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Wild Life of Madhya Pradesh


Kanha’s sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands and meandering streams stretch over 940sq km in dramatic natural splendor. Kanha National Park forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The park is the only habitat of the rare hard ground barasingha (Cervus Duvaceli Branderi).

In the 1930’s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 sq km and 300 sq km each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded, the area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the year that followed to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952.

By a special statute in 1955, Kanha National Park came into being. Since then, a series of stringent conservation programmers’ for the protection of the park’s flora and fauna has given Kanha its deserved reputation for being one of the finest and best administered National Parks in Asia an irresistible attraction for all wildlife lovers and a true heaven for its animal and avian population.

The best areas are the meadows around Kanha, where blackbuck, chital and barasingha can be seen throughout the day. Sambar, barking deer, gaur and the four-horned antelope. Kanha has some 22 species of mammals. Those most easily spotted are the striped palm squirrel, common langur, jackal, wild pig, chital or spotted deer, barasingha or swamp deer, sambar and blackbuck.

Less commonly seen species are: Tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, barking deer and Indian bison or gaur. Patient watching should reward the visitor with a sight of fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard, mouse deer, chausingha or four horned antelope, nilgai, ratel and porcupine.

Very rarely seen species are: Wolf, which lives in the far east of the park, chinkara, to be found outside the park’s northern boundary. Indian pangolin, the smooth Indian otter and the small Indian civet.

Commonly seen species include: Cattle egret, pond heron, black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent, racket-tailed drongo, hawk, eagle and red wattled lapwing, various species of flycatcher woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler and mynah, Indian roller white breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill.

Avian Species: Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills where the mixed and bamboo forests harbor many species, and in the grassy forest clearings.

Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the areas in front of the museum.


This is a small National Park; compact, yet teeming with wildlife. The destiny of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. This is also White Tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The last known was captured by Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951. This white tiger, Mohun, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.

Bandhavgarh is densely populated with other species, sambar and barking deer areas common sight, and nilgai are to be seen in the more open areas of the park.

The terrain is of great rocky hills rising sharply from the swampy and densely-forested valley bottoms. The finest of these hills is Bandhavgarh sided with great cliffs and eroded rocks and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort, thought to be some 2,000 years old scattered throughout the park, and particularly around the fort, are numerous caves containing shrines and ancient Sanskrit inscriptions.

There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Common langurs and rhesus macaque represents the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic jackal, Bengal fox, sloth bear, artiodactyls frequently sighted are wild pig, spotted deer, camber, chausingha, nilgai and chinkara. Mammals such as dhole, the small Indian civet, palm squirrel and lesser bandicoot rat are seen occasionally. The vegetation along streams and marshes is rich in birdlife. The common ones are little grebe egret, lesser adjutant, sarus crane, black kite, crested serpent eagle, black vulture, Egyptian vulture, common peafowl, red jungle fowl, dove, parakeet, kingfisher and Indian roller. Reptilian fauna include cobra, krait, viper, ratsnake, python turtle and a number of lizard varieties, including varanus.


Nestled in the southern slopes of the Satpura ranges of central India. Pench Tiger Reserve (757.90sq kms) lies in southern Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra. The Pench National Park which constitutes the core of the Tiger Reserve National Park was notified in 1983. The total core area of the Park is 292.86 sq kms, and comprises the Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park and the Mowgli Pench Sanctuary. Pench was brought under Project Tiger in 1992.

Pench National Park gets its name from Pench river that flows through it, dividing it into the western Chhindware Block (141.61 sq kms) and the eastern Seoni Block (145.24 sq kms).

Tiger Reserve has the highest density of herbivores in India, 90.3 animals per square kilometer.

The area is especially famous for its huge population of gaur (Indian bison), cheetal, sambar, nilgai, wild dog and wild pig. The key predators here are the tiger followed by the leopard, wild dog and wolf. Other animals found in the Park include the sloth bear, chausingha, chinkara, barking deer, jackal, fox, palm civet, small Indian civet, jungle cat, hyena and porcupine.

Pench Tiger Reserve is also among the best areas for bird watching. Over 285 species of resident and migratory birds including the Malabar pied hornbill, Indian pitta, osprey, grey-headed fishing eagle, white-eyed buzzard are found here. Four species of the endangered vulture, white-rumped, long-billed, white scavenger and king vulture can be seen in good numbers in these forests. In winter, thousands of migratory waterflow including the brahmini duck, pochards, barheaded geese and coots come to the Pench reservoir and the tanks within the Park.

Madhya Pradesh