For exploring the wildness of the wildlife nothing can prove to be a better option than visiting a Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are someone who loves being close to nature and prefers to explore the wildlife then you must visit a sanctuary because that is where you can be the closest to exploring wildlife. And if you are in Gujarat then you have the option to explore the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Known for its extensive flora and fauna, the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat is one of the richest wildlife sanctuaries.
Furthermore not just a sanctuary it is also a great spot for people in Gujarat or nearby for a one day tourist destination. So if you are anywhere nearby then definitely do consider visiting the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. In this article I will mention everything that you probably need to know about the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Keep on reading this article as by the end of it you will get all the insight about this sanctuary in Gujarat to plan a successful trip there. It is surely going to be a helpful read for you.
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: 57, Panduya Bridge, Nizampura, near Pandya Hotel, Vadodara, Gujarat
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary ticket price: No entry fees
Timings of Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary: The Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary timings are from 7 am to 9 pm on all days.
How to reach Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
The nearest airport is the Vadodara Airport and Vadodara to Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary distance is around 90 km. Sardar Vallabhai Patel International Airport is the closest international airport which is 260 km away from the sanctuary. From there you can get buses or hire a car to reach the sanctuary.
Baruch railway station is the nearest railway station at a distance of 80 km. You can take a car from there to reach the sanctuary.
You can even drive through nearby cities or reach the sanctuary by buses available on this route. The nearest bus stand is Ankleswar at a distance of 60 km.
Distance of Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary from nearby cities
- Ahmedabad ( 202 km)
- Mumbai ( 747 km)
- Jaipur ( 859 km)
- Agra ( 1091 km)
- Delhi ( 1117 km)
- Nagpur ( 1172 km)
- Dehradun ( 1352 km)
- Lucknow ( 1356 km)
- Hyderabad ( 1410 km)
- Bangalore ( 1697 km)
- Coimbatore ( 1964 km)
- Chennai ( 2022 km)
Overview of Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Located near the Narmada of Gujarat the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 607.71 sq km. Nestled amongst hilly tracts, the sanctuary is surrounded by dense forest cover. Not only is the forest trails aesthetically pleasing but it is also home to a huge variety of flora and fauna. This sanctuary is mainly located in Gujarat but it also shares its border with Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
In 1982 first this sanctuary was declared a protected area with a total area covering only 150 sq km. At that time this sanctuary was known as the Dumkhal Sanctuary which was a specially created area for the protection of sloth bears. Furthermore in 1987 and in 1989 this sanctuary was expanded and enlarged to the current size covering 607 sq km. It was then that the sanctuary was renamed as the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary was named Shoolpaneshwar from an ancient Shiva Temple which was located near the banks of Narmada. Shoolpaneshwar is referred to Lord Shiva as he carries a Shool or a Trishul in his Pani or hand. However later in the times after the creation of the Sardar Sarovar Dam this temple was submerged. Furthermore a new Shiva Temple was later built near Rajpipla.
Located on the Vindhyan and Satpura Range with a general slope towards the west, the majority of this sanctuary is dominated by the Rajpipla Hills. Because of that there is an undulating slope with a difference in elevation here ranging from 100 feet to 800 feet. Furthermore it has a vast green cover with deep valleys, tall canopy, somber rocks, cascading waterfalls and the forest terrain.
Things to enjoy in Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary
The Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary can be called a trekker’s paradise for its forest trails. Along the river side with cascading waterfall this sanctuary is like a haven for nature enthusiasts. Furthermore, because of the gentle streams flowing by, the sanctuary is also a home to various fishes. And that leads to another activity which is fishing that can be enjoyed here. During the monsoon many of these streams come together to fall as majestic waterfalls. The Zarwani Waterfall located inside the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most attractive sites for the tourists.
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary safari is another activity the tourists can enjoy here. You can do the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary booking for safari. The Government organizes jungle safaris on jeeps. Furthermore you can also book a private tour operator or local operators for jungle safari, walking trails to enjoy the breathtaking view of the jungle and also to enjoy the wildlife here.
Best time to visit Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary being a tropical forest faces extreme heat and humidity during the summers. Mostly the temperature remains calm and pleasant during the winters which are the ideal time to visit here. You can plan to visit here between November to March to enjoy and explore the place at its best.
Furthermore, even the monsoon here looks beautiful and even nature is at its best. The waterfalls are all full, the streams flow with their full capacity, so overall that is an enjoyable moment, but there are some issues with monsoon too. Due to excessive rain sometimes it can get a little tough to spot the wildlife here which is not visible during the rainy season. Also the rains can dampen activities like jungle safaris and trekking or walking trails.
Summers would be a little too uncomfortable to visit here because the scorching sun is merciless and it would not be comfortable to explore the place properly. Try to plan your visit during the winter months so that you can enjoy the wild forest trail along with the wildlife comfortably. So plan your visit accordingly.
