Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rajasthan
Travel is more than just an escape from our fast-paced lives; it’s a gateway to uncovering new facets of our world. When we hear the word’ travel’, most of us imagine majestic castles, picturesque mountains, winding rivers, and the echoing of strange sounds. Today’s day is dedicated to these ‘strange noises’. The true essence of our planet lies not in the towering structures of our cities but in the vibrant band of animals and birds that inhabit our jungles.
From the majestic tigers to the super cute flying squirrels, Rajasthan is the abode of countless exotic species of animals that will fill your heart with happiness and joy. Want to meet them in person? Then, you need to visit the best wildlife sanctuaries in our state!
So, without further delay, let’s embark on this exploration and discover the hidden treasures of Rajasthan’s wildlife sanctuaries –
Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary
The Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bayana tehsil of Bharatpur city in Rajasthan. This sanctuary holds historical significance as it was once the private wildlife preserve of the former rulers of Bharatpur. The construction of a dam on the Kokund River within the sanctuary’s boundaries began in 1866 under the initiative of Maharaja Jaswant Singh.
This ambitious project, aimed at harnessing water resources, was eventually completed in 1897 during the reign of Maharaja Ram Singh.
Today, the Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of wildlife species. Visitors can expect to encounter Sambhur, Cheetal, Blue Bull (Nilgai), Hyena, and Wild Boar in this natural haven. It not only offers a glimpse into Rajasthan’s wildlife but also showcases the historical engineering achievements of the royals of Bharatpur.
Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on the western edge of the Vindhyachal ranges, encompasses not only picturesque landscapes but also an array of fascinating wildlife. This sanctuary also contains the Bassi and Orai dams, displaying the harmony between nature and human engineering.
Among the diverse wildlife that calls this sanctuary home are antelope, wild boar, panthers, and mongooses. The sanctuary is a haven for various animal species, including the elusive jackal, stealthy wild cats, graceful chinkaras, and majestic panthers.
As a visitor, you can also spot crocodiles, cranes, and civets here. Additionally, the sanctuary is graced by the spotted deer, the vibrant peacock, and the prickly porcupine. Hyenas, langurs, and foxes add to the sanctuary’s rich tapestry of wildlife, making it a captivating destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike.
Bhainsrorgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary, known for its enthralling natural beauty and diverse wildlife, also holds a special place in the hearts of devotees as it is also the abode of Baba Ramdev Mandir. Ramdev Mandir is a revered folk deity of Rajasthan.
Beyond its spiritual significance, this sanctuary offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. The Mahadev and Gaipernath waterfalls add to their allure, providing scenic spots for exploration. As you venture into this sanctuary, you’ll be greeted by the melodious calls of various bird species, both native and migratory. From the elegant Flamingos and Sarus Cranes to the graceful Goose and Black-bellied Terns, the avian diversity here is astounding.
Red-crested Pochards, Hawks, Stocks, Darters, and Owls rule over the skies, while on land, you may encounter Chinkaras, Foxes, Hyenas, Deer, Jackals, Antelopes, and Wild Boar. The sanctuary’s water bodies host Crocodiles and Turtles, and a variety of reptiles. It is truly a heaven for both spiritual seekers and nature enthusiasts, offering a harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural significance.
Darrah Game Sanctuary
Located just 50 kilometers away from the town of Kota, Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural treasure with a fascinating history. Once used as a hunting preserve by Kota’s former maharaja, this sanctuary now stands as a protected haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The sanctuary is characterized by its dense vegetation and rugged mountainous terrain, creating a picturesque landscape for visitors to explore.
In 1955, it received formal recognition as a protected area, safeguarding its rich biodiversity. As you venture through Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary, you may encounter a variety of animals, including wolves, cheetahs, nilgai, deer, and wild boar, offering a glimpse into the untamed beauty of this natural refuge.
Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
The Desert National Park offers a unique glimpse into the arid landscapes of the Thar Desert, and it’s a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.
It’s a common sight to witness a majestic array of avian beauties, including eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrels, and vultures.
Among these, kestrels, laggar falcons, short-toed eagles, tawny eagles, and spotted eagles are most prevalent. Amidst this stark environment, spotting the endangered Great Indian Bustard is a delightful but rare experience.
During the winter, the park’s bird population swells with the arrival of Demoiselle cranes and MacQueen’s bustards. The Desert National Park is a remarkable natural wonder, with approximately 44.8% of its terrain composed of dunes.
Endless dunes, jagged boulders, and compact salt lake bottoms define its rugged landforms. The sanctuary was officially recognized by the authorities in 1980.
Phulwari Ki Nal Sanctuary
The diverse range of fascinating creatures spotted in this wildlife sanctuary, make it a true natural treasure trove. From the enigmatic large-tailed nightjars that come to life in the dark to the graceful and elusive flying squirrels, the sanctuary leaves you thrilled.
Three-striped palm squirrels scurry through the foliage, along with Asian chameleons displaying their unique adaptation skills. Indian star tortoises plod along, adding a touch of ancient mystique to the landscape.
