Melghat tiger reserve has encouraged the growth of tigers to a considerable extent. Melghat sanctuary offers a perfect natural habitat for various wildlife species.
Best Time To Visit: November to March is the best time to visit this sanctuary. It remains closed during monsoon season from 1st July to 15th October. Due to the height of grasslands in monsoon and winter season, it becomes difficult to spot animals.
Location Address: Melghat sanctuary, Parvatwada Taluka, 100 km from Amaravati, Maharashtra (India) – 444 602.
Melghat Tiger Reserve Information:
Melghat is the only Tiger project enclave in the Maharashtra. Established on 22nd February 1974, Melghat is among the very old 9 Tiger Reserves formed by the Government of India. It is the very 1st Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra that lies in the northern part of Amaravati district in Maharashtra. Melghat sanctuary region has spread in the Satpuda mountain range of Vidarbha and consists an area of about 1500.49 sq.km. A minibus is provided by the forest department to tour vast area of Melghat reserve. It is one of the best wildlife reserves in Maharashtra.[caption id="attachment_1549" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Lake inside the forest![/caption]
This region has a very dense forest cover full of surprises & thrills. Melghat tiger reserve has a vegetation mainly of Southern tropical dry deciduous forests. Most of the sanctuary terrain has a thick population of Bamboo & Teak trees. Tapti river and its tributaries provide the water to the entire sanctuary region. Gadga, Khandu, Dolar, Khapra and Sipna are 5 tributaries of the main Tapti river. There are 61 villages in the sanctuary area where people of Gond tribe, Balai tribe, Nihal tribe, Korku tribe and other tribes stays.
There is a museum of natural history at Semadoh which gives a lot of information about this tiger project.The museum has a small theatre where informative shows are conducted for tourists. Gavilgad fort, Chikhaldara Hill Station and Narnala fort are other popular tourist destinations nearby Melghat sanctuary.
The area of independent Gugarnal National Park was included in the Melghat tiger reserve in 1994. Since then the combined area is known as Melghat sanctuary. The main aim behind declaring this region as a national tiger reserve was to help the tigers and raise their population.[caption id="attachment_1552" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Tiger resting in between safari route![/caption]
Melghat Sanctuary Wildlife
Melghat tiger reserve comprises of a dry deciduous forest that nurtures 41 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 24 species of fish and 160 species of reptiles.
- Birds: Different species of birds like Peacock, Indian Grey Hornbill, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Indian Pitta, White-Naped Woodpecker, Ducks, Red Spurfowl, Storks, Cranes, Grey Francolin, Painted Francolin, Grey jungle fowl, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Emerald Dove, White-bellied Drongo and Oriental Turtle Dove, Verditer Flycatcher, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Sirkeer Malkoha, serpent Eagle, Eurasian Hobby, Large Cuckoo-shrike etc.
- Animals: Animals like Tiger, Leopard, Bears, Wild Dog, Rhesus monkey, Blacknaped hare (rabbit species), Porcupine, Nilgai, Gaur (wild ox), Wild Buffalo, Barking deer, Hyenas, Caracal, Otter, Flying Squirrels, Wild Cats, Pangolin, Mouse deer, Chausingha, Wild boar, Langur, Chital, Sambhar and other animals can be seen all over the protected forest.
- Flora Species: There are about 647 species of flora in this forest. These include 90 species of trees, 99 species of shrubs, 343 species of herbs, 84 species of grasses, 31 species of climbers and many medicinal plant species. Teak, Ain, Lendia, Tendu, Moyan, Bamboo, Aawla, Bel, Bija, Palas, Hiwar, Khair, Dhawda, Kusum, and Babul are main tree species inside this forest. Prominent shrubs in Melghat tiger reserve include Giganteum, Isora, Solanium and Lantna. Main climber species are Khobarvel, Eroni and Gunj.
IMPORTANT TOURIST INFORMATION
Safaris are conducted in two half’s of the day. In the 1st half, vehicles are allowed to enter after 5:30 am and they need to exit by 11:00 am. Then in the 2nd half, vehicles are allowed to enter after 2:00 pm and they need to exit by 06:00 pm.
Ticket Charges / Entry Fees: Forest authorities take entry charges as Rs.60 per jeep or car and Rs.90 for Mini bus. Also, you need to take a guide compulsorily with each vehicle for safety reasons. Guide fees are Rs.220 per guide.
How To Reach Melghat:
The Melghat sanctuary has a good connectivity to all important cities in Maharashtra like Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Paratwada, Dharni, Burhanpur etc.
- By Road: Firstly, you need to reach Semadoh from where you will get a mini bus to Melghat tiger reserve. It is 60 km from Parvatwada & 100 km from Amaravati. All buses going via Paratwada to Dharni and Burhanpur stop at the Semadoh which is near to the Melghat and can be reached by ST buses from both of these towns. Private vehicles are also permitted inside the forest. Minibus from Semadoh leaves for the Melghat at 07:00 pm sharp.
- Nearest Railway Station: Amaravati station is the nearest railhead to reach this sanctuary. The distance between the station and sanctuary is 111 km. Badnera is an alternate station to Amaravati. You can catch private vehicles from station to Melghat.
- Nearest Airport: Distance wise Akola is the nearest airport to this sanctuary. However, it does not have regular flights and connectivity is poor. So Nagpur airport is the other air station to reach Melghat tiger reserve. It is 260 km away from the Melghat. You can catch cabs outside the airport to reach the destination. This airport has a connectivity to cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow and Patna.
Accommodation / Staying Options at Melghat Sanctuary:
Tourists have an option to stay in various forest rest houses at Kokaj, Raipur, Dhakna, Dhargad, Ranguveli, Chunkhadi, Hatru, Maklu, Jarida, Makhalara, Chaurakund, Kolkaz and Semadoh. One can also hire tents for rough adventure. Tents are available at 11 places inside the Melghat tiger reserve. Now few hotels & lodges have also established at Semadoh for accommodation purpose.
Restaurant Availability / Eating Stuff: Canteens of forest rest houses serve decent food items. Apart from them, there are not many options to have food.
Contact Credentials: Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Camp Amravati – 444 602.
- Fax Number | (0721) 2551766 | Phone No.- (0721) 2662792
- E-mailID| [email protected]
Other Wildlife Reserves in Maharashtra:
- Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve
- Bhamragarh Wildlife Reserve
- Nagzira National Forest
- Navegaon National Park
- Bor Wildlife Sanctuary
- Pench National Park
- Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Map To Reach:[mapsmarker marker="144"]
So, Melghat tiger reserve is an ideal place to spot tigers in Maharashtra. Its rich biodiversity is an absolute treat for nature lovers!