Tuesday, 06 October 2009 05:01

Balaram Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary -Banaskantha


Balaram-Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Banaskantha District of Gujarat, along Gujarat-Rajasthan border.Ambaji Bhadra Purnima is celebrated in Gujarat with pomp and grandeur. The main event takes place at the shrine of goddess Ambaji near the foothills of Aravalli mountain ranges. Ambaji Bhadra shrine is one of the oldest and attractive shrines in Gujarat. The festival takes place on the full moon night in the month of August or September. The festival and the fair attract tourists from different corners of the country as the devotees have a strong belief on the goddess.

Undulating hills of Aravali, supporting the dry deciduous forests of North Gujarat, provide an unimaginable beautiful ambience to Balaram-Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary derives its name from two historical temples- Balaram and Ambaji, situated at the opposite corners of the sanctuary. This picturesque area was constituted as a Wildlife Sanctuary by Government of Gujarat on 7th August' 1989 for the purpose of protection, propagation and development of wildlife and its environment.The area is characteristically rich in floral diversity- particularly medicinal plants. It has numerous floral and faunal species of global conservation significance.

The rare flora comprises Kadaya (giving medicinal gum), Gugal, and Musali etc. The predominant trees are- Khair, Salai, Modad, Dhavada, Khakhara, Timru. During late winters (February-March) Khakhara- the flame of the forests- known by many different names such as- Palash, Tesu, Kesudo, Dhak etc. is generally in bloom with its striking red colour resembling flames in the forests.The rare animals include sloth bear, striped hyena, leopard, bluebull, porcupine, fox, small Indian civet, Indian pangolin and a number of reptiles including venomous and non-venomous snakes, monitor lizards, star tortoise etc. The rare birds of this area are adjutant Stork, spoonbill, osprey, white backed Vulture and black vultures.

The forests of the sanctuary play an important role in conserving the depleting eco-system of Aravalis and in controlling the southward expansion of Thar desert. The forest areas, interspersed with numerous hills and hillocks form the watershed for Dantiwada and Dharoi dams of north Gujarat. It also constitutes part of the catchment areas of Sabarmati and Banas, which are two important rivers of north Gujarat. The ecological boundaries of the sanctuary get amalgamated with forests of Rajasthan State in the north and spreads into agricultural fields all around providing ecological security and ameliorated environment to the semi arid region of North Gujarat which is threatened by expanding desert.

Location info:

Address:Balaram Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary ,Banaskantha,Gujarat,India
District: Banaskatha
Nearest City: Palanpur
Best time to visit: October to May


Summer, it's hot and humid with an average temperature of 40 Degrees with hot sandy winds. In Winter, it's 10 to 20 degrees


The Balaram Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the northern part of Gujarat in the Aravalli hills. The Balaram Temple and the Ambaji Temples lies in the two corners of the Balaram Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary of Gujarat from which the sanctuary got its name. The Balaram Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary came into existence on 7th August 1989 by the active initiation of the government of Gujarat. The sole aim of the Balaram Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary of Gujarat is protection, propagation and development of wildlife and its environment.

Interesting things to do:

Interesting things to Visit:

The unique ecosystem harbours 483 species of plants including 107 of trees, 58 of shrubs, 219 of herbs, 49 of climbers, 40 of grass and 10 species of lower plants. Modad, khair, dhavado, saledi, kadaya, timru, khakhara, bor, desi baval, bili, dudhi, golar, kanji, indrajav, karanj, arjun sadad, jamun, behda etc.

Ambaji Temple:
Ambaji temple is situated at Ambaji town, in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat. The temple, the holy the seat of Ambe Mata - the Mother Goddess, is a popular pilgrim place for Hindus. People of Gujarat take the name of the Goddess in high regard. Ambaji temple is also considered as one of the Shakti Peethas in India. The Goddess is a manifestation of Shiva's consort, Parvati. Ambe Mata is the Adya Shakti- the primordial female power, the Mother Goddess.The Navratri celebrations are organized on a large scale in the Ambaji temple. During the festival, a huge fair is organized here every year. People celebrate the occasion with great pomp and show. They sing and dance in praise of the glory of the Goddess. The temple is located on the Arasur hill in the Aravalli Range. The most fascinating feature of the shrine is that it does not contain any idol. It only has a yantra, made of marble which is engraved at a spot.

Gabbar Hill:
Gabbar Hill is in Gujarat, near the Rajasthan border, about 5 km away from Ambaji Temple. It is about 480 m high and has an area of over 8 sq km. This pilgrim center near the origin of the Saraswati River is steeped in legends. It is believed to be the original abode of the Hindu goddess Ambaji. Ambaji's 'footprints' on this hill is a major pilgrim attraction. Devotees are said to hear Ambaji's voice at the cave of Ambaji. On the hill, there is also a small temple. There are 999 steps to go up to this temple.

