Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Time Required : November - June

Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chhattisgarh Overview

Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is situated in Chattisgarh, around 60 kms from Bilaspur. Categorised as a tropical deciduous forest, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is breathtakingly beautiful with the most varied flora and fauna. This tiger reserve is a part of the huge Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve, and hence, it is home to more than 600 species of different medicinal plants. The scenic Maniyari River flows right from the centre of this reserve which is the forests lifeline. Even if it’s not for a proper trail through the jungle, one can get bowled over by the beauty of this reserve in just a small trek through a few parts of this park.

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Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Entry and Timings for Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

The reserve is open on all days of the week, from 8:00 am till 6:00 pm. However, it may vary during special occasions and festivals. The entry fee structure is mentioned below:
· India – Rs. 50/ Person
· Indian Children – Rs. 20/ Child
· Foreign Nationals – Rs. 100 / Person
· Foreign Children – Rs. 35/ Child
· Still Camera – Rs. 50/ Camera
· Videography- Rs. 100/ Video Camera

Flora and Fauna of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

Achanakmar Tiger

Trees like Bija, Sal, Teak, Dhawara, Khamar, Saja and much more are a part of the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve. One can find a variety of medicinal plants inside this forest. Apart from Bengal tigers and leopards, the forest is also home to bison, Indian giant squirrels, chinkara, and black buck, many different species of monkeys, hyena, chital, sambar deer, wild dogs, flying squirrels and more than 150 species of birds.

Safari in Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

A visit to Achanakmar Tiger Reserve would be incomplete without a jungle safari and if you are planning a trip there, don’t forget to book your safari beforehand.

The safaris start every year from November till June and anytime between these months is a good time to visit Achanakmar Tiger Reserve. However, the forest experiences the most number of tourists from November-January. So, if you want to avoid the crowd, then you can skip visiting the sanctuary during these months. However, the park remains closed during the monsoons, i.e., from June-October.
The safari has two options, bus safari and jeep safari. The jeep safari timings are 6:00 am – 10:00 am and from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The costs range from Rs. 2000 - Rs.3000/ jeep and the jeeps can carry six tourists, one guide and one driver. The bus safari timings are just the same; however, the cost is Rs. 500/person. The buses can carry 20 tourists + the driver.

Geography of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the Mungeli district in 1975, under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act and its provisions. It was declared a Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger initiative of 2009. A short trek through the park is enough to reveal its outstanding biodiversity and mesmerise the visitors. This prominent wild tourist hub is spread over 557 sq km of area. The natural sanctuary attracts wildlife enthusiasts from several places and promises to astonish you with its varied biodiversity. The wildlife sanctuary also has a restaurant, coffee house and other facilities on its premises. There are forest cottages and resorts that provide accommodation to visitors. Travellers are advised to make their bookings in advance if they are planning on staying.

History & Etymology of Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Achanakmar Tiger Reserve comprises almost 557.55 kms of deciduous forest. Sprawling between the Kanha-Achanakmar Corridor and the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, this sanctuary is a part of Bilaspur and Mungeli Forest division in the northwestern Chattisgarh. Belgahna is the nearest railway station from this tiger reserve, and you can also reach the forest from Pendra Road and Bilaspur Railway station. Anchanakmar Tiger Reserve has a coffee house, a food joint and several other facilities for the visitors. Amarkantak is pretty close to this sanctuary, which is the source of the Narmada and Son Rivers.

Best Time to Visit Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season. The best time to pay a visit would be from November to June. The weather conditions remain clear making it easy for any sightings. Dust cyclones often accompany the hot summers. Travellers are advised to check the climate conditions in advance.

How to Reach Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

By Train: Bilaspur Railway station is the closest to the reserve. So, once you reach Bilaspur through a train, take a taxi from the station and reach Achanakmar Tiger Reserve which is around 60 kms away.
By Road: If you can reach Bilaspur junction by road through the Mumbai-Howrah line, you need to keep driving for another 1 and a half hour to reach Achanakmar Tiger Reserve.
By Air: The nearest airport is Raipur, and it is around 200 kms away from the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve. You can hire a cab from the airport to reach your destination.

Restaurants & Places to Stay

The Tiger Reserve has three forest rest-houses which were built by the British. Named as Achanakmar, Surhi and Lamni Chaparwa, these rest-houses has very basic amenities for the tourists but are very well-maintained. The sanctuary also has a restaurant inside which makes sure that the tourists can get a taste of local foods inside the jungle.

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