Chikhaldara

The deep misty valleys of Chikhaldara has a new shade in every fold unwrapped. Chikhaldara (chikaldara, chikhaldhara) is located in Amaravati district of Vidarbha region. The only hill station in the Vidarbha region offers you an abundance of wildlife, viewpoints, lakes and waterfalls. Chikhaldara has many things to be explored.

It is named after “Keechaka”. This is the place where Bheema killed villainous Keechaka and threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as “Keechakadara” – “Chikhaldara” is its corruption.
Chikhaldara is full of deep valleys, and these valleys are full of velvet mist and majestic trees. Chikhaldara is situated at an altitude of 1,118 m and has the added distinction of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra. Chikhaldara is full of deep valleys, and these valleys are full of velvet mist and majestic trees. All this makes it a very popular summer retreat. With abundance of natural scenery, exciting wildlife, breathtaking waterfalls and a placid lake, the beauty of Chikhaldara is overwhelming. The climate is always breezy and walking on the clouds often becomes a reality.

Places of interest

  • Places of interest in and around Chikhaldara are the Melghat Tiger Project, Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park, Hurricane Point, Prospect Point, Devi Point, Gavilgad and Narnala Fort, the Pandit Nehru Botanical Gardens, the Tribal Museum and the Semadoh Lake.
  • The Melghat Tiger Project has 82 tigers and also houses other animals like panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild bear, and wild dogs.
  • The scenic beauty of the misty mountains with rich variety of flora could be observed from Hurricane Point, Prospect Point, and Devi Point.
  • Excursions to Gavilgad and Narnala Fort are also memorable ones. The mystery of nature unfolds itself in every twists and turns of the hilly way.

Weather/Clothing

  • Oct – Feb: Cool and crisp. Temp in Dec-Jan Period is well below 10 deg C. Winter Clothing is necessary.
  • March – Mid June: Warm in day and cool in the evenings. Comfortable summer clothing. But carrying a jacket/shawl is advisable for nights.
  • July – Sept: Monsoon Time. Carrying rain gear is recommended. Also advisable to carry warm clothing for evening.

Keeping in mind that it is a forest area, wearing bright clothing is not recommended. Earthy/pastel shades are best suited and especially necessary for the wild-life Safari.

 

Hill Station Point

Government Garden

The upper platau area of Chikhaldara is with full of dense trees, and locality of living people is negligible. The government garden is at upper platau. The garden is open for visitors is at morning 8.00am to evening 7.00pm. The old name is ‘Company Garden’. Because it is constructed by the foreners. Many years ago, Gawali people is situated on this gardan area. But they are migrated in the wast side. This side is called ‘Pandhari Village’ .
Various flowers and plants is also available in this garden. The swimming tank facility is also provided by the ‘Hanuman Vyam Prasarak Mandal’. The special area of this garden is saved for rose tree. Many rare plants in cold air region is also available. The mini train is the special attraction of this garden.

Malviya or Sunrise Point

There is a village of ‘Gawali People’ known as ‘Lawhada’ which is at beside of I.T.I. college on Chikaldara-Paratwada road. The road going through this village ‘Lawhada’ is forward towards Malviya Point. We have to go down by using steps to see the points. We can also see the some part of Bhimkund valley and Paratwada city. The facing of this point towards East for that reason the sunrise is very beautiful to see.

Shakkar Lake

Shakkar Lake is on the way going towards Gawilgarh fort. The water from this lake is used for water supply office by Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran. There is arrangement of water boats also. The tourist can enjoy the Speed Boat, Pidal Boat, Scooter Boat etc.

Goraghat Point

On the upper platau, the road of the vairat near village ‘Pandhari’ there is a M.T.D.C. resort. There is a way of Goraghat points beside the M.T.D.C. resort. There is no noice for that reason we have to enjoy a natural beauty.

Monkey Point

There is a Maharashtra Forest Rainger’s College on the road of ‘Vairat’. The monkey point is at the college area. The deep valley is going from this point. The base of this valley is not seen in our naked eye. There is no railing on this point.

