Panna National Park
Panna, a well known destination worldwide is known for its Diamond. Since 1981, people grew extensively aware of Panna, but from a different perspective, wildlife. This beautiful park is situated in the Vindhyas, and on the banks of Ken river, spreading its expanse over the Panna and Chhatarpur districts, north of Madhya Pradesh. The river is home to Ghariyals and Mugger, along with other aquatic fauna. It is also believed to be one of the least polluted river tributaries of Yamuna. Truly the lifeline of the reserve, Ken offers some of the most pleasing panoramic view for a good 55 kms, through the reserve.
One of the most important and protected areas in the north-central highlands of India, Panna National Park has beauty dispersing in every nook and corner. The Park, with its deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and thick teak forests, is predominantly a plateau, with sprawling flatlands punctuated by hills and deep valleys. The terrain however is a bummer, in literal sense. It is quite rocky, not for the weakling in you. The park’s rocky and undulating habitat has become home for many animals. The flat lands covering the northern part of the plateau, was home to Cheetahs at one point in time. Although we lost the “Fast and Furious” cat species, the plateau continues to home the smallest Antelope species in India, which also happens to be most favorable prey of the Cheetah, the Chinkara.
Other than the Chinkara, the park is blessed to have a plethora of Herbivore species, like Blue Bull, Spotted Deer and Wild Boar. An abundance in prey would mean an abundance in the number of predators too. Hence, the number of Tigers and Leopards in the Park are fairly high. In the year 1994, it was declared a Tiger Reserve, under the protection of Project Tiger.
Apart from mammals, Panna is known to be rich in avifauna as well. It is one of the best parks for bird watchers. When one starts their morning in dead silence and enters the park to birds chirping everywhere, you know you’re going to have a good day sighting the color wings. Asian Paradise Flycatcher (also the State Bird of Madhya Pradesh), one of the most pristine looking birds, is most commonly found in Panna. However, the park is not only made of pretty birds. The Vulture has made its presence known in Panna too. Amidst the beautiful gorges of Panna Reserve, these vultures have made the best nesting and roosting areas for themselves. Some cliffs might be more populated than the others, with more than a 100 vultures cawing together.
Other avifauna in the area include: Painted Sangrouse, Great Thicknee, Bar Headed Goose, Honey Buzzard, Blossom Headed Parakeet, Changeable Hawk Eagle and many more. The Ken attracts lots of water birds throughout the year, and as winter approaches, the migratory birds make Panna their home. Once summer hits again, huge flocks of Cormorants perch themselves pretty around the river.
So roughen up, for Panna and it’s stories await your arrival.