Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary
In 1980, when Ranthambore was declared a national park, the adjacent areas were deemed as Keladevi Sanctuary and Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary in 1984 and in the year 1991, the tiger reserves were extended to include Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Spread over an area of 127.76 square kilometers, the entire sanctuary is full of smooth terrains and rocky hillocks with light slopes. The Devpura Irrigation Dam is the main water source in the sanctuary for the wildlife and also a great environment for the aquatic flora and fauna.
Some of the flora commonly found in this sanctuary include Salar, Butea, Dhok and Churel along with many rare species of fauna such as Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Chinkara, Chital, Hyena, Caracal, Sambhar and Jackal, out of which, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Hyena and Chinkara are protected animals. The ride from the entrance to the main area in the sanctuary is rocky and exciting, where one can easily spot Indian Gazelle, Sambhar Deer and Blue Bull (Nilgali) along the way.
There are two popular eco-tourism sites located within the sanctuary, namely, Balas and Kundal.
Balas Eco-Tourism SiteBalas is located nine kilometers from Sawai Madhopur at the union of Aravalli Hills and Vindhyas Hills. Because of this, this area is very wealthy in bio-diversity. While the eco system of Vindhyas is distinguished by several plateaus known as ‘Dang’, the Aravalli eco system is distinguished by jagged and conical hilltops. There is even a camping site at the Dang, which has been greatly developed with paths for motorbikes. There are also two khos - Mahakho and Didikho, which even though are covered with fog, are still worth a visit throughout the year.
The vegetation found in Balas consists mainly of Dhok species with trees such as Raunj, Gurjan, Khaair, Goya Khaair, Jamun, Saintha, Kathphadi, Tendu, Kadaya, Kadamb, Siras, Khirni, Salar and Amaltas. While Jarked, Gangerun, Jal and Jhadberi are the underground varieties found here, Chinkali, Lampla, Sedvs, Bhanjura, Sheen, Dada Musi Pharda and Jhonudali are the over ground species found here.
Different varieties of fauna in Balas include Chital, Nilgai, Chinkara, Hare, Jackal, Fox, Jingle Cat, Hyena, Panther, Sloth Bear and Wild Boar. Partridges, Sand Grouse, Peacock, Stone Curlews, Quails, Minivets, Tits, Orioles, Flycatchers, Sparrow, Vultures and Parakeets constitute the avifauna. On good days, tourists can even spot rare vulture nests.
Kundal Eco-Tourism SiteThe other eco-tourism site in Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is called Kundal. It is located about 15 kilometers away from Sawai Madhopur.
Popular Tourist Sites and Camping Options in Sawai Mansingh SanctuaryOther popular tourist sites in Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary include the sunset point, vulture nesting point Jamada point, Maha Kho and Didi Kho.
For visitors who would like to spend more time at the sanctuary, they can book camping options over here. The camping facilities at the sanctuary are managed by the Eco Development Committee (EDC) at Gandhi Nagar, Khalibhat and Neemli Kalan. The camping site has been established by many reputed hoteliers in Sawai Madhopur keeping in mind the comfort and security of the campers. Moreover, the EDC staff is especially trained in catering, reception, service, guiding and security for the comfort of the visitors.
Camping Charges in Sawai Mansingh SanctuaryEach tent at the camping site can accommodate not more than two tourists and a charge of Rs 1000 per tent would be charged by the EDC, out of which, a small amount would go to the Forest Department for entry charges and camping fee. However, for video cameras, visitors have to pay an extra Rs. 200. Booking can be done either directly at Balas or at the Tiger Office in Alanpur, Sawai Madhopur. Contact Number - 07462- 220479.
Timings of Sawai Mansingh SanctuaryThe sanctuary is open from sunrise to sunset for the tourists. However, camping at Balas is open 24 hours. The best time to visit Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is between the months of October and March.
How to Reach Sawai Mansingh SanctuaryThe sanctuary can be easily accessed by road from Sawai Madhopur. The nearest railway station is Sawai Madhopur Railway Station.
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