Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Panna National Park

Situated in Panna District of Madhya Pradesh in Central India this beautiful preserve has been much in the center of controversy. Contrary to claims made by the CCF of MP there were no tigers left in the reserve as declared by a committee report in June 2009. Of late tigers from Bandhavgarh and Kanha have been relocated here in order to restore tiger population. The trans location program is showing success as a tigress has given birth to two cubs. Another tigress is expected to reproduce. 

Panna National Park also tiger reserve along with Sariska highlights the state of tiger conservation in India. The 543 park lost all its tigers. No attention was paid to dwindling number of tigers as per alarm created by researchers. The authorities were busy with counter claims as usual and in the process the remaining number of tigers fell prey to the poachers with ease.  

Besides tigers (Oof) the park is home to leopards, sloth bear, chinkara, spotted deer, sambar, wild dog, jackal, caracal, wolf, four horned deer, hyena, fox, nilgai and jungle cat. There are more than two hundred bird species that can be found in the reserve along with reptiles and large number of butterflies. 

The dry deciduous forest type are unique with Kardhai forest zones, besides, teak, tendu, mahua, char, kullu, bel, harra and other species. The grasslands are extensive with tall and short grasses.    

Ken River Sanctuary is the life line of this ecosystem and is the habitat of mugger and gharial. The number of gharial is low in this pristine river. More reptiles are being released here in order to restore the ecological balance and save the endangered species. 

Though tiger sightings may not be possible any more in this tiger reserve one can see many wild animals and enjoy bird watching. There are many jungle lodges, hotels and wildlife resorts that offer accommodation outside the park. For inbound tourists package tours are available by tour operators in India. These packages are affordable and well designed.   

Next interesting destination is the Khajuraho Temples which are around 45 km from the National Park. One can easily drive down from Panna to the temples at Khajuraho for sightseeing. The temple complex town has an airport connected with New Delhi, Mumbai and other major towns in India. 

Panna is connected with Satna, Katni, Jhansi rail heads and is about seven hours drive to Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. Panna can also be reached via Jabalpur which is connected to New Delhi by rail and flight service.