From Jabalpur we started after lunch around 2 pm. We took one of shortest road route from Jabalpur to Mandla via NH-30. Chiraidongri- Kanha route is preferred when arrival permission is to be taken from park authority at Mandlale for Kanha Jungle Safari. There are 3 gates for entrance into the park. The Kisli gate is best accessed from Jabalpur and ends at the village Khatia, inside the buffer area. The second gate is at Mukki and the third, last opened, gate is at Sarhi.
Travel time between gates for Kanha Jungle Safari:
Travelling from Khatia gate to Mukki or Sarhi gate takes almost 1 hour. Travelling to Sarhi gate from Mukki takes almost one and half-hour.
Next day morning we got up around 4 am. The romance with the disruptive breeze, the sound of forest, the curiosity of meeting wild animals and the unpredictability of each turn in the jungle charm me the most. Getting up in the wee hours, when the cold breeze just whorls you up, the curtain of darkness fading away with the beaming colors of sun, and when I saw brightly lit up faces of those kids in the jeep, it simply made my day even before I actually enter into the wilderness.
Soon after a quick tea, we set out to venture into the forest. The tough breeze was enough to make you curl up with a blanket in the dark on the bumpy drive. As we drove down the road towards the main gate of the forest, the curtain of darkness slowly faded away with peeping sunlight making its way. After the initial compulsory formalities, we entered the forest with much zeal.
The very first animal I saw was a jackal just after entering the forest. Somebody once told me that if you see a jackal, first thing in the forest, you might encounter a tiger. Though I don’t believe in superstition and though I decided to keep calm. With the golden sun-rays, the forest came alive. The stunning Saal trees, the earthy roads, and the sound of buzzing birds became my constant mates.
The earthy smell of the woods, husky langur calls, short deer calls, and the high pitch peacock calls make you appreciate the fact that you are in their territory.
There is much, much more to see, do, enjoy, and explore in Kanha National Park (or any national park in Madhya Pradesh) than hunt for tigers. But the moment the guide shows us pugmark on the road— the chase is on. And it’s incredibly exciting. The jeep driver made an educated guess as to where the tiger will appear and heads in that direction. You never knew what will happen, and many times the tiger did not appear. It’s still amazing to be in such a beautiful place, a pristine environment for animals and wildlife, where they run free in a protected environment.
As we were driving through the thick vegetation of the saal forest, there was a surprise suddenly near a bamboo forest inside the park. All I could see was the movement of a tiger inside the forest. It was coming out and trying to crossing the road. 5 jeeps from both the side stopped to witness that rare view. It was a short-lived moment for me. We waited in the hope of seeing her clearly, after a few seconds the tiger came out with strong but kingly movements. Then she walked and stopped for a while staring on us. After few seconds she disappeared deep inside the forest. I was delighted even though I just had a glimpse of this magnificent beast. I was speechless. All I did was shooting continuously with my camera the entire time. I couldn’t believe what I actually saw with my naked eyes. This was exceptional.
But when the tiger appeared, we felt a sense of ecstasy that is unexplainable and unique. The tiger simply electrifies the forest. When a tiger appears, every animal becomes alert. Deer, jackals, monkeys, and other animals track the tiger’s movements and sound alarms, not only for their own kind, but for all. She is always watched by the eyes of the forest. Also, tigers are territorial and hunt and move about in a predictable range. The well-trained guides know the tigers in Kanha National Park, and know their movements and whereabouts.
Kanha is one of the most popular parks in India, and in peak season it books up completely. Booking your safari, tour, and/or hotels visit about three months in advance, or more, is highly recommended.
There are two forest safaris in Kanha National Park each day, morning and afternoon. The park is closed on Wednesday, which is market day in Katia.
- The morning drive starts about 6 am, and you can spend five hours in the park. You have to be out the gate by 11 a.m.
- The afternoon drive starts at 3 p.m. and lasts 3 hours. You have to be out the gate by 6 p.m.
Please be mindful of the park rules, which are posted at the gate. They are meant to protect the animals and request your co-travelers to be mindful of noise, to not take anything from the park, etc.
Light colored, neutral clothing – in shades of white, beige, khaki, pale green – are the best, as they don’t distract the animals. A sun hat and scarf are always recommended. It can be very dusty, and you may want to cover your mouth and nose with the scarf. I also recommend taking a water bottle, tissue paper, and hand disinfectant. Toilet facilities are not always up to par, though they are better at Kanha than any other park I’ve seen.
Around 11.30 am we came back to Motel Chandan. In the daylight we were able to see our resort completely. As fully fortified jungle resort, Motel Chandan has evolved with Kanha and its tourism. This was the first hotel venture at the Kanha National Park. The budget property is a full-fledged resort, well prepared for comfortable accommodation and dining.
It is not that high budget hotel but offers luxury and comfort like all good hotels in Kanha National Park. The cost-effective rates are suitable for tiger safari from this resort. The affordability remains and suits backpackers, budget travelers and families on budget travel.
For a relaxed
stay at cost-effective price the resort is ideal. The
hotel rooms are airy and spacious with all the basic stuff. The restaurants
serve tasty, vegetarian and non-vegetarian food with lots of local flavor.
The Motel Chandan resort is situated right near the Khatia Gate & Booking Office. Wildlife Museum & Interpretation center, local market is very near. For booking please contact Dinesh 9009345333, 9424989289.
The means of expedition are on open jeeps as trekking is not allowed in the reserve. Zones are selected as per availability and a forest guide is a must accompaniment. Some procedures have to be completed at the gates before entry.
Please carry your passports if coming from outside India. Indian should carry photo ID card as it may be required sometimes.
Foods and mineral water can be carried inside the Kanha Reserve but can be consumed at designated places. Snacks, tea and coffee are available at Canteen at Kanha Interpretation Center inside the forest. Toilet facilities are available at the Forest Interpretations Center. Alcohol & smoking is prohibited, so are carrying firearms or any weapons.
Also read KANHA FOREST SAFARI-PART-I
For online safari booking click here
Last updated on 19.01.20