MAHARASHTRA: The widely hdabiiftaftse orf M-.anhagrashtra range from the ;oast, inland to the rich Western Ghats and the teak, sal, bamboo and scrub areas of the Deccan. Of the 2000 plus species and subspecies of birds in India, the state has records of 540, of which 442 are found in the area of Bombay and the Western Ghats.
Borivali National Park
Also known as the Sanjay Gandhi N.P. (There is another park of the same name in MP.) Now covering 36 sq miles (94 sq kin), the area includes a Safari Park (since 1974) and a tourist-orientated deer park. Being only 21 miles (35 km) north of central Bombay, it has perhaps the highest number of visitors of any wildlife area in Asia (1,200,000 people in 1974!). The park has two small lakes and the Kanheri caves with a history of 2000 years. A large variety of birds. Best time to visit: Oct. — May Accommodation: 6 bungalows, restaurants Permission: Divisional Manager, Sanjay Gandhi N.P., Borivali (East), Bombay 400066 Nearest town & Rail: Borivali (1.75 miles) Air: Santacruz (9 miles/15 km)
Established in 1971. 84 sq miles (218 sq km) of mostly dry teak forest. Although tiger, leopard, chital, chinkara and blackbuck (in the open scrub) are found, game viewing is poor and there is no infrastructure. Best time to visit: Feb. — June (hot: 45°C) Accommodation: 5 resthouses Permission: DFO, Pusad Forest Division, Pusad, Dist: Yavatmal, Maharashtra. Nearest town & Rail: Kinwat(1.75 mile) Air: Nagpur (144 miles/232 km)
Melghat Tiger Reserve
One of the initial Project Tiger reserves (1973) with a total area of 605 sq miles (1571 sq km), of which 120 sq miles (311 sq km) form the core area. Largely dry teak forest in the Gaurilagarh Hills. The main ridge rises to over 3280 feet (1000 meters). The Tapi river flows along the northern border. The forest is dense and game viewing poor. The wildlife population are all on the increase. At present facilities are limited but park vehicles are available. Tigers„ leopard, and wild dog are the main predators. Sambar, barking deer, chinkara, chital, nilgai, wild boar and gaur all occur. Best time to visit: Jan. — June Accommodation: forest resthouses, Kolkaz Permission: The Field Director, Meighat Tiger Reserve, East Meighat Division. Amravati, Maharashtra Nearest town: Akot (31 miles/50 km) Rail: Badnera (77 miles/l24 km) Air: Nagpur (162 miles/260 km)
Established in 1969 on 59 sq miles (153 sq km) of largely teak forest near the Nawegaon N.P. Tiger, leopard, sloth bear, chousingha and chital are present. Best time to visit: Oct. June Accommodation: 6 forest resthouses Permission: ACF (WL), Nagzira, Sakoli, Maharashtra Nearest town & Rail: Gondiya (31 miles) Air: Nagpur (81 miles/130 km)
Nawegaon National Park
Established in 1975 with 52 sq miles (134 sq km) of mixed deciduous forest in the Nishani range, it includes two lakes: Nawegaon and Itiadoh. The highest point is Ambajhar peak. A good system of forest roads. Boats available on Nawegaon lake. Large variety of birds. Tiger and leopard are rarely seen. A few gaur, chousingha, nilgai, sambar and chital are seen. Best time to visit: Oct. —June (114°F/46°C) Accommodation: 2 bungalows overlooking Nawegaon Lake; resthouses at Gothangaon and Nawegaon Permission: DCF (Wildlife), Nagpur (Tel: 22024); or DFO, Gondiya, 441601 (Tel: 265) Nearest town & Rail: Gondiya (37 miles) Air: Nagpur (81 miles/130 km)
Pench National Park
Established on 99 sq miles (256 sq km) of the Satpura Hills due north of Nagpur. The protected area continues across the border into MP where an additional 270 sq miles (700 sq km) has sanctuary or park status. The area is cut north-south by the Pench river. Most of the park is mixed deciduous forest with open meadows in some of the valleys. Most areas are accessible on a good network of fair-weather roads. Tiger, a few leopards, chital, sambar and gaur are seen. Attractively located resthouses on the Pench river at Totladoh and Ranidoh. Best time to visit: Nov. —June Accommodation: 5 forest resthouses Permission: DFO, Nagpur, 440001 (Tel: 22024) Nearest town, Rail & Air: Nagpur (35 miles)
Taroba National Park
Established as a reserve in 1935, the area was declared a park in 1955. The area became part of Maharashtra with the reorganization of states but retained its status as a park. The focal point is a lake in the midst of mixed deciduous forest and rolling hills. Leopards are sighted more often than the few tigers that come to the area. Wild boar are numerous. Chital, samba , nilgai and gaur are seen. Good roads. Best time to visit: Oct. —June (115°F/47°C) Accommodation: 3 resthouses (with food) Permission: DFO, West Chanda Division, Mul Road, Chandrapur, Maharashtra Nearest town & Rail: Chandrapur (28 miles) Air: Nagpur (98 miles/158km) The other sanctuaries in Maharashtra include Dor (Nagpur Dist.). Devlagaon Dehekuri Blackbuck Sanctuary (Ahmednagar Dist.), Dhakua Kolkaz (Amravati Dist.), Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary (Solapur Dist.), Radhanagri (Kolhapur Dist.), Tansa (Thane Dist.) and Yawal (Jalgaon Dist.). For further information on these and other protected areas contact The Chief Wildlife Warden, Pune, Maharashtra.