What is Melghat?
Melghat Tiger Reserve is one of the leading tiger conservation sanctuaries in India. It is located in the central India region in Maharashtra and is one of the 9 initial tiger reserves which were declared in India in 1974, under the “Project Tiger” initiative.
The name means “meeting of the ghats (valleys)”, which denotes the numerous hills, deep ravines and steep cliffs that mark the area. The total area of the Melghat Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary is around 1,675 sq km. this consists of Melghat Sanctuary spread over 788 sq km while the Gugamal National Park covers an area of around 361 sq km.
Later on, in 1985, the Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary was created. The core area of the Melghat Tiger Reserve is called as the Gugamal National Park.
Where is Melghat?
Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve is in the northwestern Maharashtra district of Amravati. It borders Madhya Pradesh.
The Gawilgadh Ridge of the Satpura Mountain Range, and the Tapti River, form the limits of the wildlife sanctuary. The Tapti flows through the northern parts of the tiger sanctuary and continues on to the catchment area of the river system, throughout the forest.
What is interesting about Melghat?
Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve has mostly tropical, dry-deciduous type of forest and the location of a catchment area of five major rivers (Dolar, Gadga, Sipna, Khapra and Khandu) makes it a perfect spot for numerous types of wildlife and flora to thrive in the region.
Flora in Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary
The influence of 5 major rivers in the Melghat Sanctuary allows it to have numerous varieties of tress, including:
- Numerous medicinal plants
Fauna in Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary
There are huge varieties of mammals found in the Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary, including:
- Royal Bengal Tiger
- Indian Leopard
- Jungle Cat
- Rusty-Spotted Cat
- Sloth Bear
- Striped Hyena
- Indian Wolf
- Dhole (Indian Wild Dog)
- Indian Jackal
Apart from the carnivores, there are numerous species of herbivore wildlife as well, such as:
- Rhesus macaque
- Chital (Spotted Deer)
- Barking Deer
- Chausingha (Four-Horned Antelope)
- Wild Boar
- Palm Civet
- Flying Squirrel
- Mouse Deer
- Black-nape Hare
Avian life in Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary
The Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 250 species of birds, including:
- Crested-Serpent Eagle
- Hawk Eagle
- Eagle Owl
- Rufous Treepie
- Golden Oriole
- Golden-Mantled Leefbird
- Black-Rump Woodpecker
- Jungle Bush Quail
- Asian Paradise Flycatcher
- Crested Lark
Reptilian life in Melghat
The several amphibious and reptilian species found here include:
- Green Vine Snake
- Indian Python
- Indian Cobra
- Freshwater Turtle
- Fat-Tailed Gecko
- Forest Calote
- Wild Lizard
Best time to visit Melghat National Park
According to travel experts, the best time to enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds of Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is between the months of December through May. The summer season dries the foliage and provides better visibility to spot the wildlife.
Safari activities and timing
To enjoy the natural splendor of Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Gugamal Tiger Reserve, the park authorities offer safari tours for visitors.
You can book your spot in these tours, which are organized daily at:
- Morning trip – 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Afternoon trip – 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
How to reach Melghat National Park?
By flight – The closest international airport to Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary is the Dr. Ambedkar International Airport at Nagpur, at a distance of around 260 km. It will take around 4-5 hours of a road journey in a private taxi to reach the park gates. The Akola Airport is the nearest domestic airport and is located at around 160 km. It will take around 3-4 hours of road journey from Akola to reach the park gates.
By train – The Badnera Junction is the closest railway station, at around 60 km. It takes an hour’s road journey to reach the park gates from here.
By Road – The closest spot to disembark near Melghat is Chikaldhara, the popular hill station, near Amravati.
If you wish to make your trip to the Melghat Tiger Reserve and Gugamal National Park a memorable one, there are certain etiquettes you will need to follow here.
Loud noises tend to disturb, and scare away, wildlife. Avoid making unnecessary noises and speak in whispers, if needed, to avoid this and ensure that you get to spot wildlife better. Do not litter inside the national park area and help in conserving the completely natural and pure environment. It is prohibited to disembark from your vehicle, for any reason, when within the national park area on safari.
To avoid insect bites and dust allergies, choose to wear full clothing and avoid short-sleeved tops and shorts. It is advisable to wear multiple layers of clothing, as the weather here in the morning and early evening is significantly chilly.
Book a Trip
To ensure that you are able to enjoy the wonders of Melghat Tiger Reserve and Gugamal National Park in the best possible manner, choose Waghoba Nagari to book your trip and safari tour now.