Declared a tiger reserve among the first nine tiger reserves notified in 1973-74 under the Project Tiger in 1985, Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary is a large tract of unending hills and ravines scarred by jagged cliffs and steep climbs. The exquisite hill forests, thick undergrowth and moss-covered trees underscore its virgin confines. Many different kinds of wildlife, both flora and fauna, are found here.
STD Code: 0721
Area: Encompassing an area of 1,676.93 sq. km. which includes the 788.75 sq. km. Melghat Sanctuary and the 361.28 sq. km. Gugarnal National Park.
When to go: The summer temperatures can cross 40°C whereas in winter temperatures drop down up to 15°C. Annual rainfall is between 1,000 to 2,250 mm. December to May is the best season to visit Melghat. In summer, the forests are thin and the visibility is good. In winter, it is more difficult to sight animals because of the profusion of reeds, grasses and weeds but this is when animals are in their prime condition making wildlife viewing a pleasure.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Melghat Tiger Reserve
Road: This Tiger Reserve is connected to several major towns and cities. State Transport buses are available from Nagpur, which is at a distance of 260 kms.
Rail: Badnera is the nearest railhead.
Air: The closest airports are Akola (160 km.) and Nagpur (260 km.)
Melghat stands for 'meeting of the ghats' which is just what the area is, a large tract of unending hills and ravines scarred by jagged cliffs and steep climbs. It lies at the northern extreme of the Amravati District on the border of Madhya Pradesh, in the southwestern Satpura mountain ranges. If its tigers were not so famous, Melghat might best be known as a 'raptor' or eagle sanctuary! It is, in any event, a birdwatcher's paradise. Not to forget that though they are not spotted frequently, this forest is part of one of India's most vital tiger breeding habitats. As a whole, Melghat encompasses an area of 1,676.93 sq. km. which includes the 788.75 sq. km. Melghat Sanctuary and the 361.28 sq. km. Gugarnal National Park in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra. The rest of the buffer zone includes 526.90 sq. km. of reserve forest. Located in the catchment area of the River Tapti, Melghat, a water harvesting forest, supplies 30 per cent of all the fresh water available to the people living in the vicinity.