Kanha, one of the inspirations to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel "Jungle Book" is located in Mandla and Balaghat district of Madhyapradesh. This National Park on Satpura range has got some of the greatest landscapes as its treasure. In the year 1955 Kanha declared as National Park with a stretch of 940 Sq. Km. of natural forest and later also declared a Tiger Reserve. Lowland and highland dry forest, meadows with vast grassland and unique wildlife makes Kanha one the most popular wildlife destinations in central India.

Most distinctive feature of Kanha is its meadows, lush sal forests, hills, meandering streams and open grassland . Kanha is one of the most important tiger haven in centrail India,but the landmark achievement of this park is the preservation of the rare Hard-ground Swamp Deer (Barasingha), saving it from near extinction.

Flora and Fauna:

More than 200 species of plants has been recorded in Kanha National Park. There is two types of forest in Kanha - The lowland and The Highland Forest. The lowland forest is a mixture of mainly Saland other mixed trees, interspersed with meadows. The highland forests are tropical moist dry deciduous type forest with completely different nature. Bamboos are also common on the slopes of highland forest. Main species of trees found here are Lendia, Dhawa, Tendu, Palas, Bija, Mahua, Aonla, Achar etc.There are many species of grass recorded at Kanha, some of them are very important for the survival of Barasingha (Hard ground Swamp Deer). Climbers, shrubs and herbs flourished abundantly in the dense forested zones with thick canopy cover.

Kanha means tigers and more than 100 tiger harbour the forest and grassland of this magnificent National Park. Though Tiger is the main predator species of this park but other carnivores are also exist in good numbers and played a significant role for maintaining the balance of eco-system. Big cat like Leopard, Wild Dog and Jackal are common in Kanha. Small mammals like Civet, Porcupine, Honey badger and hares can be seen here. Apart from Barasingha other herbivores species like Indian Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Chousingha, Nilgai along with Wild Boar and Sloth Bear are confronted frequently. Recently mouse deer has been also discovered here.There are record of Indian Wolf. Indian Langur and Rhesus Macaque are the major primate species here.

Approximately 300 species of birds has been recorded in Kanha. Notable species of birds found here are Black Francolin, Painted Francolin, Red Spurfowl, Comb Duck, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Pied Cuckoo, Rock Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Short-eared Owl, Savanna Nightjar, Lesser Florican, Sarus Crane, Baillon’s Crake, Greater Painted-snipe, Egyptian Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Bonelli’s Eagle, Laggar Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Woolly-necked Stork, Indian Pitta, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, White-browed Fantail, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Blue Rock Thrush, White-throated Thrush, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Red Avadavat, Crested Bunting and many more.

Among reptilian species Indian Rock Python, King Cobra, Common Krait, Russel’s Viper etc are found in this area. Many species of turtles as well as amphibians are also found in or near the water bodies.