Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary
"Sir, do not walk alone or in ones or twos in this jungle; It is a risky and unpredictable beast. It is fearless; so quick to charge and so fast running. It can climb up the trees. It is very mighty and its sharp nails can cause very serious injuries". If you go to Ratanmahal Sanctuary and talk to some tribal they would most probably describe the sloth bear in the manner mentioned above. Sloth bear indeed is more dangerous than the leopard at times. But, it is a thrilling experience to have a glimpse of the bear in the Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is never a 'killing-experience' if you have a vehicle and if you are accompanied by guards! This is the place, where you may come across a leopard, a palm civet, an Indian civet, four-horned antelope, langurs, Loten's sunbird, large green barbet, yellow checked tit, crested serpent eagle, grey junglefowl and a pit viper...! A visit to Ratanmahal is indeed rewarding.
About 55.65 sq. km area of the Sanctuary is a triangular landmass, which covers reserve forests of 11 villages. Forest originally belonged to ex-ruler of Devgadh Baria State. Eleven villages with a population of about 7000 are located in and around the Sanctuary and 41 villages are located in its interaction zone. An area of 150 ha is in possession of irrigation department. Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh constitutes boundary in south and east of the Sanctuary, whereas forests in west, and revenue areas in north surround the Sanctuary.
How to get there
By road: The Narmada river runs through Narmada district, along the border of Vadodara district, and through Bharuch district, emptying near the city of Bharuch into the sea. There are various sites along the way, and therefore various ways to visit the river. Bharuch, Rajpipla, Chanod, and Dabhoi are accessible by buses. The Sardar Sarovar dam site can be reached by private vehicle.
By rail: Bharuch is the nearest railway station.
By air: The closest airport is at Vadodara.