Blackbuck National Park
The Blackbuck National Park is located around 72 km from the district headquarter city of Bhavnagar in Bhal region. In 1976, Government on India has declared aprox. 34 Sq.Km. of grassland as National Park Blackbuck. The movements of blackbucks and nilgais (Blue bull) increase beauty of this park. The blackbuck is most famous for its jumping over the levels of grass. Since it is grassland, beauty of this park can be seen from long distant.
The park is surrounded Gulf of Khambhat on the south and by wastelands and agriculture fields on the other sides. It was grassland of the Maharaja of the princely state of Bhavnagar. The National park has been classified as 4B Gujarat-Rajwada biotic province of semi-arid bio-geographical zone.
Flora and fauna
The distinctive horns of the Blackbuck are ringed with 1 to 4 spiral turns, rarely more than 4 turns, and can be as long as 28 inches (79cm). A trophy Blackbuck is 18+ inches. In the male, the upper body is black (dark brown), and the belly and eye rings are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless. Blackbucks usually roam the plains in herds of 15 to 20 animals with one dominant male.
On the open plain, the Blackbuck is one of the fastest animals and can outrun most predators over long distances. Its chief predator was the now extinct Indian Cheetah. It is now sometimes preyed upon by wolves, feral dogs, etc.
The diet of the Blackbuck consists mostly of grasses, although it does eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet. The maximum life span recorded is 16 years and the average is 12 years. Mating season of the Black Buck rests from August to October and March to April.
The National Park is also one of the largest roosting ground of migratory Harriers (birds) in winter. The area also supports a sizable population of Lesser Florican (Monsoon breeding migrant) which can be seen from mid-July to November. The National Park also is home to 3 packs (a total of 11-19 individuals)of wolves.
Climate of Velavadar as same as climate of Bhavnagar.However, in summers the temperature may rise to 45'C in peak summer as it lies in the Low rainfall Bhal region.
Bhavnagar is connected by daily flights, daily train and daily rivate buses (sleeper/setting, AC/Non-AC ) to Mumbai. The airlines are Indian, Air Deccan and Jet Airways. Most people in Gujarat travel by private buses (these are excellent modes of transport as the roads are among the best in India.
Hiring a taxi from Bhavnagar is the most convenient way to visit National Park.Taxi can be picked up from taxi stand near Ganga Jalia Talav.
Entry fees in the park are as follow.
The park can be toured by safari and also on foot. Experience of the wildlife like howls of jackal add to the feeling of true wilderness as the darkness falls.
Park officials (in Gust house) also provide food on request as follows:
Four camp rooms, dormitory facilities, an Orientation Center and a Campsite for nature education activities are available at the park. For more detail contact to Officer-in-Charge of the park(Assistant Conservator of Forests) Phone: (O) 0278 2426425.