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History of Kanha National Park


History of Kanha Here we have described history of Kanha tiger reserve in timeline format. As we all know that Kanha national park is counted among oldest tiger reserves of India so read the historical journey of Kanha forest area, various phases, turning points etc. This region was under control of Gondwana dynasty in which Gond rulers were ruling over the vast area of Central India. This forest area was part of their kingdom and here mainly tribal peoples were living like Gond, Baiga etc. Their villages are still existing in surrounding areas. During beginning of Project tiger in India, Kanha national park was among the first few national parks selected in the project for Tiger conservation in India. It is counted among most well managed and tourism friendly national parks of India. Before it was declared as national park, during British India period, two popular river valleys exists in Maikal-Satpura mountain ranges. They are known by the names of Halon River Valley and Banjar River Valley. These river valleys are very popular for its dense forests and wildlife nestles in these forested areas. It was British India time when they realize the importance of these river valley forested areas and started work for its conservation. These river valleys are the foundation of Kanha conservation history. As per below given Kanha timeline table, we can understand that first they were declared wildlife sanctuaries and then promoted to Kanha National Park and then Kanha Tiger Reserve came into existence. While reading about Kanha history, we should must read about this journey.


Year Description
11th - 18th Century This forest area was part of Gondwana Kingdom. They had control over the majority of Central India region.
18th Century till 1947 This region was under British India rule.
1862 In this year Wasteland Rule was introduced in they department outlined the Forest Management policy by restricting the cutting of few tree species like Bija, Shisham, Sal, Saja etc.
1876 In this year, legendary Dr. D. Brandis, the then Inspector General of Forests, visited the Banjar river valley forest area with intention to declare reserved forest area to protect forest and its wildlife.
1879 This forest area was first declared as a reserve forest in year 1879. This was the beginning of its history.
1935 In year 1935, British India government declared it as Banjar Valley Sanctuary. Kanha National Park was originally upgradation of Banjar valley sanctuary. With this declaration, here shooting of wild animals for game is prohibited with exceptions of Wild Boar and Birds. This restriction was applicable in declared sanctuary area which was not so vast thus a large forest area was open for any kind of shooting.
1935 In this year Supkhar shooting block of Halon river valley forest area was declared as an absolute sanctuary. This resulted in population growth of all kind of wild animals, including carnivores. This resulted in more man-animal conflicts as many villages were located in nearby areas. This forest area is still one of the best forest part of tiger reserve.
1941 The status of Banjar valley Sanctuary was reduced to that of a game sanctuary in view of the virtual impossibility of regeneration of Sal.
1945 In this year, permission was issued to kill 250 Chitals from Shravan Tal meadow area of sanctuary.
1947-51 In this period, Maharaj Kumar of Vijayanagaram shot 30 tigers in Kanha forest area. Shooting animal by gun, was matter of pride, adventure & bravery for them. These shooting was carried out in those areas which are not falling under wildlife sanctuary. Here it is important to note that during that period, sanctuary area was very small thus large area was available for animal shooting.
1955 Notification for creation of Kanha National Park was made on 01/June/1955. At that time its area was 252 sq.km.
1960 Kanha National Park have a history of phased relocation of villages outside the core zone of national park. Since 1960, as many as   27 villages have been relocated successfully.
1964 With inclusion of new adjoining areas, Kanha national park area was increased to 318 sq.kms.
1970 At the time of creation of Kanha National Park, Mukki valley was not the part of Kanha. Later on different phases, boundary of Kanha National Park was extended and Mukki valley was included in 1970.
1970 Nationwide ban was imposed on killing of Tigers. Poaching was declared illegal activity in Kanha also.
1970 Kanha national park area was increased to 446 sq.kms by this year.
1973 Project tiger was launched with inclusion of first 9 national parks, including Kanha national park. Other national parks were Manas, Melghat, Sunderbans, Ranthambore, Palamu, Simlipal, Corbett, Bandipur.
1974 Hallon Valley was merged in Kanha National Park area and thus its total area increased.
1976 By this year, Kanha national park area was increased to 940 sq.kms.
1983 Phen Wildlife Sanctuary was became part of Kanha National Park in 1983.It was a part of Motinala range, under the erstwhile South Mandla Territorial division (East Mandla Division). Realizing the wildlife potential of this area, it was declared wildlife Sanctuary in 1983 and was placed under unified control of Kanha Tiger Reserve.
1995 Buffer zone of Kanha National Park was constituted in 1995. It is a separate division under the unified control of Kanha National Park Management.
2000 Kanha national park was awarded for best tourism friendly national park of India. Award declaration came from Department of Tourism, Government of India.
2008 Till year 2008, private vehicles were also allowed for jungle safari drives but since year 2008, only registered safari vehicles were allowed for safari drives.
2009 Online safari booking system was introduced. It allowed tourists to do advance online booking of safari permits, from their location. In this year 150 vehicles were allowed in each safari round.
2009 Death of Manglu Baiga in Kanha national park. He was popular figure of forest department, since project tiger and bravely participated in many animal rescue missions, excellent tracker.
2010 Kanha National Park got total 03 safari zones i.e Kanha Zone, Mukki Zone and Sarhi Zone. Kisli zone was not created till now and this forest was part of Kanha zone only.
2011 Kanha national park, remains close for afternoon safari, on every Wednesday. This decision was implemented from 01/Apr/2011. Before this day, it remains open in all days for both, morning & afternoon safaris.
2012 Popular Elephant ride option, called "Tiger Show" was closed for tourists, as per directives for NTCA.
2015 Kisli zone was created as 4th core zone. It was actually carved out from Kanha zone forest area.
2017 Buffer zones safari booking was offered online. Till this time, tourists are mostly unaware of buffer zones option.
2019 Due to dealy in monsoon, rainfall continues till Oct. first week, affecting jungle routes routine maintenance work. Thus opening of Kanha National Park was delayed till 16/Oct/2019. Booked safari permits of initial days (1-15 Oct 2019), were cancelled with full refund.
2020 It was the period of covid-19 pandemic. Kanha national park was closed for tourism for some months. During this period, permit fee were refunded to tourists.
2021 It was the year (Oct 2021) when Kanha national park resumed tourism activity, after covid-19 pandemic. Week-end tourism increased. Rules made to increase the permit fee of foreigner tourists by 100% means just double of domestic tourists. In addition to this, weekend (Sat-Sun) safari permit rates were increased for both domestic & foreigner tourists.

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