Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary
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|Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary|
A view of Sita Mata sanctuary
|Area||422.95 sq km|
|Established||November 1, 1979|
Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary situated in south-east portion of Pratapgarh district (Rajasthan) in India, declared as the protected forest area by vide Government of Rajasthan Notification no. F 11 (9) Revenue/8/79 Dated 2.11.1979. Having an area of 422.95 square kilometers, it is a dense forest land which is about 40% of the total land area of this developing district. Sita Mata Wild life Sanctuary is the chief attraction in Pratapgarh. The topography of the area is undulating because of the confluence of three different geological formations- Malwa Plateau, Vindhyachal Hills and Aravali ranges.
The sanctuary is located between 74 degree 25' E and 24 degree 04' N in Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan. The average elevation ranges between 280 and 600 metres above MSL with an average rainfall of 756 mm annually. The temperature variation during winters is between 6 degree C and 14 degree and in summers 32 degree and 45 degree C. The thickly wooded Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls over the Aravali ranges and the Malwa plateau, with seasonal rivers- Jakham, Karmoi, Sitamata, Budhho, and Tankiya flowing through the forest. Jakham is the major one. Located about 45 km from Pratapgarh and 108 km from the divisional Headquarters. Udaipur, the sanctuary, covering 423 km2 of mainly dry deciduous vegetation has exceptionally rich flora and fauna. The forest type as per classification of Champion and Seth, Sita Mata is 'IInd Dry Tropical Forest'.
Since the early times the north-west part of Pratapgarh region had dense forests consisting of valuable Sagwaan, Chandan, Sheesham, Saalar, Dhaak, Dhonk, Kadamb, Mahua, Babool, Imlee and Baans trees in abundance and therefore, in 1828 AD, a separate state forest department was created to manage state's exceptionally rich forest wealth.
How to reach Pratapgarh?
By Road: Pratapgarh is well connected with major cities in Rajasthan, Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh by road. Daily Bus Services Connect Pratapgarh with Chittorgarh ( 110 km), Banswara (85 km), Udaipur (165 km), Dungarpur (195 km), Rajsamand (133 km), Jodhpur (435 km), Jaipur (432 km) in Rajasthan; Ratlam (85 km), Mandsaur (32 km) in M.P. and Delhi (705 km).
By Rail: Pratapgarh is yet to be connected with a railway line. Nearest railway station is Mandsaur (M.P.) (28 km) & Chittorgarh (110 km).
A Sanctuary with Rich Bio-diversity
It is the only forest region, where more than half of the trees are high building value teak. Salar ( Boswellia serrata Rox. ex coleb), Tendu ( Diospyros melonoxy Roxb.), Bad (Ficus benghalensis), Peepal ( Ficus Religiosa Linn.), Babool ( Acacia arabica), Neem ( Azadirachta indica), Arinja (Acacia leucophaea), Siras, Churail, Kachnar, Gulmohar, Amaltas, Bakayan, Ashok, Mahua, Semal, Goondi, Khejadi (Prosopis spicigera), Kumta (Acacia rupestris), Amla, Bamboo, Sindoor, Chironjee, Rudraksha'' and Bel trees are also found in abundance. Hundreds of climbers and shrubs make the place heavenly. Out of 108 varieties of high value medicinal herbs found here, 17 belong to the '32 endangered varieties'.
Sita Mata: A birds' Paradise
A large number of residential and migratory birds are found in this region out of which most common are, nearly of 130 varieties. Little grebe, Little cormorant, Indian darter (Snake bird), Gray Heron, Pond heron, Cattle egret, Little egret, Painted stork, White necked stork, Spoonbill, Lesser whistling thrush, Ruddy shelduck, Pintail, Cotton teal, Spotbill, Nukta, Parah kite, Shikra, White eyed buzzard, King vulture, White-backed vulture, Tawny eagle, White scavenger vulture, Eastrel, Black Partridge, Rain Quail, Jungle Bush Quail, Indian peafowl, Sarus crane, White-breasted Waterhen, Moorhen, Purple moorhen, Common coot, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Red-wattled Lapwing, Red shank, Wood sandpiper, Common sandpiper, Little stint, Black-winged Stilt, Stone-curlew, Indian Courser, River tern, Common sandgrouse, Green pigeon, Blue rock pigeon, Red Turtle Dove, Indian ring dove, Spotted dove, Little brown dove, Alexandrine Parakeet, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Common Hawk-Cuckoo, Pied crested cuckoo, Koel, Crow pheasant, Spotted owlet, Collared scops owl, Franklis nightjar, House swift, Palm swift, Pied kingfisher, Common kingfisher, White breasted kingfisher, Green Bee-eater, Blue tailed eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Indian Roller, European Roller, Hoopoe, Gray Hornbill, Coppersmith, Golden backed woodpecker, Yellow fronted pied woodpecker, Indian Pitta, Red winged bush lark, Ashy crowned finchlark, Rufous tailed finchlark, Crested lark, Dusky Crag Martin, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Gray shrike, Bay-backed Shrike, Rufous backed shrike, Golden oriole, Black drongo (King Crow), White-bellied Drongo, Brahminy Myna, Rody Paster, Common Myna, Bank Myna, Indian tree pie, House crow, Jungle Crow, Black-headed Cuckooshrike, Scarlet minivet, Common Iora, Red-vented Bulbul, Common Babbler, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Large Grey Babbler, Gray headed flycatcher, Red-breasted flycatcher, White browed fantail flycatcher, Paradise flycatcher, Franklin's ween warbler, Tailorbird, Lesser Whitethroat, Indian robin, Crested bunting Magpie Robin, Brown Rock Chat, Collared bush chat, Pied Bush Chat, Large Cuckooshrike, Wood shrike, Grey Tit, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Yellow headed wagtail, Grey wagtail, White wagtail, Purple sunbird, White-eye, House sparrow, Weaver bird, Red Avadavat, White-throated Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, are a few varieties that are common to this forest region.
