Another name for Kanha Tiger Reserve is Kanha National Park. One of the popular tiger reserves of India and also the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh, this natural sanctuary is located in the very heart of India. Established in the year of 1955, this sanctuary was officially named the Kanha Tiger Reserve in the year 1973. And today, this place stretches over an area of around 940 sq. km, spreading in the districts of Mandla and Balaghat. It has a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 sq. km making it one of the largest National Parks in Central India. 

This park has got a significant population of royal Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, sloth bears, barasingha, and Indian wild dogs. What will really leave you intrigued is the fact that this is the same forest that was depicted in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book.’  

The Kanha Tiger Reserve is apparently home to more than 1000 species of plants and an equally great number of animal species. This place has an abundance of natural beauty, whether it be the vast Meadows, open forests, or the clear skies. It won’t be wrong to say that every inch of this natural landscape is worth a reason to visit this place. 

The best time to visit the Kanha Tiger Reserve is from mid-October through June end.

History of Kanha Tiger Reserve

In the 1800s, it was still under the rule of the Gond dynasty for many centuries. It was only in 1862 when the first forest management rules were instituted prohibiting the cutting of various tree species like Sal, Teak, Saja, etc. And, by 1871, this place saw a tremendous change.

Then in 1969, the management began to relocate the villages to more core areas like Bishanpura, Gorhela, etc. In 1970, the authorities tried and made successful attempts for safeguarding the ‘jewel of Kanha’, the ‘Barasingha’ species of deers from extinction. 

By 1980, so much had happened in this place that the Kanha Park had become the perfect location for Stanley Breeden and Belinda Wright’s award-winning National Geographic Film, ‘Land of the Tigers'. And the same year, this place witnessed the successful attempts of the very first phase of the Project Tiger.   

Places To Visit Near Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park is one of the famous national parks in Madhya Pradesh. Here's the list of places to visit near Kanha Tiger Reserve.

1. Kanha Museum

It is perhaps one of the most ideal places to get useful information about the topography as well as many other intriguing aspects of the park. This place has a lot to offer like reserves, carnivores, reptiles, and herbivore creatures. What is really more intriguing is the fact that in order to offer a much better comprehension of the wildlife habitat to tourists, this historical center also houses a few charts, photographs, and models offering a very detailed insight into the food chain. For anyone who loves detailed work, this is the kind of place worth visiting. 

2. Kawardha Palace

This one is yet another amazing option to explore in and around the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Spread across an area of 11 acres, this destination encompasses amazing panoramic views of the Maikal Hill Range. For any nature lover, this place is a must-visit. 

3. Amarkantak

Also known as Teerthraj, this place is situated at a distance of around 159 km from Kanha National Park. The enriching natural heritage of this land is quite noteworthy. This place is also one of the emerging points of the Narmada, Sone, and Johila rivers. Amarkantak is best known for its Dudhdhara waterfalls, the foaming water of which resembles milk. 

4. Jabalpur

A place which is also known as the soul of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur is a city of colored marble rocks. This place is situated at a distance of 164 km from Kanha National Park, offering many attractions to travelers to cherish forever. For anyone who is looking for knowing the cultural significance of this place, Jabalpur is a must-visit. 

How to Reach Kanha Tiger Reserve 

To reach Kanha Tiger Reserve you will need to cover an approximate distance of 1,002, 1,096, 1,061, 1,333 km from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here are the details on how you can reach Kanha Tiger Reserve by the following means of public transportation. 

By Air

Madhya Pradesh has great flight connectivity owing to the presence of various airports namely Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Jabalpur Airport, Raja Bhoj International Airport, Dumna Airport, Gwalior Airport, Khajuraho Airport. All of these airports have good connectivity with several major and remote towns and cities in India.

However, the nearest airport is Jabalpur Airport aka Rani Durgawati International Airport (JLR) situated about 130-150 km away. After getting off the flight, you will need to get yourself a cab or some other means of public transportation to reach this park.

  • From Mumbai - Board Spicejet flights from Mumbai Airport. The airfares start from INR 3,000 - INR 4,000
  • From Guwahati  - Board Spicejet, IndiGo, Air India flights from Guwahati Airport. The airfares start from INR 6,000 - INR 7,000
  • From Delhi - Board Spicejet flights from Delhi Airport. The airfares start from INR 3,000 - INR 4,000

By Train

The overall connectivity via train to Madhya Pradesh is very good. Rajdhani, Garib Rath, Shatabdi are some of the trains that operate to and fro Madhya Pradesh at good frequency. The nearest railway station is Jabalpur Junction located at a distance of about 126 km via Mandla-Jabalpur Road. As you deboard at the station, you will need to cover the remaining distance by some means of public transportation. 

By Road

Depending upon your location, you can easily travel to Kanha Tiger Reserve via a well-maintained network of roadways and highways. From nearby cities and towns, regular buses (interstate and private) are easily available at affordable prices. However, based on your comfort, you can also take a taxi or consider self-driving here. 

  • From Jabalpur - 126 km via Mandla-Jabalpur Road
  • From Balaghat - 80-90 km via MP SH 26
  • From Nagpur - 243 km via Bhandara - Balaghat Road
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