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.
IN THE FIELD UPDATE
Jun 2012 - A new Tiger Corridor is being set up in the Umred, situated between Tadoba and Navegaon Sancturies, 20 kms away from Nagpur. This corridor will be approx 190 sq kilometres in area and will enable tigers from Tadoba to move to Kanha in Madhaya Pradesh. Maharashtra CAMPA funds are being used for meadow development and the creation of waterholes in this sanctuary. Rehabilitation is being initiated in Jamni and Navegaon villages situated in the core areas of the park.
Mar 2012 - Tourism in now booming in this little known park, and tiger sighting are getting better each year. Many have been sighted this season, including cubs of the Telia tiger. Chital and gaur are commonly seen in the grasslands and around the lake. Large populations of the mugger crocodile reside in the Tadoba Lake and are always visible – sunning themselves. The Sloth bear prefers hilly terrain such as in the heart of the forests at Katezari, which now forms part of the core forest, but they are often spotted behind the tourist complex or near Vasant Bhandara.
The Park timings during winter are 6:30 to 10:30 in the morning and 2 to 5:30 in the evenings. The summer timings are 6 to 10 and 3 to 6 respectively (March to June). The Park is closed on Tuesdays but visitors can try other activities around the reserve. Camping facilities are available at Mohorli and Kolsa on prior bookings. The park authorities have restricted the total number of jeeps to 36 only for the morning and evening game drives respectively in the Tadoba range. Due to the limit of vehicles and weekend crowds, it is advisable to go in week days and contact lodges or ground agents to make the bookings for you.
May 2011 - Tourism in Tadoba has traditionally happened along its western boundary along the tar road that runs north-south through the sanctuary. This side of the park has been given very good protection and has resulted in the increase in the wildlife population. The eastern side of the park (east of Andhari River) has virtually no road network and has areas of reserve forest and FDCM (Commercial arm of Forest Dpt.) where tendu contracts and bamboo contracts are given. This results in dispersion of prey population on the eastern boundary as well as surrounding forest areas which act as corridors for Tadoba. Hence the best sightings happen on the western side of the park. Some of the best sighting areas in Tadoba are at: Katezari Valley, Tadoba and Telia Lakes, Pandharpauni Meadows, Jamun Bodhi, Vasant Bandhara, Bamangaon Nala, Jamun Jhora, Wagh Nala and Pandharapani. Most of these places also offer great views of the forest.
In Tadoba the tigers are named by the area / waterhole in which they roam, some of the regularly seen tigers are Kosekanal Male, Hill Top Male, Vasant Bandhara Male, Dauna waterhole Male, Ain Bodhi Female, Waghdoh Female, JamunBodhi Female, Telia Female, and Tadoba lake Female. Some excellent sightings in April and May have been noted especially around the Panchadhara area.
The Tadoba range has reported the birth of 26 cubs in 2011, and the latest census reports in April 2011 suggest a stable population, which is good considering the 53 villages that ring the park with their cattle.
Visitors have also spot some of its 158 species of resident birds and 50 species of migratory birds, in particular the Bar-headed goose in the winters. Chital and gaur are commonly seen in the grasslands and around the lake and the tourist complex. Large populations of the mugger crocodile reside in the Tadoba Lake and are always visible – sunning themselves.
The Sloth bear prefers hilly terrain such as in the heart of the forests at Katezari, which now forms part of the core forest, but they are often spotted behind the tourist complex or near Vasant Bhandara.
The palm civet may be seen on trees, and flying squirrels commonly make an appearance at dusk. The black-naped hare is commonly encountered along a route called Sasa road. ('Sasa' is hare in Marathi).
Please note: The Park is closed on Tuesdays but visitors can try
other activities around the reserve.
The Park is partially closed between 15th July and 30th September, 2011 due to the
monsoons. There are concerns that tourist vehicles might get stuck in muddy roads,
so avoid such areas when inside. Camping facilities are available at Mohorli and
Kolsa on prior bookings. Tadoba and Mohurli Range is undulating so even in heavy
rains most areas are motorable. The Kolsa Range cannot be driven through during
The park authorities have restricted the total number of jeeps to 36 only for the
morning and evening game drives respectively in the Tadoba range. Please check with
your local guide if you can be accommodated through the nearest one. Elephant safaris
are not available in the park.
You could try for an Advance Park Entry Booking from Chandrapur but as of now, it
can only be done in person and only 7 days before the date of entry. Due to the
limit of vehicles and weekend crowds, it is advisable to have your contact (lodges
or travel agents) make the bookings for you.