Tuesday, 06 October 2009 07:33

Vansda National Park Navsari


The Vansda National Park at Navsari was established in 1979 in Navsari district of Gujarat. The Vansda National Park in Gujarat is spread over an area of 24 square kilometers, in the mountains of Western Ghats or Sahyadris. The Vansda National Park of Gujarat is extremely dense and harbors a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Vansda National Park is maintained by the government of Gujarat and a unique protected area of the state.The Vansda National Park in Gujarat has mainly moist deciduous and dry deciduous forest and bamboos, tall teak trees, orchids, mango groves and gigantic creepers are the predominant trees of the forest. At present the Vansda National Park at Gujarat has more than 250 species of plants including variety of rare wild animals.


The types of forest found in the park are mainly Moist deciduous and Dry deciduous covered with bamboos, tall teak trees, mango groves and gigantic creepers. In all there are over 250 species of plants, including many variety of Orchids. During rainy reason, the park gets a heavy rainfall of over 2000 mm. which encourages the dense plant growth.The landscape is beautiful with trees, small streams and beautiful hills and valleys. Ambika river flows through the north eastern boundary of the park. Tourists have to get permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden, of Gandhinagar or DFO, Ahwa to visit the park.

The forest is a habitat to Leopards, python, four-horned antelope, pangolin, rusty-spotted cats, Jungle Cat, Civets, Mongooses, Macaques, Barking Deer, giant squirrels, Hyenas and a wide species of birds like Great Black Woodpecker, Malabar Trogon, Shama and Emerald Dove, Grey Hornbill, Racket-Tailed Drongo, Paradise Flycatcher, Leaf birds, Thrushes, Sunbirds, peafowls etc.Small creatures with their amazing diversity are the real treasure of the park. Among these are over 60 species of butterflies and 121 species of spiders. The largest of the spiders of Gujarat, the Giant wood spider is common here and around 30 species of snakes are found here. Besides there are numerous varieties of insects, centipedes, millipedes and snails as well as about 11 types of frogs and toads.

The park is also inhabited by wild animals like leopards, python, four-horned antelope, mongooses, macaques, hyenas and a colorful species of birds. It is interesting to note that there are about 60 species of butterflies, 121 species of spiders and 30 species of snakes at Vansda, one of the most popular national parks in Gujarat, India.The local tribal people like Bhil, Gamit, Warli, Kokni, Kunbi and Dangi live in the Vansda region. The best time to visit the park is from the month of October to May. The nearest Airport is at Surat which is at a distance of 120 km. The nearest railway station is at Waghai at 4 km.

You crane your neck to see the tops of the towering trees, the teak perhaps flowering, the bamboo brakes aplenty. The canopy is so thick you find parts of the forest in darkness, and are amazed to remember you are still in Gujarat, so lush and dense is the world around you. You see wild mango groves, perhaps even a wild relative of the banana plant, and weaving in between are gigantic creepers. You check abashedly behind you for dinosaurs. You stop short so as to not scare away the beautiful butterfly that has landed in front of you, and as it flies away, you are distracted and crouch, like a child, to watch a colorful centipede scurry its fuzzy way along. You begin to notice not only the giant trees but also the tiny creatures that fit between the cracks in the bark. Soon even the ferns and mushrooms on a rotting log seem like ornate decoration. You are surprised by an expanse of the Bharadi grasslands tucked away east of the center of the park. And at the Ambika river, you are enchanted by the varieties of orchids, delicate and colorful.

Location info:

Address:Vansda National Park, Navsari,Gujarat,India
Nearest City: Surat
Best time to visit: October to May


The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 40 °C (104 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F) respectively


It was declared as a protected area in April 1979, and we are fortunate that there has not been tree felling since as early as 1952.The 24 square km of this national park lie at the east end of the Navsari district in South Gujarat. It forms a continuous tract with both the forests of Valsad district to the south, and the forests in the Dangs to the east, which provide better access than from the Navsari side, so it is managed by the South Dangs Forest Division. It used to belong to the King of Vansda until he gave it to the state.

