Kanger Valley National Park Chhattisgarh
Prepare to get enchanted by rugged mountain views, deep gorges, dancing trees and seasonal wild flowers, as together they make the perfect environment for varied species of wildlife. Whether you are a tourist, amateur naturalist, wildlife aficionado, ornithologist, artist or photographer, Chhattisgarh gives you the rare opportunity to observe wildlife in its natural habitat at the Kanger Valley National Park. Bastar has a fair variety of avifauna, both resident and migratory. Most of the migratory birds visit during winter, to glean the paddy fields after the kharif crop has been harvested.
Sprawling over an area of 200 sq km, the park derives its name from the Kanger River which flows throughout its length. Kanger Valley attained the status of a National Park in 1982. Besides wildlife and plants, this Park is home to many mystical caves Geologists have been amazed by the natural, yet artistic formations of the caves here. The stalagmite and stalactite depositions are exceptional wonders of nature. Astounding geological formations have attracted many artists, archaeologists and scientists. The mesmerizing Tirathgarh Waterfalls are located in the Kanger Valley National Park, and so are the popular tourist spots of Kanger Dhara and Bhainsa Darha-Crocodile Park.
Flora & Fauna
As you enter the dense forests, the aroma of the wet leaves and rich soil will fill your senses with euphoria. The Kanger Valley National Park is a distinguished blend of mixed moist deciduous type of forests with a predominance of sal, teak and bamboo. What’s particularly interesting is the fact that it is the only region in peninsular India with pockets of virgin forests. The park is actually a transition zone where the Southern limit of sal forests and the Northern limit of teak forests blend.
The Kanger Valley National Park is home to thriving wildlife species like tiger, leopard, mouse deer, wild cat, caracal, bison, chausingha, wolf, chital, Sambhar,barking deer, langur, flying squirrel and stripped hyena. But the biggest and the most popular specie that mesmerizes all with its human voice is the Bastar Myna.
Don’t be surprised if a human-like voice resonates from the branches as you enter the Kanger Valley National Park. The state bird, the Bastar Myna, is a type of Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa Linnacus), and an accomplished mimic, adept at imitating the human voice. For this reason, it has been traditionally prized as a cage-bird, resulting in it being hunted to the point of becoming extinct! Today, it is an offence to cage this bird. The Bastar Myna is a colourful bird, glossy pitch black with yellow legs, orange and yellow beak, bright yellow wattles on the head and a dash of white on the side wings. It is seen in pairs or noisy flocks in preferred locations in the forests and villages. If you are lucky, you might see it in the Kanger Valley National Park.
What renders the bird so valuable is the extraordinary repertoire of calls-whistles, wails, warbles and gurgles – often human-like in tenor. It can even whistle tunes with astonishing clarity and precision. Both the sexes of the Bastar Myia have dissimilar calls and each bird has a repertoire of 3-13 types of calls.
The forest is home to both migratory and resident birds. Most of the migratory birds visit during winter, to glean the paddy fields after the kharif crop has been harvested. The avifauna here includes the hill myna, spotted owl, red jungle fowl, peacock, parrot, steppe eagle, red spur fowl and partridge among many others
These mystical caves were discovered in the year 1900 and a detailed investigation of the caves was carried out in 1951 by Dr. Shankar Tiwary. The main entrance of the caves is 330m long and 20-72m wide. The cave walls are decorated with beautif, stalagmite and stalactite formations and at the end of the cave, there is a beaut ful stalagmite Shivalinga that can be reached with the help of guides and solar lamps. A unique kind of fish is found inside these caves. These fish are blind and the whole aura inside the cave is extremely mysterious and exciting.
These caves were found in April 1993 and they are 200m long and 35-50m wide. The Kailash Gufa opens up to a magnificent durbar hall that flaunts majestic drop stone and stalactite formations that look like chandeliers. The whole cave seems like the Kailash Mountain, presenting a sight to die for, and as you go deeper melodious music pampers your senses. You should be sure then, that you have reached the Music Point. Here, the rocks and limestone clash against each other only to create a rare kind of music.
Also the dwelling of artistic stalagmite and stalactite formations, the Dandak Caves were discovered in April 1995. These caves are 200m long and 15-25m deep. Set deep in a hillock, the Dandak Caves have extraordinary stalagmites and stalactite formations that are so symmetric they seem like sculptures. Hanging at the entrance of the caves like regal chandeliers, their beauty has astonished geologists and artists likewise. But these enchanting caves are just one of the many amazing aspects of Chhattisgarh.
Situated 39kms South-west of Jagdalpur are the picturesque Tirathgarh Waterfalls. The Mungabahar Nala cascades down in the form of steps, falling from a height of 35m into the Kanger River which forms the lifeline of the Kanger Valley National Park. Tourists can multiply the feeling of inner peace as they visit the Shiva-Parvati Temple on a large rock facing the waterfalls. Watching the pure, whitewater flowing down from the tower gives tourists a top-of-the-world feeling! Travelers can rest in the pristine lap of nature as the cool splashes soothe the heart
Nestled near the Kutumnsar Village, the Kanger River continues to enchant tourists in the form of a beautiful little waterfall called the Kanger Dhara. The jagged rocks, the deep gorges and whistling winds add to its glory. The sweet gurgling sound of the water and the echoing poetry of the river make it a joy worth experiencing.
Spread around 4 hectares is the natural lake that charms tourists with beautiful reflections and more. Nestled between bamboo trees, the sight of it gives one complete peace of mind. It is exactly like a landscape right out of a painter’s dream. Casually dancing across the Kutursar caves, it seems as if the Kanger River finally rests here. The lake is a natural habitat for crocodiles and tortoises. It later moves on to blend with the Shabari River.
Fashioned like a museum, this centre has been initiated with an aim to educate tourists with information regarding the rich flora and fauna of Kanger Valley National Park.
There is scope for a nice nature trail on the way to Tirathgarh. Lasting for about 1.5kms, this trail holds a wonderful experience for all nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. They can study the surroundings, take pictures and learn more about jungle-life as they stroll away deeper into leisure!
Lower Kanger Valley Drive
On the way from Kutumsar to Kailash Cave the Kanger River romances the wilds and the gorgeous jungle invites you to take a long drive. Embark on a journey of 7kms as the lower Kanger Valley presents picturesque landscapes and much more!
The Park is open for tourists from 1st Nov-30th Jun from 8am to 4pm. Tourists may get down at Jagdalpur and visit the Park through the Kutumsar Entrance (27km) or Netanar Entrance (33km). Taxis can be hired for an adventurous escapade
Accommodation: Comfortable stay can be arranged at forest shelters in Kutumsar, Netanar, Tirathgarh, Jagdalpur, and Nirikshan Kutir-Darbha.
How to reach
By Air: Raipur is the nearest airport well connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur,Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai. By Rail: Jagdalpur is the nearest railway station located on the Vishakhapatnam Kirandul railway line.
By Road: Taxis and busses are available.
Raipur-Jagdalpur: 303 km
Vishakhapatnam-Jagdalpur: 313 km
Vijayawada-Jagdalpur: 435 km
Hyderabad-Jagdalpur: 565 km
Rajnandgaon-Jagdalpur: 320 km