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Understanding the Zones and the Entrance Gates of Kanha National Park

It was the Kanha National Park (KNP) that provided for the perfect setting for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel, The Jungle Book. Located in Madhya Pradesh, the KNP came into existence in 1955 and was later converted into the Kanha Tiger Reserve in 1973.

Topography – The Kanha National Park that covers an area of 940 sq km along with its buffer zone that is spread out on an area of 1067 sq km and the Phen Sanctuary that covers another 110 sq km, together make the entire Kanha Tiger Reserve. The Surpan River flows through the grasslands of KNP where the Sal trees and the bamboo forests along with the swamp deer or the Barasingha, the Sambhar deer, the Chital, Tiger, Gaur, Barking deer, sloth bear, leopards, jackals, foxes, porcupines, jungle cats, pythons, monkeys and many varied species of insects and birds welcome thousands of wildlife lovers every year. [KnowExperience Wildlife Safari’s in india]

Pride of KTR

Entrance Gates of Kanha Park and the way to reach

The details of Kanha National Park entrance gates are as under-

  • Khatia Gate – the nearest airport and railway station to this gate is Jabalpur which is about 160 km by road via Mandla. Tourists can also reach Raipur via train or flight and take a car to reach the gate that is about 250 km. The other option for entering the National Park through this gate is from Nagpur which is about 220 km.
  • Mukki Gate – tourists keen to enter the KNP through this gate can take a flight or a train to reach Jabalpur and then hire a cab to cover the remaining 200 km by road via Mandla, Mocha and Baihar. Raipur is also one of the closest airports and railway station – it is about 210 km away. Tourists can also try taking the Seoni, Nainpur, Mocha, and Baihar route from Nagpur by road covering a distance of 260 km to the NP.
  • Sarhi Gate – the closest place to this gate is Bichiya located on National Highway No. 12 that is about 8 km away. The other two ways to enter the Sarhi gate is either from Jabalpur that is 150 km away or from Raipur that is located at a distance of 220 km. Both Jabalpur and Raipur are well-connected by railways and air from major cities of India.

The distance between each of these 3 gates is approximately 60 km. Khatia gate is the most popular gate amongst the three.

There is a fourth way of entering the Phen Sanctuary which is the Ghurri Barrier Gate. This gate is accessible from the three major cities nearby – Nagpur at a distance of about 278 km via Seoni; Raipur at a distance of about 213 km via Kawardha and Jabalpur via Kundam is about 181 km.

Zones in the Kanha National Park – Facts

  • Tourists are permitted in only about 20% of Kanha Park.
  • In the core area, the Kanha Tiger Reserve has four zones – namely Kanha, Kisli, Mukki, and Sarhi.
  • Kanha is the oldest and zone and till 2016 was considered the Park’s premium zone.
  • Mukki was the second zone to open up.
  • The Sarhi and the Kisli zones are relatively new. The Kisli zone, in fact, was created out of the Kanha Zone.
  • Tiger sightings are now easily available in all of these zones.
  • Khatia, Khapa, and Sijhora zones are in the buffer area
  • Phen zone is in the Phen Sanctuary.

The layout of zones and gates in the Kanha National Park geographically

  1. Northern region – the Sarhi gate and Sarhi Zone.
  2. Western region – Khatia gate and the Kisli Zone.
  3. Central region – Kanha Zone
  4. Southern region – the Mukki gate and Mukki Zone.
  5. Eastern region – the Buffer Zone

CORE ZONES – restrictions on vehicles and entry gate information

KANHA ZONETotal Full-permit vehicles allowedTotal Single-seat vehicles allowed
GatesMorningEveningMorningEveningMorningEvening
Sarhi GateYesYes281732
Khatia GateYesYes
Mukki GateYesNo
KISLI ZONETotal Full-permit vehicles allowedTotal Single-seat vehicles allowed
GatesMorningEveningMorningEveningMorningEvening
Sarhi GateYesNo12800
Khatia GateYesYes
Mukki GateYesYes22
MUKKI ZONETotal Full-permit vehicles allowedTotal Single-seat vehicles allowed
GatesMorningEveningMorningEveningMorningEvening
Sarhi GateNoNo232200
Khatia GateYesYes
Mukki GateYesYes22
SARHI ZONETotal Full-permit vehicles allowedTotal Single-seat vehicles allowed
GatesMorningEveningMorningEveningMorningEvening
Sarhi GateYesYes151522
Khatia GateYesYes00
Mukki GateNoNo

BUFFER ZONES – entry gate information

GatesKhatia ZoneKhapa ZoneSijora ZonePhen Zone
Sarhi GateNoNoYesNo
Khatia GateYesNoNoNo
Mukki GateNoYesNoYes
Ghurri BarrierNoNoNoYes

BUFFER ZONES – restriction on vehicles

ZoneNumber of Vehicles allowed
MorningEvening
Khatia Zone2515
Khapa Zone2012
Sijora Zone2012
Phen Zone2515
  • Only full-permit vehicles are allowed inside the Buffer Zone and the Phen Zone.
Jeep Safari In KNP

Important Note –

  • The booking for Kanha Tiger Reserve safaris can be done online at https://forest.mponline.gov.in/eBrochure/eBrochureDetails.aspx?parkid=2
  • Visitors can visit the park from 16th October to 30th June
  • The Zonal system inside the Park like the roads inside the Park, entrance gates, timings and the number of permitted vehicles (single-seated and full vehicles) are determined at the beginning of each year by the forest officials and the tourism department. This is done keeping the Eco-Tourism guidelines by the National Tiger Conservation Authority in mind.
  • Safari bookings are made zone-wise while one reaches the gate in actuality. Hence it is important to have accurate information about the zones and gates before starting the Safari.
  • Before booking it is advisable to check the official website of the Kanha National Park at https://forest.mponline.gov.in/eBrochure/eBrochureDetails.aspx?parkid=2 for all details and then proceed with booking the Safari.
  • Visitors to the Kanha Tiger Reserve need to carry the original documents of an official ID proof – passport, driving license, PAN card, Voter card, etc.
  • On Holi, no safaris are allowed either in the morning or evening shift.
  • At the Kanha Zone, the safari is closed for visitors on Wednesdays.

Park Entrance information and the type of vehicles entry allowed inside the park is subject to change from time to time. Thus, it is prudent to check the details at https://forest.mponline.gov.in/eBrochure/eBrochureDetails.aspx?parkid=2 before heading out to the park.

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