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Chandoli National Park: A Lush Haven For Those Who’s Soul Craves Adventure. In Sangli and Kolhapur.

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Chandoli National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Sangli & near to Satara, Kolhapur, and Ratnagiri districts of the state of Maharashtra. The park spreads along the crest of the Sahyadri Range of the northern Western Ghats. It forms and protects many perennial water channels, water holes, and the Vasant Sagar Reservoir. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 2004. The total area of the park is 317.67 Km2. Chandoli National Park has initially declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year of 1985. Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, including all of Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, was declared by The National Tiger Conservation Authority as a Project Tiger, Tiger Reserve on May 21, 2007. The diversified vegetation found here makes it as an ideal habitat for different species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. The park has been declared a World Heritage Centre by UNESCO. The Chandoli National Park in Maharashtra is a major stop in the itinerary of Maharashtra wildlife tours. Scenic places like Kandhardoh and Kandhardoh Falls, Tanali falls, Chandoli Dam and Vasant Sagar Reservoir, Kokna darshan, Zolambi sada and the forest of Rundiv add to the recreation value.

The historical places of the park include the 17th-century Prachitgad and Bhairavgad forts of the Maratha kings Shivaji Maharaj and his son Sambhaji Maharaj, ruins of the Bhavani temples, Palatial buildings in Prachitigad and Kalavantinwhich which all depict the ancient glory of the Maratha Empire. Most of the protected area was used as an open jail for the ‘prisoners of war’ of the early Imperial Maratha Conquests during Shivaji Maharaj’s rule. The sprawling vegetation in the national park makes it an ideal habitat for a wide species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. A number of conservation programs are being taken to conserve the flora and fauna in Chandoli National Park. The local tourism department, the government, as well as various wildlife agencies, undertake conservation works. The wildlife includes Tigers, Gaurs, Deer, Leopard cats, Panthers, Sloth bears, Barking deer, Mouse deer etc. Around 123 species of birds are also found in the forest. The park receives its water supply from the Warna river and reservoir as well as several other small streams and rivers.

Flat-topped mountains, rocky, lateritic plateaus called ‘Saddas’, almost devoid of vegetation, large boulders and caves are distinctive to the protected areas in the Sahyadri region of the Western Ghats. Camping and trekking are the major adventures in the core of the Chandoli forest.

History of Chandoli National Park

The Park which is now a ‘protected area’ was once an open jail of the Imperial Marathas and all prisoners during the conquest of Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji’s son Sambhaji Maharaj used Prachitgad as an observation post and it was also his recreational center. Chandoli National Park has initially declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year of 1985. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 2004. The total area of the park is 317.67 Km2. Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, including all of Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, was declared by The National Tiger Conservation Authority as a Project Tiger, Tiger Reserve on May 21, 2007.

Geography

Chandoli National Park is located in the Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, and Ratnagiri districts of the state of Maharashtra. The park spreads along the crest of the Sahyadri Range of the northern Western Ghats. It forms and protects many perennial water channels, water holes, and the Vasant Sagar Reservoir. Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, including all of Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, was declared by The National Tiger Conservation Authority as a Project Tiger, Tiger Reserve. The park receives its water supply from the Warna River and reservoir as well as several other small streams and rivers. There are many streams and the major river that flows through the Park is Warna River. Flat-topped mountains, rocky, lateritic plateaus called ‘Saddas’, almost devoid of vegetation, large boulders and caves are distinctive to the protected areas in the Sahyadri region of the Western Ghats. This National Park has the natural protection by the way of a ridge formed by the Sahyadri, the Western Ghats. It is situated at Deccan Peninsular Central Division. The height of Chandoli National Park is 1900 to 3300 ft. from Sea- Level. The height of Sahyadri Mountain range is about 2100 to 4300 ft. approximately. Elevation of the park ranges from 589–1,044 meters above mean sea level. Longitudes 73°40′ and 73°53′ E Latitudes 17°03′ and 17°20’N

Mammals :– Tiger, Gaur, Panther, Sloth bear, Sambar, Barking deer, Giant Indian squirrel, Leopard cat, Mouse deer, Blackbucks etc.

Reptiles :– Calotes, Bark Gecko, Dwarf Gecko, Rock Gecko, Crocodile, Common Indian Monitor, Skink Snake, Common Cat Snake, Indian Python, Dhamen, Indian Cobra etc.

