Tiger Tales from Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

posted in: Asia, India, Madhya Pradesh, Nature | 101

My 2017 started off with a trip to one of the most popular tiger reserves in India – Kanha National Park. I had been raring to get here and do my bit of wildlife spotting for quite some time now. However, some trips elude you till there is that one right time to do it. Thanks to Club Mahindra resorts, I finally managed to get here and what is more – meet Bajrang.

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Bajrang is one of the many tigers within the Kanha National Park and I was lucky to have spotted him on my first safari in the park. Bajrang treated us by pacing around in the open space, before he disappeared back to his lair. Those few moments were so impactful that I kept thinking of him through the entire day and even through the next safari that I partook. I imagined his life, his thoughts and his actions in conjunction with every aspect of Kanha National Park. Naturally, this travel story of Kanha National Park is best told in his voice. Enjoy my journey through the park in the voice of Bajrang the tiger as he shares all the travel tips, travel sights and other aspects of my visit. Over to Bajrang –

About Kanha National Park

Deer having a sip at one of the many waterholes in Kanha National Park
Deer having a sip at one of the many waterholes in Kanha National Park

Howdy there you humans!

Welcome to my home – Kanha National Park. My home is over 940 sq kms in size and is considered to be one of the largest national parks in India. It has been awarded the best tourism friendly national park by the Department of Tourism in India. As huge as my home is, it is divided into four zones – Kanha, Kisli, Mukki and Sarhi. You can enter these zones through 3 main gates – Kanha-Kisli gate, Mukki gate and the Sarhi Gate.

Start of a Day at Kanha National Park

Safari Jeeps all lined up to enter the Kanha National Park
Safari Jeeps all lined up to enter the Kanha National Park

Every morning at the three gates, there is a huge line of humans seated in the jeeps. No one can dare enter at night for it is our lair and we are free to do whatever we want then. The reality is that the humans cannot really stop us in the dark hours. So, they choose to venture in during the morning, when they feel a little safer. The good thing is that there are limited jeeps and canters that are allowed in, allowing us to still rule our home.

Kanha National Park

The gates open sharp at 6:30 am and you see the humans with watery eyes and bundled up clothes, rubbing their palms together for heat, all seated and alert to spot me. Before the gates open, the wildlife enthusiasts are busy gossiping about their last safaris while the newbies are trying their best to keep up with the wildlife chatter. The ones in the canter are busy grabbing their last minute spots – just like the owner of this blog- Ami Bhat.

Me - all bundled up for the morning safari
Me – all bundled up for the morning safari

Sights of my home

Sunrise at Kanha National Park
Sunrise at Kanha National Park

Once the gates open, the jeeps rush through first while the noisy canters slowly saunter in at the end. I personally, love my home at Sunrise as the light filters through the branches and leaves of the trees and lights up the path.

Sunlight filtering through the lovely Kanha National Park
Sunlight filtering through the lovely Kanha National Park
The grasslands of Kanha National Park
The grasslands of Kanha National Park

The lovely lakes glisten bright and the varied grasslands just turn golden or green depending on the season. I love the long grass and the dense vegetation within as it allows me to hide and spy my neighbors and these interfering humans. Sometimes, it is best to avoid these nosy neighbors, each one with their own crazy nature. Let me introduce them all.

The inhabitants of Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park, unfortunately, is not just my home but I have to share it with a lot of these characters. The elusive leopards generally stay in hiding and are rarely spotted but let me introduce the ones that the blog owner of Thrilling Travel has captured.

Spotted Deer at Kanha National Park



Show-offs, vain creatures, these ones are just around in plenty. And never alone! Lakes, pools, open fields….they are just everywhere, showing off their glistening golden coats with spots on it. When they know someone is watching, they even prance and jump around. Let me assure you that is how they run when they see me!

Spotted deer in action at Kanha National Park
Spotted deer in action at Kanha National Park


Peacock at Kanha National Park
Peacock at Kanha National Park

Proud creatures that just break into a dance to attract the opposite gender. Don’t they have any dignity!


Barasingha or Swamp Deer at Kanha National Park
Barasingha or Swamp Deer at Kanha National Park

My closest competitor for attention. I don’t know why they are considered to be the pride of Kanha National Park. It is us tigers who are deserving of the title. They never leave a chance to show off – see this one for instance, with all that decoration on his horns. I can never forget the insult to injury when I was hit by those horns.

The swamp deer are just so hungry for attention that they have actually grown horns over it!

Female Barasingha at Kanha National Park
Female Barasingha at Kanha National Park
Swamp deer
Swamp deer

Hiding Owls

Owl in hiding at Kanha National Park
Owl in hiding at Kanha National Park

These are a nuisance. They hide but never fail to spoil the game in the evening by their constant hooting and wise advice that they give to the rest of the inhabitants.

