Aravali Herbal Garden
Well known for its dense forest of herbal plants, flat high hills, beautiful valley and several exciting activities for visitors, Nal Saandol has become a popular place. Located about 45 Kms from Udaipur near the highly revered temple of Saandolmata, after which it is named, the eco-tourism spot was famous as a centre of herbal tourism.
As the area represents the extremely rich herbal diversity of Aravali hills with over 1200 varieties of trees, shrubs, creepers, grasses, orchids etc. the Aravali Herbal Garden was established covering 50 hectares in 1996-97 and 35000 herbal medicinal plants were planted. Not only varieties to which the area is home but those from other places were grown here with a view to preserving several rare ones that were in danger of extinction.
In the exhibition section covering three hectares one can see the ecological needs, irrigation and nursery techniques, methods of identification and use of several species in one to two hours. It takes four to five hours to study the techniques of planting in natural habitat, agriculture and nursery technique, methods of use etc. in production section spread over forty-seven hectares.
Other special features of the garden include Green House where plants are nursed under controlled conditions, herbarium to identify the species, and exhibition section with posters, charts, photographs, books etc. for the facility of learners. There is also a Googal garden and creeper garden. In addition to these there are Triphla Kunj, Dashmool Kunj, Brahmi Nala, Lemon Grass Hedges and Bamboo section. The fruit section is called Shabri Van.
The herbal garden is especially important for biologists, Ayurved researchers and scholars, folk healers, environmentalists etc. It also helps in creating awareness about environment and the need to protect it.
The garden has turned out to be a boon for the local people who have formed self help groups for the management, safety, parking etc. They provide traditional food and also arrange folk cultural programmes for the entertainment of the visitors. All this has resulted in lucrative income generation for them.
For comfortable stay, there is a guest house, huts and tents where visitors can spend the night in close proximity to nature.
In Kamal Talai, the view of rare blue lotuses is simply awesome.
From the high watching tower, one can have a view of a huge variety of bird frolicking over still water and flowing rivers and enjoy the sweet chirping of the avians.
Also available are facilities of adventure sports like tree climbing, moving from one tree to another and crossing the river over a rope.
It is really a highly exciting experience to have mesmerizing view of nature in the verdant vales and running streams, spend time with beautiful birds and at the same time learn interesting things about herbal vegetation.