History Of Kanha National Park

Kanha national park occupies the area from Balaghat and Mandla districts of Central India in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is located amidst the beauty ofMaikhal Hills of Satpura Ranges. Worldwide, Kanha National Park is renowned for having rich floral and majestic faunal bounty. In Asia it is famous as one of the finest National parks.

Initially Kanha National park was not at all a protected area. It passed through different phases before becoming Kanha National Park. Initially it was a hunting ground and them became a wild life sanctuary and finally we know this forested area as Kanha national Park.

Kanha National Park is also one of the oldest national parks of India. initially this region was under the control of Gondwana Dynasty. Vast area of the central Indiawas being ruled over by the Gond rulers and this forest area were under their control. Basically, tribal were living in this forest area like Gond Baigha and others.

Before 19th century, since many centuries, Gond dynasty was ruling over this area. Baigas and Gonds were the two tribes which were the Kanha’s indigenous forest dwellers and even today they are having the same place. In previous days they were gatherers/hunters and also practicing slash and burn techniques and shifting cultivations. When Project Tiger in India was introduced, and at that time very few national parks were taken into consideration and kanha national park was one of them. Kanha National park is known as one of the most tourism friendly and most well managed national parks of India.

During British time, when it was not declared national park, two most popular river valleys were existing in MaikalSatpura Mountain Ranges. They are famous by the name of Banjar river valley and the Halon river valley. These river valleys were well known for having dense forest and also for nestling these forested areas. During British time only, it was realized that these river valley forested areas are of much importance and from that period only work for its conservation had been started. The foundation of Kanha conservation history are these river valleys only. Kanha was first declared as wild life sanctuaries and after that they were promoted to kanha national park and finally it became Kanha Tiger Reserve.

Since these two tribesBaigas and Gonds were living amidst the nature only, they were very close to the nature. so, they had accurate knowledge about the different kinds of animals and their behavior and their peculiarity. Even today, they are much helpful and that is the only reason to accompany a local guide in each and every safari ride. These local persons will make you aware about the history of Kanha, its importance and also help you to explore the park nicely and the most important thing, they will help you in spotting the different wild animals apart from Majestic Tiger and Barasingha.

Timeline of Kanha National Park:
  • 1800-This forest area was under the control of Gondwana Kingdom.
  • 1862-Wasteland Rule was introduced in which forest management policy was outlined by the department by restricting the cutting of some of the species of trees like Shisham, Saja, Sal, Bija etc.
  • 1876-Legendary Dr. D. Brandis was the inspector General of that Period.with the intention to protect wild life and the forest, he visited Banjar river valley forest area and declare it as reserved forest area.
  • 1879-History of Kanha National park began in this year. This forest area was declared as a reserve forest in 1879 only.
  • 1935-In 1935, British India government declare this forest as Banjar valley Sanctuary and upgradation of this sanctuary is Kanha National Park. After this declaration, shooting of wild animals for game were prohibited in the restricted area with the exceptions of Birds and wild Boar in some areas.
  • 1935-In this year only Supkhar shooting block of river Halon valley was declared as an absolute sanctuary. It resulted into a vast growth of carnivores and other wild animals. It further resulted into many men animal conflict as numbers of villages were located in its nearby areas. Still this forest area is known as one of the best parts of tiger reserve.
  • 1941-In view of virtual impossibility to regenerate Sal, the status of Banjar Valley Sanctuary was reduced to game sanctuary.
  • 1945-In Shravan Tal Meadow area of Sanctuary, permission was issued for killing of 250 Chitals.
  • 1955-On 01/06/1955, notification was issued for the creation of Kanha National Park. At that time the area of Kanha National Park was only 252 sq.km.
  • 1960-History of relocation of villages. In this year 27 villages were relocated successfully outside the core zone of Kanha National Park
  • 1964-Inclusion of some adjoining areas in the Kanha National park which increases its area as 318 sq kms.
  • 1970-In 1970,Mukki valley was included in the Kanha National Park by extending the boundaries of park.
  • 1970-The act of Poaching was declared illegal in this year and overall in the nation complete ban on killing of Tigers were imposed.
  • 1970-The area of Kanha National Park was increased to 446 sq kms.
  • 1974-Area of Kanha was increased as the Hallon valley merged in Kanha National Park.
  • 1976-Area of Kanha increased to 940sq kms.
  • 1983-It was declared wild life Sanctuary and was kept under the unified control of Kanha Tiger Reseeve. Phen Wild Life Sanctuaryalso became one of the parts of Kanha National Park.
  • 1995-Buffer zone was constituted. This separate division was under the control of Kanha National Park Management.
  • 2000-Department of Tourism, Government of India declare Kanha National Park as the best tourism friendly national park.
  • 2008-Till date private vehicles were given permission for jungle safari ride but after 2008 for safari ride only registered vehicles were allowed.

Thousands of Ornithologists and bird watchers visit this amazing bird paradise every year and just get attracted by spotting these beautiful and varieties of birds. The grassy and the bamboo forests are the perfect place to spot numbers of birds in their natural habitat. Tourists get amazed by spotting some attractive water birds near the Sarvantal and the reserbe’s rivulets.

The fauna of Kanha National Park is unique and so attracts a large number of wild life enthusiasts every year. It offers a memorable experience to the wild life lovers.

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