Ratapani Tiger Reserve

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A view of the sanctuary
The road that goes inside the jungle

The Ratapani Tiger Reserve, located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh,[1] in Vindhaya range[2] in central India, is one of the finest teak forests in the state and is less than 50 km. away from the capital Bhopal.

It is a Wildlife Sanctuary since 1976. As of March 2013, in principle approval by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has been granted for upgrading it to a status of Tiger Reserve. It will become a Tiger Reserve by the notification of the State Government of Madhya Pradesh.[3] Its close proximity to the capital and its relatively untouched forests makes it a promising attraction for tourists and the Madhya Pradesh tourism board plans to make it a wildlife destination in the near future. The reserve is rich in flora and fauna and a wide variety of birds, mammals and reptiles call it their home.

The total forest area is around 688 sq. km. and is a living place for striped hyenas, jackals, Indian fox, black-faced monkey (hanuman, langur), common brown monkey (rhesus macaque), Indian rock python, tigers, leopards, spotted deer (chital), Indian deer with four-branched antlers (chowsingha) Indian Deer with 12-branched antlers (Barasingha or Sambhar), Chinkara, Wild Boars, Indian Sloth Bears, Blue-bulls (nilgai), and Wild Dogs from the animal kingdom.

A bird-lovers delight, it is also home to a very exciting array of 150 species of birds including the Paradise-flycatcher, the state bird of Madhya Pradesh.

Bhimbetka rock shelters, are located within this tiger reserve. These rock shelters were inhabited by man hundreds of thousand years ago and some of the rock paintings of the Stone Age are more than 30,000 years old. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The tourist places include Bhimbetka, Delawari, Ginnorhgarh Fort, Ratapani Dam, KairiMahadeo and Kherbana Mandir.