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Vansda National Park
Purna Wildlife Sanctuary
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Purna Wildlife Sanctuary

Purna has the thickest forest cover in the state, and the highest average rainfall, at 2500 mm. At sunset, the 160 square km of lush rolling hills, teak and bamboo fill with the music and drums of the Dangi tribes that also populate Vansda. The main village of Mahal is at the centre of the sanctuary on the banks of the Purna River, with a forest rest house. Purna and Vansda together are the only protected forest areas in South Gujarat.

Purna is a sanctuary where luxuriant dense forests with thick bamboo brakes enchant visitors. People get surprised to see such pristine forests in the area, which happens to be an extension of the Western Ghats. For an eco-tourist this is the best place to visit. The sanctuary is a part of forests in northern part of the Dangs district in South Gujarat. The area, covering 160.8 sq. km, is a reserved forest which was notified as a sanctuary in July 1990.

Purna Sanctuary is a part of dense moist deciduous forests and supports many flora and fauna. The sanctuary, along with Vansda National Park, is the only Protected Area in South Gujarat for conserving diverse biological resources. Wild bulls, elephants, sloth bear and rhinoceros also roamed in this forest tract in the past (Mughal Period). The forests of this region satisfy the material needs of the local tribals and maintain the ecological stability of the area. About 700 identified plant species are found in the sanctuary.

Unlike most of Gujarat, the area is characterised by moderate, sometimes even heavy, rainfalls. The area falls in the highest rainfall zone of the state. The human population is totally tribal represented by Bhils, Warlis, Konkanas, Dubdas, and Kolchas. The forests support a rich tribal culture in the form of houses, dresses, jewellery, agriculture, fishing, musical instruments, folk dances, etc. When the sun sets, one may listen to the distant sounds of folk dances, tribal songs and improvised musical instruments like pavry and drums.

'Mahal', the main village in the sanctuary is centrally located on the banks of river Purna. There is a very old forest rest house on the banks of this river. This place is the most preferred site for nature education camps.

The important tree species are teak, khair, sadad, dudhalo, kalam, bamboo, haldu, karanj, tanach, chopadi bondara, etc.

Important animals: leopard, rhesus macaque, bonnet macaque, common mongoose, Indian civat cat, Indian porcupine, four-horned antelope, barking deer, sambar, chital, hyena, jungle cat, flying squirrel, python, lizards, etc.

Important birds : Common grey hornbill, grey jungle fowls, barbets, woodpeckers, shrikes, cloropsis, bee-eaters, flycatchers and many raptors.

The Vansda National Park has also joined hands with the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary located at Dangs to revive and preserve various life forms.

Accessibility: The nearest airport is Surat (130 kms). Ahmedabad is 400 kms away. The Nearest bus station is Vyara (20 kms), and the nearest railway station is Vyara (20 kms).

Accommodation: Hotels and lodges at Vyara, Saputara and Surat.

Season: November to March.
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