The present book “Flora of Wildlife Sanctuary” Authored by Dr. K. L. Meena and Published by Discovery Publishing House PVT. Ltd., New Delhi in 2014 it deals with the floral resources of the area of southern Rajasthan which is represented by the admixture of Vindhyachal Mountain and Aravalli region of Rajasthan. 653 species belonging to 427 genera and 117 families have been presented. Besides providing an up to date nomenclature and full synonymy of all the taxa the elaborate description of species provided is based on personal observations of the authors. Special attention has been given to the information on nomenclature, identification and critical evaluation of species. Ecological notes along with phenology and ethnobotanical importance have been incorporated to almost all the taxa. The information about the medicinal plants spread over 20 pages, covers various tribal community from the sanctuary and different ailments cured in nature’s dispensary. 76 good quality illustrations and more than 161 coloured photographs have added to the value of the book. Moreover, 9 new taxa have been added to the flora of Rajasthan. The data has been provided in form of table, figurs and colour photographs are used to illustrate the findings. It is hoped that this book will certainly serve as an excellent reference material and practical guide for teachers, researchers, students and environmentalist’s as well as for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable utilization of plant resources. Hundreds of really rare herbs and medicinal plants are still waiting to be explored in this region. A study of plant-diversity of Sitamata wildlife sanctuary was conducted in 2010 by Kanhaiya Lal Meena,Vimala Dhaka, Prakash Chandra Ahir. Department of Botany, M. L. V. Government College Bhilwara 311001, Rajasthan, India. Traditional Uses of Ethnobotanical Plants for Construction of the Hut and Hamlets in the Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary of Rajasthan, India. Journal of Energy and Natural Resources. Vol. 2, No. 5, 2013, pp. 33–40. An extensive survey of the Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary of Rajasthan has been made to document the information about ethnobotanical plants being used by them to construct Hut and hamlets. 31 plant species of angiosperms have been recorded along with their plant parts used to construct of various types of Hut and hamlets in the sanctuary.
The most striking animal of Sita Mata sanctuary is the vegetarian mammal flying squirrel (Petaurista-philippensis), which can be seen gliding from one tree to another just around sunset at Arampura forest chowki, 17 km away from Dhariyawad.
Its feeding-activities are nocturnal and therefore it hides during the day time in its hollow on a Mahua tree. The best time to watch flying squirrels is between February and March, when most of the mahua trees shed their leaves and it is easier to spot the squirrel gliding between branches of leafless trees.
The Sanctuary provides rich pastures for a variety of deer that includes the Chousingha (four-horned antelope). Caracal, wild boar, pangolin, leopard, hyena, jackal, fox, jungle cat, porcupine, spotted deer, wild bear, and neelgai are other animals found here. As per the wild life census conducted on 17 May 2011, the number of wild life animals in the sanctuary was 1711 (inclusive of 10 leopards, 538 Jackals, 38 hyenas, 39 foxes, 117 jungle cats etc.)
The best time to visit Sitamata Sanctuary is between October and February.
Other tourism spots in the Sanctuary
It also houses ancient Valmiki Ashram- the birthplace of Luv and Kush (the twins born to Sita and Lord Rama), Hanuman and Sitamata temples and other places of historical and mythological importance. Another significant place of interest in the Sanctuary 5 km from 'Tikhi Magri' is 'Lakhiya Bhata'- where series of prehistoric animals are engraved on rocks. An annual fair in the sanctuary is held at the Sita Mata temple in July.
- Proposals for being declared as National Park
Initiative was taken, in assistance with the local member of parliament and forest officials by Hemant Shesh, the ex-collector & district magistrate of Pratapgarh to get this sanctuary declared as a national park for which proposals are underway.
1. Collins' Handguide to the birds of Indian sub-continent, Martin W. Woodcock, William Collins Sons & Co., London, 1980
2. The book of Indian Birds, Salim Ali, 1972
3. The birds of India, T.C. Jerdon, 3 vols.1862-64
4. A synopsis of the Birds of India and Pakistan, S.Dillon Ripley, 1961
5. A Study of Avifauna of the Rajasthan State (India), Dr. Dhirendra Devarshi, 2004
Meena, K. L. & Yadav, B. L. 2008. Floral resources of Rajasthan with special reference to Sitamata wildlife sanctuary. Geographical aspects. Proceedings of the 35th National conference of Rajasthan geography Association. MLV Government College, Bhilwara. Vol. IX : 56 - 65. Kanhaiya Lal Meena,Vimala Dhaka, Prakash Chandra Ahir. 2013. Traditional Uses of Ethnobotanical Plants for Construction of the Hut and Hamlets in the Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary of Rajasthan, India. Journal of Energy and Natural Resources. Vol. 2, No. 5, 2013, pp. 33–40. Meena, K. L. 2014.Flora of Wildlife Sanctuary. Discovery Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.
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