An hour’s drive from Bandhavgarh further North takes you to Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve and National Park in the District of Sidhi in MP. Once part of erstwhile Estate or Rewa the forests teem with wildlife, and it is here that a hunting party discovered a white tiger cub. The cub was spared, and brought to the Maharajah of Rewa HH Martandsinghji.
Albeit white tigers had been recorded in the past, Mohun was the first to receive regal patronage. He found a residence at Kila Govindgarh (Fort) in Rewa District of post independent India. Through this small instance history was being made for the white tiger was to become a legendry phenomenon with progeny spread far and wide. All the white tigers born did so in captivity since none has ever been found again in the wild till date.
Maharajah an avid hunter turned conservationist nurtured the rarest of the tiger with utmost care. Mohun first mated with normal colored tigresses Radha to produce white cubs and subsequently he mated on and off to produce few more white cubs. Nevertheless, the tribe increased and as of today there are hundreds of these rare cubs in private captivity and zoos all over the World.
The story dates back to the year 1951, 6th of June when Mohun found sanctuary at Govindgarh. He was the only white cub found since that date and so far, none have ever been found in the wild. The phenomenon is due to a recessive gene, and it is said that one in 10,000 births would result as white colored tiger.
Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Wildlife
SDTR is a tiger reserve and a National Park. It was established as NP in the year 1975 and subsequently came under the aegis of Project Tiger in the year
The tiger landscape stretches to more than 1400 sq.km into the neighboring State of Chhattisgarh where the protected area is named Guru Ghasidas NP. SDNP is one of the best places in India to spot the tiger and other enchanting mammals. The bison or gaur is conspicuous by its absence but wild elephants occasionally arrive here from the neighboring state Chhattisgarh.
The reserve has been overshadowed by more popular National Park Bandhavgarh in spite of being in close proximity. Surprisingly few visitors used to arrive here but proper structuring of tourism, and establishment of accommodation by MPTDC brought the park into limelight. Most of the tourist flow is from Varanasi and Allahabad due to good connectivity but enthusiasts from all over the country are heading towards SNDP.
Unique aspect of this tiger landscape is presence dense Sal and mixed woods and less predominance of marshy grasslands. The destination behold charm thanks to the Banas River and its tributaries incidentally it was the preferred hunting grounds of erstwhile Regals. While some of waterbodies are perennial and flow right through the core of the park many dry down in the summers. The river is the lifeline of this ecosystem. The reserve is connected through a corridor that stretches right up to Palamau tiger reserve in Jharkhand State.
The core zone holds more than 28 tigers besides a good prey base for survival. The big cats are breeding well but the leopard is a rare sight. Sloth bear and Nilgai antelope sighting is above average, and presence of chital deer, sambar, barking deer and chinkara all keep up as excellent prey base for the tigers. Nocturnal predators like the civets, porcupines, jungle cat, hyena, jackal and fox are often sighted on nightly forays into the wilderness around the picturesque Banas River. The birdlife is robust with more than 200 avian species making Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve their home. Palearctic migrants arrive in winters but much work has to be done in order to checklist the avian species here.
Tourism at Sanjay Dubri
There are five tourism zones in Sanjay Dubri National Park as mentioned below:
- Dubri (Core)
- Pondi (Core)
- Machmahua (Core)
- Giddha (Buffer)
- Koilari (Buffer)
Tiger sighting is good in the core zone besides sighting of other wild animals and birds. The open jeep safari accords good sighting of birds like the Golden Oriole, Racket Tailed Drongo, White Eyed Buzzard, Serpent and Hawk Eagles, and Indian Pitta to name a few. With diverse habitats in the panoramic reserve and the surroundings, the destination is a potential bird watching destination in Madhya Pradesh. The park is open from 1st October to end of June.
Tiger safaris are allowed only to those holding a valid permit. The permit can be obtained from MP Online Portal belonging to the State Government. The charges, terms and conditions relevant for open jeep safari are same as those applicable to all the reserves in MP.
The game rides are organized in the evening and the morning subject to sunrise and sunset. The experience is less cluttered due to limited number of jeeps entering the reserve.
*Pl note carry permits to the entry gate along with Photo IDs.
*Wednesday evening safari is closed.
The park accommodation is limited to MPTDC hotel at Parsili, and a private resort nearby. Accommodation is also available at an hour’s drive in Tala at Bandhavagarh. More resorts are being slated to be established as the park gets popularity.
Factfile & Places of Interest
The area of the tiger reserves is 1600 plus sq.km with the core being: 812.581 sq.km. The buffer comprises of 861.93 sq.km.
Location Latitude: 23 48’24” to 24 7’ 38”
Longitude: 81 28 30” to 82 14’ 38”
Distances by Road
- Distance from Jabalpur Airport (Via Bandhavgarh) is 290 km by road.
- Distance from Khajuraho Temple Town 262 Km.
- Distance from Allahabad 210 Km.
- Distance from Varanasi 268 Km.
Places of Interest Nearby
Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary: 478 Km: Sidhi District. Distance from SDNP 218.7 km
Son Ghariyal Sanctuary: 209 Km. Sidhi District: Distance from SDNP 100 km
Mukundpur Tiger Safari 103 Km.Rewa District MP
SDNP or SDTR is an upcoming reserve unexplored and undiscovered. Tucked in remote corner in hinterland of Madhya Pradesh it is a promising safari and vacation destination.
Come discover Sanjay Dubri with Wildekart!