Kanha National Park
The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for "Jungle Book". The Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh came into being in 1955 and forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The Park's landmark achievement is the preservation of the rare hardground Swamp Deer (Barasingha), saving it from near extinction. Stringent conservation programs for the overall protection of the Park's fauna and flora, makes Kanha one of the most well maintained National Parks in Asia.

A heightened attraction within the Park is Bamni Dadar, popularly known as Sunset Point that offers the most awe-inspiring backdrop of the sunset against grazing Sambhars and Gaurs, magnifying the natural splendor of the area. Aside from its diverse wildlife and bird population, the frequent sightings of Tigers roaming in the wild remain the most popular draw of this 2,000 sq km Sanctuary in Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh.

The main wildlife attractions in the park are tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, chital, barasingha, barking deer, black deer, black buck, chousingha, nilgai, mouse deer, sloth bear, jackal fox, porcupine, hyena, jungle cat, python, pea fowl, hare, monkey, mongoose, tiger, and leopard.

Birds species in the park include storks, teals, pintails, pond herons, egrets, peacock, pea fowl, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges, quails, ring doves, spotted parakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons, cuckoos, papihas, rollers, bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, warblers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls, and fly catchers.

However, if one animal species were to represent Kanha, it would probably be the barasingha, or the swamp deer. The barasinghas at Kanha are unique, being the hard ground variety, which populate the large open tracts of grass amidst the forests of teak and bamboo. Twenty years ago, the Barasingha was faced with extinction but some desperate measures including the fencing-off of some animals helped save them and again the air in Kanha bugle with their rutting calls.

There is a museum at Kanha depicting attributes and activities of the park and tribal culture. It is closed every Wednesday.

Kanha Tiger Reserve is closed to visitors from July to November. November to January, is a comfortable time to visit the park, when the weather’s pleasant. April to June, while hot is when a visit can reward you with satisfactory wildlife-watching at the park’s waterholes.