Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is a tiger reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra state in central India. It is notable as Maharashtra's oldest and largest national park. It is one of India's 43 "Project Tiger" - tiger reserves.
The name 'Tadoba' is the name of the God "Tadoba" or "Taru", praised by the tribal people who live in the dense forests of the Tadoba and Andhari region, while the Andhari River that meanders through the forest. gives the 'Andhari' name.
Legend holds that Taru was a village chief who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger. A shrine dedicated to the God Taru now exists beneath a huge tree, on the banks of the Tadoba Lake. The temple is frequented by adivasis, especially during the fair held every year in the Hindu month of Pausha, between December and January.
The Gond kings once ruled these forests in the vicinity of the Chimur hills. Hunting was completely banned in 1935. Two decades later, in 1955, 116.54 km2 (45.00 sq mi) was declared a National Park. Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary was created on the adjacent forests in 1986, and in 1995, both the park and the sanctuary were merged to establish the present tiger reserve.
Tadoba Andhari Reserve is the largest national park in Maharashtra. Total area of the reserve is 625.4 square kilometres (241.5 sq mi). This includes Tadoba National Park, created in 1955 with an area of 116.55 square kilometres (45.00 sq mi) and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1986 with an area of 508.85 square kilometres (196.47 sq mi). The reserve also includes 32.51 square kilometres (12.55 sq mi) of protected forest and 14.93 square kilometres (5.76 sq mi) of other areas. Densely forested hills form the northern and western boundary of the tiger reserve. The elevation of the hills ranges from 200 m (660 ft) to350 m (1,150 ft). To the southwest is the 120 ha (300 acres) Tadoba lake which acts as a buffer between the park's forest and the extensive farmland which extends up to Irai water reservoir. This lake is a perennial water source which offers good habitat for Muggar crocodiles to thrive. Other wetland areas within the reserve include the Kolsa lake and Andhari river. Tadoba reserve covers the Chimur Hills, and the Andhari sanctuary covers Moharli and Kolsa ranges. It's bounded on the northern and the western side by densely forested hills. Thick forests are relieved by smooth meadows and deep valleys as the terrain slopes from north to south. Cliffs, talus and caves provide refuge for several animals. The two forested rectangles are formed of Tadoba and Andhari range. The south part of the park is less hilly.
Tadoba Andhari Reserve is the largest national park in Maharashtra. Total area of the reserve is 1727 km2. This includes Tadoba National Park, created in 1955. .
There are more than 80 tigers (as of Dec 2015) in the reserve,one of the highest in India.