Ratapani Tiger Reserve

Central India Tourism

INTRODUCTION

Ratapani Tiger Reserve is an upcoming wildlife tourism destination, close to Bhopal city of Madhya Pradesh state. It lies in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. This forest is spread over hills of Vindhya ranges. It is one of the beautiful teak forest, just 60 kms south-east of Bhopal city. While traveling from Bhopal to Pachmarhi hill station, we may pass through this finest forest. Despite of being at close proximity of Bhopal city, it is untouched forest area with hills and cliffs. It gives shelters to different mammals, birds, reptiles etc. In addition to this, it also conserves rich heritage treasures of caves, rock-paintings, rock-shelters etc. One of the most famous rock-shelters of Central India and UNESCO World Heritage Site Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are also part of Ratapani tiger reserve. In addition to this, many other tourist attractions are located inside the reserve area like Ginnorgarh fort, Ratapani dam etc.

HISTORY

Ratapani forest was declared as wildlife sanctuary in year 1976. Since then, it retained this status till year 2013 when National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) granted the approval to upgrade this wildlife sanctuary to tiger reserve. State government of Madhya Pradesh is working on it to notify the tiger reserve area, create core-buffer zones for reserve and develop it.

Jungle Safari

Ratapani jungle safari is performed mostly by own car or jeep. Here local safari operators are not available thus if you are not staying at local lodge and wish to undertake jungle safari then you can go inside on your own car, by paying the due gate entrance charges. If you would like to do jeep safari, as done in other national parks, then you are required to stay at local resort who maintian safari jeeps for jungle visit. Here safari track is short thus covers only limited part of forest. Work is going on to increase its total length so that tourists can explore more areas of this forest and thus overall wildlife experience will be improved.

HOW TO REACH

By Flight

Nearest airport for reaching Ratapani tiger reserve is Bhopal Airport (70kms/02:00hrs). It is connected with Delhi and Mumbai airports. We offer Bhopal airport taxi service from this airport to nearby destinations like Ratapani, Sanchi, Bhimbetka, Pachmarhi, Satpura national park etc. Second option is Indore Airport at a distance of 250kms. It is connected with Delhi and Mumbai airports. We offer Indore airport taxi service for reaching Ratapani tiger reserve, Ujjain, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar etc.

DISTANCE CHART
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Bhopal to Ratapani tiger reserve 60
Pachmarhi to Ratapani  (Jhirri) 160
Satpura National Park to Ratapani forest(Jhirri) 100
Sanchi to Ratapani forest 120
Jabalpur to Ratapani tiger reserve 280
Indore to Ratapani forest 260

By Train/ Railways :

Nearest railway stations for reaching Ratapani tiger reserve are Obedullaganj, Itarsi, Bhopal railway station etc. We offer taxi services to Ratapani tiger reserve from all these important railway stations and other nearby tourist destinations and cities.

By Road :

Ratapani is best accessible by road. It lies in central of Madhya Pradesh state in Raisen district. Its nearby cities are Itarsi and Bhopal. Their is regular bus service from Itarsi and Bhopal to this tiger reserve. Travel route remains open throughout the year.

RATAPANI TAXI SERVICE

For reaching Ratapani tiger reserve, taxi is the most preferred way. More than 95% of tourist arrivals and departures in Ratapani forest are done by taxi vehicles. As their is poor bus connectivity from prominent arrival points, car hire is the best way to reach the forest area. Over office is located in Bhopal city to provide tourist taxi service from Bhopal to Ratapani tiger reserve or vice versa. Similarly we also offer cab service from Satpura national park, Pachmarhi, Sanchi, Jabalpur etc.

JUNGLE SAFARI

Here safari activities are controlled by Forest Department on current basis. Ratapani jungle safari booking is possible from counter only. Like Kanha national park, Bandhavgarh, Pench national par, Satpura national park, here online safari booking option is not available. Still one can easily get the safari ticket from booking counter. Visitors are required to carry their photo-id document during safari drives.

