Gujarat and its wildlife resources
Gujarat is located on the western coast of the country. Due to its geographical location, the state has a fantastic climate that assists in the growth of lush green forests. Due to the presence of forests, the wildlife wealth of the state is also high. From the rare breed of the Asiatic Lions to the numerous migratory birds, a wildlife lover will be able to assimilate a lot if they travel to the state. If you are going to the state for the first time, make it a point to visit the wildlife sanctuaries Gujarat.
The state has many such national parks, which provide a peaceful home for the various kinds of animals. As the wildlife wealth of the state is so high, the state as well as the central government has taken steps to protect the rare resource. Gujarat Tourism Department is advertising its wildlife resources to attract more travelers.
Photo by dbking
Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary
In the ancient times, the reserved forest used to be a part of Jambughoda, the then princely state. The place always had an amazing reputation for rich flora and fauna. The sanctuary is situated in the Panchmahal district that is in the central part of the state. The reserved forest covers a whopping area of 130 sq km. The thick forest is a treat for the nature lovers. There are various kinds of rare trees and vines, which you will not find in any other part of the country. It is one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries Gujarat.
A reserved forest will not be complete without the presence of the animals. The Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary is popular for the leopards that live here. Apart from the jackals, hyenas, crocodiles, python, and cobras are also found in abundance. If you are a bird lover, then you will be able to spot many golden orioles, tailor birds, ducks and teals in the forests. The months of February and July happens to be the best time for visiting this forest.
Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Ranked high among all wildlife sanctuaries Gujarat, the Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is situated on the edge of the border area of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The place is well-known for being the home of the rare and endangered species of the Sloth Bear. These animals are found only in this area as the climatic conditions are appropriate for their natural habitat. The total area of the sanctuary is about 180 sq km. As the park is located close to the town named Jessore, it has been named thus.
Apart from these unique bears, you will also see a wide variety of other animals like the sambars, leopards, wild boars, blue bulls, porcupines, etc. For people who are interested in birds, the area can be compared to a jewel box. According to the wildlife survey, 105 types of rare birds have made this forest their home. As the area has to survive a dry patch each year during the summers, you will find 405 species of thorny bushes. The wildlife forest is also a hot destination for the religious people as the Muni Ji ki Kutia and Kedarnath Mahadev Temples are located in the heart of the area.
Gir National Park
Photo by Arian Zwegers
Undoubtedly the most popular of all the wildlife sanctuaries Gujarat is the Gir National Park. This is the only place where you will get the rare privilege to lay your eyes on the amazing and graceful Asian Lions. Not only Indians but foreign tourists also make it a point to come to this protected area. The Gir National Park has a significant number of Asiatic Lions, and this aspect has put it on the international map.
Apart from these majestic big cats, the protected area is also home of rusty spotted cat, ratel, pangolin, civets, ruddy mongoose, and paradise flycatchers. For bird lovers, the place is a treat as here are more than 300 kinds of birds as well. The place is best visited during the months of December and the middle of June.
Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary
Though most of the wildlife sanctuaries Gujarat are known for the amazing assortment of animals, there is one protected area that is mainly known for its beauty and the huge collection of birds, basking in the sun, far removed from the fear of poachers. The entire bird sanctuary comprises of 6 sq km and is a treat to the eyes. The lush green forest is contrasted beautifully by the blue azure hues of the vast lakes. There are 20 rare species of birds, which are found in the park.
The number increases drastically during the winter months when the migratory birds fly to this area to get away from the freezing western cold. Apart from birds, the lakes have a rich variety of fishes. Some of the birds, you will see here are Pelicans, Indian skimmer, spoonbill, great crested grebe, purple moorhen, little grebe, ducks, cormorants, coots, herons, storks, egrets. The flow of visitors increases from October and remain so until March.
Barda Hills Wildlife Sanctuaries Gujarat
The protect forests of Barda Hills is situated only 15 kilometers from the town of Porbandar. The reserve is spread over an estimated area of 192 sq km, and visitors will be able to bask in the beauty of its natural setting. Apart from the animals, the area is popular for being the home of rare medicinal herbs. Gir and Barda reserves are the only two areas where you will see Asian Lions. The area also houses spotted eagles, Leopard, crested hawk eagles, hyena, wolf, jackal, wild boar, and bluebull. Most animal lovers make their way to the forest during November till the middle of June.
With so much to offer to the tourists, the state has been making its presence felt in the international tourism market as well. It is a huge revenue earner for the state as well as the central government.
Featured Photo by Gujarat Tourist Guide