About the park
The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is arguably one of India’s most exciting
Tiger reserves, a forest that used to be famous as a favourite of shikari’s
or hunters. Dominated by teak forest and bamboo, it’s a rugged landscape comprising
cliffs, caves, marshes, perennial lakes and boulder strewn streambeds that cater
to a host of biodiversity, not least the Tiger, who are seen increasingly in its
borders, but also many other endangered species including leopard, sloth bear, leopard
cat, ratel and gaur.
Overlooked by tourism till recently because it was off the beaten track and lacked
accommodation, today it offers comfortable accommodation and some wonderful wildlife
experiences. It is also one of the few parks that are open all year round, offering
visitors an opportunity to visit in the monsoon season – this extraordinary
active time for all manner of plants and animals, yet otherwise closed to keen nature
lovers in most other parks of India.
The reserve was named after the deity Taru, who is worshipped as Tadoba and the
Andhari River. According to local folklore, Taru was a village chief who was killed
in a mythological encounter with a tiger. Today, there is a shrine dedicated to
him on the banks of the beautiful Tadoba Lake.
The region was once ruled by the Gond kings who used these forests as hunting grounds
till it was banned in 1935. In 1955, 116.54 sq km of the forest was declared as
Tadoba National Park and then in 1986 another of 509 sq km adjacent to the reserve
was notified as the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary. The two sanctuaries were subsequently
integrated and in 1993, it became a Project Tiger Reserve.
Tadoba lies in the Moharli hills of Maharashtra. It has a hilly terrain with an
average altitude of about 200-350 m. The Tiger Reserve is spread around the serene
and beautiful Tadoba Lake which lies in a basin at the central region. Local tribes
consider the lake sacred and sprinkle its water in their fields before sowing, for
protection against pests. It is also the oldest National Park of the State. Tadoba
and other adjacent reserves form a well-protected unit for the long-term survival
of endangered species such as the tiger, today’s count of which stands at
74 with 26 cubs counted to date.
The Tadoba Range is the Northern most range of Tadoba with entry through the Khutwanda
Gate. This is the most popular range because of the good number of tiger sightings
it has offered visitors so far. There are an estimated 31 tigers in the Tadoba Range
and in 2011, 27 cubs were noted in the park. This range also has the Tadoba Lake
where you can see the Indian Marsh Crocodile and a vast number of migratory birds
during the winters. Within this range, there are two prominent spots - Katezari,
which is an evergreen valley and Pandharpauni meadows that has two waterholes that
ensures visits by the wild denizens of the forest.
The Mohurli Range is part of Andhari Tiger Reserve and entrance to this range is
via the Mohurli gate to the south and Khutwanda gate to the north. The Mohurli gate
is the commercial gate of the Reserve since it connects to Chandrapur city. Nearby
are two large open-cast Western coal fields mines and the MSEB-Super Thermal power
station touching TATR. Two prominent areas in this range are the Telia Lake, which
good place to spot migratory birds and Andhari Nala for Gaur sightings. There are
16 tigers in known to roam in this range.
The Kolsa Range is also part of Andhari Tiger Reserve and it shares its entry gates
with those of the Mohurli Range. This is not as popular as the other ranges since
there haven’t been many reported sightings and the road networks are not comprehensive.
However, it can be the perfect spot for those looking to take the road less travelled.
Winter: Morning: 5.45 am to 9.30 am | Evening: 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Summers: Morning: 6.45 am to 12.15 pm | Evening: 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Present prices for safaris:
Gypsy: INR 2,200 (US$ 36.5)
Weekdays – INR 100 (US$ 1.5) for Indian Nationals | INR 600 (US$ 10) for Foreign Nationals
Weekends – INR 150 (US$ 2.5) for Indian Nationals | INR 900 (US$ 15) for Foreign Nationals
How to book jeep safaris:
Any restrictions and rules:
Camera with more than 250 mm lens - INR 200 (US$ 3)
Latest information on tourism zones:
Tadoba zone (Khutvanda gate): Morning- 4 vehicles | Evening- 4 vehicles
Tadoba zone (Kolara gate): Morning- 8 vehicles | Evening- 8 vehicles
Moharli zone: Morning- 20 vehicles | Evening- 20 vehicles
Tadoba zone (Navegaon gate): Morning- 4 vehicles | Evening- 4 vehicles
Pangdi: Morning- 3 vehicles | Evening- 3 vehicles
Zhari (Kolsa): Morning- 4 vehicles | Evening- 4 vehicles
IN THE FIELD UPDATE
The park getting lots of the limelight today for its sightings, with an estimated 100 tigers across the park and its surrounding areas. Three tiger families seem to be commonly sighted in Tadoba at the moment. One is the tigress Sonam and her three cubs in the Moharli range and the other is Maya and her three cubs in the Tadoba range, but also a tigress and three cubs and Scarface her elderly beau outside the core park boundaries in the buffer forest. Besides this, the park also has continued good sightings of leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, gaur and many birds.
Soon Kayaking will be possible on Irai lake alongside boat safaris in pontoon boats and walking is also available in the buffer regions, which is good forest.
Svasara Resorts (Quality PUG Eco Rating)
New in 2016: A pool and spa have been added to the existing facilities for guests at Svasara Resorts. The Desjoyaux pool reflects Svasara’s eco focus, using recycled materials for the internal structure and a filtration system that saves water. The spa features orange-based therapies, making use of the abundant oranges cultivated in the area. The therapists are local and have been trained by an ayurvedic institute in Chandrapur district, where the lodge is located. Svasara is also partnering with an NGO and other local stakeholders to set up a mobile unit for prompt and skilful handling of medical emergencies in the area.
Tiger Trails (PUG Outstanding Eco-rating)
Tiger Trails Jungle Lodges won the Responsible Tourism Silver Award for “Best in Wildlife Conservation” at WTM London in November 2015. Its 20 acres of rewilding has been host to a number of resident animals over the last season including the den of a tigress and her new cubs, making movement in and around the lodge often complicated. The lodge now sports a new restaurant cum lounge, a bigger terrace and a new swimming pool.
Contact Aditya Dhanwatey firstname.lastname@example.org