I do not chase big cats in the forest. It may sound untrue, but it is a fact. The romance with the unruly breeze, the sound of forest , the curiosity of meeting wild creatures and the unpredictability of each turn in the jungle fascinate me the most. Getting up in the wee hours, when the cold breeze just curls you up, the curtain of darkness fading away with the beaming colors of sun, and when I see brightly lit up faces of those kids in the jeep, it simply makes my day even before I actually enter into the wilderness.
It was not the first time for me at Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. My most unforgettable safari experience in India is from Kanha National Park when I entered the park on a rainy day during monsoon last year and had the most unexpected encounter with Umarpani (T30) from close proximity. It was approximately 4.30 am when we had all gathered at the meeting point at the Kanha Earth Lodge by Pugdundee Safaris for our morning safari.
Soon after a quick tea, we set out to venture into the forest. The harsh breeze was enough to make you curl up with a blanket in the dark on the bumpy drive. As we drove down the road towards the main gate of the forest, the curtain of darkness slowly faded away with peeping sunlight making its way. After the initial mandatory formalities, we entered the forest with much enthusiasm.
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The very first animal I saw was a wild boar just after entering the forest. Somebody once told me that if you see a wild boar, first thing in the forest, you might encounter a tiger. Though I don’t believe in superstition, but it did happen with me a few times earlier. The thought did run through my mind of the possibility of seeing a tiger, though I decided to keep calm. With the golden sun-rays, the forest came alive. The gorgeous Saal trees, the earthy roads, and the sound of buzzing birds became my constant companions.
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The earthy smell of the woods, husky langur calls, short deer calls, and the high pitch peacock calls make you appreciate the fact that you are in their territory. My eyes popped up suddenly when I saw the peacock dance for the very first time. I was glued to it completely. Later I was informed that it was their mating season and this is their way of attracting the female peacocks.
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My eyes always lit up when I see the spotted deer. They are the delight of the jungle. I have seen plenty of them but I am never satisfied.
The sambar deer, bison, a variety of birds and a plenty of langurs and monkeys came my way as I was driven around the core zone of the park that morning.
Spotting 6 Tigers (My wish got granted so quickly)
As we were driving through the thick foliage of the saal forest, there was a jolt suddenly near a bamboo forest inside the park. All I could see was the movement of a bison inside the forest. Later the naturalist Ashu pointed towards the elusive tiger resting quietly inside the forest starring at the bison. It was a fleeting moment for me. I could only see a glimpse of his stripped body, blending quite well, with the dry bamboo forest. We waited in the hope of seeing him clearly, but after a few minutes the tiger’s roar made us feel his presence as he walked deep inside the forest. I was delighted even though I just had a glimpse of this magnificent beast. As we moved forward a few miles ahead, I saw a huge hurdle of jeeps.
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All the popping eyes were pointed towards the bush where the guides claimed to have seen a tigress with her cubs. It was impossible to even have a rare glimpse. As I was waiting in the jeep like all others, I just shared a wish with a fellow traveler that what if the tigress decides to take a walk with her cubs and we see her. I couldn’t believe my own words when it happened exactly the way I said. Just after a few minutes, there was a movement. And the tigress with her four cubs slowly came out of the jungle one after another and crossed the road gracefully right in front of our jeep. I was speechless. All I did was shoot continuously with my camera the entire time. I couldn’t believe what I actually saw with my naked eyes. This was exceptional.
Where to stay in Kanha National Park
As I negotiated my way on that uneven earthy road, surrounded by roughed landscaped and small villages, away from the main gate of the Kanha National Park, I realized the exclusivity of the resort in the buffer zone of the forest. It was peak summer afternoon, when I finally landed at the Kanha Earth Lodge after four hours of drive from the airport.
The very first impression of the resort was quite overwhelming. The Gond Tribe inspired architectural designs caught my eye at the lobby. Adorned with stunning art pieces on the wall, intricately designed bar area, and the lower seating arrangement tell a lot about the tastefully done interior designs.
