A land of unending hills, deep ravines, uneven cliffs, and steep climbs, is what one will encounter on a journey to Melghat. Melghat means – the meeting of ghats and true to its name this reserve is safely nestled within the green hills of the Satpura Range. Known for its tigers, Melghat is one of the first areas in the country to be protected for conservation of the national animal in 1974. Lets know more about the Melaghat Tiger Reserve.
Melghat Tiger Reserve
As a whole, Melghat encompasses area of 1676.93. sq km, including Melghat Sanctuary and Gugamal National Park. Located on the border of Madhya Pradesh, Melghat comes under the district of Amravati in Maharashtra.
What To Experience In Melghat?
Melghat is considered as one of the prime habitat of Royal Bengal tiger, but the region with its rough cliffs and crevices, makes it extremely difficult to spot the majestic beast. However, the remnants of their kills or scratch marks or pugmarks can be spotted as signs of presence of the big cat.
Apart from tigers, there are numerous animals, birds and insect species in Melghat. If you get a chance to trail the forest in dawn or dusk, you might sight a sloth bear another commonly found beast in the region.
There are many ‘wad pohe’ or water holes in the forest reserve area, which are good spots for fauna sightings. Apart from wildlife, there are some historic forts of Narnala and Gawaligarh in the region. Also, 20 kms away is the scenic hill station of Chikhaldara.
The Nature Interpretation Centre at Semadoh, a village in Melghat region, attracts many tourists every year. There are around 61 villages in Melghat area mainly inhabited by Korku tribe. If you get a chance to visit during one of the tribal festivities, it can be a culturally rich experience.
When to Visit?
The best time to visit the reserve is from December to May. However, temperatures dip quite a lot during winter months; so do carry enough warm cloths. And it is best to plan 5 to 10 days trip to Melghat considering the vastness of the region and the variety it has to offer. The months of monsoon from June to September, the reserve is closed for visitors.
How To Reach?
The nearest airport to Melghat is Nagpur, 160 kms away. The nearest railway station is Badnera and Amravati.
Where To Stay?
There are not many hotels or resorts in Melghat as it is a tribal inhabited area. There are forest guest houses but they are not always available for stay. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation or MTDC has a number of accommodations in Semadoh, Chikhaldara, and Kolkaz. The bookings for the MTDC resort rooms can be easily done through their website throughout the year or their offices in Mumbai or Nagpur.