India is a vast country with different landscape and diverse bio-diversity which is one of the best in the world. From plains to dense rain forest, from deserts to snow capped peaks, from sea scape to riverine landscape, you will get everything in India. Tigers also live in diverse landscape and can be seen almost in every environment zones found in Indian landscape but Central Indian Tiger landscape is best to spot these mighty striped big cats. Here are details of a few best tiger reserves to enjoy nature and biodiversity at its best.
Kanha National Park:
Situated in state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is one of the most visited of all tiger reserves in Central India. Spread over 2000 Sq. Km’s it will surely captivate you. Kanha forests are known to have more than 1000 species of flora with Sal and Bamboo being the dominant once. One species which stands out of all, known as jewel of Kanha is Barasingha or Hard Ground Swamp deer which till a couple of years back was endemic to it. Kanha forests are very good for birding with around 350 species accounted for till now. Munna, most famous tiger of Kanha, having CAT and PM mark on its forehead is presently almost 18+ years old and going strong.
Bandhavgarh National Park:
Thank you to Rewa royalty, Maharaja Martand Singh ji of Baghel Dynasty who pushed the than government to declare Bandhavgarh as a tiger reserve. Although much smaller to its brethren Bandhavgarh is one of the best forest to spot tigers and birding. Tourists and wildlife photographers from all over the globe throng Bandhavgarh to photograph the Striped cat Tiger and other denizens of forest. Sita and Charger were two most famous tigers on whom National Geographic also made a documentary.
Pench National Park:
Situated in southern boundary of state of Madhya Pradesh adjacent to Maharashtra is Pench Tiger Reserve. A new entrant in list of Tiger reserves Pench has gone up the ladder very fast and has claimed the spot of one of the best destination to sight tigers. Pre-dominantly teak forest Pench forests is a very good place to do birding as well. If interested you can even spot wolf’s here.
Satpuda National Park:
Sanjay Dubri National Park:
A relatively lesser known of tiger reserves Sanjay Dubri is a beautiful forest to enjoy pristine environment and one of the cleanest rivers in India. Situated in Siddhi district of Madhya Pradesh it can be reached via Satna. It is in these forests that Maharaja Martand Singh ji spotted Mohan, the famous white tiger which he saved and is known to be father of all captive white tigers in the world.
Ranthambhore National Park:
Situated in the state of Rajasthan, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is one of the most visited of all tiger reserves in India with tourists from all over the world coming to spot the Big cat – Tiger. Machli – the most famous tigress of Ranthambhore died at an age of 20 making a new
record for wild tigers. Photographing tigers with fort or hundreds of year old buildings is possible here. The famous Bargad tree here is known to have given shelter to king Akbar once when he laid siege of the fort to capture it. One of the oldest tiger reserves of India, Ranthambhore Tiger reserve is a must visit if possible.
Central Indian landscape has many other wilderness areas having good tiger population but since very few tourists visit these big cats are very shy and elusive. Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are best states to visit for spotting and photographing tigers and mammals, birds and other fauna. Tadoba National Park in adjoining state of Maharashtra has come up in recent times. Today wildlife photographers, tourists and enthusiasts from all over the world visit tiger reserves to spot wild tigers. These tiger reserves not only give us an opportunity to see bio-diversity of Central India but also help us in understanding nature and its web of life.