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Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

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Photo: Dhritiman Mukherjee/Sanctuary Asia.

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra is the oldest national park in the state. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1993. Tadoba is bursting with life and animals like the tiger, leopard, sloth bear, hyaena, jackal, wild dog, blue bull and sambar inhabit the reserve. The park features thick teak forests and a beautiful lake. Scenic treks with interesting wildlife sightings are assured at Tadoba and it is rightly called 'The Jewel of Vidharba'. Scenic treks with interesting wildlife sightings are possible in the buffer of the Tadoba Tiger Reserve, which is rightly called 'The Jewel of Vidharba'.

  • Plan Your trip
  • Wild life
  • Habitat
  • Places to See
  • Useful Tips
  • History

Best season

Photo: Bharat Goel.

The park is open to visitors throughout the year. Animals are best seen from February to May. Vegetation and insect life is at its best with the onset of rains in mid-June. Because of the dense growth of plants and grasses, animals are not easily sighted in this season.

Winter lasts from November to February and is one of the best times for a visit. Day temperatures range between 250-300C and the park is pleasantly green. It is best to avoid a visit at the end of December since the winter session of the State Government will be on at Nagpur and with officials thronging the place, bookings may be a problem.

Summers are unbearably hot in Tadoba, with day temperatures rising sometimes to 470C. However, it is the ideal time to view mammals near water sources, as vegetation is also scarce, enhancing visibility. The monsoon breaks in June with rainfall of about 1,275 mm. and humidity at about 66 per cent.

The park is open for visitors throughout the year. Excursions are permitted only by daylight i.e. sunrise to sunset. Official guides are compulsory for all excursions. The best times to visit are early mornings and late afternoons.

Accommodation

Sanctuary Asia encourages sustainability in travel, so you can choose from one of the TOFTigers, PUG eco-certified lodges in the park vicinity and help sustain this destination. 

Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge – Near the Khutwanda gate

 Svasara Resorts Near the Kolara gate

Irai Safari Retreat – Near the Mohurli Gate

Rest houses, dormitories and tents are available. Besides the guest houses at Tadoba, there is also a holiday home with three family blocks and a youth hostel with a dormitory of 36 beds. The tourist complex is located on the banks of the lake, in the midst of thick forests. Refreshments and meals are available on prior intimation at the canteen.

Transport

By Air: Nagpur airport is 205 km. away via Chandrapur; 140 km. via Chimur.

By Rail: The nearest railhead is Chandrapur, 45 km. from the park.

By Road: You may enter the park from the Khatoda gate at Moharli or via Chimur. State transport buses ply from Chandrapur. Taxis and Jeeps from Nagpur or Chandrapur are other options. Chandrapur is 45 km. from the park; Chimur is 32 km. away.

Taboda is bursting with life. It houses several endangered species. The apex species of the reserve is the tiger. The leopard and the jungle cat are some of the other carnivores that share these forests. The jackal, hyena, Indian wild dog, civet, sloth bear may also be encountered. The reserve is also renowned for the gaur. Large herds of chital and sambar may be seen. The sturdy nilgai and the swift-footed four-horned antelope  are also residents of this reserve. The muntjac (barking deer), chevrotain (mouse deer), common langur, flying squirrel and wild pig also abound.

© Sanctuary Asia/Jayanth Sharma
Photo: Jayanth Sharma.

Crocodiles are another highlight of the reserve. The reptilian fauna includes species such as the endangered Indian python and the common Indian monitor. Terrapins, star tortoises, common cobra and Russel's viper also occur in Tadoba. 

Tadoba is also an entomologist's paradise. 74 species of butterflies have been recorded including the pansies, monarch, mormons and swordtails. Two endangered species include the Danaid Egg Fly and the Great Egg Fly. Dragonflies, stick insects, jewel beetles and the praying mantis are other insects in the reserve. The signature spider, giant wood and red wood spiders are often seen in the monsoon and soon after. Some hunting spiders like the wolf spiders, crab spiders and "lynx" spiders are also common.

© Sanctuary Asia/Kishore Gumaste Photo: Kishore Gumaste.

195 species of birds have been recorded, including three endangered varieties. The Grey Headed Fishing Eagle Ichthyophaga icthyaetus and the Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela are some of the raptors. Other interesting species include the Crested Tree Swift Hemiprocne longipennis, Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus, Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus, Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi, Bronze Winged Jacana Metopidius indicus and Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker Dinopium benghalense. Warblers and the Blacknaped blueflycatcher exist here and the call of the Peacock Pavo cristatus may often be heard.

