Madhav National Park: A Detailed Travel Guide

355 sq. km of nature, nestled amidst the upper Vindhya, the Madhav National Park was established back in 1958. Being one of the oldest parks in the country, it is the fusion of man-made architectural gems and natural splendors. The park is situated in Shivpuri District, which lies in the northwest region of Madhya Pradesh.

When we talk about nature and the best place to experience it, the first place that comes to mind is a visit to Madhya Pradesh. The heart of India is blessed with picturesque locations, mesmerizing waterfalls and a string of rivers that never seem to end. One such natural marvel is the Madhav National Park or the Shivpuri National Park.

The park is home to many beautiful species of birds, plants, animals, and lakes. The Sakhya and Madhav Sagar lakes are two of the most critical zones of the park and are always surrounded with animals and birds seeking relief from the heat. They nurture the diversity of the park along with occasionally becoming a playhouse for the little ones and birds.

The wetlands inside the park are also fed by these lakes and in turn, they serve as lifelines for the thriving aquatic fauna that the park boasts of. Among the animals that live peacefully in these forests, some popular ones include marsh crocodiles and thousands of migratory water-buffaloes.

Once inside the park, always be on your toes because no matter the number of animals, they still are a bit shy when it comes to humans and safari jeeps. So, sneak a peek whenever you get a chance.


Jungle Safari

Jungle Safari

Once a royal hunting ground, the park is now open for tourists throughout the year. The management offers jungle safaris to visitors who don’t mind stepping out in the wild. The park is also open for personal vehicles, however, a Guide is mandatory for every vehicle that goes inside the jungle.

The Madhav National Park safari has a few regular stops, where tourists can step out and explore the jungle a bit. This is mostly done for the travelers so that they could enjoy bird watching or watch the herd of animals near the lakes.

Park Timings: Throughout the year-

Morning: 6:30 am to 10:00 am

Evening: 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Entry Fee: The cost for bringing your personal vehicle is 400, exclusive of INR 15 entry fee per person.

Best Time to Visit: October to March.




Gracefully placed on the northern fringe of the Central Highlands of India, the Madhav National Park is nurtured by various lakes and ponds.  The park is often termed as Shivpuri National Park has a varied terrain of forested hills and flat grasslands.

The wildlife here lives peacefully amidst the unusual terrain of hills, mixed with forests, grasslands, and lakes. The landscape of this royal forest is dominated by wooden hills of different types of vegetations.

Some of the main tree species found inside the park include Khair (Acacia catechu), Salai, Kerdhai, Dhawda, Tendu, Palash and other alike.

Along the lakes, the vegetation is mostly grasslands, the thick and mixed species of vegetation can be found once one moves towards the central stretch of forest.



The Madhav National Park or the Shivpuri National Park is a safe haven for many species. Among the ferocious ones, the park homes tigers, leopards, striped hyena, jackals, etc. The herbivorous pack includes the chinkara, Indian gazelle, chital, nilgai, sambar, blackbuck and other alike.

The park is also famous for its avifauna. There are various species of birds that can be easily spotted near the ponds and fruit-filled trees, like the white-breasted kingfisher, purple sunbird, migratory geese oriole, pochard pintail, Red-wattled Lapwing, laggard falcon and much more.

If you like the reptiles then this park homes mash or mugger crocodiles, Indian python, and the monitor lizard.

The park will have many surprises hidden amidst the big green trees and the beautiful ponds, all it takes to capture such hidden marvels is patience.

Places to Visit near Madhav National Park


George Castle

George Castle

Mystery and beautiful scenery are the two things that come to mind when someone says the word, castle, and these two are the things that define the George Castle. Constructed in 1911, the castle has several turrets.

The best time to visit the castle is at dusk. The view of the Sakhya Sagar Lake from these turrets is just mesmerizing as the color of the water keeps changing till sunset. The forest seems to be at a standstill as if the animals also rest and enjoy the sun setting down.

Located 2.7 km from the main entrance of the Madhav National ParkShivpuri, can be visited from 8 AM- 6 PM any day of the year.

 If you’re looking to venture into the unknown, unexplored and untouched places in Madhya Pradesh, take a trip to the tribal inhabited corners of Madhya Pradesh.


Sakhya Sagar Lake

Sakhya Sagar Lake

The centre of attraction of the Madhav National Parkthe Sakhya Sagar Lake has situated 2.8 km from the main entrance of the park. The vast stretch of water is a treat to watch and brings peace to a restless soul.

