Kuno forest is located near Gwalior city, at north of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. Whenever we search about Kuno forest in internet, most of the information is available about probable site for Asiatic Lion relocation from Gir national park. This news is regularly coming since more than 10 years but this relocation is still awaited. Actually, Kuno forest lies in Vindhya mountain ranges, passing through Bundelkhand region of Central India. This region is known for rocky landscapes, dryness, low rainfall, hot climate and barren lands. Due to rocky region, low rainfall, human establishment was never been dense thus vast area was left for scrub forest. It is part of Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forest eco-region thus wildlife is also similar to Gir national park. This topography and climatic condition is suitable for animals like Asiatic Lions, Cheetah, Indian Gazellie etc. Earlier it was declared as Kuno wildlife sanctuary but as per notification declared on 12/Oct/2018, Kuno national park was created with an area of 748.76 sq. kms.
Kuno national park is spread over Sheopur and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh. This region was rich in bio-diversity since many centuries as its wildlife reference comes in many historical books and notes. In one such note, Abul Fazal, the minister of Mughal Emperor shares one such incidence in which Akbar was on return journey from Malwa region. While passing through this region, they noticed the presence of Asiatic lions and wild elephants in this region. Mughal force captured one such elephant herd and took them to Agra to use them in their military establishment. This is the region was habitat for both Asiatic Lions and Bengal Tigers. Both have ruled over this region at their times. It is said that as per records, last lion was shot here (near Guna) in 1872. After this we have records of presence of tigers. This forest was under the kingdom of Gwalior thus Scindia Kings attended many hunting expeditions in this region, with their important guests. In one such trip, H. R. H. The Prince of Wales visited Gwalior state and attended some hunting trips from 08-12th February, 1922. During their stay, they went for hunting trips in which total 08 tigers were shot along with other animals like Sambar Deer, Black Buck. Sloth Bear etc. In those days, Kuno river was the popular breeding ground of tigers in which shooting were avoided as many other options are available with them.
Kuno national park remained in news, since last 12 years, due to Asiatic lion relocation or Cheetah relocation project. The topography, geographical conditions are ideal for both the mammal species. It is a magical land which embraces many cat species like lions, tigers, cheetah, leopards, jungle cat etc. Despite of remaining in news, tourism infrastructure was not ready thus not gained popularity in tourism map of India. Now infracture is ready, hotel options are available and Cheetah relocation project is in final phase in which we can expect arrival of Cheetah by November 2021. In coming years, it will gain more popularity when Cheetah will breed and get released in open forest. At present, it is more known for leopards, sloth bear, black buck, Indian gazelle, spotted deer and lot of birds. At present, black bucks and chinkara are the main attractions for wildlife photography. Here Kuno river is know for crocodiles which is another unique safari attraction.
Jungle safaris in Kuno national park is simillar othe national parks of Central India. Jeep safaris and nature walks are allowed for tourists.
For jungle safari in Kuno national park, jeep is the best suitable vehicle. Here safari services are on initial stage thus personal vehicles were also allowed in this national park. In coming days, it is possible that outside vehicle will not be allowed for jungle safari and only registered jeeps will be authorized for jungle safari drives, inside the national park. Here safaris are operated in morning round and evening round. Here safari permits are easily available thus no worry for jungle safari permits, it can be arranged easily. In addition to jeep safaris, tourists have option to go on nature walks or walking safaris which gives better exposure to local vegetation, butterflies & insects photography.
Chambal gharial sanctuary is not just limited to gharial population but it has much more to offer to the tourists. Here we can find more than 300 bird species, reptile species, mammals and different vegetations. Lets make a short checklist of reptiles, mammals, birds and trees that we can see during Chambal safari.
|Flame of Forest||Golden Jackel||Pallid Harrier||Crocodiles|
|Holoptelea integrifolia||Leopard||Blue Rock Thrush||Sand Boa|
|Ziziphus mauritiana||Bengal Fox||River Lapwings||Three-striped roof turtle|
|Grewia tenax||Jungle Cat||Indian skimmer||Red-crowned roof turtle|
|Balanites aegyptiaca||Indian Gazelle||Woolly-necked Stork||Indian narrow-headed softshell turtle|
|Acacia leucophloea||Indian Mongoose||Bar-headed Goose||Indian tent turtle|
|Butea monosperma||Sloth Bear||Red-crested Pochard||Monitor Lizard|
|Flacourtia ramontchii||Nilgai||Black bellied Tern||Crowned river turtle|
|Balanites aegyptiaca||Wild Boar||Pallash Fish Eagle||Indian Garden Lizard|
|Capparis sepiaria||Porcupine||Greater Flamingos||Spectacled Cobra|
Let us know as how to reach Kuno national park by different modes of popular transports. Kuno national park is spread on Madhya Pradesh state, close to Rajasthan state border. Gwalior is the nearby large city for all type of services and arrival-departures of guests.
|Peepal Bawdi Gate
|Chambal Sanctuary Dholpur||230||230||230|
|Ranthambore National Park||140||145||150|
Kuno national park lies in Bundelkhand region. Its main attractions for tourists are its leopard, deer species and crocodiles. As if now tiger, lions and cheetah are not present in this park thus jungle safaris will be oriented towards black buck, chinkara, leopard and birding safaris.Thus according to these star attractions of national park, period from November to March is the best time to visit Kuno national park. It is the time when Kuno river will have good water, crocodiles sighting will be good. This period is mainly of winter and spring season thus migragory birds will visit this region as Keoladeo national park and Chambal wildlife sanctuary are also close to it. Due to greenery, grasslands will attract more deer species thus their sighting will be better during jungle safaris.
Kuno national park is newly declared national park thus it is in process to gain popularity. As if now, tourism is at its initial stage thus we have advantage to get safari permits with more convenience it means tourists may add this destination in last moment also. Still we recommend to do advance booking as at present only one good resort is available thus room booking should be done in advance. Other destinations are at considerable distance thus can't be covered as excursion tour. Here safari vehicle i.e. jeeps are also limited thus advance booking will help us to block the registered vehicles in advance and enjoy the services.
Kuno national park is a virgin forest in which tourism is at initial stage. Still here we can find good standard category jungle resort on river bank which is best option for stay. As it is the only good option thus advance booking is recommended. As if now, luxury accommodation is not available.
Kuno national park is ideally located on northern Madhya Pradesh. This forest is spread over Vindhya ranges in which other national parks are also located. If we look at the map of Central India, we will find that Kuno forest acts like a bridge between Madhav national park and Ranthambore national park. It means, many popular destinations are surrounding to Kuno national park which can be added in tour itinerary. Some of the prominent names are Agra city, Gwalior city, Chambal wildlife sanctuary (Dholpur) Orchha, Ranthambore national park, Keoladeo national park etc.