Purna Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of dense moist deciduous forests in Western Ghat of Gujarat and supports gamut of flora and fauna of very high evolutionary value. The sanctuary, along with Vansda National Park, is the only protected area in south Gujarat for conserving diverse biological resources. It is one of the most popular hotspots for bird watchers.
With the objective to enhance and promote tourism in Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, a Dang Bird Festival was organized very recently at Mahal Campsite. The sanctuary got its name from the river Purna which flows along the banks of Mahal Campsite. This place which is spread over an area of about 160 sq. kms was declared as a sanctuary back in the year 1990.
The entire sanctuary is thickly covered with teak and bamboo. This place has a tropical climate receiving an average rainfall of about 2500 mm. The vegetation and climatic condition of this sanctuary cater to the needs and requirements of the local tribals inhabiting this region.
You will come across 700 exotic varieties of flora and fauna in Purna Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of the elusive species such as leopard, rhesus macaque, bonnet macaque, mongoose, Indian civet cat, Indian porcupine, four-horned antelope, barking deer, sambar, chital and hyena and jungle cat can be found here. It is estimated that about 139 wide varieties of bird species was spotted during the period between 1999 and 2003. Grey hornbills, grey jungle fowl, barbets, woodpeckers, shrikes, leaf birds, bee-eaters, flycatchers and raptors are some of the common birds found here.
Tourists who would prefer to indulge in a breathtaking experience in Gujarat may proceed to Purna Wildlife Sanctuary. They can relish in the midst of lush green surroundings, verdant valleys and quaint villages. This sanctuary is a hotspot for numerous wildlife species such as woodpecker, crimson sun bird and the grey jungle fowl. If you are lucky enough, you may even come across some of the nocturnal species like leopards. The tourists can also opt for a jeep safari during the sunset where they can observe the animals coming out to feed themselves or in search for food. Sloth bears, elephants and wild bulls are some of the other species which are commonly found here. With the onset of evening, you can listen to the pulsating drum beats of the Dangi tribes from a distance.
You have to make sure that you carry adequate food supplies on your way to this sanctuary since there are no decent eateries or food joints available here. You can also cook the food on your own. After the end of your journey, take a break and savor some delectable meals to revitalize yourself. But if you are planning to proceed towards the Mahal Village, you may find few hotels which are located within the premises of the village serving authentic cuisines. Tents as well as cottages are also available for the discerning tourists.
- Mahal Eco Campsite: Mahal Eco Campsite is one of the popular eco-tourism centers which are located at Dangs in Gujarat along the banks of river Purna. Tourist can indulge in various adventurous activities such as trekking. It is also an ideal spot for those who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city life.
- Girmal Waterfalls: Girmal Waterfalls which stands at a height of about 100 feet is regarded as the largest waterfalls in the state of Gujarat. This place offers stunning panoramic views of the sanctuary’s surrounding areas especially during the monsoon season. The tourists can also the witness the water cascading down the rocks. The forest department of North Dang has taken precautionary measures by installing a safety railing at respective spots.
- Chimer Waterfalls: Chimer Waterfalls is perched on a hill and is regarded as one of the highest waterfalls in this area.
- Shabari Dham Temple: Shabari Dham Temple is a famous pilgrimage spot which is located at Subir village in Ahwa-Navapur road.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Purna Wildlife Sanctuary is during the months of October and February. One of the major highlights of this sanctuary is that it is not over populated, thereby ensuring a hassle free traveling experience for the discerning tourists.
Purna Wildlife Sanctuary which is located in Gujarat is indeed an ideal spot for nature lovers as well as wildlife enthusiasts.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is located at Surat which is about 130 kms away from the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Vyara which is about 20 kms away from the sanctuary.
By Road: Tourists who are traveling via Surat or Ahmedabad may head straight to Bilimora which is a city located along the banks of river Ambika. Since Bilimora and Saputara are well connected, you may either hire a direct private bus or private luxury coaches to reach the sanctuary.
One of the best recommended options is to hire a cab or a private bus to get to this place.