The lake was created in the year 1918 to maintain the ecological balance of the park. The lake is home to a number of reptiles, marsh crocodiles, Indian pythons and the monitor lizard.

The lake also has a boat club at one of its shores which are open for tourists. The boat club is connected to the lake by a pier and is generally filled with tourists who want to capture the beauty of the lake.

From the adventure islands of Hanuwantiya and Sailani Tapu to the waters of Narmada and Betwa rivers, each place in Madhya Pradesh has something unique to offer when it comes to water sports.




If you miss a bit of history or some archaeological monuments, then you don’t have to travel far. 106 km from the Madhav National Park, the royal Chhatris of Shivpuri rest on the banks of the Betwa River.

These marble structures were built as a memorial for the rulers who took the throne of the region. The two most beautiful chhatris, one of Madho Rao Scindia and his queen Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia stand facing each other with a water tank between them.

These monuments are a beautiful blend of the Rajput and Arabic architecture. Life-size portraits of the Scindias rest in these chhatris and are religiously worshipped with flowers and incense.

 From the dense jungle trails to treks to historical places, you can explore a wide variety of hiking trails in Madhya Pradesh.



Built by the Maharaja of Gwalior, Madho Rao Scindia in 1915, this historical monument has an Italian design. Close to the Sakhya Sagar, 3 km from the main gate of the Shivpuri National Park, the structure stands out all shiny in the midst of the forest.

The marble-built structure was made for the royals to enjoy folk dances and entertain important dignitaries. There is also another baradari, situated on a hillock facing the Sakhya Sagar lake. This was built in the year 1921 and was especially for organizing folk dances.

The halls of this baradari were used as Princess conference during the British period. These monuments subtly remain engulfed between the thick forest and hills, away from the city to provide a serene and peaceful time.

Imagine crossing some spellbinding landscapes, listening to your favourite music with your loved ones on the way - road trips in Madhya Pradesh are key to fun and relaxation.

Karera Bird Sanctuary

Karera Bird Sanctuary
Home to 245 migrant species of birds, the sanctuary was originally created with the aim of protecting the local population of the great Indian Bustard. It was established in the year 1981 but now is undergoing the process of denotification due to the opposition of local people and the extinction of the bird locally.

The sanctuary is spread over an area of 202 sq. km, of which 146 sq. km is privately owned. The place still houses many species of birds and many can be spotted near the Dihaliya Lake within the park.

Situated 43.2 km from the Madhav National Park, the sanctuary can be reached via the Shivpuri-Jhansi Road.

 Known for its diverse terrains, Madhya Pradesh is a delight for thrill-seekers where you can enjoy multiple activities like camping, trekking, and rafting.

Bhura-Kho Tower

Built in the year 1915, the Bhura-Kho tower is situated deep inside the national park. The tower is hexagonal in shape and is considered as a heritage building. The tower is a good place to take a glimpse of the entire park.

The area near the tower itself is very rich in flora and fauna and certain animals are easily spotted from the central tower. The tower proves how strongly this region was preserved even before its establishment as a national park in 1958.

The royals of the reign were well aware of the rich biodiversity of this place and took it under their protection. Despite being used as royal hunting grounds, the place was always full of animals as poaching was out of the equation.

 if you want to see something that is way beyond usual, there is a range of such places in Madhya Pradesh for you to explore here and stare at them in disbelief.

Things to Do in Madhav National Park


Wildlife Spotting

Wildlife Spotting
Wildcats, and that too a variety of them roam freely in the jungles of this national park. Prominent among them are the leopards and wild cats, which can be spotted easily than the other species.

Wildlife spotting is a thrilling experience for nature lovers. Every safari lasts long enough for you to click these animals in their natural habitat and create a memory of a lifetime. The easiest way to spot the animals in a halt near the Sakhya Sagar Lake.

One not only gets to see the various species of deer, but certain reptiles also make the centre of attention. Video cameras and regular cameras require a fee before you take them inside the premises of the park.

Iconic places to visit in Madhya Pradesh come in the form of palaces and forts displaying an excellent level of craftsmanship, ancient temples that find mention in the holy texts of Hinduism and much more. 

Speed Boating on Sakhya Sagar Lake

Speed Boating on Sakhya Sagar Lake
The beautiful Sakhya Sagar Lake is the home for Magar crocodiles and the motor lizards. The lake is one of the lifelines of the park and maintains the ecological balance within.

