A hill station surrounded by tigers! What do you think about that? Is it more dangerous or interesting? When you plan a trip to the peaceful hill station of Chikhaldara, you will be transported to a serene zone of only flora and fauna.
Chikhaldara, about 100 kilometres north of Amravati, is the only hill station of its kind in Vidarbha. It is located on a mountain range that separates Maharashtra from Madhya Pradesh. Chikhaldara, at a height of 1,088 metres above sea level, has flourished in terms of flora and fauna due to the high rainfall it receives in comparison to other parts of Vidarbha. But what makes Chikhaldara truly unique is that it is surrounded on three sides by the borders of the Melghat Project Tiger Area, which covers an area of approximately 1,676 square kilometres.
The Project Tiger area is divided into several smaller wildlife reserves, with the Melghat Wildlife Reserve, which covers approximately 780 square kilometres, forming the entirety of Chikhaldara's southern and western borders. The 320-square-kilometer Gugamal National Park is the core zone of the Project Tiger reserve and forms the eastern border of Chikhaldara.
In fact, given the region's size, Chilkhaldara and Melghat Project Tiger (MPT) are like twins. The MPT area is home to approximately 700 plant species representing 400 genres and 97 different families. 90 of these 700 species are tree species, and they are the reserve's true treasure. This incredible floral diversity has also groomed a diverse range of fauna. According to the most recent count, the tiger reserve is home to over 70 tigers and nearly the same number of leopards. It also has approximately 200 sloth bears, 1,800 Indian gaurs, and hundreds of herbivore animals such as Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Choushinga, and others.
Rare animals found in the reserve include the Flying Squirrel, Pangolin, Mouse Deer, Ratel, and Honey Badger.