The park is located in Vanasthalipuram, on the outskirts of Hyderabad
city at a distance of about 15-km on the Hyderabad- Vijayawada road. Once
the Nizam's (former Hyderabadi rulers) hunting grounds, it is now home
to the beautiful black bucks with their spiral horns along with several
species of birds.
The park named after the renowned Jain saint 'Lord Mahavira'
was established in 1975, in commemoration of his 2500th birth anniversary.
The deer park maintained by the Forest Department, has an undulating terrain,
of 189 hectares dominated by acacia trees and grasslands. The park looks
picturesque in the monsoon with the golden and white flowers of these
trees on the lush green carpet of grass. Besides Acacias, neem, Bauhinias,
Buteas ( Flame of the forest) and a variety of thorny scrub species are
found in this dry scrub forest.
The main species of fauna found here is the endangered
Black Buck, the state animal of Andhra Pradesh. There are over 400 black
bucks (Amtelope Cervicapara), about 500 Cheetals and large herds of wild
boar. Common animals seen here are monitor lizards, mongooses, porcupines
besides a variety of snakes. Several species of birds like Partridges,
Quails, peacocks, Doves, pond herons, egrets, kingfishers, cormorants
and birds of prey like kites, vultures etc are found here. A variety of
migratory birds of over 80 species can also be seen round the year. Short-toed
Eagle is another rare species nesting in this area.
There are rest sheds and observation towers for viewing the animals inside
the park. There are facilities available for a van ride inside the park
to see the animals from close quarters for a nominal fee. The park is
open every day of the week except Mondays from 9.a.m. to 5 p.m.
The forest Department offers audio-visual education on
nature and wildlife and is supported by a good nature library. There is
an exhibition hall displaying exhibits explaining intricate problems of