Kanha National Park lies in the eastern segment of Satpura in the Maikal range, in a elevation range of 1480 to 2950 feet (450-900 meters) above mean sea level. The bauxite-capped hills of basalt have Plateaus, locally called dadar range from 2625 to 2950 feet (800-900 meters), carry extensive grasslands. Underling rock is volcanic which breaks down into laterite, sand and red gravelly soils with crystalline, graniteic and limestone boulders and black cotton soil in low lying areas.
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In Banjar valley in Kanha, Kisli & Mukki ranges soil is sandy. In the lower pockets, the soil is finely textured & rich in humus. It tends to be somewhat clayey & is locally called Kanhar. Perhaps the name Kanha, the village after which the park is named, comes from this soil.

The main Maikal range forms the watershed between the rivers Narmada and Mahanadi. Within reserve, it continues west as Bhaisanghat ridge which devides the Narmada catchment between Banjar to the west and Halon to the east. Banjar & Halon form the two main rivers in the park.

From Maikal & Bhaisanghat ridges, a number of spurs branch off to the north & devide the headwaters of Halon in to its tributaries. Near Bamhnidadar 2780 feet (850 meters), the Bhaisanghat ridge splits & the spur running west devides the Banjar catchment in to Bajar & its tributory, the Sulkum.