Birds :– Jungle Babbler, Common Babbler, Yellow-billed Babbler, Rufous Babbler, White-checked Barbet, Green Bee-eater, Erasion Black bird, Red-vented Bulbul, Crested Bunting, White-eyed Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Common Stonechat, Laughing Dove, White-billed Drongo, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, Pale-billed Flowerpecker, White-browed Fantail, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, White-throated Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Black-throated Munia, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Rock Pigeon, Indian Peafowl, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Warblers etc.

CHANDOLI DAM ONE OF THE BIGGEST DAM

Possibly the world's first soil dam. Work was started in 1976. Used for agricultural purposes only although a small electricity generation plant also runs beside. The dam is built on the Varna river which forms the boundary between Sangli and Kolhapur districts. There are bare plateaus and rocks as well as caves in the park. Water is an important environmental resource. Chandoli National Park receives heavy rainfall up to 4764 mm per annum. Even though, the park area faces the problem of scarcity of water mostly during the summer season. The temporary springs and streams must be converted into temporary or seasonal ponds by a construction of an embankment across the flow. Under the habitat improvement, development of new springs and new water bodies should be included (Thakur et al. 1993). In the present investigation, it was observed that there was a construction of nala bundings in certain areas which is insufficient.

BACK WATERS

The back waters for the dam form the refuge for the Chandoli National Park. This dam is very old. The villages near the dam are aarala, kokrud, shedgewadi.The route is like karad-shedgewadi-arala-chandoli.it is nearly 50 kms away from karad.iIt is small one dam.there is a sanctuary spot. SC The Chandoli National Park is near the Chandoli Dam and is surrounded by Ratnagiri District, Satara District and Kolahapur District. The Park envelopes the Sahyadiri Range in the Western Ghats and protects the perennial streams and water holes as well as the Vasant Sagar Reservoir. The altitude of the park ranges from 589 to 1044 metres above mean sea level. There are many streams and the major river that flows through the Park is Warna River.

The demand of water is increasing along with increasing population and type of use (Porter, 1978). The received rainwater is drained away very fast by streams and rivers and some water percolates in top soil and rocks. So the small streams and rivulets of hilly area become dry during summer and create shortage of water to wildlife and people (Basak et al. 1986). So the management of water resource in the park area is need of for the conservation of park. 255 The terrain of entire protected area is undulating with different dimensions so the distribution and availability of water is uneven in this park. The 80% of total protected area is effectively covered with water facility and remaining 20% of the park area in higher reaches in the region of Gave, Chandoli khurd, Male, Patharpunj, Rundiv, and Jawali were facing the problem of water source for local people, domestic animals and wild animals. The construction of ponds and tanks are best means to store the surface water for domestic purpose. People have to use surface water during monsoon and subsurface water during post-monsoon period (Pitchaiah, 1991).

WATCHTOWER

Vamdevan & Vasu (1986) suggested the following water management techniques for the Western Ghats. Bench terracing, nala bunding, nala training, contour staggered trenches, micro-irrigation including drip irrigation using flexible PVC pipes and bamboos, mini sprinklers, subsoil injector and indigenous drip irrigation using earthen pots as well as diaphragm wall, hydraulic rams, stormwater harvest warping, bordered gardens, development of micro-catchments, eco-mulching cum irrigation for plantation crops and use of windbreaks and shelter. Giles and Wunderlich (1981) have suggested the similar techniques for the water resource management.

How To Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to Chandoli is the Urun Islampur airport at Kolhapur 30 km away, followed by the Pune airport (210 km), and the Mumbai airport (380 km). From here, one can hire a taxi or hop onto any of the state-run MSRTC buses.

By Rail

Sangli is the nearest railway junction from Chandoli located 75 km away. Other nearby railway stations are at Miraj (83 km), Kolhapur (80 km), and Karad (47 km). From here too one can hail a cab or take the bus.

By Road

Chandoli is well connected to major towns in Maharashtra like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Satara, Kolhapur. One can avail the regular bus service run by MSRTC or hire private/shared taxis to get to Chandoli National Park at economical rates.

Chandoli National Park Timings

The Chandoli park is open for tourists everyday from 7 AM to 10 AM, and then 3 PM to 6 PM



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