About Velavadar National Park
National Park, also known as Velavadar Black Buck Sanctuary is situated in
the Bhal region of Saurashtra. Ideally set between two rivers, one of the
main reasons for the rich soil found here, the park is located about 50 km
west of the Gulf of Cambay.
Velavadar's history dates back to the pre independence period when the
place was a part of the princely state of Bhavnagar and the park used as a
grazing ground for the Maharaja's cattle. After independence, the population
of blackbuck started to decrease and came down to a meagre 200 in 1966. It
was then that the area of 8.9 sq. km was converted into a sanctuary. In
1972, the area was increased to around 34 sq. km and was accorded the status
of a national park under the Wildlife Protection Act. A unique feature of
the park is that it is the only tropical grassland in India to be given the
status of a national park.
There are two gates with a road in between which leads to the park. The
reception attached to the Kaliyarbhavan Forest Lodge is the place where the
visitors pay the entry fee to the park. The park interpretation centre
located at a short distance from here provides basic information about the
animals and birds found in the area.
Wildlife Attractions in Velavadar National Park
The ecosystem of the park houses four distinct habitats, grassland,
shrubland, saline land and high tidal lands. One of the most thrilling
sights in the area is the unusual mating rituals of the blackbuck, which
involves a spectacular vertical leap of upto 2 mts by the male.
The park is home to over 187 species of birds including residents and
migratory birds such as Harrier, Partridge, Pelican, Duck, Crane, Stork,
Eagle, Sand Grouse, Lark and Lesser Florican.
Besides the blackbuck, other commonly found mammals include the Nilgai,
Wolf, Wild Cat, Jackal, Indian Fox, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Hare and Rodent,
while the reptile kingdom constitute of Saw Scaled Vipers, Common Cobra,
Krait, Rat Snake and Sand Boa.
jungle trail located in the park is a straight path with watchtowers dotted
around it. The 'wetland', located just 3 km from the entry gate is an ideal
spot to check out the wildlife. There are no safaris provided by the forest
department, so your own vehicle is the only source of enjoying a ride around
the park but be cautioned as animals cross the roads at all times, so be
sure to drive slowly and safely.
Velvadhar is a great place for photographers with large herds of black
bucks and flocks of birds presenting some great opportunities for
photography. A drive or walk around the park can also be rewarding as
chances of spotting the highly endangered florican and other feathered
inhabitants, though slim, can not be ruled out.
Situated just 2 km from Bhavnagar, the temple is dedicated to lord Shiva.
It was built in the year 1893 by the local royal family.
How to Get There
By Air :
Bhavnagar is the nearest airport. Mumbai is
connected to Bhavnagar through Jet Airways (7:35, daily) & Air Deccan
(15:10, daily). Be sure to book in advance as not many flights are
By Rail :
Bhavnagar is the nearest railhead, connected
by trains from Mumbai, Bhavnagar Exp. (21:25, daily) & CCT BVC Exp.
By Road :
To reach by road from Ahmedabad, take the NH8A
to Bagodra via Sarkhej. From Sarkhej, drive through the state highway to
Velvadar via Fadra, Pipli, Dholera and Adhelui. Average time taken for the
journey is around 5 hrs. The route from Bhavnagar is through the state
highway to Adhelui via Nari and Sanes while an alternate route is via
Valbhipur and Navgaon.
Distances from Major Cities
160 km (SW)/ 5 hrs.
55 km (N)/2 hrs.
Resorts in Velavadar
- Park charges are Entry Fee : Rs. 30 (Indians) & US$ 5
(foreigners), Vehicle Entry : Rs. 35 (Indians) & US$ 10
(foreigners), Guide Fee : Rs. 50, Still Camera : Rs. 50 (Indians) &
US$ 5 (foreigners), Video Camera : Rs. 2500 (Indians) & US$ 200
- Park timings are 6:30 to 8:30 AM & 4:30 to 6:30 PM
- The food provided at the forest lodge is very basic and simple
consisting mainly of dal, rice and chappati.
- Try to avoid wearing flashy colors and strong smelling perfumes.
forest lodge provides basic facilities but is fairly clean and ideal for
people who love adventure. The bathrooms are well appointed and clean.
one of the better staying options at the Velavadar black buck sanctuary.