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 and Mumbai form the nearest airports. It is also well connected through roadways.