A haven for nature lovers - Maharashtra is a home to large number
of animal and bird species including the tiger, crocodile, bison, neelgai, wild deer, sambars and rare migratory birds. The
government is trying to take adequate steps towards setting up many wildlife parks and sanctuaries to protect these regions.
These parks offer splendid opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife in the spectacular natural setting. Modern amenities
such as jeep rides, night safaris, library and audio-visual facilities, comfortable accommodation and efficient transport
are also tried to be made available at these parks at a nominal charge.
National Park :
Located around 70 kms from Nagpur on an area of 257.26 sq kms is the Pench National Park.
This is southern topical dry deciduous forest is a home to a variety of trees and wild animals. One can spot the tigers, panthers,
gaur, sambars, chital, barking deer, blue bull, langoor, wild boar, bear, wild dogs.
Timings : 5.00 am to 7.00 pm.
Weather : There are three distinct
seasons. Summer is from February to middle of June. The monsoon starts from mid-June and lasts till October. Winter starts
in October with low temperatures in December/January. Best time to visit is from February to April. Getting there : Nagpur
is the nearest railway station and airport approximately 70 kms away. Ramtek, 35 kms by bus has a regular bus service to Pench
Wildlife Sanctuary :
Wild animals generally spotted are here are the tiger, panther, bison, blue bull,
chital, sambar, peacock, barking deer, chinkara, monkey, wild boar, bear, and wild dog.
: There are three seasons, summer, winter and the rainy season. The best
time to visit is in April and May.
Getting there : The
nearest bus station is Hingni 5 kms away, while the nearest railway station is Wardha about 35 kms away. Nagpur is the nearest
airport, 80 kms away.
The animals spotted here are : the black buck, blue bull, chital, sambar, peacock, hare, snake,
monkey, wild boar, bear, wild cat, wolf and jackal.
Weather : Temperatures are quite pleasant all around the year, although there are three seasons
namely summer, winter and the monsoons. Best time to visit is during April and May.
there : The nearest bus station is Pandharkawada 22 kms away on NH7.
Yavatmal (70kms) and Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh (35 kms) are convenient railheads. Nagpur is the nearest airport around 172
Wildlife Sanctuary :
Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of wild animals including a few endangered
species namely the tiger, leopard, jungle cat, sloth bear and wild dog. There are 131 species of avi-fauna recorded in the
protected area of which as many as three bird species are of endangered status. There are two species of reptiles which are
of endangered status: the Indian python and common Indian monitar. It is common to spot the following wild animals as well:
wild boar, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, blue bull, jungle cat, jackal, peacock, jungle fowl and flying squirrel. The
local people in and around the Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary are mostly tribals belonging to the Gond community. The local language
is Marathi, Telugu, Madia and Gondi. These people are mainly dependent on the forest for their day to day needs such as wood,
timber, grass, etc. Other places of other interest around the sanctuary are Prashant
Dham at Chaprala, Chaprala Temple and Markanda Temple.
Weather : Winter is from December to February, summer from March
to May, the monsoon season from June to September and post-monsoon from October and November. Best time to visit is from February
Getting there : The nearest railway station is Ballarpur (on the Delhi-Madras main line) 70 km away. The nearest
main bus stands are Chandrapur (85 km) and Ballarpur. The nearest airport is Nagpur, 243 kms via Chandrapur.
Wildlife Sanctuary :
Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of wild animals including the following
endangered species: the leopard, jungle fowl, wild boar and sloth bear. You can also find the barking deer, blue bull, peacock
and flying squirrel among other animals. The land vegetation can be classified as moist deciduous mix forests. The local people
in and around the Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary are mostly tribals belonging to the Gond-Madia tribes. They still lead a primitive
way of life. The local language is Madia and Gondi. These people are mainly dependent on the forest for their day to day needs
such as wood, timber, grass, etc. Other places of interest around the sanctuary are the Hemalkasa
Lok Biradari Project run by Dr Prakash Amte
Weather : Winter is from December to February, followed by summer from March
to May. The south-west monsoon season is from June to September, post-monsoon in October and November. The best time to visit
is from February to May.
Getting there :The nearest railway station is Ballarpur (on the Delhi-Madras main line) 197 km
away. The nearest main bus stations are Aheri (102 km), Ballarpur and Chandrapur (212 km). Nagpur, some 370 km via Chandrapur
is the closest airport.
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary :
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary is locked in the arms of nature and adorned
with a picturesque landscape, luxuriant vegetation and serves as a living outdoor museum to explore and appreciate nature.
The sanctuary has a number of fish, approx 34 species of mammals, 166 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles and four species
of amphibians. The invertebrate fauna includes, besides a number of insects and ant species, several species of butterflies.
