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Madhya Pradesh Ratapani Tiger Reserve
The Ratapani Tiger Reserve is located in Madhya Pradesh of India. This place is well known for its finest teak forest while is just few hours’ drive from Bhopal. This tiger reserve was declared as a wild life sanctuary since 1976. In the year March 2013, as approved by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ratapani was declared and given the status of Tiger Reserve. As it is close in proximity to Bhopal and has relatively untouched forests, it has become a promising tourist attraction for the tourists that come from far flung off places.
Further the tourism board also plans to declare this reserve as a wild life destination in coming few years. This reserve is rich in its biodiversity. Ratapani Tiger Reserve is one of the seven tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh which focuses on Project – Save the tiger.
The Ratapani Tiger Reserve was established in the year 1976. Spread on an area of 688 sq kms, it is a home to wildlife creatures. Earlier this tiger reserve was called as the wildlife sanctuary in 1976, but then in the year 2008, the government declared it as a tiger reserve. The Madhya Pradesh Tourism board now is planning to make it a promising tourist attraction in coming few years. Many years ago, barasingha used to thrive in the premises of this reserve until they were regularly hunted by the hunters of Bhopal.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Ratapani Tiger Reserve is located in the capital city of Madhya Pradesh which has soaring summers while cooling winters. The winters are very cold noted by light rain falls. As the summers are very hot, it is advised to keep off from visiting during this season. The months of monsoon are best to witness and experience the natural beauty of these forests.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Ratapani Tiger Reserve is from October to March.
Places to Visit
With vast area covered under the forests, there are some exceptionally stunning places which are hidden in and around this reserve like – forts, temples, rock of shelter of Bhimbetika which symbolize the heritage and glory of Indian culture. The old forts and temples are best to explore here. You can also visit Delwari, Ratapani dam, Kherbana mandir, KairiMahadeo, Ginnorhgarh fort etc.
How to Reach
Bhopal Railway station is the main railway station which connects this city to other major cities of India. Shatabdi Express runs daily between Delhi and Bhopal.
You can reach Bhopal by boarding a flight also. After reaching the Bhopal airport, you can hire a cab and proceed towards this tiger reserve. This airport is connected to major cities of India, while there are different international flights also which operate from Bhopal Airport.
There are numerous buses that run from different cities to Bhopal.
After reaching Bhopal, you can hire a private cab or taxi and reach Ratapani Tiger Reserve.
Flora and Fauna
The flora at Ratapani Tiger Reserve is very diverse and rich. The variability in soil conditions and climate bring about vital variations in different types of flora. The forest is covered with teak trees, tendu, saj, Bijasal, Shisham and many other botanical plants.
Ratapani Tiger Reserve conserves natural resources and maintains an ecological balance. It safeguards different kinds of flora and fauna. The reserve is rich in a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Some of them which are commonly found are – Indian rock python, rhesus macaque, hanuman langur, black faced monkey, Indian deer with 4 branched antlers,chowsingha, chinkara, nilgai, sambar, chital, Indian fox, jackals, striped hyenas, cloth bears, wild dogs, leopards, and tigers. Many years ago barasingha used to thrive here. For bird lovers, this tiger reserve is a perfect spot as it has nearly 150 species of birds which include – paradise flycatcher and state bird of MP.
Ratapani Tiger Reserve is rich in its bio diversity. It has many species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The reserve has storks, cranes, teals, snips, geese, duck, and many other rare birds that migrate from Nepal, Tibet, Siberia, Russia, and Iran.
Where to Stay
Individuals who want to put their stay at Ratapani Tiger Reserve can stay at rest houses of Delabadi. There are different resorts and hotels near this tiger reserve which preserve the ecological balance and use recycled water for toilets and solar lightening.