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Chattisgarh Achanakamar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary in Chhattisgarh is a pristine and dense forest in the Miakal Hills, which extend into the Satpura mountain range in Madhya Pradesh.
The protected area of Achanakmar measures roughly 555 sq km and is made up of hilly terrain on the foothills of higher mountains. The forest cover is mainly that of Sal and other deciduous trees. It is one of the important reserves for endangered species in Central India.
There are various facilities inside the Sanctuary like a restaurant and coffee shop for the comfort and convenience of the visitors. There is also a stone temple remain near the Forest department rest houses that interest many tourists.
Apart from that, many places of interest surround the Achanakmar Sanctuary and are easily covered together with the visit.
The Achanakmar region was gazette as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1975 and aimed to preserving the mammalian ecosystem. Very recently, in 2009, the region was also granted status of a Tiger Reserve.
Weather and Time to Visit
The climate in this region is that of the dry tropical with selective humidity and cool temperature in the slightly higher altitudes. The summers are hot and the hilly and densely forested terrain is closed for tourists in the monsoon. The best time to visit the Anchanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is during the time between November and March.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is at Raipur, connected to important cities in India with regular flights. From Raipur, one must travel 115 km to Bilaspur, via road or rail and then head on road to the Achanakmar Sanctuary.
The Bilaspur Junction is an important railway station in this division of Indian railways and can be reached directly from most of the major cities.
The nearest town is that of Bilaspur, which is around 60km from the Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Pendra Road connects nearby cities like Raipur and Bilaspur to the Sanctuary and there are regular government and private transport services on this road. Alternate route is from the town of Lamni that approaches Achanakmar from the opposite side as Pendra Road.
The bird in this Sanctuary are poorly documented and one can occasionally spot rare birds in these forests.
The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its carnivorous large animals, especially Tiger, Leopard, Black Bear, Striped Hyena, Wild Dog and Jackal. The prominent herbivore preys are Spotted Deer, Four-Horned Antelope, Black Buck, Bison and Boar.
The tourists are allowed relatively freely to explore the Achanakmar Sanctuary and are advised to stick to Forest Department’s observation posts that provide for comfortable views of the surrounding wildlife. Additionally the new Tiger Reserve status means there are special tiger safaris that are conducted for the visitors in the sanctuary by the Forest Department.
Where to Stay
The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary Management has maintained two comfortable cottages for visitors, but it is difficult to get a reservation there. Accommodation is easily available at many hotels in Bilaspur and is a convenient choice.
- General trips to the Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary can be arranged by private travel companies and taxi services in Bilaspur, however, the Divisional Forest office at Bilaspur also conducts Tiger Safaris and grants the required permissions to visitors.
- Private guides are available at check posts before one enters the vicinity of the Achanakmar Sanctuary and are quite knowledgeable and convenient.