About Kanha National Park: Located in Madhya Pradesh (Central India). Thanks to the Hon’ble Supre Court intervention that It has been divided in Four Zones i.e. Kisli, Mukki, Kanha and Sarhi. Only 20% area of core zone is open for visitors. Highest probability to spot Tiger, Deer, Bear, Birds and Leopard.
Entry: Paid (Entry fee 2150/- INR for Kanha Zone and 1550/- INR for rest three Zones), Safari Charges are 2400/- INR
Travelled with: Pushpraj Singh Parihar
How to reach: Delhi to Jabalpur by train (14 hours), Jabalpur to Mandla by bus (2 hours). Kanha Kiskinda Resort picked me up from Mandla Bus stop (1 hour). There is a connecting bus service from Mandla to Kanha (2 hours).
My stay?: Kanha Kiskinda Resort
Duration of the trip: 3 Nights/4 Days
Place & Habitat: Locals live in clay-made houses. They respect the nature and worship the same. If you talk to them, they speak a dialect of Hindi language. I must say, they are helpful and friendly. Tribal people have been an important part in protecting the wildlife animals here. They used to spill the beans about poaching. They are given financial reward now for blowing the whistle on poachers.
Drinking water contains high minerals here. Banjar river flows near by the Kanha National Park. It is the main tributary river of Narmada San. There are several zones of this area with no electricity supply. Interestingly, Digital TV is installed at most of the houses, Locals use Smart Phones but there is not good internet connectivity. Sometimes, the network strength of your phone is very poor. Govt. has not taken initiative to provide broadband internet connectivity yet. Most of the resorts have opened their branch offices at Jabalpur or Indore to be connected with their clients through internet.
In & Around the Place: Road has been constructed under ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana‘, still the roads are flooded during heavy monsoon season. You can enjoy the bicycle riding. Kanha Kiskinda Resort has three bicycle so I could enjoy my riding over there. To save the wildlife, It is prohibited by the law to run a vehicle over the speed of 40 Km/hr in the vicinity of the national park and 20 Km/hr inside the national park.
Inside Kanha National Park: Was it a Tiger Call? Yes! You do hear this sentence again and again when you are inside the Kanha National Park to spot a tiger. Who gives this call? This call is given by Gray Langur. Yes! They are the best friend of wildlife animals except tiger. Gray Langurs are on duty on their own account to catch a sight of tiger. They keep hanging on the trees and looking for a movement of a tiger. Once they see any hidden movement, they start howling and passing signal to other animals. Passing this signal is known as “Giving a Call”. Guides or the locals are familiar with this call. They get signal too that there is a tiger around. This is the moment which makes anyone realize that why Tiger is known as a king of its territory. There is a deafening silence in the forest. Nobody moves, nobody talks loudly and suddenly visitors start whispering. All of a sudden, you catch a sight of a tiger coming out of wild grass and passes by your safari. Everyone holds the breath, this is the moment when you pay respect to the King. You hear only two sounds, One is a Gray Langur’s howling sound and second, the ‘click’ sound which comes through a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Camera). Of course! People are there to photograph this moment. The guides are trained to observe the movement of a tiger. Guides get the idea if tiger gets aggressive. However, the tigers at Kanha National Park are not aggressive as they enjoy their 80% core area which is prohibited for tourists.
Problems faced by the locals: I spoke to the locals. They mentioned that their fields are spoilt by the wild animals esp. Chital deer. I asked them, why don’t you protect your fields by fencing?. They have tried this too. Chital deer is very sensitive animal. Even if there is a bit of movement around the area, it gets out of the forest and jumps over the wired fencing. Once deer enters into a field, it spoils all the crops overnight. Farmers can’t shoo away the wild animals as they are afraid of getting booked under ‘Wildlife Protection Act.’ Unfortunately, Farmers are not compensated for the spoilt crops, and that is one of the key reasons why farmers have given up farming in such areas.
Travellers behaviour: My recent trip to Japan made me more responsible tourist. The moment I reached to Kanha, I noticed that locals are more aware of not using the plastic in the forest area but travellers are very irresponsible there. Thanks to the Kanha National Park administration to make KNP a No-Plastic and No-Smoking Zone . There is a cafeteria inside the National Park. Snacks are served over the tree-leaves. Visitors bring their packed food inside the cafeteria. Once the travellers come out of the park they demand for Potato Chips, Namkeen, snacks etc. and throw the wrappers every where around the national park. I understand that administration should take the responsibility for installing the dustbins. But it comes from the both side. Travellers should also be responsible. In that case, I appreciate Pushpraj Singh Parihar with whom I was travelling. He collected all the plastics around our resort and kept it in the bin.
I remember! I was commuting in a bus on my way back from Mandla to Jabalpur. There was a halt for 10 minutes after one hour travelling. A tourist next to my seat bought a potato Chips and finished it very fast. I don’t want to mention the gender as people start analysing and imposing their ideas based on it. I believe, there is no religion or gender of a traveller. The same tourist was more faster then its hunger when it threw the plastic wrapper of the chips outside the window. In fact, the same tourist opened another wrapper of chips. Its hunger was little satisfied this time so there were some chips left inside the wrapper. I anticipated the same action this time too. Interestingly, the tourist folded the wrapper and kept it inside the bag so that it can be finished later on. I questioned myself…the bag did not have a space to keep an empty wrapper?
Kanha National Park Management: The Hon’ble Supre Court ordered the complete ban on tiger tourism in 2012 and setting up buffer zones. Actually, safaris used to enter into the core area of the forest which is meant for the tiger-breeding and should be kept undisturbed. Tourists and the safaris used to chase the tigers for their vested interests. It has been banned now. The cameras have been installed inside the forest. No safari is allowed to cross the speed limit of 20 km/hr. No vehicle is allowed to take an instant U-turn until it gets a crossing further. No tourist is allowed to get down from the vehicle. Only six persons are allowed in one vehicle which includes a guide and a driver. If any guide or a driver is found of violating these rules, their activity is monitored over CCTV cameras. The guide’s license is revoked and the vehicle is taken under the custody of forest department for at least seven days.
1. Kanha National Park: 5/5 (I will travel again)
2. Kanha Kiskinda Resort: 4/5 (I will prefer the same resort)
3. Locals: 5/5 (Very helpful and friendly)
In case of any doubt or question feel free to drop comments. I am open to suggestions.