Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Tiger Paradise: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR)

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) from Maharashtra was on my wish list from a long time. We (I and Wife Renuka) visited Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary this summer and enjoyed forest safari but failed to spot Tiger. Then we decided to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in the month of June. Fortunately, our friends were also planning the same trip so we together decided to visit TATR.

Travelers for this trip were me, my wife Renuka, friends Himanshu-Ketaki, Sanat, and Ashutosh.

Shivanzari Cub
Don't stare at Me...Shivanzhari's Cub

About Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve:
               Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is located in Chandrapur district. It is State’s oldest and largest national park. The name 'Tadoba' is the name of the God "Tadoba / Taru" as per local tribal whereas Andhari river strolls through the forest gave Andhari Name.
               Forest consist of 6 Zones named as Mohurli (famous and most known zone), Zhari, Pangdi, Navegaon, Khutvanda and Kolara Zone. It is a Home of more than 80 Tigers. Species found in TATR other than tigers are leopards, wild cats, foxes, jackal, Indian Gaur, spotted deer, Sambar, barking deer, four-horned deer, monitor lizard, striped hyena, civet, Jungle cat, Badger, Crocodile, and Langur. Spotting of Indian Slot bear, Hyena, Jungle cat and Badger in Tadoba is rare nowadays. The park is also a paradise for forest birds along with many wetland bird species. 

To reach here, Chandrapur is the nearest Railway station. Nagpur which is well connected by rail, Bus, and air route is around 160km away from Tadoba. Plenty of trains and buses are connected to either Nagpur or Chandrapur. If you are covering multiple Zones in the same trip then you may need a private vehicle or rented vehicle as zones are far away from each other.

Our Plan
Day
Date
Location
Trip Plan
Day 0
24-June 16, Friday
Pune Pune to Chandrapur night journey
Day 1
25-June 16, Saturday
Chandrapur
Reached Chandrapur @ 2 PM
Evening Safari @ Pangdi Zone (Safari 1)
Day 2
26-June 16, Sunday
Chandrapur Morning Safari @ Zhari Zone (Safari 2)
Morning Safari @ Zhari Zone (Safari 3)
Chandrapur to Tadoba (Mohurli) journey
Day 3
27-June 16, Monday
Mohurli Morning Safari @ Mohurli Zone (Safari 4)
Morning Safari @ Mohurli Zone (Safari 5)
Night journey for Pune
Day 4
28-June 16, Tuesday
Pune Reach Pune by 12 noon

Suggested plan/Tips and Rates to book Safari are mentioned at the end of this blog.

Tadoba Gang
Tadoba group (R to L): Me, Sanat, Wife Renuka, ketaki, Ashutosh and Himanshu

Day 0: 24-June 2016 Friday – Pune to Chandrapur:
                We checked all options like Bus, Train and found renting a Car was better. We hired Innova car with driver for our 4 days trip. To avoid more stress to the driver, I decided to take a driving seat on Day 1 morning. Our journey started at 6 PM and left Pune by 7.30 PM after everyone's picks up from their office location. We had our Dinner in Smile Stone near Ahmednagar.
                Our journey was pretty smooth in AC Innova with Bollywood movie on the TV screen. Our smooth journey turned into thrilled one after 3 AM time. When we were near Karanja, our 2 tires flatten (Not punctured) due to a huge pothole. Nearest village was 1 km away and shop opens at 9 AM. I and the driver decided to take a chance and took tires in the good carrier vehicle. Jeep Driver Vinod Bhajad called shop owner from a village and requested him to open a shop. One tire had minor cut which was repaired and another was badly damaged but somehow we fixed too to keep it as spare. After 1 hour we came back and placed 1 repaired tire along with Car's spare one. Our journey began at around 4.30 AM
               After few km drives, repaired tire refused our company and we replace with another repaired tire. I took control of driving seat as a driver was tired. We were hoping to reach Wardha safely so a driver can buy new tires. But our pain was not yet over and repaired tire burst 18 km before Wardha at around 8:30 AM. Now again I and the driver took a lift from the truck and reached Wardha to buy new tires. By 10 AM, we came back with new tires to begin our further journey

