Tadoba National Park lies in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. It is a dry deciduous forest, sprawled along 1727 square kilometers of area. It is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, and it also has some of the most exclusive collections of indigenous species. There are tar roads inside the National Park with towering trees that house a large number of birds as well.
How did Tadoba come to be?
Tadoba or Taru is the name of a tribal god. He was a village chief who lost his life battling a tiger. Since then, the inhabitants of the region worship him as a protector of the people and the forest. There are tribal shrines of Taru who is believed to reside in the woods. The National Park derives its name from this entity.
The kings of Gonds ruled the area near the Chimur hills including the forest. In 1935, authorities restricted hunting altogether, and they turned an area of only 116.54 square kilometers into a national forest. It was not until 1995 that the Tadoba National Park, as we know today, came into existence. It is a part of India’s Project Tiger initiative. The Tadoba National Park is one of the most significant reserves and National Parks under this act. Currently, it is home to over 60 tigers.
Tadoba Safaris: What’s in it for you?
If you are interested in plants, the Tadoba National Park is going to be a treat for you. It has over 100 distinct species of trees. While some are common and quite noticeable in nearby urban areas, others are endemic. The mishmash of familiar and rare flora makes Tadoba a perfect home for a number of insects, birds, and herbivores that are found in the forest exclusively.
Tadoba is a dry deciduous forest that consists of dense woodlands that cover almost 87 percent of the park. You can spot teak trees everywhere followed by semal, tendu, hirda, mahua, and bamboo. In fact, bamboo thickets grow all over the forest. It is a rich reserve of plants with medicinal value. Research teams scouting for bheria, kachkujali, bija, and beheda is quite a common sight. It is a delight for botanists and plant lovers to simply walk down one of the many “hiking trails” that run through the forest.
The Tadoba reserve is also home to a number of animal species. The keystone species always take the limelight. The Royal Bengal Tiger is not a very uncommon sight during the morning and evening safaris. Around a 100 animal species also live inside the forest. Civets and dholes are quite common in the buffer zone of Tadoba forest. Once you start moving deeper into the forest, you can easily catch a sight of Indian leopards, sloths, gaur, nilgai, hyenas, barking deer, spotted deer, chital, sambar, and chausingas.
It is a paradise for reptiles as well. The comparatively shadowy cool forest floor makes it possible for a score of reptile species to survive. You can see Indian Pythons, Russell’s viper, and Indian monitor lizards during the summer and monsoon months. Terrapins, Indian star tortoise, and Indian cobras are common inside the forest as well.
A large number of birds have made the trees of Tadoba National Park their safe haven. There are approximately five bird species that live in the forest. Tadoba is an ornithologist’s sweetest dream. Common and uncommon bird species keep the entire forest alive during dawn and dusk with their songs. A few of the members of the avian family that inhabit the forest include the orange-headed thrush, crested treeswift, Indian pitta, stone curlew, paradise flycatcher, crested honey buzzard, bronze-winged jacana and lesser golden-backed woodpecker. Birds of prey also live here. Crested serpent eagle, black-naped blue flycatcher, and the warblers are also members of the Tadoba avian family.
Spring at the national forest is quite stunning. While vibrant hued flowers cover every available green surface, you will also see thousands of colorful butterflies flying between flowers to collect nectar. Experts have discovered over 74 distinct species of butterflies here. Swordtails, monarchs, and pansies are common sights here. Other insect species include a variety of spiders including the Indian crab spider and wolf spider, jewel beetles, moths, stick insects and praying mantis. The rather endangered danaid egg-fly is also a member of the Tadoba arthropod family.
Tadoba and eco-tourism: the perfect couple
The Tadoba National Forest currently has 577.84 square km. of Reserve Forest, 32.51 square. km. of Protected Forest and with 14.93 square. km. of other areas. Three ranges, ten rounds and 34 beats that spread across sprawling green meadows and rolling valleys of Maharashtra make up this park. If you want a real taste of India’s wildlife, you should surely visit the Tadoba National Park at least once.
Tadoba is gradually climbing the charts as far as eco-tourism is concerned. It is home to the Indian keystone species and other important plants and animals as well. It is a biodiversity hotspot. This tropical dry deciduous teak forest is ideal for tiger habitat. Believe it or not, some of the more rare species found at the Tadoba National Park include the flying squirrel, rusty spotted cat, and pangolin. All these factors make the Tadoba-Andhari tiger reserve perfect for eco-tourism and conservation related activities.
When should you visit Tadoba National Park?
