Narayan sarovar sanctuary Kutch
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Narayan sarovar sanctuary Kutch

  • Location : 210 Kms From Bhuj, Gujarat

  • Coverage area : 765.79 sq km

  • Main attraction : Blue Bull, Wild Boar

  • Best time to visit : October To March

  • Nearby cities : Kutch

One of its kinds, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary is an oasis in the desert that houses 15 threatened wildlife species including some rare animals and birds. The main endangered species is the chinkara or Indian gazelle. It is also known as Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary and forms one of the most famous desert forest spread. There are roughly 7000 chinkaras known to exist, and 80% of them live in Kutch.Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary suits their living and well-being as their primary habitat is the scrub and thorn forests commonly found here.


Location of Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary

Narayan Sarovar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1981 as a unique eco-system near Narayan Sarovar in Kutch district of Gujarat. Covering an area of 765.79 sq km, the sanctuary is one of the famous desert forests surrounded by the Kori creek on the northwest and mangrove forest on the west, while at the northern and southern boundaries are prominent land features. The elevation of the sanctuary near the coast is 8.9 ft rising to a highest of 515 ft at Manijal hill in Kaniyaro Rakhal. The sanctuary is located about 170 km from Bhuj.


Climatic conditions

The climate experienced by the sanctuary region is a tropical climate with typical very hot summer with May and June as the hottest months facing dusty storms. The temperature in summer ranges around 40-42 degree Celsius. The minimum temperate drops down to 10-12 degree Celsius in winters and December and January are the coldest months. Rainfall is inadequate as monsoons are short-lived and scanty.


Best time to visit Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary

The best time to visit Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary is between October and March when the temperature is soothing for the travelers to visit as well as for the animals to be sighted.


Animals that inhabit the sanctuary

Among the rarest and most endangered species found in the sanctuary is the chinkara which is the most sighted animal here and is currently the flagship species of the sanctuary. It has been identified by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) as one of the last remaining habitats of the cheetah in India.

It houses 15 threatened wildlife species and the biodiversity has some rare animals and birds. The seasonal wetland comprise a little of the arid zone and the desert vegetation gives rise to mainly thorns and scrub forests.

The fauna consists of 14 species of mammals, 9 species of reptiles and 6 species of snakes. Among the most prominent ones are chinkara, cheetah, black buck, caracal, desert cat, pangolin, great Indian bustard, porcupine, blue bull or nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), Indian boar (Sus scrofa), Indian wolf (Canis lupus) mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), hare, striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) and the peafowl.

Avifauna includes 161 species of which 112 are resident species and 38 are migrants. The abundant species includes birds like grey francolin, Eurasian collared dove, laughing dove, Indian robin, red-vented bulbul, common babbler, house sparrow, plain munia and greater short-toed lark. The less commonly found birds are ortolan bunting, desert warbler, pied tit, white-browed fantail, lesser spotted eagle, sirkeer malkoha, Eurasian wryneck and yellow-crowned woodpecker.

The flora of the sanctuary is mainly about natural desert thorn forests and grasslands with mixed forest vegetation including dry savannah, desert thorn, tropical euphorbia scrub forest and Salvadora scrub forest, Rann saline scrub and desert dune.


Distance from major cities

  • Bhuj , 125 km

  • Ahmedabad , 334 km

  • Vadodara , 511 km

  • Rajkot , 300 km


How to reach the National park ?

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Airways

  • The nearest airport is in Bhuj which is 53 km from the administrative city of Kutch and 210 km from the sanctuary. It is well connected with flights from major cities of India.

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad is the next nearest airport which is better in connectivity within the country as well as internationally.

Railways

  • The nearest railhead is Bhuj, 210 km away from Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary which is connected with major junctions as well as with small cities within the country.

  • You can hire a cab or a rented car available near the railway station.

Roadways

  • There are regular State transport and private buses connecting Bhuj to the nearby cities. One can travel from Bhuj to Kutch in deluxe, Volvo, AC, non-AC and sleeper buses.

  • Distance from the sanctuary to Ahmedabad is 334 km and takes around 6-7 hours by road.The best route from Ahmedabad to the sanctuary is via Sanand, Viramgam, Malia, Samkhiyali, Kukma, Bhuj and Kunaiya to Kutch.

  • Distance from Vadodara to the sanctuary is about 511 km and the time taken to cover the distance by road is 8-9 hours. There are two routes from Vadodara to Kutch. The first route is via Anand, Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Malia, Samkhiyali and Kunariya to Kutch, which is 509 km and 8 hours to travel. The second route is 544 km and goes via Anand, Dholka, Chotlia, Morbi, Malia, Samkhiyali and Kunariya to Kutch taking 9 hours by road.

  • Rajkot is about 300 km from the sanctuary and the route taken is via Morbi, Malia, Samkhiyali, Bhuj to Kutchmaking it in 5-6 hours by road.

Accommodation

The best places to stay are the two temple guesthouses nearby that offer good accommodation amidst a tranquil ambiance to the visitors. They are replete with modern up-to-date amenities and located in the vicinity of Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary.

Things to do

Explore the flora, fauna and avifauna

Get enthralled by the exotic wildlife ornamented with the beautiful flora. It is the home to a number of warm blooded creatures including chinkara. Around 184 types of feathered species and about 252 sorts of plants are among the main attractions of the region.

Pilgrimage at Koteshwar Temple

The sanctuary is around 4 km from the old Koteshwar temple which is one of the most sacred place for pilgrims and devotees. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.

Safari

There are two safaris conducted everyday – morning at 7 am and evening at 2.30 pm. It is a thrilling experience to take a safari amidst the rough vegetation and a rare fauna around.

Conclusion

Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary is a lesser visited wildlife sanctuary which houses chinkara and cheetah among 15 other species of endangered species. It is a must-visit for the wildlife freaks as well as for the pilgrims who would love to visit the temples nearby.


Map

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Tour Booking

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  • taai
  • iato
  • ministry of tourism
  • fieo
  • tripadvisor

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