Devi Point

This point is nearer to the shakkar lake and it is at 1.5km. from Chikhaldara Busstation. we have to go down by using steps.There is a temple of Goddess inside the huge stone. We have to enter the temple carefully because the height is very short. The water is falling continuously from that stone inside the temple. The overflow water falling from shakkar lake is looking like a waterfall. This Goddess is main and important holyplace for ‘Korku’.

Prospects Point and Thakur Point

On the way of ‘Pandhari Village’ there is a ‘Deepshikha Military School’. There is a two way in this school one is for Prospects points and one is for Thakur points. On the Thakur point there is a large view of Semadhoh deep forest.

Mozari Point

This point is at 2km. distance on the way going from hotel green. There is a permanant Heli-Pad. There is a way going towards mozari village for this points it is called as Mozari points. If we look east from this point we can see Hotel Resort Mayura. We can also see Devi Point area and west side of Gawilgarh fort.

Hariken Point

It is situated at southern region of the upper platau of chikhaldara near government gardan. We can see the Gawilgarh fort, Mozari village, Vairat hills and the huge area of the under the hills side.

Mahadev Temple

This temple is at 6km. from the KalaPani Lake. There is a way from Mozari village to go towards this temple. The people visited this temple in large nos. in the month of ‘Shrawan’ on every monday.

Kalapani lake and Shivsagar point

This is a small road at north just never whereform we often going towards upperplatau. If we go onwords by this road there is a kalapani lake. There is a small temple of lord rama. This lake is constructed by the Maharashtra Jivan Pradhikaran Mandal.
This road is directly goes through the Shivsagar point. The end of this road we have to climb up the hill by walking. From this point there are many layers of Satpuda parwat will be seen. The sunset is also very beautiful to seen from this point. The hariken, goraghat, mozari, vastapur and shahanur lake is also possible to see.

Bir Lake

This Lake is built under british government rule in Dec 1890. This lake is built in besalt. It is used for soldiers in the british government rle hence called as Bir Lake. The water was initially used for Chikhaldara town. It also has a old garden but it is not well maintained.

Panchbol Point

This is one of the famous and important point, we can exparience the magic of nature here. There is a tar road from the bir Lake towards this valley from north side. we can see cofee plantation on the way where we going towards this point. This is at 4km. from Bir Lake. This is very deep valley. The five hills edges are connected naturally which is also connected all valley and finally its becomes a comman huge valley. we can heard reflected sounds five time’s when shouted louded there. That’s why this point is known as Five Eco Point or commonly called Panchbol Point. Actually we can heard four return voice is to heard, the fifth one is not clearly heard.

Sunset-Point

The point is situated on the Vairat hills at Vairat. Which is considered to be King’s Vairat capital in the Mahabharata era. Sunset is very attractive to see. Chikhaldara in the east from here and on west lie the numerous hill ranges beffitting the name Satpuda’s.

 Vairat Goddess

Vairat is a small village nearly about 10kms. from Chikhaldara. In between Chikhaldara and Vairat a natural pool is there, it is very beautiful to see. There is a ancient devi-temple. But it is very critical to reach that temple. At the starting of the ancient devi-temple, to our facilitate, people built a new devi-temple.
Ancient Goddess temple is situated in west to Vairat hills. One has to pass the valley with the help of rope to reach the mount of undeerground way after passing 100 to 150 ft. underground one can reach to original temple.

BhimKund- Kichakdara

It is mythological important place for pilgrims. Bhima killed Kichaka and throw his body in the valley called ‘Kichakdara’ and he bath in the nearby lake, which is then reknowned as Bhim-Kund.

This place is situated in south near Alladhoh village on the way from pratwada to chikhaldara via motha.
Bhim-Kund is nearly 3500 ft. deep. It offers facinating view of the waterfall and cascades during rainy season. It is recognizing on the bir point.

