The Kanha Valley and and the Kanha national park were preferred hunting grounds for erstwhile rulers and viceroys. The park is spread over an area of 940 sq km at an altitude of 450-900 m above sea level, and situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The park is located in he middle of the country of India, with the forests of the Banjar and the Halon valley forming the western and eastern halves of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which have long been famous for their wide diversity of wildlife. The park was created in 1955 by a special law and, since then, it has dedicated itself in preserving a variety of animal species. Many endangered species have indeed been saved here. Today Kanha is among the few most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. This ‘Tiger Country’ is the ideal home for both predator and prey.
By far the most striking features of this region are the open grassy meadows, where sighting a blackbuck, swamp deer, sambhar and chital is common. The main wildlife attractions in the park are the tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, chital, barasingha, barking deer, black deer, black buck, chousingha, nilgai, mouse deer, sloth bear, jackal fox, porcupine, hyena, jungle cat, python, pea fowl, hare, monkey, mongoose, tiger, and leopard.
The birds species in the park include storks, teals, pintails, pond herons, egrets, peacock, pea fowl, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges, quails, ring doves, spotted parakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons, cuckoos, papihas, rollers, bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, warblers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls, and fly catchers.
However, if one animal species were to represent Kanha, it would probably be the barasingha, or the swamp deer. The barasinghas at Kanha are unique, being the hard ground variety, which populate the large open tracts of grass amidst the forests of teak and bamboo. Twenty years ago, the barasingha was faced with extinction but some desperate measures including the fencing-off of some animals helped save them and again the air in Kanha bugle with their rutting calls.
The open meadows during the cold winter months are usually teeming with barasinghas and there is plenty of tiger activity around the fringes. A female with two small cubs would circle around at least two or three times during the day and the swamp deer would go berserk, their husky alarm calls ringing through the jungle.
There is a museum at Kanha depicting attributes and activities of the park and tribal culture. It is closed every Wednesday.
Near Kanha National Park is Bamni Dadar visited by every tourist who comes to the national park. This place is also known as the sunset point. The Kanha National Park is at it scenic best at this point. The sunset from this spot is mesmerizing. The eminent natural splendor of the park comes to the fore here. The grazing sambhar, barking deer, gaurs, and other animals make the ambience magical.
The climate of this region is tropical. Summers are hot and humid with a maximum and minimum temperature of 40.6°C and 23.9°C. Winters are pleasant with an average maximum and minimum temperature of 23.9°C and 11.1°C, respectively. The annual average rainfall is 152 cm. The park is closed from July to mid-November during monsoon.