Panna Tiger Reserves is one of the most famous national parks of Madhya Pradesh and is better recognized as 22nd Tiger reserve of India and ranks 5th of its kind in the state. Spread over an area of approximately 542.67 sq. km on Vindhyan mountain range, this reserve is situated besides Ken River. This is one of the least polluted Tributaries of River Yamuna. It flows from south to the north through the Panna reserve. The Park is basically located in Panna and Chhatarpur district and is maintained by Ministry of Tourism. It also bagged Excellence Award in the year 2007.
Area: 1645.08 sq km
Location: Panna & Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh
Established: Created in 1981 and declared Tiger reserve in 1994
Flora & Fauna
The area of Panna Tiger Reserve has basically a dry and hot climate which brings a combination of dry teak forest and Vindhya mountain soils. The major forest types found here include open woodlands, grasslands and riverine covered with thorny woodlands and tall grass. The dry deciduous forests of the area exhibit lush green color in monsoons while in summers, they undergo a dynamic change and turn to desolate grey shade. The specific flora found in Panna Reserve is Tectona Grandis, Buchannan latifoliate, Anogeissus pendula, Madhuca Indica etc.
The park boasts of an outstanding variety of wildlife creatures in India especially mammals including royal tigers, leopard, wild dogs, wolf, hyaena and small cats. One can also see largest Indian deer i.e. sambar, nilgai, chital, chousingha and chinkara in the vicinity.
As far as bird species is concerned, there are about 200 avifauna found in the area. Main species consist of bareheaded goose, blossom headed parakeet, white necked stork, honey buzzard, king vulture, paradise flycatcher, slaty headed and scimitar babbler.
Panna Tiger reserve also boasts of many reptiles like snakes and pythons in the surroundings.
Major Tourist Attractions in Panna Tiger Reserve
One of the most mesmerizing attractions of the park is Raneh Falls named after King Rane Pratap. The waterfall presents a spectacular view with crystalline granite surroundings appearing in varying shades of green and pink. The Raneh Falls form a 30 meter deep and 5 km long canyon and fall into the Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary.
Ken Gharial Sanctuary
This sanctuary is the natural habitat of 6m long gharial who are basically fish-eaters. This sanctuary was specifically established in 1985 to conserve Indian Gharials which is presently an endangered species. It is situated near Ken and Khuddar river assemblage in Panna district. The area of the sanctuary stretches across 13.5 sq km area. It is surrounded by dense forests that offer shelter to several animals like wild boar, chinkara, blue bull and chitals. It is usually open for tourists till sunset.
Mahamati Prannathji Temple
This pilgrimage attracts devotees throughout the country on the occasion of Sharad Purnima. It is believed that Mahamati Prannathji stayed at this place for 11 long years and finally took Samadhi in one of the temple domes here. The temple boasts of its artistic architectural structure that was built in 1962 with unique domes and lotus designs. Shri Gummatji temple, one of the six sections of the place, is premier tourist attractions. This is built in circular design building with none drones made of marble stone. Central dome has a golden kalasha while other eight domes represent eight different directions. Kaman Darwaza constructed in silver metal is also spectacular.
Madla is located 20 km away from Panna and is situated on the banks of Ken River. It includes densest forests. Pran Nath Temple and Jugal Kishore temples are must- see places in this area.
This fort is 36 km from Panna Park and is 688 meters high. This grand fort was the capital of Chandelas and Chattrasal presented Ajaygarh fort to son Jagat Raj in the year 1731.
This ancient city is located about 40 kms from Panna and is famous for colossal four-faced lingam enshrined in Chaturmukha Temple.
Activities to be enjoyed in the Park
Tourists can enjoy jeep safari tours in the park to enjoy glimpse of great reserve ambience of the park and its creatures. The two entry zones namely Hinouta and Madla open every year between 16th and 30th Oct. The tourists can enjoy an hour long drive in a boat to visualize aquatic life in the lake area. Moreover, elephant safari is also offered to enjoy sight seeing in the reserve area in high-definition mode. Night Safari facility is available at Gangau region and is famous as most adventurous facilities provided in Panna.
Best time to visit
December to March
The Panna Tiger Reserve is located at an altitude of 211.2 meters to 540 meters. Summers are scorching hot with a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. Hence, winters are cooler and pleasant. During monsoon, climate is extremely pleasant but jungle safari is restricted during July to September.
How to get there?
By Air: Is you want to travel to Panna by Air, then, Khajuraho airport is the nearest one as it is 25 kms from the place and is well- connected to Agra and Delhi.
By Train: There is no railway station in Panna. However, nearest railway station is 75 kms away but all trains do not halt here. Thus, the only option to reach Panna by train is through Jhansi station that is 176 kms away from Panna where almost all trains halt. One can easily get a cab from this station to Panna for approximately 3000-3500 INR.
By Road: Public buses are available for travelling to Panna by road. The facility is available at all major cities that connect to Panna. For instance, bus service is available from Jhansi to Panna at regular intervals. Khajuraho also provides similar bus facilities to tourists.
Where To Stay
Panna National Park is surrounded by many resorts and hotels that are ideal for stay in Panna. For economical accommodations, government lodges are also available.
For adventure lovers who want to see a lot of animals, best time for safari is early morning when animals come to water holes. Also carry a lot of drinking water as Park Safari is time-consuming. Tourists shall wear light shades of clothing instead of dark shades.
It is better not to wear strong perfumes. In addition, carrying firearms or any smoking or lighting fire in the reserve area is dangerous. Tourists are advised not to come out of the vehicles for clicking pictures as that can be life-threatening
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