 

Tourist Attraction

Muktagiri

It is Jain religious place which falls in M.P. but it is just 7kms. from paratwada. The 52 small temples constructed on the high slopes connected by stairs with the magnificient waterfall providing background to the entire landscape is the major attraction during Monsoon.

 Bakadari and Kalalkund

This again is a high waterfall. This magnificient waterfall can be reached from Aadnadi along the mandatory string about five kilometers. Kalalkund falls about a km. before the Bakadari Waterfall. As we approach Bakadari the middling partition is flanged by high ridges . This is recognize as most magnificient waterfall in the whole area .

Dharkhura

It is about 10Kms from Paratwada. It has large waterfall and cascade during rainy season’s. Howevere access is dificult and one has to walk 5kms from village Chota Barhanpur.

Musiams
There are two musiam at chikhaldara area, one of them is at Maharashtra Forest Rainger’s College, Chikhaldara. The sample of wild animals and plants are also available to see. One of the rare ‘focils’ is also available. Another musiam is of Tiger Project, for that we have to go through the way which is turning from ‘Yoga Training Center’. The sample of animals and plants are also put in this musiam. Apart from this the information for the leaving standard and customs of local main tribe is ‘Korku’.

 

Fort

It is located beyond village ‘Kalamkhar’ near village ‘Zilpi’ about 10 km. from ‘Dharni’ on ‘Barhanpur Road’. The Fort is constructed in burnt bricks and it is located at the concluence of rivers Tapti, Sipna and Gadga. The view from the top of the Fort of the concluence from about and hight of more than 100ft. gives one idea of the magnifications of the fort.
However, the emprochment within the fort area for cultivation of crops have rendered the fort to an non existance.

Narnala Fort

Narnala is situated in Melghat at attitude 21º 10´ North and 77° 00´ East. It is 66km. North from Akola. Narnala is 3161 feet from MSL . Fort was built scientifically considering natural interference like rain winded. Narnala alias shahanur fort consiss of three small forts namely Zafrabad. Narnala and Teliagarh. Narnala is on one hour walling distance from Shahanur, 24km from Akot (Akola). Now, there is a road from Akot via Popatkhed for vehicles.

This is historically very famous fort which is very deep and with dense forest land situated on the hills of Satpuda i.e. at the hilly side of the Melghat. (Narnala is at 24km from Akot and 66km from Akola on North). Nowaday’s we can reach to fort by vehicle.

There is confusion about the consturction of Narnala fort. The historian finished have said that-Nineth Badshaha Shahbudeen Ahmadhaha Wali.(1422 AD to 1436 AD) constructed of Gawilgarh fort and made renewation in Narnala fort when he stayed at Elichpur. It means that the Narnala fort have constructed before Bahamany rule. Still it is not conform exactly when it is constructed as the concreate information not available anywhere.

Some historians have said that the Gond rules ruling over Melghat region constructed this fort (original owner). But this is also not supported by all the historian. After the Ahmadshaha second ( 1436 to1458) become the ruler. He had got maried with the daughter Nashirkhan ( subhedar of Khandesh). Due to misunderstanding between Allaudin and his wife. Nashirkhan made affable of Berar Region in 1453 AD. he defeated first to the Gond. Gond living in Chorda and started his rule over Chorda fort. Then by motivating some sardar of berar region he strengthen his provision of attack over Narnala fort. Nashirkhan achived many expectations. He had motivated the Elakhandipari of Berar and leader of army. By this provision Nashirkhan easily took change over Narnala fort in 1453 AD.

