The Emerald forest of Panna is one of the most virgin forests in the Central Indian landscapes. On most days there are just a handful gypsies in the entire park, the tigers are still shy of human attention & if you're lucky enough a Langoor will sound his alarm on spotting you as well.
The Tiger Reserve can be easily be differentiated into three distinct regions : the riverbed - wetland, the woodland & the forestland.
The Karnavati has a slaty bank lined with intense Jamun greens. (River Bed Region)
The forests of Panna are not Sal dominated like the rest of the Central Indian ones, instead it boasts of Teak dominance, alongside Arjun, Kusum & Jamun. (Woodland Region)
The Hinouta Grassland dominates the higher regions of the Park & is home to Barking Deer, Blackbucks, Wild Dogs, Wolves, Jackals & Hyenas. If you're lucky you can also spot the occasional Nightjar. (Grassland Region)
The Old Hunting Grounds of the erstwhile Chandela Dynasty: Shikaar Platform. The dilapidated ruins are a remember that at one point Panna had lost all it's tigers to poaching, but those times are long gone with a current of population of 40+ tigers.
All the tigers of Panna are healthy, but nowhere close to the giants that were hunted down in Panna years ago. The images displayed in the Karnavati Interpretation Centre never fail to draw a gasp !
All the tigers have a collar around their necks, to be monitored round the clock by Forest Dept. officials. But yet despite Radio-Tracking, tigers prove to be elusive nonetheless owing to their human shyness.
The boldest ones on the blocks, Leopards are arguably even bolder than the tigers and roam their territory in broad daylight instead of just dusk & dawn.
The Jackal snacks on the leg of a young antler.
The Karnavati is home to the Mugger Crocodile, as well as a Gharial Breeding Centre at the Raneh Falls nearby
The Chital or Spotted Deer is the most common herbivore, followed closely by Sambar.
A committee of almost a hundred vultures had assembled at the Vulture Point, and one of the Himalayan Griffons decided to soar overhead
Dhundhua Seha or Vulture Point : This U shaped ridge is home to 5-6 species of vultures typically (vulture droppings can be clearly seen); at the base of the ridge is a cave where T1, the first tigress of Panna sired her first litter.
Judi Waterhole : This particular waterhole truly embodies the name of Panna, An Emerald Forest.
The essence of Panna truly lies in its raw beauty.
There is something very rustic about the terrain, even the people that draws you instantly. May it be the brutish past of Panna, or the slow pace where development is reaching them, or the fact that the animals are truly wild; Panna has something to offer to everyone who comes.
Images clicked on a Canon wide angle lens and a GoPro Hero 3.