Ken Gharial SanctuaryMadhya Pradesh
Wildlife | Scenic
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Madhya Pradesh is a state in Central India, the ‘heartland’ of the country due to its geographical location. It is the third largest state by area. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh in the north-east, Chhattisgarh in the south-east, Maharashtra in the south, Gujarat in the west and Rajasthan in the north-west. It was the largest state of the country till Chhattisgarh separated as an independent state in the year 2000. The capital city is Bhopal.
MP has a sub-tropical climate; like most of north India, it has a hot dry summer (April-June), followed by monsoon rains (July-September) and a cool and relatively dry winter. Your safest bet is the winter season – anytime from October to March. Mercury climbs as high as 40-42 degrees in places like Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Mandu in summers, but Bhopal remains pleasant throughout the year.
MP offers many things to do because of its rich cultural legacy and historical value. Each place has its own USP – Bhopal for its landscapes, Gwalior for its royal heritage, Ujjain/Orchha/Maheshwar/Indore for their pilgrimage value, Pachmarhi and Bhedaghat for relaxation, and Kanha and Bandhavgarh for their wildlife parks. As many as 11 National Parks and 31 Wildlife Sanctuaries have been set up here so that the wildlife species can be preserved in their natural habitats. It is also the ‘Tiger State’. Think of a thrilling jungle safari on elephant-backs in the wild lands!
Visit the world famous Sanchi Stupa for the sculptures, Khajuraho for stunning architecture, and Bhimbetka for its rock-arts and cave paintings. All are World Heritage Sites.
You can never have enough of the place for there is broad spectrum of activities to keep you on toes!
Apart from being home to various monuments, forts, temples and lively bazaars, Madhya Pradesh tourism also offers a wide range of cuisines – mouth-watering traditional dishes, representing different cultures. You get to relish different varieties with changing seasons of the state.
The food differs from region to region as well and offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Bhopal cuisine serves you with spicy kebabs, biryani, korma, fish, meat, chicken and keema. Places such as Indore and Gwalior will provide you with various delicacies prepared from milk; food is lightly spiced, low fat, with a generous use of fresh coconut. Indore even has a street with more than 56 eateries encompassing the entire gamut of Indian cuisine.
Try bafla, which is made of wheat and served with ghee and daal. Also, if you are a pure vegetarian you can relish sweet dishes like bhutte ki kees – made of milk and corn, etc.
Some of the other popular stuffs are kusli, lavang lata, jalebi, pilaf with peas, indori puri palak ki, etc. They are perfect combination of exquisite taste and essence.
No matter where and when one travels in Madhya Pradesh, he will always witness a festival or fair to claim his attention. People of various castes, religions and tribes are currently nestled in Madhya Pradesh. All these festivals interweave souls of different religion and drench them in the color of festivities. Some of the festivals that every traveler must enjoy on an unforgettable trip to this land of manifold charm include Lokrang festival in Bhopal, Akhil Bharatiya Samaroh in Ujjain, Khajuraho Festival, Bhagoria Haat festival before Holi, Ujjain Kumbh Mela, Malwa Utsav in Indore and Ujjain, Chethiyagiri Vihara festival in Sanchi, Tansen Sangeet Samaroh in Gwalior, Pachmarhi Utsav, Mandu Utsav, Orchha Utsav, Dhrupad festival in Indore. Special attractions of these festivities include folk dance performances, musical accompaniments, fireworks, tribal performances and exhibitions.
The culture of Madhya Pradesh captures the essence of Indian culture and presents it in a microcosm. Along with the Hindus, Muslims and Christians, the tribals too have their own unique culture with rites and rituals varying from tribe to tribe.
MP is noted for its classical and folk music and folk dances; there are many forms of the arts, and their music is earthy and indigenous.
The state is a craft lover’s delight. The local handicrafts range from gossamer fine sarees woven in silk and cotton and named after the area they’re made in like Chanderi and Maheshwari. Coarse raw silk called kosa and tussar are also very popular. Cotton bedspreads and cushion covers, chanderi and maheshwari stoles and yards of dress material cater to western tastes. The tribal belt creates stylized figures of people, animal and birds in metal alloys called Dokra and wonderful curios in bell metal. Bead and metal jewellery worn by the tribals is another hot favorite with city dwellers.
The state’s tourism industry is growing, fuelled by wildlife tourism and a number of places of historical and religious significance. Sanchi and Khajuraho are frequented by foreigners. Besides the major cities, Bhedaghat, Bhimbetka, Bhojpur, Maheshwar, Mandu, Orchha, Pachmarhi, Kanha and Ujjain are other popular tourist destinations.
Madhya Pradesh is the place to be for shopaholics! Tribal art and handicrafts are the specialties. Chanderi and Maheshwari sarees in silk and cotton are highly acclaimed for their unique weave, color and fine fabric. Equally famous are the raw and fine silks. Visitors searching for the perfect keepsake could take home finely ornamented Dokra metal animal figures, votive lamps and boxes, gold and silver work and brass and bell metal statues and toys made by the tribal communities.
Almost all the cities and towns have shopping haats and marts from where you can pick up mementos.
The official language of the state is Hindi; Urdu and Marathi are spoken by a substantial number of the population since the state was home to several important Maratha states. Regional variants and tribal languages are spoken in the fringes. English is well spoken and understood across the state.
By Road: The route from Rajnagar to Panna city via Khajuraho drops one at Ken gharial sanctuary.
By Train: Satna is the nearest rail head located 150 kms from the sanctuary. Satna is well connected with Howrah, Delhi, Gwalior, Mumbai, Jabalpur, Nagpur etc.
By Air: Khajuraho airport is the nearest airport to this sanctuary. It’s 25 kms away. From the airport one can easily get taxi services to reach the sanctuary.GET DIRECTION
It’s best advised to carry enough water and light snacks while exploring the park as availability of refreshments inside the sanctuary is limited!
From October till March are perfect to visit Ken Gharial Sanctuary.
Apart from gharial, the sanctuary has many animals and birds. Boating, visiting the deer park, exploring the rock formations and granite hills through which the water flows all through the sanctuary and natural fresh water pools and the view point that provides a panoramic view are the main attractions!
Khajuraho temple: It’s a group of monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site!