The Velavadar National Park is one of the prized natural habitats of blackbucks. This national park is situated in the Bhal region of Saurashtra. It was declared as a protected national park in the year 1976. The Velavadar national park is open grasslands located in the district of Bhavnagar near Vallabhipur spread around 34.5 sq km.
The southern portion of the park that is quite near to the Gulf of Khambhat gets filled with water during the high tide time.
Thousands of visitors visit this grassland every year to not only view the blackbucks but also other animals and birds. The Gujarat government and the forest department of Gujarat maintain the national park.
Wildlife at the Velavadar National Park
People come here to mainly see the blackbucks living naturally and to photograph them in various styles of running, jumping, drinking and fighting other males. Male and female blackbucks are seen together in groups. Currently, there are about 3200 blackbucks in the national park. They are found only in South Asia.
The Wildlife includes Blackbucks, Antelopes, Wolf, Striped Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Fox, Hares, Pigs, etc. Visitors who decide to stay here for the night at the forest guest house often hear the usual nightly howls of the jackals and wolves, giving a feeling that they are in a jungle.
There are more than 185 species of birds found here that also include the migratory birds casino pa natet as well. The Birds which have been spotted at this park frequently are Black Shouldered Kite, Houbara Bustard, Imperial Eagle, Wader, Pelicans, Flamingos, Floricans, different types of harriers, Red Falcon and Owls. Floricans which are very rare in the world can easily be seen here.
Best Time to Visit
The Velavadar National Park is open throughout the year, however, the months of June to February is an ideal time to visit. During the rainy season, the park is closed for some time. Bird lovers can visit the park between December and March.
The nearest airport is Bhavnagar which is located just 70 km away and Ahmedabad that is about 145 km away.
The nearest bus station is at Vallabhipur that is 30 km away. 2 buses from Bhavnagar travel daily to the park.
People can also hire a private taxi from Bhavnagar or come in their private vehicles.
The Entry fee for people travelling in vehicles is only Rs. 20. Photography is also allowed after paying initial charges and getting permission. A guide can be hired if required.
For accommodation, people can stay in the forest guest house or at the nearby hotels that are economic and cheap.
Room charges for the forest guest house are Rs. 1,500 for air-conditioned rooms; Rs. 500, for non-AC; Dormitory per person: Rs. 50 Tent : Rs. 200
Timings of the Velavadar National Park
The Velavadar National Park remains open from 6 am to 6 pm.
You can contact the administration at the following :
Contact for booking: Assistant Conservator of Forests, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar-Bhal, F-10, Annexe, M.S. Building, Bhavnagar; 91-278-2426425. The Range Forest Officer at the park can be contacted at 91-278-2920222.