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Blackbuck National Park
The Blackbuck national Park came into existence in 1976 in the Bhal region lying in Saurashtra and is situated 72 km away from the headquarter of Bhavnagar. Touching the coasts of the Gulf of Khambhaton the south, it covers an area of more than 34.08 km² that was a "vidi" or grassland of the Maharaja of state of Bhavnagar. There are agricultural fields as well as wastelands on the northern side of the park.
The flat land, herds of antelopes, dry grasses etc have always caught the fancy of visitors coming here and the unique grassland ecosystem has also appealed to its tourists. The animals that can be spotted here are Blackbuck, the lesser florican, and wolf etc. Few other animals found in this sanctuary include the nilgai, jungle cat, jackal, wolf and fox but the major attraction here is the bird life. Pelicans, white and painted storks, flamingos, 3 kinds of cranes, various birds of prey and rarely found Stolizca’sBushchat all are found here. These animals are usually spotted in the southern part of park because of the wetlands. One of the most endangered species, the rarely found Lesser Florican, is one of the 50 rarest birds of the world that breeds here. During the winter season, several harriers come from central Europe to experience the cooler months in this region and one canwatch them in the evenings coming back from feeding in the nearby cotton fields.
|Time zone||UTC/GMT +5:30 hours|
|Area||34.08 sq km|
|Summer||25°C to 45°C|
|Winter||15 °C to 35°C|
Velavadar National Park was initially the private grassland that belonged to the Maharaja of Bhavnagar, who used to hunt blackbucks here with his well known hunting cheetahs. At present, the blackbuck is considered to be endangered and hence it is protected from hunting but the sanctuary is a small safe ground for the blackbucks to have their abode. It was established in 1976 and almost doubled its size in 1980. The park now engrosses 34 square km whichis just one-sixth the size of Ahmedabad city. An additional area of 5 square km is covered by the invasive shrub known as prosopis however over 10 square km is formed of high tidal mudflats and saline lands.Themudflats are high tide zone found in the Gulf of Khambhat and the bottom part of the park is found to have floods also very often. The beautiful golden fields turn dark green during the monsoon season. Floods are common but not problematic because they form a part of the ecosystem’s cycle.
Best Time to Visit
If one has plans for touring or visiting this beautiful place then one should try to visit this place between the season of monsoon and the months of winter. This is basically for the reason that during these days the climate is quite comfortable.
Distance from - National Park
From New Delhi: Road Distance: 1073 kms (667 miles.) Travel Time: 15 hrs 19 mins.
From Bhavnagar, Gujrat: Road Distance: 51 kms (32 miles.) Travel Time: 1 hrs 15 mins.
From Mumbai: Road Distance: 594 kms (369 miles.) Travel Time: 9 hrs 24 mins.
From Jaipur: Road Distance: 811 kms (504 miles.) Travel Time: 11 hrs 42 mins.
How To Get There
Reaching By Road: Theclosest town, Valabhaipur, lies 32 km away, and Ahmedabad is 145 km far from here. If one is coming by private vehicle then the Black Buck National Park has entrance from Valabhaipur through an old highway orfrom Adhelai on the Bhavnagar-Ahmedabad highway. Or else, the park is accessible by bus from Bhavnagar which is 72 km away. There are two buses for travelling daily between Bhavnagar and the park. For a day trip one would need his own vehicle and taxis can be caught in Bhavnagar at charges of Rs. 700-1000 per day.
By Rail: Bhavnagar is the closest railhead, and is connected from Mumbai by trains. There is another railway station at Dhala which is 55 km away however there is no regular public transportation from Bhavnagar to the park.
By Air: Bhavnagar is the closest airport. Mumbai is well connected to Bhavnagar through domestic flights. There are a number of flights available there.
There are some obvious reasons that appeal to the visitors of this national park. Antelopes’ herds and the flat land surfaces etc along with semi or fully dried grass form a unique environment during daytime safari. Several people prefer going by jeep for rides during the daytime. The terrain of the black buck national park is not rugged;hence the movement of vehicles isquite tough. The Blackbuck National Park in Gujarat consists of a'wetland' that lies in 3 kilometers from the entrance gate and is a great spot for watching wildlife.
People who are fond of Photography or have enthusiasm for clicking pictures can find a good opportunity here as the birds as sand grouse as well as lark are worth- watching as well as worth - photographed. Their amazing living techniques can be viewed in this part of the world. It is a place entirely untouched by human beings, yet they can see and observe everything from nearby angles.
There is availability of lodging at the park headquarters, but it is required to have reservations done.
One can avail the meals offered by the National Park Authorities which are at highly subsidized rates.The guesthouse consists of both A/C and non-A/C rooms. The rates are subjected to variations and provide high comfort levels to the travelers. If one is willing to camp in that particulararea then it has to be taken into consideration that he is carrying his own equipments for the purpose of camping.There is a requirement of a permission granted by the officer in charge of the site before he goes ahead and is willing to camp at any place particularly.
The park consists of grasslands that are quite dense, shrub lands are there and thorn scrubs, saline land along with high tidal lands. There is a small part of the park, which is found to be adjoined to the Gulf of Khambhat and lies under its high tide zone and is also inundated with water. However, the semi-arid conditions along with the seawater inundation during times of monsoon, offer habitats that are suitable for the fauna here in the park.