Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the well known and largest wildlife sanctuaries in Chhattisgarh. It is takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes to reach the park from Raipur in a cab. So we started off by 7.30 am from the hotel after an early breakfast and reached the sanctuary by 11.00 am. The park looked very exciting from outside and we got inside after paying the entry fee. It was very large inside and there was a huge board containing details of the park and its map. We could either walk up different trails or have a jeep safari.
We decided to walk about for the time being and then take a jeep safari. A guide accompanied us, showing various parts in the sanctuary. It was established in 1975 and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2009. It is estimated that about 18 tigers live here in their natural habitat. On asking whether we could see any tigers in the forest, he said that it was impossible as we had to go to the interior of the forest to watch them.
There was greenery all around and I saw many plants and large trees like Sal, Teak, Haldu, Saja Bija, bamboo, which formed a canopy on top, making the place cool even in the afternoon. The path was narrow but very beautiful and we could see many birds on the trees chirping and flying from branch to branch. The guide told us during the winter months many migratory birds come to the sanctuary. I took photographs of the birds and the animals I saw. We also spotted some rabbits, fox, deer and peacock.
Some of the inhabitants here are hyena, wild dog, Rhesus Macaque, Common palm squirrel, Indian giant squirrel, Indian Rattle, porcupine, jungle cat, nilgai, wild boar, flying fox and mouse deer. One of the attractions in the sanctuary was a crocodile in Sihawal Sagar, which was the only crocodile there. There were many other reptiles in the water to keep him company. After walking about for an hour or so, we had jeep safari, which took us deeper into the forest, enabling us to see more animals.