Kanha National Park Kanha National Park


Kanha National Park languorously spread across a wide spread area of 1,949 sq. km, with 940 sq. km of core area and 1,009 sq. km of buffer zone; is one of the best habitats for tigers in India. The oldest known tiger in the wild, Munna, who was a legend in his own right, romped these jungles and was recognised by a symbol on his forehead that reads – "CAT". After his demise, Munna passed his legacy to his royal son, ChotaMunna who was a dominant male in these forests until last year.

Kanha National Park is located in the Central Indian Highlands, which are part of the extensive tableland that forms India’s main peninsula. These were once an unending stretch of forests that formed a significant part of the country’s wilderness and wildlife habitats. These forests are now fragmented into parks such as Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench and Sanjay.

Map of Kanha National Park

Kanha’s undulating landscape is dotted with dense groves of vegetation, hillocks and meadows. Of all these habitats, it is Kanha’s meadows that are its lifeline, as they sustain large numbers of Chital, Sambar, Barasingha and Gaur, which in turn support populations of predators and co-predators like Tigers, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Jungle Cats and Foxes.

The park is primarily a moist Sal and moist mixed deciduous forest where Bamboo, Tendu, Sal, Jamun, Arjun and Lendia flourish. It is home to over 1,000 species of flowering plants and about 300 species of birds and one of the best park for tiger safari in India.

Kanha’s lush Sal and Bamboo forests provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous narrative, “The Jungle Books”. Yet, Kanha’s greatest achievement, has been the preservation of Hard Ground Swamp Deer or Barasingha from near extinction. They numbered just sixty-six in 1970 and today there are more than four-hundred.

Kanha National park

Kanha National park

Kanha National park


In Kanha National Park the four major safari zones are declared as the core zones. Core zone is the central part of the tiger reserve and it shares its boundary with the buffer zone. Buffer Zone is the area that surrounds or adjoins the core areas where nature is conserved alongside compatible human uses of the land or water.

The Core Zones of Kanha National Park are: Kanha, Sarahi, Mukki and Kisli.

  • Kanha National Park zone has open meadows with grasslands and bamboo vegetation that offer some unique sightings. The most frequently sighted tiger of this zone is Junior Bajrang.
  • Sarahi Zone has dry deciduous forests and with larger meadows. One of them is the Saunf meadow where the Barasingha was first spotted in 1966. The tiger known to be owning this territory is Yuvraj.
  • Mukki Zone reports good sightings. The landscape includes saal, bamboo and grasslands. This zone is primarily inhabited by male tigers namely Umar Pani, Neela Nala & Balaghat.
  • Kisli zone also has the elegant saal forests and scenic grasslands with bamboo vegetation. M1 is the most popular tiger of this zone.

The four core zones which are accessible from different entry gates. All these core zones are very popular among tourists.

Core Zones Entrance Gates
(Full Safari)
Entrance Gate Distance from the Lodge
Kanha Zone Khatia / Mukki / Sarhi Gate Khatiya/Sarhi/Mukki 12 Km
Mukki Zone Khatia / Mukki Gate Khatiya/Mukki 45 Km
Kisli Zone Khatia / Mukki / Sarhi Gate Khatiya/Sarhi/Mukki 12 Km
Sarhi Zone Khatia / Sarhi Gate Khatiya/Sarhi 60 Km

Kanha buffer zones are accessible from different entrance gates. Currently there are four buffer entrance gates to access the national park:

The Buffer Zones of Kanha are: Khatia, Sijhora, Phen and Khapa

Safari Zone Entrance Gate for Safari Zone Entrance Gate Distance from the Lodge
Khatia Zone From Khatia Entrance Gate Khatia 12 Km
Khapa Zone From Mukki Entrance Gate Mukki 45 Km
Phen Zone Separate gate, ideal for Mukki gate resorts Mukki 45 Km
Sijora Zone From Sarhi Entrance Gate Sarhi 60 Km


Kanha enjoys a varying weather type which remains moderately warm in Summers & gets extreme cold in Winters. When on Safari, besides wearing appropriate clothing there are a few essentials that can make the overall experience remarkable. Here is a list of items that can be carried along;

  • Sun Screen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect Repellent
  • Neutral (Khaki, Green, Brown) colored clothing
  • Preferably very light cottons in summer
  • For winters, windbreaker, warm jacket, sweater, fleece, gloves, warm cap
  • Safari hat or cap
  • Stole, buff or scarf for protection from heat and dust
  • Boots or closed shoes
  • Binoculars

Kanha National park

Kanha National park

Kanha National park

Kanha Earth Lodge Kanha Earth Lodge

Which is the best time to visit Kanha National Park?

Kanha National Park is open around the year. The core zones – Kanha, Sarahi, Mukki and Kisli are open from 1st October to 30th June. October to March offers the best weather with sunny days and very few days of rain. April to June gets hot but is excellent for sightings with tigers making regular appearances near water bodies, due to the rising heat. Buffer zones of Kanha National Park - Khatia, Sijhora, Phen and Khapa, remain open even during monsoons for safari lovers
Kanha Earth Lodge Kanha Earth Lodge

What is Kanha National Park famous for?

Kanha National Park is one of the most visited forest reserves in India and popular for Tiger Safari. Tourists from all across the globe visit Kanha to spot the majestic tiger and other wildlife, relax and unwind in the peaceful lap of nature and engage in some magical wildlife photography. Kanha offers some of the best photographic opportunities and is home to the rare Hard Ground Barasingha.
Kanha Earth Lodge Kanha Earth Lodge

Which zone is best in Kanha National Park?

The forests are divided into two major zones. The Core Zones of Kanha are: Kanha, Sarahi, Mukki and Kisli whereas the Buffer Zones of Kanha are: Khatia, Sijhora, Phen and Khapa. With good density of tigers, the forest offers good sighting opportunities, across the park. We recommend guests to book a mix of zones to enjoy the flora and fauna to the fullest as every zone in Kanha National Park has something unique to offer.
Kanha Earth Lodge Kanha Earth Lodge

How to book a safari in Kanha National Park?

The safaris must be booked much in advance to avail safaris across your preferred zones and to avoid the last minute rush. Safaris can be booked online on the forest department website; or through our reservation team, who is available 24X7 to help you book the same. Kanha National Park offers morning, evening and night safaris in addition to full-day safaris which allow a visitor to stay inside the park from sunrise to sunset. Night safari is only offered in the buffer zone of Kanha. Safaris for Kanha open 120 days in advance and there is always heavy demand for the same.
Read our blog to know more about Gates & Zones in Kanha National Park