Kanha Museum in the Kanha National Park
One of the main museums of Kanha is the Kanha Museum located inside the Kanha National Park and is maintained by the Forest Department of the state. It is close to the Kisli Gate. The Kanha Museum’s timing is 9:00 till 18:00 every day, throughout the year. A place that is ideal for people interested in wildlife, botany, and zoology, the Museum provides detailed information about the topography and geography of the Kanha National Park. It is also good for visitors who wish to know more about the history, the evolvement of the place, its vegetation and wildlife species.
For people who would like to explore all aspects of the museum, it is ideal to have at least an hour or two on hand. Visitors do not have to purchase any ticket to enter the Museum in the national park. There is no specific dress code for visiting the place nor do visitors require a guide to have a look at different sections featuring in the Museum. Cameras are allowed inside so visitors can have their fill clicking pictures inside the museum. Since covering the entire national park is impractical for visitors; the Kanha Museum is one of the important places to visit in Kanha to have an overall glimpse of the forest area
The Kanha Museum of Life & Art, inside the Singinawa Jungle Lodge
A true depiction of the indigenous Gond and Baiga art and life, this is one of the privately maintained museums of Kanha, a must-visit for travelers to the national park. The museum is located within the premises of the Singinawa Jungle Lodge at Baihar, near the Mukki gate of Kanha National Park. With the availability of eco-friendly tourism accommodations at the root of it all, the museum runs completely on solar energy celebrates the spirit of the native tribals, and becomes a method to conserve their folklores, legends, and traditions.
The Corbett Foundation – TCF’s Tribal Museum, Mukki
In 2013, the Corbett Foundation (TCF) opened a one-of-its-kind museum at Baherakhar village, near the Mukki gate of the Kanha National Park. The purpose is to have visitors peep into the lifestyle of two of the most primitive tribes of Madhya Pradesh – the Baiga and the Gond tribes. From their day-to-day use items to featuring artistic works of the natives, visitors gain insight in all aspects of the two tribes in India. One of the best homestay to visit near Kanha, visitors get to taste the local indigenous cuisine, watch the Baiga dance forms, and buy tribal handicrafts from an in-house souvenir shop.
Museums in Mandla
- Rani Durgawati Museum
This museum is located in Jabalpur near Bhavartal garden. It is a double-storied building with eight galleries and an auditorium. There are about 6163 antiques in the museum where different aspects of historical significance are preserved. While most of the specimens are kept in the galleries – Shaiva gallery, Vaishnava gallery, Jaina Gallery, Index Gallery, Excavation gallery, Inscription gallery, Coin gallery and Tribal Art gallery, some of the specimens that are not as valuable are kept out in the garden for visitors to have a look. It is approximately 66 km away from Kanha Tiger Reserve, Khatiya Entrance.
- Archaeological Museum, Mandla
The District Archaeological Museum located in Mandla is open every day for visitors from 10:00 hours till 17:00 hours except for Mondays and government holidays. For Indian viewers the entry fee is Rs. 5/- while for exclusive viewers the fee is Rs. 50/-per person. Cameras are allowed inside on a chargeable basis. It is located in the Civil Lines area of the district and was set up in 1976 by the Archaeological Association under the aegis of the Government of Madhya Pradesh. There are about 610 artifacts and about 2300 coins from the ancient era inside the museum. From medieval age statutes to handwritten texts from the Buddhist monks, visitors can get meaningful glimpses of the past here. Most of the items displayed here are from the period starting from the 7th century AD to 19th century AD. Other artifacts pertain to tribal tools, and jewellery, sculptures, weapons, swords, metal statutes, copper plates, fossils, etc. In terms of fossil collection, it is the state’s first museum.
Museums in Balaghat
- Museum of History and Archaeological Research Institute, Balaghat
Called the Puratatva Sanghrahalya in the local Hindi language, this museum cum institute was founded by Dr. Virendra Singh Gaharwar, a historian and archaeologist from Balaghat since 1980. Located in the Ambedkar Chowk at Chitragupt Nagar in Balaghat, the museum’s timing is 11:00 hours to 18:00 hours. The museum has been renovated recently in 2017 as well as about 300 ancient statues that were collected from various archaeological sites in the state had been placed inside the museum. In 2017, a British epochal Narrow Gauge railway Bogie was set up at the museum creating a history of sorts for the district. It is approximately 105 km away from Kanha Tiger Reserve, Khatiya Entrance.
- Bamboo Craft Center, Balaghat
This is another worthwhile place to visit in Kanha. Different native handicrafts, art and artefacts made from bamboo have been housed in this centre that is also sold as souvenirs to tourists. Promoting eco-tourism while providing employment opportunities to the economically weaker sections of the society, this centre truly blends ways and techniques of using natural resources from the forest for improving the financial conditions of the locals of the place.