National Park is situated on the northern fringe of the Central
Highlands of India.
It is a part of the upper Vindhyan hills, forming plateaus, and
having small and big nallas. The slopes are generally gentle,
rarely steep. Spreading over an area of almost 355 sq.kms., the
Madhav National Park is fascinating mix of natural splendors of
history and architectural wonders. The park, one of the oldest,
is situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, near Shivpuri
town. Madhav got the status of a National Park in 1958.
park is unique in having both lake and forest ecosystems. Sakhya
and Madhav Sagar are the two lakes in the park, which are
important biodiversity support systems. These lakes not only add
to the natural beauty of the area, but also provide a permanent
source of water to the wildlife, and a fine wetland habitat to
the aquatic fauna including thousands of migratory waterfowls.
Marsh Crocodiles are in abundance in Sakhya sagar lake. Due to
this, the lake looks like a "Crocodile Safari" and
attracts special attention of tourists.
park represents the Northern Tropical dry deciduous mixed forest
type, as well as dry thorn forest, typical of North-Western
Madhya Pradesh. The forests here are home to antelopes like Nilgai,
Chinkara and Chowsinga and Deer including Chital,
Sambar and Barking Deer. One can see animals like the
Leopard, Wolf, Jackal, Fox, Wild Dog, Wild Pig, Porcupine,
Marsh Crocodile and the Python.
a varied terrain of wooded hills, dry, mixed deciduous forests,
and flat grasslands around the lakes, the park offers abundant
opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife.
Peep into the Park History
town in the state of Madhya Pradesh was once the summer capital
and the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Gwalior. Even
before this, during the reign of the Mughals, its dense forests were the hunting
grounds of the Mughal emperors. Large herds of elephants were
captured here by Emperor Akbar. Since the area was a Royal
shooting reserve, it was well protected, and abounded with wild
life and was famous for its tigers. Tigers and other animals
were known to wander in great numbers in the area. It is
reported that in 1916, Lord Hardinge shot eight tigers in one
day at Shivpuri. Lord Minto supposed to have shot 19 tigers
during his trip to Gwalior state. The last of the resident wild
tigers were seen in Madhav National Park around late 1970. Owing
to dedicated efforts the habitat has become secure and improved
now that the transient tigers are tempted to become resident.
One male and one female tiger have once again made Madhav their home since
Lord Hardinge in April 1914, shot a tiger measuring 11 feet 6
the shores of Sakhya Sagar lake which edges the forests, is a
Boat Club, from where the park visitors can see a number of
migratory birds especially in winter, when a large number of
migratory waterfowls visit the area. A viewing lodge
constructed by the Maharaja called the
Shooting Box, is situated above the Sakhya Sagar lake. In the older days one could
shoot wildlife, both with a gun and camera from here. Visitors
could sit under cover and watch a tiger at a kill.
around the lake (at suitable points), the Maharaja constructed
boat landing areas, picnic shelters, watch towers, hides etc.
and a network of well laid out metalled roads.
inside the Madhav National Park, at its highest point, stands
the exquisite George Castle at a height of almost 484 m (1597
feet). Interestingly the castle was built by Jivaji Rao Scindia
of the Gwalior royal family for an overnight halt for tiger
shooting by the British King George V, when he was to pass that
way during his visit to India in 1911. Ironically, it so
happened that the emperor could shoot a tiger on the way itself
and did not stop at Madhav. Tunda Bharka spring, Bhura-kho
spring and watch tower, and Churanchaj ancient wall paintings are beautiful
sites to visit.