The state of Gujarat in north-west India is known for the Navratri festival, the festival of nine days. Gujarat is blessed with a rich culture and heritage; architectural wonders, temples, waterfalls, beaches, hilly terrains, palaces and forts- all these are in plenty. Thus Gujarat has it all. It is also famed for its rich biodiversity. Velavadar Black Buck national Park or Black Buck national Park in Velavadar is one of the popular tourist spots which is ideal for an adventurous getaway.
This park has been classified as 4B Gujarat-Rajwada biotic province of semi-arid bio-geographical zone. Let's know about this national park that is marked for its contrasting topography and wild life:
The location of the park is Velavadar. This park also consists of a large number of blackbucks. The name of the park thus suggests its location and the main wildlife attraction here.
Area and location:
Established in the year 1976, the national park is located in Velavadar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra. It is almost 72 km from the district headquarter city of Bhavnagar. The park encompasses an area of 34.08 sq km. This was mainly a 'vidi' of the Maharaja of Bhavnagar.
Flora and fauna:
It is a known fact that the blackbuck, which is a graceful and rare animal, is the focus of attention in the Velavadar Blackbuck national park. Other faunal species include Wolves, Jackals, Houbara Bustard, Foxes and Jungle Cats. Foxes, Jackals and Jungle Cats- these are the main carnivore species. Apart from these you would also find Jungle Dogs, Nilgais, Wild Pigs, Hares and Rodents. These are typical of the savannah type grasslands and thorn scrubs.
If you like bird watching, then this is the right place for you. Lesser Floricans, Montagu, Sarus White Storks, Juvenile Imperial Eagle, White Pelican, Greater Spotted Eagle, Long-Legged Buzzard, Short Toed Snake Eagle, etc. are the avifauna species. But more than this, if you are lucky enough you might have an unusual sight of the male bird attracting his female counterpart.
The grassland ecosystem of the park is really unique. High tidal zone of the Gulf of Khambhat, wastelands, agricultural field surround the different sides of the park. Saline lands, dense grasslands, high tidal mudflats are the main vegetation of the region. The semi-arid conditions of the park blended with the overflow of the sea water during the rainy season create the perfect habitat for the wildlife here.
When to visit?
The park remains open throughout the year. But the best period remains between monsoon and winter when the weather is not very dry. This is the period between mid-June and March-end. If you want to view the migratory birds, then December to March would be the best.
Bhavnagar airport is the nearest airport that is connected with Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Dhala at a distance of 50 km is the closest railway head. Vallabhipur, which is a famous ancient town in the state, is just 30 km away. This is well connected to the nearby areas.
Where to stay?
The Government Forest Department runs a bungalow in the park. If you make prior bookings, then you can stay here.
According to the British harrier expert Mr. Roger Clarke, this park houses one of the largest harrier roosts in the world. So come enjoy the variety and diversity of Mother Nature in the Velavadar Black Buck national Park.