All you need to know about Tadoba National Park?
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, also known simply as ‘Tadoba’, was started in 1955 and is the oldest and largest national park in India. It is the home to the Bengal Tiger, and is part of 50-strong ‘Project Tiger’ sanctuaries spread across India.
It is named after a mythical tribal chief named ‘Taru’, who is said to have been killed by a tiger. Later on, there was a shrine built in his memory beneath a huge tree, near the Tadoba Lake. This temple is revered by the adivasi population of the region, who come to visit the shrine, especially between the months of December and January, each year.
Where is Tadoba?
Tadoba is situated in the Chandrapur district of east Maharashtra, and is located in the central Indian region. In 1986, the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary was formed, and was eventually integrated into the national park in 1995, thus making the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.
It is situated at around 150 km from Nagpur, the second state capital of Maharashtra and is spread over an immense 1,727 sq km. The dense Tadoba forest is bordered by forested hills on the western and northern front. These hills range in size from 200 meters to 350 meters in height. The Tadoba Lake is to the southwest of the national park, and covers an immense 120 hectares. This is an effective buffer between the preserved forest and the extensive farmlands which are found till the Irai water reservoir. Apart from this, Tadoba also has the Kolsa Lake and Andhari River as the alternate water sources.
The Tadoba forest land also includes the Chimur Hills, while the Andhari sanctuary includes the Kolsa and Moharli hill ranges. The sloping terrain from north to south has vast dense forested areas, dotted with smooth meadows and deep valleys. The southern region of the national park is less hilly and plainer.
What is Interesting about Tadoba?
Tadoba is one of the most popular tiger preserves in all of India. Due to the recent threat of extinction to the Indian Bengal Tigers, the government had initiated steps to preserve these mighty feline beasts.
Flora in Tadoba Tiger Reserve
The total area of the Tadoba Andhari Reserve is just over 625 sq km, which consists of the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary measuring 508 sq km and Tadoba National Park measuring 116 sq km. Apart from these around 32 sq km of the forest surrounding the park is deemed as protected area.
Apart from the commonly seen teak and bamboo trees, the Tadoba National Park is also home to numerous other rare and indigenous trees, including:
- Ain (Crocodile Bark)
- Karaya Gum
- Mahua Madhuca (Crepe Myrtle)
- Lannea Coramandelica (Wodler Tree)
Fauna in Tadoba Tiger Reserve
In terms of wildlife, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve has the Royal Bengal Tiger as its star attraction. According to the tiger census of 2016, there were around 88 tigers making the Tadoba Tiger Reserve as their habitat. Apart from these, the surrounding forest is reported to have around 58 tigers living in it.
Amongst these tigers, the ones named Maya, Shivaji, Sonam, P3, Madhuri, Malika, Matkasur, Choti Tara, Bajrangi, and Sitara are the stars of the safari tour.
Along with the Royal Bengal Tigers, the Tadoba Tiger Reserve is also home to numerous other wonderful and graceful animals, including:
- Indian leopard
- Sloth bear
- Striped Hyena
- Small Indian Civet
- Jungle cat
- Barking deer
- Honey badger
- Marsh crocodiles (Magar)
- Common langoors
- Indian pangolins
- Indian Python
- Indian Cobra
- Russel Viper,
- Indian monitor lizard
- Indian Star Tortoise and
Avian life in Tadoba Tiger Reserve
The Tadoba National Park is a haven for over 195 species of birds, including:
- Changeable hawk-eagle
- Crest serpent eagle
- Grey-headed fish eagle
- Indian pitta
- Orange-headed thrush
- Stone curlew
- Crested treeswift
- Crested honey buzzard
- Bronze-winged jacana
- Paradise flycatcher
- Lesser golden-backed woodpecker
- Black-nape blue flycatcher
Best time to visit Tadoba Tiger Reserve
To get a chance to view the teeming wildlife in Tadoba Tiger Reserve, the best time to visit is between the months of February and May, as the summer season brings out the elusive animals out in search of drinking water and foliage.
Safari activities and timing
You can watch the beaty of Tadoba Tiger Reserve from comfortable and reliable Jeeps and Gypsies with the safari tour. The timings for these safari tours are as follows:
- Morning trip – 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Entry till 8:00 a.m. only)
- Afternoon trip – 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Entry till 4:30 p.m. only)
How to reach Tadoba Tiger Reserve
By Flight – The nearest airport is the Baba Saheb Ambedkar International Airport, located around 140 km in Nagpur. It takes around 3 hours to reach Tadoba Tiger Reserve from Nagpur Airport.
By Train – The nearest railway station is in Chandrapur, which is at a distance of about 49 km, while the major railway station is situated in Nagpur (Nagpur Junction) at a distance of about 140 km.
By Road – If you plan to travel by bus, the nearest bus station is at Chandrapur and Chimur, both at a distance of about 32 km, from the Tadoba Tiger Reserve. You can take tourist bus or taxi from Chandrapur to Mohrali village, which is the closest disembarking point near the park.
There are certain regulations and rules that dictate safety for the tourists and the environment as well when you are visiting Tadoba Tiger Reserve.
Although you may be visiting in the warmer summer months, it is advisable to carry warm clothes as the weather turns quite chilly after sunset. Tourists are also banned from carrying food items inside the safari area and no tourist is allowed to disembark/step down from the vehicle as long as they as in the safari area.
Apart from these, follow the instructions given by the guide/driver when on the safari and ensure that you enjoy it responsibly.