Flora and Fauna in Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Being one of the largest sanctuaries, the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its vast flora and fauna.
The Shoolpaneshwar sanctuary has a mix of dry deciduous forest, moist mixed deciduous forest, dry bamboo brakes, moist teak forest, and dry tropical riverside forest. Furthermore the sanctuary has a record of more than 575 species of flowering plants like Amla, Aritha, Timru, Amaltas, Tanachh, Khair, Sadad, Bamboo, Mahuda, Karanj, Bor, Herde etc.
Initially the sanctuary was specifically created for the protection of sloth bears which later on changed. Some of the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary animals are Indian Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Leopard Cat, Chousingha, Pangolin, Barking Deer, Large Indian Civet, Chital, Palm Civet, Indian Porcupine, Tiger, Indian Giant Squirrel, Gaur, Feral Dogs etc.
You can also find Indian Flapshell Turtle, Indian Softshell Turtle, Indian Rock Python, Bengal Monitor, Red Sand Boa, Russell’s Viper, Indian Krait, Indian Chameleon, Brooke’s House Gecko, Rock Agama, Oriental Garden Lizard, Yellow Bellied House Gecko, Mugger Crocodile, Marbled Toad, Mouthed Frog, Indian Tree Frog, Asian Common Toad, Indian Skipping Frog, Green Pond Frog, Cricket Frog, Indian Bullfrog, Ornate Narrow Mouthed Frog, Indian Burrowing Frog etc here.
A good variety of birds are also found here like Grey Jungle Fowl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red Jungle Fowl, Sparrow Hawk, Shikra, Great Horned Owl, Grey Hornbill etc.
Nearby places to visit from the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
You will find many amazing sightseeing spots that you can visit near the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of them are
- Narmada River
- Sardar Sarovar Dam
- Shoolpaneshwar Mahadev Temple
- Nehru Foundation Sthal
- Rupgadh Fort
- Ninai Waterfall
- Interpretation Centre at Kevadia
- Zarwani Eco Campsite
- Hidimba Van
- Wadia Palace at Rajpipla
- Rishi Dank
- EME Temple
- Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum
- Sayaji Bagh
- Laxmi Vilas Palace
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary Hotels
You can get a lot of options for luxury hotels that offer a luxurious tent stay or premium cottages near the Sanctuary. There are a lot of sightseeing spots nearby that makes it one of the popular spots with options for accommodation as well. Some of the hotels and resorts near Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary are
The Fern Sardar Sarovar Resort
Address: Kevadiya Colony, Rajpipla, Gujarat
Green City View Room Rs. 6400
Green Premium Garden View Room Rs. 7200
Facilities: Fitness Centre, Refrigerator, Coffee Maker, Mini Bar, Bathtub, Spa, Sauna, Valet Parking, Free Parking, Buffet Breakfast, Buffet Dinner, Restaurant, Free Wifi etc
Nirvana Resort and Restaurant
Address: Kevadia Road, Gabana, Ekta Nagar, Garudeshwar, Gujarat
Deluxe Cottage Room Rs. 5999
Premium Cottage Room Rs. 7499
Royal Cottage Room Rs. 9999
Facilities: Free Breakfast, Free Wifi, Swimming Pool
Praveg Tent City Narmada
Address: Dyke 3 Sardar Sarovar Dam, near Kevadia, Gujarat
Deluxe AC Tent Rs. 7300
Premium AC Tent Rs. 10, 700
Facilities: Club House, Cultural Show, Conference Halls, Lawn, VIP Lounge, Dining Hall etc
Sou Eco Camp
Address: Garudeshwar, Anketshwar, Gujarat
Lake View Cottages Rs. 3000
Facilities: AC, Room Heaters, Swimming Pool, Multi Cuisine Vegetarian Restaurant serving buffet and A-la-carte, Free Parking, Safety Lockers, Mini Refrigerator, Tea/ Coffee Maker etc
Unity Holiday Resort
Address: Statue of Unity Road, Rajpipla, Gujarat
Tariff: Maharaja Suite and Royal Swiss Tent Rs. 4200
Facilities: Spa, Swimming Pool, Free Breakfast, Free Wifi
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary can be your ideal spot to enjoy some time amidst nature. To explore the wildlife, the vast richness of flora and fauna and indulging in activities like trekking or trail walking can be so relaxing. So if you are an adventure lover or a nature enthusiast or a trekking enthusiast you can surely consider visiting the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Furthermore you can easily travel from any nearby city for a staycation or a weekend trip to the sanctuary. Or if you are interested in a day trip then also this sanctuary is a great option. If you are visiting Gujarat or you stay there already or anywhere nearby you must include the Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary to your itinerary. It will be thrilling, exciting as well as extremely refreshing for you to visit a location like this. Do let me know if this article on the Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary is helpful for you in planning a trip there.