Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (Chandoli National Park)



Chandoli National Park is an 317.67 km2 (122.65 sq mi) National Park in Sangli District Maharashtra state, India, established in May 2004, Earlier it was a Wildlife Sanctuary declared in 1985. Chandoli Park is notable as the southern portion of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, with Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary forming the northern part of the reserve.

The 741.22 km2 (286.19 sq mi) Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, including all of Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary was declared by The National Tiger Conservation Authority as a Project Tiger tiger reserve on May 21, 2007. The Sahyadri Tiger Reserve was then estimated to have nine tigers and 66 leopards. Chandoli National Park is located near the Chandoli Dam between longitudes 73°40' and 73°53' E and latitudes 17°03' and 17°20'N near Sangli in Western Maharashtra. It is located at the junction of Sangli District, Kolhapur District, Satara District and Ratnagiri District. It lies between the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary and forms the southern part of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve.

The historical places of the park include the 17th century Shivaji's Forts, Prachitgad and Bhairavgad, of the Maratha kings Shivaji Maharaj and his son Sambhaji Maharaj. Ruins of the Bhavani temples palatial buildings in Prachitigad and Kalavantin vihir depict the ancient glory of the Maratha Empire. Most of the protected area was used an open jail for the "prisoners of war" of the early Imperial Maratha Conquests during Shivaji Maharaj's rule. Sambhaji Maharaj used Prachitgad as an observation point and recreational place.

The park spreads along the crest of the Sahyadri Range of the northern Western Ghats. It forms and protects many perennial water channels, water holes and the Vasant Sagar Reservoir. Elevation of the park ranges from 589–1,044 m (1,932–3,425 ft). The park receives its water supply from the Warna river and reservoir as well as several other small streams and rivers. Flat topped mountains, rocky, lateritic plateaus called 'Saddas', almost devoid of vegetation, large boulders and caves are distinctive to the protected areas in the Sahyadri region of the Western Ghats.

Flora
The forest types seen here are a mix of Malabar Coast moist forestsand North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests. In the dwarf evergreen forests, some tree species commonly seen here are the anjani ironwood tree, jamun, pisa (angustifolia), fig, Olea (diocia), katak spinous kino tree, nana or Crape myrtle (lanceolata), kinjal, kokum tree and phanasi false kelat (brachiata). Other trees dominating the landscape include asan wood or ain or Indian laurel, amla or Indian gooseberry, umbar or devil fig (hispida) and harra or chebulic myrobalan.

Grasses commonly seen here include bangala or bluestem grass sp., dongari or golden beard grass (fulvus), black spear grass, kalikusli or tangle grass, anjan grass or buffel grass, grader grass or karad or kangaroo grass (quadrivalvis) and grasses belonging to Poaceae family, like saphet-kusli or Aristida funiculata. Insectivorous plant species like sundews and bladderworts sp. are also found in this protected area.

Fauna
Nearly 23 species of mammals, 122 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians and reptiles are known to be resident in the forests of Chandoli.

Bengal Tigers, Indian leopards Indian bison, leopard cats , sloth bears and Indian giant squirrels are quite conspicuous here.
Many prey species of ungulates such as barking deer , sambar deer , mouse deer and blackbuck are present. A census carried out in 2002 by the Forest Department showed a rise in the number of tigers, leopards, gaur, barking deer, mouse deer, sloth bears and blackbuck. A similar census carried out in 2004 showed a rise in gaur population in the Kohlapur Wildlife Division from 88 to 243.

Other Attractions :
Scenic places like Kandhardoh and Kandhardoh Falls, Tanali falls and Vasant Sagar Reservoir are places of tourist importance in the park. Scenic points like Kokna darshan, Zolambi sada and the virgin forest of Rundiv add to the recreation value.

How to Reach :
Distance to Chandoli
Mumbai - 380 km (240 mi)
Pune - 210 km (130 mi)
Sangli - 75 km (47 mi)
Kolhapur - 80 km (50 mi)
Bangalore - 720 km (450 mi)
Uran Islampur - 35 km (22 mi)
Karad - 55 km (34 mi)
Sangmeshwar - 40 km (25 mi)
Sangmeshwar lies on the Mumbai-Goa Highway Islampur and Karad lie on the Mumbai-Banglore national highway NH4.
Sangli is 40 km (25 mi)from NH4 (Peth Naka).

Nearest Railway Stations
Sangli - 75 km (47 mi)
Miraj rail junction - 85 km (53 mi)
Kolhapur - 80 km (50 mi)
Karad - 47 47 km (29 mi)

By Road
You can reach Chandoli by taking National Highway MH4. MSRTC Buses and private cars are available from Sangli and Miraj. From Mumbai/Pune - Take right turn after karad below 2nd flyover . From Bangalore - Take left turn at Peth Naka(Sangli district). 



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