Ray of Hope

Expense:

  • Innova AC Car rent for 4 days: INR 25500/- (Tire repair work and new tire cost paid by driver)
  • Dinner at Smile Stones: INR 1005/- for 7 people (cost is as per ordered dish)
  • Midnight tea break: INR 42/- (3 tea and 1 cold drink)

Day 1: 25-June 2016 Saturday –Chandrapur:
               We were worried whether we will be able to catch our first Safari. We called hotel manager from Chandrapur and inform him that will do check in after evening safari. Finally, after a non-stop journey, we entered buffer area by 3 PM. Jackal on road welcomed us but refused photo from the camera. Actually, I was not prepared and jackal ran away till I took a camera out. Safari Time was 3 PM and we reached at 3:30 PM at Pangdi Zone.
              We did verification of permit, guide fee payment, and jeep safari payment after reaching to the entrance gate. Jeep was booked in advance over a phone. Mangesh jeep driver is one of my friends Zhari who booked a vehicle for us in Pangdi. 
              Indian Roller and other forest birds welcomed us inside the forest. Pangdi and Zhari Zone share the same forest area with the different entry gates. 3 Permits are allocated to both the zones. This Zone is a home of Tigress Shivanzhari and her 3 cubs. It is also a territory of one male Tiger. Jeep went to check post inside the forest for our entry and then our actual safari begins.

Welcome to Jungle...Indian Roller
Welcome to Jungle...Indian Roller

              As Shivanzhari's cubs are just 8 months old then roam around one man made water pond. The driver took us near the pond. We decided to wait for some time. Within few minutes, we realized that someone was in the bushes behind the pond. Alert calls by other mammals indicating us a presence of Tiger. Our wait near pond was fruitful as one of her cub came with his royal walk towards the pond.

Royal walk...Tiger
Royal walk...Tiger

He came and won our Heart...Shivanzhari's Cub
He came and won our Heart...Shivanzhari's Cub

               Our all ups and downs of car journey were paid off. Cub came in the pond and spends more than 20-25 min. We were busy taking his photos. He was playing in the water but constantly staring at us. Soon we spotted activity behind bushes and we released that his siblings were inside bushes. They were not interested in coming out.

I'm watching at you...Shivanzhari's Cub
I'm watching you...Shivanzhari's Cub

Tiger at Zhari

               My friends were on their first jungle visit and I can see the satisfaction on their faces. Tiger spends around 20-25 min before he left inside the forest. We waited for more time but they went inside the dense forest. Then we decided to move inside the forest to explore.

cuteness overload....Tiger Cub at Zhari
cuteness overload....Tiger Cub

Play time over...Shivanzhari's cub
Play time over...Shivanzhari's cub

              Monsoon cloud now trying to dominate the sunshine and we were expecting rainfall. After few minutes, it was started raining. Guide asked us whether to leave or continue with safari. We were interested in safari even though chances of spotting any mammal are zero. It was our first experience to explore the forest on a rainy day. Jeep was covered by rain hood and we were enjoying the rainy forest. We saw a group of Bison.

Bison in Monsoon at Zhari zone (TATR)
Bison in Monsoon at Zhari zone (TATR)

             We explored 2-3 jeep trails after the rain stopped. Other Mammals were not interested in coming out and our safari ends with only Tiger sighting. We saw few Forest birds like Changeable hawk-eagle, serpent eagle etc. We left Pangdi zone by 7 PM.
             We reached the hotel at Chandrapur which was booked in advance. We booked 2 rooms for 6 people in Hotel Palace. The hotel was quite average but enough for us to spend night time. We were too much tired hence had dinner in a hotel rather than exploring restaurant. The food was good with slow service. Rooms were ok to spend 1 or 2 night.

