The state of Chhattisgarh has abundant natural resources including forests and wildlife. 44% of the state is covered with forests, ranking it third in India in terms of forest cover. The state falls under the Deccan bio-geographical zone.
Among the various Protected Areas (PA) in the country, Kanger Valley National Park in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is one of the most beautiful and densest national parks, well known for its biodiversity with picturesque landscape, magnificent waterfalls, very famous subterranean geomorphologic limestone caves, home for the Bastar Hill myna, the state bird of Chhattisgarh.
Kanger Valley National Park is noted for its highly heterogeneous land formations ranging from low flat and gentle areas to steep slopes, plateaus, valleys and stream courses. The vast undulating terrain of the Kanger Valley National Park harbours diverse habitats which offer an ideal site for diverse kinds of flora and fauna, thus making it a hotspot of biodiversity in the Central India.
Kanger Valley National Park is situated at 24 km, Southeast of Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar district, on Jagdalpur -Darbha road. The National Park derives its name from the Kanger river, which flows centrally from Northwest to Southeast direction.
|The National Park lies at the following geographical coordinates: Latitude||18° 45′ 00″ N to 18° 56′ 30″ N|
|Longitude||81° 51′ 30″ E to 82° 10′ 00″ E|
Kanger Valley National Park came into existence on 22nd July 1982 by Government of Madhya Pradesh Gazette. It was carved out from Kanger, Darbha and Machkote ranges of Central Bastar forest division. The National Park comes under Jagdalpur Wildlife Circle and under Darbha Revenue Block fully.
The National Park comprises of two ranges viz: Kotomsar and Koleng range.
The total area of the National Park is 200sq.km. The Valley starting from Tirathgarh waterfalls to the Kolab river (Orissa state boundary) is nearly 33.5 km length and the average width is about 6 km.
The national park has remarkable geological diversity. The national park has mainly Cuddapah group of rock formation and at some places Vindhyan group of rock formation, shales are the common rock formation of Cuddapah group, which are horizontally bedded, at many places calcareous, the other rock formation is slate.
In the northwestern part i.e. Tirathgarh, Kamanar, Kotumsar there is a outcrop of limestone, sandstone, quartzite and laterites. In northern middle part, from Nagalsar to Radhanaras, at many places, limestone is well exposed and outcrops of quartzite and laterites. Limestone caves of Kotumsar, Dandak, Devgiri and Kailash are present in this part. In the northeastern part from Pulcha to Kolab River, rock is shale and some quartzite with outcrops of granite.
In the southwestern part, rock is of vindhyan group mainly granite and sandstone. At few places granite and mica are also present. In the southern middle part, rock is of cuddapah group of quartzite and granite. At many places mica schist are present. Shale and sandstone are also outcropped. In the southeastern part, rock is primarily of cuddapah group of granite, shale, slate, sandstone and occasional quartzite outcrop. On slopes laterites are present. At some places vindhyan group of rocks are also present.
Poor and rocky soil is found on the hill tops and slopes. Recent deposits are alluvial soils, high and low level laterites, and ferruginous conglomerates. The soils are yellowish-brown, brownish red, reddish and brown in colour and mostly residual in nature.