It is also termed as Kanger Valley National Park. It was declared a National Park in 1982 by the Government of India. Among the various Protected Areas in the country, the Kanger Valley National Park near Jagdalpur, in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is one of the most beautiful and densest National Park, well known for its Biodiversity with picturesque landscape, magnificent waterfalls, very famous subterranean geomorphologic limestone caves, home for the bird-Bastar Hill myna, the state bird of Chhattisgarh.
Located amidst the 34 km long and scenic Kanger Valley, a Biosphere Reserve, Kanger Valley National Park is one of the most beautiful and picturesque national parks of India. Spread over an area of approximately 200 km2 consisting mainly of hilly terrain, the Park derives its name from the Kanger River, which flows throughout its length. The Kanger Valley National Park is noted for its highly heterogeneous land formations ranging from low flat and gentle areas to steep slopes, plateaus, valleys and stream courses. The vast undulating terrain of the Kanger Valley National Park harbours diverse habitats which offer an ideal site for diverse kinds of flora and fauna, thus making it a hotspot of Biodiversity in the Central India.
The Park also has a sizable tribal population and is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, researchers, anthropologists and for anyone who wants to discover the very best of Chhattisgarh wildlife and unique tribes of the region.
The flora in the park consists chiefly of mixed moist deciduous type of forests with predominance of Sal, Teak and Bamboo trees. In fact, the Kanger Valley is the only region in the Peninsular India where one of the last pockets of virgin and untouched forests still left. According to the survey done by the Botanical Survey of India and other Research Organizations, the National park has 553 floral species out of which 12 species are new to Chhattisgarh, 43 species are reported rare.
Floral diversity includes insitu gene bank of medicinal plants, grasses, climbers, wild sugarcane, canes, ferns, epiphytes, Sal, teak, bamboo and their rich associates.
Major Wildlife of the Kanger Valley National Park are the Tigers, Leopards, Mouse Deer, Wild Cat, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Jackals, Langurs, Rhesus Macaque, Sloth Bear, Flying Squirrel, Wild Boar, Striped Hyena, Rabbits, Pythons, Cobra, Crocodiles, Monitor Lizards and Snakes to name a few. The avian fauna at the Park includes Hill Myna, Spotted Owlet, Red Jungle Fowls, Racket-tailed Drongos, Peacocks, Parrots, Steppe Eagles, Red Spur Fall, Phakta, Bhura Teeter, Tree Pie and Heron among many others.
A few tributaries form marshy land in early dry season due to natural seepage. Ekta Jhodi, Kyam nallah, Karanji Jhodi, Rajamunda, Punji Jhodi, Komkel Jhodi forms good marshy area which are good habitat of wild boar and sloth bear. Chital & barking dear, Panther are mainly found in this marshy area. Kariya Ama nallah is perennial marshy belt and is ideal habitat of wild boar, sloth bear, chital, leopard & tiger.
Geology And Rock:
The National Park has remarkable geological diversity. The National Park has mainly Cuddapah group of rock formation and at some places vindhyan group of rock formation, shales are the common rock formation of cuddapah group, which are horizontally bedded, at many places calcareous, the other rock formation is slate.
In North Western part i.e. Tirathgarh, Kamanar, Kotamsar there is outcrop of limestone, sandstone, quartzite and laterites. In northern middle part form Nagalsar to Radhanaras at many places lime stone are well exposed and outcrop of quartzite and laterites. Limestone caves of Kotamsar, Dandak, Devgiri, and Kailash are present in this part. In the North eastern part from Pulcha to Kolab River, rock is shale and some quartzite with outcrop of granite.
In South Western part, rock is of vindhyan group mainly granite and sandstone. At few places granite and mica are also present. In Southern middle part, rock is of caddapah group of quartzite and granite. At many places mica-schist are present Shale, sandstone have also outcropped. In the South Eastern part, rock is primarily of cuddapah group of granite, shale, slate, sandstone and occasional quartzite outcrop. On slopes laterites are present. At some places vindhyan group of rock are also present.
Kanger River is among one of very few perennial rivers of Bastar and herein lies the importance of the river and the Park. Kanger River is lifeline and hills are its recharging reservoir, whole National Park is the catchment of Godavari River.