Expense:

  • 7 Tea at Chandrapur: INR 132/-
  • 7 Water bottles: INR 210/- (During journey and from hotel)
  • Hotel stay: INR 3400/- (2 rooms for 1-night stay; 6 people)
  • Pangdi zone permit: INR 1000/-
  • Jeep safari: INR 2000/-
  • Guide charges: INR 300/-
  • SLR Camera charge with 400mm lens: INR 250/- (SLR with lens up to 250mm is INR200/-)
  • Tip to Driver and Guide: INR 200/-
  • Dinner: INR 1480/- for 7 people (veg and non-veg Starter, Masala papad, Savaji chicken handi, Veg meal, Roti and cold drinks)

Day 2: 26-June 2016 Sunday – Zhari Zone:
We woke up by 4.15 AM and left the hotel at around 5:00 AM. The distance between Chandrapur to Zhari zone gate is around 35 km which takes around 30 min of the drive without traffic. We did our permit process and went inside for our 2nd safari. My friend Mangesh work as a jeep driver in this zone from last 4-5 years. He was the first person to start forest jeep safari in Zhari zone. He is more familiar with jungle life than forest guide. Without any doubt, he was our jeep driver come guide for both the safari from Zhari.

Good Morning...

               As I said earlier, Zhari and Pangdi zone share same forest area. Because of yesterday’s safari, we visited few routes and eager to explore more. Also, chances of spotting Shivanzhari and her cubs were more. Even though tiger was the main attraction for us, we were not fixated on stars like tigers; other inhabitants of the forests were a delight to observe too. It was a cold morning and the entire zone was on silent mode.

Zhari Zone

                Owl was amongst the first one from forest birds who welcomed us. The quantity of Indian Roller bird was so many but still it gives pleasure to watch his wings display. Like yesterday, guide marked our entry attendance at check-post inside the jungle. We went directly on water hole where we saw Tiger yesterday. After waiting for an hour, we left that place. 

Owl
Owl

Serpent eagle at Zhari (TATR)
Serpent-eagle at Zhari (TATR)

               Along with Tiger population, Tadoba is famous for birding activity. We explore many routes for Tiger and saw birds like serpent eagle, Shikra, Jungle fowl, golden back woodpecker and much more. On one small lake, I saw a pair of duck. I was not expecting them in the summer time. The pair was of lesser whistling duck. Half of the safari was over and chances of Tiger spotting were less due to Mammal activity. 

Lesser whistling Duck
Lesser whistling Duck

Click on Below photos to view in full screen
Junglefowl

Indian Peafowl

Close up shot

Indian Peafowl

              I requested Mangesh to take us on the offbeat route which is allowed for tourist. The intention was to experience dense forest. The landscape was truly refreshing and we all enjoyed the trail. Ashutosh spotted a lizard which was Monitor Lizard. I have seen it once before but never got a chance to capture in camera. It was good decision to visit the offbeat location. Mangesh told us that spotting a Lizard becomes easy in the forest after 1-2 rain showers.

Monitor Lizard at Zhari zone (TATR)
Monitor Lizard at Zhari zone (TATR)

Click on Below photos to view in full-screen
Monitor Lizard close up
Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard close up
Monitor Lizard close up

              Before we take exit route, we saw common hoopoe. He was busy in digging soil for food. It was quite interesting to watch his activity. The strengthened musculature of the head allows the bill to be opened when searching food inside the soil.

Common hoopoe
Common hoopoe

Click on Below photos to view in full screen
Hoopoe...I got my catch

Hoopoe snacks time

                 We left forest by 10 AM. We thought, going back to Chandrapur and again come back is a waste of time. We asked Mangesh to suggest us a restaurant where we can have food and rest. As there were selective restaurants, we went at River view restaurant. It was an average place with ok food quality. We had our meal and took rest.
              Mangesh came at restaurants by 2 PM. I and Renu joined him in Jeep till gate whereas other came by Innova. We reached safely at the gate as wife Renuka was on driving seat. She wanted to drive 4WD vehicle and Mangesh gave her key. We did verification of permit and guide payment process before entering into the forest.

