The Exotic Wild World of Madhya Pradesh

2nd Oct 2014
Photo of The Exotic Wild World of Madhya Pradesh 1/3 by Jyoti

The enchanting state of Madhya Pradesh in India is famous for its rich culture, historical monuments and matchless beauty. Madhya Pradesh is located, literally and figuratively, at the heart of India. An amazing one-third part of the state is still forested and contains exciting array of flora and fauna. The landscape of the state, also popularly known as the 'Land of Tigers' is dominated by the rolling hill ranges of the Vindhyas and the Satpuras. Rivers like the Tapti, Narmada, Chambal, etc sustain the dense forests of the state.

An abode to around 9 national parks and 25 wildlife sanctuaries, Madhya Pradesh is certainly a paradise for the wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Here are some of the prominent national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of the state.

Kanha National Park

The awe-inspiring park is nestled in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh. The sprawling 1945 sq. km park was established in the year 1955. You will be very astonished to know that the crown jewel of this park is not the tiger. Yes, you heard it right. In fact, it is the barasingha (twelve-horned deer) that dominate the major population of the wildlife existing in the park. Patchworks of grasslands, enveloped by the verdant sal forests, make Kanha one of the scenic parks in India. Winter is best time to visit the park as the weather remains salubrious throughout the day. The park is shut down for the visitors during the monsoons, from July to mid-October.

Photo of The Exotic Wild World of Madhya Pradesh 2/3 by Jyoti

How to reach there:

By Air: Jabalpur (156 km) and Nagpur (200 km) are the nearest airports from the park. Taxis are available for hire from outside the airport.

By Train: Jabalpur and Nagpur are the closest railway stations.

By Road: Daily bus services are available from Kisli (main gate of the park) and Mukki.

Panna National Park

It cannot be denied that the natural beauty of Panna is simply astounding and cannot be compared by any other national parks in Madhya Pradesh. It is located in the Chattarpur district of the state and serves as an abode to around 24 tigers today. Panna is also a land of the magnificent waterfalls known as the ‘Pandav Fall’ that attracts lots of tourists every year. Both the gharial and mugger crocodiles can be seen in large numbers basking on the riverbanks.

How to reach there:

By Air: Khajuraho airport (25 km) has direct daily flights from New Delhi.

By Train: Satna (90 km) and Jhansi (180 km) are the nearest railway stations.

By Road: The park can be conveniently reached from Jhansi (200 km), Katni (125 km) and Khajuraho (66 km).

Bandhavgarh National Park

Steeped in history and enveloped by the dense verdant forests, Bandhavgarh National Park holds a very special place in Hindu mythology. It is believed that the Bandhavgarh Fort, situated within the park, was gifted by Lakshman to his brother Lord Ram. The park is situated in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh and is thronged by thousands of tourists every year. Tiger is the star attraction of the park besides the jackals, hyenas, sloth bears, leopards and many more.

Photo of The Exotic Wild World of Madhya Pradesh 3/3 by Jyoti

How to reach there:

By Air: Jabalpur airport (130 km) is nearest to the park. Jeeps are available for hire outside the airport to reach the park conveniently.

By Train: Umaria (32 km) is the closest railhead. Private cabs and state transport buses are available to reach the park without any hassle.

By Road: Jabalpur (205 km), Khajuraho (268.8 km) and Satna (168.6 km) are excellently connected to the park.

Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary

Ratapani is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary located on the outskirts of Bhopal. The sanctuary is spread over 668 sq. km and includes many natural and historical delights. You can diverse wildlife here such as the wild dogs, leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer and so on. There are about 150 varieties of avifauna found in the sanctuary. The World Heritage Site rock shelters of Bhimbetka, believed to be between 10,000 to 30,000 years old are situated within the sanctuary.

How to reach there:

By Air: Bhopal airport (60 km) is nearest to the park.

By Train: Umaria (60 km) is the closest railhead.

By Road: The park can be reached via Bhopal, which is around 60.6 km away from the park.

The happiness you experience, exploring the majestic national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of incredible Madhya Pradesh just cannot be expressed in words. You get to spend some unforgettable moments among the wilderness that remain engraved in your heart forever.

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