Forest & Wildlife of Maharashtra

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Step Into The Wilder Beyond

Honestly, there is nothing to beat the sight of a tiger crossing the very path on which your jeep has been travelling. It can actually make your heart skip a few beats. And just as fascinating can be the sight of a bird high up in the branches, dazzling the surrounding landscape with its bountiful colours. Nature, which controls its flora and fauna, has in that sense been very favourable to Maharashtra, which has some of the largest wildlife sanctuaries located in ecological hotspots that attract both the researchers and tourists in huge numbers.

Of these, the Melghat Tiger Reserve is one of the best known in the country. Located at the border of Maharahstra and Madhya Pradesh, you may not only come across the majestic tiger in this reserve but also a wide variety of other animals and birds, including the very elusive forest owlet. The giant flying squirrel is also a rare sighting here. Another interesting destination is the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary which offers a perfect escape from the pressures of urban living. This is one place where the grasslands and wetlands come together and provide shelter for a wide range of floral and faunal species.

If it’s blackbucks that you want to see at close quarters, drive down to Rehekuri where a deciduous scrub forest lays out interesting exploration trails. The Radhanagari Sanctuary is yet another getaway that will fill you with the immense thrill of walking along a pathway in a dense forest while anticipating the sighting of wild animals in their natural habitat or absorbing the fantastic and myriad range of colours that the area’s flora has to offer. You could even see turtle hatchlings take their first baby steps out of their eggs and make a rather wobbly beeline towards the sea at Velas.

And if you think Mumbai is just an ever-buzzing congested sprawl, take a day off to explore the Sanjay Gandhi National Park which provides a window to the fascinating world of animals and birds. The park is home to 274 species of birds along with 42 kinds of mammals, of which the most renowned is the elusive leopard. Need we say anything more?

  • A pristine natural environment with hills, waterfalls and forests; a wild life sanctuary and an ancient temple! Bhimashankar offers the ideal setting to find spirituality. It is also the perfect place for adventure lovers with a plethora of treks. Moreover this is where you can find the shekru the giant flying squirrel which is also the state animal of Maharashtra.
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  • There is nothing to beat the thrill that you can derive out of walking along a pathway in a dense forest while anticipating the sighting of wild animals in their natural habitat or absorbing the fantastic and myriad range of colours that the area’s flora may have to offer. To be able to absorb such a wonderful experience, you must head toward the Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary in Kolhapur district which offers all this and more.
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  • Any wildlife sanctuary, you assume, has to be a landscape of natural flora. But there is a sanctuary in Sangli district which is artificial in the sense that it has been man-made – the efforts of a freedom fighter and environment activist whose efforts over the years have made the Sagareshwar Sanctuary a delightful place to visit. And over the years, the increasing numbers of a wide variety of fauna has only added additional tourist value. 
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  • Nagzira is on the Eastern part of Maharashtra, which borders Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. This area of the country comprises some of the last remaining pristine forests of India – other than of course the Western Ghats, North East and widely distributed and unconnected patches. 
     
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  • Going back in times to around 1300 CE, this area was under the rule of the Gond tribal kings. King Dalpatshah and his visionary queen Durgavati saw the importance of agriculture for supporting the livelihood of the local communities. However, they realised that they couldn’t depend on the erratic rain fall alone for irrigation. They thus started the process of building innumerable water bodies and lakes all around.  What we see today is a Gondia district that can easily be called the lake district of India. All these lakes today are excellent habitats for migratory and resident water birds. Many also support diverse animal life too. In fact the lakes of Gondia district are also the home to a strong population of the elegant saras crane, the largest member of the crane family.
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  • Tadoba is probably one of India’s finest Tiger Reserves. The success of protection and conservation mechanism has meant the number of Tigers in this reserve have increased close to the optimal holding capacity. This has meant that the herbivore population has been maintained in balance and thus the flora too is able to grow and regenerate continuously. In other words, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve boasts of a healthy forest. Interestingly, new monitoring technologies available have also shown a steady movement and an exchange of population of animals like the tiger with other neighbouring forests – some even in the neighbouring states. This has meant a genetically healthy population of animals too. 
     
