The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra state in India. It is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park. Created in 1955, the reserve includes the Tadoba National Park and the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary. The reserve consists of 577.96 square kilometres (223.15 sq mi) of reserved forest and 32.51 square kilometres (12.55 sq mi) of protected forest.
“Tadoba” is taken from the name of the god “Tadoba” or “Taru”, worshipped by the tribes who live in the dense forests of the Tadoba and Andhari region, while “Andhari” refers to the Andhari river that meanders through the forest.
Legend holds that Taru was a village chief who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger. Taru was deified and a shrine dedicated to Taru now exists beneath a large tree on the banks of Tadoba Lake. The temple is frequented by adivasis, especially during a fair held annually in the Hindu month of Pausha (December–January).
The Gond kings once ruled these forests in the vicinity of the Chimur hills. Hunting was banned in 1935. Two decades later, in 1955, 116.54 square kilometres (45.00 sq mi) of this forest area was declared a national park. Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary was created in the adjacent forests in 1986. In 1995, the park and the sanctuary were merged to establish the present tiger reserve.