Blackbuck National Park
This small part of Bhal region (34.52 sq.km.), which was declared as Blackbuck National Park in July 1976, is open grassland. The sanctuary has been declared primarily for Blackbucks. The beauty of the grassland is enhanced by the movements of blackbucks and nilgais, which one can see from long distances. The blackbuck is most conspicuous for its jumping over the levels of grass..The park is located around 72 km from the district headquarter 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. 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.
Flora and fauna
The majestic blackbucks are less shy of human being here and one has a sure chance of watching them in their natural mood, leaping high in air, running, feeding drinking, rutting and chasing. The herds of blackbucks are of different gender combinations like mixed, all males and all females. The courtship process in blackbucks is quite similar to what used to be called "swayamvara" in good old days. The males have to fight with other males to win over the females. This fight, which is a common sight at Velavadar during the mating season, may even be a fight to finish leading to the death of the weaker. A small wetland in the southern part of the Park attracts birds like pelicans, flamingoes, ducks, waders, coots, white storks, painted storks and sarus cranes etc. The Park is a heaven for demoiselle cranes, common cranes and a variety of raptors including certag spotted eagles and steppe eagles.
The Park provides one of the world's best roosting sites to thousands of Harriers that arrive here from Central Europe for wintering. Peculiar courtship display by Lesser floricans could also be seen. Lesser florican is one of the fifty rarest birds of the world and the park has been supporting the breeding of quite a good number of this species. An entirely different experience of the wildlife begins to transcend as the darkness falls. The persistent howls of jackal add to the feeling of true wilderness. The long, deep and threatening howls of wolves, occasionally penetrate the darkness .
Climate of Velavadar as same as climate of Bhavnagar.
Bhavnagar is connected by daily flights 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.
Entry in the park is Free,
Blackbuck, bluebull, wolf, jackal, jungle cat, fox etc
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.
Four camp rooms, dormitory facilities, an Orientation Center and a Campsite for nature education activities are available at the park.
Contact Assistant Conservator of Forests, Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar, Bhavnagar. Gujarat. Phone : (O) 0278 2426425.