South Indian rock agama
South Indian rock agama

               We heard an alarm call and we went in that direction. We were unable to find anything there. From afternoon, Monsoon cloud started gathering. We were expecting heavy rainfall. After 1 hour, it was started heavy rain. Rain hood saved our camera kit. We packed our camera bags and started enjoying the heavy rain. All 2-3 jeeps decided to end the safari. Mangesh was in favor of continuing safari for another hour so we can enjoy the different mood of the forest.

Monsoon cloud over Tadoba
Monsoon clouds over Tadoba

              We all were aware that we are not going to spot anything. Mangesh didn’t take any deep forest route to risk. It was a wonderful experience as all routes were filled by water. After 30 min, forest routes started looking like water streams and we were driving in it. It was one of my best forest experiences. The soon strong wind started accompanied heavy rain and we decided to leave. We came out by 5.30 PM and it was dark due to monsoon.

Heavy rainfall in forest
Heavy rainfall in forest

               Our Zhari zone visits came to an end. Thanks to Mangesh for a wonderful moment from Zhari zone. Our next destination was Mohurli and we already did check out from Chandrapur hotel. We took the route for Mohurli as Chandrapur – Kitali – Agarzari – Ambezari – Thanegaon – MTDC.
               We booked rooms in MTDC Holiday resort. Check in process was pretty quick. Manager told us about safari facility. You can submit your permit at reception and they arrange jeep pick up from resort without any charges. MTDC have a running restaurant. Food is not tasty but easily manageable. Rain stopped at night and we were hoping for complete safari for tomorrow.

Expense:

  • Zhari zone permit: INR 1000/-
  • Jeep safari: INR 2000/-
  • Guide charges: INR 300/-
  • SLR Camera charge with 400mm lens: INR 250/- (SLR with lens up to 250mm is INR200/-)
  • Lunch at Hotel river view: INR 1560/- for 7 people (Masala Papad, Savaji chicken Handi, Veg dish, Roti, cold drinks)
  • Zhari zone permit: INR 1000/-
  • Jeep safari: INR 2000/-
  • Guide charges: INR 300/-
  • SLR Camera charge with 400mm lens: INR 250/- (SLR with lens up to 250mm is INR200/-)
  • Tip to Guide and Driver: INR 200/-
  • Toll: INR 10/- (Forest Toll between Chandrapur to Mohurli)
  • MTDC stay: INR 5712/- for 6 people (2 rooms for 1-night stay)
  • Dinner at MTDC: 1100/- 7 people (Veg meal)

Day 3: 27-June 2016 Monday – Mohurli Zone:
               We woke up by 4.15 AM and reached at hotel reception by 5 AM. Jeep was ready and we left for our first safari. The morning weather was pleasant and we were excited to start our safari as the weather was clear. Our jeep was among the first 3 Vehicles to enter in the forest.
               Mohurli is one of the largest forest zones from TATR. Total 27 vehicles are allowed in this zone. This zone is most popular zone among the 6 zones. Mohurli also has buffer zone for which permits are available at the gate. Buffer zone permit are not available on the online portal. The buffer area is also the home of 2-3 Tigers. We booked permits in advance for Mohurli zone. This Zone has tar road at the main road and multiples sub-routes (I call it as safari trails) are available which goes through the dense forest. All trails are one way directional to avoid road blocks.
                By 5.30 AM, we went in the Mohurli Zone. Our guide Kailash took the jeep on Teliya Lake route. We saw a group of spotted deer. You see them all over India very easily, but somehow I always love looking at these animals again and again. Maya Tigress is the star attraction of Mohurli. Our eyes were searching Maya along with other wildlife. 