Named after the Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia, the lake has a beautiful pier and is flogged with tourists who stand still enchanted by its beauty. One of the shores of the lake is reserved for boating and is open for tourists during the safari timings.

The paddle boats are also available for people who like to enjoy a calm boating experience in the lake. One more reason that makes boating popular in this park is that the lake changes its colours as the sun sets in the evening.
It reflects the beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow and creates a serene environment for those who calmly paddle boats on the silent waters of this lake.

 There are lesser known places in Madhya Pradesh that are not too famous among tourists but they are as enticing as the famous ones if you are looking for such uncrowded places you should definitely check out these places.

Bird Watching

Bird Watching

When it comes to birds, the national park is home to many. With birds like the white-breasted kingfisher, purple sunbird, migratory geese oriole, pochard pintail, Red-wattled Lapwing, laggard falcon, the park is always alive with the chirps of these beautiful little creatures.

The lush green trees, several monuments, and two beautiful lakes make an ideal home for these birds.

Winters are the best to watch these birds as many migratory species stop here and populate these monuments and trees with their little ones.

If you love doing cycling, Cycling in Madhya Pradesh is one exciting experience owing to the changing landscape and an increasing number of places of interest which the state has to offer.


Nature Photography

Nature Photography

When nature presents itself in its raw form, bring out your cameras and capture the moment as it is. Bringing a camera in the park’s premise costs INR 25 and if it’s a video camera, it will cost INR 200.

One can test their photography skills from the turrets in George Castle. Available right in front of the frame is the Sakhya Sagar Lake. Many tourists try their craftsmanship and capture the lake when it changes its colors.

Among many things to capture in this park are the migratory birds which arrive here during the winters. They can be spotted easily near the historical monuments that are camouflaged between the lush trees and the uneven terrain.

Blessed with rich natural resources, Madhya Pradesh offers innumerable places of tourist attraction, both popular and unexplored, Visiting these places in Madhya Pradesh on an exciting road trip brings an altogether different charisma to these places.


Jungle Trek

Jungle Trek
Walking on your foot, the thrill of being in a jungle gets heightened. The trek is not fixed from any particular point and generally depends on the tourists whether they want one or not.

However, if you do want to go on a trek in this park then be ready to be surprised with certain non-human travelers along the way. The areas in which the trek is conducted is not populated with any big cat but small wild cats can be spotted as you move inside the jungle.

Several species of deer like the spotted deer can be easily seen munching on the thick grass near the lakes and deep within the jungle.

If you are in Madhya Pradesh for a jungle adventure, you must complete your vacation fun by undertaking an authentically wild experience at jungle camps in Madhya Pradesh.


How to Reach Madhav National Park

How to Reach Madhav National Park

The love for nature will surely bring you to this part of the country no matter where you are. The best part is that this place can be easily reached via a number of routes.

By Gwalior:

-Nearby Airport: The park is 135 km from the Gwalior Airport.

-Nearby Railway Stations: Shivpuri Railway Station can be reached through passenger and express trains from the Gwalior Railway Station.

-Buses: Regular bus services run from the city bus depot for Madhav National Park

-Distance from Gwalior: 120 km

By Bhopal:

-Nearby Airport: The Bhopal airport is 310 km from the park.

-Nearby Railway Stations: The Shivpuri Railway Station is 7 hr away from the Bhopal Railway station, for the ones who opt for a train.

-Buses: Several bus operators run regular buses between the two places. The journey takes about 5 hr and 9 min.

-Distance from Bhopal: 308 km


By Delhi:

-Nearby Airport: Around 467 km from the Indira Gandhi International Terminal.

-Nearby Railway Stations: The express trains take around 8 hrs and special trains take around 6 hrs to reach the Shivpuri Railway Station.

-Buses: The buses take about 7 to 8 hr to reach via the Taj Express Highway. These buses run regularly from the ISBT terminal in New Delhi.  

-Distance from Delhi: 459 km


By Nagpur:

-Nearby Airport: Around 670 km from the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagpur International Airport.

-Nearby Railway Stations: The distance between Shivpuri Railway Station and Nagpur Junction takes about 15 to 17 hr to cover.

-Buses: The city if Shivpuri and Nagpur are connected via NH 44 and NH 46. Bus services on both the routes can be found. Since it is a long journey as it takes around 11 hrs, it is advised to book the tickets a week or two before.

-Distance from Nagpur: 687 km.