As I walked towards my cottage, I was amazed by the rustic feel of the surroundings and how the property is maintained with utmost care. The moment I stepped inside my luxury bungalow surrounded by the forest, the large open verandahs had brought a big smile on my face. I love spending time at the verandahs, especially in the wilderness.
Aesthetically designed, each corner of the cottage was eye-arresting. I also enjoyed every meal, prepared carefully keeping in mind the weather. The bush dinner is worth mentioning about. The most courteous staff makes your holiday unforgettable at the resort.
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Thanks for sharing this impressive blog. I really appreciate the work you have done, you explained everything in such an amazing and simple way. All images are so beautiful.
hanks for sharing this impressive blog. I really appreciate the work you have done, you explained everything in such an amazing and simple way. All images are so beautiful.
I love to go to safari. it makes me feel to close to nature and spend beautiful and fun time while watching animals. Your blog really looks interesting.
I’ve still not explored Central and Eastern India still. Madhya Pradesh has so much that I want to see and experience and most definitely Kanha is one of it! Congrats on the big cat spotting! 6 Tigers??? I’m jealous now! Haha..
I love your poetic style of writing about your experiences! I’ve always wanted to go on a safari but haven’t had the chance yet. Hopefully someday! It’s so exciting that you got to see not just one but six tigers!! (and that it happened in exactly the same way you had been thinking it out haha). I love your story and love the tiger photos! Thanks so much for sharing! <3
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Hi, You have shared such a wonderful article.I always prefer and appreciate this type of post which is really beneficial for the people.Thanks for sharing.
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Wow! What a lovely experience and rare sights to behold! Kanha National Park is definitely a paradise for wildlife lovers. Catching a sight of these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat must be an exhilarating experience. Kanha Earth Lodge also looks amazing with great ambience – perfectly blending with its natural surroundings. I’m looking forward to going for this adventure after reading your experience. Thanks for sharing.
I never tried the safari experience, and I wish I can! The feeling of being near the wild life is such a thrilling moment, in addition to the luxury accommodation. Where is your next safari sojourn?
It’s very really great information for becoming a better Blog.You become a idol for me.You always change my the Way of thinking . your way thinking is Really amazing.Thank you so much.
Kanha is really a great place to see wild cats in their natural habitats. You have taken stunning photos of Kanha National Park and their animals. Also, the Forest resort looks appealing and worth staying. I would love to look out those Gond tribal paintings in this resort.
This is one of the most comprehensive guide I have seen on Kanha National Park. I keenly followed your journey on social media. So many people have told me that Kanha is the most beautiful national park in India. Kanha Earth Lodge looks like a great place to stay. I especially loved the interiors and cozy ambiance.
OMG! You spotted so many animals on your trip! Deer, tiger, and bison?! I have not seen a peacock dance before – so lucky you! You have inspired me to go on a safari trip soon. Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos.
How amazing that you got to see a tigress and her cubs crossing the road. I’d never really considered a safari in India, but this sounds like an amazing experience. Time to add Kanha National Park to my ever growing travel wishlist.
Wow what a beautiful place to visit the kanha National Park. The wildlife seems to be in plenty and the accommodation looks fabulous. The earth lodge is Amaxing. Thanks Must say it’s made me think of going on my next visit to India. Land of Mowgli and will be a great place to take the kids. Thanks for sharing this.
What an amazing adventure! You were so lucky to see so many tigers! And the accommodations added to the ambiance of the safari. So fun!
Tigers are such magical creatures! I hope I get to see some someday (besides in zoos). I’ve also always wanted to see a peacock dance and the way you described the dance is just beautiful.
Good images of wonderful places . Fox Travels
That was really great content. The way you have written it inspired me also amazing pictures.Thank you, your article really helps me a lot. I really appreciate it. Kanha National park seems amazing.
This article really inspired me. Actually we are planning to visit kanha national park in August and i was gathering information’s from internet. I just found your article and this is really very helpful for me.
Great blog for Visitors , tourists . Good images of wonderful places .