Achanakmar: Beyond the tiger show - the hidden treasures of central Chattisgarh

Bilaspur - Amarkantak highway inside Achanakmar tiger reserve, Chattisgarh
A quiet road running through Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Central India's Chattisgarh state
The state of Chattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh a few years ago. The state is rich in forests and minerals. Though the state has been in news of late due to naxalism - organised political violence, the central and northern parts of the state still make for a safe destination for tourists. Inherting the tourist infrastructure of the Madhya Pradesh Government, Chattisgarh still has many pretty and picturesque rest houses amidst natural scenery.

The famous Kanha Tiger Reserve, in Madhya Pradesh, is not to be seen in isolation. For, it is connected with many other tiger reserves through forested corridors. These corridors are critical for the tigers of the whole of Central India's Satpura Maikal landscape (SML) as they allow the big cats to freely move and disperse to the more safe and prey-loaded parks. Among these tiger reserves is Achanakmar. The forests of Achanakmar and its corridors are pristine and mostly untouched by development...



They accommodate the dispersing tigers of Kanha tiger reserve. WWF-India is doing some excellent work led by Shivaji Chavan, coordinator of WWF-India's Central Indian Satpuda - Maikal landscape (CISML).

We flew into Raipur, the capital of Chattisgarh state on early morning of 7 Nov and drove through Bilaspur to the southern part of Achanakmar Tiger Reserve. We halted at Amarkantak village, surrounded by dense forests on all side.

Below are some pictures from the drive from Raipur to Amarkantak through Achanakmar Tiger Reserve.

Cattle blocking a highway at Raipur, Chattisgarh
A road block on the drive from Raipur city north to Bilaspur town. Chattisgarh is a new state and the infrastructure is being developed. The state's capital city Raipur doesn't reflect the hall marks of neighbouring state capitals like Bhopal. But with its rich minerals, it might well turn out to be a  city with good infrastructure in the next couple of decades, provided there is political will.
A hoarding at a village on the Bilaspur - Amarkantak highway in Achanakmar tiger reserve, Chattisgarh
A hoarding inside Achanakmar Tiger Reserve. In the background is a human settlement. There are many villages inside the tiger reserve that are being relocated. Although none in the corridor are being done so.

A hoarding on the Bilaspur - Amarkantak highway in Achanakmar tiger reserve, Chattisgarh
A hoarding inside the tiger reserve

Farmland and a settlement inside the tiger reserve. There are many villages inside the tiger reserve that are being relocated. Although none in the corridor are being done so.

A village inside Achanakmar tiger reserve, Chattisgarh
A langur in the forest

Hanuman langurs on the Bilaspur - Amarkantak highway in Achanakmar tiger reserve, Chattisgarh
Fewer tourists means less feeding hands for these langurs. Hence, they are well behaved than their cousins in the better known parks across India.
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Comments

  1. Did not understand why the land within the corridor is not being reclaimed?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved this post. Especially since I am planning to go to achanakmar in near future.

    Is there any way that I can join WWF and do active work?
    Avinash

    ReplyDelete

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