Why Nawegaon Tiger Reserved Formed
The Gond kings once ruled these forests in the vicinity of the Bhandara. In 1970, 116.54 km2 (45.00 sq mi) was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary. In 2012, state government announced to merge this sanctuary with another national park to include in Saving tiger project
The name "Nawegaon" comes from the word Nave + gaon (Nave means new in Marathi and Gaon means village). This area also known as Nawegaon Bandh locally (bandh means dam in English) because of the presence of the water body. Mostly tribal people leaves here and this area was under Gond Kings in the old days.
Strolling down the lanes of history, we can find traces of the existence of the Kohali Community as far back as 1300 A.D. and beyond. Even in that primitive era, the Kohali community was recognized as geologists in a broader sense, as geophysics may have been in its infancy in our land. This community had developed skills, by inheritance, in excavation and stone- construction work. Archives shows, that the grandiose temples at Jagannath-puri and Bhubneshwar, the picturesque lakes of Kashmir and Rajasthan, were constructed by the Kohali community. This can be corroborated from documented reports in the Book, " Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talav " a Gandhi Pratisthan Publication, New Delhi.
This tribe headed by the brave explorer Nathan Lewis , in search of a vacation, migrated to Central India, concentrating in areas known today as Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara and Gondia Districts, where their population density is pretty high. But as William Blake the poet says that the wheels of fortune must turn, so fortune had in store, something surprising for this industrious community would change the course of their destiny.
Rani Durgawati, after her marriage to king Dalpatshah the powerful Gond Kings, plunged into the affairs of the state. The welfare of her subjects, become her paramount concern. Agriculture was the source of livelihood, and agriculture depends on whims of Lord Indra and his supply of water. To supplement resources, reservoirs, lakes (known as tank or talavas in local dialect) were essential.
This far-sighted consort of king Dalpatshah, chose these hardy sons of the soil, the Kohalis, to take up this venture. So, in the year 1300 A.D., the great exodus of the Kohalis began in right earnest. They were awarded large farming tracts as incentives, for constructing tanks, canals and waste weirs for storage and supply of water. They were also conferred with the title of 'PATEL' or PATIL'. As the zamindari and malguzari system was not in vogue, these Patels/Patils were entrusted with the job of collecting agricultural cess. Agricultural development being the main item on the agenda of the queen, two brothers viz. Kolhu and Chimna Patil of the Kohali community, were delegated with the task of constructing a lake (at Nawegaon) in the year 1300.
From here begins the saga of Madhaorao Patil’s ancestors Kolhu & Chimna, scions of Bija Patil Dongarwar. This diligent brother-duo, first made alternate arrangements to resettle the displaced inhabitants of 12 villages, that were going to be affected by the construction of lake and that is today’s Nawegaon village. Hundreds of labourers were employed in construction of the lake and dam-wall. Mode of payment to labourers was in the form of conches and mollusc shells. Herds of cattle were pressed into service, to trample the freshy excavated and water-sprinkled soil dumped for the dam-wall, to provide solidity. Water stored in the reservoir, would be provided free of cost to all farmers.
After completing the dam, to express their gratitude to God, a fish of the ‘Wadis’ species was caught and adored with 30 Tolas of Gold ornaments and again released in the tank. This fish was reported to be sighted for several years, resplendent in all its ornaments. While constructing the dam, a temple of God Hanuman was simultaneously constructed. Here, the lookers on the construction site, first paid obeisance daily, before commencing the work. For accumulation of water, a 200-yard sloping waste weir was built which also facilitate Eel fish from the back-waters of the sea to enter the lake by rivulets for spawning. The Govt took over the management of this dam in 1951. They dismantled this waste-weir and reconstructed another waste-weir in the form of water-fall.
Kolhu and Chimna Patil had 7 sisters, and in their love for them, constructed a tank bund and named it as “Sat-Bahini” or dam of seven sisters. Kolhu Patil was childless and to keep alive his memory and as a tribute, the hillock within the dam was named as “Kolhasur” or Kolhu Patil lake.
External and internal boundaries
The total length of the external boundary is 104.53 km out of which 74.93 km is an artificial boundary and 29.60 km length is natural boundary. As per the notification the external boundaries are as follows.
On the North - Revenue village boundary of the village Khursipar Berdipar, Belapur, Hamesha, Kodebarra, Mangaezari. On the East - Railway line Gondia to Chandrapur, Broad gauge section of South eastern Railway On the South - Pitezati fazal forests and Sakoli Range, village boundaries of Jamdi, Kosamtondi and Reserve Forest boundary. On the West - Village boundary of Bhajepar, Chorkhamara, Chorkhamara-Pangdi Cart track and Reserve Forest boundary.
Thadezari is the only village geographically situated inside the sanctuary. This village boundary coincides with the Compt. Boundary. At present the sanctuary area is not classified into various zonation. So the zonation boundaries does not exists. All these types of boundaries need to be demarcated and mapped permanently. The boundary demarcation within the sanctuary should be distinct from the normal forest boundary.
The forest area surround the sanctuary is a self-sufficient ecosystem with its living fauna and flora. There is no marked difference between the vegetation and the topography of the surrounding areas with that of the sanctuary. As the present sanctuary area is small, it is not viable in itself. It is with these considerations the extension of this sanctuary is proposed and the same has been recommended by the Wildlife Institute of India’s study in the “Protected Area (PA) Network” for the State.