On why I fell in love with Panna National Park – often called Khajuraho National Park due to its proximity to the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh.
Old forests of teak and acacia lay bathed in the warm glow of the morning sun. We drove along the vast expanse of the Ken River strewn with little islands, climbed up a plateau dotted with colorful igneous rocks, crossed bubbling streams and grasslands in shades of autumn, and arrived at the most picturesque sight – a 200 meter high gorge, with two majestic waterfalls, surrounded by dense greenery, and a stream winding in the valley below. Sitting on the rocks, we had tea and biscuits while watching vultures fly around the steep gorge!
Panna Tiger Reserve (aka Khajuraho National Park) has broken my association of wildlife parks with wildlife alone. I hope these pictures, taken with my Sony Cybershot, will do the same for you!
FOREST RIVER ISLANDS IN PANNA NATIONAL PARK
which look particularly lush just when the park opens on October 15th, after the monsoon season.
CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A FEMALE SAMBAR DEER
These solo wanderers are aplenty in the forests of Panna.
DHUNDHUA, THE GORGE AT PANNA
with monsoon waterfalls, vulture nestings, caves for tiger cubs, and a majestic valley below. Dhund (mist) and Dhua (smoke), literally describes the look of the gorge in the monsoons.
LIFE IN THE FORESTS OF PANNA
often referred to as Khajuraho National Park – is fascinating to observe, as it is in any wildlife sanctuary. Spotted this langur drinking water right before our jeep on the trail.
SOAKING IN THE SERENITY OF RIVER KEN IN THE FORESTS OF PANNA
National Park; The river was originally called Karnavati, but anglicised by the British to Ken; the locals now refer it to as Kian.
AND AT KEN RIVER LODGE BY PUGDUNDEE SAFARIS
A rustic eco-lodge, first built in 1986, and washed away twice by the river floods! From the lounging area, we spotted a crocodile and kingfishers in the river. You can take a rowboat on the river from Ken River Lodge; unfortunately the water level was too high for us to try it.
INSPIRED TO WRITE
at the rooftop area of Ken River Lodge, with a view of Ken River and the forests all around.
A HERD OF DEER GREETING US
at Panna / Khajuraho National Park; love how shy, curious and confused they always appear. Ken River Lodge plays an active role in conservation efforts at the Panna National Park, by regularly engaging with the local community on conservation initiatives.
SMALLER LIFE IN THE JUNGLE
Massive spider webs were everywhere in the jungle, and will remain there for another month, after which they’ll be eaten by the birds.
CATCHING TWO WILD BOARS IN ACTION
digging into the ground for food, aka the roots of plants.
DRIVING INTO THE SUNSET
amid the grasslands of Panna National Park, in the backdrop of the Vindhyas range.
A SUNSET TO REMEMBER
over Ken River and the plateaus of Panna.
What are your impressions of Panna / Khajuraho National Park in Madhya Pradesh?
What’s the most beautiful national park you’ve been to in India?
Note: I was hosted at Ken River Lodge by Pugdundee Safaris. Couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to national parks in Madhya Pradesh!