Balaram Mahadev Temple:
14 km from Palanpur, HH Nawab Saheb Sir Taley Muhammad Khan built the Balaram palace as a hunting lodge, holiday palace and riverside retreat, inspired it is said, by his Australian queen. This is where he entertained important guests like the Maharajah of Kashmir and British dignitaries.The palace is in a neo-Classical Baroque style, with arcades and classical columns. It has now been taken over by a private entrepreneur, and opened as a resort. The huge gardens, their contours clearly defined, have been landscaped to blend exotic plants, bridges and ramps for easy access into the original Nawabi design. The entrance pathway is lit by lampposts resembling parabadis, the traditional bird feeding posts of Gujarat. The place has been painted in a gracious creamy tone, and glass has been added to protect the interiors from dust. Interiors have been newly appointed, as the original furniture was stolen, with modern handcrafted pieces, and western style bathrooms, televisions, telephones and refrigerators have been added to the rooms for the modern traveller.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:Linked with Ahmedabad,Mehsana,Railway station
Nearest Airport:Ahmedabad at 155 Kms.airport
Road Transport:State transport buses and Private Luxury coaches connects various centers of Gujarat. It is situated 155 Kms from Ahmedabad. The railway station and the bus station are at a distance of one km. Local Transport: Buses and taxis are available for travel within the city.

Nearest Visiting places:

This district of Gujarat is known to be the thickly populated city with over 2 million people reside, the area is 12,703 sq.km approx. The Palanpur town is the district headquarters and is famous for perfumeries, Banas dairy, Vadhiyari buffaloes and kankrej cows. Being thickly populated this town is said to be noted for manpower contribution for India’s diamond industry and various trade too…moreover, Banaskantha is blessed by nautral values such as Marble quarries and copper deposits, the major cropping here will be Bajra and also a fertile land for agriculture evokes a university at Dantiwada is mark to the district. Ambaji and Kumbaria are the famous temples here that pull in devotees as an important pilgrimage centers. The next best picnic spot could be Balaram a nearby place to this district, apart from these importance the places like Ambaji, Disa, Dantiwada, Palanpur and Radhanpur are the main towns around here enhance tourism.

This place was previously the capital of this princely state and today as the district headquarters has its credits that still speak about historical values from centuries together. This old city is blessed with nature around like encamping hillocks and Aravali Mountains that accelerate tourist visit every year from all over the world. The name Palanpur was given after the name of Palansi Chauhans who dwelled here during the 14th century, later the city came under control of Muslim legends till India’s independence. Palanpur began to prosper during the reign of Nawab Shaeb Sher Khan Lohnai and Nawab sahib Talej Muhammed Khan Lohani in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Palanpur is a major trade center and became thickly populated due to its mercantile growth. This is fertile enough because of the Saraswathi and Banas rivers that flows through the city, the places of visit are Kirti stambh, the Rajmahal, Balaram Mehadev temple and the old palace of Nawab. Zoravar palace is known for its beauty,the golden leaf decorative designs ,wall paintings and the sandalwood staircase exhibits the pomp and glory living of mankind those days and now it’s a government official building that works for the people. The other attractions are two Dargahs and an old stepwell, MithiVav with seven galleries on the wall makes the visitors take an awesome wonder to think that “the historians are real legends”.

This spot is a scared location with temples around that brings devotees from Gujarat and Rajasthan to this famous Maa Ambaji temple, here the main deity is Goddess Amba. Being a pilgrim center there are several other Jain temples namely Gabbar temple and Kumbharia temple, which adds more serenity to this spot. Basically Ambaji is a spot that consist of tribal population, yet talented and artistic workmanship evokes from here, such as silver smith, potters, arrow makers and basket weavers etc; are the special articles you get from here, the major tribal groups are Bhils and Garacias . Ambaji is, also famously known for its marble sculpture and silver tribal jewelry. The main festival is Bhadrapadi Poornima festival is celebrated here annually, near to Ambaji you have a small town named Kumbhariyaji which is famously known for its beautiful sculpted Jain temples and some other important temples are Neminathji temple , Mahavir swami temple, Parshwanathji temple, Sambhavnathji temple and Shantinathji temple. Poshina port is near to Ambaji at about 45 km of distance.

Jessore Sioth Bear Sanctuary:
This wildlife sanctuary is spread over at an area of 180 sq.km and famously known for sloth bear. Other wild animals like leopards, sambar deer, blue bull, wild boar, porcupine and variety of birds are also found here, it’s a haven to the beasts to beautify planet earth.

Here you have a famous Jain pilgrim site and the main attraction is the Bhildiyaji temple.

This spot was once the capital of Parmar Rajputs and the majority of population are the Bhil tribes who still sojourn here, this place consist of two main and beautiful palaces for tourist visit. The Ambaji temple and Shri Kumbhariyaji temple are the nearby pilgrimage centers.