Pesky Langurs at Kanha National Park

Langurs at Kanha National Park
Langurs at Kanha National Park

Smart Alecs! Another of those guys who is always ready to spoil the game. No matter where ever I roam, he alerts the humans and the others of my arrival by hooting loudly. Why even the canter in which the owner of this blog was traveling heeded to his calls and found me!

Tigers of Kanha National Park

Besides these neighbours, let me share a few stories of my cousins – the other tigers of Kanha National Park. I am not one of the famous ones here…it is this cousin of mine called Munna. And just because he has got the letters of CAT written on his forehead. Check out his picture below – not clicked by the travel blogger Ami. She seemed a trifle sad that she could not see him and had to make do with me. I forgive her nonetheless, for giving me the opportunity to be the star of her blog post on Kanha National Park.

Munna in Kanha                                                               Image Credits: By Shreyas CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If it is not Munna that people look out for, then it is his son – Chota Munna who killed that famous Bheema and rose to fame. Grr…I say he just got lucky. And then there is the clown among us all – one who managed to lose an ear – Kaanphata (torn ear in Hindi). There are more but we bunch, are the famous tigers of Kanha National Park.

Me – Bajrang in the spotlight at Kanha

Bajrang making his appearance at Kanha National Park
Bajrang making his appearance at Kanha National Park

Now, let me relive the day I met Ami Bhat. I was ready for my morning chores and so far had managed to evade those stealthy jeeps. Suddenly, out of nowhere the canter with all the people including Ami Bhat and Divyakshi zipped by as I stepped out of the bushes. All of us were startled but before they recovered, I made way to the other side to finish my urgent bio requirement.

Bajrang going about his business at Kanha National Park
Bajrang going about his business at Kanha National Park
Bajrang strolling around in Kanha National Park
Bajrang strolling around

Then, I vanished but those pesky langurs kept calling and alerting the rest of the people of my presence. I also, realized that by meeting these bloggers I could rise in fame – a one up against all my cousins. So, why not just let them see me some more . And with that, I sauntered back into the path and crossed over many times to ensure that the paparazzi got enough shots of me. Ensuring that was done, I went back but not before implanting my memory and my interview in the mind of Ami Bhat. I know that she will make me famous. Cheers to all of you till I see you the next time in my own lair!

Tigers of Kanha National Park

Overall impression of the Kanha National Park

And with that we finish this interview with Bajrang. This is Ami back to her own voice. 🙂

Kanha National Park is a delight for any wildlife visitor. It is great for first-time wildlife enthusiasts too. The sheer beauty of the place with its flora and fauna is bound to enthrall anyone. Though I went for two safaris, I felt it was not enough to capture it all. I would love to go again and hope to spot more of its hidden gems. I wonder what you thought of my visit and its tale in the voice of Bajrang. Message me and let me know.

Kanha National Park

Getting here:

  • The nearest airport to Kanha National Park is at Jabalpur, which is 166 kms by road. There are daily flights from the key cities of India to this airport.
  • Nagpur (280 kms) is the other national airport that can be used.
  • There are regular buses from Jabalpur and Nagpur that take you to the resorts in Kanha.
  • Alternatively, you can opt for a private cab to take you here. Resorts too, can arrange for a drop and pick-up from the airports or railway stations.

Travel Tips:

  • Here is a useful website for Kanha National Park.
  • The entry to the park is allowed between 6:30 to 10:30 am and between 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm. This is on all days except Wednesdays.
  • There is no stopping within the park except at one point where you can use the public toilets.
  • Please make sure you carry your snacks and water bottles with you. Once you are within the park, there is no getting out till you are done with the safari.
  • Please keep a spare bag for putting your trash. Let’s keep the park a litter free zone.
  • Do not make any loud noises once you are within the park.
  • The safaris are inclusive of a driver and a guide. Please listen to the instructions of the guide carefully.
  • Do not attempt to step out of your vehicle while in the park.
  • The mornings and evenings here are quite chilly and hence, please carry your woolens and jackets for the same.
  • The park safari is quite dusty. If you are allergic to the same, please avoid going in or using a filter mask while there.
  • There are only limited jeeps that are allowed in for every safari. It is quite hard to get the booking on the spot. Advance booking either through travel agents or resorts is advised. Our booking too, was last minute. For the first safari we had to opt for the MP tourism canter. For the second safari, a Club Mahindra guest and the resort were kind enough to take us in a jeep on a sharing basis.
  • Kanha National Park is far into the wild and you might not always get lucky to spot a tiger in one safari. I would recommend staying here for a day or two and attempting at least 2 safaris.
  • For the stay, one of my recommendations would be the Club Mahindra Kanha resort. The resort promises you an awesome time with their lovely pool, scrumptious food, relaxing spa and tented accommodations. The resort has a lot of cultural and fun family activities for you to relax between your safaris. They are well-tuned and familiar with the Kanha national park. Hence, they arrange for the food and transport for you at the wee hours of morning. Take a look at their facilities in the slide show below:
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  • Remember to carry your Govt. IDs when heading for the safari. You will need the same before you enter the park.
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101 Responses

  1. 2travellingsisters

    Loved reading this interview with Mr.Bajrang, must say he stole our heart 😉

  2. nomadwrites

    Bajrang is a good narrator I must say 😀 I am heading there soon too 🙂 Clubbing this with a quick stop at Jabalpur. The forest itself looks so alluring 🙂

    • Ami

      I wish I could have done Jabalpur too…it is supposed to be amazing. I hope you manage to meet Munna and Bajrang.

