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Kuno National Park

Kuno National Park / Kuno Wildlife Division and surrounding area has historically been rich with wildlife. This area was known to be a dense forest in ancient times as well. One of the gazette of Gwalior princely state of year 1902, records that the Mughal Emperor Akbar while returning from Malwa region captured a big herd of elephants in the forests near Shivpuri in the year 1564. Abul fazal also mentioned this fact that Lions were found in this region and the last Lion in this region is known to be shot near to city of Guna in the year 1872.

Kuno’s history is intricately woven with the history of Lions and various efforts to relocate Lions in some capacity or other from time to time in this area. It is impossible to talk about the history of this place without referring to the Lions and their relocation efforts.

In the year 1904 Lord Curzon was invited for hunting by the then His Highness Madhavrao Scindia,the Ist, King of Gwalior. Lord Curzon was so much impressed with the forest of valley of Kuno that he immediately suggested the King to bring Lions from Junaghad, Gir and released in the forest. King Scindia started working on it with the audacity suitable to a Maharaja and tried collaborating on his level, with the Nawab of Junaghad. During those times he built massive enclosures at Dob Kund as the Lion acclimatization enclosures before their release into the forests. However his initial efforts went into vain. Even Lord Curzon tried to help by facilitating talks with Nawab and personally getting involved in relocation but the Nawad kept on delaying the project.

Later Lord Curzon even presented the King with a letter addressed to the ruler of Abisinia (Current Ethopia) so that some lions from there could be brought to Kuno. A Persian expert named D.M. Zaal was made in charge of this project by the King and in 1905 , this project was allocated Rs. 1 lakh budget in that year. Mr. Zaal with support of the King was able to bring 10 lions from Africa. However, three of them died by the time they reached Bombay Harbour. Of the 7 surviving lions, 3 were males while remaining 4 were females and they were personally received by the King himself. He named the males as Bunde, Baanke and Majnu and the females as Ramailee, Rampyari, Bijli and Gaindi. These Lions were later released in the Jungles of Shivpuri instead of Kuno. Unfortunately these Lions turned into cattle lifters and man-eaters in between year 1910 to 1912 and due to this unfortunate turns of the events the project failed. Though the King’s dream of seeing Lions once again prosper in this landscape didn’t come true the way he had envisioned, but his efforts were bold and trailblazing to say the least.


Plan Your Visit

Kuno national Park is open to tourist throughout the year except for the monsoon period (1st July to 15th October). However, since the park falls in the tropical area and according to its vegetation and geographical conditions the best time to visit Kuno is October to March, with pleasant weather & comfortable stay.


What To See

Kuno has some very interesting spots which will intrigue the tourists coming to this national park. Popularly referred as the Kuno Palpur among local people, Palpur refers to the first village relocated from inside the park which was habilitated near to a small fort know as Palpur Ki Gadhi. Other than this other points of instrests for tourists are Doab Kund, Kuno River, Kanji House, Khemcha Lake, Ker kho and Gravity Pipeline.


How To Reach

Kuno National park has three different entrance gates, Ahera, Peepalbawadi and Tiktoli. Tourists can take a flight to Gwalior which is the nearest Airport to any of these gates. Gwalior, Sawai Madhopur, Kota, Jaipur and Jhansi are the nearest stations which provide rail connectivity to Kuno National park.



Various kind of accommodation is available for tourist which can be currently booked through DFO Kuno Office. The Rights of reservation of rest houses remains with the CCF Lion Project and DFO Kuno ,Sheopur. in special circumstances reservation of tourist can be canceled in the interest of Forest & Wildlife Protection & or in case of a tour of VIP like honorable Judges, Ministers, head of the department, etc.

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