Madhya Pradesh is blessed with a variety of landscapes providing diverse habitats for flora and fauna to thrive. These natural marvels also serve as home to some spectacular wildlife sanctuaries where beautiful wildlife find refuge from harm and human exploitation. For those looking to get up close and personal with nature, one such destination is a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. From untouched dense teak forests that house rich biodiversity, numerous water bodies that boast their own set of creatures, and open meadows frequented by herds of deer – everywhere you go in these amazing woodlands there’s something unique waiting to be seen.
Best Wildlife Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh:
Let’s explore some popular wildlife conservation in Madhya Pradesh that are worth visiting:
1. Karera Wildlife Sanctuary:
Karera Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for bird lovers, as it hosts over 245 species of birds. The sanctuary is home not only to Indian bustards but also to a wide variety of other animal habitats, including teals, herons, Indian robins, pintails, and gadwalls. It also acts as a temporary refuge for migratory birds from colder regions who fly in during winter months. The Dihaila Jheel area within the sanctuary becomes filled with these birds every year – which makes it a wonderful part of wildlife tourism in Madhya Pradesh.
Best Time to Visit Karera Bird Sanctuary: November to March
Why Karera Bird Sanctuary is Famous: It is a wonderful spot for bird watching.
2. Ghatigaon Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Ghatigaon Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh, is one of the best wildlife parks in Madhya Pradesh. Established back in 1981, it spreads across a vast area of 511 sq. km and hosts a variety of natural habitats. Apart from the Great Indian Bustard, numerous rare birds like herons, egrets, and spoonbills can be seen here. The wildlife sanctuary also houses other creatures like blackbucks, chitals, monkeys, wolves, blue bulls, wild boars and foxes, and hyenas; making it a perfect destination for animal admirers as well.
Best Time to Visit Ghatigaon Wildlife Sanctuary: November
Why Ghatigaon Wildlife Sanctuary is Famous: The Great Indian Bustard and many other rare birds can be found here.
3. Pench Wildlife Sanctuary:
Pench National Park, named after the gorgeous River Pence that flows through it, is one of the best places for witnessing wildlife in Madhya Pradesh. Its legacy has been immortalized in Rudyard Kipling’s immensely famous ‘The Jungle Book’ story, published in 1894. This delightful tale won global recognition and soon the park became popular among tourists worldwide. A plethora of endangered species reside here including Bengal tigers, jackals, peafowls, wild dogs, sloth bears, leopards, foxes, hyenas, monkeys, and more. There are also antelopes such as gaur and barking deer that thrive at Pench making it an enthralling destination to explore and witness a diverse spectrum of wildlife and biodiversity.
Best Time to Visit Pench National Park: October to February
Why Pench National Park is famous: This wildlife park is famous for its Bengal tigers.
4. Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary:
Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary, situated on the northern boundary of Mandsaur and Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh, is a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many different trees, including Khair (Acacia catechu), Salai, Kardhai, Dhawda, Tendu, and Palash are found here, creating a quaint yet lively atmosphere throughout. Visitors can also observe indigenous animals such as chinkara or Indian gazelle, Nilgai, sambar, leopards, langurs, and Indian wild dogs amongst many more.
Best Time to Visit Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary: Winter season
Why Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary is famous: This sanctuary has a perfect landscape for Cheetahs.
5. Ken Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Ken Gharial Sanctuary in the Panna and Chhatarpur Districts of Madhya Pradesh is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Established in 1985, this sanctuary was founded with the purpose of protecting the rare species of fish-eating gharial – a 6-meter-long species of crocodile. The sanctuary is home to various wildlife species like Sambar Deer, Blue Bull (also known as Nilgai), Peafowl, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, etc. Moreover, it boasts a plethora of regional flora such as Boswellia Serrata, Pterocarpus Marsupium, Teak, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Sal, Saja, Haldina Cordifolia Aonla Amaltas, and other local plant life.
Best Time to Visit Ken Gharial Sanctuary: Between October and February
Why Ken Gharial Sanctuary is famous: A rare species of a crocodile named Gharial is found here.
6. Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary:
Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is an incredible nature reserve hidden away in the Vindhyachal Mountain Ranges between Raisen and Sehore Districts of Madhya Pradesh. It offers sanctuary to both large mammalian carnivores including Tigers and Leopards, along with wild dogs, hyenas, and foxes, as well as various herbivores like spotted deer, blue bulls, sambhars, barking deer, chinkaras, and blackbucks. Primate species such as monkeys roam freely through the sanctuary too. Fearsome crocodiles have found a good home in Ratapani reservoir, a significant water body within this sanctuary.
Best Time to Visit Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary: October to March
Why Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: The place is rich in numerous flora, fauna, birds, and mammals. You can enjoy both jungle safari and boating in the lake inside the sanctuary.
7. Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary in the eastern region of Madhya Pradesh is a prime tiger reserve and home to wildlife – from birds to mammals. Its name, “Bagdara”, is a combination of two words – “Bagh” which means Tiger, and “Dara” which means Home, aptly describing its inhabitants. For those searching for one of the best forest reserves in Madhya Pradesh and appreciating the majesty of tigers – Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect destination.
Best Time to Visit Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary: November to June
Why Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: Rock painting of ‘Goura Hillock’.
8. Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary:
Kuno-Palpur National Park is a picturesque Wildlife Sanctuary. Named after the Kuno River, this protected area hosts some of nature’s most magnificent creatures – like the Indian leopard, Southeast African cheetah, Bengal monitor, and Indian softshell turtle. Bird enthusiasts will be pleased as there are many species of birds located here as well.
Recently, The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi welcomed a fresh group of 12 cheetahs from South Africa to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary on February 19, 2023.
Best Time to Visit Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary: October to March
Why Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: This place is known as home to Cheetahs in India.
9. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary:
Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary is an awe-inspiring place nestled in the magnificent upper Vindhyan range. This enchanting sanctuary acts as a corridor for some of the most renowned wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in India – Panna Tiger Reserve, Satpura Tiger Reserve, Rani Durgawati Wildlife Sanctuary, and Bandhavgarh National Park to name just a few. With its diverse terrain and various endemic flora and fauna, the sanctuary offers visitors a unique insight into nature.
Best Time to Visit Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary: November to March
Why Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: Here one can find rich biodiversity, comprising a wide variety of flora and fauna.
10. Bori Wildlife Sanctuary:
Bori Wildlife Sanctuary is one of India’s oldest wildlife sanctuaries and resides near River Tawa in Madhya Pradesh. The sanctuary is part of an expansive Satpura Tiger Reserve, comprising 2,200 square kilometers of mixed deciduous forests – making it the largest one so far in Madhya Pradesh. This serene environment serves as a perfect habitat for large mammals such as sambar, gaur, nilgai, and chital, along with their predators like tigers, leopards, and wild dogs.
Best Time to Visit Bori Wildlife Sanctuary: December to June
Why Bori Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: This place gives protection to some of the rarest flora and fauna.
11. Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, is an awe-inspiring natural marvel. Established in 1985 and part of the majestic Bandhavgarh National Park, it covers an area of 249 square kilometers. Rich in biodiversity and boasting various popular species like tigers, bears, wolves, elephants, and primates, this sanctuary is certainly worth visiting.
Best Time to Visit Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary: October to June
Why Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: The place is famous for its scenic forest. It is also an ideal place to spot tigers.
12. Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary:
Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary spreads out over a wide area of 132 square kilometers and is connected to Ratapani Tiger Reserve, ensuring connectivity between the two reserves. The dry deciduous forest consists of teak, tendu, and bamboo trees. It has a presence of tigers that migrated from Ratapani and colonized the sanctuary. Leopards also call this place home in significant numbers while other carnivores such as jungle cats, jackals, and striped hyenas add to the incredible living conditions here. Among other herbivore species, you can find nilgai, blackbuck, chinkara, and chital (spotted deer). If you’re lucky enough then you can even spot sambar, wild boar, barking deer, or four-horned antelope grazing alongside the palm civet cats.
Best Time to Visit Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary: April to June
Why Kheoni Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: The place is found for its ecological balance of the flora and fauna found here.
13. Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary:
Established in 1994, Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary spans an area of 46 sq. km and boasts its own river, Betwa River, as a main source of water for the residents of the sanctuary. It is located at a distance of 2 km from Chhatris and 1 km from Orchha Fort complex. A wide range of exotic animals seeks refuge here, from deers and monkeys to sloth bears and blue bulls. Here you can also find over 200 species of birds, such as kingfishers, woodpeckers, and owls.
Best Time to Visit Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary: November to June
Why Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: This sanctuary is famous for its rich wildlife.
14. Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve:
Nestled in the Satpura Hill Range, Madhya Pradesh is home to one of India’s most diverse and complex biospheres – the Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Established in 1999 by the Government of India for the protection, preservation, and conservation of all wildlife within its boundaries, this sanctuary spans 4,926 square kilometers. Here you can find a wide array of species ranging from panthers and tigers to flying squirrels, rhesus macaques, crocodiles, wild boars, barking deer, otters, and giant squirrels. There are also lizards, skinks, geckos, and snakes.
Best Time to Visit Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve: October to March
Why Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve is famous: The place is famous for its biodiversity-rich regions.
