Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve is one of the famous trigger reserves of the country. This reserve is situated at around 200 kms from Delhi and 107 kms from Jaipur. Although larger than Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, it is less commercialised and has less tigers but a similar topography. It covers an area of 800 sq km in total, with a core area of approximately 500 sq km. The area was declared a sanctuary in the year 1955 and became a National Park in the year 1979. Remnants of past architectural wonders are being available in every hook and nook of the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, is said to have locked up his elder brother, Dara Shikoh, in the rugged hilltop fort of Kankwadi. The ruins of a myriad Hindu and Jain temples built between the 8th and the 12th centuries are a proof to the great architecture of the past. Pandupole that lies in the south eastern region had an association with the Pandavas of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata.
Melghat Tiger Reserve
Melghat Tiger Reserve, as the name suggests, the landscape, which is formed, is actually a conglomeration of hills, with interconnected mountainous ranges. Also Gugamal National Park is a part of the reserve. Several ravines, better known as khoras intercept the hills. For the scenic beauty, Bairat, Chilati and Bhoot Khoras are renowned. Within the locale, a pleasing small hill city of Chikhaldara has been formed in the British colonial period and also a top Vairat (1,178 m) are formed. Melghat itself has a treasure of parched deciduous forests of teak and bamboo with a handful of semi evergreen trees alongside the banks of streams.
The forests of Melghat are vital catchments locale for the large, drought prone stretch of central India. The Tapti River forms the northern border of the Melghat Tiger Reserve and a network of streams flows through the rocky landscapes. However, the reserve has become a victim of urban population. To fulfill their own demands, they dig up water holes, thereby raising the groundwater level. Tiny earthen dams have been constructed to put in store water for the lengthy, sultry summer months.
Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park
The western region has plenty of national parks and Blackbuck ( Velavadar) National Park is unique . It is situated in the grasslands of Saurashtra, known as Bhal, just sixty-five kms away from Bhavnagar. It is amongst the final existing stretches of comparatively serene grasslands famous for Blackbuck, Wolf and Lesser Florican. This 34.08 sq km area stretches between two seasonal rivers of the Gulf of Cambay.
The origin of Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park has a rich history behind it. Bhavnagar's royal family makes use of this area as their private grazing grounds and also as a hunting reserve. Blackbucks shared the alluvial plains with large herds of livestock, and were hunted down with the help of trained cheetahs. In the post-independence era, various ill practices like the gun firing, the plowing and gathering of livestock brought about desolation to the wild life, including the Blackbuck populace. Blackbuck (Velavadar) National Park was saved when the local environmentalists came forth for its protection. Also the royal family closed the practice of giving the lands on lease for the purpose of grazing and grass cutting. In the year 1969 it was declared as a sanctuary and lastly, it received the status of a national park in the year 1976.
Black bucks are an integral part of the park. They are about two thousand in numbers; one can easily catch hold of a shy Blackbuck, running across the continual grasslands. For the tourists the Blackbuck ( Velavadar) National Park has a lot to offer . The male blackbucks have got pecuiliar horns spiraling to even 60 cm in length. A multitude of horns twisting above the swaying grass seems almost surreal, and to see them zipping across the plains in leaps and bounds, followed by a light-footed sprint, is an amazing experience. The Blackbuck is renowned as the fastest and original one among various antelopes with large hoofs. Each and every thing about it is beautiful, even the sight of two grooving males getting ready for fighting, boasting with their heads which are held high, their superb horns thrown in the back.
Desert National Park
The western region of India is plentiful with various national parks and wild life sanctuaries. Desert national Park is one of the famous national parks of the region and also through out the India. It is in fact most colorfully inhabited natural desert of the world; it has at its heart the golden city of Jaisalmer, a popular tourist destination. The Desert National Park has an area of 3,162 sq km, situated forty-five kms in the western side of this city.
Being situated in the heartland of Indian Thar Desert of Rajasthan, it had adopted to the typography of the desert region. Sand dunes, both flat and uneven, low rock stones, few tinges of grasses lying scattered here and there. Few areas are covered with sewan grass, and also the aak shrub and khair, khejra and rohira trees are prevalent. Also the parched, sandy tracts with scarcity of water bodies are among various the characteristics, thereby making the park unique in its own way.
