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Mukundra Hills Kota – Rajasthan’s 3rd Tiger Reserve

The wild trails of Mukundra hills are yet to be opened for human exploration.  The breathtaking views, migratory birds, and the ancient monuments make Mukundra a true nature delight.

Forest in Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve

But in spite of its rich biodiversity and extraordinary charm, Mukundra has failed to show and maintain its developmental status. For many decades the region didn’t see any major signs of development. And when it did, it failed to maintain the position due to mysterious tiger deaths.

Hopefully, all of it will change when the reserve will be open for tourists to visit and explore.

Wildlife enthusiasts in the region have a firm belief that Mukundra will astound everyone with its diversity and beauty and in no time, it would make its own name in travelers community, just like Ranthambore did.

So let’s give you an inside peek into Mukundra’s diverse landscape and what makes it special – 

Geography

Total area enclosed : 759 sq. Km

Buffer zone : 342.82 Sq. km

Districts : The reserve is set on the boundaries of four cities of Rajasthan : Kota, Bundi, Chittorharg and Jhalawar.

Rivers: It is lined by four rivers on its periphery, Chambal being the largest one. 

Wildlife sanctuaries : Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve is formed by combining 3 wildlife sanctuaries, namely – Darrah Wildlife sanctuary, Jawahar Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Chambal Wildlife sanctuary

History

The core area of Mukundra Hills National Park & Tiger Reserve is one of the oldest sanctuaries of India, popularly called as ‘Darrah Sanctuary’ 

Darrah was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary ( Protected Area ) in 1955.

Before Independence, it used to be the hunting protectorate of Kota state and was famous for its tigers, other big cats and deer. 

It was declared as a National Park in 2004 and was given the name ‘Mukundra Hills ( Darrah ) National Park’ which was formed by combining three wildlife sanctuaries: Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary, Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary and Jawahar Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary. 

In 2013, National Tiger Conservation Authority passed its approval and Rajasthan got its third Tiger Reserve after Ranthambore and Sariska. While being declared as a Tiger Reserve, Mukundra failed to get a single tiger for many years.

Tiger Relocation in Mukundra Hills

It is the 3rd time in the country when reintroduction of tigers has taken place in a Tiger Reserve after Sariska and Panna ( M.P)

Tigers from Ranthambore National Park are tranquilized, relocated, and monitored by the concerned authorities in MHTR.

It was April 2018, when Mukundra heard it’s first tiger roar after decades. RT-91 Tiger was shifted to MHTR and renamed as MT-1. 

The second big cat escorted here was a tigress T-106. She was brought in December to give company to MT-1 and was remanded as MT-2. 

The third tiger that was seen in MHTR was not relocated by the authorities. In February 2019, T-98 traveled a distance of 120 km from Ranthambore to Mukundra on its own. This tiger was known as MT-3 in Mukundra and was believed to have traveled in search of his missing companion MT-2. 

After no signs of mating between any of the tigers, in April 2019, another tigress T-83 was tranquilized and brought here to distract MT-3. Now renamed as MT-4, this tigress was popularly known as ‘Lightning’ in Ranthambore National Park.

Gaining Popularity for Wrong Reasons

People have been waiting for the opening of MHTR but it does not seem to happen any time soon. Lately, there has been a lot of news about negligence and poor management in MHTR. 

After the death of two tigers within a fortnight and news about the missing cub, 3 officials of forest conservators have been removed. 

At one point of time when the tiger count reached 6( including 2 cubs ), now it has fallen to only 2(as of September 2020). 

Failing to trace tigers with existing technical collars, Unreachable medical facility, Too many deaths, Missing cub, there have been a series of bad events in Mukundra.

Other Attractions

The rich biodiversity of MHTR with the enthralling view of Chambal makes it different from the other Tiger Reserves of its kind. 

1. MIGRATORY BIRDS 

Mukundra Hills Kota hosts a variety of migratory birds in winter including gray pelicans, Bar Headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Gray Lag Goose along with the Pied cuckoo, Jacobin cuckoo, Eurasian cuckoo and many more.

If you are into bird watching, then this place is a true heaven for you!

Migratory Bird in Mukundra Hills

2. WATERFALLS

Waterfalls greet their visitors with bundles of joy and serenity along with thrill and amazement.

The beauty of a waterfall is impossible to convey in a mere combination of words.

Some of the breathtaking Waterfalls which you can find here are: Geparnath Waterfall, Padajhar Waterfall and Garadia Waterfall.

Waterfall in Mukundra Hills

3. WATER SAFARI 

This is one of the most exciting features of MHTR. Mukundra is perhaps the first tiger Reserves to host both water Safari and Jungle Safari in its stretches.

Aren’t you excited to be dabbed by some cool splashes of Chambal on your visit to MHTR? *wink wink*

4. FLORA AND FAUNA

The Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve has gently sloping hills covered with ‘Dhok’ trees and a mixed jungle of sheesam, belimali, arjun, ficus, khair, gurjan and salar. Sambhar, cheetal, chinkara, Neelgai and four-horned antelope are the true deer, gazelle and antelope found in the reserve. Leopard are common and so are the wolf, jackal, hyena and sloth bear.

Paradise flycatcher, Golden oriole, a variety of woodpeckers, flycatchers, doves, babblers, mynas, sandgrouse, nightjars, eagles, owls and vultures form the most important and conservation dependent avian species of Mukandara.

The lakes and ponds within the Reserve support a wide variety of migratory and resident waterbirds, including geese
and ducks.

5. BREATHTAKING VIEWS

With the azure streams of water, the region is a blessing not only for the wildlife photographers but also for those who love capturing the adorable and mesmerizing sites of nature.

Visit MHTR to lens some of the finest and most picturesque landscapes found in nature.

Garadia Mahadev in Mukundra Hills

6. HISTORIC SITES

Baroli Temples, Gagron Fort, Chandrabagha Temples, Abheda Mahal, are some of the many ancient sites present in the region. 

Opening of Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve for tourists is much awaited event for Kota & Hadoti region of Rajasthan. The region is expected to grow its tourism business and economy after Mukundra opens.

Photo Credits: Mannan Arya

Aarav View All

Hi! I am an Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer and also the founder of Kota City Blog.

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