Tadoba lies in the Moharli hills of the West Chandrapur Forest Division of Maharashtra. The terrain is hilly with a gradual slope from north to south. The altitude of the hills averages about 200-350 m. The Tadoba Lake is a 120 ha. water body located in the heart of the reserve. This lake is a perennial water source that the area depends on, especially during the dry summer months. Other wetland areas within the reserve include the Kolsa lake and Andhari river.Thick forests are relieved by smooth meadows and deep valleys. Cliffs, talus and caves provide refuge for several animals.

© Sanctuary Asia/Anish Andheria Photo: Anish Andheria.

Vegetation/Flora

Tadoba has predominantly southern tropical dry deciduous forest, with teak Tectona grandis being a prominent species. These dense woodlands form about 87 per cent of the protected area. Other deciduous trees include ain or crocodile bark Terminalia tomentosa, tendu Diospyros melanoxylon, beheda Terminalia belerica, hirda Terminalia chebula, karayagum Sterculia urens and mahua Madhuca. Boswellia serrata, Pterocarpus marsupium, Lagerstroemia parviflora and Lannea coramandelica are other common species.

Axlewood Anogeissus latifolia is a fire-resistant species. Palas or Flame of the Forest Butea monosperma adds vibrant colour to the forest. Jamun or black plum Syzigium cumini trees grow in the riparian habitat around the lake, since these trees can survive the waterlogging that occurs during the monsoons. At the waterhole at Panchadhara, huge arjun Terminalia arjuna trees are seen.

Grasses are found in patches distributed throughout the reserve. Bamboo Dendrocalamus strictus thickets grow throughout the reserve. The climber Kach Kujali Mucuu prureans is medicinally important for patients with Parkinson's disease. The leaves of bheria Chloroxylon swietenia are used as an insect repellent and bija Pterocarpus marsupium is a medicinal gum. Beheda Terminalia belerica is also an important medicine.

There are several machans in the reserve, one at the Panchadhara waterhole, another at the Vasant Bhandara waterhole, two around the Tadoba lake and another at Jamunbadi. You may travel by Forest Department buses or jeeps to any of these locations except Vasant Bhandara, which is a 5 km. trek from the reception centre.

Photo: Bharat Goel.

A stroll along the road around the Tadoba lake provides for good wildlife viewing. Chital are commonly seen in the grasslands and around the lake and the tourist complex. Gaur also exist in large numbers near the lake or in the grassy patches. Troops of the Hanuman langur play frivolously on the overhanging branches of trees bordering the lake. Large populations of the mugger crocodile reside in the Tadoba lake. But they may sometimes be seen sunning themselves on forest paths near the lake. Nilgai maybe spotted, either solitary or in pairs, in the early mornings and late evenings.

The sloth bear prefers hilly terrain, and you may often see them behind the tourist complex or near Vasant Bhandara. Lairs of the bear, leopard and tiger may be seen en route from the reception center to Vasant Bhandara. The sloth bear is also found in the heart of the forests at Katezari, which now forms part of the core forest. Dhole is seen ubiquitously throughout the reserve. Hyaenas are not as common, but you may occasionally be surprised by one of them near thickets.

Tigers and leopards are elusive and sightings are rare. There are fairly good chances of spotting the tiger at Panchadhara. The palm civet may be seen on trees, and flying squirrels also make an appearance at dusk.

The blacknaped hare is commonly encountered along a route called Sasa road. ('Sasa' is hare in Marathi)

Visitors are permitted inside the park from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on all days except Tuesday, when the park is closed. A trip lasting at least three-four days is recommended.

Private vehicles are allowed inside the park. However, Two/three-wheelers are not permitted.

Guides are compulsory with every vehicle entering the reserve.

A visitor could opt for the Jungle Safari Tour, or take the enjoyable elephant rides.

Useful contacts

The Deputy Conservator of Forests, Tadoba National Park,
Chandrapur, Maharashtra – 442401.
Tel.: 07172-251414; E-mail: cf@wildlife-vidharba.org

Tadoba National Park was christened after the local God Taru, who is worshipped as 'Tadoba'. Legend holds that Taru was apparently a village chief who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger. A shrine dedicated to the God Taru exists even today beneath a huge tree, on the banks of the Tadoba Lake. The temple is frequented by adivasis, especially during the fair held every year in the Hindu month of Pusha, between December and January.