Interesting things to do:

Interesting things to Visit:

The park has dwellings of local tribals belonging to Bhil, Gamit, Warli, Kokni, Kunbi and Dangi tribes. All the tribals have their unique culture and systems which are interesting. Other interesting places near Vansda National Park are Gira Water falls adjoining the Park, Botanical Gardens and wood workshop at Waghai, Mahal forest ( Purna Game Sanctuary ), Hot-water spring at Unai etc. Saputara, the only hill-station of Gujarat state, is only 52km away from the park.

Ambika River:
Riding on the banks of Ambika River and measuring roughly 24 km² in area, the park lies about 65 km east of the town of Chikhali on the National Highway 8, and about 80 km north-east of the city of Valsad. Vansda, the town from which the name of the park is derived, is an important trading place for the surrounding area where the majority of the population is represented by adivasis. Vansda-Waghai state highway runs through the park, so does the narrow gauge rail link connecting Ahwa to Billimora.

Purna Wildlife Sanctuary:
Purna has the thickest forest cover in the state, and the highest average rainfall, at 2500 mm. At sunset, the 160 square km of lush rolling hills, teak, and bamboo, fill with the music and drums of the Dangi tribes that also populate Vansda. The main village of Mahal is at the center of the sanctuary on the banks of the Purna river, with a forest rest house. Purna and Vansda together are the only protected forest areas in South Gujarat.Purna is a Sanctuary, where luxuriant dense forests with thick bamboo brakes enchant visitors. People get surprised to see such pristine forests in the area, which happens to be an extension of the Western Ghats. For an eco-tourist wanting to enjoy birds of moist deciduous forest mixed with bamboo, this is the best place to visit. The Sanctuary is a part of forests in northern part of the Dangs district in South Gujarat. The area covering 160.8 sq. km is a reserved forest, which has been notified as Sanctuary in July 1990.

Gandevi is a small town in Navsari district of the western state of India, Gujarat. Gandevi is situated 20 km. southeast of Navsari, the district headquarters and 50 km. south of the city of Surat. It is located on NH 8. Vansada, one of the erstwhile princely state of south Gujarat is situated 56 km. west of Gandevi. The nearest airport is at Surat. Gandevi Railway Station on the Bilimora - Waghai meter gauge line of Western Railways is the nearest railway station. The village Devsar, Devdha, Kachholi, Dhamadaccha, Kolva, Ajrai, Ancheli, Salej and Ghanghor surrounds it.Gandevi is blessed with rich black cotton and clayey soils, which is ideal for the cultivation of mangoes and sapota (Chikoo).Gandevi, GujaratAccording to the 2001 India census report, Gandevi had a total population of 15, 843 inhabitants. Males and females constitute an equal proportion of the population. In Gandevi, 10% of the population is less than six years of age. Gandevi has an average literacy rate of 77%, which is higher than the national average literacy rate of 59.5%. The male literacy rate is 81% and the female literacy rate is 72%.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:Waghai railway station. The narrow gauge rail link connecting Ahwa to Billimora runs through the park, but ask around to check if its still functioning when you come here
Nearest Airport:Surat, 120 km aiport
Road Transport:The park lies close to National Highway 8 and is bisected by the Waghai-Vansda State Highway. The nearest town is Waghai, 4km away. It is 28 km from Ahwa, 40 km from Billimora, and 60 km from Saputara. The area is easiest explored with a private vehicle, but public transport is available, though less convenient. There are buses from Surat, Billimora, and Valsad to Vansda village, and from there you can hire a jeep to the park for about Rs 50/- per person. There are no taxi operations close to Vansda, but you can also get a cab from Surat, Bilimora or Valsad.By ST bus, Ahwa, the district headquarters and on a plateau from which begins the ascenscion from Waghai to Saputara, is often the most convenient place to arrive in the Dangs.