Nearly 35,000 tourists visits this sanctuary annually. Wild animals to spot are the tiger, panther, bison, sambar, nilgai,
chital, wild boar, sloth bear and wild dog. Other places of interest are Navegaon National Park (50 km), Itiadoh Dam (65 km),
Tibetan Camp at Gothangaon (60 km) and Pratapgad (70 km).
Timings: October 1 - January 31 -- 7 am to 6 pm. February 1 -
June 15 -- 7 am to 7 pm. June 16 - September 30 -- Closed.
: For most of the year, temperatures are moderate and pleasant. The best
time to visit is during April and May.
Getting there : The nearest bus stand is Sakoli, 22 km away. Close by rail stations are Nagpur (122
km), Gondia (45 km) and Bhandara (75 km). The nearest airport is Nagpur.
Tadoba National Park :
This is a large park spread over many acres of lush, green forested
land. Situated 45 kms from Chandrapur, Tadoba is an extremely beautiful jungle park with mixed teak forests around a tranquil
lake. Night viewing offers a splendid opportunity to see tigers, leopards, gaurs, nilgais, sambars and chitals. The Tadoba
Andhari Tiger Reserve is home to a variety of wild animals. The following wild animals are usually spotted -- tiger, leopard,
leopard cat, Indian wild dog, sloth bear, Hyena, wild boar, spotted deer, barking deer, blue bull, four-horned antelope, Indian
pangolin and porcupine. One can also avail of lodging facilities in the park for overnight stay. Around 90,000 people visit
the park annually.
Weather : Winter
is from December to February. This is followed by summer from March to May and the monsoon season is from June to September,
and the post-monsoon season is from October and November.
to visit : February to May.
Getting there : The nearest railway station
is Chandrapur (on the Delhi-Madras main line) 45 kms away. Nearest main bus stand is Chandrapur and Chimur (32 km). The nearest
airport is Nagpur (140 km via Umrer, Bhisi and Chimur).
Navegaon National Park :
Navegaon, a popular forest resort in the Vidarbha region, the eastern most
part of Maharashtra, was built in the 18th century. The picturesque lake set amidst lush green hills at Navegaon, has a watch-tower
beside it. One can get a bird's eye view of the surrounding forest and marvel at the exciting wildlife from the watch-tower.
The Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Navegaon is home to almost 60 % of the bird species found in entire Maharashtra. Every winter,
flocks of beautiful migratory birds visit the lake -- a rare treat for the eyes. One can also join the jungle safari and stroll
through the beautiful forest, crossing paths with leopards, sloth bears, gaurs, sambars, chitals and langoors. Staying in
the unique tree-top house, riding a power or sail boat on the lake, are thrilling pastimes. Nearly 50,000 tourists visits
this tourist complex annually. Places of interest around the national park are Nagzira
Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km), Itiadoh Dam (20 km), Tibetan Camp at Gothangaon (15 km) and Pratapgad (15 km).
Timings : Entry
between 7 pm and 4 am hours is prohibited. Weather : Temperatures are pleasant all year round.The best time to visit the national
park is during April and May.
Getting there : The nearest bus stand
is Navegaon 10 kms away. The nearest railhead is Deulgaon 2 kms from Navegaon on the Chandrapur-Gondia railway line. The nearest
airport is Nagpur (150 km).
Dajipur Bison Sanctuary :
The jungle resort of Dajipur is situated on the border of
Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts. Surrounded by rugged mountains and dense forests, this secluded little place is completely
cut-off from human habitat. Home to bison, wild deer, chital, gawa and many more spectacular wild animals and birds. Dajipur
is an exciting and beautiful holiday getaway, situated 1200 metres above sea level. An excursion in the vicinity to the Gagangiri
Maharaj's Math makes for a pleasant outing. This scenic resort near the backwaters of the Radhanagari Dam is highly recommended
for wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts.
Getting there : Kolhapur, about 80 kms away is the most convenient airport
and railhead. It can be accessed by road as well. Radhanagari to Dajipur is 30 kms.
Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary :
The sole hill resort in the Vidarbha region, it
is situated at an altitude of 1118 m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. It
abounds in wildlife -- panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild boar, and even the rarely seen wild dogs. Close by is the famous
Melghat Tiger Project which has 82 tigers. The scenic beauty of Chikhaldara can be enjoyed from Hurricane Point, Prospect
Point, and Devi Point. Other interesting excursions include Gavilgad and Narnala Fort, the Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens, the Tribal Museum and the Semadoh Lake.
Weather : Chikhaldara has an annual rainfall
of 154 cms. Temperatures vary from 39 C in summer to 5 C in winter. October to June is the best time to visit.
there : The nearest railhead is Badnera on the Central Railway branch line, 110 kms. Chikhaldara, 763 kms from Mumbai, is
connected to most major cities by road. Regular ST buses connect Chikhaldara to Amravati, Nagpur, Wardha, Akola and other
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