Tadoba Andhari Reserve is the largest national park in Maharashtra. Total area of the Reserve is 625.4 square kilometres. This includes Tadoba National Park, created in 1955 with an area of 116.55 square kilometres and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1986 with an area of 508.85 square kilometres. The Reserve also includes 32.51 square kilometers, Protected Forest and 14.93 square kilometres other areas. The elevation of the hills ranges from 200 m (660 ft) to 350 m (1,150 ft). To the southwest is the 120 ha (300 acres) Tadoba lake which acts as a buffer between the park's forest and the extensive farmland which extends up to Irai water reservoir.
Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Santuary 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 the sanctuary its name.
Tadoba reserve is a predominantly Southern tropical Dry Deciduous Forest with dense woodlands comprising about 87 per cent of the protected area. Teakis the prdominant tree species. Other deciduous trees include Ain (crocodile bark), Bija, Dhauda, Hald, Salai, Semal and Tendu. beheda, hirda, karaya gum, mahua Madhuca (Crepe myrtle) and Lannea coramandelica (Wodier Tree) are other common species. Axlewood Anogeissus latifolia is a fire-resistant species growing here. Palas or Flame of the Forest Butea monosperma adds vibrant colour to the forest. Black plum trees grow in the riparian habitat around the lake. At the waterhole at Panchadhara, huge arjun trees are seen.
Patches of grasses are found throughout the reserve. Bamboo thickets grow throughout the reserve. The climber Kach Kujali (velvet bean) found here is a medicinal plant used to treat Parkinson's disease. The leaves of bheria are used as an insect repellant and bija is a medicinal gum. Beheda is also an important medicine found here.
Aside from around 65 of the keystone species Bengal tiger, Tadoba Tiger Reserve is home to other mammals, including: Indian leopards, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian civet, jungle cats, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, chital, chausingha and Honey Badger. Tadoba lake sustains the marsh crocodile, which were once common all over Maharashtra. Reptiles here include the endangered Indian python and the common Indian monitor. Terrapins, Indian star tortoise, Indian cobra and Russel's viper also live in Tadoba. The lake is an ornithologist's paradise with a wide diversity of water birds, and raptors. The 195 species of birds have been recorded, including three endangered species. The grey-headed fish eagle, the crested serpent eagle, and the changeable hawk-eagle are some of the raptors.
Other interesting species include the orange-headed thrush, Indian pitta, crested treeswift, stone curlew, crested honey buzzard, paradise flycatcher, bronze-winged jacana and lesser goldenbacked woodpecker. Warblers and the black-naped blue flycatcher exist here and the call of the peacock may often be heard. The 74 species of butterflies have been recorded including the pansies, monarch, Mormons and swordtails. Insect species include the endangered danaid egg-fly and great eggfly. Dragonflies, stick insects, jewel beetles and the praying mantis are other insects located in the reserve. The signature spider, giant wood spider and red wood spiders are often seen during the monsoon and soon after. Some hunting spiders like the wolf spiders, crab spiders and lynx spiders are also common.
The main attraction of the Tadoba National Park is its jungle safari trips. Open top Gypsy vehicles, buses with trained local guides are available for visitors.
140 Km from Nagpur, 45 Km from Chandrapur.
Tadoba Tiger Reserve is open throughout the year. Please note that the park stays closed every Tuesday.