History - Kanha Tiger Reserve

Kanha National Park chronicles the annals of a magnificent conservation history of more than seven decades, introducing these wilds to the national and international community of naturalists, writers and marksmen.  Parts of the Banjar (233 sq. km) and Halon valleys (around 500 sq. km.) were declared Wildlife Sanctuaries way back in 1933 and 1935 respectively. Subsequently, in 1955, the Banjar valley sanctuary was upgraded as a National Park.  Later, with the launch of Project Tiger in 1973, the enlargement was done in phases, resulting in the present park area of 940 sq. km.

The National Park also has a history of phased relocation of villages outside the PA since 1969.  As many as 37 forest villages have been relocated over the years to provide objective based inputs and reduce biotic pressure.  On the one hand, this has resulted in the resilience of wildlife habitats from biotic pressure, and on the other, management practices have also contributed to a gradual increase in wildlife populations. Presently, there is no forest village in the core zone, and 8 forest villages are located in the national park outside the core zone.

Stringent protection and time-to-time managerial interventions consequently gave rise to spillover wild animal populations in the surrounding areas whose conservation was also considered important.  In view of the above, the buffer zone was constituted in 1995 as a separate division under the unified control of the Kanha management. The areas falling in the buffer division was drawn from three territorial divisions, viz: West-Mandla, East-Mandla (Mandla District) and North-Balaghat (Balaghat District). The buffer area, pockmarked with villages and revenue lands, comprises almost 49% forest area, and the rest is constituted by revenue land and private holdings.