from Sawai Madhopur
The 392 sq km of Ranthambhore National Park is perhaps Indias finest example
of Project Tiger, a conservation effort started by the government in an attempt
to save the dwindling number of tigers in India. Situated near the small town
of Sawai Madhopur, the Park has seen its ups and downs, and there were times
not so long ago when poachers were having a field day in the Park. But recently
thanks to the devoted work of some good field staff the forest has been restored
to its old glory and is now seen as a much needed stronghold for the tiger which
is battling for survival.
What is so special about this Park is the way history and forest have come together
to create an amazing landscape not seen in very many places. The rich forest
around the fort is littered with ruins that date back to the 10th century. Parts
of the fort that lie inside the Park have been reclaimed by nature. Can you
imagine the sight of a wild tiger seeking shelter under architectural brilliance
on a hot summer day, or a leopard standing majestically on the walls of the
Ranthambhore forest is dry deciduous with dhok (Anogeissus pendula) trees as
the main vegetation which is an important fodder tree for animals. Kulu (Sterculia
urens), ronj (Acacia leucophloea), ber (Zizyphus maudrentiana), khimi (Manilkara
hexandra), tendu (Diospyrous melanoxylon), polas (Butea monosperma), peepal,
mango and banyan are prevalent in Ranthambhore. But perhaps the most spectacular
is the flame of the forest which blooms in April, enveloping the forest in a
spectacular fiery red aura. The four lakes in Ranthambhore are surrounded by
a numerous species of trees like salar (Boswellia serrata), gurjan (Lannea coromandelica)
and gum (Sterculia urens).
Ranthambhore National Park spans an area of about 400 sq km with a tiger population
of about 32. The tiger is relatively easier to spot in Ranthambhore than in
many other National Parks, thanks to the tourist friendly nature of the tigers
and the openness of its surroundings. The Park also supports a large number
of other wild species including leopards, the highly endangered caracal, jungle
cat, hyena, jackal, sloth bear, wild boar, marsh crocodile, porcupine, common
langur, spotted deer, Indian gazelle, sambar (Asiatic stag) and nilgai (bluebull).
Some of these species (especially the nocturnal ones like the leopard and the
caracal) are difficult to spot and sightings are rare, but then that is bound
to happen when every eye in the Park is looking for what Ranthambhore is best
known for the tiger.
for Reservation/ more information
Kanha Tiger Reserve
169km from Jabalpur
330km from Nagpur
1,480 to 2,950ft (450-900m)
Kanha Tiger Reserve in the eastern sector of the Satpura Hills of the Central
Indian Highlands. It lies 100 miles southeast of Jabalpur in the state of Madhya
Pradesh. It is a beautiful area, comprising sal and bamboo forest, grasslands
and river habitat. The most prevalent animal is the Chital (or spotted deer)
which can be viewed grazing peacefully on meadows or amongst trees, often near
langur monkeys, who not only dislodge fruit and seeds from the trees which the
chital then eat, but who also provide a look out for tiger. It contains the
world's only population of the barasingha deer, and the reserve's authorities
have been instrumental in rescuing the species from imminent extinction.
The sadly endangered tiger is probably the animal above all others that people
come to India to view, and at Kanha you stand as good a chance as anywhere of
There are also leopard at Kanha too, but though probably more numerous than
the tiger, they are more difficult to spot.
On any trip you will undoubtedly see chital , gaur (the enormous Indian buffalo
- which can stand six feet at the shoulder ), sambar (India's largest deer),
peacocks in abundance, wild dogs, wild pigs, and numerous species of bird. As
much as anything, what captivated me most about Kanha, aside from the tiger,
was the sound of the jungle. There is a steady hum of insect noise and birdsong
wherever you go. Furthermore, when there is a tiger or leopard on the move you
will hear a cacophony of alarm calls made by a variety of animals and birds
(from langur monkey to peacock), and it is these together with pug marks
on the dusty track - which enables the skilled trackers to locate the tigers.
Click here for Reservation/more information
Dudhwa National Park
49,029 hectares / 614 sq. km.
1958 as a wildlife sanctuary, 1977 as a national park,
1988 as a tiger reserve.
Dudhwa lies on the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalaya and the
plains of the terai. The main attractions of the park are its Swamp
Deer (population over 1,600) and tiger (population 98 in 1995). The park is
famous for the untiring efforts of Billy Arjan Singh, one of Indias
leading conservationists, who was instrumental in the creation of Dudhwa as
a sanctuary of the Swamp Deer. Later he successfully hand-reared and re-introduced
zoo-born Tigers and Leopards into the wilds of Dudhwa.
The forests here are reminiscent of the forests of Bardia on the Nepal side,
with huge Sal trees, tall termite mounds, patches of riverine forests and large
open grasslands. Its lakes offer excellent opportunities for observing Swamp
Deer and birds from machans. In the mid 1980s, Indian Rhinoceros
was reintroduced into Dudhwa from Assam and Nepal. The park has a rich birdlife,
with over 350 species, including the Swamp Partridge, Slaty-backed Woodpecker
for Reservation/more information
Panna Tiger Reserve
542.67 sq. km.
211.2 metres (near Ken river,Compt. 228, Madla Range) to 540
metres (a hillock near Talgaon, Compt. 1340, Panna Range).
The reserve is located on either sides of Ken river which flows from south to
north through the Lower Vindhyan Formations within the park. Panna is the twenty
second Tiger Reserve of India and fifth in Madhya Pradesh . The Reserve is situated
in the Vindhyan Ranges and spreads over Panna and Chattarpur districts in the
north of the state.
Panna National Park was created in 1981. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve
by Government of India in 1994. The National Park consists of areas from the
former Gangau Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1975. This sanctuary comprised of
territorial forests of the present North and South Panna Forest Division to
which a portion of the adjoining Chhatarpur forest division was added later.
The reserved forests of the Park in Panna district and some protected forests
on Chhatarpur side were the hunting preserves of the erstwhile rulers of Panna,
Chhatarpur and Bijawar princely states in the past.
The road to Satna passes through this recently created park, lying along the
River ken, 32 km from Khajuraho. It contains large areas of unspoilt forest
and a variety of wildlife. There are tigers here but you'd be very lucky to
see one. The numerous waterfalls in this area are popular picnic spots. Day
tri>ps often also take in a visit to the diamond mines at Majhgawan, the
Rajgarh Palace and the temples of Panna town, 48 km from Khajuraho.
for Reservation/more information