Best Time to Visit Madhav National Park

Best Time to Visit Madhav National Park
The park is open throughout the year but summers force the animals to remain in the dense shade of the forest. During winters, these animals come out and the park also becomes a resting ground for a record population of migratory birds.

So, if one is planning a visit to this place, the best time is between the months of October to March.

The winter months may be a bit cold as the temperature falls to 3 degrees, but it’s also one of the reasons that make the animals stay out in the sun for long.

Essential Things to Keep in Mind

Essential Things to Keep in Mind

1. Carry valid ID proofs during your visit to Madhav National Park.

2. Visitors should carry a litter bag and bring back any non-biodegradable leftovers like a plastic bottle, metal foils, tin cans and other similar litter.

3. In order to avoid any kind of mishaps within the park, make sure you always appoint a government-approved tour guide.

4. Do not disturb the dwellers of the jungle in any form.

5. Do not carry non-vegetarian foods during the jungle safaris.

6. Avoid playing loud music or any unwanted noise during the jungle safaris.

7. Avoid using headphones or earphones during the safaris.

8. Wear khaki or olive-green clothes during the jungle safaris as they get easily camouflaged by nature.

9. Drive slowly while within the jungles and avoid using horns as much as possible.

10. Pay attention to the tour guides and instructors.

11. Consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other forms of intoxicants is strictly prohibited within the limits of the park.

12. Do not enter the jungles post sunset.

13. Carrying guns or arms of any type into the park is a punishable offense and might lead to serious punishment.

14. Do not indulge in feeding the animals in any form; it is strictly prohibited and might be considered as a cruelty towards them.
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09 December 2019
Perfect river side camp.we enjoy a lot with our group there is various team building games . delicious food they served to us when we reah there the give us tea and some snaks then we enjoy bornfire nd some songs with the group then we take the food nd go to night walk where we do the star gazing then we come to our tents those who wanted to sleep they but we stay near bornfire nd discuss about life nd then we wake up early mrng nd go to see sunrise nd the we play many games nd take the breakfast after the group picture we move to our homes.
16 October 2018
It’s was one of those few trips that I cherish, thanks to Thrillophillia for that experience and a special thanks to Satya Rajput ( the incharge crew ) for his special efforts in everything
"bahut maja aaya camp mein Romance Bhiya thank you aapane bahut Dhyan Rakha ham sabka thank you so much Bhiya ??"
20 November 2019
3 Cheers for Thrillophilia???????????? #Satya Rajput #Cooperative ???? Sangam of #NarmadaRiver and #TawaRiver Perfect Scenic Natural Place...????? With Awesome Arrangements ???? #MomDaughterTrip????????????????? #BeautifulMemories???? #CelebratingOurSpecialDay???? #16November #Shubhani???? #AddingMomentsToCherish?? #LifeTimeExperience???? Words cannot describe about my experience ????... Might be some glimpse of our pictures can narrate my story???? Chilling weather with Bonfire???? And savouring cup of Tea ? made on the BonFire... Along with Guitarists ????and Amazing Singers???? Would like to go again with such a wonderful team????
03 December 2018
amazing company trip with Thrillophilia, nicely managed by hotel staff, camping was very comfortable starting from things were very hustled free just enjoyed a lot team Thrillophilia was very supportive and learnt a lot from all, and got a new lesson on posing in thrillo style from Satya.
Great place to hang out in Pench. There are very few places for fun in Nagpur and this is one them. I would recommend going to this place with friends in group. The bigger the group the better is the fun. I had a blast with my friends. The food and customer service both are great. They have pool and indoor games as well for fun. Do visit this place!!!????
Awesome place Great service Specially location was really good Rooms were fantastic equiped with every amenities u need...
Tigers Villa is the perfect combination of serenity and comfort. Our first visit here was the reason we come here almost every month. The food, the hospitality, the scenic view. Everything makes his place a heaven for people who want an escape from urbanization. This is a must-visit place if you visit Bandhavgarh
I and my cousin two women were traveling to MP and we are more than glad we picked this hotel, based on the ratings we booked it, and we feel so good to share that our stay was the memorable one, with so many memories and laughters? amazing safari, great food, safe ambience and amazing people running the place!! so so great, recommend to all ! cheers !
- 1- excellent ambiance, 2- great facilities extremely functional huts 3- truly well blended with the overall eco-friendly theme 4- excellent spots around for astrophotography 5- local cuisine- complete bang for the buck- every buck spent. Count on the proprietor Sandeep Singh to guide your wildlife journey or just relaxation

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