North of Madla and northeast of Jabalpur, the Panna National Park is known for hiking and trekking in the India state of Madhya Pradesh. It is a 542 square kilometer national park known for wolves, tigers and sloth bears. Panna National Park is located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the best in the region. The river Ken passes through the park, adding to its scenic beauty.
The park along with the surrounding territorial forest area of North and South Panna divisions is the only large chunk of wildlife habitat remaining in North Madhya Pradesh in otherwise fragmented forest landscape of the area. Panna National Park represents one of the important Tiger habitats of Central Indian Highlands along with its associated species.
The terrain of the reserve is characterised by extensive plateaus and gorges. The reserve which has a bench topography, can broadly be divided into three distinct tablelands on Panna side: the upper Talgaon Plateau, the middle Hinnauta plateau and the Ken valley. Series of undulating hills and plateaus rise on the other side of Ken river in Chattarpur district.
The Ken river , which flows through the Reserve from south to north, is home for Gharial and Mugger, and other aquatic fauna and is one of the least polluted rivers and a tributary of Yamuna. It is one of the sixteen perennial rivers of Madhya Pradesh and is truly the life line of the Reserve. Ken offers some of the most spectacular scenery to the visitor while it meanders for some 55 km through the reserve.
The park is well connected with the other parts of the region by a good network of roads. Distances of some important places in India from the Panna National Park are Khajuraho 57 km, Bhopal 727 km, Delhi 889 km, Chennai 1761, and Calcutta 1040 km.
The nearest airport is at Khajuraho at a distance of around 57 km from the Panna National Park. There are daily Alliance Air flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi from Khajuraho.
The nearest railway station is in Satna, which is about 90km away. It is a major railway hub and is connected to many places in central and western India, the most important of them being Mumbai at a distance of 1,540 km.
The nearest bus stand is Panna connected to Khajuraho and many other places in Madhya Pradesh by a good road network. Madla, at a distance of around 24 km south west of Khajuraho, is a good transport centre. One can get buses and other road transport modes from here to the Panna National Park. To reach by road from Delhi, take the NH2 to Agra, NH3 to Gwalior, NH75 to Panna via Jhansi, Bamitha and Madla.
The Madla Gate is off Satna Road. There is an Interpretative Centre about 2km west of the gate.
Note: There are no jeeps provided by the authorities, so you will have to rent your own jeep for a safari into the park.
Note: In any national park known to have lions or tigers, hikers need to exercise extreme caution. It is highly recommended to us a park-approved guide prior to hiking or trekking in these regions.
Overall, Panna National Park is the 5th most popular hiking trail of all 42 hikes in India.