Chandoli National Park
The Chandoli National Park in Maharashtra should be a major stop in the itinerary of Maharashtra wildlife tours. It was declared as a National Park in the year of 2004. Total area of the park is 317.67 Km2. Earlier it was a Wildlife Sanctuary declared in 1985.
Chandoli Park forms southern portion of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, with Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary forming the northern part of the reserve.
The 741.22 km2 (286.19 sq mi) 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 reserve on May 21, 2007. The Sahyadri Tiger Reserve was then estimated to have 9 tigers and 66 leopards.
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 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 Kalavantin 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.
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