Madhav National Park lies between Agra-Bombay road and Jhansi-Shivpuri Road. It is spread over an area of 157.58 Sq. Kms. A drive through the park watching animals is very exhilarating experience.The Park is heaven for wildlife and wildlife buffs. The park remains open throughout the year and boasts of large numbers of chinkara, Indian gazelle and chital.
The nilgai, sambar, chausingha, blackbuck, sloth bear, leopard and the common langur are the other inhabitants of the sprawling park. The national park is equally rich in bird life; Chandpata, the artificial lake, is the winter abode of migratory geese, pochard, pintail, teal, mallard and gadwall. Other residents include the cormorant, laggar falcon, paradise flycatcher and golden oriole. Loud cracking notes of whitebrested kingfisher flying past,harsh crocking of grey heron or quacking of spotbill duck and numerous lesser whistling teals resting at the bank of lack with a leg tucked away and head folded back in to the body; and cheetal grazing here or nilgiri browsing there in the forest, add to the charm.The dynamism of the dry deciduous forest at the Park is unbelievable. Soothing lush green, impenetrable vegetation all over during the monsoon wither to desolate brown and Grey in summer, It nevertheless remains full of life Indeed, Madhav National Park is an oasis in the midest of habitation and cultivation.
A pair of tigers from Bhopal Van Vihar tigress Tara and Petu â€“ each about 3 years old , were introduced in the Madhav National Park in fenced 140 hectare well preserved pocket, in October 1989. All the cubs of first litter died soon after birth. The second litter of one male and two females in August 1991 fared well. In April 1993 the pair bred for the third time giving birth to 4 female cubs, all in good health. In November 1995, Tara gave birth to 4 more cubs â€“ 2 male and 2 female. Now the total number of tigers in the safari is 12. The Safari provides a good opportunity to visitors to observe the tigers at close range.
Sakhya Sagar and Madhav Sagar, created on Manier river in 1918, are two important bio-diversity support systems in the Park besides several perennial and seasonal streams and nalls. A reptile hideout, Marsh crocodile, Indian Python and monitor lizard are some lakes known occupants at the few yards of entrance of Madhav National Park.
On the shores of the lake and connected to it by a broad pier is a boat club, an airy and delicate structure with glass panels. The boat club is also known as Sailing Club. Just stand by the railing of Sailing Club deck extending in to Sakhya Sagar and watch. The view of massive lake all around and the undulating, forested Vindhyachal hills beyond is mesmerizing. Now a days the boating has been banned keeping in view the safety of lives of tourists.
Shivpuri is famous for graceful,intricately embellished Marble chhatries (cenotaphs) erected by Scindia Princes. Set in an elaborate Mughal Garden, are the cenotaphs, the royal Chhatries dedicated to Scindias.
Facing each other across a water tank are the Chhatries of Madhav Rao Scindia and dowager queen Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia, in a delighful fusion of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, with their shikhara â€“ type spires and Rajput and Mughal pavilions. Ceremonially attired retainers, with flowers and incense tend to both cenotaph house life-size images of the Scindias, and these religiously, daily.
The summer palace of the Scindias, Madhav Vilas Palace, looks intensely alluring, dressed in soft shade of rose-pink.The MAHAL as it is popularly known, is attired with marble floors,elegant terraces and a Ganapati Mandap.
From the turrets, one can get a splendid view of Shivpuri town and Madhav National Park itself. Now this grand palace has converted in to the training center of Intelligence Bureau of Government of India, which is among the few training centers of Intelligence Buearo.
Deep inside the Madhav National Park, at its highest point stands the George Castle built by Jiwaji Rao Scindia. The ideal time to visit the castle is at sunset, when Sakhya Sagar Lake seems to take the radiance and changing hues of the sky. The castle located at the central region of the Park provides a wonderful panoramic view of Sakhya Sagar and the spread of the forest around. It is intrusting to note that the grand George Castle was built by the Gwalior royalty for an overnight halt for tiger shooting by British King Geroge V, while he was to pass that way during his visit to India in 1911. It so happened that King could shoot a tiger on the way itself and did not stop at Madhav National Park.