Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar

Hub(s) : Rajkot

Velavadar Bird Sanctuary is situated in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat at a distance of 144 km from Ahmedabad. It is considered as a unique grassland ecosystem and probably the only tropical grassland in India reckoned as a National Park.

The grassland will not only give you a glimpse of Blackbuck , but also the world's largest harrier roost – Montagu's Harrier, Pallid Harrier and Marsh Harrier can be viewed in abundance. It is a perfect site for birdwatchers to see tropical Indian grassland birds like Stolizka's Bushchat (winter), Rufous-tailed Lark, and many other birds. 

You are very likely to sight many of the various migratory avian lives like extremely rare Lesser Florican, Harriers, larks, bushchats, wheatears, sandgrouse, Francolins, endangered species of vultures, types of sandgrouse, types of larks, types of harriers, falcon and various other species of birds.

Look out for: Stolizka's Bushchat (winter), Rufous-tailed Lark and Wheatears
Be one of few to record: Lesser Florican, Harriers, Larks, Bushchats, Sandgrouse and Francolins
Seasons: Nov-end to Jan.
Recommended time in the field: 2 to 3 days
Accommodation: Resort at Velavadar. Hotels in Ahmedabad - 145km
Other attractions: Lothal (72 kms), Valabhipur (jain temples) 30 kms.

How to get there

By road: The nearest town, Valabhaipur, is 32 km away, and Ahmedabad 145 km away. If you come by private vehicle, the Black Buck National Park is entered from Valabhaipur on the old highway or Adhelai on the Bhavnagar-Ahmedabad highway. Otherwise, the park is accessed by bus from Bhavnagar (72 km away). Two buses travel daily between Bhavnagar and the park; leaving the city at 2 or 3:30pm and returning from the park at 6 or 6:30am the next morning. For a day trip you will need your own vehicle; taxis can be hired in Bhavnagar for Rs. 700-1000 per day.

By rail: Bhavnagar is the nearest railhead, connected by trains from Mumbai. Another railway station is at Dhala: 55 km away, but there is no regular public transportation from there to the park.

By air: Bhavnagar is the nearest airport. Mumbai is connected to Bhavnagar through domestic flights. Be sure to book in advance as not many flights are available.