The ideal time to visit the resort is between November and March. November and February represent the months for highest tiger sightings in Tadoba. However, if you are interested in the other species as well, summer is a great time. Reptiles are especially active during the summer months and monsoon. All routes inside the park are open from 16 October to 30 June. Tar roads are open throughout the year. If you are traveling during the winter, you should include warm clothes, comforters, earmuffs and gloves in your luggage. The summers can be mucky, so loose cotton clothes are a smart choice. Do not forget to carry rehydration formula if you have kids in your tour group. Keeping yourself rehydrated is crucial during the Tadoba safaris and nature walks. In addition to that, mosquitoes are a persistent pest. Always carry mosquito repellent sprays and creams for protecting yourself. If possible, wear long-sleeved clothes and full pants to cover as much bare skin as possible. This will prevent mosquito bites. You can find more helpful information at the official website of the resort.
There are two safari timings throughout the year. The schedules can slightly vary depending on light and weather. Usual timings are from 6 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 6 pm. Each morning, six cars receive permission from the Navegaon gate to enter the jungle premises. This means, there is a strict rule about the number of cars entering the forest and the timings are quite imposing as well. That is why many Tadoba National Park hotels offer their own safari packages. For example – the Tigers’ Heaven Resort has its own cars and clearance for the guests staying at the resort.
How can you reach Tadoba?
You can reach Tadoba quite easily. The nearest bus stop is Chandrapur and Chimur. They are both 32 kilometers away from the nearest entry points. Chandrapur and Nagpur are the nearest train stations. Nagpur is also the nearest airport. It will take you roughly 3 hours by cab to reach Navegaon gate from the airport.
Choosing one from among the milieu of Tadoba National Park hotels can be tricky
There are quite a number of Tadoba National Park hotels embracing the Navegaon entrance. Since the entry to the park is restricted, we recommend staying at one of these hotels for getting an exclusive view of the wildlife early in the morning. The best option is to seek out a hotel like the Tigers’ Heaven Resort that has its own safari system and timings. You can find the resort within stone’s throw distance of the Navegaon gate. This gate is the closest if you are traveling from Nagpur. So staying at the Tigers’ Heaven Resort is quite a smart move. The resort has its own dedicated safari guides, jeeps and timings to suit the necessity of their guests.
Why settle for the ordinary when you can get something extra?
While many resorts cover the bare necessities, the Tigers’ Heaven Resort blends a generous dose of luxury with wildlife safaris. You can enjoy your stay are deluxe rooms, cottages and special rooms with private terraces. Open terraces, extended storage areas, and stellar room service are some of the advantages of staying at this resort. You can enjoy breakfast on the greens under the open sky on the resort lawns to complete your trip.
Choosing this resort is one of the best decisions you can make. You need to include a sizzling barbecue dinner and cheery campfire in your itinerary. The resort makes sure that you get a glimpse of the true rustic life. You will also get to enjoy tribal music, dance, and cuisines as a part of your Tadoba tour experience. Your guide can also take you to the once occupied villages, get you in touch with the existing tribesmen and give you a taste of the authentic rustic lifestyle of the Tadoba tribes. Staying at the Tigers’ Heaven Resort is a wonderful experience that should make it to everyone’s bucket list.
Are you looking forward to rekindling lost love? Worry not. The Tigers’ Heaven Resort has a dedicated children’s amusement section to keep your kids busy. They also have featured picnics on the special menu for families and lovers. Ramdegi is a wonderful spot in the lap of all the greenery and expansive meadows. It is perfect for picnics and simple strolls. This resort can also arrange a naturalist program for the real nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts who actually want to learn about the indigenous species of flora and fauna found in the Tadoba forest. There are special safaris that resort authorities can arrange according to tourist preferences. While elephant safaris and tiger safaris are most common, you can even customize your safari. To find out more about the special attractions, requirements and the cost of these safaris organized by Tigers’ Heaven Resort contact through their website.
What are the other entrances to the Tadoba National Park?
There are five other gates near the Navegaon gate. You can find Kolara, Kutvanda, Pangdi, Mohurli and Zhari about 30 km, 50 km, 75 km, 70km and 150 km from the Navegaon gate. The resort’s location is only 6 km from the Navegaon gate, which is the most convenient option if you are traveling from Nagpur. You can definitely do safaris from other gates while staying at the Tigers’ Heaven Resort. However, in that case, you will have to travel more. Since only six jeeps enter in the morning and six more in the evening, you will end up imposing more odds by increasing the distance you need to cover to start the safari.
A few key points for those planning to visit soon –
Book the rooms and safaris well in advance. This is true especially if you have special requests. The hotel also has Wi-Fi, so you can easily recharge your phone, reach out to your friends and share photos from the hotel lobby. If you are worried about the mobile network, the hotel authorities state that mobile network is available within their premises. Once you enter the National Park, you should keep your mobile phones switched off or in silent mode to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
Alcohol is not served in any of the Tadoba National Park hotels since 1 April 2015. The government of Maharashtra has declared Chandrapur as a dry district. Since Tadoba and all the gates are part of this district, this rule applies to them as well. In fact, the guests are not allowed to carry alcohol with them. This act bans the sale, purchase, and consumption of alcohol within this district altogether.