15. Bandhavgarh National Park:
Bandhavgarh National Park is situated in the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh. Home to a rich and diverse animal population, including the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger, it boasts of an exquisite 105 square kilometer core area, as well as a 400 square kilometer buffer area. Filled with steep ridges, undulating forests, and vast open meadows, this national park offers natural beauty that is hard to resist.
Best Time to Visit Bandhavgarh National Park: October to March
Why Bandhavgarh National Park is famous: The place is famous for its high density of Royal Bengal Tigers.
16. Kanha National Park:
Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh is enriched with panoramic landscapes, lush green valleys, and diverse animal species. It houses some of the most majestic creatures roaming freely among dense jungles and grassy meadows, including tigers, barking deer, and nilgai antelopes. You can also find numerous species of birds, reptiles, butterflies, and other insects which contribute to its unique atmosphere.
Best Time to Visit Madhya Pradesh Kanha National Park: October to March
Why Kanha National Park is famous: This is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh.
17. Panna National Park:
Nestled in the districts of Panna and Chhatarpur of Madhya Pradesh, Panna National Park is an ecotourism paradise. You can find here sloth bears, pangolins, Indian wolves, four-horned antelopes, leopards, rusty spotted cats, gharials, chousinghas, Indian foxes, and porcupines. With such unique flora and fauna, anyone would feel complete rejuvenation after visiting the park.
Best Time to Visit Panna National Park: October to March
Why Panna National Park is famous: It is famous for wild cats and tigers.
18. Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Bari Tehsil of Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh. With an area of 288 square kilometers, the sanctuary provides a unique home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Sambhar, Chital, and Wild Boar. Apart from this remarkable wildlife, there are several historical monuments such as Choukigarh Fort, Bhandariya Temple, and the archaeological caves of Jamgarh within its boundaries. Tourists also have the opportunity to witness a fair every year on Shivaratri near Bhandariya Shiva Temple.
Best Time to Visit Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary: Winter season
Why Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary is famous: It is famous for many animal species like Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, and more.
19. National Chambal Sanctuary:
If the thought of venturing into a world teeming with exotic creatures and birds sounds appealing to you, then the National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary by Palighat Village of Sawai Madhopur might just be what you’re looking for. Located adjacent to the banks of the Chambal River, this famous sanctuary is certainly worth visiting as it offers a unique opportunity to explore its inhabitants – from crocodiles and gharials to diverse birdlife – through boat rides along the river.
Best Time to Visit National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary: October to March
Why National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary is famous: This is famous for many inhabitants, like crocodiles, Ghariyals, turtles, and dolphins.
20. Madhav National Park:
Madhav National Park covers 354 square kilometers and is ideal for environment lovers. It captivates visitors with its wildlife, castles, lakes, and woodlands. This national park is home to crocodiles, tigers, Nilgai, sloth bears, and sambars, among other animals. Tourists can engage in activities such as discovering the forest’s flora and fauna, going on a jungle safari, boating on the lake, and seeing various birds.
Best Time to Visit Madhav National Park: October to March
Why Madhav National Park is famous: It was a popular hunting place for both the Gwalior royal family and the British.
21. Van Vihar National Park:
Van Vihar National Park is a well-known National Park and Zoo in Bhopal, the city of lakes and the state capital of Madhya Pradesh. It is famous for its gorgeous setting, which includes the upper lake and a serene forest covered with diverse flora and fauna.
Best Time to Visit Van Vihar National Park: July and September
Madhya Pradesh is home to some of the most stunning wildlife sanctuaries across India. Not only do these parks offer visitors an unforgettable experience, but they also play an instrumental role in helping to conserve natural wonders and protect endangered species from becoming extinct. By visiting any of these amazing parks, you can be sure to have a wonderful time exploring nature and witnessing its true beauty.
FAQs on Wildlife Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh:
Yes, Kuno National Park is known for its Cheetah population. There are about 35-40 cheetahs living here in their natural habitat along with other mammals making Kuno National Park one of the best sites to witness majestic wild animals.
Some popular wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh include Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Pench National Park, Satpura National Park, and Panna National Park.
Yes, there are certain rules and regulations that visitors must follow while visiting wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh, such as not disturbing the wildlife or their habitats, not littering, and not carrying any weapons.
National Chambal Sanctuary is the fifth largest Ramsar site in India and is famous for conserving the endangered Gangetic river Dolphin. It also provides shelter to around 300 species of migratory birds and rare species like gharials, turtles, and smooth-coated otters. Moreover, it is home to several endangered mammals such as the red fox, wolf, blackbuck, and chinkara. The sanctuary has been declared an Ecologically Sensitive Area by the Government of India to protect its rich biodiversity.
Yes, it is advisable to book a safari in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Safari bookings can be made online or through authorized agents.
Yes, it is generally safe to visit a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, as long as visitors follow the rules and regulations and take necessary precautions.