Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary
The green lush patch of Hingolgadh sanctuary stands in stark contrast with the arid zone of neighboring areas of Saurashtra. Dry, deciduous scrub forest along with undulating verdant hills create a ubiquitous manifestation of nature’s glory. During rains the savannah lush grasslands blend with the green of the scrubby forest and perks up with various forms of life. The Sanctuary spread over an area of 654 sq kms, was declared a sanctuary in 1980. In 1984 its ample of natural offerings recognized the place as an eco-educational center and is administrated by the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation in Gandhinagar as the Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary.
The tropical grassland ecosystem characterized by the spread of tall grasses amidst trees and shrubs is a unique hideout and dwelling for diverse range of animals and reptiles. Chinkara, Bluebull, Wolf, Jackal, Foxes, Indian Porcupine, Indian Hare, Hyena, Flying foxes and the likes add an animated fervor to this jungle. Almost 230 different kinds of birds render this area into their domicile over the year. Native birds like the vibrant Red-vented Bulbul, twittering Green bee-eater, Spotted Dove, Wood Pecker are commonly seen flying and nesting all over the region.
Things to do :
Onset of monsoon till the beginning of winters is an ideal period to explore this unique terrain or attend the Nature Education Camps. This unique eco-education haven provides valuable opportunity for observing physical features such as the surging hill-slopes, patterns of soil characteristics, water-flow and the impact of these features on the food chain comprising of vegetation (grasses, herbs, shrubs and scrubby trees) and the animal world primarily supported by the vegetation.
Pre book the camping facility in the sanctuary to learn and discover the varied mysteries of nature. The nature education sanctuary is known for the nature camps extending for 3 days and 2 nights being held amidst the glorifying treasure of nature.
While the melodious singing of bulbul enchants you and the shy fox hidden behind a shrub attracts your attention, be cautious and aware of where you are standing and proximity with reptiles. This unique untamed garden of nature is also home to 19 species of snake and you being alert will make the trip a safe and memorable endeavor.
Being a responsible nature lover is our way of showing reverence to Mother Earth, a few tips for you to remember-
- No smoking whatsoever (cigarette butts cause many forest fires.)
- No flash or intrusive photography (for example, don’t pluck leaves to clear a better view; reposition the camera instead.)
- Do not carry any music system or sound making device along with you and remember to keep them switched off if you are driving around.
- Picking plants or insects prohibited; do not remove anything from the park.
- No quick or sudden movements to scare off wildlife.
- Do not try going to close to the animals.
- No pets should accompany you.
- No littering. Trash is only to be disposed of in proper receptacles.
- No hunting devices or other weapons should be carried, as well as used.
- Carry lots of water.
Only 180 km from Ahmedabad is the green oasis of Hingolgadh. The hilly, rugged terrain has undulating grasslands and scrub forests. The area was a hunting reserve for the royal family; leopards have been spotted here right up to the year 1991.
Beyond bird watching, Hingolgadh offers a perfect venue for the study of nature. The presence of the grasslands and scrubs inhabited by interesting fauna, particularly the remarkably diverse avian species, makes it a delightful nature excursion of tourists of all kinds. The relative smallness of the sanctuary at only 600 ha. enables close observation of physical features such as hill-slopes, soil features, drainage lines and water flow. The impact of these on the wildlife will also become vivid to observers.
About 230 species of birds make Hingolgadh their home. Any time in the sanctuary, the atmosphere will be filled with the calls and chirping of these birds. Especially the metallic sounding calls of large groups of bulbuls. Lookout for hanging nests which indicate the presence of the weaver bird. If you hang around you can take your own unique photographs of the birds.
Look out for: Red-vented Bulbul, Twittering Green Bee-eater, Spotted Dove, Wood Pecker and any
of the 230 bird species
Be one of few to record: Haubara Bustard and Spotted Dove
Seasons: During or just after rainy season, and during winter
Recommended time in the field: 3 Days
Accommodation: Limited lodging facilities within the sanctuary with prior permission and booking and Hotels in Rajkot - 80kms
Other attractions: Nature education camping site, Cacti House and Snake House
How to get there
By road: The Nearest bus station is Jasdan (15 kms).
By rail: The Nearest Railway station is Gondal (32 kms).
By air: The Nearest airport is Rajkot (70 kms).