(Last Updated on : 23/05/2014)
Chandoli National Park is situated in Sangli district
of the Indian state Maharashtra
. Spanning over an area of 317.67 square kilometres, it was declared as a National Park in May 2004. Previously in the year 1985, the place was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary
. It forms the southern portion of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve and northern part of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. For the development of Chandoli National Park various measures have been taken up by the government such as water conservation, soil conservation
, removal of invasive species, providing salt licks, research, fire prevention, vaccination of cattle, erection of watch towers, maintenance of nature trails, demarcation of boundary development of grasslands and many more.
History of Chandoli National Park
Chandoli National Park encompasses a number of historical places such as 17th century Shivaji's forts named Bhairavgad
and Prachitgad. In Prachitigad, ruins of palatial buildings and Bhavani temple can be witnessed.
Kalavantin Vihir in the sanctuary also boasts the ancient grandeur of the Maratha Empire
. During the rule of Shivaji
Maharaj, most of the area was used as an open jail for the prisoners of war of the early Imperial Maratha conquests. Prachitgad was used by Sambhaji Maharaj, son of Shivaji Maharaj, as a recreational place and an observation point.
Geography of Chandoli National Park
Chandoli National Park lies along the crest of the Sahyadri range
of the northern Western Ghats
. The park encloses a number of perennial water channels, the Vasant Sagar Reservoir and several water holes. Its altitude ranges from 589 to 1044 metres. The place receives abundant water supply from the Warna River
, small streams and water reservoir. The most distinguishing feature of the park is formed by the 'Saddas' which are the rocky lateritic plateaus having no vegetation at all. Caves and large boulders are also found here.
Flora of Chandoli National Park
Chandoli National Park is mostly covered by a combination of North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests and Malabar Coast moist forests. Dwarf evergreen forests are also evident here and the trees include Kokum Tree, Kinjal, Crape Myrtle, Spinous Kino Tree, Olea, Fig, Pisa, Jamun
, Ironwood Tree and many more. Other common trees found here are Harra,
Devil Fig, Indian Gooseberry
, Umbar and Indian Laurel. Frequently spotted grasses of the region include Tangle Grass, Black Spear Grass, Golden Beard Grass, Kangaroo Grass, Bluestem Grass and many others. Insectivorous plants also grow here such as Bladderworts and Sundews.
Fauna of Chandoli National Park
Chandoli National Park is the home to about 20 species of amphibians and reptiles, 122 species of birds and 23 species of mammals. Commonly found animals in the park are Indian Giant Squirrels
, Sloth Bear
, Leopard Cats, Indian Bison
, Indian Leopard
and Bengal Tigers
. The prey species of the region include Blackbuck
, Mouse Deer, Sambar Deer and Barking Deer. Over years, a rise in the population of Gaur, Leopards and Tigers have been recorded.
Chandoli National Park is best visited from October to February. Apart from the vibrant flora and fauna, other attractions of the park are Vasant Sagar Reservoir, Tanali Falls, Kandhardoh Falls and Kandhardoh Falls. Karad, Kolhapur
, Miraj and Sangli are the nearby railway stations whereas Pune
form the nearest airports. It is also well connected through roadways.