Chandoli National Park is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, India. Spanning an area of approximately 317 square kilometres, it is a protected area that showcases the region's natural beauty and biodiversity.
The national park is named after the Chandoli Dam, constructed on the river Krishna and created a vast reservoir. The park's landscape is a tapestry of rolling hills, dense forests, sparkling rivers, and picturesque valleys. The elevation ranges from 589 meters to 1,041 meters, creating a varied topography contributing to the diversity of its flora and fauna.
Chandoli National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers. It is home to a wide range of animal species, including the Indian bison (gaur), tiger, leopard, sloth bear, sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar, and various species of primates. The park is also a birdwatcher's paradise, hosting over 123 species of resident and migratory birds. From majestic raptors like the Crested Serpent Eagle and Black Eagle to colourful avian delights like the Malabar Grey Hornbill and Malabar Whistling Thrush, the park offers a delightful birding experience.
The vegetation of Chandoli National Park is predominantly composed of moist deciduous forests interspersed with patches of evergreen forests, grasslands, and bamboo thickets. The woods are adorned with a rich tapestry of tree species such as teak, ain, sham, hired, jambul, and bamboo. The lush greenery provides shelter and sustenance to the diverse wildlife in the park.
Chandoli National Park is also known for its stunning natural attractions. The park is adorned with numerous waterfalls, including the majestic Vasant Sagar Waterfall, which cascades from around 200 meters. These cascades create a mesmerizing spectacle, especially during the monsoon season when the park is enveloped in mist, and the rivers flow with renewed vigour.
The park offers ample opportunities for trekking, hiking, and nature walks. The undulating trails lead through thick forests, across gushing streams, and up to scenic viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes. The trek to Prachitgad and Bhairavgad forts, located within the park, is popular among trekkers.
Preserving the ecological balance and protecting the flora and fauna is the primary objective of Chandoli National Park. The park authorities undertake various conservation measures, including anti-poaching patrols, habitat restoration, and community engagement initiatives to ensure the long-term survival of the park's biodiversity.
Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is situated near Chandoli National Park and is known for its diverse flora and fauna. It is home to various species of animals, including tigers, leopards, deer, and birds. The sanctuary offers jungle safaris and trekking opportunities.
Dajipur Bison Sanctuary, also known as Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, is located near Kolhapur, Chandoli National Park. It is renowned for its population of Indian bison, also known as gaur. The sanctuary allows spotting these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Amba Ghat is a picturesque mountain pass situated near Chandoli National Park. It offers breathtaking views of the Sahyadri mountain range, dense forests, and valleys. The area is known for its natural beauty and is a popular spot for trekking and photography.
Gaganbawada is a scenic hill station located near Chandoli National Park. Lush greenery, mist-covered hills, and numerous waterfalls surround it. Gaganbawada offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
Jai Sagar Dam is a beautiful reservoir situated near Chandoli National Park. It offers a tranquil environment and is a great spot for boating and picnicking. Picturesque landscapes surround the dam, adding to its charm.
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Chandoli National Park and is known for its rich biodiversity. It is home to various species of animals, including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and reptiles. The sanctuary is also renowned for the Koyna Dam, a popular tourist attraction.
Mahabaleshwar is a famous hill station in the Sahyadri mountain range, near Chandoli National Park. It is known for its pleasant climate, strawberry farms, and panoramic views. Mahabaleshwar offers attractions like Arthur's Seat, Pratapgad Fort, and stunning viewpoints.