NATIONAL PARKS OF INDIA


Blackbuck National Park - Gujarat





The Blackbuck National Park at Velavadar is situated in the Bhavnagar District of Gujarat. The park is also called Velavadar National Park. It has an exceptional grassland ecosystem and is believed to be the only tropical grassland in the country that has been conferred a National Park status.

History
Previously, the park was a private grassland of the Maharaja of Bhavnagar. However, it was deemed a national park in 1976. Presently it is identified as 4B Gujarat-Rajwada biotic region of partially-dry bio-geographical area.

Fauna and Avian-fauna
Velavadar or Blackbuck National Park is quite popular among the tourists for blackbucks which are found in great numbers here. Other animal species of the grassland include wolves, jungle cats, jackals, foxes, hyenas etc.

Different colorful and rare bird species such as Houbara bustard, Lesser floricans, Larks and Sandgrouse can be sighted here. The harrier roost of the park is believed to be one of the largest in the world. Harriers are one of the species of the diurnal hawks belonging to the Circinae sub-family of the Accipitridae family. These hawks generally fly low over the open areas to hunt small reptiles, mammals and birds.

Flora
Blackbuck National Park is primarily grassland with few areas of mesquite (Prosopis chilensis) and thorn scrub. The grassland is typical savannah type.

Getting there
The closest railhead is at Dhola, 50 km away, and the airport and bus terminal is at Bhavnagar (approximately 65 km away). The buses from Bhavnagar to the park halt at Vallabhipur (approximately 45 km away).

General Information
Accommodation is available in Government Forest department's bungalow with prior booking. Other options are also available in Bhavnagar. It is advisable not to wear strong perfumes and flashy coloured attires as these can agitate the animals. Vallabhipur, the historical town, is 30 km away.

Tourist information
Address: Blackbuck National Park, Bhavnagar, Bhal, Saurashtra, Gujarat, 364001, India
Phone: +91-98981-81234 or +91-96387-37754
Ideal time to visit: December to March
Closed: June to October (Monsoon season)
Entry timings: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm (Monday to Friday) & 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Saturday)
Entry fee applicable

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