MAMMAL ATTRACTIONS

Here we have tried to make a mammals checklist of Ratapani tiger reserve.
RATAPANI MAMMALS LIST
Species Common Name Local Name Scientific Name
Cats Tiger Bagh / Sher Panthera tigris
Leopard /Panther Tendua / Gulbagh Panthera pardus
Jungle Cat Junglee Billi Felis chaus
Antelopes, Gazelles Blue Bull Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus
Chinkara Chinkara Gazella gazella
Four-horned Antelope Chowsingha Tetraceros quadricornis
Black Buck Kala Hiran Antilope cervicapra
Bovine Indian Gaur Gaur Bos gaurus
Dogs Wolf Bhediya Canis lupus
Indian Wild Dog Dhole/Sone Kutta/Jungle Kutta Cuon alpinus
Jackal Gidhar / Siyar Canis aureus
Indian Fox Lomdi Vulpes bengalensis
Deer Sambar Sambar Cervus unicolor
Spotted Deer Chital Axis axis
Muntjac/Barking Deer Kakar Muntiacus muntjak
Hyaena Striped Hyaena Lakar-baggha Hyaena hyaena
Bears Sloth Bear Bhalu / Reech Melursus ursinus
Apes, Monkeys,Lemurs Common Langur Langur Presbytis entellus
Rehus Macaque Bandar Macaca mulatta
Pig Wild Boar Junglee Suar Sus scrofa
Civets Small Indian Civer Kasturi Viverricula indica
Common Palm Civer Kasturi Paradoxurus hermaphroditus
Weasels Honey Badger Kabar Bijoo Melivora capensis
Mongoose Ruddy Mongoose Nevla Herpestes smithii
Common Mongoose Nevla Herpestes edwardsi
Pangolins Indian Pangolin Chinti Khor Manis crassicaudata
Insectivores Indian Tree Shrew Bans Gilahri Anathana ellioti
Grey Musk Shrew Chachunder Suncus murinus
Bats Fulvous Fruit Bat Chamgadar Rousettus leschenaulti
Flying Fox Chamgadar Pteropus giganteus
Indain False Vampire Chamgadar Megaerma lyra
Indian Pipistrelle Chamgadar Pipistrellus coromandra
Rodents Five-striped Squirrel Gilahri Funambulus pennati
Indian Porcupine Sehi Hystrix indica
Indian Mole Rat Chuha Bandicota bengalensis
Hares Indian Hare Khargosh Lepus nigricollis

BIRD ATTRACTIONS

Their are about 210 bird species in Ratapani forest area. Presence of lake, rock shelters provides ideal conditions for birds survival in this forest thus during its local safari, we can observe many bird species. These birds can be categorized in 53 bird families like Eagrets, Storks, Herons, Grebes, Ibises, Cormorants, Ducks, Vultures, Hawks, Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, Sandpipers etc. This list includes both residents and migrant birds. Their are about 110 residents birds, 26 local migrant birds and 86 migrant birds in Ratapani birds checklist. During jungle safari drives, one can enjoy the tiger tracking with bird watching. Birds can be seen in all the forest areas but some points are favorite places for birds and their probability of good birding in high. Some of the frequently seen Ratapani birds are: Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Jungle Babblers, Indian Oriole, Blue-jay, Kingfishers, Baya Weaver, Crested Hawk Eagle, Shikra, Spotted Dove, Red-wattled Lapwing etc.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Ratapani tiger reserve is open for visitors from 01-October to 15-June. Remaining time, park remains closed for visitors due to monsoon season. In addition to this, park remains closed for evening safari drive on every Wednesday. In Holi festival day, usually park remains closed for full-day. These dates may vary as it is decided every year by Madhya Pradesh forest Department. This tiger reserves is popular for best tiger sighting in India due to which from beginning to end of a season, tourists arrival remains constant. Usually most of the tourist arrival has been registered from October to March months. This is the best time to visit Ratapani forest.

CLIMATE & WEATHER

Ratapani tiger reserve have moderate climate. Here Winter season starts from November to February during which morning temperature dips to 5°C and day temperature remains as 18°C. From April to June, we can experience the summer season when straight sunlight and heat waves poses challenge in safari drives. In peak summers i.e. May-June, temperature reaches 45°C level. With the end of June or beginning of July, monsoon clouds arrives and pours good rainfall. Monsoon season prevails from July to October. During this time, park remains closed for visitors and get prepared for new beginning. Here at Ratapani, you will experience significant difference in day and night temperatures. Due to straight sun-light effect, here day temperature raises swiftly and after sun-set and in early morning hours, we will experience cold. This difference is well experienced in morning safari drives when vehicle enters just before sunrise and exits after sunrise.

Months
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Minimum (°C)
05
12
18
24
30
30
25
23
22
22
18
10
Maximum(°C)
18
32
35
40
44
42
36
34
32
34
30
20

Above temperature chart of Bandhavgarh is based of past experience. Here we have gathered the average temperatures during each season so that user can get an rough idea.

ACCOMMODATION

Their are few hotels and resorts in Ratapani tiger reserve. Recently Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation has opened their hotel for tourists and is the best place to stay to enjoy the wildlife safaris of Ratapani forest. Even by staying at Bhopal hotels, one can visit the Ratapani tiger reserve and enjoy the safari drives.

NEXT TO RATAPANI TIGER RESERVE

After visiting Ratapani tiger reserve, their are number of connecting tourist destinations like Satpura national park, Bhimbetka rock shelters, Sanchi, Udayagiri Caves, Pachmarhi, Ujjain, Indore etc. All these destinations can be easily reached by cab in few hours long journey. Ratapani tiger reserve is located close to Bhopal city thus whatever is accessible from Bhopal is accessible from this forest also.

MADHYA PRADESH DISTANCE CHARTS
Amarkantak Distance Chart Bandhavgarh Distance Chart Bhopal Distance Chart
Gwalior Distance Chart Indore Distance Chart Jabalpur Distance Chart
Kanha National Park Distance Chart Khajuraho Distance Chart Madhya Pradesh Distance Chart
Maheshwar Distance Chart Mandu Distance Chart Orchha Distance Chart
Pachmarhi Distance Chart Pench National Park Distance Chart Satpura National Park Distance Chart
Ujjain Distance Chart
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