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Judged as one of the greenest cities of India, Bhopal has everything to keep its visitors engaged. From monumental remains to beautiful parks it has all and more. There are numerous National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries located in and around the beautiful city of Bhopal that can serve as perfect destination for outdoor wildlife tour. Wildlife sanctuaries near Bhopal were set set up by the government to protect animals from poachers. Government official and Forest Rangers keep vigil on the on the demography of the wild animals and ensure no harm done to them by humans. Further there are popular national parks near Bhopal. These parks are very popular and prevent depletion of forest resources by humans and hunting of animals because of which many animals are on the verge of extinction. Lets go through the famous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries located in and around Bhopal.
Van Vihar National Park
Spread over an area of 4.45 sq km Van Vihar National Park is home to a variety of animals. It is a best place to visit in Bhopal as here you can find many endangered species as well. Declared a national park in 1983 its more of a zoo but with a difference. Here while carnivorous like Tiger, Panther, Lion, Hyena, Bear, Gharial, Snakes are kept in captivity herbivores like deer and antelopes are allowed to roam freely.The varied flora and wilderness of the park also makes an ideal place for avian fauna, consisting of over 200 species of birds migrating to the park during the winter season, along with a variety of butterflies and insects.
Timings April to September : 7 am to evening 7 pm October to March: 8 am to evening 6 pm The Park remains closed on every Friday.
Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1976 and spread over 288 sq. km. Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary is wonderful tourist spot near Bhopal. The most famous animals that you would surely spot here are Tiger, Leopard, Wild Boar, Chital, Sambhar etc. Besides animals, you will also find various spices of birds.The sanctuary swells with devotess on the eve of Shivratri when flocks of people throng to Bhandariya, Shiv Temple. Staying is not an issue as you can opt to stay in Forest Rest House, P. W. D. Rest House, Bari, Bhandiv Forest Rest House Bumhori to spend a night at the Sanctuary.
Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary
Ratapani wildlife sanctuary in the Vindhaya range of Madhya Pradesh is spread over two Raisen and Sehore. It is almost 61 kms from Bhopal and takes 1 hour 15 mins time. The sanctuary spread over acres of land is home to exotic species of flora and fauna. The sanctuary runs parallel on the northern side of Narmada River and towards the west flows the Kolar River. In true sense its nature lover’s paradise. What makes this place different from the other places is its close proximity to the city of Bhopal and its relatively untouched forest areas. Even during harsh summer months there is availability of water for wild animals.You will find The Dahod Dam, The Ratapani Dam, The Barna Dam that hold large bodies of water, attracting not only wild animals but also ducks ,snipes,geese, teals ,cranes, storks and many rare birds from distant places places.
Tigers, Panthers, Wild dog, Hyenas, Jackals, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Sloth bear, Indian fox, Black-faced monkey, Indian rock python and many other species can be found here.Other fauna includes a large number of reptiles and 150 species of birds including the Paradise-flycatcher, the State Bird of Madhya Pradesh. Ratapani wildlife sanctuary is one out of seven reserves in Madhya Pradesh that have taken the initiative to protect tigers and focus on "Project Save the Tiger". The sanctuary is filled with trees like Teak, Sheesham, Bija, Saja, Tendu, Khair,etc. If you plan to visit this sanctuary make sure it’s between the months from October to April when the weather is pleasant.
Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is located in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh. It’s not only a national park but also one of the tiger reserve, under the tiger project. Established in 1955, this sanctuary today stands over an area of 940 km?. This sanctuary has enormous beauty of both wildlife and plants. Witness spectacular wildlife in its natural settings. Here you are most likely to see the Tiger, Leopards, Sloth bear, Barasingha, Indian Pipistrelle, Nilgai, Common Mongoose, and Indian wild dog. The Sambar, Blackbucks, Spotted deer, Jackal and the four-horned antelopes are also frequently found loitering in the forest areas. The Barasingha is the most common animal found here. Sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha reminds us about the narration given in "Jungle Book " by Rudyard Kipling. The park is closed during the months from July to October due to monsoons.February to June are the best month to visit the sanctuary.
Since it’s a dense forest, you are provided with a Government jeep to
help you cover all grounds of the forest. At Kanha National Park
elephants are used for tiger tracking. There are around 22 species of
mammals and around 200 species of birds which include the breasted
kingfisher, racket-tailed drongo and red-wattled lapwing, all of which
that can be watched from the hills. In the year 2000, the Dept of
Tourism, Govt. of India announced Kanha National Park as the best
tourism friendly national parks. If you ever get hungry, there are many
multi cuisine restaurants around the park that offer some delicious food
to the hungry explores. Besides animals and birds, Kanha National park
is also home to many exotic plants and trees. Road Distance or driving distance from Bhopal to Kanha National Park is
492 kms (306.00 miles). The nearest airports and railway stations are at
Jabalpur and Bilaspur. Buses are available from Jabalpur to Kisli and
Mukki, the two main entry points of Kanha park.
Narsinghgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Narsinghgarh Wildlife Sanctuary that came into being in 1974 is situated in Rajgarh District, Madhya Pradesh. It counts amongst the famous wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh. This sanctuary is around 57 sq km. and home to many wildlife animals and birds. Some of the most popular animals spotted here are sambar, chital, blue bull, leopard and wild boar. Besides wild animals, this sanctuary is also home to around 164 species of birds. The principal fauna found here are Teak, Saja, Dhawda, Khair, Bhaeda, Karonda, Karghai, Lendia, Arjun, Chandan etc. Right in the center of the sanctuary you will find a lake known as the ‘Chidikhol Lake’. Early the local monarchs used this place for hunting purpose, today however hunting here is forbidden and the sanctuary serves as a protection for various animals to prevent their extinction.
The Narsinghgarh Fort, Bada Mahadev, Chhota Mahadev, Soulah Khamb, Haji Wali Dargah, etc. are some of the other attractions. The best season to visit the sanctuary is from the months of November to June.Narsinghgarh Wildlife Sanctuary also has a rest house known as The Narsinghgarh Forest Rest House for visitors who are looking for accommodation while at the sanctuary. Narsinghgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located 70 kilometers from Bhopal and it takes around 2 hours to reach this famous destination .
Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary
The Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of more than a 1000 sq km. is spread over Sagar, Damoh and Narsinghpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. It counts amongst the largest wildlife reserve in India. Stretching across more than a thousand sq km. this sanctuary is home to a number of wildlife animals and birds . It is rich in biodiversity. The most popular animals spotted here are Indian wolf, Blue Bull or Nilgai, Indian gazelle or Chinkara, Four horned deer and marsh crocodile. During the safari the popular sight are Sloth bear, leopard and Indian wolf. It’s one of the only sanctuaries where animals like the chinkara or Indian gazelle, four horned and barking deer can be seen easily.
The famous birds spotted here are parakeets, peacocks, minivets, orioles, eagles, storks, owlets and owls, kingfishers, partridges, quails and doves. Trees like teak, saja, dhawda and bhirra are plentiful here. The sanctuary also has a lake and a river flowing through it. The Bamner River passes through the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary and is filled with crocodiles. It is also home to other reptiles like turtles and the different species of snakes. At the Cheola Lake you’ll find thirsty animals like the Blue Bull, Sambar, Chinakara, spotted deer and other animals coming here to quench their thirst. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary is also a site for Cheetah Reintroduction in India. The best season to visit this place is from November to March.