Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful hill station replete with wildlife, lakes, waterfalls and viewpoints, located in the Amravati District in the Vidarbha region of the state of Maharashtra. It is situated at an altitude of 1118 m and has the added dimension of being the only coffee-growing area in Maharashtra.
This city is named after Keechaka, who was killed by Bhima and was thrown into this valley, named ‘dari’ in Marathi. The valley thus came to be known as Keechakadara or Chikhaldara. It is the place where the Pandavas had taken refuge for year of ‘Agyatwaas’. It is also believed that Lord Krishna brought his wife Rukmini at this place.
Chikhaldara is full of deep valleys, and these valleys are full of velvet mist and majestic trees and famous for its sanctuaries, scenic points and historical forts situated in and around the hill station. Chikhaldara and surrounding regions attracts a lot of nature lovers for its forests and the wildlife that thrives.
Flora: Teak, Ain, Bamboo, Tiwas, Dhaoda, Kusum, Mahua.
Fauna: Tiger, Leopard, Sloth bear, Wild dog, Jackal, Sambar, Indian Bison, Barking Deer, Blue Bull, Spotted Deer, Chausingha, Ratel, Flying Squirrel, Wild Boar, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, Porcupine, Pangolin, Mouse deer.
How To Reach Chikhaldara
|Chikhaldara by Rail|
Badnera is the nearest railway station located around 110 km from the Chikhaldara, which is on the Central Railway Line. Many trains pass through this place and some of them are Nvajivan Express, Maharashtra Express, Chennai-Jodhpur Express and a few others. Taxis are available to reach chikhaldara.
Chikhaldara by Air
The Akola Airport is the nearest Domestic Airport to Chikhaldara, at a distance of around 150 km. Taxis can be hired from the airport to reach Chikhaldara at an affordable and reasonable fare.
Chikhaldara by Road
The Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary is very well linked by road. Many towns and cities in Maharashtra are connected to the Sanctuary by means of daily, regular buses of state transport and private tour operators.
Best Season / Best time to visit Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary
The time between October to March is generally considered as the best time to visit the Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Winters ( December to February) temperatures range from a minimum of 15°C to a maximum of 25°C during the winter months. Travelers may require light protective winter clothing if they are planning on visiting the place during this period.
Summers (March to May) are mildly hot and visiting the place during this time is possible. The temperatures range from a minimum of 32°C and can rise up to a maximum of 38°C. A cool breeze can be felt in the nights.
Monsoons (June to September) are characterized by heavy rainfall. Visiting during the monsoon season is difficult as the heavy rains make it difficult to experience outdoor activities.
Major Attractions of Chikhaldara
Bhimkund is located 2 km south of the Alladhoh village in Chikhaldara, on the route to Paratwada. It is about 3,500 ft deep and is well-known for the nearby waterfalls and cascades. Legend has it that Bhima, the mightiest of all the Pandavas killed Kichaka and threw his body deep into the valley. That is where this place derived its name from.
Melghat Tiger Reserve
Melghat tiger reserve covers an area of around 1597 sq. km of tropical dry deciduous forest. Besides tiger, there are numerous other animal species residing in this reserve, such as nilgai, flying squirrel, wild boar, wild dog, jackal, chital, mouse deer, python, porcupine and many more.
There are two musiam at chikhaldara area, one of them is at Maharashtra Forest Rainger’s College, Chikhaldara. The sample of wild animals and plants are also available to see. One of the rare ‘focils’ is also available. Another musiam is of Tiger Project, The sample of animals and plants are also put in this musiam.
Narnala Fort, popularly known as Shahanur Fort, is situated in Akola District of Maharashtra. There are three small forts at Narnala, namely Zafrabad in the east, Narnala at the centre and Teliagarh in the west. Narnala Fort is believed to be constructed by Gond rulers. With 27 gates, the fort covers a huge area of around 362 acres. The fort has sultanate style of architecture, which is beautifully designed and craved.
Bakadari and Kalalkund Waterfalls
Bakadari and Kalalkund are two majestic waterfalls located in Chikhaldara. This magnificent high waterfall can be reached from Aadnadi along the mandatory string about 5 kilometers. Kalalkund falls about a km. before the Bakadari Waterfall. The middling partition of Bakadari is flanged by high ridges . This is recognize as most magnificent waterfall in the whole area .
The Bir Lake is an artificial Lake made during the reign of the Britishers in India, at around 1890. It was built almost 120 years ago Basalt has been employed to build this lake which was once used as a source of supply to the town of Chikhaldara.
Gawaligad Fort is situated in the Amravati District, close to Chikhaldara. This fort is around 300 years old and was set up an astounding 1000 years back, sometime around the 12th Century. Back in that time, the King of Gawali had constructed this place.
The main specialty of this point is that when someone shouts here, the sound is reflected back and heard five times. Hence, this place is named as the Five Echo Point or Panchbol Point. This area is mainly a deep valley formed by four mountains, along with waterfalls.
It is about 10Kms from Paratwada. It has large waterfall and cascade during rainy season’s. Howevere access is dificult and one has to walk 5kms from village Chota Barhanpur.
Devi Point, located in the Amravati District, The site has a local Goddess temple and one peculiar thing about this temple is that water flows continuously inside the shrine, from a stone. Visitors can also get the beautiful serene views of Chikhaldara from Devi Point.