Tourism in Kanha National Park and other Reserves in India
Posted: Oct 17, 2020
Situated in Maikal Hills at the convergence point of Satpura and Vindhya Hills Kanha National Park is the realm of the tiger. And for sighting this majestic big cat tourists throng the destination in large numbers. Kanha is a true biodiversity hub comprising of moist dry deciduous forests dominated by Sal Tree and mixed species besides bamboo. The park is inundated by Halon and Banzar rivers both tributaries of River Narmada that dominates the landscape of Madhya Pradesh or Central India.
The forests lay hidden from the outside World since ages being domain of tribes which hardly interacted with outside civilizations. Major inroads into the valleys of Halon and Banzar were made by the British during the Raj. Fear over hunting lead to creation of sanctuaries comprising of the valleys. The dense thick unexplored jungles teemed with wildlife large herds of swamp deer that inhabited the region before the intrusion of humans. Tigers roamed in large numbers besides the leopard and the bison. The common animals like wild boar, spotted deer, sambar and barking deer are found in relative abundance in the present day tiger reserve. Antelope numbers have dwindled while predators like the big cats are making a slow comeback. The guar or bison faced trouble post epidemic in 1976 but they two are on the path of recovery.
All this was the result of creation of protected areas referred as tiger reserves after the Project Tiger Program initiated by federal government in the early seventies. Another precursor was the legislation passed in 1972 called Wildlife Protection Act which stemmed the rot impressively. Hunting in India was completely banned and poaching could lead to penal action against those concerned.
The reserves were divided into inner core and outer buffer. All human habitation was shifted to the buffer. All commercial activities including agriculture were stopped in the core only tourism limited to twenty percent area continues.
Many tiger reserves are on road to recovery. Tourism invites a large number of overseas and local visitors every year on holiday or tiger safari. A good number of visitors are wildlife enthusiasts, film makers and photographers.
In order to visit the core a permit is required which in most states is available online. By providing the requisite details and payment of fee you can book the safari permit within minutes. This permit is essential to enter the park.
This is the first step you should follow whence planning to visit the park. You can limit excursions to one park or visit many on the tour. You can book the trip yourself or visit on a package provided by a tour operator. If you plan to travel on your own then you should be familiar with the places you intend to include on tour besides the reserves on the route. You will need to book permits, book hotels and local transports and then move independently. This is bit troublesome and full of hassles for the first timers without local contacts.
The second option is better suited for overseas visitors. All they have to do is contact a tour operator in India and provide the company with details. After all information the payment should be forwarded depending upon the package cost. All arrangements are then made by the tour operator, an added advantage is traveling in the group which is much safer. This way you can visit a number of reserves along with Kanha on a package tour at low cost. Only you have to make sure the repute of the operator is reliable. You can inquire from tourists who have used services, read testimonials and reviews in order to make sure.
Uday writes often on Indian wildlife especially about the tigers. He works as a naturalist and is fond of travel. Uday also provides search engine optimization service and website contents in English.