Melghat was declared a Tiger Reserve and was among the first nine Tiger Reserves notified in 1973-74 under the Project Tiger. It is located at 21°26′45″N 77°11′50″ECoordinates: 21°26′45″N 77°11′50″E in northern part of Amravati District of Maharashtra State in India. The Tapti River and the Gawilgadh ridge of theSatpura Range form the boundaries of the Reserve. In 1985 Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary was created The Tapi river flows through the northern end of the Melghat Tiger Reserve, through a forest which lies within the catchment area of the river system. Many different kinds of wildlife, both flora and fauna, are found here.
Gugamal National Park, which forms the core area of the Reserve, has an area of 361.28 km2. carved out in 1987.
At the northern extreme of the Amravati district of Maharashtra, on the border of Madhya Pradesh, lies the Melghat in the South-western Satpura mountain ranges. Melghat means 'meeting of the ghats', which describes the area as a large tract of unending hills and ravines scarred by jagged cliffs and steep climbs. The Melghat area was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1974. Presently, the total area of the Reserve is around 1677 km2. There are no villages in the core area.
The forest is tropical dry deciduous in nature, dominated by teak (Tectona grandis). The Reserve is a catchment area for five major rivers: the Khandu, Khapra, Sipna, Gadga and Dolar, all of which are tributaries of the river Tapti. The main fauna found here are tiger, leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, jackal, sambar, gaur, barking deer, nilgai, chital, chausingha, ratel, flying squirrel, wild boar, langur, Rhesus monkey, porcupine, pangolin, mouse deer, python, otter and blacknaped hare.
There are passes in Melghat that invaders from the north traversed to reach Berar, where the Imad Shahi dynasty had been founded in 1484. The historic forts, Narnala and Gawilgarh, guarded the main east-west ridge. In 1803, in the Second Maratha War, Colonel Arthur Wellesley, who later became the Duke of Wellington, captured the Gawilgarh fort from the Marathas.
There are 61 villages in the Reserve, all outside the core area. 22 are in the buffer zone and 39 in the Multiple Use Area (MUA). Human population in the buffer zone and MUA is 11024 and 15642, respectively, as per 1994 census.
The inhabitants are mainly tribal, largely of the Korku tribe (80 per cent) and others like Gond, Nihal, Balai, Gaolan, Gawali, Halbi, Wanjari, etc. All inhabitants depend on the forest for bonafide domestic needs of firewood, timber, fodder, medicinal plants, and non-timber forest products like fruit, flowers, gum and medicinal plants. Their main source of income is from labor and rainy season agriculture. They augment their income by collecting non-timber forest products like Mahuali, flowers, seeds, charoli, gumcula, dhawada, tendu-leaves, and Musali (a medicinal plant).
Melghat, located in the Amaravati district of Maharastra, is a Tiger Reserve wildlife sanctuary. Melghat Tiger Reserve is located on the southern offshoot of the Satpura Hill Range in Central India, called Gavilgarh hill. It is 225 km west of Nagpur. It was established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1967, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1974. It was among the first nine Tiger Reserves notified in 1973-74 under the 'Project Tiger', a wildlife conservation project initiated in India in 1972 to protect the Bengal Tigers.
The Government of India in consultation with the State Government and in accordance with the recommendations of the Task Force appointed on the matter of Tiger Conservation, by the Indian Board of Wildlife established nine Tiger reserve in the first phase in the country during the year 1973-74. Melghat Tiger Reserve was one of these Nine Tiger Reserve and came in to being on 22.2.1974 initially over an area of 1571.74 Sq. K.m. This was the first Tiger Reserve to be declared in the State of Maharashtra, which subsequently get expanded to 2029.04 Sq. Km.
The Melghat nestling in the Satpuda hill ranges of Forsythls and Dunbar’s Central India with vast tracts of inviolate natural forests consisting of unique and representative ecosystems with rich Bio-diversity and varied habitats offered by deep valleys (locally known as Khoras) and high hills (locally known as Ballas), daunted with rivers and nallahs having water all the year round in the “Doh” was the natural choice for the community of foresters in Maharashtra, when it came to choose an area for preserving it for posterity and for ensuring that the ‘Tiger’ the most magnificent and royal of the wild species, could sustain a viable population and survive for the eternity.
The Management plan for Melghat Tiger Reserve has been sanctioned by the Government for the period 2004-05 to 2013-14. The working in Melghat Tiger Reserve is being carried out as per the sanctioned Management plan.
Situated in the Satpura hill ranges of Central India, Melghat Tiger Reserve lies in Melghat Forests of Amravati district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra bordering Madhya Pradesh in the North and East. Its area is geographically located as given below.
Latitude: Between 210 151 N and 210 451 N
Longitude: Between 760 571 E and 770 301 E
Altitude: 312M to 1178 M above MSL.
The entire area of M.T.R. is administratively Controlled by Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Project Tiger Melghat, Amravati. The area of M.T.R. is divided in to three Wildlife divisions having headquarter at Paratwada and Akot. The buffer area of Wan, Ambabarwa and Narnala Sanctuaries and part of Melghat Sanctuary and Gugamal National Park managed by Dy.C.F. Akot and is under the control of Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Melghat Tiger Reserve.
Melghat is approachable by Road, Rail and Air. Semadoh is the main centre from tourist point of view. Narnala sanctuary is another tourist centre of the MTR with religions as wall as historical points of view having a fortess built probably befor 600 years et is easy to approach via Akot in Akolaa District of Maharashtra State .
Nagpur : (160Km) Amravati ; (50Km.) Paratwada ; (45Km.) Semadoh.
Nagpur : (110Km.) Warud ; (90Km.) Paratwada ; (45Km.) Semadoh.
Amravati:(50Km.) Paratwada;(32Km.) Chikhaldara ;(25Km.) Semadoh.
Nagpur : (210Km.)Paratwada ;(32Km) Chikhaldara; (25Km.) Semadoh.
Nagpur : (210Km.) Paratwada ; (45Km.) Semadoh;(13 Km.)Kolkaz
Akola : (45Km.) Akot ; (22Km) Khatkali ;(58Km.) Harisal.
Beitul (M.P.) : (50Km.) Gudgaon ; (50Km.)Paratwada ; (45KM) Semadoh.
Indore (M.P.) : (200Km.) Burhanpur ;(87 Km) Dharni ; (26Km.) Harisal ; (25Km.) Semadoh
Amravati : (90 km ) Akot (18 km) Shahnoor (7 km) Narnala.
Akola : (45 km) Akot (18 km) Shahnoor (7 km) Narnala
Badnera Junction (10Km) from Amravati – Mumabai – Nagpur – Kolkata route.
Akola Junction : Mumbai –Nagpur- Kolkata route
Khandwa : Mumbai – Bhopal – route
Betul : Nagpur – Delhi route
Tukaithad ( Meter Guage ) : Akola- Jaipur routs.
Nagpur – Mumbai, Delhi- Nagpur, Raipur- Nagpur flights.