Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kanha National Park


KANHA NATIONAL PARK Situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the picturesque Kanha National Park was the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling's unforgettable classic Jungle Book. The romance of the Kanha National Park has not reduced over time-it is still as beautiful. 

If one were to point to the middle of India, chances are he will pick out the forests of the Banjar and the Halon valley, the two forming the western and eastern halves of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which have long been famous for their wide diversity of wildlife. 

The park was created in 1955 by a special law and, since then, it has dedicated itself in preserving a variety of animal species. Many endangered species have indeed been saved here. Today Kanha is among the few most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. This 'Tiger Country' is the ideal home for both predator and prey.

By far the most striking features of this region are the open grassy meadows, where sighting blackbuck, swamp deer, sambhar and chital is common. And, if one can transcend into time, a barefooted Mowgli would perhaps come padding along the dusty trail, for this is the land of Kipling's Jungle Book. 

There are numerous Tiger reserves in India, that are preserving this ferocious beast, but nowhere can you see them as often, and as regularly as in Kanha National Park.

Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha national park cum Tiger reserve extends over an area of over 1,940-sq-kms. The major feature of this region's interesting topography is the horseshoe shape valley and the whole park area is surrounded by the spurs of the Mekal. The Surpan River meanders through Kanha's central Maidans, grasslands that cover the extensive plateau. Steep rocky escrapments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley.

Major Wildlife Attractions Of Kanha :

The main wildlife attractions in the park are tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, chital, more pictures.... 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.

The 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. 

The open meadows during the cold winter months are usually teeming with barasinghas and there is plenty of tiger activity around the fringes. A female with two small cubs would circle around at least two or three times during the day and the swamp deer would go berserk, their husky alarm calls ringing through the jungle. Far from being the cunning, smart aleck, portrayed in Disney's adaptation of the Jungle Book, the real "Sher Khan" is true blue-blooded royalty. 

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

Seasons :
The winter months (November to early March) are cool and dry, with the day temperature rarely going above a comfortable 32°C, and the night temperature dipping as low as 2°C with occasional frost. By mid-January most deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves. By early February, the simal trees are covered in large scarlet flowers and the sal are soon covered in bright green, new growth. The rutting season of the barasingha - one of the rarest animals on earth - is in December and January. Their haunting, bugling calls echo across the Kanha meadows and spectacular fights between stags can be seen. 

The summer months (March to mid-June) are hot and dry, with temperatures ranging from 42°C in the day to 20°C at night. The grasses on the meadows are pale and parched. 

The Park is closed to visitors once the monsoon breaks in mid to late June. Kanha is transformed with lush new growth. The rivers fill to
bursting point. It is humid and wet with temperatures ranging from 20° to 30°C. Kanha has an annual rainfall of 1600 mm
(~64 inches) or more, 95% of which falls during the monsoon, from late June to September. The Park reopens again on
16th October.

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