Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs
Open Time: April - July: 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM,
August - October: 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM,
November - 15th February: 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM,
16th February - April: 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Located in the city of lakes, i.e. Bhopal, Van Vihar was given the title of National Park in 1983. With the declaration as a National Park, it manages to work as a Zoological Space under the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority. The animals here are kept closest to their natural habitats. Moreover, the beauty of the place find no words. It is a paradise for the people who breathe the mystical nature. Wildlife enthusiasts cherish watching the leopards, cheetah, neelgai, panthers, etc. while bird lovers find themselves in a whole new world with the kingfisher, bulbuls, wagtails, phakta, and many more migratory birds. Sprawling over a vast area of 4.45 sq.km, it ensures complete security to animals from poaching and other illegal activities.
The area where Van Vihar finds itself today was once prone to some illegal stone quarries. Not only this but the beauty of the place was a prey to many commercial organisations who wished to take over the valuable piece of land. The realisation of this threat to the natural cover made the government shelter it under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972. A considerable committee of experts was brought to the table only to declare it as a Protected area and a National Park in 1983. The first technical document, also known as Management Plan was written by Jagdish Chandra, IFS and Ex-Director of Van Vihar in the year 2000.
It covers an area of 4.45 km sq, out of which 3.8 belongs to the government and the rest to the villagers of Amkheda, Dharmapuri, and Prempura. To acquire the private area of 0.5 km sq., villagers were given a compensation of INR 23.52 Lakhs. Now, this area is fenced and stone chained for protection purposes of both the people who visit and the animals residing inside the park. Since the very day, Van Vihar has been in existence; substantial efforts have been made for its transformation into an oasis of greenery. Today, the precious land serves as the green lung of the capital city of Madhya Pradesh.
The National Park has a massive variety of Flora and Fauna. The animals you find here are either orphaned or brought from different places for their betterment while the birds fly to the area during their migration. It offers a safe asylum for the species inside. Below is the list of the animal and plant community which you may encounter in Van Vihar.
Flora: The vegetation belongs to the southern dry deciduous scrub forests. The primary species are Doodhi, Bel, Amaltas, Saja, Amla, Teak, Palas, Kardhai and Tendu. There is also a variety of grasses such as Dub, Kusai, Lapusari, Bhanjura, and Phulera. The creepers include Bangoon Creeper, Karech, Gomachi, and Malkangni.
Captives- The Bengal Tiger, White Tiger, Indian Wolf, Wild Cats, Sloth Bear, Red Fox, Striped Hyena, Indian Jackal, Wild Dog, Mugger, Crocodile, Gharial, Mongoose, Snakes, Python, etc., are kept within the enclosed areas.
Herbivores- These include Red Monkey, Sambhar, Blackbuck, Blue Bull, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar, Cheetal, Porcupine, Hare, Common Langur, Rhesus Macaque, etc. These animals are set free in the areas similar to their natural habitat as they are harmless.
Avian Fauna- A large number of birds pay a visit to the park during their migratory period. Around 200 species of birds have been recorded yet, one being of Oriental white-backed vultures. In the 2010s, a vulture breeding centre was developed for the restoration of the populations of Oriental white-backed vultures. Pintail, spot bills, brahminy duck, gadwall, red-crested pochard, peacocks, etc. along with 60 species of vividly colourful butterflies are found here.
Indians: INR 20
Foreigners: INR 200
Camera: INR 40
Video Camera: INR 300
2 Wheelers with maximum 2 people: INR 60
Auto Rickshaw (Max 4 people, driver included): INR 120
Car/ SUV (Max 8 people, driver included): INR 250
There are various ways of commuting within the park. You can either walk or take your own vehicle inside. Another option for you is to hire a bicycle which is available at a nominal price of INR 10 per person for one hour. You also need to give INR 50 as a security deposit which later is refunded. Van Vihar also has electric Golf Carts which carry maximum five people for INR 275. If two more people wish to join the group, they need to pay INR 55 each.
The Park Management has also started safari rides which take the visitors into the internal portions of the park. It charges INR 50 per person, the condition being there are minimum six people up for it otherwise if an individual wishes to go alone, he has to pay INR 300.
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Located in the heart of the city, Van Vihar has easy access. It has two entrances, Chickoo Dwar and Ramu Dwar. The nearest Bus Stop to Cheeku Dwar is Kilok Park. You can also visit the Lake Road as the park is situated at the end of this road. Next, Bhadbhada Bridge for Ramu Dwar is the nearest point. You need to take a private vehicle, a car or an auto rickshaw as no public transport reaches towards the gate of Van Vihar.
You can get rental bicycles from the ticket counter for exploring the park. Alternatively, you can wander through the park on foot.
1. The entry ticket has a limit of hours per ticket.
2. There is a food zone inside the park which sells snacks and drinks. However, not much options are available, so you can carry something to munch on.
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