The Vansda national Park established in 1979 in Navsari district, Gujarat
got its name Vansda as the area was privately owned by the Maharaja of
Vansda. The Park covering an area of 24 sq.km is nestled in the mountains
of Western Ghats or Sahyadris and is under the control of the government. Even
though the park is small, it is extremely dense and has a wide variety
of flora and fauna. Some parts of the park are dark even during
daytime. The park lies close to the National Highway - 8 and is bisected
by the Waghai-Vansda State Highway.
The types of forest found in the park are mainly Moist
deciduous and Dry deciduous covered with bamboos, tall teak trees, mango
groves and gigantic creepers. In all there are over 250 species of plants,
including many variety of Orchids. During rainy reason, the park gets
a heavy rainfall of over 2000 mm. which encourages the dense plant growth.
The landscape is beautiful with trees, small streams and beautiful hills
and valleys. Ambika river flows through the north eastern boundary of
the park. Tourists have to get permission from the Chief Wildlife
Warden, of Gandhinagar or DFO, Ahwa to visit the park.
The forest is a habitat to Leopards, python, four-horned
antelope, pangolin, rusty-spotted cats, Jungle Cat, Civets, Mongooses,
Macaques, Barking Deer, giant squirrels, Hyenas and a wide species of
birds like Great Black Woodpecker, Malabar Trogon, Shama and Emerald Dove,
Grey Hornbill, Racket-Tailed Drongo, Paradise Flycatcher, Leaf birds,
Thrushes, Sunbirds, peafowls etc.
Small creatures with their amazing diversity are the
real treasure of the park. Among these are over 60 species of butterflies
and 121 species of spiders. The largest of the spiders of Gujarat, the
Giant wood spider is common here and around 30 species of snakes are found
here. Besides there are numerous varieties of insects, centipedes,
millipedes and snails as well as about 11 types of frogs and toads.
The park has dwellings of local tribals belonging to
Bhil, Gamit, Warli, Kokni, Kunbi and Dangi tribes. All the tribals have
their unique culture and systems which are interesting. Other interesting
places near Vansda National Park are Gira Water falls adjoining the
Park, Botanical Gardens and wood workshop at Waghai, Mahal forest ( Purna
Game Sanctuary ), Hot-water spring at Unai etc. Saputara, the only hill-station
of Gujarat state, is only 52km away from the park.