Wild Life In Maharashtra
WILD LIFE PARKS

Maharashtra is home to a large number of animals and bird species, including the tiger, Crocodile, Bison, Gawa, Neelgai, Wild Deer, Sambar and rare migratory birds. The state has taken adequate steps towards setting up many wildlife parks and sanctuaries to protect these regions and promote them as tourist attractions. The parks offer splendid opportunities to see a variety of wildlife in a spectacularly natural setting. Modern amenities such as jeep rides, night safaris, comfortable accommodation and efficient transport are also available at a nominal charge.


RADHANAGARI (PANHALA) Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated at an altitude of 977.2 m., Panhala is a charming hill resort which makes for a complete holiday. Panhala's historic fort throws up memories of Chhatrapati Shivaji, such as his epic escape from the forces of Siddi Johar. Besides, there's the Sambhaji temple, Someshwar temple, Teen Darwaza, Raj Dindi and several other places. Of special interest are the blue basalt temples on the sacred Jyotiba hill 9 kms., the 7th century A.D Mahalaxmi temple at Kolhapur 18 kms., and the wildlife sanctuary at Radhangari 52 kms. What's more, there's abundant natural beauty to luxuriate in.


Melghat Tiger Reserve

This Reserve is in the enchanting sylvan beauty of the woodlands and greenery of Melghat, in the Amravati district, roams the tiger, and it is here that a greater part of Project Tiger is being implemented. In the heart of the luxuriant teak forests of Dhakna-Kolkaz is the Melghat Tiger Reserve, where Panthers, Bison, Sambar, Chital and the Flying Squirrel are familiar sights.


Nagzira Wild Life Sanctuary

Another wildlife sanctuary which is known for its verdant hills and dales, where the fauna offers a mesmerising blaze of colours, is the Nagzira. Wild Life Sanctuary. Ambling around in these idyllic environs is the sloth bear, tiger four horned antelope, the Bluebull, Chital, Barking Deer, Bison and the Panther. Besides these sanctuaries are alive with the Chirruping of the colourful and varied birds.


The Navegaon Forest Resort

Navegaon, a popular forest resort in the Vidarbha region, was built in the 18th century. The picturesque lake set amidst lush green hills at Navegaon has a watch-tower beside it, from which visitors may find a bird's eye view of the surrounding forest and its abundant wildlife. Best known for the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Navegaon is home to almost 60 per cent of the bird species found in the entire state. Every winter, flocks of migratory birds visit the region. Visitors can join the Jungle Safari and have a stroll to see the Sambar, Chital and Langurs. Staying in a unique tree-top house and riding a power or sail boat on the lake, are thrilling pastimes.


The Dajipur Bison Sanctuary

The jungle resort of Dajipur is situated on the border of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts, near the backwaters of the Radhanagari dam. Surrounded by rugged mountains and dense forests, this secluded area is completely cut-off from human habitation. A home to bison, wild Deers, Chital, Gawa and many more spectacular wild animals and birds, Dajipur is an exciting and beautiful holiday getaway. An excursion to the nearby Gagangiri Maharaj's Math makes for a pleasant outing.


The 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 of mixed teak forests around a tranquil lake. The Tadoba National Park has migratory ducks visiting its lake, and also swarms with crocodiles. The rest houses are ideal for nature lovers as it commands a lovely view of the lake and the distant green hills beyond. Late nights are ideal times to see tigers, leopards, gaur, nilgai, sambar and chital. The park has facilities for tourists to stay over night.


BirdSanctuaries

There are many more types of birds than animals in Maharashtra, like the bulbul, shama, cuckoo, parakeet, drongoes, Wagtails Flycatchers, Purple Sunbirds, Grey Jungle Fowl, the great Indian bustard and above all the beautiful peacock. The great indian bustard which is an endangered species, is an ostrich-like bird, found in the Ahmednagar and Sholapur districts. It is known for its royal gait and is a fast runner. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a must for ornithologists and so is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary which is the home of winged birds like the golden oriole.


Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra
Main Attraction : The Melghat Tiger Project
Best Time To Visit: October To June

Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Amravati district of Vidarbha region. The only hill station in the Vidarbha region offers one an abundance of wildlife, viewpoints, lakes and waterfalls. This sanctuary is named after "Keechaka". This is the place where Bhima killed Keechaka and threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as "Keechakadara" and Chikhaldara is its corruption. This is the only coffee growing area in Maharashtra.

Fauna : Tourists can find Panthers, Sloth Bears, Sambar, and Wild Boar. One can even spot Wild Dogs over here. Close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Project in Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park, a natural habitat centre for about 82 tigers.


Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Chandrapur District, Maharashtra
Coverage Area: 104.38-sq-km
Main Attraction: Himalkasa Lok Biradari Project In The Sanctuary Area
Best Time To Visit: February To May

This sanctuary is located in Chandrapur district in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra. Majority of the area is under thick forest that is wood land, with small patches of grass lands distributed over the entire protected area. One can even find wetlands in the protected area. Notable among them are Pamalgautam and Parlkota rivers, which runs through the protected area.

Flora : The forest in the sanctuary is moist deciduous mixed forest. The evergreen vegetation is found along the perennial 'Nalas' and rivers. The main tree species are Ain, Arjun, Behada, Bija, Bel, Shishamtendu, Hirda, Kusum, Jamun, Mango, Haldu, Kadam and bamboo. Kudgudi, Tarwad, Gokhru, Tarota, Neel & Kuda are aome of the main shrubs found over here. The common grasses are Chir, Mussam, Gawat, Khus and Kusal.

Fauna : Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its variety of wild animals. The endangered animals in this area are Leopard, Jungle Fowl, Wild Boar, and Sloth Bear. Tourists can also find other animals like Barking Deer's, Blue Bulls, Hare, Mongoose, Peacock, and Flying Squirrel.


Anerdam Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra

The sanctuary is situated on southwestern range of Satpura range in Shirpur Tehsil of Dhule District. The sanctuary was once very rich in wildlife, now it is trying to regain its previous status. Some of the common animals found in this area are Barking Deer's, Chinkaras, Hares, Porcupines and Jungle Cats.


Chaprala 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.