Places To Visit:
As approaches to most of the places do not have proper signages guiding movements and it being largely a virgin area, one should visit these places with assistance and under guidance of the local inhabitants. The routes prescribed for Tourism in the National Park as follows:
- Kotamsar Barrier to Kotamsar (5 km)
- Kotamsar Barrier to Kanger Dhara (7 km)
- Kotamsar Barrier to Kotamsar cave (10 km)
- Tirathgarh barrier to Tirathgarh waterfalls (7 km)
- Netanar barrier to Kailash cave (5 km)
- Nature trail from Kamanar barrier to Tirathgarh waterfalls (3.0 km)
- Nature trail from Kailash cave to Kailash zheel (1.5 km)
Tirathgarh Waterfalls can be termed as "Milky Fall" because of the white colour of the water as it descends down the rocky slope giving an impression as if milk is falling. It is located around 38 km from Jagdalpur in the renowned eco tourism site of Kanger Valley National Park. The scenic Tirathgarh Falls
is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Chhattisgarh. Water cascading from the beautiful hills surrounding the falls provides splendid views. Splashing streams of water comes down at an incredible speed from a height of more than 100 feet on the river Mugabahar which originates in a lake not very far away from this point. The area surrounding the fall features lush green forests that enhance the beauty of the falls.
Kotumsar Caves are situated at a distance of about 40 km (25 mi) from Jagdalpur. Kotumsar Caves are about 35 meters below ground level and around 1371 meters long. Kotumsar Cave is a subterranean limestone cave located near the banks of Kanger River in the western portion of National park. It was discovered by the local tribals around year 1900 and explored by a renowned Geographar Shri Sankar Tiwari in the year 1951 and it is one of the best known caves in Chhattisgarh as well as in India.
The floor of the cave consists of soil/clay, pebbles, rocks and water pools with several lateral and downward passages. Perpetual darkness and constant temperature (28°C + 1°C) prevails inside the cave. For entry into the cave, Cement concrete steps, Steel steps and railings are available near the entrance side.
Kailash Caves are located in the Kanger Valley National Park area near Mikulwada. The caves are located around 40 km from Jagdalpur. Discovered recently in 1993, the caves are around 250 meters long and are situated at an altitude of 40 meters above the ground level. It features stalactite and stalagmite formations that offer stunning sight. Access to the cave is through a narrow opening and at the end of the cave is a huge stalagmite formation in the shape of Shivlinga. The hollow walls of the cave, when struck by hand, make incredible musical sounds.
It is located at a distance of 65 km from Jagdalpur. Kanger river is full of deep gorges so darha (water pools) maintain very hygienic quality of water. Crocodiles are mainly found in these darhas. One of the famous ones is Bhainsa Darha. It is surrounded by mountains with thick greenery from all sides. The watch tower situated at Bhainsa Darha gives an awesome view of lake. Bhainsa Darha lake has crocodiles and tortoises.
Kanger Dhara is located inside the Kanger Valley National Park, 36 km from Jagdalpur. For reaching Kanger Dhara, one should get the applicable permission and tickets from the District Forest Office located at the entry to the park. It is a very good picnic spot where individuals and families alike can spend time and have lot of fun. Nice small cascading falls, give one enough space to take a bath and enjoy. The location also present beautiful scene of Kanger River going through the forest.
Similar to Kutumsar Cave, one can see the stalactites and stalagmites in fantastic formations.A very beautiful cave.
Best Season To Visit:
The best season to visit the Kanger Valley is November - June.
How To Reach The Park:
Kanger Valley is well approachable from Jagdalpur in the Chhattisgarh state of India as can be seen on the road network map of the area. Entry into the National Park is permitted form Netanar and Kotamsar barriers. Netanar barrier is situated at 33 km from Jagdalpur on the road passing through village Sargipal, Bodal, Murma, and Netanar. The Park starts after 3 km from the Netanar barrier. Main entry of the Park is from Kotamsar barrier situated at 27 km from Jagdalpur on the Jagdalpur-Darbha road i.e. NH 221 (connecting Jagdalpur to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh). Inside the Park there is good network of Murram and kutcha roads.
(330 km) is the nearest airport and Jagdalpur (27 km) is the nearest railhead and bus stand from the Kanger Valley National Park. Rest houses, Hotels, lodges, Resorts of good quality are available for lodging at Jagdalpur. Inside the Park Forest Rest House at Kotamsar and Tirathgarh is available; Nearest Petrol Pump is at Jagdalpur. Forest wireless system is at Tirathgarh & Netanar.