Let’s head to the jungles of Chandrapur district on a safari to Maharashtra’s largest and oldest tiger reserve. The Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve includes the Tadoba National Park and the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary which spans 622.87 sq. km.
One of India’s 47 project tiger reserves, the region is a tropical dry deciduous forest known for the country’s fastest-growing tiger population. The region also supports various species of native flora and fauna like leopards, sambar, chital, sloth bears, dhole and more.
The undulating landscape, also known as the Vidharbha region, is just 2.5 hours from Nagpur airport. You can reach this location easily from any part of Maharashtra.
The Local Legend
According to local legend, Taru, a brave and well-respected Gond village chief, battled a tiger. The encounter was fierce and Taru fought valiantly. Some versions of the tale state that Taru defeated the beast while some say that Taru was slain. However, all versions of the tale speak about his courage, and strength thus making him a heroic legend. A shrine was dedicated to deifying Taru on the bank of the Tadoba Lake under a large tree. And from the name Taru, Tadoba was derived.
The landscape, the wilderness and the legend have turned this place into a getaway frequented by photographers, nature enthusiasts and tourists. The rare species of plants, animals and insects, the forests and the roar of the tiger make for an enchanting experience in this unique place in Maharashtra.
Here are some ways to enjoy the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve and some feel-good memories on your summer weekend getaway.
Fun Activities to Enjoy
- A jeep safari is the best way to travel across the forests and experience the wildlife in its natural state. It offers the opportunity to sight tigers, sloth bears and wild dogs, among many animals and native plant life.
- Go boating on the Irai Lake and enjoy watching birds such as the grey heron, cotton goose, crested poachard and several species of native and migratory birds.
- You can also visit the Kolsa River and the Tadoba Lake which are hot spots for birds and birdwatchers alike.
- The jungle takes on a different life once the sun sets. The experience of a night safari is unique. Lasting about 3 hours after sunset, it’s a great way to spot tigers and leopards.
- There are simple log huts available right above the first check posts deep inside tiger country. You can experience a night filled with excitement with the calls of various birds like night owls and nightjars and the occasional alerts to warn forest residents of predator movements. What an unforgettable experience!
- Visit the open-air butterfly garden to marvel at the beauty of these beautiful insects and learn more about their lifecycles.
- Enjoy a drive to Ramdegi, a rural area with idyllic countryside, and lush green fields on either side of the road and visit the Ramdegi temple dedicated to the God King Rama. Ramdegi is believed to be one of the places Lord Rama resided in during his period of exile.
- Visit Sevagram, Gandhiji’s ashram that was his home from 1938 till his death. It houses a museum that displays artefacts from India’s Freedom Struggle Movement.
- Try Saoji cuisine, a culinary style from the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. This cuisine is from a community of weavers. The masala is a combination of the wet and the dry and is said to be fiercely spicy and primarily non-vegetarian.
This summer, head to Tadoba if you are looking for a unique experience in the form of a safari adventure, right here in Maharashtra.
If you want to explore more summer weekend destinations in Maharashtra, we got you covered. Top Ten Places to Visit In Maharashtra Click here for the entire list.