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Country : India State : Madhya Pradesh         Madhav Shivpuri National Park         
     
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Description
Madhav Shivpuri National Park was established in the year 1958 at the time of the creation of the state of Madhya Pradesh after independence. It received its present name in 1959. Before this it was known as Madhya Bharat National Park that originated as a private game preserve of the rulers of Gwalior. Today it enjoys further protection under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The park is located about 110 km south of the city of Gwalior on the main Bombay'Agra road and is interspersed with hills and valleys of the central Indian hill ranges of the Vindhyas. The mixed dry deciduous vegetation of Madhav Shivpuri Park comprises of mixed forests of sal, teak, and khair wood along with undulating grasslands. Each year this park attracts thousands of tourists and nature lovers and is famous for its Tigers.
 
Visiting Hours
During summers (April'June), the temperature is around 36'C. The monsoon season (July'August) is also generally warm and occasionally wet. The winters however (October'March) see the temperature falling and make the area a bit chilly.
 
How To Get There
The nearest rail junction is the historic town of Jhansi (100 km). Jhansi in turn is well linked with major cities in India, including Delhi and Bombay. The nearest airport is Gwalior (112 km) and it is connected with many cities including Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, and Bombay. State Transport Corporation as well as private buses also connect Madhav Shivpuri National Park to adjoining cities of Gwalior, Indore, Bhopal, Jhansi, and Ujjain.
 
Attractions
Madhav Shivpuri National Park offers abundant opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife. One of the prime reasons of this park's popularity is the tiger. Tigers in the park can be photographed from protected "shooting boxes,' as the beast is bred in captivity within a buffer zone. Many tourists feel that Madhav Shivpuri is one jungle that guarantees the sighting of a tiger, and this makes it a thrilling place for tiger enthusiasts and wildlife patrons. Other inhabitants of Shivpuri forest include leopards, striped hyenas, jackals, jungle cats, chitals, sambhars, nilgais, four-horned antelopes, wild boars, gazelle, sloth bears, langurs, and crocodiles. Avian inhabitants include bar-headed geese, ducks, spoonbills, demoiselle cranes, cormorants, painted storks, white ibises, falcons, purple sunbirds, paradise flycatchers and golden orioles. The artificial lake, Sakhya Sagar (or Candpatha), and the forest's rocky streams further enhance the beauty of the picturesque setting of Madhav Shivpuri Park. The birds can be conveniently observed near the lake and the scenery is quite exotic at sunset when they fly back to their countless nests. Tourists can also avail boating facilities at Sakhya Lake. A hired jeep is the ideal way for getting around the jungle.

At the park's highest point rests the George Castle. It was built by Maharaja Jiyaji Rao Scindia to commemorate the visit of King George V. It offers some of the most pleasant views of Sakhya Sagar. The best time to visit the castle is at sunset when Sakhya Sagar below mirrors the changing hue of the evening sky. On the banks of the lake is the Madhav Vilas Palace, a summer retreat of the Scindia clan. A spectacular view of Shivpuri town and the park beyond may be had from the palace's turrets. The park's Bhadaiya Kund (a natural spring) is also a spot worth visiting. It is a local belief that its water, which is rich in minerals, has healing powers.

Moving away from the park, the town of Shivpuri still maintains its old world charm. Its royal past still lives in the form of its majestic palaces, hunting lodges, exquisitely adorned chhatris (cenotaphs) built by the Scindias.
 
Places Around
The nearby places include Chanderi (127 km), famous for cotton saris; historic destination of Narwar (41 km) famous for its medieval fortress atop a hill; Bundela and Marwah. Quite close to the park is Surwaya (21 km.) that has remains of a fort, three Hindu temples and a monastery. Moreover, for bird-watchers there is the Karera Bird Sanctuary at a distance of 45 km on the Shivpuri'Jhansi road, a protected area for the great Indian Bustard. Rajasthan state's famous Ranthambore Tiger Reserve lies 180 km northwest of Shivpuri and possesses its own magical charm.
 
Travel Tips
For summers, light cotton clothes would be suitable. During winters, which are cool to chilly, woolen clothes are essential. Jeeps may be rented from MP Tourism Department's reception desk for full or half-day tours.

For detailed information, tourists may contact: The Director, Shivpuri National Park, P.O. Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, India.
 
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