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  • A hill station with tigers in the vicinity! How does that sound? Dangerous or interesting? Well, there is actually nothing to fear but only to enjoy when you plan a visit to the quiet hill station of Chikhaldara where you will be transported to a serene zone of just flora and fauna. In fact, if you are really looking for a place to unwind, Chikhaldara is where you should be.
     
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  • Melghat was among the first 9 Tiger Reserves to be notified in 1973-74 under the prestigious Project Tiger movement. It is located in the Northern part of Amravati district, this is where Maharashtra meets Madhya Pradesh in the South Western Satpura mountain ranges. This Tiger Reserve is spread over 3600 sq km encompassing the Gugamal National Park, Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary and neighbouring rich deciduous Reserve Forests.
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  • If ever you have wished to be surrounded by a bounty of colourful flowers and nothing else for quite a distance, the Kaas Plateau is where you should be. Just 25 kilometers from the bustling city lies this pristine and wonderfully unique ecosystem nestled in the Sahyadri Mountains. The metamorphosis that takes place here during the monsoon season is like witnessing Mother Nature unfolding a miracle for the world to be astounded with.
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  • There is no greater thrill than spotting a tiger in its natural surroundings. And this can become a real life experience when you go to the Pench Tiger Reserve which shares its borders with both Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. And the tiger apart, you can also have a wonderful time exploring the other flora and fauna while going on long treks through the woods.

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  • Blackbucks have often been in the news. And not just for an often reported criminal case filed against a well-known actor for shooting this rarely sighted animal but also for the many stories of the Bishnois of Rajasthan who go to great lengths to protect them. In Maharashtra, blackbucks can be seen at the Rehekuri Wildlife Sanctuary, a deciduous scrub forest that also provides interesting exploration trails.

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  • Are you fed up of the urban chaos? Would you like a short break? How about a place where nature is at its best and the sounds that envelop you are only those of birds and the mild breeze sashaying through the trees? To be able to turn this into reality, all you have to do is take to the Mumbai-Goa highway where just 12 km from Panvel is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Like Mumbai, this place never sleeps, but with a difference. Here, the activity is those of winged beauties during the day and of nocturnal creatures once the sun goes down. The sanctuary has the Karnala Fort at its center and the name has come about due to the presence of a bulging rock which looks like a funnel-shaped loudspeaker, this being called a ‘karn’ in Marathi.

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    Painganga Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Umarkhed Tehsil of Yavatmal district of the Indian state Maharashtra. It derives its name from the river Painganga or Penganaga River which borders the sanctuary on its three sides. It encompasses a sprawling area of about 325 square kilometres and hosts a vast variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary has been divided in the central region by a wide valley which forms the border of Nanded and Yavatmal districts. 

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    Tipeshwar wild life sanctuary Location- The sanctuary is situated at Pandarkawada Tehsil, in the district of Yavatmal, Maharashtra. Know Tipeshwar Sanctuary,
    The sanctuary covers an area of around 148.63sq.kms and abounds in vegetation cover. There are various villages located around the sanctuary and thus people depend on the forest for firewood, timber etc. The place is quite hilly and undulated and thus has different types of vegetation cover that varies with the altitude. Fauna- The place shelters a wide array of animals that include Hyena, Chital, Black buck, Sambar, Jackal, Wild boar, Peacock, Monkey, Blue bull, Wild cat, Bear and many more. Accommodation Rest House at Pandharkawada. Accessibility Rail- The closest railway station is located at Adilabad (35kms). Air- The closest airport is located at Sonegaon, Nagpur (172kms). Road- The sanctuary is easily accessible via road through Pandharkawada. Best Season- April-May.
    The Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is a “Green Oasis” in the southern most part of the Maharashtra State and has a great significance from the point of view of wildlife and bio-diversity conservation. This sanctuary is locked in the arms of the nature and is adorned with picturesque landscape, luxuriant vegetation and serves as living outdoor museum to explore and appreciate the nature. This sanctuary embodies one of the best of our remaining forests, in the remote part of Yeotmal district.
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Forest & Wildlife - Destination