BAGHDARRAH NATURE RESERVE

Having picturesque landscape, full of wilderness and sylvan beauty, Baghdarrah Nature Reserve is located just fifteen kilometers away from Udaipur on Udaipur-Jhamar Kotra road near the famous Jhamar Kotra Mines. Dominating over this hilly terrain, the area with luxuriant vegetation had a large number of tigers and that is how it got its name ‘Baghdarrah’ the abode of ‘Baghs’, tigers. Criss-crossed by ‘nullahs’, the protected area spread over about 342 hectares used to be the ‘Shikargah’ of the erstwhile rulers of Mewar. To facilitate hunting and to have a magnificient view of the forest area, two “Odhies”, shooting towers were built. It is noteworthy that one of these towers, Janana Odhi was made women friendly so that they could also enjoy shooting. Now the Odhis provide watchtowers for viewing the scenic beauty. Due to continuous biotic pressure and interference to accommodate city dwellers, the vegetation on the hillock degraded and that resulted in disappearance of wild animals by the year 1980. However, the valleys commonly known “darrah” are still intact. After independence of the country the area remained neglected and open for biotic factors to act upon. In the year 1982, the area was declared as “closed area” under Wildlife Act 1972. Since then the vegetation has started flourishing again although at a slower pace. Because of the beautiful waterbody and unique vegetation cover in valleys and proximity to Udaipur city, it has become a natural spot for huge number of visitors and tourists. A waterbody spreading over thirty hectares, the park provides a panoramic view of picturesque surroundings. The clean water of the pond is a natural home of crocodiles that can be seen basking during the winter season. Banks of the lake represent a fascinating acquatic ecosystem that supports a good population of aquatic fauna and flora. Varied forms of animals find shelter here. It has presence of animals like leopard, blue bull, hyena, jackal, common civet, small ruddy mongoose, python, cobra, monitor lizard and turtles. The park has a rich floral diversity and is a true representative of species commonly found in Aravalian ecosystem. The floral cover comprise trees, herbs and shrubs. Availability of a variety of flowering and non-flowering plants, both terrestrial as well as aquatic, provide good opportunity of study to scholars. Its major flora includes Kadaya, Godal, Dhokda, Salar, Ber, Khirni, Churel, Bad, etc. The area has typical Aravalian diversity of a variety of bird species like storks, cormorants, geese, teals, kingfisher, egrets, flying butterflies, dragonflies and endemic bird white-napped,tit.
In this deep gorge with lush green riverian vegetation strip, visitors can enjoy trekking on routes passing through valleys, dense forests and running streams. One route is from the main gate to Janana Odhi and the other one takes one along the water pond encircling the waterbody during which one can sight a number of waterfowls in this lake. Nature camps in this park provide an opportunity to study and appreciate the nature and its biodiversity thereby creating love for nature and the need to protect it. While camping in rustic wildlife one can have a rare experience of staying inside a forest reserve with the jungle playing host. There are several fascinating activities. Those interested in angling can enjoy Mahaseer fishing ‘catch and release’ that is a rare sport now. To experience the amazing wilderness from a unique angle one can use zip line across the lake. The bike trail is an opportunity to experience natural beauty and biking. One can take a bird watching tour with local experts who have knowledge passed on from generation to generation. One can also enjoy a jungle safari in the beautiful deciduous forest of Aravali. Because of the beautiful waterbodies, unique vegetation cover in valleys and proximity to Udaipur city, the forest of Baghdarrah has become a popular natural spot for huge number of tourists and Udaipurites.

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