Among numerous tiger reserves, wild life sanctuaries that have been built in the Central part of India, Kanha Tiger Reserve special mentioning. It has become one of the finest and significant wild life sanctuaries in the whole of Indian subcontinent
. The reserve is closed between July and October. Sometimes early rainfall too has resulted in its early closing.
The origin of Kanha Tiger Reserve has got a rich history behind it. Previously, the valleys of Kanha were the favorite hunting fields of the rich and powerful people. The beautiful tiger was the prime source of attraction. Barasingha is a type of Swamp Deer which almost hundred years ago had a sizeable population. This too could be caught. In the year 1933, the region`s wildlife potentiality was being felt. Thus 250 sq km of the Kanha Valley was being given due protection. Few years later, the rest of adjacent areas of Halon Valley were also been protected.
However, the indiscriminate killing continued for quite a sometime. With the killing massacre of several tigers by a renowned hunter created upsurge amidst the concerned authorities. At last a unique legislation was approved. This, of course, saved Kanha Tiger Reserve from going into desolation. . This Project Tiger reserve has got area coverage of 1,945 sq km, this stance has helped the Tiger to survive, and the Swamp Deer in central India also are being protected with great care.
Kanha is known for its valleys with their soaring forests and well-known grasslands, or maidens. An impressive hoard of creatures can always be seen on the grasslands, with the Spotted Deer easily overpowering the remaining lot. Dadars or huge grasslands and scrubby plateaus on the Maikal Hills, ranging in altitude from 450 to 900 m, are ideal place for Gaurs. The steep ridges adjoining the plateaus are some of the spectacular landscapes of the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Varied forests and abundance of thick bamboo, climbers and bushes, ideal for the cloistered Tiger, cover the slopes, engraved by innumerable valleys or ravine.
For the bird lovers, Kanha Tiger Reserve is an ideal retreat. Multitudes of bird species can be seen, especially during the winter seasons. Wildfowl, hornbills, eagles, woodpeckers, drongos and scores of other woodland birds add to the total counting of birds that are available in the reserve. In the wood land region of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, Red Junglefowl, Painted Spurfowl, Painted Francolin, Indian Peafowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Emerald Dove, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Indian Pitta, Spangled Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Large Cuckooshnke, Black-hooded Oriole, Orange-headed Thrush are widely found. Shravan Tal, situated near the middle of the grounds of Kanha Tiger Reserve, is an unforgettable site for the keen bird viewers.
Another superb experience in Kanha is chasing the tigers on the back of the wild elephants. One can also catch a glimse of various mammalian species like Swamp Deer (Barasingha), Leopard, Wild Dog (Dhole), Leopard-cat, Jungle Cat, Indian Fox, Sloth Bear, Gaur (Indian Bison), Sambar, Spotted Deer (Chital), Barking Deer, Chowsingha (Four-horned Antelope), Nilgai (Blue Bull), Blackbuck, Indian Pangolin, Ratel and Common Mongoose etc.
Various hunting birds also can be seen here and there. Bonelli`s Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Booted Eagle, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Jungle Owlet are significant.
By the side of river also, one can get the charm of watching birds. These include Black Ibis, Woolly-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork and Stork-billed Kingfisher etc.