Panna National Park lies close to the city of Panna but is part of the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is the fifth tiger reserve park in the state and twenty-second in the country. The park has even been awarded the best maintained national park in the country by the Ministry of Tourism.
Apart from the tigers, the National Park is the natural home of many other animals as well. The park is very interestingly located; the end of the park forms the end of the tropical and sub-tropical forest belt and the start of the moist deciduous forests that belong to the Indo-Gangetic Plain. This point also sees the start of the forest of the Teak trees.
One can easily spot chitals, sloth bears, sambhars and chinkaras in the national park other than the majestic tigers. There are also a variety of birds living in the park including the king vulture, the honey buzzard, the bar-headed goose and the blossom-headed parakeet.
Pandav Caves and Falls are located at a distance of about 12 km from the main city of Panna and lie very close to the National Park. It is easy to reach the falls since they are very near to the national highway.
The falls originate from the local springs and are touted as the best feature of Panna tourism. The falls flow throughout the year regardless of the season, and it is indeed a pleasure to visit the falls during monsoons. The falls are around 100 ft in length and fall a huge pool at the end of their fall.
Located at the base of the falls are the famous Pandav Caves where legend has it that the Pandava brothers took refuge when they were exiled. The area surrounding the caves and the falls is a treat for the sore eyes and has become a famous picnic spot among locals and tourists alike.
Ken Gharial Sanctuary was established keeping in mind the need to protect the Indian gharials that are fast becoming an endangered species. It lies close to the city of Panna. The sanctuary is beautifully located and is surrounded by forests on all sides and running through the sanctuary is the 45 km-long River Ken.
In fact, the sanctuary witnesses the convergence of the two rivers Khuddar and Ken. The sanctuary, which was opened to public in 1985, is the natural home of many reptiles apart from the gharials that grow up to an impressive length of 6m. On the sandy banks of the rivers, one can spot chinkara, chitals, wild boars, peacocks and blue bulls.
Tourists with children should definitely visit the sanctuary as it will be a learning and exciting experience for the kids. The sanctuary is left open for the tourists on all days from sunrise until sunset.