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.
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
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
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.
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.
Sights of my home
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.
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!
Proud creatures that just break into a dance to attract the opposite gender. Don’t they have any dignity!
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remember to carry your Govt. IDs when heading for the safari. You will need the same before you enter the park.
Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.