Kota’s Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) will be the first tiger reserve in the country offering both “wildlife safari” and “water safari” services to the tourists.
“Tourists visiting MHTR for wildlife safari will also get the option of boat ride in Chambal river from Jawahar Sagar sanctuary to Bhainsrodgarh sanctuary to get a glimpse of beauty of MHTR and Chambal valley,” said Om Birla, the BJP MP from Kota, after a visit to the park and interaction with its officials on Tuesday.
MHTR is rich in flora and fauna with the perennial Chambal river flowing through it. There are around 60 panthers, 1,000 cheetal/sambhar deer, 60 bears, 1,000 wild boars and 500 blue bulls. However, there is no tiger in the park at present. Iinfrastructural projects are underway in the park ahead of the proposed release of tigers in it by March next year.
Birla said that ecotourism would start at the park after the release of tigers. “Water safari and wildlife safari will both boost ecotourism in the region and generate employment opportunities for people,” he added. The MP said that the water safari project, including the 25-km boat ride in the Chambal river, would be funded by the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) of Kota.
Informing about water safari plan at MHTR, SR Yadav, deputy conservator of forest, MHTR, said that wildlife safari and water safari services will be started only after the released tigers will get acclimatised with the new habitat, which may take some months.
A documentary film on MHTR will also be made for the first time, which will show the flora and fauna, heritage structures and aquatic life at MHTR. “The documentary film will be of around 5 to 10 minutes,” said Yadav.
MHTR was formed in 2013 by joining wildlife sanctuaries of Kota region including Dara wildlife sanctuary of Kota, Jawahar Sagar sanctuary of Bundi, Chambal Ghariyal sanctuary of Kota and Bundi districts and some forest blocks of Chittorgarh district. The park is spread in around 759.99 sqkm area including 417.17 sqkm of core area and around 342.82 sqkm of buffer area.