• Palpur Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary
For the King´s Return Palpur Kuno in Crowning Glory
by   Raja Chatterjee
In the mid day, we set out for Palpur Fort on foot. After walking a distance, a strong rotten smell of an animal carcass filled the air and we approached to its source. We were all startled at the sight of a dead calf hanging full length with its head down, from a thick banyan tree branch on our right. Thousands of insects gathered around face of the calf to feed on. A close look revealed that only the intact skin was hanging while its hind legs were firmly fixed at the cavity of intersection of two strong branches with the hooves serving as stoppers to prevent a fall. It was an immaculate act of a leopard. Having caught and killed his prey, he dragged and lifted it up to fix it on the branch10 feet high banyan branch. The leopard devoured delicacies of the calf with deftness, by opening up only its belly, heart and thigh portions, over a period of days. Remains of the rib bones could not be traced around. Saluting the skillful cat, we celebrated the sights on celluloid.

After this delightful detour, we made our way up through forests to the Fort.Palpur fort was built in the early 18th century by the Bundelkhand rulers today in ruins. It stands over a rugged terrain, river Kuno flows deep down under a stunning rock face, amid dense forest. It is perhaps the smallest of all Indian fortresses, spread over a meager area of less than one fourth of an acre. It used to be the winter palace and facilities for game hunting.

A panoramic view from the fort top pampers desires to be there in complete solitude of mind and soul.

The afternoon safari had some pleasant surprises in store for us. We were driving towards Aam Kho region, in a zigzag way through a wooded patch. Suddenly a Striped Hyena appeared from the bush to our right and crossed over the road in seconds and stood in grass land. We stopped for a better view of the animal when its partner came from the front end of our Jipsy. Together they paused for minutes. While the female melted away in the bush, the male one made no hurry to offer us a perfect photo session, for at least 20 minutes. Hyena having obliged our wishes disappeared, leaving behind their images with us to campaign for the conservation of Palpur Kuno.

We left the sanctuary next morning with a heavy heart. The hills, forests, canyons, birds, animals and bridle paths have made a deep inroads into our hearts. So got stored are the stories of the life and times of the foot solders here, as milestones.

The lions at Palpur Kuno may still keep you waiting for some time till they are released from the clutch of politics to be reintroduced here but not the lion hearted foot soldiers of conservation who guard tirelessly to save the kingdom, for another coronation.

Welcome to Palpur Kuno, this hidden heaven of an uncrowned kingdom.
Sanctuary Information At a Glance

Area :
344.68 sq.Km

Year of Establishment :

1981

Latitude :
25°30´N to 25°53´N;

Longitude :
77°7´E to 77°26´E

Location :
The Sanctuary is situated in Sheopur district of M.P. The nearest town - Shivpuri - is situated on N.H 3 The sanctuary has tw entry points, Tiktoli and Pipal Baodi, connected by fair weather roads. From Gwalior, Tiktoli (via Pohari) is 198 km and Pipal Baodi (via Vijaypur) is 138 km. Gwalior and Jhansi are nearby broad gauge main railheads on Central Railway. The nearest airport is Gwalior.

Temperature :
Minimum 2°C, Maximum : 49°C

Rainfall :
800 mm

Sanctuary Visit :
1stNovember- 30thJune

Accommodation :
Palpur FRH : 2 Suites Kuno PWD Rest House : 2 Suites Vijaypur PWD Rest House : 2 suites

Reservation :
Superintendent, Kuno Sanctuary, Pohari, Dist. Sheopur, M.P. 473771

Contact Details : Phone 07530-220004

Transport :
Visitors have to arrange their own
4 - Wheel drive transport.