The Gond kings once ruled these forests in the vicinity of the Chimur hills in Chandrapur district. Hunting was completely banned in 1935. Two decades later, in 1955, 116.54 sq. km. was declared as Tadoba National Park under the Madhya Pradesh National Park Act. The area was ceded to the state of Maharashtra in 1956. In 1986, an area 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.

The local population comprises mainly Gond tribals who speak Marathi and Gondi. The tribals use the forest for several natural products. In these families, a newborn child is fed the nectar of the Mahua flower even before mother's milk to symbolise that the child and the tree will support each other all their lives.

The adivasis also sprinkle the sacred water of the Tadoba lake on their crops during the rainy season, in the belief that it would protect their crops from pests.

 
 
 

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Dr Sudhir Gaikwad

June 27, 2016, 12:54 AM
 TADOBA IS THE BEST MANAGED TIGER RESERVE.....WITH AMAZING DIVERSITY OF FLORA AND FAUNA, THE BEST PLACE TO SEE TIGERS IN THE WILD... I COME HERE ATLEAST THREE TO FOUR TIMES IN A YEAR, DURING MY LAST TOUR IN MAY 2016 HAD 22 TIGER SIGHTINGS OF 10 DIFFERENT TIGERS AND TWO LEOPARDS ALONG WITH PLENTY OF SPOTTED DEERS, CHAUSINGA, BARKING DEER, DHOLE, SLOTH BEAR, INDIAN GAUR AND LOT'SA BIRDS
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Yeshwant Khodke

July 17, 2014, 11:23 PM
 The Taddoba Tiger Reserve is one of the most admirable touristy place in the Maharashta. It is the oldest national park in our country. In the park a highest number of tigers are alive. Apart from tigers you can also enjoy to watching other places in tadoba.
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RajKrishnani

July 16, 2014, 04:51 PM
 One of my favourite Tiger Reserves. I have had the best tiger memories from this place.A beautiful reserve and a stronghold for tigers in the future. I make it a point to visit this reserve atleast 2 to 3 times a year. I only hope there is a control over the pvt vehicle entry to this park as there have been unfortunate incidences of people getting down and leaning out of their vehicles. Hoping to see the beautiful destination again.
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Valmi Shah Shirodkar

April 14, 2014, 04:44 PM
 Tadoba is one of the best examples of Tiger tourism in India today. My first visit to Tadoba - Andhari Tiger Reserve is something I will never forget. I did not have a lot of tiger sightings but just the feel of sharing the same land where the tiger lives made me feel so good. I remember seeing a poster before entering the reserve which read "No one can predict sightings for you" and it was so true.. There is some much too see other than the Tigers. Can't wait to go back :)
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ranvir singh gautam

April 12, 2014, 08:38 PM
 sir , can u plz tell me where to send the images for table book ????
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Sameer K S

April 12, 2014, 08:00 PM
 The Hunt! http://www.myleaveletter.blogspot.in/ It was most memorable of my Tadoba experiences, which I will cherish for my entire life. A small write-up along with pictures can seen in the link provided. Thanks Regards Sameer K S
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sanjay deshpande

April 12, 2014, 07:00 PM
 https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/11294180655/in/set-72157638520400923/
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sanjay deshpande

April 12, 2014, 05:39 PM
 my experience about tadoba at link below http://visonoflife.blogspot.in/2013/12/and-i-missed-tiger-happily.html
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sanjay deshpande

April 12, 2014, 05:38 PM
 my images from tatr at link below https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157638520400923/
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Anup Ranadive

April 12, 2014, 04:12 PM
 Bittu Sir, had sent my images earlier, re-sending it now. Thank you.
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Bittu Sahgal

April 12, 2014, 12:22 PM
 Anup we at Sanctuary would like to see all your Tadoba images. Please send a shortlist of your best images for our forthcoming Tadoba Inheritance coffee table book. Send these to images@sanctuaryasia.com. what an amazing wild pig and dhole sighting!
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Anup Ranadive

