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.
So, if you are willing to bear the chilly winter mornings or scorching Vidarbha summer afternoons, in this land of the Gond tribals, who once ruled these areas – you will be blessed with some of the most memorable wilderness experiences. You could drive into the Park in an open Gypsy vehicle and just wait by the lakeside or at Panchadhara or Pandharpauni or just anywhere on the route where you can hear the symphony of birds. Very soon, you will be enthralled by birds of different colours, movements and songs. You could also witness the kings of the skies – eagles, buzzards and falcons as they descend down from the heavens and perch by the waterside or may even be on a branch next to you. Be sure to carry a good pair of binocular and camera. Tadoba never disappoints.
Don’t make the mistake of chasing the tiger though – because you will then miss out on the other beautiful members of the Tadoba family. The ghost trees that brighten up the forests, palas and semul trees whose colours entice birds from far and near and the huge giants like the ain, teak, arjun, jamun and bhera that provide the spectacular character to this forest.
We recommend that you drive around patiently – enjoying the sights of the heavyweight Indian gaur, the fur ball bears, the innocent and beautiful sambar, barking and spotted deer or even the playful troupe of langoors. Even as you are enjoying these spectacles, you might suddenly eye a crouching tiger or a hidden leopard. More often you might be led to them by the jungle postmen – peacocks, langoors and spotted deer, informing the forest of their arrival.
Another member of the Tadoba Company may not exactly be cute and cuddly. But the crocodiles in the central lake are just as interesting to observe, as the leopards and tigers are. Their stealthy movements underwater bring them extremely close to the unsuspecting prey – and what follows is a logic defying speed at which the prey disappears, grasped in the powerful jaws, as it is pulled underwater.
While tigers, leopards and crocodiles are able to enjoy their meals without having to share with their extended family, there is one predator in Tadoba, which is not so large and hidden. Wild dogs instead walk the paths, trails and even the roads without trying to conceal themselves. Instead their whole pack, with numbers often exceeding twelve to fifteen individuals march across Tadoba fearlessly. Once they spot a potential prey, in some coded whistling language of their own, a plan is quickly put in place. What can be witnessed next could shame most experienced war strategists too. An aging or a weak prey is identified from the whole flock. Then starts the deadly chase where individual dogs chase the prey to the next member, who then takes over the task of tiring out the animal and then passing it on to the next member. Soon enough, the prey animal has lost all its energy and just waits to be devoured by the whole pack in a matter of minutes. Every member of the pack manages to bite into a small portion of food. But then the wild dogs are fairly small in size – and anyways food is in plenty in Tadoba and the next meal can be soon ordered!
The sight of a tiger, the snarl of a leopard, high speed movement of the crocodile and the strategising wild dogs will always keep the memories of Tadoba fresh in the memory. But the urgent need for its protection and that of the other wilds of this country has only been further strengthened today.
Important instructions for tourists:
You might have enjoyed the sights and sounds of Tadoba. But in your best interests, you must only return home with the famed oranges, mangoes and orange burfis of Vidarbha. You could also try the khoya jilebi and other mouth watering delicacies at Haldiram outlets.
When you are here, keep time for Anandwan – that Baba Amte so lovingly built for the leprosy patients. Today a large number of them have been healed and are now running the various enterprises here.
October 1 - January 31 -- 7 am to 6 pm.
February 1 - June 15 -- 7 am to 7 pm.
June 16 - September 30 – Parts of the Closed. Main road remains open.
MTDC at Moharli, private hotels and resorts and Forest Development Corporation’s campsites.
Summer temperatures can sometimes cross 400C. In winter, Tadoba is cool. Be prepared with warm clothes.
The best time to visit is during October to May – though parts of the park remain open even during the rains.
Getting there : From Chandrapur, Wardha and Nagpur
Park has two major gates apart from other smaller gates. Moharli can be accessed from Chandrapur. But if you are coming from Nagpur, Chimur gate is more accessible. For those Tourists coming from Western Maharshtra by train, Wardha can be a convenient disembarking station.