Spotted deer

               Our jeep joins the main route after Lake Visit and then went in N boli trail. We saw Bison, spotted deer and barking deer. The Barking Deer is one animal less seen and more heard. He literally makes a sound like a dog barking warn others about a big cat Tiger. We explore areas such as Kojaba line, Pimpal line, khatoda gate, Jamunboli etc.
             This zone consists of many water holes where you can try your luck to spot mammals. We visited 97 water hole, pandhar pohani Lake No 1 and pandhar pohani Lake No 2. We were unable to spot any Tiger but saw many birds. Asian Paradise pair and Indian Pitta were a highlight.Males Asian Paradise have elongated central tail feathers in white color, and a black head. Females have orange color back with black head. Young males look very much like females but have a black throat and blue-ringed eyes. As adults they develop up long tail feathers with two central tail feathers growing up. Indian Pitta is very colorful small bird and usually very shy.

Asian Paradise flycatcher male
Asian Paradise flycatcher male

Indian Pitta with nesting material
Indian Pitta with nesting material 

Indian Pitta at Tadoba
Indian Pitta at Tadoba

              Our next area to explore forest was Navegaon gate. We saw a pair of Wild dogs. At Navegaon gate, we took 15 min break and then started our safari again. We spot dancing Indian peafowl while coming back to Mohurli zone. It is a national bird of India. Act to impress his partner was a wonderful sight. We approached towards Tadoba Lake where we spot wetland birds like open bill stork, Painted stork, lesser whistling duck, ibis etc. Our morning safari comes to an end via Khatoda gate.

Wild Dog

               We requested our guide Kailash to join us again in afternoon safari. It will help us as he was aware what we have seen along with morning mammal’s activity and what we are looking for. He was ready to join us. We reached MTDC and had had our breakfast. We took some rest and then had lunch. After evening safari, we planned to leave for Pune hence we did check out from MTDC.

Indian peafowl at Tadoba
Indian peafowl at Tadoba

Danceing Indian peafowl at Tadoba
Danceing Indian peafowl at Tadoba

               By 3 PM we reached at Mohurli gate. Kailash joined us in afternoon safari. We took our jeep towards nbolee area. Kailash suggested us one trail. He informed us that chance of spotting Tiger was less but forest landscape is beautiful. We said yes and we went for waghdoh trail. This area is the home of Tiger Waghdoh and he is very shy Tiger. The entire route goes through a dense bamboo forest along with Andhari River. Simply incredible forest route I have ever seen. We spot nothing in this area but thoroughly enjoyed it.

Waghdoh Bamboo forest

              We approached towards koshi vanar water stream via khatoda gate as we heard Alert call. We spend around 30 min but no spotting hence left this place. We check Jamani Lake and then went at Padhar pohani Lakes. We saw more than 10-12 vehicles looking at Lake and camera were set in the same direction in few jeeps. We joined them with the same expectation of spotting Tiger. The first jeep saw Maya tigress and they were waiting for last hour.
             We spend hardly 15-20 min and heard alert call along with one roar. Without any doubt, all vehicles approached towards the area from where we heard the roar. It was straight forest route and more than 20 vehicles join same the route. Half of the vehicle joined without knowing about the alert call. Every guide was trying to take a position as per their prior experience. Kailash applied his logic that if Maya Tigress was at Lake Side then spotting of Matakasur tiger or Gabbar Tiger was higher.

Photo appeared in Times of India... Not clicked by Me

              Just 4 days prior to our visit, Gabbar tiger came in this zone to beat Maya's Cubs. Maya had a fight with him and then she had mating with him for 2 days to protect her cubs. For entire period her cubs were missing but they manage hunting before reuniting with Maya. Gabbar was still in this zone. This story was widely covered by Indian Media and applauds by nature lover. How bravely Maya handle the situation and shown her mother love. Many tourists saw their mating live.
             When tourists were looking for Tiger, all of sudden Tiger Gabbar took sprint to cross the route and disappear in bushes. I, Himanshu, Sanat along with guide Kailash saw him but unable to capture in camera. He is huge and what a delight to watch Tiger’s sprint. Everything happened in 2-3 seconds. Girls and Ashutosh missed the opportunity.
              A number of the vehicle at one spot made him uncomfortable. I feel bad about it. Luckily none of the vehicles followed him as routes/trails are one-way directional routes. We left this place and visited Tadoba Lake. Saw some spotted deer and Sambar activity. We saw white eye buzzard as well.

