Panna, a beautiful city located in the north-eastern part of Madhya Pradesh. It was originally a Gond settlement till the 13th century. Panna’s royal tryst began in the mid-17th century when Maharaja Chhatrasal Bundela made it the capital of his kingdom. It is the only city in Asia with diamond reserves also quite popular for its Tiger Reserve. This city is also acclaimed as a world heritage site and for its noteworthy initiative towards conserving wildlife in the country. It is also an important religious location for Hindus with the number of ancient Hindu temples in the vicinity. It was here that the itinerant sage Mahamati Prananath preached the lesson of self-awakening and took Samadhi. With the Ken River flowing through the hills in Panna, it gives the area the perfect environment for wildlife tourism. Some of the most imposing waterfalls in India also belong to this area.
Asia’s largest active diamond mines are found in Panna. The Majhagaon mines are spread over a belt of nearly 80 km. The mines are managed under the Diamond Mining Project of NMDC Ltd, Govt. of India. The unearthed diamonds are collected by the district administration and auctioned.
The Panna Tiger Reserve and the national park is a major attraction of Panna tourism as this wildlife reserve is among the very few national parks where tigers can be seen in their natural abode. The national park covers an area of 542 sq. km. It is the 22nd Tiger reserve in India and the fifth in the state of Madhya Pradesh itself. The wildlife varieties that can be seen include tigers, leopards, antelopes, sloth bears, sambhars and chinkaras. More than 200 species of birds including migratory birds have been recorded to have been sighted here. Gharials, the Indian crocodile, and Muggers can be seen in the Ken River. The Jeep Safaris in Panna national park is an exciting experience and there are boating options in Ken River too. The dense teak forests, picturesque cliffs and gorges, fascinating flora, and fauna make up for an awesome experience of nature.
With the Ken River passing through the area and with the rocky terrain Panna has some beautiful waterfalls that are a visual treat. The Pandav Caves and falls lie very close to the national park. They are around 100 ft in length. Fed by the local springs, these waterfalls flow throughout the year. At the foot of the falls are a bunch of ancient caves overlooking a water body. Legend has it that the Pandavas took refuge here during their exile. The Gatha waterfalls at a height of 300 feet are the 36th highest falls in India. The Raneh falls are a spectacular sight with the water from River Ken falling down from the canyons into the deep gorges. The water flowing from one gorge to another creates a visual treat of cascading waterfalls. The canyons here are uniquely formed of five types of igneous rocks rich in granite and can be seen in different colors.
The ancient temples in have a distinct Islamic influence in their architecture. The domes of these temples are both plain and in onion shape. There are kalashas on top of the temples. The Mahamati Prannath Temple is the most important temple of the pranamies and reminds one of the Taj Mahal. The Padmavati Devi Temple is another temple of immense religious and historical importance. It is believed that Goddess Padmavati protects the prosperity and happiness of Panna. The Baldeoji Temple is constructed in Paladian style and is supposedly a scaled down replica of the St. Paul’s cathedral in London. It is the finest building in the area and represents the best of Panna architectural heritage. The Jugal Kishoreji Temple is built in the Bundela style and is another of the important Hindu temples in the area. There are a number of other temples in Panna with exquisite architecture and religious importance.
A visit to Panna will definitely leave you with awesome memories. The nearest airport is at Khajuraho at a distance of 45 Km and the nearest railway stations are at Khajuraho and Satna (70km). Panna is well connected with most major cities in the state by well-maintained road networks.
Featured Photo by hartjeff12