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Madhav National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Area of the park: 355 sq km
Year of Establishment: 1958
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Best season to visit: The Park remains open throughout the year, but the period between October and March is considered to be the best to spend time here.

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Sited along the northern borders of the Central Highlands of India, Madhav National Park is well known for its rich biodiversity. The park is a part of the upper Vindayan hills, a reason why plateaus are a common sight here and so do small and big channels. The rolling hills and the gentle slopes lend a disarming beauty to the park, which is spread over an area of 355 sq km. The park is also a seamless fusion of man-made architectural gems and natural splendors, and also has a colorful past that intrigues travelers. One of the oldest parks in the country, it is situated in the northwest of Madhya Pradesh in Shivpuri District of Gwalior region. The park was bestowed with the title of a national park in 1958.

The ecosystem of the park includes both forests and lakes, with Sakhya and Madhav Sagar lakes being the most critical to the well-being of the park. While these lakes do add to the beauty of the park, their most important function is to nurture the diverse wildlife and plant species of the region. The wetlands inside the park also owe their existence to them and they in turn are responsible for the thriving aquatic fauna that the park boasts of. Among the animals calling the wetlands their home, some of the popular ones include marsh crocodiles and thousands of migratory waterfowls.

History of the park

At one point in time, Shivpuri town happened to be the summer capital and erstwhile hunting preserve of the 'Scindias', the Maratha Maharajas of Gwalior. If we go back to the time of the Mughals, the dense forests of the park was used by the Mughal emperors to satiate their hunger for hunting; even Emperor Akbar is said to have captured large herds of elephants during his hunting sprees here. Since it was a royal hunting reserve, it was safe from random poaching and plunders and became a safe haven for several wildlife species. There are accounts of tigers once roaming the length and breadth of the park.

Talking about tigers, the last resident tiger was seen way back in 1970. Efforts are however on to make the habitat more secure for the tigers and facilitate their slow recovery. The result of the efforts is that two tigers, one male and another female, have been staying in the park since 2007.

A castle inside the park

There is a beautiful castle, known as George Castle, deep inside the park and at the most elevated position, at a height of around 484 m. How the castle came into being is an interesting story. The British King George V, who visited India in 1911, was planning to pass through the park so that he can shoot tigers. To honor the king and make his hunting trip more exciting, Jivaji Rao Scindia, a member of the royal family of Gwalior, built the castle as a night halt for King George. But as fate would have it, King George managed to kill a tiger on his way and he didn't have to stay in the castle. Today it attracts a sizeable number of admirers.

Flora of the park

The landscape of the park is dominated by wooded hills of different types of vegetations. Along the lakes, the vegetation is mostly grasslands, while if one moves towards the forests dry, mixed and deciduous species are more prominent. Some of the main tree species found inside the park includes Khair (acacia catechu), Salai, Kerdhai, Dhawda, Tendu, Palash etc.


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Madhav National Park Tour Packages

Area of the park: 355 sq km
Year of Establishment: 1958
Location: Madhya Pradesh
Best season to visit: The Park remains open throughout the year, but the period between October and March is considered to be the best to spend time here.


Wildlife in Madhav National Park

The deer is one animal that one cannot miss when in Madhav National Park, as the park has a large population of this docile animal. Some of the important members of the deer family found in the park include graceful little chinkaras or the Indian gazelle, and the chital. Other animals that are resident of the park include the nilgai, sambar, blackbuck, sloth bear, leopard and the common langur.


The park was once roamed by tigers, especially during the reign of the Mughals, until their population almost vanished. Luckily for visitors, a tiger couple has been living in the park since 2007 inspiring hope among tiger lovers that the population can be restored.


Madhav National Park is also known as a paradise for bird lovers as apart from native birds, many of them rare, it also the winter home of a number of migratory birds like geese, pochard, pintail, teal, mallard and gadwall. A great spot for bird-watching inside the park is the point where the forest track crosses the rock-strewn stream flowing from the waste weir.


Madhav National Park Travel Information

General Information

Location : Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Area : 156 Sq. kms.

Established : 1958

Nearest City : Shivpuri

Languages : Hindi, English.

How to Reach Madhav National Park

By Road: The entrance of the park is located on NH-25, old Jhansi road, which is about 5 km from Shivpuri town. Shivpuri is well connected by road to cities like Gwalior (115 km), Jhansi (95 km) and Agra (225 km).
By Train: The nearest railway stations are at Shivpuri, Gwalior and Gwalior.
By Air: The nearest airport from the park is at Gwalior which is 130 km away. From Gwalior one can take pre-paid taxis to the park.

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