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Chhattisgarh Guru Ghasidas National Park
The Guru Ghasidas Tiger Reserve is an extensive wooded forest smack on the boundary of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states. With an area of 1440 sq km, the Guru Ghasidas National Park is one of the more important wildlife sanctuaries in central India and is located in Chhattisgarh.
The area in the Koriya district of Chhattisgarh state is the catchment area for several small rivers and streams that support the lush forest cover of the reserve, which in turn becomes a perfect habitat for some of the more diverse collection of wildlife on the Deccan Plateau in India.
Before the formation of Chhattisgarh, the Ghasidas Reserve was a part of the Sanjay National Park in Madhya Pradesh, which during the creation of Chhattisgarh was divided by the new state boundaries and most of it went to the new state. This larger part of Sanjay Park was renamed to Guru Ghasidas National Park by the Chhattisgarh government to commemorate the state’s Satnami movement reformer Guru Ghasidas.
The Sanjay Wildlife Sanctuary was given the status of a National Park in 1981 and just recently in 2012, the Government of India suggested that the Ghasidas Park be notified as a Tiger Reserve.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The climate of the region is moist sub-tropical to dry in the summers. The heavy rainfall in monsoon makes it difficult to track inside the densely wooded forest and for safety concerns the Ghasidas Park remains closed during that time. The best time to visit the Guru Ghasidas Reserve is from November to May.
Places To Visit
How To Reach
The nearest airport is at Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) or Ranchi (Jharkhand) that are 200 to 250 km away. The Raipur Airport in Chattisghar is around 450 km from Singruli.
Trains to the Jaora (20 km) Railway Station connect the surrounding region to the rest of India.
The Ghasidas Park is 60 km from Sidhi (Madhya Pradesh) that lies on the Riva - Varanasi State Highway.
Flora And Fauna
The Guru Ghasidas Tiger Reserve has a dense forest cover with a mixture of sub-tropical vegetation and wooded deciduous trees. The dominant vegetation is that of the expensive Sal trees and large and expansive Bamboo forests. Apart from this there are frequent shrubs and small trees in the region.
There is a surprising number of bird species in this region. Around 300 avian species in the Ghasidas forests include a number of resident and migratory birds like Red-Headed Vulture Golden Hooded Oriole, Lesser Adjutant, Indian Pitta, Rufus-Treepie and Racket-Tailed Drongo.
The mammalian species include many big and small central Indian animals including Tiger, Spotted Deer, Leopard, Sambar, Civet, Blue Bull, Barking Deer, Wild Boar and Porcupine.
The wildlife of the Guru Ghasidas Tiger Reserve is diverse and houses many species supporting the ecology of the terrain. Along with the apex hunters, the region is also a bird sanctuary harboring many different species of birds.
Where To Stay
There are rest houses inside the Guru Ghasidas National Park that can be reerved by visitors from the Range Officer or the Wildlife Warden. Alternately, one can effectively stay at the comfortable hotels in Sidhi, which is nearby.