Nearest Visiting places:

Saputara Hill Station:
Take a deep breath. Disappear. You have entered nature’s womb.In winter, at the spill of dawn, trek up to the Gandhi Shikhar as the river of light bathes the streams over undulating mountains and the drifting birds, into a magical dance of awakening.In rains, breathe in the rolling hills of Saputara, echoing green hues, lush with flowers, and watch the meditating rain drops sitting still on sloping leaves. Some of the thickest forest cover in the state envelops you.


In summer, walk carefree on the expanse of the Governor’s hill and see the sun dip into the Saputara lake as the sky begins to shimmer with stars.As your bus chugs uphill, crisscrossing over the Ambika river, you leave all the congestion of towns and cities far below you and enter the spirit world of tribal people. Nestled in the Sahyadri range, at an altitude of about 1000 m, this Dangi enclave derives its name from the Snake god revered by the tribals and translates as ‘the abode of serpents’, Saputara.In spite of being the only hill station of Gujarat, it is minimally commercialized, still unspoiled.

Surat, located on the western part of India within the Gujarat state is often touted as the Silk City and the Diamond City. The burgeoning textile and diamond businesses attract many a corporate guests, but the city has also not failed to captivate the imagination of the leisure tourists as well. There are a number of monuments in Surat that play a key role in boosting the value of the place in terms of tourism. If you are planning to take a trip to Surat, then a visit to Surat's Sanjan is highly recommended.Sanjan was one of the primary Parsi settlements in India. A number of excavations carried out in Surat's Sanjan have thrown a new light on the momentous episode of the flight of the Zoroastrians from Iran, about 1,400 years ago. According to the popular belief Surat's Sanjan was founded by the Zoroastrians who took shelter here after they were compelled to flee Iran. The progeny of those Zoroastrians are, at present, known as the Parsis.

Old Fort:
The city of Surat is located on the bank of river Tapi in the West Indian state of Gujarat. Surat was a grand port city during the Mughal period. Since the ancient times, the early port of Surat has been well-known for its elite quality fine silks and beautiful brocades and its trade in various spices. Surat has been one of the most progressive of India's cities in the 17th and 18th centuries. Presently, Surat is a chief industrial city with many textile mills. Besides, Surat is also an imperative diamond-cutting centre in India. Surat features many attractive tourist destinations. Monuments in Surat are a popular destination with tourists visiting the famous Old Fort which stands tall in the city.Surat Old Fort was built by Muhammad Tughlak in the 14th century to serve as the defense fortification against the Bhils. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq was the original of the Tughlaqs to rule Delhi. Subsequent to Muhammad Sahab-ud-din Ghori, the next mention of Surat is in 1347 A.D., in connection with the rebellion of Gujarat during the time Surat was under Muhammad Tughlak (1325 to 1351). In 1373 A.D., the emperor Firoz Tughlak(1351 to 1388) is said to have built a fort at Surat to guard the town against Bhils attack who wanted to conquer the land.

Standing on the bank of the river Tapi, the city of Surat has several tourist attractions. Amongst the Tourist attractions in Surat, Udvada, near Surat deserves a mention. It is regarded highly in the list of Monuments in Surat. There is a holy place for the Parsis here and they hold this place in great reverence.The history of Udvada, near Surat dates back to the time when the Parsis brought the holy flame here from Persia.Udvada, near Surat is celebrated for being a very sacred place among the Parsis and is a small sleepy village which is located in the southern coast of Gujarat. It is as important to the Parsis as is Haridwar for the Hindus, Mecca for the Muslims and Vatican City for the Christians. A large number of Parsis flock here every year, both from within the country and from abroad. It was here that the victorious fire or Atash Behram was brought from Persia by the Parsis in the 18th century. This fire is placed in a temple which is strictly meant for the Parsis. As a result, the non-Parsis are not allowed to enter here. This place can be visited from outside. Peace and bliss pervades here that simply enthralls the visitors who come from far and wide.

