Tadoba National Park is a compact 120-sq-km park, perched at
an altitude of 200m and is placed 100-km south of Nagpur
and 45-km north of the district headquarter and industrial town of
Chandrapur. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, Tadoba is also referred to
as 'The Jewel of Vidarbha'.
The oldest National Park in the state of Maharashtra, it is also a Project Tiger reserve, since 1993. The area around Tadoba was once highly populated by the Gond tribals. It derives its name from their local deity 'Taru', who, according to a legend, was killed in an epic fight with a tiger. He is still worshipped by the local villagers as the deity of 'Tadoba'.
The rich deciduous forest mainly consists of teak trees, others being Bamboo, Gardenia, Satinwood, Mahua and Jamun. The other tree species found within the protected area are Ain, Arjun, Behada, Bija, Bhera, Bor, Bel, Chichwa, Dhawada, Kusum, Mowai, Phetra, Rohan, Salai, Semal, Shisham, Sisoo, Shivan, Surya, Sirus, Tendu, etc.
Although the major attraction is the Tiger, large herds of
Chital, the stately Sambar, the elusive Barking Deer, the fleet footed
Chausinga, the majestic Gaur, the robust Nilgai, the shy Sloth Bear, the
whistling Wild Dogs, the omnipresent Wild Boar, and the stealthy Leopard
make lasting impressions on the visitors to this Reserve.
As the night falls the Small Indian Civet, the Palm Civet, the Ratel, the Flying squirrel make their presence felt. The lake attracts many water birds like Cattle Egrets, Purple Moorhens and Jacanas. It also has marsh crocodiles at the breeding farm.
National Park is a large park featuring mixed teak forests and a lake,
with night viewing available to see its large wildlife populations.
Situated in the heart of Tadoba National Park is a 120-hectare water body,
called Tadoba Lake.
A motorable road runs along the perimeter of the lake along which a leisurely stroll can provide excellent wildlife viewing. Two watch towers have also been erected for observing wildlife. There are minibuses that take you around, and the best time to visit is in the evening.
On the shore of Tadoba lake, is a shrine underneath the canopy of a large tree that is held in high regard by the Gond Tribals. A well-attended fair is held here annually, between December and January ("Pushya Maasa").
A trek up the gentle slope of the small hillock called 'Jamunbudi' leads to the lush meadow at the top. Full of enchanting jungle trails, experienced trekkers are available to guide tourists along them. A walk to Panchdhara (5-km), with an exclusive water hole, is also recommended. Also worth a walk is Jamunbadi (5-km), with grasslands and thick jungles intermingling, providing one with just the right touch of nature at its best.
There are four "Machaans" where animals are sighted, especially at dusk. These are located near the Panchdhara waterhole, Vasant Bhandara waterhole and two around the lake.
Best time to Visit: For better and bearable
climatic conditions the best time to visit the park is between the cooler
months. Of November and June, just before the onset of monsoon the rest
house of the forest department is an enchanting little place, reservation
for which could be done at the District Forest Office, Chandrapur. A
visitor could book himself on a Jungle Safari Tour, or could enjoy
Timings: 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on: Tuesdays
Provision Of Vehicles: 25 seater minibus ply daily at 10 am. for tourists from Chandrapur to Tadoba. 12 seater minibus is also available at Tadoba for jungle safari.
Provision Of Guides: Trained local guides are available at Moharli gate, Navegaon gate and Zari gate. Guides are also compulsory, with every vehicle entering in the sanctuary.
Necessary Items: Binoculars for better viewing, torches, light clothing that covers the entire body, glasses, sun caps and mosquito repellent.
Air: Nearest airport is Nagpur,
158-kms away from the park.
Rail : Nearest railhead is Chandrapur, 45-kms away from the park.
Road: The nearest town is Chandrapur. State-run and private transport buses too, can take one to/from Nagpur.
There are three forest rest houses around the lake, and reservations can be made through the Divisional Forest Officer, West Chanda division, Mul Road, Chandrapur.