The sanctuary also serves as a habitat for mouse deer, four-horned antelope, and even the stealthy panthers, the apex predators of this rich and biodiverse ecosystem.
Exploring this sanctuary promises encounters with nature’s marvels at every turn, offering a truly immersive experience for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary
Nestled amongst the picturesque Aravali ranges with Udaipur city on the south lies the Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary. Once the preferred hunting ground for Mewad’s rulers, this sanctuary now stands as a protected haven for wildlife.
Among the species that call this sanctuary their home are jungle cats, hyenas, blue bulls, langurs, and majestic Sambar deer. However, it’s not just the flora and fauna that draws visitors here; the sanctuary’s crown jewel is the world-renowned Jaisamand Lake, one of Asia’s largest artificial aquatic bodies.
This pristine sanctuary offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, a perfect experience for those seeking both wildlife encounters and majestic landscapes.
Jamwa Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary, steeped in historical significance, served as a favored hunting ground for the rulers of the Kachwaha dynasty in its early days. However, in 1982, recognizing its importance for preserving the region’s unique biodiversity, it was officially declared a wildlife sanctuary. Within its protected boundaries, you can encounter a diverse array of species, from the elusive roody mongoose and graceful chital to the vibrant peafowl and stately nilgai. The sanctuary is also home to antelopes, lions, and languors that thrive in this historic and protected haven.
Jawahar Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Northern Vindhyas, this sanctuary is a nature gem that encompasses the Earl Forest, the Hadoti region, and the Kota Shikargah. The landscape is graced by the abundant presence of khair and dhok trees, imparting a distinct charm to the sanctuary’s ecosystem.
Overseeing the preservation and management of this precious natural haven is the administrative jurisdiction of Kota’s wildlife division, ensuring the continued protection of its unique flora and fauna for generations to come.
Keladevi Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary takes its name from the namesake temple of goddess Kailadevi 21km from it. Nestled within the buffer zone of the Ranthambore National Park, this sanctuary occasionally offers you the thrill of spotting tigers in its pristine environs.
However, its wildlife extends beyond these elusive cats, encompassing a wide range of animals. Within its boundaries, you can encounter sloth bears, and deers including the graceful nilgai, majestic sambhar, and charming cheetah, as well as striped hyenas and Indian porcupines. The sanctuary serves as a testament to the rich biodiversity of the region, providing a serene yet exhilarating experience for nature enthusiasts and pilgrims alike.
Kesarbagh Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary is characterized by its dry deciduous thorny forest, a landscape that exudes rugged beauty and natural allure. Within this wilderness, jungle cats and jackal hyenas reign as some of the major inhabitants, adding an air of mystique to its untamed environs.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Spanning the rugged terrain of the Aravalli Range and encompassing areas across the Rajsamand, Udaipur, and Pali districts, this sanctuary is a sprawling testament to the natural beauty of Rajasthan.
Within its boundaries lies the formidable Kumbhalgarh fort, adding a historic charm to its wilderness. The sanctuary’s elevation varies from 500 to 1,300 meters (1,600 to 4,300 feet), creating a diverse and picturesque landscape. It belongs to the eco-region of Katihar-Girl dry deciduous woods, showcasing a unique mix of flora and fauna.
Among its wildlife inhabitants are the Indian wolf, Indian leopard, sloth bear, striped hyena, golden jackal, jungle cat, sambhar, nilgai, chausingha (the four-horned antelope), chinkara, and the fleet-footed Indian hare.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Stretching over a plateau approximately 6 kilometers wide and 19 kilometers long, the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural gem nestled amidst the Aravalli Range. Guru Shikhar, which is also the state’s highest peak, is part of the sanctuary, measuring between 300 to 1,722 meters above sea level. Within its boundaries, nature thrives in the embrace of the Khathiar-Gir eco-region which contains dry deciduous forests. The sanctuary is inhabited by the Indian leopard, sloth bear, the graceful Sambar deer, wild boar, and the chinkara.
Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary’s thriving ecosystem is home to various species of deer, crocodiles, and a host of other fascinating creatures. For bird enthusiasts, a delightful surprise awaits with the presence of 85 different bird species gracing the skies and trees. One of the sanctuary’s standout features is its renowned lion safari, offering visitors a thrilling opportunity to observe the magnificent big cats in their natural habitat. The sanctuary’s significance goes beyond its wildlife as it also serves as a vital lion breeding facility, playing a crucial role in conservation efforts. Inaugurated by former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, it has evolved into a unique and popular tourist destination, for both nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
Conclusion – Rajasthan’s diverse wildlife sanctuaries are not just havens for exotic animals and birds but also a window into the state’s rich history and natural beauty. From the historic Band Baretha to Bhensrodgarh which reverberates with spirituality, each of them offers a unique experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure, solace, or a glimpse of nature’s wonders, our sanctuaries have it all. Visit them and let the wilderness of Rajasthan leave an indelible mark on your soul.