Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs
Open Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost: INR 20,
Vehicle fee: Starts from INR 400 and increases with the size of the vehicle,
Camera fee: INR 100-200,
Guide fee: INR 100 for 1 hour
Tucked in between the Sahyadri ranges, lies this conserved wildlife park spanning over an area of about 24 sq kilometres. It got its name as Vansda because it was once privately owned by the Maharaja of Vansda. Not a single tree has been cut since then. Owing to this, in some places, the canopies are so thick that sunlight does not pass through. It is an open park, and you can easily get a permit if you want to explore it in your own vehicle.
Mostly, moist and dry deciduous trees dot the area. Courtesy of this combination of dry and wet deciduousness, the place boasts of housing over 443 species of flowering plants. It is towered over by tall teak trees. Gigantic creepers hover around while thick bamboo thickets and wild mango groves line the area. Towards the east of the park, there lies an expanse of Bharadi grasslands. Other species include sadad, khakhro, timru, shimlo, ambla, shisham to name a few. One can also find a variety of orchids at the Ambika River. It is indeed a delightful experience for every nature lover.
In addition to the lush and dense foliage, the park is endowed with a great variety of wildlife species. Indian leopard, rhesus macaque, common palm civet, Hanuman langur, small Indian civet, four-horned antelope, Indian porcupine, barking deer, hyena, flying squirrel are some of them. The endangered great Indian squirrel can also be found here. Reptiles to be spotted include 30 species of snakes and the gigantic python. The rare giant wood spider along with 121 more species of spiders can be found. Over 150 different varieties of birds are a haven for bird-watchers. Most common among them are gray hornbill, pompadour green pigeon, jungle babbler, Malabar trogon, great black woodpecker. The myriad of colorful butterflies found is a visual treat.
The best time to visit the Vansda National Park is post-monsoon and winter months (November to February).
Vansda National Park can be reached from Surat or Waghai by hiring a taxi or booking a seat on a bus. The nearest bus stop is at Waghai at a distance of 4 km. From Saputara, it is at a distance of 53 km and is a 90-minute drive.
1. Food is not available. Binoculars are recommended. Look out for bird droppings, and tracks as chances of spotting wild animals are rare.
2. If walking barefoot, thick socks could be worn as protection from the uneven grass.
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