Dutch Garden:
The Dutch garden in Surat is essentially cemeteries of the officers who landed and settled in Gujarat on their business ventures. Dutch garden is one of the most significant gardens in Surat. Gardens in Surat have been expanding from time to time, under succeeding gardeners to its present state. The striking features of the English and Dutch cemeteries are their huge and imposing tombs. They tell the story of power and glory. Tombs of Christopher Oxenden and George Oxenden, two English traders who took charge of the English Factory in Surat, are the biggest ones in the English cemetery. The tomb of Baron Adrian Van Reede, who was director of the Dutch Company in India, stands out arrestingly in the Dutch cemetery.In 1612, the British established their trading factory in Surat soon to be followed by the Dutch and French. Due to political and climatic problems and growing significance of Mumbai, Surat lost its prominence. In 1852, Surat became the first municipality of Gujarat and gradually it became a major business city famous for its textile industry. The Dutch influence in the city is very prominent. Many Dutch as well as Englishman came over to Surat to start trading business in textile industry. These people opened a burial ground in honor of the Dutch businessman. The Dutch garden in Surat has been set up to cremate business men who came here for trading purpose.

Sardar Patel Museum:
Apart from its silks, textiles, spices and exquisite diamond cutting, the city of Surat is also famous for the various Tourist attractions in Surat. Though there are many gardens and monuments, the Museums in Surat are a big draw for many travelers. One such museum is the Sardar Patel museum in Surat.It was in the year 1890 that this particular museum was established. It houses the various artifacts that stood testimony to the Mughal and the British period.
The Sardar Patel Museum in Surat is a multipurpose museum which is located in Sonifalia. It plays host to several pieces of antiques such as that made of wood, metal, ivory, stone, sandalwood, porcelain and terracotta. Several old oil paintings, miniatures, textiles, manuscripts and many such other items are also displayed in the exhibition organized by this museum. This is the only museum in Surat that has gained a lot importance owing to its rich collection of ancient historical items that are important part of the national heritage too. One will come across 10, 000 specimen of the various arts and crafts at this place. There is also an open air theater which can accommodate about 4000 people at a time.

Dastur Meherji-Rana Library:
Dastur Meherji-Rana Library is rich in literature of the earliest Parsi or Zoroastrian settlements in Navsari and has many pictures of the old town. It is located at the Tarota bazar. Another important library is the Sayaji Vaibhav Library. Ubhrat a sandy white beach 20 km away is a perfect picnic spot. The Vansda National park has a variety of flora and fauna to see.

Dandi is situated on the coastline near the Surat city of Gujarat. The place is associated with the famous Dandi March organized by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Owing to the fact that the place was the venue for an important campaign in the National Freedom Struggle of India, it has become a major excursion from Surat. It is a small hamlet known as a salt center. In the year 1930, Mahatma Gandhi organized the Dandi March to revolt against the salt laws imposed by the British Government.He organized the campaign based on the principles of non violence and boycott. Under the Civil Disobedience Movement, Gandhiji and his 78 Satyagrahis decided to march from the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to the Dandi village. All of them covered a distance of 240 miles on foot. On reaching the salt center in the remote hamlet, they manufactured their own salt in defiance of the tax levied by the government. This was a historic moment in the freedom fighting period.

Nearest Petrol Pump:

Petrol Pump:Navsari,Gujarat,India


Hittu Tals petrol pump:Surat,Gujarat,India


Lords Park Inn International:Delhi Gate Ring Road,Surat,Gujarat,India,ph:0261 2413921


Budget Inn Bellevue:Near railway station,sumul dairy road,surat,Gujarat,ph:0261 2532121

Hotel President:Hajira Road,Near Ongc Char Rasta,Ichhapore,Surat,Gujarat,India,Ph:0261 2840006

Things to carry:

Tips & Suggestions:

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:
Ramaben Hospital:Rustomwadi road,Navsari,Gujarat,India,ph:02637 257294
Civil Hospital:Gandevi,Navsari,Gujarat,India
Society/Community Phone Number:


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