Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary
Cradled in a portion of Vindhyan Ranges passing through Raisen and Sehore Districts of Madhya Pradesh, Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the good abodes for 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 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.
Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is located between North latitude of 20049'17" and 23006'17" and East longitude 77031'22" and 78004'03"; the sanctuary is spread over an area of 907.712Sq.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).
The variety of habitat provides sufficient food and shelter for wildlife in the sanctuary. With 22 Tigers including 2 cubs and 26 Leopards Ratapani Wild Dogs, Hyaenas, Jackals and Foxs also inhabit the sanctuary. The major constituents of herbivores are Spotted Deer, Blue Bull, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Chinkara, Black Buck and 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. List of major fauna is as follows:-
Indian Fox
Wild Dog
Jungle Cat
Small Indian Civet
Blue Bull
Black Buck
Chausingha (4 Horned Antelope)
Spotted Deer
Barking Deer
Sambar Deer
Wild Boar
Sloth Bear
Rhesus Monkey
Hanuman Langur
Indian Hare
Common Mongoose
Common Krait
Grass Snake
Rat Snake
Monitor Lezard
Pea Fowl
Blossom Headed Parakeet
Small Green Bea Eater
Small Blue Kingfisher
White Breasted Kingfisher
Golden Backed Woodpecker
Gray Shrike
Common Hawk (Cockoo or Brainfever Bird)
Black Drongo
Indian Myna
Brahminy Myna
Jungle Crow
House Crow
Treepie (Mahalat)
Red Vented Bulbul
Common Wabler
Crested Bunting
White Wegtail
Magpie Robin
Indian Robin
Spotted Dove
Ringed Dove
Little Brown Dove
White Spotted Fantailed Flycatcher
Paradise Flycatcher *
Crimson Breasted Barbet (Coppersmith)
Yellow Breasted Pied Woodpecker
*The state Bird of Madhya Pradesh.

Apart from the rich wildlife, the sanctuary has about 20 tourist places of national and international importance, which are known for Archeological and Historical point of view. The most prestigious is ''World Haritage Site Bhimbetika'', situated in Barkheda range of the sanctuary. It has rock shelters and rock paintings, which are up to 10,000 years old. The "Ginnorgarh Fort", which was strong hold for Gond dynasty for long and later on, fell to Dost Mohammad in the 18th century, is another monument of historical importance situated in Delawadi range of Ratapani Sanctuary. Apart from these "POW Camp", Bhadbhada water fall, Badi Amkhoh-the fossil area, Kairi water fall, Ranbhasia Chhitori-cave painting, Imlana-the tiger country, Lakhajawar-the facinating natural beauty, Ratapani reservoir etc. are the places of tourist importance. Last year around 50,000 tourists visited the sanctuary. Delawadi, the most famous, tourist spot and an important Eco-tourism destination is also situated in the sanctuary.


Ratapani Wild Life Sanctuary,
Territorial Forest Division
Distt. Raisen (M.P.) Pin-464993,
Phone: (O) 07480-224478, Fax: 07480-224478