Vansda National Park
|Vansda National Park|
|Location||Navsari District, Gujarat, India|
|Area||23.99 km2 (9.26 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Forest Department of Gujarat|
Vansda National Park, also known as Bansda National Park, is a protected area which represents the thick woodlands of the Dangs and southern Gujarat, and is situated in the Vansda tehsil, Navsari District of Gujarat State, India. Riding on the banks of Ambika River and measuring roughly 24 km2 in area, the park lies about 65 km east of the town of Chikhali on the National Highway 8, and about 80 km north-east of the city of Valsad. Vansda, the town from which the name of the park is derived, is an important trading place for the surrounding area where the majority of the population is represented by adivasis. Vansda-Waghai state highway runs through the park, so does the narrow gauge rail link connecting Ahwa to Billimora.
Established in 1979 as a National Park, the deciduous forest area having groves of "Katas" bamboo owes its beauty to no felling of trees since 1952. Nestled in the Western Ghats of Sahyadri range, it has a unique flavour of flora and fauna population.
Apart from the botanical garden, some of the other attractions include local tribes, "Gira Falls", and the "Conservation center". As a part of developing ecotourism Gujarat Government has developed a campsite at Kilad. There is also a deer breeding center maintained by Nature Club Surat in this region.
The best time to visit is post-monsoon season till winter when the forests are lush green and streams are full.
Important animals found here are the Indian leopard, rhesus macaque, common palm civet, Hanuman langur, small Indian civet, four-horned antelope, wild boar, Indian porcupine, barking deer, hyena, jungle cat, Indian porcupine, flying squirrel, python, and venomous snakes like Russell's viper, cobras and kraits. Also, the pangolin, rusty spotted cat and the endangered great Indian squirrel can be found here. For example, in 1992, a rusty-spotted cat was spotted in a farmhouse at a plantation of mangoes in this park.
Like Purna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Dangs' Forest, and Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bengal tiger is reportedly extinct in the State of Gujarat. However, since the area where the state borders Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh has tigers anyway, the forest is a potential habitat of the tiger.
Here, a high diversity of species of forest birds is the main attraction for ecotourism. About 155 species of birds are found including common grey hornbill, grey-fronted green pigeon, yellow backed sunbird, Malabar trogon, jungle babbler, forest spotted owlet, shama, great Indian black woodpecker, are found. Apart from this, there are a variety of insects, centipedes, millipedes and snails. There are about 121 species of spider including the largest species in Gujarat the giant wood spider.
There are 443 species of flowering plants. This includes teak, sadad, khakhro, kadad, humb, timru, kalam, bamboo, dudhkod, mahudo, behda, umaro, kusum, tanach, asan, shimlo, ambla, sisam, chopadi bondaro, etc. There are a variety if colourful orchids at Ambika river.
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- Gujarat Tourism: Vansda National Park