Located centrally on the map of India in Madhya Pradesh, the Panna Tiger Reserve is one of the best in the country and most popularly visited. Panna is situated in the Vindhyan hill range and spreads over Panna and Chhtarpur districts in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh. Panna is famous for the tigers, the wild cats and the leopards that roam its territories. One of the most significant ecological aspects of the Reserve is that the district Panna makes the northern most boundary of natural distribution of teak and the eastern limits of teak-kardhai mixed forests. Formerly, Panna formed the hunting preserves of the erstwhile rulers of Panna, Chhatarpur and Bijawar princely states. The Panna Tiger Reserve spreads over 543 sq km.
Panna Tiger Reserve was created in 1981 and was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1994, being the 22nd in the country and fifth in the state. The Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh consists of areas from the former Gangau Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1975.
Flora and Fauna in Panna
The forest types in Panna are mostly Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Dry Teak Forest, Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Mixed Forest and Dry Deciduous Scrub Forest. The wildlife in Panna can be largely classified as the following:
Mammals : Tiger, Jungle Cat, Leopard, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wolf, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Spotted Deer or Chital, Blue Bull or Nilgai, Chinkara, Fourhorned Antelope or Chausinga, Porcupine, Jungle Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Hare, Ratel and Tree shrew.
Avifauna : Over 200 species have been identified, which include a host of winter migratory birds.
Reptiles : Long Snouted Crocodile (gharial) and Marsh Crocodile (mugger) are found in the Ken river.
How to Reach Panna :
By Air :- The nearest airport is at Khajuraho, 57 km from the Panna National Park. There are daily Alliance Air flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi from Khajuraho.
By Rail :- The nearest railway station is Satna, at a distance of around 90 km. It is a major railway hub and is connected to many places in central and western India.
By Road :- The nearest bus stand in Panna is connected to Khajuraho and many other places in Madhya Pradesh by a good network of roads. Madla at a distance of 24 km from the park is a major road junction and buses and taxis from Madla are frequently available.