A Quick Visit to Raneh Falls and Ken Gharial Sanctuary near Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India

Okay.  Here is a crazy comparison.  Have you watched the movie “Black Panther”?  If yes, do you remember the fighting scene where our hero has to prove that he is the true Black Panther – twice?  It was an insane set up.  A pool in the middle of cliffs in the middle of nowhere.  When I first saw the scene in the movie, I wondered how anyone could have imagined the existence of such a place!  Today I know, the set designer probably visited or saw pictures of Raneh Falls… Maybe : )

We had a couple of hours to spare before our afternoon safari at Panna Tiger Reserve.  So, after breakfast, we headed to Ken Gharial Sanctuary and Raneh Falls.  Middle of May, after 10 am is probably not the best time to visit these places.  In fact, we were the only visitors there.  Getting to the sanctuary was not too difficult but the last few kilometers were rough due to bad roads. 

Once we got there, we had to purchase tickets to enter the site.  The ticket price includes the services of a guide.  As we drove through the sanctuary, we came to a point where it looked like there were cottages where people can stay.  It was at this point that we picked up our guide. 

We first went towards the Ken Gharial Sanctuary area.  We went to a view point where we could see the beautiful Ken river below.  Unfortunately, we were too late to see the Gharials (part of crocodile family) as they left the river banks to seek refuge from the heat (it was already 45 deg C).  We were also too late for the boating activity which gives you a better chance of seeing the Gharials up close.  We did not realize how critically endangered this species was until we spotted them (via binoculars) later in the day during our afternoon safari at Panna.  While driving in the sanctuary, we did spot few deer and Neelgai which were seeking shelter in the shade of the few trees that were there.

Next, we headed to the Raneh Falls area.  The waterfall itself was dry but the canyon was beautiful … rocks of three different colors.  Deep below there was water flowing but you could feel the heat and dryness everywhere.  Afterwards, we realised that it was the main waterfall area that reminded us of the Black Panther movie scene.  We could connect with the setting because there was no water flowing.  Maybe it is a stretch on our part but one thing I have realised is that anything can inspire you at any time.  After spending a little time admiring the canyon, we headed out as the heat was starting to bother us.

All in all it was a nice quick visit to Raneh Falls and Ken Gharial Sanctuary.  I think if you go between October and January after the monsoon season is done, the views experienced will be quite different and based on the pictures and videos posted on the internet, spectacular as well.  So, if you visit Khajuraho or Panna Tiger Reserve and have a couple hours to spare, this is a nice place to visit.

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