Madhya Pradesh rests in the heart of incredible India and is called the tiger den or tiger state of India. It is named thus because this state has the largest number of the big cats scattered around in its six tiger reserves. This is the reason why tiger lovers from different nooks and corners of the world come to this state; to get a whiff of the frolicking unguardedbig cats in their pristine natural environment. Thus, safari tours and tiger tours are extremely popular with the tourists here. Though there are nine national parks and twenty five sanctuaries yet, three can be termed as the front-runners for the top honors and they are Panna National Park, Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarh National Park. Some of the salient features of these three are:
Panna National Park: This Park is not that big in terms of area as compared Kanha. Spread around the area of River Ken, the Panna National Park is around 543 square kilometers in area. The place besides being a major tiger den is also a sight to behold thanks to the epic gorges and rocky terrains that make the view of the Panna National Park a sight to capture. There are several animals like jackals, tigers, porcupines, Indian foxes, deer and ghariyals that can be spotted in their pristine and untouched natural habitats. This makes this park one of the jewels in the success story of Madhya Pradesh. The park also has a high density of Paradise flycatchers and is a great place to visit between the months of December to March.
Kanha National Park: This national park covers an area of 940 square kilometers and tiger spotting is quiet a regular feature here, thus making it one of the must see tiger reserves in India. Lush vegetation of bamboo and Sal are one of the highlights of this park that also has small water bodies to keep the vegetation hydrated and helps in its accelerated growth. This in turn helps herbivorous animals like deer, rare hard ground Barasingha and black buck in sustaining their numbers. But the forest cover is not harmed by the growing herbivorous numbers as they get checked by the predators of the national park like tigers, jackals and the rest. In all, there are 22 species of mammals and several hundred species of birds that makes Kanha National Park, a great place to visit. Guided tours can be taken to go around and the best time to visit this park is between February and June.
Bandhavgarh National Park: This national park lies in the Shadol district in the lap of Vindhya mountain range. Covering an area of 448 square kilometers with soil vegetation, this area was once called the territory of now almost extinct white tiger. There was a time in the distant past when white tigers used to be found in the area of Rewa which is not far from this place. What makes Bandhavgarh a true tiger heaven is the density of tigers and other carnivorous and herbivorous species that either act as co-predators or prey for the national animal of India. Animals like Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, sloth bear, tiger, leopards, spotted deer etc make this a great place to visit. Also, this national park has around 250 varieties of avian friends beside around 22 varieties of mammals and has streams and marshes that support the sumptuous fauna on display here. Jeep safari and elephant safari are the prime ways of going around this national park.
In a nutshell, it would not be wrong to say that Panna National Park, Kanha National park and Bandhavgarh National Park have emerged as the major success story in the rehabilitation of endangered species like tigers, leopards and hard ground barasinghas. They have shown that efficient management can achieve even the most belligerent of the tasks. These national parks of Madhya Pradesh, hence, would always continue to hold the prime importance every time wildlife in India would be discussed. And they have shown that they most certainly deserve all the accolades!