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Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park – complete detail – updated

Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park – complete detail – updated. Dominant flora and fauna of Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park. Geography of Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park. How to reach Blackbuck National park. This is a unique National Park with exclusive grassland habitat, shrub lands, saline plains and mud flats.
Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Bhavnagar district of the state of Gujarat. The sanctuary has been declared primarily for saving the blackbucks. The migratory birds from Central Asia, Siberia and Europe land here during winter season to escape from the extreme weather. A small wetland in the southern part of the Park attracts birds like pelicans, flamingoes, ducks, waders, coots, white storks, painted storks and sarus cranes etc. The Park is a heaven for demoiselle cranes, common cranes and a variety of raptors…………
Total area of the park is about 34.08 Km2. The park was established as a National Park in the year of 1976. The park embraces about over 140 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, 95 species of flowering plants, and many reptiles.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park

Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Bhavnagar district of the state of Gujarat. The sanctuary has been declared primarily for saving the blackbucks.

The park is located around 42 km from the Bhavnagar district, and was established in the year of 1976 in Bhal region of Saurashastra. Total area of the park is about 34.08 Km2.

The park lies between two rivers namely Parvalia and Alang, which drain into the Gulf of Cambay.

In past it was a “Vidi” (grassland) of the Maharaja of the princely state of Bhavnagar and used to hunt blackbucks with his famous hunting cheetahs. The grassland also used for grazing.

This is a unique National Park with exclusive grassland habitat, shrub lands, saline plains and mud flats. More than 1,000 blackbuck exist on the open grasslands of Velavadar.

The park embraces about over 140 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, 95 species of flowering plants, and many reptiles.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

Other than blackbucks we can also see Nilgai, wolf, wild cat, jackal, Indian fox and rodents in the park. Reptiles like cobra, vipers, rat and snake could also be seen amongst others.

The migratory birds from Central Asia, Siberia and Europe land here during winter season to escape from the extreme weather.

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A small wetland in the southern part of the Park attracts birds like pelicans, flamingoes, ducks, waders, coots, white storks, painted storks and sarus cranes etc. The Park is a heaven for demoiselle cranes, common cranes and a variety of raptors including certag spotted eagles and steppe eagles.

The Park provides one of the world’s best roosting sites to thousands of Harriers that arrive here from Central Europe for wintering. Peculiar courtship display by Lesser floricans could also be seen.

History                          

In past it was a “Vidi” (grassland) of the Maharaja of the princely state of Bhavnagar and used to hunt blackbucks with his famous hunting cheetahs. The grassland also used for grazing.

Hunting was only done in certain seasons and for the rest of the year, the local communities took great care to preserve the blackbuck population.

After independence, in the absence of the seasonal controls exercised during the Maharaja’s reign, hunting occurred unchecked without any rules or regulations. The grassland was declared a sanctuary in 1969.

The Sanctuary was declared as a National Park in the year of 1976. Total area of the park is about 34.08 Km2.

Cyclones have also battered the park on occasion, the worst being in 1982 when 311 blackbucks were killed in the storm.

The Blackbuck is considered sacred in Hindu mythology. It is locally known askailyar in Gujarati. Krishna sara, Krishna mruga and saranga are its Sanskrit names.

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Geography

The topography of the park supports grassland, shrub lands, saline plains and mud flats.

A southern portion of the park, which adjoins the Gulf of Khambhat, is in the Gulf’s high tide zone and gets inundated with water.

On the northern side, it is surrounded by wastelands and agriculture fields. The park has been classified as 4B Gujarat-Rajwada biotic province of semi-arid bio-geographical zone.

The park lies between two rivers namely Parvalia and Alang, which drain into the Gulf of Cambay. During the monsoon the area is often flooded. The blackbuck herds are mostly to be found in the northern part of the sanctuary, while the southern part has patches of thorn forest providing excellent opportunities for bird watching.

The Alang river forms the southern border of the Park and is the favourite retreat for wolves. The fertile soils are believed to have arisen from the sea. The mudflats are the high tide zones of Gulf of Khambhat and the lower part is prone to flooding.