  3. Ariane

    Wow, what a great post … and those pictures! Really loved reading this one, you entirely transported me to Kanha National park!

  4. Jodie

    This is amazing I love seeing them in the wild. I just got back from South Africa where I did a safari in Kruger National Park

  5. Meghan

    Thanks for all the tips – especially the ones about respecting the animals and staying quiet. I find we often forget we are the ones coming into their space! That’s a great reminder!

    • Ami

      True. We need to remember that we are in their lair. Silence does allow you to appreciate the sounds of nature that you would have otherwise ignored.

  6. Bhushavali

    OMG!!! You’re so lucky to have seen Bajrang!!! I’m yet to see a tiger in wild, though I’ve seen a leopard…. Btw, totally totally love your style of narration in this post… 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Ami

      Thank you Bhushavali. I am lucky to have sighted one here and many more in Kabini. Hope you too, get to spot one soon. They do steal your heart.

  7. Alberto Calvo

    A tiger reserve, I’d definitely enjoy that one! I’ve never seen a tiger in the wild yet, and the park also seems to have quite a lot of diverse wildlife. Pinning this for my future travels 🙂

  8. Flavio @ Adventurous Travels

    Oh wow, the photos are absolutely amazing! You were so lucky to see the tiger so close. We went to Kruger Park in South Africa but we weren’t lucky enough to take such great photos! Unbelievably stunning!

    • Ami

      Thanks Flavio. While you might not have been lucky with the shots, I would say you were lucky to witness them in their own homes. That itself is a treat.

  9. Tami

    Fun way to present your experience! I loved the photos; they are stunning! Especially the one of the spotted dear leaping!

  10. The Travel Ninjas

    Wow this sounds like an awesome place to visit. We’d love to meet Bajrang, and hear more of his stories :-). Seeing them up close must have been so thrilling. We’ll have to check this place out for sure.

  11. Neha Verma

    Loved the narration from the tiger 🙂 Have got to agree, there are hardly any other national parks in India that can match the Kanha National Park, no wonder these are the proud residents of the national park. Loved your pictures too. With the travel tips that you have summarized at the end (something I have learnt from you), it will be easy to plan a trip to this wonderland.

  12. traciehowe

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit! What a stunning backdrop for wildlife sightings. You must have been thrilled!

  13. Sandy N Vyjay

    It is my favourite after Kaziranga. A perfect escapade to nature. Luckily we spotted a
    tiger. The safari ride is really beautiful. It gives a thrill to realize that you are in the land of the Jungle Book and expect to sight the characters anytime!

  14. Joanna

    I love the narration of the tiger and how he sees the “lines of humans waiting in jeeps” to enter the park in the morning. I have never been to a safari before and I have never seen tigers in the wild. What an experience that must be! By the way, unrelated to your text, I have the same blue scarf as you, bought in the bazaar from New Delhi! 🙂

    • Ami

      Thanks Joanna. The tiger does have his own perspective and needs to be heard :). The Blue pashmina is lovely, isn’t it? I got mine from Jaipur

  15. Milosz Zak

    Beautiful photos. These are the kinds of parks one would visit knowing the fauna is protected, and not on display purely for amusement. As much as I like going to zoos in major urban centers around the world, I have to say I feel sad that they’re there in captivity. I commend the Indian people for this conservationist initiative.

    • Ami

      Thanks Milosz. There have been several parks done in India and this is one of them. I do hope you visit them in India.

  16. halefg

    I have never been to India, unfortunately, but I would love to visit sometime soon. And I will keep this place in mind – I have never heard of it before, but of course India is a big country. Thank you for sharing!

    • Ami

      Yes, India is huge and I do hope you take out some time for our sanctuaries. It is a different experience 🙂

  17. Madhurima Maiti

    Amazing photography! Seems like you have had a great time at Kanha National Park. I haven’t visited it yet but it’s definitely on my wildlife bucket list. Morning safaris are the best to take and no wonder you opted for it 🙂

    • Ami

      Morning safaris are definitely the best but it is really cold as you can see 😀 Brave it and the rewards at the end of it are good!

  18. Only By Land

    This has some impressive statistics. Biggest and most tourist friendly park in India! You got some great tiger shots here, I’m jealous!

    • Ami

      Thank you. Kanha is quite a popular haunt for wildlife enthusiasts in India. I think you should get here soon.

  19. travellingslacker

    Great sights… good to finally get a glipse of Bajrang…
    A lot of national parks tend to disappoint in terms of animal sightings. But Kanha seems to offer a better deal.