Snapshots from Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

A herd of deer at the park.
Photographer: Shipra Singh

Rudyard Kipling could find no place better than the majestic Kanha as the den for Mowgli, the feral child in Jungle Book. My visit to this National Park, famed for its tiger population, was both peaceful and invigorating in equal measure.

En route to Kanha National Park, we stopped to admire the much talked about Dhuandhar Falls, which lie on River Narmada. The falls owe its name to the 'smoky' veil caused by its thundering cascades.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
The water cascades through a labyrinth of marble rocks. Guides recommend a midnight boat ride to be able to take in the surreal beauty of this rocky river-scape.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
After the brief stop, we continuously drove till we sighted the much awaited sign of Kanha National Park with the blue board of warnings prominently placed above it.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
Fortunately, we were staying at the Government Guest House which is situated in the buffer area allowing us to witness some wildlife firsthand before going on the safari the next day. Langurs are a common sight and it is advisable not to carry edible items while standing near to them.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
At night, there are decorative basket lamps which are lit for tourists to walk on the trail and not wander off in the forest. After dark, visitors are instructed to keep close to the light and supervised area for safety reasons.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
Early morning around 4am, we got our jeep numbers and at around 5am we set off for the jungle safari. The faint rays of the sun filtered through the thick trees and the mildew on the leaves could be seen.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
Later that day we arrived at a small stream where we saw a herd of deer quench their thirst.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
We also spotted a wild boar crossing the road in a hurry!
Photographer: Shipra Singh
The thick cover of Sal and Bamboo trees are planted strategically to provide maximum protection to the wildlife and preserve our ecosystem.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
Inside the sanctuary there are museums to track the evolution of the jungle through the decades. Today, Kanha stretches over 940km sq across sanctuaries of Mandla and Balaghat with a buffer zone of 1000 km sq and the neighboring Phen sanctuary to form the Kanha Tiger Reserve.
Photographer: Shipra Singh
Deep claw marks on the bark of a tree is the closest we got to sighting the tiger. At the end of the safari, we were filled with a sense of warmth watching the animals, the thick trees, the flowing river and the soft rays of the sun falling on the dense greenery. Nature at its best can only be viewed in the wild where all the elements coexist beautifully away from the hustle and bustle of mankind.
Photographer: Shipra Singh

AUTHOR'S BIO: The winner of Lonely Planet Travel Contest hosted by ambitionMe, Shipra has done her graduation in psychology from Lady Shri Ram College and masters in organizational psychology from London School of Economics. She loves to explore new places and her favorite travel destination is Paris. AmbitionMe is an education venture with the mission to help youngsters discover and connect with their dream careers. More on: http://www.ambitionme.com/Contest/LonelyPlanet/index.php?seriesKey=96334732

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