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Jungle Book Tour
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Jungle Book Tour (12 nights/ 13 days)
Natural Highlights: Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Pench National Park, Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarh National Park.
Cultural Sights: Khajuraho
Options Possible: Orchha (palaces and temples), Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary, Panna National Park
Recommended Period: (Best / Regular / Off )
TADOBA-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra:
Tadoba National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary at Andhari 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 sanctuary its name. The Reserve is spread in 623 sq km area, consisting of two forested rectangles of the Tadoba and Andhari range. Tadoba has tropical dry deciduous forest of Deccan Peninsula that comprises teak forests with bamboo thickets and a mix of Sal, margosa, mahua, mango, tendu, kusum etc. It is home to rare Indian wildlife that includes Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears, Gaur, Nilgai, Wild Dogs, Hyenas, Civet and Jungle cats, and three species of Indian deer - Sambar, Cheetal and Barking Deer. The Tadoba lake sustains the Marsh Crocodile, which were once common all over Maharashtra. Tadoba is also an ornithologist's paradise with nearly 195 species identified that includes a varied diversity of aquatic birdlife and Raptors. Thickly clad hills form the north and western boundary of the Tiger Reserve. The reserve also shelters over 70 species of spiders and butterflies.
The Reserve is situated in an area that holds a significant place in the natural history of Central India. The description of its natural beauty, richness in flora and fauna has appeared in numerous wildlife books dating back to 17th century. Books written in the 19th and early 20th century by famous naturalists like Captain J. Forsyth and Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book explicitly present the detailed panorama of nature's abundance in this tract.
The Pench National Park and Tiger Reserve are located in north-western Maharashtra state and the bordering state of Madhya Pradesh. The park is spread over an area of 758 kms square including the tiger reserve. 10% area of the park is in Maharashtra and rest 90% of area is in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh. The park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills is named after Pench river which flows from north to south through the Park.
The forest cover in the park area includes grand Teak (Tectona grandis) mixed with other magnificent species like saja (Terminalia tomentosa), bija (Pterocarpus marsupium), lendia (Lagerstroemia parviflora), haldu (Adina cardifolia), dhaora (Anogeissus latifolia), salai (Boswellia serrata), aonla (Emblica officinalis), amaltas (Cassia fistula), etc. The ground is covered with maze of grasses, plants, bushes and saplings. Bamboo is also found at places. Dazzling white kulu (Sterculia urens) trees scattered around stand out conspicuously among the various hues of green.
Tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers but sighted infrequently. Commonly seen wildlife is chital, sambhar, nilgai, wild boar, and jackal. Other wild animals found are leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, chowsingha and barking deer. There are more than 170 species of birds including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, junglefowl, crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo, magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shoveler, egret and herons.
This compact park once had an area of 105 sq km. In 1982, which was extended to cover the 448 sq km to be adopted by Project Tiger in 1993. The park is set in extremely rugged terrain with many hills of the Vindhya range and boasts of high density of Tiger population. The marshes which used to be perennial now support a vast grassland savanna. It has a wide variety of game and has a longer season than Kanha. The park has a dynamic management. Protection from disease, fire, grazing and poaching have all been factors in its recovery as a wildlife area.
Its main beasts are tiger, leopard, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, chital, muntjac, nilgai, chinkara, wild pigs. The tigers, whilst elusive, are increasingly seen. Bandhavgarh (pronounced Bandogarh) is not very far South of Rewa, which is famous as the place in which the white (albino) tiger originated. Now it is only found in zoos. The flowering and fruit trees attract woodland birds, which include greed pigeon, Jerdon's leaf bird, crested serpent eagle and variable hawk eagle. There are also interesting cave shrines scattered around the park, with Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century BC. You can visit the archaeological remains of the fort believed to be 2,000 years old where you may spot crag martins and brown rock thrush.
This is the country about which Kipling wrote so vividly in his Jungle Books. The same abudance of wildlife and variety of species still exists today and the park which forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve (1945 sq km), created in 1974 also protects the rare hard ground barasingha (swamp deer). George Schaller, the Zoologist, conducted the first ever scientific study of the tiger here and research is also being done on deer and langur habitat.
The park spread in an area of 1945 Sq km, has deciduous hardwoods including sal and stands of bamboo, rolling grasslands and meandering streams of the Banjar river. It lies in the Mandla district in the Maikal hills in the eastern part of the Satpura range and altitudes vary from 450 to 950 meters. Originally the area was famed as a hunter's paradise but now the valley has been well developed as a national park. The best areas are the meadows around Kanha. Bamni Dadar (Sunset Point) affords a view of the dense jungle and animals typical of the mixed forest zone: sambar, barking deer and chausingha (4-horned antelope).
Mammals: Kanha has 22 species and the most easily spotted are 3-striped palm squirrel, common langur monkey, jackal, wild pig, cheetal, barasingha and blackbuck. Less commonly seen are tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, and gaur. Rarely seen are Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, panther (leopard), mouse deer, nilgai (blue bull) ratel (Indian porcupine), wolf, Indian pangolin, the smooth Indian otter and civet.
Birds: Kanha has some 200 species. Good vantage points are in the hills where the mixed and bamboo forest harbours many species. The sal forests do not normally afford good viewing. Early morning and late afternoon are ideal times and binoculars are invaluable. Commonly seen species are: leaf warblers, minivets, black ibis, common peafowl, rachet-tailed drongo, hawk eagle, red-wattled lapwing, various species of flycatcher, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler, mynah, Indian roller, white breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill.
The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, covering an area of hardly 25 km², and located about 60 km north-east of Cochin (Kerala state, India), is one of the important bird sanctuaries of India. Dr. Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologist has described this sanctuary as “the richest bird habitat on peninsular India”. The literal meaning of Thattekad is flat forest, the region is an evergreen low-land forest and is located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala.
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