Seasons

Winter – November to February

Summer – March to June

Monsoon – July to October

Average rainfall: 600 to 800 mm

Temperature:       Maximum – 44o C

                             Minimum – 5o C

Coordinates – 22° 02′ 00″ N to 72° 03′ 00″ E

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Dominant flora

Acacia, Banyan Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus, Amli etc.

Park is largely grassland with a few pockets of Prosopis chilensis. It is a fascinating savannah habitat.

Dominant fauna

MammalsBlackbuck, Nilgai, Wild boar, Indian Grey Wolf, Striped Hyena, Indian Fox, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Hare, Gerbil, Field mice, Mongoose, Hedgehog, Wolves, Wild pigs, Rodents etc.

Reptiles – Saw Scaled Vipers, Common Cobra, Krait, Rat Snake, Sand boa etc.

Birds – Rufous-tailed Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Ashy-crowned and Black-crowned Sparrow Lark, Indian Bushlark, Singing Bushlark, Crested Lark, Painted and Grey Francolin, Desert and Variable Wheatear, Chestnut Bellied Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Painted Sandgrouse, Quails and Saras Crane, Laggar Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, Kestrel, Red-necked Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Imperial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Short-toed Eagle etc.

Other Attraction

Takhteshwar Temple The temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. It was built in the year 1893 by the local royal family.

Fee

For Indians – Rs. 20/- Per Person

For Indian children’s (3 to 12 years) – Rs. 10/- Per Person

For Indian Students on Educational Tour – Rs. 10/- Per Person

For Foreigners – US$ 5 Per Person

For Foreigner children’s (3 to 12 years) – US$ 5 Per Person

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

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Vehicles Fee

For Indians – Rs. 200 (for upto 6 persons)

For Foreigners – US$ 20 (for upto 6 persons)

For Indians – Rs. 500 (for upto 15 persons)

For Foreigners – US$ 50 (for upto 15 persons)

For Indians – Rs. 1750 (for upto 60 persons)

For Foreigners – US$ 175 (for upto 60 persons)

Still camera photography

For Indians – Rs. 100

For Foreigners – US$ 10

Guide Fee

For Indians (four hours) – Rs. 50/- (Rs. 20 for every subsequent hour)

For Foreigners (four hours) – US$ 10 (US$ 5 for every subsequent hour)

Best time to visit

Though the park is open throughout the year, but the best time of the year to visit the Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park is between the months of November to May.

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Bhavnagar airport, about 65 Km from the Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park. Bhavnagar airport is well connected by road to Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Bhavnagar railway station, about 65 Km from the Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park. Bhavnagar railway station is well connected by road to Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park.

By Road Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park at frequent intervals.

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Distances from Major Cities

Rajkot – about 315 Km

Ahmedabad – about 160 Km

Bhavnagar – about 65 Km

Mumbai – about 315 Km

Delhi – about 960 Km

Accommodation

Kaliyar Bhavan Tourist Lodge at the Park. Advance bookings are a must. For details and reservations, contact: Assistant Forest Conservator, Velavadar, Blackbuck National Park, P.O. Vallabhipur, Bhavnagar. Tel.: 0278-428644.

The Blackbuck Lodge, a wonderful property a mile from the park gate. Contact them at www.blackbucklodge.com / reservations@theblackbucklodge.com / +91.9228000496 / +91.9825161212 / +91.79.40020901 / +91.9824019877.

Useful Contacts

Assistant Conservator of Forests, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar, F/10, Bahumali Bhawan, Bhavnagar – 360 001. Tel.: 0278-426425; Fax: 0278-632900.

Assistant Conservator of Forests, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar, Bhavnagar. Gujarat.
Phone: (O) 0278 2426425.

Book a Hotel

http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g2587331-d1976685-Reviews-The_Blackbuck_Lodge-Velavadar_Gujarat.html

http://www.theblackbucklodge.com/theblackbucklodge.html

Other National Parks in Gujarat. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows…
S. No.  Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area (Km2)
1 Gir Forest National Park Gujarat 1975 258.71
2 Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch Gujarat 1982 162.89
3 Vansda National Park Gujarat 1979 23.99

About Vijay Choudhary

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