In order to reach Kanha National Park (KNP) from Surwahi Social Kanha (SSK), the shortest route is through the Khatia Gate of the Park. There are two distinct routes from Surwahi Social to Khatiya entrance gate.
Here is a brief of both the routes and the various villages that one needs to cross while driving from Surwahi Social to Kanha National Park entrance. Either ways, the journey starts from Surwahi Social Kanha that is located in the Surwahi village in the Paraswada Tehsil in the Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh. [How to Reach Kanha Tiger Reserve, National Park?]
Route 1 – Reaching Khatia Zone via Kuchha Road through Sarekha & Soona Ghat Buffer Zone
This route is only 18 km long as against the officially mentioned distance of 28 km making it the shortest route from Surwahi Social to Khatiya entrance gate. The time taken in reaching Khatiya Gate of KNP from Surwahi Social via this route is more even though the distance is short. The reason why this particular path from Surwahi Social to Kanha National Park entrance is time-taking is because of the ethereal beauty of the surrounding areas. The map below depicts the route that in fact crosses the buffer zones and forest areas to the National Park with the flora and fauna that is worth seeing. Hence, for tourists who take this route to reach the Kanha National Park must have plenty of time in hand, start well in advance so that they can drive through slowly. Along with the unique opportunity to soak in the freshness of the forest that lets them unwind and relax, the route also offers a FREE Safari ride with frequent spotting of Langurs, Hares, Spotted Deer’s, Sambhar Deer, Jackals, Foxes, Civets and even the majestic Tigers.
The route is as follows:
- Surwahi – located in the Paraswada Tehsil in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh, Surwahi is a small hamlet that is located at about 28 km from KNP. Malajkhand is the nearest town at 42 km and is surrounded by Baihar, Bichhiya, Nainpur and Balaghat Tehsils. The Surwahi Social Kanha is at Malgoan P.O. As per 2011 census, the village has only 108 houses with a population of 520 and a literacy rate of 63.5%. The nearest airport is Jabalpur Airport at a distance of 81 km and the Gondla Junction Railway station is the closest to the village at about 92 km.
- Sarekha – the next village on the way to KNP, this village is comparatively larger than Surwahi with about 343 houses and population of 1611 (as per 2011 census). Kanha National Park is approximately 20 km away from Sarekha with the nearest Airport Jabalpur at 83 km and nearest railway station is the Gondla Junction Railway Station at about 98 km. The nearest villages are Kumadehi, Sitadongri, Saila, Khumundi, and Pongarjhodi. The towns that are close to this place are – Mandla, Nainpur, Malajkhand and Maharajpur.
- Dhanwar Ryt. – a tiny village on the way to Kanha is this hamlet comprising of only about 10 families with a population of 48 (as per 2011 census) and a literacy rate of 88.57%.
- Soona Ghat check post or buffer zone – this is a small check post that visitors need to cross before getting any closer to Kanha National Park. Patpara is a small dwelling located in this buffer zone just adjoining the check post. This is in the Bichhiya Tehsil of Mandla district with about 119 houses and a population of 478. Kanha. It is about 24 km from here with Jabalpur Airport as the nearest airport located at 75 km and the Jabalpur Junction Railway Station at 110 km.
- From the Soona Ghat check post to the next village called Mocha, the road has now been converted into a pukka or metaled road. Mocha is located on the banks of river Banjar and is about 5 km or 10 minutes’ drive from the Khatia Gate of Kanha National Park. It is part of Bichhiya Tehsil of Mandla District. Though the native villagers of this place are farmers and practice agriculture primarily, due to its proximity to KNP, many hotels and lodges are present in this village. At the T-point where this route meets the Chiraidongri Kanha Road in Mocha is the Krishna Jungle Resort, Kanha serving as an important landmark. Just before the Krishna Resort is the Tuli Resort on the right-hand side of the road leading up to the Khatiya Gate of the National Park.
- Khatia Gate is one of the gates for visitors to enter the Kanha National Park. It lies in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh and is almost 160 km from Jabalpur.
Option – II – Reaching Khatiya Gate via the Surwahi – Khairlanji – Jhangul – Main Highway or the Chiraidongri Kanha Road
The good part about this route is that most parts of the road are paved making travel easy and convenient except for a small stretch of 1.7 km starting from SSK to Khairlanji that is still unmetalled and consists of village tracks. Visitors who travel by this route can take advantage of the local markets and shopping centres located on either side of the Highway at the Mocha village. They can shop for items made by the natives and take them back as memorable memento and souvenirs. However, this route is comparatively longer than the one mentioned above and there are also high chances that tourists get stuck in the village traffic at Mocha causing inconvenience and delays. [Alternative Tourism Concept & Activities for Tourists]
Description of the route: –
- Surwahi Social Kanha – the journey from Surwahi Social to Khatiya entrance gate begins at SSK.
- Khairlanji – after covering about 1.7 km visitors come across the town of Khairlanji that lies in the Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh.
- Jhangul – this is a small village in the Paraswada Tehsil of Madhya Pradesh.
- The Chiraidongri – Kanha Highway at Mocha – From Jhangul, at about a distance of 24 km, a journey that takes about half an hour or so, the route leads to the State Highway No. 11B that connects Chiraidongri with the Khatiya gate of the Kanha National Park. The highway crosses through the Mocha village that is about 5 km from the Khatiya gate – which takes about 10 minutes from the village.