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Guru Ghasidas (Sanjay) National Park

Weather :

Ideal time : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Indian Nationals - INR 50
Foreigners - INR 100
Still Camera - INR 50
Video Camera - INR 150

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Guru Ghasidas (Sanjay) National Park, Chhattisgarh Overview

The Guru Ghasidas National Park is a beautifully protected reserve stretched into an area of 1440.71 sq kilometres. The park is one of the unique national parks in the area and is a must visit when travelling to the state of Chhattisgarh. It is located in the Koriya District of Chhattisgarh and was initially a part of the Sanjay National Park in Madhya Pradesh. However, after the formation of Chhattisgarh, 60% of the park landed in the Koriya district and this part was renamed Guru Ghasidas National Park.

Guru Ghasidas National Park is a mesh of small streams cutting through forests which contain immense amounts of distinct flora and fauna that catches the eye of nature lovers all around the country. Aside from the lush greenery and the serene atmosphere, the park also offers safaris which truly highlight the parks most excellent features and also allows picnics to be held inside the premises, with a choice of backdrop for the meal.

History

The history of Guru Ghasidas National Park dates back to the year 1981 when it was established. During this time, Guru Ghasidas was called Sanjay National Park and was a more significant area in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The area of the park was then divided into two parts during the formation of the state of Chhattisgarh in 2000. During this time 60 per cent of Sanjay National Park fell under the district of Koriya in Chhattisgarh. This part of the park was then renamed Guru Ghasidas National Park after the famous Satnami reformist hero. The national park is now an individualistic thriving community of different plant and animal species under one roof.

Geography

Forest in Madhya Pradesh
Forest in Madhya Pradesh
Source

The geography of the Guru Ghasidas National Park is a mix of several different kinds of foliage. Firstly, the national park is right in the middle of two very prominent tiger reserves. These tiger reserves are the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and the Palaman Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand. Secondly, the geographical topography of the national parks includes several small hills that are separated by grassy, open plain areas as well as sandy soils. The forest area is mostly a mixed deciduous type along with patches of mixed subtropical vegetation. Aside from the array of streams that criss-cross through the terrain, the primary source of water for the animals is from two important rivers on the premises. These rivers include the Banas River in the west of Guru Ghasidas National Park as well as the Bijaur Nala in the north which is filled up in the summer spell as well.

Flora and Fauna

One aspect that the Guru Ghasidas National Park is renowned for is its diverse flora and fauna that spreads through the area.

Shorea robusta
Shorea robusta
Source

Flora
The plant species growing the national park premise are old, new and a unique variety. The forests are primarily made up of distinct species of Teak, Sal and Bamboo Trees. You may also find variants like Gurjan, Palas, Tendu, Mahua and small plants and shrubs throughout the forested area.

Fauna

Sambar Deer
Sambar Deer
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The fauna or the animal and insect population of Guru Ghasidas National Park is high and includes all wide array of species. All of these species are not only given homes where they can live in their natural habitat, but they are also cared for and provided with an adequate supply of water from the rivers and streams and food. The safaris that are taken through the national park will guide you through the forests and will be sure to show you these wild beasts in their natural routine. Some of these animals include- Tigers, Leopards, Jackals, Barking as well as Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, the Sloth Bear, and a population of snakes such as the Cobra and the Python.
Birds are also spotted in plenty, and the bird watching is a common habit done by visitors of the Guru Ghasidas National Park. Some of the many birds that frequent this area are Kingfishers, Bulbuls, various species of Vultures, the Wagtail and the Hooded Oriole.

Best Time to Visit

The area where Guru Ghasidas National Park is situated falls under the tropical climatic zone. Aside from this, the park is also located at the height of 327 to 736 metres above sea level. This means that the climate in this region is categorised by hot summers, cold winters and heavy rainfall during the monsoon season.
The summer season is categorised with temperatures rising as high as 40 degree Celsius which might also be due to the dry weather conditions. After the 1400mm average rainfall that falls during the monsoon season, the winter season is finally a breath of fresh air with temperatures dropping to a chilly 11 degree Celsius. This also makes the winter season or the months of November to April the best time to visit Guru Ghasidas National Park.
TIP- Due to the harsh monsoon conditions the park is closed on most days, so planning a trip during the monsoon may be a little risky and would require careful planning.

Safari

Safari
Safari
Source

Timings:
 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Fees: Adult - INR 100; Child - INR 50
Guides are available during the safari and have extensive knowledge of the national park and its inhabitants.

How to Reach

Address: Guru Ghasidas National Park, Dhorgi, Chhattisgarh 497778.
By Air: The nearest airport to the national park is Jabalpur which is 200 kilometres away or Ranchi (Jharkhand) which is 250 kilometres away. Both these airports have a well-integrated system of road and rail networks that connect to the national park.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Guru Ghasidas National Park is Jaora Railway Station which is at a distance of 20 kilometres. From there, hailing a cab to the national park is the easiest way to travel.
By Road: Guru Ghasidas National Park lies at a distance of approximately 60 kilometres from Sidhi, 168 kilometres from Jabalpur and 486 kilometres from Raipur by road. The park is well accessible by road and all cabs, and several buses offer transport to the park.

Where to Stay

Once you reach Guru Ghasidas National Park, you can either make a day trip back to the nearby cities, or you can reserve a rest house before visiting. Rest houses can be booked through the Range Officer or the Wildlife Warden. Another option is staying at the Hotel Shri Mangalam which is a short way away from the national park.

Guru Ghasidas National Park is a blend of the perfect weather conditions, flora, fauna and scenery that tie up perfectly and make the entire national park shine with glory. While visiting Chhattisgarh, the national park may be a perfect fit for families and friends to visit and spend a day reconnecting with nature and away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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