Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary
Cradled in a portion of Vindhyachal Mountain Ranges, passing through Raisen and Sehore Districts of Madhya Pradesh, Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most fascinating abodes for a wide variety of wildlife. The sanctuary runs parallel on the northern side of Narmada River, the "life line of Madhya Pradesh". Kolar River forms the western boundary of the Sanctuary. The sanctuary was first notified in 1976 and then extended in 1983.
The Sanctuary remains unique in many ways, as it is not just the best Flora and Fauna of the Central India, with spectacular Teak Forests, beautiful hills and meandering rivers, sustaining the rich biodiversity, round the year, but it also has many natural and archeological spenders to offer to its visitors. There are spectacles a many, as one drives into the forests, with never a dull moment.
The Sanctuary has Bhimbetika "a group of rock shelters and rock paintings" which is one of the "World Heritage Site" declared by UNESCO, and hence the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is of International importance. 'Chinkara' an endangered species is also found in the Sanctuary. Ratapani reservoir, after which the sanctuary is named, forms a good habitat for crocodiles and other aquatic fauna. Dahod reservoir is another significant water body inside the sanctuary.
The variety of habitat provides sufficient food and shelter for wildlife in the sanctuary. With over 20 tigers, 35 Leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, jackals and foxes inhabit the sanctuary. The major constituents of herbivores res are spotted Deer, blue bull, sambar, barking deer, chinkara, black buck and langur and rhesus monkeys. Sloth Bears are also common in the sanctuary. Crocodiles find a good habitat in Ratapani reservoir. The area is an abode for more than 150 species of birds including paradise flycatcher, the state bird of Madhya Pradesh. A lot of local and migratory birds are seen in various reservoirs in the sanctuary.
In the year 2008, looking to the ever-increasing numbers of tigers inside the sanctuary, the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India decided to declare the Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve.
The sanctuary is spread over an area of 900 Sq.Kms. The sanctuary Head Quarter is just 35 kms. away from Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. It is approachable by road, rail and air route. One can enter the sanctuary either through Barkheda (on Bhopal-Nagpur NH-69) or through Delawadi (on Obedullaganj-Rehti road) or through simplex Jhiri (on Bhopal-Kolar Road).
Things to do
Kathotiya Rock Shelters
Kathotiya is beautiful and elaborate site containing rock shelters and rock paintings, dating thousands of years back. Home to the Bhil and Bhilala tribes of central India, Kathotiya village lies secluded in the middle of a green valley surrounded by steep hills (Vindhyachal Ranges).
Kathotiya rock shelters are spread over two hills, facing each other and have over a 100 marked, documented and researched, shelters and caves containing a variety of rock art, depicting what is believed to be a timeline period from 17000 to 500-700 years back.
It is a beautiful walk through the forest and hills to the rock shelters.
Best time to visit