India is a galore of tourist attractions. On virtue of this the country has been able to find a significant position in the global map. The wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have contributed a lot in making India hold its position. Orissa, Assam, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Kerala are some examples that bear witness to this fact. Sitanadi wildlife sanctuary in Chattisgarh in Central India displays a wide range of wild animals.
Chattisgarh is marked by dense forests and greenery. It has 3 national parks and 11 wildlife sanctuaries. Wild buffaloes and hill mynas are the state animal and state bird respectively and as such these are the main attractions of the wildlife of Chhattisgarh.
Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is named after the Sitanadi River. This river originates in the middle of sanctuary and merges in the Mahanadi River. Thus no one can escape the beauty of the picturesque sight of the river flowing amidst the sanctuary.
Prior to November 2000, this park was located in Madhya Pradesh in Central India. On the 1st November, 2000 the 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking south-eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh gained statehood. After that, the park came under the area of Chhattisgarh state.
The sanctuary was established in the year 1974 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 of India and Biogeographical province 4.8.4 (Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest).
Area and location:
It spreads over an area of about 556 sq km consisting of a wide range of wild animals and fascinating flora. The altitude of the sanctuary ranges from 327-736 meters.
Flora and fauna:
It is really worth a visit in order to view the fascinating flora and fauna of the sanctuary. Moist peninsular Sal, bamboo forests and teak are the main floral attraction of the park. You will also find Harra, Ber, Semal, Mahua and Tend. This lush vegetation supports a good number of wild animals. The surrounding area is a part of the Indo-Gangetic plain.
Nilgai, Gaur, Flying Squirrels, Jackals, Four-horned Antelopes, Tigers, Leopards, Chinkara, Black Buck, Porcupine, Monkey, Bison, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Wild Dogs, Chital, Sambar, Muntjac, Cobra, Python, chital Axis, sambar Cervus unicolor, Wild Boar, etc. are the important faunal species found in the park.
There are a lot of bird species like Egrets, Peafowl, Pheasant, Crimson Breasted Barbet, Teetar, Tree Pie, Parrots, Bulbul, Racket-tailed Drongos and Herons.
The forest product of the sanctuary is depleted because of 2 reasons -
- the constant grazing of cattle from nearby villages
- the villagers also collect some of these forest product to earn their livelihood
Steps are being taken to develop this sanctuary as a tiger reserve of this region.
Best time to visit:
November to June remains the best time to visit the wide range of animals and birds.
You can accommodate in the hotels of Raipur. Hotel Grand Arjun, Hotel Mayura, Hotel Kanishka, Bayon International Hotel, Hotel Ajanta, Hotel Sandeepa, etc.
How to reach the park?
Raipur, the state capital is the nearest airport. It is 170 km away from the park. The nearest railhead is at Dhamtari at Raipur. Raipur is well connected by road with all the major cities in the country.
What else do you get?
Dhamtari district has a lot of attractions like the paddy fields, river Mahanadi, Bilay Mata Temple, Maa Kumbhdayne, Angar Moti, Khallari Sankra. Take time to visit all these along with the center of attraction that is Sitanadi sanctuary.
With so much of variety and diversity, a trip to the Sitanadi wildlife sanctuary would definitely be pleasant. Watching the wildlife and their unusual lifestyle can be of interest to both young and old. So embark on a journey to this park in one of the most picturesque states in India.