Gawilgarh

The three major forts namely Gawilgragh named Amner. Three forts stand witness leagendry historical background of the area.
Gawilgrah is located on a Chikhaldara Platau is set to be eshtablished in the 12th century by a Gawali King a decendent of yadavas of devgiri. However this fort built in mud was Forty Fide by the bahamani being Ahmad Shah Wali. The fort under wrote further underwent fortyfication around 1471. The forte stand on a lafty mountain on consists of a inner fort. Which front to the south and an outer fort which has a third one which covers the approach from the north. The walls are strongly builds and forthfred by a rampers and towers. The outer fort is emperd by togather while inner has three large gate fort. The Fatheh Darwaza, Kichakdara Darwaza and Delhi Darwaza. The Delhi Darwaza consists of three gateways. The outer most gateways has a symbol with a pam tree with on a both either side tiger holding in its close and mouse five elighants. Above each tiger there is a double headed eagle. These seem to be Gonds emblends where as some say that they represent a emblends of legend other emperors. The fort has eight tank with retain water even during bol season.
Jama Mazeed build on the highest now of the fort at the Fatheha Darwaza,was repaired in 1486 A.D. by Fathefulla. The fact of repairs is recorded in an encryption on the Mazzeed. He also put a adorning symbol on the Shardul Gateway of the Delhi Darwaza. The Gawilgarh Fort is regarded as suparior fort in strength and lafty.and to be master of Gawilgarh men of mistry of Berar. In 1577 the Behram Khan build a fine basteen in the south-west face on the fort. In Ain-I-Akabari Abul Fazal calls “Gawilgarh a fort rest of allmost match lestend accourding to him Gawilgarh sarkar was the rechest of the thirteen parganas in to which Berar was divided. After Maughal Empire Gawilgarh fort was pass to hydrabad and later was acquired by marathas in 1751. In 1803 Gawilgarh came into great into best prominant when it was basis in general orthal vellastis from bemissing who held it for Raghuji Bhosale.” However the fort was returned to Raghugi Bhosale as per tiger sign at Daigaurn. Gawilgarh fort remain in possation of the Maratha till 1822. It finally past to the East India Company and dismantete in 1858 with the fear threat it will be seas by Tyata Tope.
The most interesting object upon gawilgarh a gateway call the Bara Darwaza. This is the principle enter to the Main Fort.
One of the battle mount of the outerfort at Gawilgarh there is a long sansors encryuption fo 22 lines each about 5 fact long the stone is rough and ingrawing very deep hence it is different to read. It however since to record the birth of Wild in the house of Burhan Emadshah in the Sakahira 1489.

 

Wildlife Sanctuary

The Gugumal National Park, Amravati, Maharshtra is one of the most well known national parks in the state of Maharashtra. Maharashtra is home to a wide variety of rare animals and birds, including the tiger, crocodile, bison, gawa, neelgai, wild deer, sambar and a host of migratory birds. There are numerous wildlife reserves in the state, which offer wonderful opportunities to watch rich and diverse wildlife amid natural settings.

The Gugamal National Park was built in 1974, and the park spreads over an area of about 1673.93 square kilometers. Located in Chikhaldara and Dharni Tehsils of Amaravati District in the Satpura Hills of Maharshtra, Gugamal is famous as one of the last remaining habitats of the Indian tiger species in Maharashtra.

The Melghat Tiger Reserve, of which the Gugamal National Park, forms the core part, came to be designated as a Sanctuary in 1975, in view of the ecological, floral and faunal significance of the region.

The forest in rugged and hilly area of Melghat is typical Southern dry deciduous forest. There are 750 species of plants in the area. There are 90 tree species, 66 shrub species, 316 herb species, 56 climbers, 23 sedge species and 99 grass species. Approximately 50-75 more species have been identified and several more are expected to identify in the future at the Melghat Tiger Preserve.

Tectona grandis, Ain, Tiwas, Aola, Lendia, Dhawada, Kusum are the important tree species. Bamboo and Teak is widely spread in the forests. The area is rich in medicinal plants.

Fauna :
The area is rich in wild mammals including Tiger, Panther, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Jackal, Hyena, Chausinga, Sambar (largest Deer on earth) Gaur, Barking Deer, Ratel, Flying squirrel, Cheetal (type of Deer), Nilgai, Wild Boar, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, and Macaque. Also found here are 25 types of fishes and many varieties of butterflies.

