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.