This spot has two important locations of visit, the Dam and the Agri University which is the major landmark to this place.Dantiwada Dam is located on the outskirts of Dantiwada in Banaskantha District of Gujarat. It is built across the Banas River. It was built in 1965 with the primary aim of flood control and providing water for irrigation projects. The dam measures 61 m in height and 4,832 m in length. The reservoir covers an area of about 40 sq km.

Husain Tekri situated here is a famous place for Azadari programs held on the 22nd of Safar, the second month in the Islamic calendar.

This spot is another ancient landscape which still exists, previously Tharad was known by several names such as Thirpur, Thiradi, Thirapadra and Tharapadra. The famous attraction spot here is Shri Tharad Teerth and this town is considered to be a scared on amidst the Jains beliefs and it is said that this spot was established by King Thirupal Dharu. The beautiful idol at Shri Tharad Teerth is Shri Adishwar Bhagwan which is positioned in Padmasna position in Yoga is famously worshipped here. Apart from this unique spot there are some more ten temples to be visited. Shri Vav Teerth and Shri Bhorol Teerth are the famous Jain temples easily accessible by road, accommodations are available for pilgrims.

Nearest Petrol Pump:

Shiv Shakthi Petrol Pump:Palanpur,Banaskantha,Gujarat,India


RM Petrol Pump:Patan,Gujarat,India

Jyothi Petrol Pump:Mahesana,Gujarat,India


Hotel Cappal:State Highway,Palanpur,Gujarat,India,ph:02742 250777


Hotel Maganjis:Mount road,Banaskantha,Gujarat,India,ph:02974 238337

Ambika Enterprises Mount Abu Hotel:Agarsen Old Main Market,Mount Abu,Rajasthan,India,ph:09929152877

Things to carry:

Tips & Suggestions:

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:
Gandhi - Lincoln Hospital:Disa,Banaskantha,Gujarat,India
Trimuriti Hospital:Palanpur,Banaskantha,Gujarat,India,ph:02742 253714
Society/Community Phone Number:

Photo Gallery


Dynamic View

Ambaji Temple
At a distance of 65 Kms from Palanpur and 45 Kms from Mt. Abu near Gujarat Rajasthan border the religious town of Ambaji is located. This town is famous for the Maa Ambaji temple, one of the richest and holiest temple in Gujarat attracting lakhs of pilgrims from Gujarat and neighbouring Rajasthan every year. The original seat of Ambaji Mata is on Gabbar Hilltop, which is 3 Kms away from Ambaji town. Ambaji Mata temple is one of the 51 shakti peeths where it is believed the heart of Goddess Parvati fell.....more
Dantiwada Dam
Dantiwada Dam is located on the outer reaches of Dantiwada in Banaskantha District of Gujarat. The dam stands across the Banas River and was built in 1965. The primary aim behind building the Dantiwada Dam was flood control and providing water for irrigation projects in the state. The dam is 61 m high and 4,832 m long. The reservoir encompasses an area of about 40 sq km.The dam currently a prime tourist attraction of the district and pulls hoards of visitors to its scenic surroundings and natural beauty. Balaram Ambaji Wild Life Sanctuary is located nearby which forms the separation point between the Dantiwada Dam and Dharoi Dam....more
Ambaji Gabbar Hill
Gabbar Hill is in Gujarat, near the Rajasthan border about 5 km away from Ambaji Temple. It is about 480 m high and has an area of over 8 sq km. This pilgrim center near the origin of the Saraswati River is steeped in legends. It is believed to be the original abode of the Hindu goddess Ambaji. Ambaji's 'footprints' on this hill is a major pilgrim attraction. Devotees are said to hear Ambaji's voice at the cave of Ambaji. On the hill, there is also a small temple.The Mountain or Hill of Gabbar has also a small temple fortified from the western side and there are 999 steps to go up to the mountain and reach this holy temple at the top of Gabbar Hill. A Holy Lamp is constantly burning on this hill temple facing exactly in front of Visa Shree Yantra of Nij Mandir of Mata Shri Arasuri Ambica. An aerial ropeway also connects the temple at the hilltop.The fort was made in the 15th century near the joining confluence of two holy rivers. One can see the local tribal villages working as silversmiths, potters, arrow makers as well as basket weavers....more
Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Wildlife tour of Gujarat will bring you close to the diverse and colorful flora and fauna of the state. Out of several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Gujarat, Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary is the most popular. The sanctuary is located in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat and is famed for its population of Sloth Bears.The Jessore hills of Aravali ranges cut across the fringes of the sanctuary, from which it derives its name. The area was officially declared a sanctuary in May 1978. It is a transition zone between the desert ecosystem and the dry deciduous forest ecosystem.Sloth Bears, unlike other species of bears, move in groups. Other than these the next most important animal found at Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Gujarat is the Leopard. There are a number of other animals too that thrive in these forests including Rhesus Macaque, Indian Porcupine, Indian Civet Cat, Striped Hyena, Wild Boar, Fox, Jackal, Blue Bull, Hare and Langur....more