Panna National Park is situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, at a distance of around 57 km from Khajuraho. The region, famous for its diamond industry, is also home to some of the best wildlife species in India and is one of the most famous Tiger Reserves in the country. The park is known worldwide for its wild cats, including tigers as well as deer and antelope. Due to its closeness to one of the best-known Indian tourist attraction in India, Khajuraho, the park is recognized as an exciting stop-over destination.
The climate of the region is tropical. Summers, somewhat scorching, are when one has the maximum chances of encountering the exclusive wildlife of this park. Winters are cold and comfortable and the temperature generally remains under 25°C. Monsoon touches this region in July and continues till mid-September.
Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), the king of the jungle, roams freely in this secure, though a bit small habitat along with his fellow beings – leopard (Panthera pardus), wild dog (Cuon alpinus), wolf (Canis lupus), hyaena (Hyaena hyaena), caracal (Felus caracal) and other smaller cats. Sloth bear has his most favourite home in the rock escarpments and undisturbed vales. The wooded areas are dotted with sambar, the largest of Indian deers, chital and chowsingha. One can easily see nilgai and chinkara in most open areas in the grasslands, specially on the periphery.
The avifauna comprises more than 200 species, including a host of migratory birds. One can see white necked stork, bareheaded goose, honey Buuzzard, King vulture, Blossom headed Parakeet, Paradise flycatcher, Slaty headed Scimitar babbler to name a few.
Variety of snakes, including the python and other reptiles are found here.
Dry and hot climate, in union with shallow Vindhyan soils has given rise to dry Teak and dry mixed forest. The dominating vegetation type is miscellaneous dry deciduous forest inter spread with grassland areas. Other major forest types are riverines, open grasslands, open woodlands with tall grasses and thorny woodlands. The characteristic floral species of this area include tree species such as Tectona grandis, Diospyros melanoxylon, Madhuca indica, Buchnania latifolia, Anogeissus latifolia, Anogeissus pendula, Lannea coromandelica, Bosswelia serrata etc.
There are no jeeps provided by the authorities, so you will have to rent your own jeep for a safari into the park. An hour long boat ride offered by the park authorities is a good option to catch a glimpse of water predators and other animals around the lake. Elephant safari is one of your best bets to spot a striped beast up close. A major attraction is the night safari at Gangau offered by the Ken River Lodge. Safari Timings are 6:30 to 10:30 AM & 2:30 to 5:30 PM.
HOW TO REACH
BY AIR – The nearest airport is at Khajuraho at a distance of around 57 km from the Panna National Park. There are daily Alliance Air flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi from Khajuraho.
BY RAIL – Satna, at a distance of around 90 km, is the nearest railway station. It is a major railway hub and is connected to many places in central and western India, the most important of them being Mumbai at a distance of 1,540 km.
BY ROAD – The nearest bus stand is Panna connected to Khajuraho and many other places in Madhya Pradesh by a good road network. Madla, at a distance of around 24 km southwest of Khajuraho, is a good transport centre. One can get buses and other road transport modes from here to the Panna National Park.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The climate of this region is tropical. Summers are too hot and very uncomfortable, though this is the time when one has the maximum chances of encountering the exclusive wildlife of this park. Winters are cold and comfortable and the temperature generally remains under 25°C. Monsoon touches this region in July and continues till mid-September.