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Maharashtra: Melghat Tiger Reserve and Chikhaldara - A Travel Guide
Melghat Tiger Reserve :
The homeland of 89 tigers, the biggest tiger reserve of Maharashtra, is the Melghat Tiger Reserve. Covering 1677 square km of straggling manor, the tiger reserve, is flanked on the southern slope of the Satpura hill in Melghat Tehsil of Amaravati district. The core area of this beautiful woodland is spread across 311 square km of lands though.
The entire territory of the Melghat Tiger Reserve is a safe haven for natural denizens. Besides tigers, Gaurs, Nilgais, Shambars, Chinkaras and Krishnasar deer (4 horned) take delight in the dark and cool shelter of the tick, Mahua, Bahera, Palash (Butea monosperma), Tendu and Bamboo trees. Hundreds of species of indigenous and migratory birds fly inside the forest from one to the other branch of soaring trees.
Lucky holiday makers can even listen to the roars of tigers while strolling around.
Availing a MTDC Jungle Safari package would make sure that you get to see the natural wonders of Navegaon, Nagzira and Ramtek along with the Melghat Tiger Reserve.
How to reach Melghat: The nearest railway station on the Nagpur- Bhusawal railway track is Bandnera Junction. Buses which travel to Melghat start journey from Amravati, about 100 km away from Melghat. Melghat is accessible from Nagpur by bus as well.
Where to stay at Melghat: A pleasing place to stay here is the Forest Bungalow which is the best spot to watch the natural grandeur around. The Forest Bungalow is located 5 km deep inside the forest. 4 dormitories in Semadoh and 10 dotted Forest Rest Houses are there as well. For booking, tourists can contact the Deputy Conservator of Forest @ (07223) - 220214.
The only hillock of Vidarbha, Chikhaldara, is located outside the Melghat Tiger Reserve. Its name has been found in the Hindu epic Mahabharata as well. Bhim Kunda (well), placed in Chikhaldara, still recollects the primeval memories.
Positioned on the slope of Satpura hill, inhabitants and denizens of Chikhaldara enjoy the gripping greeneries and natural spectacle. The place has given shelter for many years to the backward communities, such as, Gavalis, Basodes, Gonds, Madias and Kolamas.
Nature lovers would enjoy their stay at Chikhaldara. Touching soft clouds standing on the hill would be a startling experience for everyone.
Other coveted and interesting destinations of Chikhaldara are Museum, Botanical Garden, Shiva Temple, Church, Eco Point, Panchrol, a number of caves, Bhim Kund, Hurricane Point, Fort and Lake. The Lake can be best viewed if you hire a boat and move on the water surface of the Lake along with the rippling waves.
Popularity of Chikhaldara has definitely increased since MTDC has introduced the Annual Tribal Festival. This eventful festival showcases talents of tribes through their traditional dance forms. The cultures and mores of Korku, Gondo, Kolum and Madia communities are truly depicted by their dance forms, such as, Bihawoo, Dhemsa, Gaobandhani and Relo respectively.
Don’t forget to gaze at the shimmering water stream of Chikhaldara waterfall, about 5 km away from Chikhaldara. The stream kisses the trunk of the hill before hitting the ground. The River with its feral and untamed stream is coming down all the way from a height of 80 feet. It’s a magnificent sight to look at.
How to reach Chikhaldara: Besides availing a bus to Chikhaldara from Nagpur, you can also take a train from Nagpur to Amravati. Chikhaldara then can be accessed from Amravati by bus.
Where to stay at Chikhaldara: Places where you can stay at Chikhaldara are Chikhalsara Resort of MTDC, Cottage and Circuit House. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.