The Wild Nation is an attempt to throw light on the colossal beauty of India's wilderness. Every month, we curate photographs from our community, of a specific region, showcasing its unique landscape, flora and fauna.

Located in India's heartland is a national park that provides a safe haven for about 22 mammal species and more than 300 birds. Welcome to Kanha National Park. In this chapter of The Wild Nation, we drive through the dense forests of Kanha and unravel its inhabitants. Spread over 1945 (including the buffer and core area), Kanha is divided into two protected sites, namely Hallon and Banjar. The national park is one of India's tiger reserves and has more than 150 tigers in the region. But beyond the felid, Kanha is known for reviving the Barasingha or Swamp Deer population of India.

With a mere 66 Barasinghas in 1970, Kanha adopted measures to improve the numbers of this endangered species. The Banjar Valley was designated as a sanctuary in 1933, and hunting was banned in 1954. Habitat improvement also aided in increasing the number of Barasinghas to about 800 to date. Kanha has initiated several other conservation programs, including the Crocodile Breeding Project in 1975 and Project Elephant in 1991.

From Golden Jackals to Green Bee-eaters, our community of photographers have showcased Kanha's world in all its glory. Join us as we travel through Madhya Pradesh's largest national park and explore its wonders. 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the #KanhaInFocus chapter of #TheWildNation. We will be travelling to many more interesting locations along with our photographers. Make sure to keep your eyes open for our monthly prompts. 

Mainak Ray

Mainak ray - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Kanha is home to three types of forest regions; the sal forests, tropical moist and tropical dry deciduous forests, and open grasslands. In addition to providing an ideal habitat, Kanha's landscape also offers a dense prey base for its tigers. Sambar Deer form an important part of this base. Hyper carnivores like Dholes also prey on these mammals, maintaining a healthy predator-prey balance in the ecosystem.

Ruturaj Thavare

Ruturaj thavare - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Temperatures in Kanha drop all the way to 3°C during the winter. Barasinghas adapt to the plummeting temperatures by developing a thick coat, especially around their necks. Coat colour varies from reddish to yellow with spots during the summer, and brown with minimal spots during the winter. 

Neelu Pilania

Neelu pilania jackals - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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The Indian Jackal is a subspecies of the Golden Jackal, distinguished by its black and white fur and black tail. This subspecies is found in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Antarjit Singh

Antarjit singh - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Tiger cubs are born blind and are dependent on their mother for the first few months. They begin hunting lessons at eight weeks and venture out on their own only once they are two years old.

Abhijit Sinha | Sushant Jadhav

Abhijit sinha - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocusSushant jadhav                      x - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Left: Crested Hawk-Eagles can be identified by their streaked white and brown body, broad wings and prominent crest. These raptors inhabit broad-leaf deciduous forests and open well-wooded regions. Right: Frequently found in woodlands and wooded gardens, the Indian Scops Owl is a nocturnal species. They build nests in tree holes and often hide in them or in tree branches. Owing to their bark-like plumage, they are extremely difficult to spot.

Hiren Khatri

Hiren khatri sfm - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Green Bee-eaters puff up their feathers during winter to protect themselves from the cold. They trap a large amount of air in their body by doing so, which in turn insulates them and does not allow the heat from their bodies to escape.

Rupesh Kukade

Rupesh kukade                      x - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Dholes are not solitary animals, and they live in social units called packs. The packs have one alpha male and female that mate and reproduce while the other members aid the alpha couple in raising the young ones and hunting.

Ashwin Kumar

Ashwin kumar                      x - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Golden Jackals are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats like deserts, deciduous forests and grasslands. Their numbers vary depending on the availability of food and cover in the region.

Shubhankar Dey

Shubhankar dey                      x - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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During the rutting or breeding phase, the Barasingha decorate their antlers with grass and engage in threat displays with other competing males.

Arpit Parekh

Arpit parekh barasingha - Snapshots From Kanha | Nature inFocus
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Photographers prefer to visit Kanha during the winters. As the vegetation dries up, Kanha's grasslands offer spectacular views of its residents. Additionally, the park welcomes several migratory birds during this time.