Madhya Pradesh is affectionately called India’s heartland. Histories have flourished here, and various cultures evolved. From paintings in prehistoric caves to chandeliers in heritage “Havelis,” it’s all here.
However, it’s the wildlife of this central state that retains an exclusive charm of its own. It was the magic of Kanha and Pench National Parks that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s, “The Jungle Book.”
The National Parks of Madhya Pradesh are a treasury of wildlife. The elusive deer runs for his life, the majestic tiger waits for his prey. The incredible wildlife is matched by the rustic landscape which weaves its magic on one and all.
From the moment a visitor sets afoot in these parks, surprises await him in plenty. This blog brings you 7 Famous Wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks of Madhya Pradesh that are worth visiting.
Top 9 Splendid National Parks of Madhya Pradesh that you Must Visit
- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Pench National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Madhav National Park
- Satpura National Park
- Panna National Park
- Van Vihar National Park
- Sanjay Dubri National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary
- Fossil National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park – The tiger’s backyard!
When you enter Bandhavgarh National Park, you enter the tiger’s territory! This park is eminent for hosting the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in the world. Here, you are able to view this magnificent beast at close range. A special attraction here is the white tiger. This park is home to about 37 species of mammals, 250 species of birds and around 80 species of butterflies.
Apart from wildlife, this amazing park is also a place of historical and mythological significance. It traces its history back to 2000 years. It’s said that the Bandhavgarh Fort found here was a gift from Lord Rama to Lord Lakshmana. One can also find various man-made caves with inscriptions and rock paintings here.
There are a number of accommodations available near Bandhavgarh. Some of these are, Tree House Hideaway Bandhavgarh, Syna Tiger Resort, Kings Lodge Bandhavgarh and Jungle Mantra Bandhavgarh, among others.
Things to do:
Visit the 65ft long idol of Lord Vishnu placed horizontally on a seven-headed serpent at Shesh Shaiya. Wander the ruins of the 2000 years old Bandhavgarh Fort. Three Cave Point and Badi Gufa are some of the other places worth visiting.
How to reach:
By air: The nearest airports are the Khajuraho Civil Aerodrome (250km) and the Jabalpur Airport (190km). Both are well connected to major cities like Delhi, Indore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
By train: The closest railway stations are Umaria (37km), Katni (100km), Jabalpur (190km) and Khajuraho (250km). These stations are well connected to major cities.
By road: You can reach Bandhavgarh by state or private transport buses from Umaria (37km), Jabalpur (190km), Katni (100km) or Khajuraho (250km).
Pench National Park – Sher Khan awaits!
You’ve seen the ferocious “Sher Khan” in movies and cartoons, right? At Pench National Park, you get to see the real “Sher Khan” in action. This is where humans come in close contact with exciting wildlife. No wonder, Rudyard Kipling chose this place as the background for Mowgli’s adventures.
Located in the southern reaches of the Satpura range, this park shelters over 285 residents and migratory birds. Besides, it has been a part of Project Tiger since 1992. Besides tigers, it’s also home to jackals and a significant number of leopards.
One of the particular attractions of this wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh is “Collarwali.” In 2011, she gained nationwide popularity when she gave birth to a litter of five cubs. Previously, she had given birth to a total of 22 cubs in six litters, setting an all-time record.
Accommodations are available at Baghvan Hotel Pench, Tuli Tiger Corridor, Jungle Home Resort and Spa, Mriganaynee Green Resort, Tiger N Wood’s Resort and Mahua Vann.
Things to do:
Spend some time at the Pench Reservoir. To spot the elusive leopard, head to Piyorthadi. Scenic views of the Pench River can be had from Sitaghat.
How to reach Pench:
By air: Sonegaon Airport, Nagpur is around 92km from the park. Nagpur airport, connected to Delhi, Mumbai and major cities, is also the closest airport.
By train: Nagpur (92km) and Jabalpur (192km) are the nearest railway stations. Delhi-Chennai, Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi-Bilaspur trains halt at Nagpur.
By road: NH 7 connects the Pench National Park to Nagpur. The drive time from Nagpur is 2 hours and from Jabalpur is 4 hours. To known more click here!
Kanha National Park – Land of the tigers!
Sprawling across 940sq.km, Kanha National Park is undoubtedly one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh. Here, one finds the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger in abundance. Also known as Kanha Tiger Reserve, it’s acclaimed globally for saving the Barasingha from extinction. National Geographic shot its award-winning documentary show “Land of the Tigers” here.
Apart from tigers, leopards, wild dogs and Barasingha are also found in good numbers here. Besides, this wonderful park is the abode of 350 species of flora and birds. A gravestone erected in honor of “Lapsi,” an expert hunter and guide, is a popular spot here. Also known as “Lapsi Kabar,” it honors his courageous spirit.
