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Tourist Places To Visit In Tadoba Tiger Reserve
Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is a much sought after wildlife destination as it is one of the chief National Parks and Sanctuaries where the chances of spotting tigers are definitely promising. The Tadoba Tiger Reserve has some of the highest number of tigers in India and what with a dense luxuriant landscape that is scattered with hillocks, marshes, deep ravines and the deciduous dry tropical Southern forests, the Reserve has no dearth of wildlife including leopards, wild dogs, marsh crocodiles, reptiles, sloth bears, hyenas, a plethora of smaller mammals and birds aplenty!
Towns and hamlets near Tadoba Tiger Reserve have several ancient renowned temples and ruins of historic forts that would kindle your interest in history. If you seek more wildlife adventures you could also take a long trip from Tadoba Reserve to Navegaon National Park (170 km), Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (167 km) or Pench National Park (255 km). We will give you a list of some of the interesting tourist places you could go off on a sightseeing trip to.
Tadoba Tiger Reserve
The most ideal way to explore the Tiger Reserve is with a safari. There are high chances of finding tigers slurping water by the rivers or one slinking up on a hunt, while you might even find sloth bears or a pack of wild dogs. The Tadoba Tiger Reserve is segregated into the Kolsa South Range, Moharli Range and Tadoba North Range.
The Tadoba Lake which is a perennial water source lies in the southwest and is a buffer between the park and the farmlands of the Irai Reservoir. The Tadoba Lake on whose banks sits a small shrine to Taru, the legendary village chief, abounds with marsh crocodiles, and the dens and caverns in the densely forested hills and valleys of Chimur, Moharli and Kolsa ranges are home to a number of wild carnivores.
The Mahakali Mandir near the Zarpat River is one of the most significant iconic symbols of Chandrapur. The temple gets busy on Tuesdays and Saturdays which are considered auspicious days of the week. Special celebrations are held during Hanuman Jayanthi and hundreds of people from the neighboring towns visit Mahakali Mandir during the festivities. Pilgrims have to reach the sanctum sanctorum through a tunnel which houses a unique idol of the Goddess in a reclining form.
The temple has two doorways, one close to the shrine of Hanuman and the other with the shrines of Ganesha and Shani. The temple is said to have been built in the 16th century by Dhondiya Ram Sah of the Gond Dynasty. Tourists who visit Tadoba Tiger Reserve via Mohurli do not skip a visit to the renowned Mahakali Mandir. The Mahakali Mandir is about 38 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve.
The little town of Chandrapur has impressive links with ancient history that goes back to the period of the Gond Dynasty. The Chandrapur Fort, an immense stone structure adorned with spectacular and intricate carvings on the walls, is said to have been built by Dhondiya Ram Sah, the Gond king.
The majestic Anchaleshwara temple to Shiva stands inside the fort complex, along with two smaller shrines. What is significant about the Fort are the mausoleums built for the Gond Kings adjacent to the temple. Check out the mausoleum of King Veer Sah, whose Queen, Rani Hirai who ruled around 1704 had the mausoleum built in memory of her husband. Chandrapur Fort is about 37 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve.
Hari Balaji temple for Lord Balaji was built about 350 years back during the reign of the Bhosales. The temple, one of the most renowned pilgrim centers of Chandrapur district is one of the most to be visited places in Chimur. The idol of Balaji in the temple is akin to the idol of Venkateshwara of Tirumala Tirupathi.
Ghodayatra celebrated during the full moon night of Magh Shuddha Trayodasi is a grand festival when the temple procession travels through the lanes of Chimur followed by hundreds of localites and pilgrims. Hari Balaji temple is at Chimur that’s about 30 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve.
Past tiny towns and through deserted country roads, lies the ancient Manikgarh Fort of Chandrapur. The Fort that was built by the tribal Mana Naga king Gahilu, stands about 507 m above msl and is an impressive strong stone bastion, which is at present in partial ruins.
A handful of steps lead down to the water tank built to store water for the inmates of the fort. There had been living quarters, storehouses and down the valley lies a cannon made of iron straps that had probably fallen from the ruined rampart wall. There is a view tower you can climb up to get a dekko at the encircling landscape. It is said that wild animals wander the bastion after sunset and the desolate place recommends a trip in groups.
Manikgarh Fort is in Gadchandur, about 85 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve.
Naghoba or Bhadranag Mandir in Bhadravati township, is an ancient temple for Shiva. It is said that the temple was rebuilt in the 1880s with the materials that were brought down from the early temple that was located there. The main sanctum sanctorum is a small room with an ochre colored idol of Shiva who is worshipped as Naga devta, who is considered the village deity.
The temple has smaller idols of Lakshmi Narayana, Varaha, Ganpati and Shiva Parvathi. On annual religious festival days like Mahashivratri and Nag Panchami, the small temple has hundreds of people arriving for darshan from the neighboring towns.
On the eastern banks of the River Wardha stands the Ballarpur Fort built by the Gond king Kandhakya Ballal sha, who went on to found the town of Chandrapur. Legends say that Ballarpur town and the fort were built near the Ankaleshwarth Tirth said to have been holy waters that had cured the king of his dreadful disease. The kingdom of Ballarpur or the city of Ballal was later shifted to Chandrapur.
Though the inner buildings are partially tumbled down, the strong outer bastion walls of the square shaped fort are still intact. There are several tunnel openings and passageways that seem to lead underground. The fort was built of black stones and was believed to be a strong defensive bastion of the period. Ballarpur Fort that is about 50 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve, is a hot tourist spot.
Gitai Mandir is a unique concept that immortalizes the works of the Bhagavad Gita, through the translations of Acharya Vinobha Bhave in Marathi. The Gitai Mandir was established by Kamalnayan Bajaj and the foundation was laid by Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan. Completed and inaugurated in 1980 by the Acharya himself, the Gitai Mandir idolizes the 18 chapters of the Gita that are engraved on 18 types of stone that had been brought over from the four corners of the country.
The Mandir lies at the place of the sammadhi of Jamnalal Bajaj and provides a beautiful bird’s eye view of a structure that is in the form of a cow and a charka. The Gitai Mandir is at Gopuri, Wardha about a 116 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve.
On the banks of the Wainganga River are a number of ancient temples that are architecturally and historically so spectacular that they are called the mini Kajuraho. Spread over an area of about 40 acres, the temple complex has a Markandeya temple to Shiva, where legends say the immortal sage Markandeya had prayed to the Lord. There are several temples, most of them in ruins, but the predominant temple is the one to Shiva. Check out the intricate carvings on the walls of the temples.
Markanda town is in Gadchiroli district near Chamorshi. Get off on a holiday weekend to Markanda town that is about 65 km from Chandrapur. Buses run between Chandrapur and Markanda town.
Bor Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bor Wildlife Sanctuary that gets its name from the Bor river that meanders its way through the Sanctuary has a good gathering of tigers and panthers, sloth bears, neelgai, hyenas, wild dogs and a variety of endemic and migratory birds apart from a plethora of aquatic species. Bor Wildlife Sanctuary has a well-endowed natural landscape that is ideal for a safari along with photography.
Within the Sanctuary is a Shiva temple at Khori Khapa, Kelzar Ganesh Temple, Brihaspati temple at Chauki and Hanuman temple at Kadki. Bor is a small sanctuary but well worth a visit. Bor Wildlife Sanctuary is near Wardha, about 140 km from Tadoba Tiger Reserve.