Madhya Pradesh

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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Madhya Pradesh >> Activities in Madhya Pradesh

Activities in Madhya Pradesh

There are outdoor activities that range form wildlife viewing to jungle safaris and exploring rock caves.

Wild life enthusiasts have a lot going for them in this state as Madhya Pradesh is a tiger country. Its terrain of extensive forests of sal and bamboo and rolling grasslands harbour a huge variety of birds and animals. As many as 11 National Parks and 31 wildlife sanctuaries have been set up here so that the wildlife species can be preserved in their natural habitats.

If you’re looking to sight the majestic tiger in his natural habitat, head for Jabalpur by jeep, bus or train and from there onwards to the Bandhavgarh National Park, 165 km northeast, or the equally famous Kanha National Park, 165 km southeast. This is original Kipling country, where Rudyard Kipling found inspiration for his famous Jungle Books (remember Mowgli?). The Bandhavgarh National Park is an interesting place to visit. It is a compact reserve (448 sq. km) teeming with birds and animals and the highest population of tigers anywhere in India.

Once the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa, where an alarming number of tigers were hunted down in pre-independence India, Bandhavgarh was mercifully declared a National Park in 1968. This is also the area where the famous white tigers of Rewa were first found. The park is now home to 22 species of mammals including the regal ‘gaur’, umpteen varieties of deer, and carnivores such as the striped hyena, jungle cat and sloth bear and over 250 species of birds. So, it would certainly make a very worthwhile destination. Here you could ride through the jungle on elephant-back -- and if you keep completely quiet and are very, very lucky, you could even spot a tiger!

Jungle Safaris: You could choose a jeep, if you prefer, though elephant-back is a far better and quieter vantage point, to explore the Kanha National Park, twice as large as Bandhavgarh and teeming with wildlife. The Kanha National Park has the reputation of being one of the best-managed reserves in all Asia. You can go for this adventure activity on mapped circuits accompanied by guides from the forest department who help you to identify the animals and birds. It is a truly thrilling experience, made more so by sightings of the tiger, ‘gaur’, or even the tiny mouse deer (muntjac) or rare hard ground barasingha (12-horned antelope) found only in Kanha. If you are a birdwatcher, Kanha will give you hours and hours of fun – the early morning being the best time to spot the birds as they wake up to a new day.


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