Things to do:
Head to the Sonf Meadows to view Barasinghas in great numbers. Another famous spot for tiger spotting is Kanha Meadows. Admire the beauty of the Sindoor trees found here. Visit the Kanha Museum for gaining an understanding of tribal culture.
Spend some time by the shores of Shravan Tal, a lake possessing mythological significance. This lake is mentioned in Ramayana as the place where Shravan Kumar came to fill water for his parents.
How to reach Kanha:
By air: The nearest airport, which is Jabalpur airport (170km), is well connected to all major cities.
By train: The nearest railway stations are Bilaspur (175km), Gondia (127km), Jabalpur (214km), Nagpur (280km) and Raipur (216km).
By road: The nearest cities are Jabalpur (165km), Raipur and Nagpur. Jabalpur and Nagpur are on NH 7 which connects Varanasi to Kanyakumari. To known more click here!
Madhav National Park – Natural Treasures!
Madhav National Park once served as the hunting ground of Mughal emperors and Maratha royal families. This park endears itself to its visitors with its amazing lakes, as well as flora and fauna. It has been named after Madho Rao Scindia, the Maharaja of Gwalior. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best places for spending a wildlife holiday in Madhya Pradesh.
The dry and deciduous thorn forests are home to various antelopes like Nilgai, Deer and Chinkara. Sakhya and Madhav Sagar, the two lakes, support a rich variety of avifauna. One can spot birds like white-breasted kingfisher, purple sunbird, migratory geese oriole, etc. Visitors are captivated by sightings of various animals like tigers, hyenas, sloth bears etc.
One can find a range of accommodations here. These include Usha Kiran Palace, The A-Park Hotel and Clarks Inn Suites, Gwalior, among others.
Things to do:
Visit the George Castle. Built-in 1911, it offers amazing views of the lake. Enjoy boating at Sakhya Sagar Lake. Explore the various wood cabins and treehouses dotting this reserve.
How to reach Madhav National Park:
By air: The nearest airport is Gwalior which is 130 km away. Pre-paid taxi services are available from the airport to Madhav National Park.
By train: The nearest railway station is Jhansi (100km). Jhansi is well-connected with major cities in India, including Delhi and Bombay.
By road: State transport, as well as private buses, connect Madhav National Park to nearby cities of Gwalior, Indore, Bhopal, Jhansi, and Ujjain.
Satpura National Park – Elephant safari beckons!
Satpura, in the local language, stands for “the seven mountains.” This park sprawls over an area of 1,427sq. km. Its rugged terrain and scenic landscapes endear it to visitors. Narrow gorges, wonderful waterfalls, dense forests, sandstone peaks and fascinating valleys – it’s all here! It’s the abode of majestic tigers and several other critically endangered species.
Taking an elephant safari is the best way of exploring this area. The thrilling bumpy ride takes you into the heart of the forest, besides tracking elusive tiger trails. One should visit this park during the months of November to March to watch rare migratory birds in action.
Tourists can find a range of accommodations at Satpura National Park. These include Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, Forsyth Lodge, Tawa Resort etc.
Things to do:
Take the Tawa Churna cruise and safari. Enjoy a motor cruise on the backwaters. Explore the raw wilderness and tranquility of Madhai, a reserved forest.
How to reach:
By air: The nearest airport to Satpura National Park is Bhopal city (190km). It has direct flight connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai, Indore etc.
By train: The nearest railway station to Satpura National Park is Sohagpur (20km).
By road: Satpura National park, close to Pachmarhi hill station, is well-connected by road from cities like Bhopal, Jabalpur, Chindwara and Nagpur.
Panna National Park – Mesmeric sights!
Any wildlife tour in India would inevitably involve a visit to Panna National Park. This wonderful park is an oasis of tranquility, besides being incredibly picturesque. It is inhabited by more than 200 species of birds. Some of these are the hawk-eagle, king vulture, honey buzzard etc.
Besides various kinds of avian, Panna National Park is also home to exciting wildlife. These include tigers, leopards, chitals, chinkaras, nilgais, sambhars and sloth bears, among others. Besides appreciating its flora and fauna, tourists also visit this place to marvel at the archaeological splendors. The Kern River, which flows through the jungle, hosts crocodiles, gharials and other interesting aquatic fauna.
Tourists can choose from a variety of accommodations. These are, Hotel Chandela, Hotel Ramada, The Lalit Temple and Hotel Clarks Khajuraho.
Things to do:
Visit Pandava Falls and Caves, a place associated with mythology. Visit the nearby temples like Jugal Kishoreji Temple, Baldeoji Temple, Mahamati Prannathji Temple etc.
How to reach:
By air: The nearest airport is Khajuraho (27km).
By train: The nearest railway station is Jhansi (176km). It enjoys connectivity to all major cities of India.
By road: Located on NH 75, the park is well-connected to the nearby towns and cities like Jhansi. To known more about how to reach Panna National park click here!
