Nagpur, the ‘City of Oranges’ regarded as the geographical center of India, is a metropolis-in-the-making. It was founded on the banks of Nag river during the early 18th century, by the Gond Raja Bakht Buland and later flourished under the Bhonsle’s. Due to its prime location, the British developed it as an important administrative. judicial and revenue collection center. The city is studded with several antiquities, which include, a splendid fort and several mausoleums. It is also an important commercial and educational center. Nagpur is a convenient base for visiting various sanctuaries like Tadoba, Nagzira, Nawegaon, and Pench.
Ramtek (58 kms.)
This legendary pilgrim center has numerous temples dedicated to Lord Rama. Sita and Laxmana, who tarried awhile here. Kalidasa, the famous poet is also believed to have stayed here and written his masterpieces. A major 15-day fair is held in November.
Wardha (67 kms.)
It is a convenient base for visiting the two most famous centers of the modern pilgrimage age, Gandhiji’s Sewagram and Vinobha Bhave’s Paunar. Wardha is a railway junction on Central Railway.
Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (170 kms.)
The scenic sanctuary sprawls amidst the Tirora Range of Bhandara Forest Division and is home to tiger, panther, bison, sloth bear, sambar, antelope, chital, etc. The best time to visit is during April and May. The nearest bus stand is Sakoli, 22 kms. away. Other nearby towns are – Gondia (45 km) and Bhandara (75 km).
Nawegaon National Park (132 kms.)
It is inhabited by rich and varied wildlife. The Nawegaon lake is believed to have been built by Kolu Patel Koli in the 18th century. The Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Nawegaon is home to almost 60 % of the bird species found in the entire Maharashtra. Every winter beautiful migratory birds visit the lake.
Pench National Park (70 kms.)
The park covers an area of 257.26 sq kms and comprises of tropical dry deciduous forests, which are home to tiger, panther, gaur, sambar, chital, barking deer, blue bull, macaque, langoor, wild boar, bear, wild dogs, and civet cat. The best time to visit is from February to April. It is just 35 kms. from Ramtek.
Tadoba National Park (127 kms.)
It is the best-known game sanctuary of Maharashtra. The forests here teems with animals like panthers, sambars, bison, deers, etc. Birdlife too is diverse and colorful. The lake in the middle of the park is held sacred by the tribals and is a haven for crocodiles. The best season to visit is from March to May.
Dhakna -Kolkaz Wildlife Sanctuary (279 kms.)
This unique sanctuary in the Amravati district is located amidst the verdant valleys of the rivers Sipna and Dolar. Dhakna is 29 km. ahead of Kolkaz. This is the Melghat Tiger Reserve, even richer in other animal and birdlife.