More so many animals have taken shelter in the dry, rugged terrain of Desert National Park. There are more than 40 species of reptiles, namely the burrowing Spiny-tailed Lizard, Russel's Viper, Saw-scaled Viper and the dragon-like Common Monitor. Special type of fish, known as the Desert Skink is a locally born. It is better known as the sand fish as it 'swims' or goes on by digging tunnels through sand, down to a depth of thirty cm. The tourists overwhelm by the scene of hoards of birds flying, singing. Nearly 120 species add color to the rugged shades of the desert.
Marine National Park
Marine National has grown in its lushness in the close proximity of the largest congregation of Indian oil refineries near Jamnagar in Gujarat. It is the first marine reserve of the country. It is spreading along the southern coasts of the Gulf of Kutch for nearly 170 km and amalgamates with its archipelago of forty-two islands. Further it rambles over 163 sq km of 'inter tidal zone'.
Kutch Wildlife Santuary
Kutch is not just all about rocky hills amidst the saline desert, a buried city of the harappan civilization which was recently excavated, innumerable fossils, the breeding ground of the Greater Flamingo ('Flamingo City') and herds of 30-40 Indian gazelles sprinting on the mudflats at the edge of a hilly island, if you feel so then, the Kutch Desert Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kutch is waiting for you. This is the largest sanctuary in the state and one of the largest in the country too. Of the 7505.22 sq. km area of the Sanctuary, 109.00 sq. km is the forest area notified under section- 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and 1313.07 sq. km is a revenue wasteland. Remaining area of the Sanctuary is Territorial Water of India in the Arabian Sea (not now). The Sanctuary is located in the north-eastern part of Kutch district bordering Pakistan and Wild Ass Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was declared in February 1986.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Located 8 km northeast of Mount Abu, Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over 290 km. The trails within the sanctuary offer an excellent opportunity to enjoy the natural environment and spot wildlife. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary also provides a fabulous opportunity to promote eco tourism. This was declared a sanctuary in the year 1960. It lies at the foothill of the highest peak of Aravalli Ranges, Guru Shikhar.
Kutch Bustard Sanctuary
This is a small area of just 2 sq. km, pulsating with avifaunal and mammalian life of the grassland habitat. This protected pocket, located in the vast tract of grassland ecosystem of Abdasa taluka, was established in 1992. It is situated near Nalia and covers the forest area of Jakhau and Budia villages.
The area is ideal for those wanting to see Great Indian Bustard in Gujarat. However, by no means is the area only for this endangered bird. An eco-tourist having interest in the whole spectrum of grassland fauna would find it a little paradise. Kutch Bustard Sanctuary provides food and shelter to an endangered bird of the Indian subcontinent-the Great Indian Bustard. In recent times, when this bustard has been almost wiped out from entire Gujarat, the significance of this place has been highlighted, at least for the state. The Sanctuary gets high conservation value for many other reasons also.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is one of the popular Project Tiger Reserves. It is situated at Sawai Madhopur District in the state of Rajasthan. Through out the world Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is acknowledged as the finest tiger reserves. Conservation efforts are being initiated for the protection of this animal from the hands of hunters. Thus, the sight of this shy animal roaming about peacefully around the park premises is not something unusual. Sometimes they just walk leisurely round the dense forest tracts. The dry deciduous habitat of the reserve makes it much easier to find and observe tigers in their natural wild habitat.
Ranthambore, once, was a hub of Maharajas, the imprints of which are scattered in every hook and nook of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. In fact the forests around were once the private hunting grounds of the Jaipur maharajas. It is sometimes possible to see the tiger strolling up the stairs of the regal ruin of the tenth century Ranthambore Fort, located with in this tiger reserve.
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is one of the richest natural reserves of Goa. Located amidst the dense forests it is one of the biggest biodiversity of India. Surrounded by abundant deciduous forest it covers an area of 240 sq.kms of area. Alongwith deciduous trees the forest has wide variety of shrubs and wild bushes which supports other lives in the sanctuary.
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National Parks of West India