Located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in the Chhatarpur and Panna districts, the Panna National Park is one of best wildlife destinations of the country. The park is also declared to be the 22nd Tiger Reserve of India. Panna National Park was granted the Award of Excellence by the Ministry of Tourism, India in the year 2007 for being the best maintained park of the country. The park is sprawled over an area of 543 Square Kilometres and that is home to diverse variety of flora and fauna. Panna National Park is particularly renowned for the majestic predators, nilgai and deer. The park is located on the banks of Ken River and is covered with thick teak forests, cascading waterfalls and deep ravines that make it a great scenic destination as well.
Panna national Park is situated at a distance of 57kms from the world famous Khajuraho Temples and is therefore a thrilling stop-over destination for tourists from far and wide. Before being granted a status of National Park in 1981, the jungles served as a hunting ground for the royal family of Panna, Bijawar and Chhatarpur states. The park was declared to be a well-known Tiger Reserve in 1994. The rich bio-diversity of Panna National Park has made it a popular holiday destinations for tourists in India and abroad.
Attractions at the Park
Panna National Park is characterised with thick deciduous forests. The landscape of the park is rocky and the uneven terrains are covered by grass and scrubby vegetation. The Talegaon Plateau is located on the eastern end of the Panna range and is the highest peak of the region. The Ken river flows from north to south through the Panna National Park, and forms a boundary between the Chhatarpur and Panna districts. The river is also a perennial water source for the villagers residing there.
Tigers, crowned as the king of jungle can be freely spotted inside the forests along with other predators like leopard, wolf, hyenas, wild dogs and variety of other smaller cats. The wooded area of the forests is home to Indian deer, chowsingha, chital and sambar. Chinkara and nilgai can be spotted near the grasslands on the periphery of the park.
Information about the Safari
Panna National Park offers both elephant and jeep safari to enable tourists to explore the park in a way they feel desirable. The safari ride through the park gives the best opportunity to sight wild animals like lions, leopards, wild elephants, Himalayan Palm Civets, Deers, Boars, Indian Gray Mongoose, Fishing cats, Jungle cats, Langurs and Sloth Bear to name a few.
Jeep Safari at Panna National Park takes you on trip to wilderness. The vehicle can accommodate a maximum of 6 people and is accompanies with a trained and qualified driver. The open roof gives you the better vision to observe the wildlife creatures. Tiger sighting at Panna National Park is uncommon and requires both luck and patience. The area with short and dry grasses provides sighting of the chinkara and nilgai while tall grasses are grazed by herds of chital sambar.
Elephant Safari is the chief attraction of the park. It allows more enjoyable and safe viewing of the wild animals inside the jungles.
Ken River boat safari is an hour-long safari that offers visitors a chance to get a glimpse of animals around the lake and also few water predators. Ken River is the tributary of River Yamuna and is home to both long-snouted and mugger species of crocodiles.
The duration of morning safari is nearly four and a half hours in the morning and three hours in the evening shift.Timings:
- The timings of safari at Panna National Park vary depending on the season and are given as follows:
- From 16th October to 31st January: Morning shift for safari starts at 6:30am till 11am whereas the evening safari timings are 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
- From 1st February to 31st March: Morning safari shift starts from 6am to 10:30am while evening safari timings are 3pm to 6pm.
- From 1st April to 30th June: Morning safari timings are 5:30am to 10am. Evening shift starts from 3:30pm to 7pm.
The entry tickets for Panna National Park can be taken from the booking counter. It is best to reach the gates 30 minutes before to complete the formalities in time. The jungle safari charges are inclusive of the entrance ticket, vehicle fee and guide fee.Dos and Don’ts Within the Park
- While visiting the park remember it is the animal’s territory, so respect the wild animals and their habitats
- Do not tease the animals inside the park
- Drive slowly and do not honk unnecessarily
- Smoking, lighting a fire or camping inside the park is strictly prohibited
- Carrying firearms is also not allowed
- Maintain silence in the park. Playing tape recorders or radio is not allowed
- Do not litter inside the park and collect all your waste in a disposable bag
- Do not use scented oils or perfumes while visiting the park
- Carry plenty of refreshments and drinking water
- Cap/hat and sunglasses
- Mosquito repellents
- Cameras with extra films and batteries
Safety Measures to be Followed
Personal safety is in your own hands. Listen carefully to all the instructions given by your guide and follow them religiously. Do not get down from your vehicle except for the designated areas. Always maintain a good distance from wild animals.
Best Time to Visit the Park
Panna National Park experiences tropical climate. Summer season from March to May is unbearable hot with temperature rising up to 45⁰C. Although, this season is most suitable for wildlife sighting as the vegetation dries up and the waterholes of the animals dries. Winters at Panna National Park are pleasant and cool with temperature dropping to 6⁰C. Monsoons start from July and continue till mid-September. The park receives average rainfall and this time is best avoidable. Panna National Park opens for visitors from the months of November to June. This time is ideal for adventure and animal viewing at the park.
Nearby Tourists Attractions
Khajuraho is the famous tourist’s spot of Madhya Pradesh. The place is also declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is known world-wide for its intricate temples and exotic arts. The architecture of the all the temples in Khajuraho are impressive and unique. These temples are admired by tourists who visit the place from far and wide.
Pandav Falls is another popular destination from Panna National Park. The waterfall is a site of natural and scenic beauty that is also a favourite picnic spot for the tourists.
Besides being a captivating wildlife destination, the diamond industry of the place is also flourishing. Panna Diamond Mines is the sole diamond mine of the country and a must-visit destination for every tourist visiting the park.
Bandhavgarh National Park is a very famed and renowned wildlife destination of the country that is located close to the Panna National Park. Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest density of tigers in the country and is an absolute destination for sighting the white tigers.
Kanha National Park is one of the noted and outstanding wildlife reserve and national park of central India. The park has healthy population of tigers and is a place of natural beauty and picturesque landscapes.
Early morning safari and late evening safari are ideal for visiting and sighting the animals in the forests. It is best to go in small groups while being accompanied by a trained guide.