Chandoli National Park is spread over four districts, namely Kolhapur, Ratnagiri, Satara, and Sangli. It is an important site in the catchment area of Warna Dam in the Western Ghats region. Chandoli was declared as Chandoli National Park on 15th September 1985 by the Government of Maharashtra for the protection of the environment by conserving, enhancing, and developing wildlife and their habitats.
The area of Chandoli National Park is covered with hills and valleys on the eastern slope of Sahyadri and its height from sea level is 500 meters to 900 meters. The western boundary of the Sahyadri is high and the rainfall in this region is 3000 to 5000 mm. The area is always green due to good rainfall.
The hills here are scattered on the hills towards the rocks. The soil is more or less deep and is reddish. The overall air in the area is mild and humid. The government has declared Chandoli National Park on an area of 30897 hectares. Rare ‘mouse deer’ (gela) and Giant Squirrel are rare animals found in the forest.
Bengal Tiger, Leopards, Gaur, Sambar Deer, Sloth Bear, pangolin, etc. are also found. Birds like Hornbill, Eagle, Hope, Brahmi Kite are also found in the birds now. Aquatic animals like Rahu, Maral, Wamb, Male, Katla, Crocodiles are found in Chandoli Reservoir. The sanctuary is home to reptiles such as snakes, Spectacle Cobra, Common Krait, Russells Viper, Saw-Scaled Viper, Bamboo Pit Viper, Rat Snake, and Python.
Places that attract tourists are Warna Point, Makad Tok, Konkan Darshan Point, Jholbicha Sada, Rundivacha Falls, Aswal Sada, Valmiki Sada, etc. Tourists have the opportunity to learn about Vasant Jalsagar (Chandoli Dam), rare wild animals, dense green forest, Prachitgarh, Bhairavgad, Kalawantini well, source of Varna river, Ramghal, as well as various types of trees, vines, rocky outcrops and rare things.
The source of the river Varna, the Ramghal sanctified by Swami Samarth’s residence; the perennial flowing Ramnadi river, and the waterfall beyond it are eye-catching. Observation towers have been set up at Jholbi, Khundalapur, and Chandel for wildlife observation.
History of Chandoli National Park –
Chandoli Sanctuary was established in 1985.
It was declared a national park in 2004. The National Parks Authority was declared in 2007. Historically important forts of the 17th century are located at Prachitigarh, Bhairavgad.
Famous places in-
Prachitgad can be reached by crossing the boundaries of four districts, namely Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli, and Kolhapur, and it is a daring experience. Prachitgad has four cannons and structures, and the cool water in the basement of the fort is a miracle of nature.
kandhar Doh Falls –
The waterfall falls from a height of about three hundred feet and is very captivating. Surrounding greenery. The fragrant atmosphere adds to the beauty of nature here. However, due to the dense forest and no way to reach here, it was deprived of the sight of tourists.
If you want to reach this waterfall, you have to walk about three to four kilometers west of Ukhlu village at the foot of Chandoli dam. You have to build a footpath on the way. There is also a risk of new tourists getting lost in the jungle, so locals have to be taken along.
You have to walk through dense jungles to reach here, facing blood-sucking leeches (kanit). Tourists do not dare to come here again during this extremely arduous journey. But after reaching here, after seeing the beautiful view of this waterfall, he forgets the arduous journey. Tourists get tired of seeing the beauty that should be kept in mind.
The waterfall falls at full capacity in the rainy season, so it looks very picturesque. For the last four years, the media has presented the beauty of this waterfall to the government and the administration. But no one has noticed this. If the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation pays attention to this and paves the way to reach this waterfall, many tourists will reach this waterfall and the overall glory of Chandoli will be enhanced.
The famous Doha, Kandhar, can be reached through the Satara district. Numerous young tourists from different states of the country come to see this famous Doha. The Kandhar Doha area is a marvel of nature, and since it is perennial water, wild animals are constantly roaming the area for this water. The waterfall is so deep that you can’t even see the water cascading down from above. From this doha, one can see the beautiful surroundings of the big dam Chandoli.
Chandoli national park is rich in Biodiversity. Much wildlife is inhabited here.
Chandoli National Park is a great place for wild animals. Various species of wild animals are found in this place. Wild animals like Leopard, Tiger, Gaur, Bear, Wild boar, Sambar Deer, Monkey, Fox, rabbit, wild dog, Giant Squirrel, Pangolin, Deer, etc. are found. These animals are also protected here. There is a place called Siddheshwar in the sanctuary. There are rocky outcrops there. Bears can be seen there.
Chandoli is home to over 122 bird species. There are many rare species of birds here. This place is considered very good for birds. Jungle Babbler, Common Babbler, Yellow-billed Babbler, Rufous Babbler, White-checked Barbet, Green Bee-eater, Red-vented Bulbul, Crested Bunting, White-eyed Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Common Stonechat, Laughing Dove, White-billed Drongo, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, White-throated Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Black-throated Munia, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Rock Pigeon, Indian Peafowl, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Warblers, etc are found here.
Since this part is in the Western Ghats, many species of reptiles are found here. There are also many rare species of snakes and geckos. Spectacle Cobra, Common Krait, Russells Viper, Saw-Scaled Viper, Bamboo Pit Viper, Rat Snake, and Python, Crocodile, Rock Gecko, bark gecko mainly found here.
The sanctuary is characterized by the presence of numerous species of butterflies. These include some of the endangered species of butterflies in other parts of the world.
Dominant flora –
Chandoli is a semi-evergreen forest. There are trees like Anjani ironwood tree, Jamun, Pisa, Fig, Olea, Spinous kino tree, Nana, Kinjal, Kokum tree, Phanasi false kelat, Asan wood, Amla, Devil fig, Harra, False kelat, Indian laurel Karvand, Ranmiri, Tamalpati, Toran, Kadipatta, Narkya, etc.
Where is Chandili National Park located? –
There is a Chandoli dam on the river Varna in 32 Shirala talukas of Sangli district. There is a Chandoli sanctuary in its catchment area.
Nearby Cities – Karad – 60 Km, Ratnagiri 125 Km, Pune 220 Km.
How to reach Chandoli National Park –
There are 3-4 ways to visit Chandoli National Park.
1) Shedgewadi from a Karad and from there straight to Varanavati from Arla.
2) The second From Karad to Julewadi
3) The third is a dirt road down Malkapur Lavle fork
4) The fourth route is from Ratnagiri. Come to Sangameshwar from Ratnagiri. From there, you can reach Prachitigad by foot to Nairi village and reach the sanctuary.
Nearest railway station- Karad
Nearest airport- Kolhapur, Karad
Best Time to Visit –
January to May is the best time to visit Chandoli Sanctuary.
Ordinary travelers should not dare to visit this sanctuary without being accompanied by an informed person or a ranger. Because the forests here are dense, there is a fear of missing the road. It is easier to walk in a vehicle than to walk. But the joy of walking is something different. The experiences you can get in such a place cannot come while driving. But these forest roads go through the dense forest. There is almost no human habitation. So you have to bring water and food.
Food & Accommodation –
The irrigation department has rest houses and private resorts at Chandoli and Warna. It has accommodation and dining facilities. There are also some private lodging facilities.