Located in Jasdan Taluka of Rajkot District, Hingolgadh Sanctuary is a green oasis in the dry plateau of Saurashtra. The Sanctuary is just 180 kms. away from Ahmedabad. Extending over a forest area of 654.07 ha., the sanctuary represents dry deciduous scrub forests where the trees of Acacia Senegal (Gorad), Mytenus emarginata (Vikalo), Acacia nilotica (Baval), Commiphora wightii (Gugal) etc. dominate the landscape. The area is hilly, rugged and undulating. The landscape presents a magnificent mosaic of grasslands and scrub forests. The sanctuary gets full of life during rainy season with beautiful shades of green colour all around and the area buzzing with life and various life forms. It is a place where the savannah type of grasslands and the scrubby forests merge into each other and on undulating and rugged tracks through the lower plains to small hillocks.
The sanctuary area was earlier known as 'Motisari vidi' and belong to the ex-princely state of Jasdan. As the name suggests, the area was a savannah type of grassland with widely scattered scrub trees. It was a hunting reserve for the royal family and was also used for grass collection. The area is reported to be having even leopards which were sighted right up to August 1991. The rolling grasslands of savannah type interspersed with dry deciduous thorny and scrubby forests are sure to leave behind an imprint on the minds of the visitors.
The area was declared as a 'Private Forest' in 1973 and a 'Wildlife Sanctuary' in the year 1980 and has been given special protection since then. Owing to its unique nature education features, the task of management and development of the sanctuary was handed over to Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar in 1984 as the latter has the basic mandate of imparting nature and ecological education to all sections of the society. Since then, the sanctuary is being managed by GEER Foundation under the statutory control of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) of Gujarat.
Due to the presence of grasslands and scrub forests, the sanctuary has a unique composition of wildlife. The most prominent wildlife species are Chinkara (a herbivore), Nilgai (Bluebull), Indian porcupine, Indian hare, Mongoose etc. Wolf - the top predator of the grassland, is the main carnivore along with Hyenas, Jackals etc. The unconfirmed presence of a leopard has been occasionally reported by the local people.
The sanctuary is remarkably rich in birds with 230 species. The whole sanctuary is filled with melodies of bird chirping. The large groups of bulbuls attract everybody's attention with their metallic calls. Another interesting bird is the Weaver bird whose presence is most visible in the form of their typical hanging nests.
The sanctuary has 19 species of snakes of which 3 are venomous and 16 non-venomous.
The presence of savannah types of grasslands and the scrub forests and the interesting fauna - particularly the remarkable diversity of bird species - has rendered the sanctuary an ideal place for nature education in a region which is otherwise dry. The sanctuary also presents very interesting geological and hydrological features. The smallness and the simplicity of physical features enhance the educational value of the place from the point of view of imparting nature education and creating public awareness about conservation of forests and wildlife. The small sanctuary of about 600 ha. provides a valuable opportunity for observing physical features such as hill-slopes, aspects, soil and soil erosion soil depth, drainage lines and water-flow and the impact of these features on the food chain comprising of vegetation (grasses, herbs, shrubs and scrubby trees) and the animal world primarily supported by the vegetation. In fact, the sanctuary is popularly known as Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary as nature education is one of the basic objectives of its management. The sanctuary is unique for its nature education value.
The GEER Foundation is committed to ecological and nature education has been holding about 50 to 75 nature education camps in Hingolgadh Wildlife Sanctuary for school and college children covering about 2500 to 3750 students and 100 to 150 teachers every year. The duration of each camp extends over 3 days and 2 nights. Each camp comprises of 50 students and at least two teachers. To facilitate these camps, a camping site has been developed in the sanctuary. Since 1984, total 1,328 nature education camps were organised and around 75,454 participants were benefited.
With a view to impart awareness about nature, a cacti house and snake house have also been developed.
A visit to Hingolgadh Sanctuary is strongly recommended particularly during the rainy season when the scenic beauty is at its aesthetic best. However, the winter season is also a very good and pleasant time for visiting the sanctuary. The sanctuary provides limited lodging facilities for which prior permission and booking are necessary from the Range Forest Officer, Hingolgadh Wildlife Sanctuary.
|Entry fee for (per entry)||Indians|
|Entry fee for Vehicles (per entry)|
|I.||Car, Jeep, Metador||20.00||5.00|
|II.||Mini bus, Tractor,||50.00||10.00|
|Medium & Heavy vehicles|
|I.||Two & Three wheelers||10.00||2.00|
Range Forest Officer,
Hingolgadh Nature Education Sanctuary
District : Rajkot