploring is great fun. Researching and planning each detail is not. Monograms handles all the elements needed to create a high-quality, hassle-free, independent vacation package that’s perfect for you. That’s the Monograms Difference.