Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tadoba: the oldest national park of Maharashtra

The oldest and largest national park of Maharashtra state, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is located in Chandrapur district. Its name is derived from the name of a local deity called 'Tadoba' or 'Taru'. This deity is revered by the tribal people living in the dense forests of Andhari and Tadoba region. According to the local legends, Taru was a village chief, who was killed during his encounter with a tiger. On the banks of Tadoba Lake, one can witness a shrine of Lord Taru that has been built beneath a huge tree. It is visited regularly by the local tribal population, especially during the Hindu month of Pausha, when an annual fair is held in the Tadoba region. A tented tiger camp resort would provide greater convenience for leisure tourists and wildlife enthusiasts visiting Tadoba to explore its flora and fauna.

Northern and western boundary of this wildlife reserve comprises of hills that are covered by dense forests. Tadoba Lake, which is located to the south-west of the reserve, acts as a buffer between the forests and extensive farmlands extending up to Irai water reservoir. Crocodiles are provided ideal living conditions by the Tadoba Lake, as it is a perennial source of water in the region. Andhari River and Kolsa Lake are the other wetland areas within this wildlife reserve. Hills of Chimur are covered by Tadoba reserve, while Kolsa and Moharli ranges are covered by the Andhari sanctuary. Cliffs and caves in Tadoba provide a safe haven for many animals. About 87 per cent of the protected area in Tadoba reserve consists of dense woodlands and southern tropical dry deciduous forest. Tree species predominantly found in this region is Teak, while it also has other deciduous trees like Ain, Haldu, Tendu, Bija, Hirda, and Semal. Bamboo thickets and patches of grasses can be witnessed throughout the reserve. Besides the Bengal tigers, visitors to this wildlife reserve can find plenty of other mammals like leopards, striped hyenas, sloth bears, jungle cats, gaurs and different species of deer. Several species of amphibians and reptiles are also found in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.

Plenty of bird species are also found in this region, making it a paradise for ornithologists and bird-watchers. Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Orange-headed Thrush, Crested Treeswift, Paradise Flycatcher, Indian Pitta, and Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker are among Tadoba Andhari Reserve's bird species. A sizeable number of insect and butterfly species can also be spotted in this wildlife area. Tadoba Andhari Reserve's wildlife can be explored with the help of jungle safaris that are conducted on the open-top Gypsy vehicles. A tented camp Tadoba tourists desire during their trip, are provided by some of the popular resorts. The double-bedded and twin-bedded tents provided by them are generally air-conditioned, and provided with the best facilities like television, wardrobe, dressing table and luggage rack. Some of these resorts also have a tented multi-cuisine restaurant that provide different varieties of local as well as other popular cuisines for the guests. To accommodate all the guests, such restaurants also have a good seating capacity.