Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
History and Origin
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, popularly known as TATR was declared on 9th April, 1955 as a National Park under the purview of “Project Tiger”. An interesting mythology relates to the origin of its name. Local lore outlines that ‘Taru’, popularly known as ‘Tadoba’was the name of a local village chief who was killed in an encounter with a tiger. In memory of this incident, the famous Tadoba Lake houses a shrine on its banks.Till date the ‘Adivasi’ or tribal, primarily belonging to the Gond tribe worship the chief as a local ‘God’. Andhari was established as a Wildlife Sanctuary, named after the Andhari River that snakes through this wild paradise.
Terrain of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
A forest of tropical dry deciduous type, bamboo constitutes approximately more than 65 % of the flora apart from Teak tree cover. Known for its variety of terrain from valleys to grasslands and lakes, good hiding spots enable many a species to thrive without threat at TATR. With a total area of about 625 square kilometres, as per the Forest laws only 20% of this is open to wildlife tourism.Densely forested hills form the northern and western boundary of the tiger reserve, Popular lakes in the terrain include the all-year round Irai, a popular hangout for the tigers in the buffer zone in recent times. The famous grasslands of the Telia dam lake serve as prime territory for tigers and a host of water birds, whereas Tadoba lake located further inside is home to a good population of Indian Mugger or crocodile.
Flora and Fauna of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Dense bamboo cover and an abundance of lakes calls for the development of a rich diversity in flora and fauna. This includes trees such as teak, crocodile bark tree, Jamun, Mahua and flame of the forest. A combination of golden grasslands and hilly terrain provides adequate cover for the Royal Bengal Tiger to make it his haven. Apart from the tiger the dense forests provide home to a variety of indigenous species – Leopard, wild Gaur, jungle cat, Sambar, spotted dear, Nilgai, barking deer, wild dog or Indian Dhole and Sloth Bear. Today, some of the species such as the Indian Wilddog and Chausinga, a rare breed of deer with four-tined horns are found in significant numbers only in this ecosystem. A great place for birding as well,more than 200 species of birds enjoy the freedom of flight in this biodiversity hotspot of Maharashtra.
Did you know?
The main road has a series of ‘Pillars’ constructed by the then Maharaja. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that each pillar is spread apart at a distance of 100 metres from the next, and the top of the pillar harbours a curved symbol that indicates the direction in which the next pillar lies. Though the exact purpose served by these pillars is not clear, research indicates various possible applications. Local knowledge talks about these being used as direction guides for men who traversed the dense jungles during the light. Some believe the curved hook was used to carry a rope and bell that ran along the length of the road, primarily used as a “bell messenger’ service to indicate that the Raja was traversing the path. Whatever the reason be, these artefacts add to the exquisiteness of the jungle roads of TATR, a sight to behold!