Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra is Maharashtra’s oldest and Largest Wild Life National Park. It is one amongst India’s 43 Tiger Reserves.
Why this national park is known as Tadoba?
The name Tadoba is from the name of the God Tadoba who was also called Taru, he was praised by the tribal people who lived in the dense forests of the Tadoba.
Legend holds that Taru was a village chief who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger. A shrine dedicated to the God Taru now exists 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 Pausha, between December and January. The Gond kings once ruled these forests in the vicinity of the Chimur hills. Hunting was completely banned in 1935.
Why the name is given Tadoba Andhari National Park?
Andhari river is a minor river of the Wainganga basin. It flows through the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.
Meandering through the Tadoba forests, it gives its name to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Project i.e ., Tadoba National Park.
What is Project Tiger?
Project Tiger is a Tiger Conservation Program launched in 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure.
The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats and also to protect them from extinction and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the tiger’s distribution in the country. The project’s task force visualized these tiger reserves as breeding nuclei, from which surplus animals would migrate to adjacent forests. The Funds and commitment were mastered to support the intensive program of habitat protection and rehabilitation under the project. The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.
A total area of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.
A total area of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is 625.4 square kilometers. This includes Tadoba National Park which was created in 1955 with an area of 116.55 square kilometers and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1986 with an area of 508.85 square kilometers. The Tiger reserve also includes 32.51 square kilometers of the protected forest and 14.93 square kilometers of other areas.
Densely forested hills form the Northern and Western Boundaries of The Tiger Reserve. The hills range from 200 m to 350 m. Towards the southwest of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is a 300 acres Tadoba lake which acts as a buffer zone between the park’s forest and the farmland which extends up to the Irai water reservoir. This lake is a perennial water source which offers good habitat for crocodiles (Muggar’s) to thrive. Other wetland areas within the reserve include the Kolsa Lake and the Andhari River.
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve covers the Chimur Hills, and the Andhari sanctuary covers Moharli and Kolsa ranges. It’s bounded on the northern and the western side by densely forested hills. Thick forests with smooth meadows and deep valleys, Cliffs, Talus and Caves provide refuge to the animals. Two forested rectangles are formed by Tadoba and Andhari range. The south part of the park is less hilly.
There are 41,000 + people living in and around the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve within 59 villages of which 5 are inside the core zone of the reserve, These villages in the core zone still they do farming inside the core area. The process of rehabilitation by the forest department is going on. The Navegaon village was rehabilitated a grassland is in the place where the village existed.
Cattle grazing is not allowed in the core zone of the reserve, grazing in the buffer zone is allowed to cattle of the villagers. But sometimes the cattle’s sneak into the reserve and then cause additional damage to the habitat.
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve faces constant fires problem in the dry season, burning between 2% and 16% of the park every year.
Killing of domestic animals by tigers and leopards is a frequent phenomenon in the areas and neighboring villages.