Indian Savanna as I call Velavadar, is a dream destination for any wild life lover. Situated in Saurashtra region,of western state of Gujarat in India, it is a place to be, for lover of Blackbucks. Land covered with Golden grass till your eyes reach, can be painter's delight.
Photo Description: Lovely Golden Grassland
Velavadar National park and Wild life sanctuary is situated 145 kms from Ahmedabad, main town of Gujarat. Wonderful road network from Ahmedabad to Velavadar makes journey enjoyable. Park covers 34 square km area ,which is quite small compared to other national parks of India. Park was created in 1976. Before that it was hunting ground of Maharaja of Bhavnagar. Park was specifically created for Blackbucks.Today Black bucks population in the park, has touched 2000.
Photo Description: Black Bucks
Black Bucks are easy to spot against Golden grassland. Water holes are provided at different spots all across the park.
Photo Description: Buck at waterhole
Photo Description: Nilgai
On inquiry guide told me that there are 2-3 Hyenas in the park but it is very rare to see them. I was lucky on that count.
Photo Description: Striped Hyena
Apart from wild animals, it is also home to many birds. In the winter thousands of Harrier birds visit this park to avoid harsh winter of Europe. Montagu's Harrier is more frequently seen here. There is wetland in southern side of this park, where one can see pelicans,Flamingos, Painted Stork,birds of prey and if lucky enough, Stolizca's Bushchat can also be found!
Photo Description :Kestrel
I was able to catch Pallid Harrier in my camera. It was a beautiful sight to see it flying. It had a grace of dancing in its movement.
Photo Description: Pallid Harrier
Best time to visit this park is from October to February.
How to reach: Best way to reach it, is to drive down from Ahmedabad. It takes around 2.5 hours journey to reach the park from Ahmedabad . One has to enter park in one's own vehicle. Guide is provided (compulsory) by the forrest department. They are more to keep watch over you rather than provide any information. Guide we had , had no knowledge and was constantly talking on his cell phone. So gather all knowledge before you reach there.
Ahmedabad--> Arnej-->Vataman Cross Roads-->Pipli--> Dholera--> Adhelai-->Velavadar
No signboards can be seen anywhere on the highway as currently road is being repaired. At Adhelai check post turn right for final 10 kilometers to the park.
Charges: 20 rs. per person entrance,200 rs.for car,100 rs. per camera + 50rs. to be directly paid to guide for which there will not be any receipt!
Staying options: Forrest lodge:. For which all permissions are to be taken from forest department's office at Bhavnagar. Even tea was not available when we went there. So carry your water and food as place is remote.
Another option is upmarket Blackbuck Lodge.It is situated hardly 500 mters from the park.
Truly a place for wild life lover!!