Kanger Valley National Park in Jagdalpur is a captivating forest dominated by rich flora and fauna. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Chhattisgarh alluring wild life lovers from all across India and abroad. The park presents a plethora of natural beauty with dense trees, mysterious caves, the meandering waterfalls, and the deep gorges. Nature blooms with the varied species of animals and birds. Trekkers, bird watchers, and adventure enthusiasts are sure to witness a stunning experience inside the park.
The park, located on the banks of the river Kholaba, is also known as Kanger Ghati National Park. Spread across an area of 200 sq km, it was declared a national park in 1982. It hosts the limestone caves of Kotumsar, Kailash and Dandak. The caves act as a home for several the wild animals residing inside the park. The crocodile sandy beach of Bhainsandhara and the Kanger Dhara park, present in the park, serve as excellent picnic spots. You can also visit the beautiful Tirathgarh waterfalls inside the park.
Innumerable varieties of wild trees and plants adorn the forest. You can mostly find deciduous trees like teak, sal, saugaun, mahua, and bamboo. Several surveys have revealed that the forest hosts about 553 floral species. Among them, 43 species have been designated as rare ones and 12 are not found in any other location in Chhattisgarh. There are climbers and creepers trailing along the thick trunks of the dense forest trees. Medicinal plants are found in abundance in the park. Different species of ferns are also observed in the forest.
Wild life is at its best in the picturesque Kanger Valley national park. The park is inhabited by some common as well as rare species of animals and birds. The famous among them being the Bastar Hill myena. The bird is famous for imitating a human voice. Several other migratory and resident birds are found in the park. The owl, drongo, peacock, fowl, eagle, parrot, the water birds like heron, crane, etc. can be found in almost all the corners of the forest. The chirping sound of the birds echoing through the forest entertains the tourists. The park is said to host about 144 species of birds.
Due to the marshy lands, the sloth and the wild bear are found in abundance since they survive well in this habitat. Tiger, leopard, jackal, fox, deer, langur, chital are some of the most common animals found inside the forest. It is amazing to watch the animals within their natural habitat. You can also find 56 different species of fish in the water pools inside the park and the caves. Reptiles and amphibians are too available in few numbers.
The stalactites and stalagmites of the caves are formed of limestone deposits whereas the hills and the slopy areas are part of the Cuddapah group pf rocks. The soil is brownish in colour and is residual. The topology of the park is a unique combination of gorges, valleys, plateaus, hilly areas, and plains.
How to reach the Kanger Valley National Park?
The nearest airport is Raipur. You also travel to Jagdalpur from the airport in Vishakhapatnam. There are cabs and buses available from Raipur to Jagdalpur.
The nearest railway station is Jagdalpur. Trains operate between Jagdalpur and various cities of Chhattisgarh and Vishakhapatnam.
Private and public buses operate between various nearby cities and Jagdalpur. There are buses available from Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, and Vijayawada.
Best time to visit the park
The best time to visit the park is in the winter and the summer. The months from November till June are preferred by the tourists. In winters especially the weather is pleasant and cool. Monsoons should be avoided since the soil becomes slippery. Water seeps inside the caves which are not safe for exploration.
Tourists can avail the gypsy safari to travel inside the park and experience the wild life and the lush greenery of the forest. Travelling within the looming majestic trees creates a feeling of excitement and adventure. One can feel the adrenaline rush inside the heart while venturing into the deep wildness of the forest. The spectacular landscape of the park with the gushing sound of the waterfalls adds to the beauty of the forest. The park is a photographer’s delight, providing ample opportunities to click the wonderful flora and fauna of the forest. On one side you can capture the astonishing natural wonders and on the other side, you can capture the wild moments of the rare and common animal and bird species. The park offers an exotic combination of nature and wild life at its best.
National parks like Kanger Valley uplifts the tourism industry of India. Several adventure lovers, nature admirers, bird enthusiasts, researchers, anthropologists visit the park every year to indulge in its enigmatic charm. It is essential to protect and preserve nature and wild life inside the park.