The Jewel of Vidharba

Tadoba Andhari National Park

Tadoba’s classic teak and bamboo forest epitomises a Central Indian jungle – from the lush foliage in early monsoons, to the dry, dusty browns and yellows of summer, Tadoba’s beauty captivates nature lovers throughout the year.

The Jewel of Vidharba

Regarded by many as Maharashtra’s best-managed wildlife areas, this reserve has emerged as a major wildlife destination relatively recently, but has been impressing visitors for its remote wilderness for a long time.

During British Raj, it was an immense, thickly forested expanse teeming with wild game and numerous rivers. F C Hicks, a British officer posted here recorded in 1911 that he had been “cut off from all intercourse with civilization and railways by hundreds of miles of almost impenetrable forests, swollen rivers and malarious marshes.”

Visionary management and wildlife protection has made it one of the best parks in India. Village relocation programmes have opened up new habitats and the area now contains over 100 tigers in almost 2000 km2 range.

Tadoba is a mix of rugged terrain and open meadows, with the Tadoba Lake in the north. Motorable paths radiating from the lake are fairly well laid out for viewing wildlife in the various parts of the park. Salt-licks, waterholes and machans at the lake make for the most interesting wildlife watching as the water-body is a magnet for Tadoba’s wildlife.

Teak (Tectona grandis) occurs abundantly amongst Mahua (Madhuca indica), Jamun (Syzgium cumini) and mango (Mangifera indica) trees and clumps of bamboo (Bambusa bambos). Complementing the flora are large lakes amidst lush meadows, rustic paths snaking through bamboo thickets, and a serpentine river flowing through deep valleys below cliffs and caves.

The jungle in addition to being prime Tiger and Leopard territory, is also home to healthy populations of Rusty-spotted cat, Ratel, Indian Pangolin, Sloth Bear, Gaur, and several ungulates including the four horned antelope and Indian mouse deer. Over 200 bird species and 75 butterfly species have been recorded.

The Tadoba Lake and the backwaters of the Erai dam host winter waterfowl and raptors, adding to Tadoba’s impressive avifauna.

The Gonds

Tadoba is a land full of the legends of the Gonds, its original inhabitants. Originally the Gonds were one of central India’s great hunter-gatherers. In the 18th and 19th centuries, settlers from other parts of Indian opened up these forests, which changed the lifestyles of the local tribes. The Gonds are now engaged in farming and livestock management.

Their original lifestyle may have evolved, but evidence of their tribal kingdoms can still be seen in the fortress of Chanda. The name Tadoba itself is derived from the legend of a Gond called Taru who was killed by a tiger.


In the Tadoba range, Katezari’s evergreen valley is worth a visit. There are excellent opportunities to observe wildlife around Tadoba Lake and Pandharpauni meadows’ waterholes.

In the Mohurli range, Telia Lake is a good place to spot migratory birds while Andhari Nala often has excellent gaur sightings.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)