Van Vihar National Park – Inspiring biodiversity!
Van Vihar National Park is one of the 9 Famous Parks of Madhya Pradesh. Located in the Bhopal district, it was declared a national park in 1979. Your wildlife holiday in Madhya Pradesh should involve a visit to this zoo.
This wonderful park is a treasure house of biodiversity. One can find almost 200 species of birds and around 60 species of butterflies. It’s the abode of animals like Albino Sloth bear, White tiger, Lion, Sambhar, Cheetal, etc. Besides, one can find crocodiles, gharials and several species of tortoise here. Birds are another major attraction of this place.
Luxury accommodations near the park are available for visitors. These are Hotel Lake View Ashok, Shyama Hills Bhopal, Sayaji Hotel Bhopal and Jehan Numa Palace Hotel.
Things to do:
How to reach:
By air: The nearest airport to Van Vihar National Park is Bhopal Airport (15km). It’s well connected by road to Van Vihar National Park.
By train: The nearest railway station is Bhopal (6km). It is well connected by road to Van Vihar National Park.
By road: This park is well connected to all the major cities’ road networks.
Sanjay Dubri National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are a fan of nature and willing to appreciate the beauty of nature with some thrill of wildlife, head to Sanjay-Dubri National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary. It got worldwide admiration for having rich flora and fauna. This is considered the ideal national park in Madhya Pradesh that offers a blend of natural beauty and wilderness.
You can spot numerous wild animals and endangered species such as tigers, leopards, sambar deer, chinkara, and many more. Apart from enjoying the rich biodiversity, you can indulge in fun-filled activities here that will give a boost to your excitement.
Enjoying wildlife safari, swimming, boating, nature walks are some of the best things to do in this national park of MP. To make your visit a wholesome experience, do not forget to shop for some souvenirs from Tribal Haat in Chamrdadol, it is a major tourist attraction near the park.
Rewa and Singrauli are nearby cities from Sanjay-Dubri National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary. You can find a wide range of accommodations that offer you good facilities and comforts. If you want to give yourself a treat of luxury, visit Varanasi that offers an excellent range of accommodations.
Things to do:
Enjoying a wildlife safari to witness the wilderness at every turn of this national park is one of the best things to do. You will have options to take back home some memories in the form of souvenirs.
Apart from that, swimming and nature walks are the best ways to refresh your mind and connect with nature. You can explore Amarkantak town to absorb the sacred vibes and give your eyes a treat of scenic beauty.
How to Reach:
By Air: Rewa Airport is the nearest one to this national park and is located around 165 km.
By Train: You can reach Sanjay Dubri National Park by train by reaching Rewa Junction, which is around 170 km from the park.
By Road: Reaching Sanjay Dubri National Park by road is one of the most fun ways to reach this park. Singrauli has located around 50 km and offers transport services to reach this park.
Fossil National Park
Fossil National Park is one of the largest Fossil Parks in Asia and one of the most impressive national parks of Madhya Pradesh. This natural reserve is a gift of nature to humans that has a unique charm to surprise its visitors.
Undoubtedly, it is a treat for archaeologists and history buffs and gives them countless reasons to visit here. This national park is one of the best tourist places in Madhya Pradesh that allows you to witness various evidence of plant fossils.
From Jackfruit to banana and date palm to neem, numerous plant fossils attract people from different corners of the world. The natural environment of this park adds another layer of beauty that will win your heart nonchalantly. You can observe the well-preserved seeds and various leaf fossils by visiting the museum that is a part of this national park.
This national park is encircled with a vast range of accommodation options that you can choose for your stay. Whether you are looking for comfortable and budget-friendly hotels or you are looking for a luxurious stay, you will find it around this national park easily. It is better to go with advance booking in peak season to stay away from the last moment hurry and disappointment.
Things to do:
This fascinating national park offers a pleasant opportunity to make every moment captivating and memorable. You can explore the museum and learn about plant fossils. Discovering the historical evidence with a great setting is something that makes this national park one of the best places to visit in Madhya Pradesh.
How to Reach:
By Air: Jabalpur is the nearest airport to this Fossil National Park, and it is located at a distance of 85 km.
By Train: The closest railway junction from this national park is located at a distance of 65 km.
By Road: You can reach Fossil National Park from the major cities of Madhya Pradesh by choosing the transportation mode of bus and taxi. This national park is well connected with cities via a good network of roads.
National Parks in Madhya Pradesh offers a great mixture of greenery, wildlife, adventure, and history. No doubt, it is one of the finest states in the country that gives great opportunities to spot wild animals, learn about history, and observe fun-loving thrills.
The above-mentioned national parks of Madhya Pradesh have the potential to give you a blooming holiday in the heartland of India. Explore these iconic parks to connect with the treasure trove of Madhya Pradesh.