Panna National Park is spread over an expansive area and it is also a Tiger Reserve. For wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, and wildlife photographers, Panna National Park is a stunning destination. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. You can spot myriad species of animals and it is a great place for bird watching. Also if you’re lucky enough, you can spot a tiger. You can enjoy a safari to witness animals in their natural habitat, or go for a boat ride for a serene experience. Spend time exploring the marvels of the jungle with your friends and family. Panna National Park is just 57km from the beautiful town of Khajuraho, so you can combine these two destinations to make an extended trip.
Panna National Park, Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Kalinjar Fort
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Covering an area of 542.67 sq.km. Panna National Park is partly located in Panna and partly in Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh state. It is only 57 km from the world-known Khajuraho temple complex. The park was declared as a National Park & 22nd Tiger reserve of India in 1994 and also received the Award of Excellence in 2007 as the best maintained national park of India. The award was coffered by the Ministry of Tourism of India. River Ken flows by the national park, adding life to the zone. Panna is famous for its tigers, deer and antelope and for more 200+ species of birds. There was a time when Panna had absolutely no tigers, however Tigers have been reintroduced from other reserves of Madhya Pradesh and the number of these majestic cats have increased healthily. Tourists enjoy their safaris here as there is more than fair chance of seeing a leopards, tiger or sloth bears, apart from deer and antelope.
Earlier this national park zone was a personal hunting area of the erstwhile rulers of Bijawar, Panna and Chhatarpur states. Later the Gangau wildlife sanctuary was created, in 1975, by combining ng North & South Panna forest division. This sanctuary was later extended by inclusion of Chhatarpur Forest Division. As years passed by the forest departments worked towards improvement of these areas and the enrichment in flora & fauna gained this National Park the status of a Reserve, which had over 40 tigers then. Unfortunately poaching left reduced the number of tigers here and to the dismay no tigers were here at one point of time. It was then, tigers & tigresses were relocated here from other reserves like Bandhavgarh and Kanha. As time rolled, the number of tigers increased as they gave birth to cubs and so on Panna revived its glory.
In present day, Panna is one of the most comfortable habitat for different types of wildlife. An ideal home to variety of flora and fauna, tourists can spot the royal tigers, leopards, wild dogs, wolves, hyenas, caracals and other wild cats along with deer, chinkaras, cheetals, sambhar and chowsingha in the wooded areas. Nilgai and chinkara are abundantly seen in the open grassland. Also the variety of bird species found here is more than 200. Once can watch migratory birds here as well. King vulture, white necked stork, blossom headed parakeet, bareheaded goose, paradise flycatcher, honey buuzzard, slaty headed scimitar babbler and many other birds enhance the wildering effects here in Panna. Tourists should also be aware of the fact that this zone boasts of a wide variety of reptiles including the python.
Entry to Panna Tiger Reserve is via two zones namely Madla and Hinouta and these remain open for the tourists from mid of Oct to end of June, every year. Safari in Panna is the most rewarding experience. The jungle authorities arrange for guided jeep safaris to get inside the dense forest and spot the big cats. Boat ride is also to watch aquatic creatures and animals around the lake. Above all, the elephant safari is the best to see wildlife in a natural setting. Wildlife enthusiasts and adventure lovers prefer the night safari in Gangau regions for those lifetime adventurous approach jaunt in Panna. Along with wildlife, Panna Nation Park’s natural beauty is no less; those magnificent gorges and mesmerizing waterfalls are picturesque.
Other places to visit near Panna are Raneh Falls, Ken Gharial Sanctuary, Mahamati Prannathji Temple, Madla village, Ajaygarh fort, and the century old Nachna village of Gupta dynasty.
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