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Panna District

 
  Panna is the only district of Bundelkhand where the tiger is seen, but even here it is on the verge of extinction

Among all districts of Bundelkhand, Panna has the highest percentage area of land under forests, and not surprisingly, highest percentage of tribal population--around 15%.

Several stunning waterfalls, deep natural reservoirs, or 'kunds'and streams arising from rocks called 'jhirnas' are found in the district (approx area: 7000 sq km; Census 2001 pop: 8.6 lakhs).

Evidence of inhabitation by early man is found in many caves near natural water bodies.

The Panna forests, which are classified as tropical dry deciduous forests, were the natural abode of elephants that were much prized by the Bundelas as well as the Mughals. Over the years, the forests have suffered much degradation.

The Panna wildlife sanctuary, designated in 1981, is a tiger reserve. The reserve also hosts other endangered species like the leopard, carcal, four-horned antelope, Indian wolf, pangolin, Rusty Spotted Cat, and Sloth Bear.

The Ken river passes through the tiger reserve, for a distance of around 55 km, and is home to a variety of aquatic fauna including the endangered long-snouted crocodile (gharial) and Marsh Crocodile (mugger).

Panna is also historically known for its diamonds. The diamond belt covers about 1000 sq.km and  extensive small-scale diamond mining activity has been carried on since the latter part of the 16th century.

Mining is now mainly done at the Majhgawan diamond deposit,  discovered 20 km from Panna town in 1827.

Panna was the capital of Maharaj Chhatrasal and became a princely state of British India in the early 19th century. Panna district was formed by joining two princely states, Ajaygarh and Panna.

Panna town (pop. around 46,000), 800 feet above sea level and 300 feet below surrounding hills, is a major centre of the Pranami sect.

Its founder, Pran Nath, attempted to show that the ideals underlying Hindusim and Islam were the same. Said to have been Chhatrasal’s guide, Pran Nath lived in Panna till the end of his life.

There are several temples in the town including one known as Sri Baldeoji's, dedicated to Krishna's brother, Balram, which was built on the design of St Paul's Cathedral, London!

Panna town is not linked by rail.

The difficult-to-access fort of Ajaygarh, a Chandela stronghold, is 31 km to the west of Panna town; the fort’s northern entrance faces the ancient fort of Kalinjar (in Banda district), 35 km away .

Among other noteworthy monuments in the district is the Chaturmukha Mahadeo temple at Nachna, one of the earliest temples of North India with a shikara. Its beautiful and terrifying four-faced linga is considered one of the high points of Gupta period art.

Several Bundela-time tanks are found in the district. The reservoir of Bariarpur weir, built by the British to feed the Ken canal system, recharges groundwater sources. However, due to the hilly terrain, the percentage of land sown is lowest in Bundelkhand.

| Jhansi | Lalitpur | Datia | Jalaun | Hamirpur | Mahoba | Banda | Chitrakoot | Panna | Chhatarpur | Tikamgarh | Damoh | Sagar |

 
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