Kanha: The Land of the Tiger

In the dense forests of Kanha Tiger Reserve, also known as Kanha-Kisli National Park, the mornings are magical. Streaming gently from the leaves of the sal trees, the sunrays filter like golden drops on land. The largest national park of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha, which inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, is divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar. Kanha National Park, created in 1955 and designated a tiger reserve in 1973, encompasses an area of 940 km in the two districts, Mandla and Balaghat.

FLORA & FAUNA

In his book, Field Days: A Naturalist’s Journey Through South and Southeast Asia, author A. J. T. Johnsingh writes an interesting account of the flora of Kanha, talking in detail about the “intoxicating fragrance of the mahua flowers”, the bright red, scarlet palash or flame-of-the-forest flowers, the jamun trees “clothed in parakeet green foliage” and the “nearly round canopies of mango trees… in light and dark green, golden yellow, and rusty red”. The author’s account of Kanha also mentions “chital and langur feeding on sal and mahua flowers fallen on the ground.”

FLORA & FAUNA

In his book, Field Days: A Naturalist’s Journey Through South and Southeast Asia, author A. J. T. Johnsingh writes an interesting account of the flora of Kanha, talking in detail about the “intoxicating fragrance of the mahua flowers”, the bright red, scarlet palash or flame-of-the-forest flowers, the jamun trees “clothed in parakeet green foliage” and the “nearly round canopies of mango trees… in light and dark green, golden yellow, and rusty red”. The author’s account of Kanha also mentions “chital and langur feeding on sal and mahua flowers fallen on the ground.”

Diversity

The only woodland that brings so much vividness in nature, Kanha is home to over 200 varieties of wildflower species. The mixed forest trees that blend seamlessly with meadows, allow for guests to soak in the sweet fragrance of the jungle with trees such as saja, sal, bamboo, mahua, bija, among several others, including those with Ayurvedic properties to heal and nourish. Additionally, there are species of climbers, shrubs, and aquatic plants that grow in tals or lakes, serving as a lifeline for several migratory birds.

ECOLOGY

The avifauna is diverse and reveals important facets about Kanha’s ecology. With over 550 insects and spiders, and counting (the Bhati family is continuing to discover more species, even as you read this), Kanha becomes the best territory to watch these fascinating creatures.

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