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Chhattisgarh Udanti & Sitanadi Tiger Reserve
The Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary of Chattisghar is a new addition to the list of Tiger Reserves in Central India. The Sanctuary was created recently by merging the area and management of the two separate Sanctuaries of Udanti and Sitanadi.
The process of converting the newly formed Sanctuary into the top Tiger Reserve in central India is underway in Udanti and Sitanadi. Both the sanctuaries get their names from the two separate rivers that flow through them and of which these lands are the catchment areas.
The Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is the older protected area among the two and was notified in 1974 by the Madhya Pradesh government, with an area of 555 sq km. The Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary was notified in 1983, with an area of 232 sq km. Later, after the division of Madhya Pradesh to form the new Chhattisgarh state, the two sanctuaries of Udanti and Sitanadi were merged in 2008, keeping the original areas as the two core zones and joining the sanctuaries by adding a large buffer zone. Today the total area of the Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and tiger Reserve is 1872 sq km.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The Undnanti and Sitanadi remains closed to visitors for the monsoon, given the large number of small perennial rivers and streams that get flooded in the rains. The best time to visit the Tiger Reserve is from November to May.
Places To Visit
How To Reach
The nearest airport is at Raipur (173 km) the State capital.
The nearest railway station is at Dhamtari (95 km)
The Raipur-Deobhog highway grazes the Udanti and Sitanadi Tiger Reserve and has several bus stops near it. There are regular buses by the state but it is advised to hire a vehicle to take you from Raipur or Dhamtari to the Wildlife Sanctuary.
Flora And Fauna
The forest cover in Udanti and Sitanadi is heavily forested and with coupled with the undulating terrain there is mixed vegetation. There is moist peninsular forest with dry and moist deciduous vegetation mixed with it. Small tropical and subtropical patches occur in low-lying ravines of the rivers and streams.
Several species of ungulates and predatory cats and wolverine species coincide in the Undnati and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. The major large animals in the sanctuary are Wild Buffalos, Panthers, Tigers, Wild Dogs, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Chital, Four-Horned Antelopes, Black Buck, Sambar, Blue Bull, Bison, Barking Deer, Gaur, Sloth Bear and Muntjac.
The combined wildlife of the Undnanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is astonishing, with the mammals as the most important class. There are also many common resident and migratory birds that are attracted to the wetlands of this region. The herpetofauna of this region is also typical of Central India and is moderately varied.
Where To Stay
There are a limited number of Forest Department rest houses in the Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and there are also overnight camps organized by the Range officers.
The Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, is also a place of great scenic beauty with occasional meadow plains and some of the most beautiful waterfalls in central India.