April 12, 2014, 04:43 AM
 On my 1st trip to Tadoba in 2010, we witnessed this battle for food and survival between wild boars and wild dogs. We saw 5-6 wild boars feasting over a sambhar killed by a pack of wild dogs. What ensued in front of us was a fight between the hunters trying to reclaim their kill and the upstarts who had no intention of giving up a free meal. The wild dogs even reclaimed their meal once, but the wild boars out-ran, out-maneuvered and out-lasted the wild dogs, who eventually conceded defeat.
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Bittu Sahgal

April 11, 2014, 11:31 PM
 Dibyendu Ash that was an amazing sighting I must say. I have seen photographs of such incidents and we have even published them in Sanctuary, but in all my years in the forest I have never once seen a tiger and pangolin interact this way.
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Gaurav Shirodkar

April 11, 2014, 09:53 PM
 I had this opportunity to go in the park with Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup, as a Sanctuary person. It has been one of my most amazing experience ever. Though we had the sighting of only one tiger, the excitement of tracking one in the forest, by just waiting and listing to the alarm calls and following, was pure adrenalin rush. We tracked the Waghdoh, and tracked him walking on the main buffer zone road Learned a lot in company of such a great photographer's, wildlife lovers.
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Viraj Kadbe

April 11, 2014, 09:47 PM
 On 14th march I went from colara gate to tadaba lake where katezhari male was resting with 25 geeps surrounding him. I felt very bad and depressed with such a traffic. So I decided to leave that place and fortunately I got the sightings of leopard , P2 , beautiful spotted deer , neal gay , buzzard , gaur and trust me ,in a very peaceful and calm beautiful jungle of tadoba !!!!!!!!!! be alone - enjoy the nature .. . . . . . . .
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Parvish Pandya

April 11, 2014, 06:25 PM
 At one time, we had barely entered the Moharli gate and had driven for 10 minutes, when a jeep with family drove ahead of ours, commenting that they had seen nothing for last two hours. They had just moved a 150 meters on the road, when a tiger crossed behind them, between the the two jeeps - alas we could not draw their attention....
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Bittu Sahgal's reply to Parvish Pandya

April 11, 2014, 06:32 PM
 Parvish I think the tiger deserved not to be seen by them, given as how little they truly appreciated the privilege of being in such a haven.
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Anindya Sengupta

April 11, 2014, 04:37 PM
 I and my wife waited helplessly on the telia lake road as our gypsy malfunctioned on the eve-safari. Other gypsies went past us waving hard luck. Driver tried
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Bittu Sahgal's reply to Anindya Sengupta

April 11, 2014, 05:09 PM
 How unfortunate! A few weeks ago we came upon a vehicle abandoned in Panderpauni when the front wheel came off. We must demand better maintenance.
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Anindya Sengupta

April 11, 2014, 04:49 PM
 True....but if malfunctioning vehicles inside parks yields these type of lucky sightings....its blessings!!!! LOL....on a serious note most parks have very poorly maintained gypsies....best I found was in Kanha in the country..need to work on this as authorities have increased rates of safary everywhere including bombing rates of cameras in Tadoba.
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Bittu Sahgal

April 11, 2014, 03:16 PM
 Do YOU have a Tadoba experience you wish to share? If so, post it here and it might just be included in Sanctuary Asia's upcoming coffee table book: The Tadoba Inheritance. Remember... no more than 500 characters in the post!
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Dibyendu Ash's reply to Bittu Sahgal

April 11, 2014, 08:21 PM
 On 31st December of '12, I witnessed a Pangolin with Yedda Anna. The Pangolin was alive and anna was trying to uncurl the pangolin. A tough nut to crack for big brother too! Big cats like tigers are known to play with its prey prior to eating. Since the underparts of the pangolin don't have scales, that might be the reason why the tiger was trying to uncurl and kill the pangolin. After playing eight minutes of drama, anna moved inside the forest thickets carrying the live pangolin in its mouth.
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Jennifer Scarlott

October 22, 2013, 03:44 PM
 I am so looking forward to visiting Tadoba. The community nature conservancies concept is taking hold there in a way that could really change the face of conservation in India.
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Bittu Sahgal

May 27, 2013, 10:03 PM
 During my last trip to Tadoba I was delighted to see how wild animals such as sloth bears, leopards, and wild dogs had dispersed across the park. Many, in fact are now found consistently outside the park, which tends to bring them into conflict with villagers. This is why Sanctuary is working with colleagues and partners to promote the concept of Community Nature Conservancies: http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/magazines/commentary/8938-cutting-edge-conservation.html