Sambar male
Sambar male

Spotted deer at Tadoba
Spotted deer at Tadoba

White eye buzzard at Tadoba
White eye buzzard at Tadoba

               Dark monsoon clouds started gathering over Tadoba. It was around 6 in clock and light rainfall begins.  When all jeeps decided to take exit route considering weather, our guide Kailash suggested us to take one smaller trail. There were around 15-20 vehicles on tar road driving towards the main gate, our jeep took Jamunzora route.
              It was 6.30 in the clock and light was fading out. We left to hope and decided to enjoy our last jeep trail. Jamunzora route goes through dense. After few meters drive, we saw 2 bison on left. When we were watching Bison, Ketaki saw something walking out from grass and bushes. She whispered its Wild dog. I heard it and shifted my focus towards it. Immediately we both realized that it was not a Wild dog. It was Tiger, we told everyone about Tiger.

Beautiful road block...Sonam's male Cub at Tadoba

Sonam's male Cub at Tadoba
Sonam's male Cub at Tadoba

Cub runing inside forest

               He was cub of Tigress Sonam. Due to low light, we were unable to click more photos. He came on the route and blocked our way. It was a pleasure to watch such beautiful road block. It was raining but we were least bother about it. He was on the road for 10-15 min and then went inside bushes due to rain. The driver took jeep ahead. We started watching him.

One year old cub...Sorry for photo quality due to low light

              When we were talking to each other, we realized that our comments on tiger were not matching. Is that mean there were 2 Tigers? Oh yes, there were 2 Tigers in bushes. Soon Kailash told us that he spotted Sonam Tigress in bushes. Sonam Tigress has 3 cubs with year old. When we check carefully in bushes, we saw entire family. We spend some time and then left Tadoba.


                  We came out and thanked Kailash for taking out of box decision when all jeeps were moving out. Our Tadoba safari Trip comes to an end on a sweet note. We reached MTDC and had our tea/coffee. We became famous in MTDC restaurant as tourists from MTDC got to know that we saw Sonam tigress family.
              It was wonderful experience spending days in nature. 5 safaris, 6 Tiger sighting, Heavy Monsoon safari, Jackal, Bison, wild dog, deer's, Birds and the most important was beautiful forest landscape...We enjoyed every second of Tadoba Trip. Now it was time to return home with a lot of experience.

Expense:

  • Mohurli zone permit: INR 750/- (Weekday permit rates are different than weekend)
  • Jeep safari: INR 2000/-
  • Guide charges: INR 300/-
  • SLR Camera charge with 400mm lens: INR 250/- (SLR with lens up to 250mm is INR200/-)
  • Lunch at MTDC: INR 1135/- for 7 people (Masala papad, Starter, Veg dishes, Roti, khichadi and cold drinks)
  • 2 Water bottles: INR 50/- 
  • Mohurli zone permit: INR 750/- (Weekday permit rates are different than weekend)
  • Jeep safari: INR 2000/-
  • Guide charges: INR 300/-
  • SLR Camera charge with 400mm lens: INR 250/- (SLR with lens up to 250mm is INR200/-)
  • Tip to Guide: INR 300/-
  • Tip to Driver: INR 200/-
  • Tea and coffee at MTDC: INR 200/- for 7 people
  • Dinner at Dhaba on highway: INR 722/- (Individual dishes)
  • 2 Water bottles: INR 50/-
Day 4: 28-June 2016 Tuesday – Mohurli to Pune:
We had our Dinner on highway side Dhaba and continue with our night journey. Before Aurangabad, I took driving seat for rest of our journey. We reached home safely by 12 in noon ending the most pleasurable forest trip.

