Hyderabad, one of the oldest cities in India is well-known for its rich cultural history, food, tourist attractions and multi-lingual background. Founded by the fifth Qutb Shahi Ruler Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, this capital city of Andhra Pradesh hosts a lot of interesting locations in the form of temples, mosques, architectural wonders, shopping malls, film city, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. One important wildlife conservation park is the Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park.
It is a deer national park. A very interesting fact about the park is that it is the largest single green lung in Hyderabad that houses the State Animal of Andhra Pradesh, i.e. the beautiful Black Buck.
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
The name of this park is derived from the name of a Jain saint, Lord Mahavir in commemoration of his 2500th birth anniversary in 1975. The same year this park was established. A galore of many wild animals and migratory birds, this park is now maintained by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.
This national park was once the favorite hunting ground of the Nizam, i.e. the former Hyderabad rulers. After that a deer park was established in this place with the aim of preserving this heritage.
Area and location:
Covering a total area of 14.59 sq km, this park is situated in Vanasthalipuram at a distance of about 15 km on Hyderabad-Vijayawada road. Thus it is not far from the city.
The Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park is well-known for the endangered deer called Black Buck which had inhabited the grasslands of India in the past. Black bucks with their spiral horns have always remained to be the main attraction. Now there are more than 400 black bucks in the park.
More than 500 cheetahs ranging from dark brown to black are also found. Other than these, cormorants, monitor lizards, mongooses and porcupines also find their homes in this park.
This park also houses 30 species of reptiles and over 120 species of birds. Birds like peacocks, doves, egrets, cormorants, partridges, quails, kites, short-toed eagles and vultures also can be found nesting in this place.
The flora of this park consists of dry deciduous forest which is mixed with grasslands and scrub jungles. You will find trees like Palas, Teak, Sandalwood, Amalthas, Rosewood, Acacias, etc.
Best time to visit:
You will be happy to know that you can visit the park at any time of the year. It remains open every day of the week except Mondays. The visiting hours are between 9a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
You can stay in hotels like Mandava Suites, Hotel Baseraa, Hyderabad Abids, Hotel Maple Inn, Novotel Hotel, Hampshire Plaza, etc. The park is easily approachable from all these hotels.
How to reach the park?
- By Rail: The nearest railway station which is 150 km away is at Hyderabad
- By Air: Hyderabad is the nearest airport
- By Road: Mahavira Harina Vanasthali is located in the outskirts of Hyderabad on Hyderabad - Vijayawada road. The park is easily approachable by road from Hyderabad city. So even if you might be sitting at any corner of the city, it will be easier for you to reach the park.
What else do you get?
After reaching the park, you will find that there are observation towers. You can also watch the animals from close quarters while riding in the van inside the park. You have to pay a nominal fee for that. Whenever you feel tired, you can take rest under the rest sheds within the park. The safari rides start from 9:30 a.m. onwards.
The entry fees for the Vanasthali departmental van or mini bus are Rs.5 for 1 adult and Rs.3 for a child. Apart from all these, the audio-visual program on nature and wildlife offered by the Forest Department, a nature library and an exhibition hall housing exhibits symbolically hinting at the indisputable problems of wildlife conservation would prove to be a meaningful resource for your whole lifetime.
Amazing location, educational program and attractive wildlife of the Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park would lend you an all-round experience of a lifetime.