VELAVADAR NATIONAL PARK

The Velavadar National Park at Velavadar, also known as Blackbuck National Park, is situated in the Bhavnagar District of Gujarat state, India. Established in 1976 in the Bhal region of Saurashtra, it is spread over an area of 34.08 sq km (square kilometer).

Flat land, dry grasses and herds of antelope are the major attractions of this park. It has a unique grassland ecosystem and has been running a number of successful conservation programmes for species such as the blackbuck, wolf and lesser florican. The largest population of lesser floricans has been sustained here.

The park is open throughout the year. However, the period between monsoon and winter (mid-June to March) is the ideal time to visit the place. Birdwatching enthusiasts should visit the park between December and March, when many species of migratory birds arrive to spend the winter. These include three species of harriers, lesser floricans, eagles, waders and other water birds. Black Buck N.P. Velavadhar in the Bhal region of Saurashtra. The only tropical grassland in India to be given the status of a national park, Velavadar National Park is a 36 km patch of Savannah type grasslands and thorn scrub. The park is set between two rivers, a few miles from the Gulf of Cambay sea coast. The rich soil is believed to have origins in the sea. The principal attraction of the park is the massive population of blackbuck, the handsome Indian antelope, seen here in numbers running into thousands. The blackbuck is endemic to India and is rated among the most elegant antelopes and the fastest animals over a long distance. During the rule of the Maharajahs of Bhavnagar, Velavadar was harvested for grass to feed the royal cattle herds and the antelope were protected except for an occasional hunting camp. This is where His highness KrishnakumarSinhji coursed blackbucks using cheetahs and flew falcons.


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