Contrary to its name, a tiger show is not where the tiger jumps through fireballs or stands on chairs. However, it is also no less than spotting a tiger on your own. The mahouts along with forest guides trail the tigers on elephant back till they settle at one place somewhere in the jungle. Four to five elephants surround the tiger(s) or tigress with her cubs. Tourists take their allotted number and have a close look at the ‘royalty’ on the elephant’s back. Tigers? They don’t seem to mind. During winters, Tigers are hassled by the mist and dew and therefore they prefer to walk on the open pathways rather than settling into the bushes and trees. During the summer season, tigers are spotted near the water bodies, especially in the evening.
Kanha is located in the Maikal range, the eastern sector of Satpura hills, a part of central Indian highlands. Kanha Tiger Reserve came into being in the year 1955 then known as Kanha National Park, It was declared a tiger reserve in the year 1974 under Project Tiger.
• The reserve is closed during monsoons, from the month of August to October as heavy rainfall forces most of the animals to go into hiding.
Kanha has approximately 22 species of mammals that include spotted deer (chital), swamp deer (Barasingha), blackbuck, sambhar, barking deer Indian daul), common langur, jackal, wild boars among others. The sightings of some species are rare such as Indian pangolin, chinkara, otters, leopard, wild dog, Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, mouse deer, and chausingha or four-horned antelope.
Kanha is home to almost 200 varieties of wild birds like the spotted owl, jungle fowl, peacock, egret, babbler, mynah, kingfisher, grey hornbill and so on. Evenings are the best time for bird watching especially near water bodies. Do not forget to pack your binoculars.