Top 3 National Parks in Madhya Pradesh
1. Kanha National Park
The largest national park in central India, Kanha National Park, is one of the best in Asia. It is nestled in the Maikal range of Satpurain state of Madhya Pradesh and spread across two districts, Mandala and Kalaghat. The park currently stretches over 940 sq. km. and is divided into two sanctuaries; Hallon and Banjar. If the buffer and core zones are included, the total area covered by Kanha Tiger Reserve is 1945 sq. km.
The award-winning documentary of National Geographic, ‘Land of the Tigers’ was shot in this national park. The interesting topography (horseshoe shape valley) of the region attracts several tourists. The Surpan river meanders through the central region of the national park. The Kanha National Park boasts of different vegetation; grasslands which cover the plateau, steep rocky cliffs and breathtakingly beautiful valleys add to the charm of the region. Apart from tigers, the park is home to the rarest species of deer, Barasingha, which were on the verge of extinction before efforts were made to conserve them.
2. Bandhavgarh National Park
The former hunting ground of the royal family of Rewa, Bandhavgarh National Park is the home of white tigers in India. The Bandhavgarh Fort is an excellent place to see the entire forest region where tigers can be spotted easily. The national park is spread in 450 sq. km. area with a core area comprising of 105 sq. km. Situated at an elevation between 410-810 m, the forest area boasts of around 20 streams which merge into the Son river, a tributary of the majestic Ganges. The forest also has several lakes and caves as added attractions to the wildlife. The forest has mixed vegetation; tall grasslands to dense tropical forests which contributes to the variety of animals and birds found in the region. Since wildlife sighting is common here, the park is extremely popular among tourists, both Indian and foreigners.
The Bandhavgarh National Park, located in the Vindhya range of Umaria, is divided into four zones; Tala, Magdi, Khiatuli and Panpatha out of which Tala attracts the most tourists because tiger sighting opportunities are huge in this zone. The Magdi zone allows elephant shows as well as safaris to spot the elusive wild cats of the jungle.
3. Pench National Park
Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India, boasts of rich ecological diversity which can be witnessed in the Pench National Park. Located in the Seoni and Chhindwara district of the state, the national park derives its name from the Pench river which flows through the forest. A part of Project Tiger since 1992, this park with rivers and streams, rocky trails, and enchanting hills extends from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra. One of the finest sanctuaries of the country, the Pench National Park is home to more than 300 species of flora and fauna including the Royal Bengal tiger and several migratory birds. Located in the southern region of the Satpura range, bordering Maharashtra, the national park is divided into two parts by the Pench river.
Spread over 758 sq. km. of area, including the core national park area, the park is known for its spectacular landscape, enchanting wildlife and thrilling night safari providing an unparalleled wildlife experience. The park is the inspiration behind the famous The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Every year, the place is flocked by tourists who wish to see the well-known characters of the movie/book; namely Baloo (sloth bear), Sher Khan (Royal Bengal tiger), Akela and Raksha (wolves).