|Destination Type: Hill Station|
A mountainous station near a tiger habitat! Does it sound okay? Interesting or dangerous? When you decide to travel to the peaceful hill town of Chikhaldara, where you will be transported to a tranquil area of just flora and fauna, there is actually nothing to fear but only to enjoy. Actually, Chikhaldara is the spot you should be if you really want to relax.
Chikhaldara, the only hill station of its kind in the Vidarbha area, is situated around 100 kilometres north of Amravati. It is situated atop a mountain range that marks the boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Chikhaldara, which is 1,088 metres above sea level, has a thriving flora and fauna due to its higher rainfall totals than other areas of Vidarbha. But what gives Chikhaldara its genuine importance is the fact that it is bordered on three sides by the Melghat Project Tiger Area, which covers an area of around 1,676 square kilometres.
The Melghat Wildlife Reserve, which covers an area of roughly 780 square kilometres and forms the entirety of Chikhaldara's southern boundary and a portion of its western border, is one of numerous smaller wildlife reserves that make up the Project Tiger region. The Project Tiger reserve's central area, the roughly 320 square kilometre Gugamal National Park, also serves as Chikhaldara's eastern and partially northeastern borders.
In fact, Chilkhaldara and Melghat Project Tiger (MPT) are like closely related relatives given the size of the area. Almost 700 species of plants from 97 different families and 400 different genres can be found in the MPT region. 90 of these 700 species are tree species, and they represent this reserve's real wealth. This incredible floral diversity has nurtured a huge variety of animals as well. The tiger reserve boasts around 70 tigers, and there are almost as many leopards, according to the most recent count . Along with hundreds of herbivore creatures including Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Choushinga, etc., it also has roughly 200 sloth bears and 1,800 Indian gaurs. Rare creatures including the Flying Squirrel, Pangolin, Mouse Deer, Ratel, and Honey Badger can also be found in the reserve.
You must first travel to Amravati if you wish to rent a car or use a bus to get to Chikhaldara. The closest airport is at Nagpur, which is roughly 230 kilometres away. A resident of Pune or Mumbai would travel a distance of around 750 kilometres. The Mumbai-Aurangabad-Nagpur motorway is home to a large number of luxurious buses. The months of October through June are ideal for travelling to Chikhaldara.
The nearest airport is Nagpur which is 230 kms away.
Nearest railway station is Amravati, 100 kms away. It is the main town as well.
For a Pune or Mumbai resident, the travelling distance is about 750 kms.
There are many luxury buses that ply on Mumbai - Aurangabad - Nagpur highway.
Melghat Tiger Reserve : Melghat Tiger Reserve is located in Chikhaldara and Dharni tehsils of Amaravati district inSatpuda hill range. This tiger reserve of 1676.93-sq-km is one of the last remaining habitats of Indian tiger in Maharashtra.
Wan Sanctuary : Wan sanctuary is located in Melghat area of Amravati District. It is an extension to the Melghat Sanctuary on southeastern part. This area is part and parcel of Melghat and is rich in floral and fauna biodiversity. The hilly rugged terrain possesses Tropical Dry Deciduous forests.
Gavilgadh Fort: Shrouded in mist and myths is the Gavali tribal fort of Gavilgad or Gavaligad, on the Chikhaldara plateau, now under the Melghat Tiger Project. Featured in the epic, the Mahabharata, this is the place where Bheema killed the villainous Keechaka in a Herculean bout and then threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as Keechakadara - Chikhaldara is its corruption.
Bhimkund:Located 1.5 km from the village, this is the place where Bheema is said to have washed his hands in a pond after killing Keechaka. A 3500-foot deep valley and a stream on the left of the valley are the attractions
Devi Mandir:This point is nearer to the shakkar lake, the cave temple lies under three huge slabs of rock. Water from the shakkar lake continuously seeps through the ceiling of the cave.
Shakkar Lake:This lake is near Devi point. It is on the way to Gavilgad fort. Boating is available here.
Hariken Point:It is situated at southern region of the upper plateau of chikhaldara near government garden. One can see the Gavilgarh fort, Mozari village, Vairat hills and the huge area of the under the hills side.
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 lays the numerous hill ranges befitting the name Satpuda's
Panchbol Point: This is one of the famous and important points, The five hills edges are connected naturally and it becomes a common huge valley, sound echoes five times hence its called panch valley...
Given the fact that a lot of rain water drains down from Chikhaldara, many water conservation projects have been built in the region, thus leading to the formation of reservoirs such as the Bir Dam, Kalapani Dam and the Shakkar Lake. To go camping, one must visit village Semadoh, which is just about 20 kilometers from Chikhaldara on the banks of the river Sipna. Nature lovers can book this place through the Amaravati Forest Department’s office at a very nominal cost and get a real feeling of living in the woods.
Picnic at the Points
It being a hill station, Chikhaldara has several spectacular vantage view points such as the Panchbol Point, Hariken Point, Mozari Point, Devi Point, Sunset Point, Prospects Point, Monkey Point, etc. The Sunset Point provides a spectacular view of the jungle with different shades of green that resonate with the sounds of the wild animals and birds as the sun goes down.