The Kanha eco-region is part of the central Indian highlands, one of the seven geographic regions of India. As far as forest and wildlife wealth is concerned, the central Indian highlands are of utmost significance. Situated on the 22nd parallel of north latitude and between the 76th and 82nd of east longitude, the central Indian highlands, part of the extensive tableland that forms the main peninsula of our country, are extensive undulating plains, with many peaks, hill ranges and flat-topped hills, with the Vindhyas in the north and the Satpuras in the south. sprawling around 500 km. across the state of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In the east, these mountain chains join the Chota Nagpur Plateau of Bihar and other hill chains in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, and extend well into the States of Gujarat and Maharastra in the west.
This geographical sub-region once held extensive, though fragmented, forest belt and accounted for a significant part of the total forests and wildlife habitats in India. Though the sub-region is now under characteristic biotic pressure, it still supports typical floral and faunal species of the region. The highlands also hold the sources of several of the important Indian rivers of the country.
The Maikal Range & the Satpuras:
The Maikal, a mountain range in Madhya Pradesh, Central India, running in a north-south direction,
forms the eastern base of the triangular Satpura range. This mountain range harbors flat topped
plateaus with elevations ranging from approx. 600 m to 900 m. The Satpura-Maikal watershed is
considered the second largest in India. The Narmada, Sone, Mahanadi, Tapti, Pandu, Kanhar, Rihand,
Bijul, Gopad, and Banas rivers run almost parallel from south to north, and have carved extensive
basins in the relatively soft rock formations of the Maikal range. The vegetation varies greatly from
grass and thorny trees to deciduous trees such as the teak and sal. Ethnographically important, the
Maikal also holds many groups such as the Gonds, Halbas, Bharais, Baigas, and Korkus.