Eco Tourism - DOT-Maharashtra Tourism
Purpose of tourism type Eco-tourism focuses on sustainable operations along with profitability. It protects the local ecosystem and natural resources along with the provision of economical support to the local communities to preserve the surrounding, their communities, and culture.
What Is It?
What is it Eco-tourism is directed towards exotic, often threatened, natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. Eco-tourism is responsible for travel to untouched and unique areas of flora and fauna. It is to travel responsibly creating awareness of the surrounding environment and communities. It enhances appreciation of local surroundings and culture.
Maharashtra, a land of predators, the tigers and leopards, herds of bison, deer, antelopes and wild boar, sloth of bears, cattle of blue bull and varieties of beaks and feathers like yellow-footed green pigeon, great Indian bustard, Indian grey hornbill, painted stork, sunbird, Red-naped ibis, grey heron and hundreds of other species. The state is an absolute delight for ecotourism with 15,732 sq km of reserved forest, a land rich with biodiversity found in its thick evergreen tropical rainforest, wetland, grassland to magnificent mountain ranges which offer diverse flora and fauna that can rarely be found at such scale anywhere else. Maharashtra is blessed with good climatic conditions that support the varying topography making it conducive for the growth of several species of flora and fauna. The adequate rainfall ensures lush vegetation throughout the year is spread evenly across the state. Experience nature, develop appreciation and foster conservation in the captivating natural grandeurs of Maharashtra. The state offers national parks like Tadoba and Pench, listed as some best places to see tigers in India. The state also offers less crowded wildlife reserves like Melghat Tiger Reserve, Umred-Karhandla Sanctuary, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve, Radhanagari wildlife sanctuary, Nanaj wildlife sanctuary. The nature parks with good clean accommodation facilities, some even with conference halls, recreational rooms etc. Apart from the nature parks, the state has a multitude of other green spaces making Maharashtra a hotspot for ecotourism.
Uses To Tourists / People
Ecotourism aims to expose tourists to the realities of social and economic climates in an area. It helps the tourist unwind and rejuvenate. It also helps tourists understand these spaces, their importance. Ecotourism makes an impact on the tourists visiting these spaces thus inspiring them to protect the ecosystem. It helps tourists gain a new outlook about local ecological importance. It teaches important concepts like recycle, reduce, consume cautiously and preserve natural resources for generations to come. Seeing animals in their natural habitat is another level of excitement rather than seeing them caged.
How It Benefits The Community / Tourists
Ecotourism stimulates economic growth. It acts as a catalyst in improving the economic standards of the areas. It provides jobs to the locals. Ecotourism helps reduce carbon footprints. Since the nature parks and green spaces are free of vehicles and tourists walk, helping reduce air pollution. Traveling responsibly helps converse endangered species also allowing them to increase their population making it attractive for the tourist to visit.
Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary - Located in Chandrapur district, the best park to spot tigers in the state. One can also spot leopards, sloth bears, jungle cats among others. The park is open throughout the year and has safaris in the mornings and afternoon where an English-speaking guide will accompany. Pench Tiger reserve- situated 75 km from Nagpur it shares a border with Madhya Pradesh. The park is native to more than 35 species of fauna including the big cat Bengal tiger, chital, wolf, Indian leopard, gaur, antelope along with many species of birds like crow pheasant, peafowl, blue kingfisher, red- vented bulbul and many more. The park is home to innumerable species of flora. Melghat Tiger Reserve, located in the northern part of Amravati district, is one of the Project Tiger parks of India. Other animals of this park include panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild bear, and wild dogs. One can spot eagles in this reserve. There is a thick majority of teak trees in this reserve. Umred-Karhandla Sanctuary, located in Bhandara district, 50 km from Nagpur. The park has 5-6 tigers, 90 odd species of birds and about 19 species of reptiles. Navegaon Tiger Reserve, located in the Gondia district. It boasts of a wildlife sanctuary, a bird sanctuary that houses nearly 65% of species found in Maharashtra, a deer park and gardens. Interesting wildlife includes tiger, jungle cat, panther, small Indian civet, wold, palm civet, jackal, sambar, bison, nilgai, wild boar, chital, several species of reptiles and fish. Bor Wildlife Sanctuary - Located in Wardha district, the park is said to have 15-17 tigers and is the smallest tiger reserve in India. The water hole in the middle of the park helps attract birdlife. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, lying in the ghat region of Sahyadri hills which is filled with green lush grass during the rainy days. The air is clean and fresh, filled with sounds of rare species of birds. Some of the green spaces which attract ecotourists are: Igatpuri, situated close to Nashik. Filled with several waterfalls and lakes surrounded by greenery, the place offers a splendid view of nature. Tapola, popularly known as mini- Kashmir. It is a small village, 25kms from Mahabaleshwar. Tapola is popular for boating combined with rare scenery and natural landscapes. Kas Pathar turns into a bed of flowers during monsoon is a definite visit for all ecotourists. Kolad - Turquoise blue water with lush green spaces is a dream come true for ecotourists and trekkers. Kolad also offers exciting adventure sports like river rafting, zip-lining and canoeing.