Velavadar Black Buck National Park
Established in 1976 in the Bhal region of Saurashtra, the park is located around 42 km from the district headquarters city of Bhavnagar. Hugging the coasts of the Gulf of Khambhat on the south, it is spread over an area of 34.08 km², which was primarily a “vidi” (grassland) of the Maharaja of the princely state of Bhavnagar for hunting the blackbucks with his famous hunting cheetahs. On the northern side, it is surrounded by wastelands and agriculture fields. The National park has been classified as 4B Gujarat-Rajwada biotic province of semi-arid bio-geographical zone.
Flat land, dry grasses and herds of antelopes have always attracted visitors to this park which has a unique grassland ecosystem. A successful conservation program for the Blackbuck, the Wolf and the Lesser Florican (a bustard) among others is ongoing. Considered to be an exclusive Indian species, the Lesser Floricans, which were free dwellers throughout the country, have their numbers plummeting in the recent decades almost everywhere in India. Today, the largest population has been sustained in this park. Local wolf numbers are increasing, as are Striped Hyena, with sightings quite frequent during daylight in winter 2012-2013.
How to Reach:
Bhavnagar Airport is connected with Mumbai by daily flights. The closest international airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at 153 km by road.
The closest railway station is at the town of Dhola, which is about 50 km from the park.
The ancient town of Vallabhi is about 30 km away.