Crocodiles were re-introduced in a systematic manner in March 1990 and February 1991 in Siddu Kund in Gadga river near Dhakna and Hathikund in the Dolar river in the Gugamal National Park.

The best season for visiting the park is from March to June.

 

Melghat Tiger Reserve spreads over 1597 sq.kms. of tropical dry deciduous forest with 648 species of flora, many species of mammals, 19 fishes, 15 snakes, 5 lizards, 250 birds and 4 turtle/tortoise species. The core area is 308 sq.kms. The 1989 census reveals an estimated population of 77 tigers.
There are 59 villages in the area with 17,138 people and 21,677 cattle. 110 sq. kms. is under cultivation. The Korku tribals form a large percentage of the population. Their life is compatible with the forest and they indulge in small game poaching and fishing for their own consumption.

The field director of the Park only controls 361 sq.kms. of the area and the remaining area has an overlapping jurisdiction with the territorial forest division of East, West and South Melghat. There is a large effort after 20 years of Project Tiger to bring the area under unitary control. The core is well protected without any villages. The grazing pressures are not high and only 40,000 on the fringe areas. Through the flow of funds and equipment, local poaching has been curbed, although there have been 2 cases of tiger poaching in 1990-1991. Till 1988 timber extraction to the tune of 30 crores annually was exploited. This is said to have stopped since 1989 and degraded areas have had a chance to recoup. Through ecological development pressures that mount from the buffer to the core will be reduced.

Tourist management, interpretation and other facilities are managed by Project Tiger and nature education of school children and tribals is underway. It appears that Melghat is an excellent flagship of Project Tiger for the management of tourism and education to the people. There is no tourism activity in the Core area.
The Park authorities feel that there is a deficit in the staff required to manage the reserve. Much more work has to be done to eliminate the hazard of fires. Water is a limiting factor and much has to be done to alleviate the situation. There is a veterinary cell but yet to be fully operational. Most of the research work has started in 1989 and there is some data being collected. The research laboratory is slowly developing and requires much more improvement.

On the side of documentation there has been some excellent work done. An annotated bibliography on tigers has been compiled which encompasses all tiger literature over the centuries. A compilation of the ethno-botanical species of flora,and their uses has also been completed. There is a plan to relocate 6 villages in the fringe. The damage to crops in these areas by wild animals is alarming. The first case of man eating also occurred in 1992.

It appears from census figures that this Tiger Reserve has reached its optimum capacity to hold tigers. In fact prey species are said to be declining at a very rapid rate especially spotted deer and wild boar. Tigers prey on 250 cattle annually revealing their dependence on livestock that must roam this forest. An attempt is being made to restock the forest with prey though such a process could be questionable. The whole predator prey base requires detailed scientific research, in order to understand the problems. Unitary control by the field director of the core and buffer is essential. Through this process the habitat in the buffer can be developed and livestock predation reduced. Eco-development approaches for the future will be vital in creating a harmony between man and forest, in this tiger habitat.

Semadhoh Tiger Project

Tiger Project is started in the year 1973 at Melghat. Large area of the forest is covered under this project. The area of this Tiger Project is spread from Narnala Fort up to Dhakana, Semadhoh, Raipur, Doma. The 25kms long road , from Chikhaldara to Semadhoh is going through the deep & dense forest. We can feel fresh, when we just go through that way . We can see wild animals like Peacock, Dear, Wolf, Pig Gourus etc. when we go through that way.
The Tiger Project Resort is situated at semadhoh. At very chipest rate it is available for tourism. The Musiam is at resort. The slide show on the wild animal is available there.
There is a arrangement of mini bus on 4’o clock in the evining and on 5’o clock in the morning for wondering inside the reserved area of the forest. You have to pay some money for this mini bus. In this reserved area of forest we can see the various wild animal like Leopard, Tiger, Beer, Wild Buffelo, Deer, Wolf, Snakes and various Birds.