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Guru Ghasidas National Park: 54th Tiger Reserve of India
The Guru Ghasidas National Park is the 54th Tiger Reserve of India located in the state of Chhattisgarh in central India on the border with Madhya Pradesh.
The park is located in the Koriya district of Chhattisgarh. The park is spread over an area of 466 sq km. The park is named after the Guru Ghasidas, the founder of the Satnami movement in the 18th century.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- History of Guru Ghasidas National Park
- Park Bio-Diversity
- Entry Gates
- How to Reach
The park was declared a tiger reserve by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on 5th October 2021, making it the 54th tiger reserve in India and the fourth one in Chhattisgarh, after Achanakmar and Udanti-Sitanadi.
The decision was taken after a detailed assessment of the park’s potential for tiger conservation, based on factors such as habitat quality, prey density, connectivity, and management effectiveness.
It’s also a part of the tiger corridor between Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh and connects the tiger reserves of Bandhavgarh (Madhya Pradesh) and Palamu Tiger Reserve (Jharkhand) and is expected to help in the dispersal of tigers in the region.
History of Guru Ghasidas National Park
The Sanjay National Park was founded in 1983 as the Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve to encourage and protect the tigers but was renamed in 2011 to honour the legacy of Guru Ghasidas, a social reformer and founder of the Satnami sect, who was born in the region in the 18th century.
The park is divided into two parts by the Rend River, which flows through it. The northern part is known as Sanjay Dubri National Park, while the southern part is known as Virangna Van Vihar National Park.
The park boasts a diverse landscape, ranging from sal forests, bamboo thickets, grasslands, hills, and valleys.
The park is also rich in water resources, with several perennial streams, rivers, and waterfalls. The park is a part of the Central Indian Landscape, which is one of the most important tiger habitats in the world.
The park also hosts a variety of herbivores such as chital, sambar, nilgai, barking deer, four-horned antelope, gaur, and wild boar.
The park is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 300 species of birds recorded here, including some rare and endangered ones like the lesser adjutant stork, white-rumped vulture, red-headed vulture, and white-backed vulture.
The park offers various opportunities for visitors to explore its natural beauty and wildlife. There are several watchtowers and machans (platforms) inside the park that provide a panoramic view of the surroundings and a chance to spot animals.
There are also nature trails and guided safaris that take visitors through different zones of the park.
The park has two entry gates. The main gate is located at the northern end of the park, near the village of Sanjay. The other gate is located at the southern end of the park, near the village of Virangna.
- Koriya district gate
- Sidhi district gate
How to Reach
The nearest railway station is Anuppur (90 km), while the nearest airport is Jabalpur (250 km).
Guru Ghasidas National Park is a shining example of how conservation efforts can pay off in protecting and enhancing the wildlife population and habitat.
The park is not only a source of pride for Chhattisgarh but also a valuable asset for India’s biodiversity and tiger conservation.