The Panna National Park is located in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur and Panna districts. It is one of Madhya Pradesh's best tiger reserves and is known for its tigers. It is located in the Vindhyan mountain range in Madhya Pradesh's northern region. Extensive plateaus and gorges characterise the landscape. This reserve is home to North Madhya Pradesh's last remaining tiger habitat. There are also two thousand-year-old rock paintings scattered throughout the reserve. Poaching is a major concern, as the park lost nearly all of its tigers to the threat in 2009. In 2009, WWF-India assisted the state government of Madhya Pradesh and the forest department in the translocation of two female tigers to the tiger reserve.
The River Ken runs through the reserve, flowing from south to north. These forests, along with the Ken Gharial Sanctuary, make up a significant portion of the river's catchment area. This river is one of Madhya Pradesh's sixteen perennial rivers. It is the reserve's lifeblood and the least polluted of the Yamuna's tributaries. The Ken's meandering path takes you through some spectacular scenery. Panna Reserve, which covers 542.67 square kilometres and is located alongside the Ken River in Madhya Pradesh, India's central state, is 57 kilometres from Khajuraho, a world heritage site.
In 1981, Panna National Park was established. Parts of the protected forests that make up the park were once hunting preserves for the former princely states of Panna, Chhatrpur, and Bijawar. This park was designated as India's 22nd tiger reserve in 1994. Panna also included a significant portion of the former Gangau Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established in 1975.
The real storey begins in the year 2008, when the Panna Tiger Reserve lost all of its tigers to poaching, leaving only 2-4 tigers. Gradually, the staff of the Panna jungle authority lost morale, and in the following year, Mr. R. Shreenivasa Murthy, IFS, as field director of the Panna Tiger Reserve, began the task of reintroducing tigers to the park. Murthy introduced two tigers to Panna, one from Bandhavgarh and the other from the Panna Tiger Reserve, in collaboration with the WWF and PATA.
Mr. Murthy and his team successfully translocated one male from Pench and a tigress from Kanha as part of this project, which included proper monitoring and protection. They were able to breed successfully and bring four litters to them. Since then, officials have been concentrating on the reproduction of more and more cubs in the area in order to maintain previous tiger counts in Panna.
WILDLIFE IN PANNA
The Vindhyan ranges, which run from north to south, connect the eastern and western populations of wild animals, making this Protected Area extremely important.
Vultures, cheetals, chinkaras, sambhar, and sloth bears are among the many species of flora and fauna that call the national park home. The king of the jungles, the royal tigers (Panthera tigris), as well as leopards (Panthera pardus), wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), wolves (Canis lupus), hyaenas (Hyaena hyaena), caracals (Felus caracal), and other smaller cats, call Panna home.
The wooded areas are home to sambar, India's largest deer, as well as chital and chowsingha. Nilgai and chinkara can be found in most open grasslands areas, especially on the outskirts.
Panna is home to 200 different bird species, including migratory birds. For the most chirping and wildering effects, look for species like the white necked stork, bareheaded goose, honey Buuzzard, King vulture, Blossom headed parakeet, Paradise flycatcher, and Slaty headed Scimitar babbler in Panna.
Panna is also home to a variety of snakes, including pythons and other reptiles.
FLORA IN PANNA TIGER RESERVE
The climate in the Panna Tiger Reserve is dry and hot. Dry Teak and dry mixed forest thrive in this climate, which is aided by shallow Vindhyan soils. Miscellaneous dry deciduous forest interspersed with grassland areas is the dominant vegetation type. Open grasslands, open woodlands, and riverine with tall grasses, as well as thorny woodlands, are other major forest types.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Raneh Falls, which emerges from the confluence of the Ken and Khuddar rivers, is one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Panna Reserve area. This waterfall is named after King Rane Pratap, who was the region's former ruler. Raneh Falls creates a 30-meter-deep, 5-kilometer-long canyon that leads to the Ken Gharial Sanctuary. The falls' surroundings are adorned with crystalline granite in a variety of colours ranging from pink to red to grey.
Ken Gharial Sanctuary: One of the most well-known sanctuaries in the Panna outskirts, established with the goal of conserving the endangered Indian Gharial species. In Panna, Chattrapur district, the Ken Gharial Sanctuary is being built at the confluence of the Khuddar and Ken rivers. The sanctuary was established in 1985 and covers a total area of 13.5 square kilometres.
The sanctuary is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset and serves as a natural habitat for a variety of other reptile species, including a 6 m long fish-eating gharial. Surrounded by dense forests, the sanctuary is also home to wild boar, chinkara, blue bull, peacock, and chitals, as well as a 45-kilometer river stretch with sand banks.
Mahamati Prannathji Temple: During Sharada Purnima, Mahamati Prannathji Temple is a popular pilgrimage destination for Pranamis. According to legend, Mahamati Prannathji lived at this location for 11 years before taking samadhi inside one of the temple's domes. The temple was built in 1692, and its domes and lotus formations combine Muslim and Hindu architectural styles. Shri Gummatji, Shri Bangalaji, Shri Sadguru Mandir, Shri Baijurajji Mandir, Shri Chopada Mandir, and Shri Khijada Mandir are the six parts of the temple.
Shri Gummatji, a circular building with nine marble domes, is the main attraction at this pilgrimage site. The eight directions are represented by the eight domes, and the central dome houses a divine golden Kalasha. Aside from that, the Kaman Darwaza is a well-known temple gate made of silver metal.
EFFECT OF KEN BETWA RIVER LINKING PROJECT
The Indian government, in collaboration with the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is planning to connect the Ken and Betwa rivers. The Daudhan Dam, which is 283 metres long, is part of this project. The project's goal is to transfer excess water from the Ken basin to the Betwa basin, providing water to Bundelkhand's drought-prone region.
This project will result in the flooding of 400 hectares of the 4300-hectare Panna Tiger Reserve. Environmentalists are concerned that this will have a negative impact on the region's tiger population.