Dense and vast, Kanha is one of the largest and most captivating parks in India. Indigenous species like Sal, Bamboo, Tendu and Mahua are just some of the trees that make up this magnificent jungle.
The park is also thickly wooded with thousands of shrubs, climbers and grasses that create spectacular setting for its abundant wildlife.
In 1980, Kanha was the park in which National Geographic’s Land of the Tiger documentary was filmed.
Later that year, Kanha and Ranthambore became the first parks to launch Project Tiger, India’s epic tiger conservation effort.
For those who would like to learn more about the ecosystems of Central India, and the tiger itself, reading Tiger by Kailash Sankhala, a noted tiger conservationist and pioneer of Project Tiger’s conservation program, is a must.
A key part of Kanha’s landscape are its water-holes and this is usually where one finds tigers, leopards, sambhar, spotted deer and several other animals.
While the tiger is the apex predator, the park has a healthy population of leopards and wild dogs (dhole), and these three animals are the primary carnivores in the park. Kanha is home to several herbivores and ungulates.
One of the more unusual species— thanks to a very successful conservation effort — is the Barasingha, the only known swamp deer that survives on hard ground. Other herbivores include the Gaur (bison), the chausingha (four-horned deer), spotted deer, and sambhar.
Look up into the treetops and you’ll be amazed by the number of birds. Kanha has over 300 species of birds, both resident and migratory.
From hornbills to warblers and eagles, one can find several unusual species here. The tree canopy is also full of primates. You will be thoroughly amused by the antics of troops of black-faced langurs, especially when they’ve got drunk on the nectar of the Mahua trees!
Some of the best places to find tigers are in the grassy, open meadows and at the lakes. Dawn and dusk are often the best time to spot these big cats and are also some of the most scenic times of day to be in the park.
One of the best things about Kanha is its size. One can roam the park for hours and hardly come across any other visitors. Kanha is also home to several ancient tribes and was once a part of Gondwana, the ancient land of the Gond tribe.
There are still several communities of Gond and Baiga tribes that inhabit parts of the park, and its worth visiting them during your visit to learn about their spirituality, art and culture.
Kanha has several lodges at all spectrums of the scale. We prefer to use chic, eclectic and boutique hotels that have a strong eco-friendly ethos. The nearest airports are at Raipur and Jabalpur, and one can fly into these from major cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. It’s also situated within a day’s drive of Pench and Bandhavgarh.
Encounters Asia will arrange for you to be picked up at the airport or neighbouring park, and transfer you to Kanha.
The best time to visit the park is between November and April. February and March offer the best combination of weather and sightings, however April to June is one of the best times for photography, even though the temperatures can get very warm, as this is when the animals come out into the open in search of water. Encounters Asia is happy to assist you with arrangements, logistical details, and photography/film permits for you to shoot in the park.
Kanha’s natural beauty has been the creative muse for several many books and documentary films. So if you’re looking for inspiration in nature, this is the perfect jungle escape for you.