(Last Updated on : 25/06/2014)
Van Vihar National Park is situated at the foot of the Shyamla Hill adjacent to the Upper Lake in Bhopal
in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh
. It was established on 26th January in the year 1983 and spans over an area of 4.45 kilometres. It is also popular as Safari Park. Although it has been notified as a national park, it has been developed as a modern zoological park and is maintained as per the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority. The wild animals in the sanctuary enjoy their natural habitat and most of them have been brought from different regions of the state in exchange with other zoos. Van Vihar National Park offers an easy access to the visitors and the security of animals from poachers has been maintained by constructing walls and trenches.
History of Van Vihar National Park
Van Vihar National Park used to be the centre of many illegal stone quarries several years ago. The magnificent location of the forest, along the bank of a huge tranquil lake, made it a sought after land for a number of commercial organizations. Later to preserve the wild fauna of the region both in-situ and ex-situ conservation measures were adopted under the Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972
. For deciding the modalities for constitution of the place as a protected area a committee of experts was formed. Thus as per the committee's recommendation, the place attained the status of National Park in 1983. About 3.88 square kilometres of land out of the total area of 4.45 square kilometres was declared as government revenue land whereas the rest was owned by the villagers of Amkheda, Dharampuri
and Prempura. It was further developed through various efforts for protection and habitat improvement. In 1993-94, funding from Central Zoo Authority began and soon the park became enriched with lush greenery and rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Flora and Fauna of Van Vihar National Park
Rich biodiversity can be witnessed in Van Vihar National Park in terms of fauna. The carnivores have been kept in enclosed areas while the herbivores wander freely around the park.
The captives of the sanctuary include Python, Snakes, Gharial, Crocodiles, Hyena, Bear
, Lion, Panther, Tiger and many others. Proper diet is provided to them by the authorities of the national park. Freely roaming animals of the park enlist Blue Bull, Blackbuck
, Sambhar, Cheetal etc. They feed on the grasses however during winters they are provided with wheat husk procured from the market and green fodder produced in the fodder farm. Van Vihar National Park is the abode of many endangered species of animals. Diverse species of insects and butterflies also dwell in the sanctuary. Trees like Gurajan, Kardhai, Palas, Salai, Tendu and Teak
are the prominent floral species. Creepers such as Harjudi, Malkangni, Gomachi and Bangoon also grow here.
Avifauna of Van Vihar National Park
A plethora of gorgeous birds are also the inhabitants of Van Vihar National Park. About 200 varieties of avifauna have been recorded here. Common winged members of the forest include Bulbuls, Wagtails, Barlets, Munias, Peacocks
, Blue Kingfisher etc. During winters, the park invites several migratory Waterfowl and other species like Drongo and Tree Pie which flock around the lake of the park. A vulture breeding centre has been established in the park in the 2010 with the aim of restoring populations of Long Billed Vultures and Oriental White-Backed Vultures.
Van Vihar National Park is best visited between the period of July and September and can be conveniently reached. Bhopal airport, 10 kilometres away, is the nearest airport. It can also be approached through roadways and railways.