The Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve contains some of the best
forest tracts and is endowed with rich biodiversity.
As per legend, the tribal God ‘Tadu’ died here many years ago while fighting a tiger. The tribals erected a shrine in his memory under a large tree on the shores of Lake Tadoba, giving birth to the name ‘Tadoba’ to the local jungle. While the Andhari River that meanders through the forest gives the reserve the Andhari name.
Tadoba Tiger Reserve is a rare jungle jewel amongst India’s leading tiger reserves and national parks. It is affably called the Land of the Tigers, due to its high tiger density—recent estimates indicate around 115 tigers over a rich jungle spread over 625 square kilometres! Visitors report frequent tiger and wild dog sightings and, in general, the park offers plenty of opportunities for close encounters of the wildlife kind which also include: Leopard, Sloth Bear, Gaur (Indian Bison), Rusty Spotted Cat, Ratel, Indian Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Wild Pig, Four Horned Antelope, Flying Squirrel, and more. Over 200 species of birds include the crested serpent eagle, honey buzzard, paradise flycatcher, grey-headed fishing eagle, the shy jungle fowl, and much more.
Tadoba is less commercialized than other leading parks in India and still has a pristine ecosystem. Major flora include: Bamboo, Teak, Ain, Bija, Dhauda, Haldu, Salai, Semal, and Tendu. Bamboo and Teak dominate the tropical dry deciduous flora of this land. Scattered throughout are the lovely kusums and flowering silk cottons, which bloom from late winter to spring. But very unique to Tadoba, and a photographer’s delight, are the ‘ghost trees’ which are very large and have completely white bark! Another special treat at Tadoba is the chance to see sloth bears sleeping peacefully near a waterhole after having their fill of the creamy white flowers off the mahua tree. Once the sweet juices of the tree are digested, it generates alcohol!
The point of arrival for Tadoba is the city of Nagpur, a major cultural, commercial and political hub. Nagpur is the winter capital of the state of Maharashtra, and the largest city in central India. The city has also been called the Tiger Capital of the World. It serves as a central connection and easy access to a number of Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Importantly, Nagpur is well connected to all Indian metros and other cities by air and rail. It is the geographic centre of India, which is marked with a Zero Mile stone obelisk in the centre of town—a tourist attraction.
Nagpur has a rich history. The city was founded by the Gonds but later became part of the Maratha Empire under the Bhonsles. The British East India Company took over Nagpur in the 19th century and made it the capital of the Central Provinces and Berar.
Nagpur has a number of places of interest in the vicinity. The city is dotted with natural and man-made lakes around it, like the Ambazari lake, Gorewada lake, and Telangkhedi lake, offering great spots for picnics. Nagpur is known for its greenery, and has recently been judged as one of the cleanest and the second greenest city in India. It is also famously known as the “Orange City” as it is a major centre for orange cultivation and trade.
Nagpur and nearby town Chandrapur have many known temples and heritage sites in and around them. Some of the famous ones are the Lord Ganesh Temple at Adasa, Deekshabhoomi--a sacred monument of Buddhism and one of its sacred sites, Mahakali Temple at Chandrapur, Markanda--the "mini Khajuraho" of Maharashtra, and Bhadravati Jain Temple which has some beautiful scupltures. There are also ancient caves which were first carved out around the 8th century. Later Buddhist monks used these caves and engraved beautiful sculptures into the walls.