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      » About Nagpur

      » Tourist Spots

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Tourist Spots Around Nagpur

A haven for nature lovers - Maharashtra is a home to large number of animal and bird species including the tiger, crocodile, bison, gawa, neelgai, wild deer, sambars and rare migratory birds. The government has taken adequate steps towards setting up many wildlife parks and sanctuaries to protect these regions and promote these places as tourist attractions.

These parks offer splendid opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife in the spectacular natural setting. Modern amenities such as jeep rides, night safaris, library and audio-visual facilities, comfortable accommodation and efficient transport are also available at these parks at a nominal charge.

Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve
The Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve extends over an area of 257 sq. km. in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hill ranges, along the northern boundary of Nagpur District. It was declared a National Park by the Government of Maharashtra in 1975 and received the official status of "Tiger Reserve of India" in February 1999.

The park gets its name from the Pench River, which meanders through it like a mammoth python, dividing it down the center. Rich in its biodiversity, its terrain defined by hills, valleys and the occasional precipitous slope, Pench is an important ecosystem supporting an abundance of flora and fauna, including a rich variety of aquatic life.

Not surprisingly, the beauty of this part of central India has earned much literary attention. The poet Kalidas writes about the scenic charm of the place in his epics Meghdootam and Sakuntalam. R.A. Strendale's "Camp in the Satpura Hills" draws a vivid pen picture of this idyllic paradise - as does Forsyth's "Highlands of Central India".

Indeed, the Pench National Park is four different forest regions in one, an extravagance of trees, shrubs, grasses, climbers, weeds and herbs, with teak being the most prominent of the tree species. The park is home to 33 species of mammals, 164 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 10 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles, and a wide variety of insect life.

While primarily and reservation for tigers and panthers, Pench is also home to sambhar, chital, barking deer, nilgai, black buck, gaur, wild boar, chausingha, sloth bears, wild dogs, langurs, monkeys, mouse deer, black-naped hares, jackals, foxes, hyenas, porcupines, and flying squirrels, to name a few.

Here, birdlife is equally bountiful. The feathered denizens of Pench include both resident and migratory birds like Malabar pied hornbills, Indian pittas, ospreys, grey-headed fishing eagles, white-eyed buzzards, storks, waterfowls, four endangered vulture species, and the green pigeon, which is the State Bird.

Pench is a naturalist's dream come true; a mind-expanding experience if ever there is one.

Kanha National Park
The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel "Jungle Book". The Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh came into being in 1955 and forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The Park's landmark achievement is the preservation of the rare hardground Swamp Deer (Barasingha), saving it from near extinction. Stringent conservation programs for the overall protection of the Park's fauna and flora, makes Kanha one of the most well maintained National Parks in Asia.

A heightened attraction within the Park is Bamni Dadar, popularly known as Sunset Point that offers the most awe-inspiring backdrop of the sunset against grazing Sambhars and Gaurs, magnifying the natural splendor of the area. Aside from its diverse wildlife and bird population, the frequent sightings of Tigers roaming in the wild at Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary remain the most popular draw.

* Kanha is approximately 270 km away from Nagpur.

Tadoba National Park
Often referred as "The Jewel of Vidharba", the Tadoba National Park lies in the district of Chandrapur in the north-eastern part of Maharashtra. Located in the heart of a reserved forest, it is an infinite treasure trove of innumerable species of trees and plants - and wildlife that includes tigers, panthers, sloth bears, hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, bison, barking deer, nil gai, sambar, and cheatal.

In fact, the Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Santuary together form the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. The park derives its name from "Taru" the local deity, whereas the Andhari River that meanders through the forest gives the sanctuary its name. Getting there:

The nearest airport is Nagpur (140 km via Umrer, Bhisi and Chimur). The nearest railway station is Chandrapur (on the Delhi-Madras main line) 45 kms away.

Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a herculean bout and then threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as Keechakadara -- Chikhaldara is its corruption. But there's more to Chikhaldara. The sole hill resort in the Vidarbha region, it is situated at an altitude of 1118 m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. It abounds in wildlife -- panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild boar, and even the rarely seen wild dogs. Close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Project which has 82 tigers. The scenic beauty of Chikhaldara can be enjoyed from Hurricane Point, Prospect Point, and Devi Point. Other interesting excursions include Gavilgad and Narnala Fort, the Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens, the Tribal Museum and the Semadoh Lake.

Getting there: Nearest airport is Nagpur. Nearest railhead is Badnera. Mumbai-Chikhaldara, 763 kms. Nagpur - Chikhaldara, 230 kms. Amravati -Chikhaldara, 100 kms.

The place is called so because it was graced by the holy feet of Lord Rama and Sita, his consort. The Ramnavami festival forms the grandeur of the region at the Rama Temple that stands proudly atop a hill. The land has been mentioned as Ramgiri, in Meghdootam, one of the fascinating works of Sanskrit poet Kalidas. The Kalidas Smarak, which adorns the hill too, is worth visiting.

The historical village of Pavnar, said to be named after the legendary Rajput King Pavan, is situated on the banks of the Dham river. It is the site of an ashram, which was founded by the great social reformer and activist Acharya Vinoba Bhave for the treatment of leprosy patients - and also the location of the Gandhi Kuti. Recent excavation at the ashram unearthed stone panels dating to the Wakataka Dynasty - all of which are now on display on the premises.

Getting there: Nearest airport is Nagpur 65 km. Nearest rail head is Wardha, 12 km. Nagpur-Pavnar 65 km;

Originally Shegaon, the name of this village was changed to Sewagram by Gandhiji after he chose it to be a center for his social service efforts and founded the Gandhi ashram. Aside from the ashram, which houses the great leader's personal memorabilia, the Gyan Mandir is another place worth visiting here.

Getting there: Nearest airport is Nagpur, 88 km away Nearest rail head is Nagpur 45 kms. Mumbai-Sewagram 760 km.