Expense:

  • Tea and coffee: INR 65/-
  • Breakfast at Smile stone: INR 690/-

Angry Bird....Indian Roller at Tadoba
Angry Bird....Indian Roller at Tadoba

Indian Roller at TATR
Indian Roller at TATR

Process for Safari booking:

  • Go to http://mahaecotourism.gov.in/Site/Common/OnlineBooking1.aspx site and Click on book now button
  • Select park name and Safari Dates to check the available Permits.
  • Enter all required information and do the online Payment (This is only entry permit and not jeep safari booking or jeep chargers)
  • The first name from booking list is considered as group leader.
  • Please carry your mentioned ID proof for safari. Only those tourists are allowed in the park whose names are mentioned in a permit. 
  • To modify permit before safari, you need to contact forest department.
  • Carry print out of your permit as showing an online receipt at the counter doesn't work every time.
  • Once you book your permit then arrange your stay and journey arrangement
  • Once you reach in Tadoba, Visit entry gate 1-2 hour before safari Time to block/book jeep against your permit number.
  • Safari jeep can pick up from Hotel. For this service, you may have to pay extra cash. MTDC Tadoba doesn’t charge extra for jeep arrangement for Mohurli zone. 
  • On the date of safari, reach 45-60 min prior to safari time at the entry gate. E.g. If morning safari starts at 6AM then verification process starts at 5.30 AM and for evening safari, if timing is 3PM then verification process starts at 2.30 PM
  • Show your permit and ID proof at the entry gate and pay INR 300/- chargers for Guide. (Guide charges may change as per forest/Government policy)
  • Jeep charges can be handover to jeep driver before or after Safari.
  • If you fail to spot Tiger, still you have to pay the entire amount.
  • Board your jeep to enjoy beautiful Tadoba forest

Tips/suggestion for Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Tadoba forest is divided into 6 zones and permits for each zones are as Khutvanda (4 permits), Kolara (13 Permits), Navegaon (6 permits), Pangdi (3 Permits), Zhari (3 Permits) and Mohurli (27 Permits) 
  • Try to book the same Zone for 2 or 3 continues safari which will increase chances of Tiger sighting. You get familiar with wildlife movement on safari 1 and then it becomes easy to track in next Safari.
  • Request Forest team to allow the same guide for a particular zone. The guide knows what you have seen in safari 1 so the guide can change route or tracking method for other habitats. In few forests, same guide allocation is not allowed.
  • Pangdi zone and Zhari zone lies on the same side. If you are unable to book the same zone for morning and evening, then you can combine these two zones
  • Pangdi zone is far away from Chandrapur and locals are not aware of the route to the gate. Better to check ask address at multiple locations.
  • Less jeep is available at as compared to Permits so better to book Jeep in advance. You can contact forest department or call on below shared numbers
  • A personal vehicle is allowed along with guide so keep 1 seat empty of the guide while planning a forest trip by own vehicle.
  • All zones (entry gate) are far away from each other. So planned the trip accordingly.
  • Make sure that your jeep should be among first 5 vehicles to enter in a forest. It increases your chances in summer to spot Tiger on road in respective zone
  • Tiger activity in a particular zone can be changed as per time. So do not believe anyone who says a chance of spotting tiger in XYZ zone is higher than other. It completely depends on upon your luck and observation of guide.

Contact details for your reference:

  • Jeep for Zhari zone: Mangesh 9764554074.
  • Jeep for Pangdi zone: Valmiki 9011907746.
  • A guide from Pangdi zone: Sachin 7793855165.
  • Hotel Palace Chandrapur: 8888660444.
  • Hotel SS Kingdome: 9657701656, 9860574208.
  • MTDC Tadoba: 022-22845678 (Mumbai office contact number) Website: https://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/properties/property/mtdc-tadoba 
  • A guide from Mohurli zone: Kailash 7745866562.
  • Jeep from Mohurli zone: Akshay 8657902124.

Some clicks from Tadoba
Click on Below photos to view in full screen

Shivanzhari's Cub in Zhari zone
Shivanzhari's Cub in Zhari zone

Asian Paradise Flycature

Royal Entry

Cub in water pond

Owl

Serpent eagle

Common hoopoe

Visit again....

I will try to upload more and more travel blogs. Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.

Pritesh Kulkarni 
Pune