Van Vihar National Park
- Written by Rajnish Khare
- Published: 29 May 2016
There is one single road inside Van Vihar accessible to general public, named after the famous birdman of India, Dr. Salim Ali. The 5 Km long Dr. Salim Ali Road is categorized into various zones (not sure whether zoning is officially acknowledged, but once inside the park you can easily distinguish). Starting from Chickoo Dwar (Lake View Road Side) immediately after the entrance gate, on the left side starts enclosures of aggressive animals. Jackals, Hyena, Leopard, Bison, Sloth Bear, Tiger, White Tiger and Lion. All of them are kept in their natural habitat though the area is small but with proper safeguard and enclosed fencing so that they do not harm each other or public.
Starting from Chickoo Dwar (Lake View Road Side) immediately after the entrance gate, on the left side starts enclosures of aggressive animals. Jackals, Hyena, Leopard, Bison, Sloth Bear, Tiger, White Tiger and Lion. All of them are kept in their natural habitat though the area is small but with proper safeguard and enclosed fencing so that they do not harm each other or public. It is expected from Public not to make noise or disturb the animals. Unfortunately, we have noticed that some people while trying to gain the attention of these animals, they throw stones at them. Kindly refrain from such sadistic acts and if you find someone doing that, please request them to stop doing it.
Tigers are the main attraction here, and there are three different tiger enclosures including one for white tiger. Park Management has built a paved sidewalk alongside the tiger enclosures and aptly named it Tiger Trail. Tigers can be seen roaming around freely in woods in full glory and without fear of attacking humans. The White tiger is the jewel in the crown. This pigmentation variant of Bengal Tiger was first found in forests of Rewa Royalty in the current state of Madhya Pradesh of which Bhopal is the state capital. So in a way Madhya Pradesh is the home state of white tigers. Though White Tigers are also reported to be spotted in Bengal and Assam, but Rewa still accounts for maximum numbers of white tigers till date. After the tiger trail is enclosures for Lions and Turtles.
After the enclosures, you will find grasslands and forests where nonaggressive animals roam freely. Though at places it's fenced to save Black Bucks and Neel Gai (Blue Bull) from human intervention or adventurous visitors You can see Cheetal, Sambar, Langoor, Barasingha, Wild Boar and Wild Dogs roaming freely and sometimes crossing the road while going towards lakeside. This is one place where you will get the feel of being in a National Park, peaceful and pristine. Here you can feel the nature, without any hindrance. Just you and nature and nothing in between. You will never feel you are in the center of a bustling town of 2 million people. Please do not feed any animal specially Langoors, human food is not part of their food chain and they get ample natural nutritious food as in their natural habitat in the Park's grassland as well as woods.
Another interesting and unique place inside the Van Vihar is the Snake Park. Snake Park is a dedicated area designed to display and preserve many different species of snakes (both venomous and non-venomous) in Central India. Snakes are one of the most mysterious and feared animals on this planet. There are a lot of misconceptions about snakes amongst the normal public. This snake parks not only tries to showcase various kinds of snakes it also tries to clear all the misconceptions about them. Snakes are kept in well-protected enclosures separated by glass so that the visitors can see them naturally without the fear of snake bites. There is also a Snake Interpretation Center where Park Management organises regular workshops and seminars for educating common man about snakes.
Towards the end of the road is one of the most interesting features of Van Vihar Bhopal, the Aviary. Specially created zone for birds with a combination of wetland, grassland, pond and forest, this is a heaven for birds. Van Vihar's Aviary is home to 100 + species of birds of all categories, Resident, Migratory, Local Migratory in both Aquatic and terrestrial category. Winters specially between November to February this pace become active with hundreds of migratory birds making it their home. Park management normally organises several bird-watching camps during winters, normally on Sundays.How to Reach
There are two entry points to Van Vihar National Park, Chickoo Dwar is on the end of Lake View Road and Ramu Dwar is towards Bhadbhada Bridge / Prempura Ghat end. Unfortunately, no public transport bus goes till any of Van Vihar gate. Arranging own transport is recommeded like hiring auto rickshaw or private taxi. The nearest Public Transport Bus Stop are Bhadbhada Bridge for Ramu Dwar and Kilok Park for Chickoo Dwar. The same points are to be used as landmarks if you are going on your own vehicle.
- New Bhadbhada Bridge Square which is around 1.5 kms from Ramu Dwar. From the Bhadbhada Sqaure, take the road that goes towards Sair Sapata / Sayaji Hotel. Follow the road for 1.5 Kms and it will terminate on Ramu Dwar 300 meters ahead of Hotel Jehan Numa Retreat.
- Kilol Park for Chickoo Dwar, which is around 2.5 Kms via Lake View Road. Once you get down at Kilol Park, move towards Bharat Bhavan / CM House. On the T Junction after Bharat Bhavan take right turn and follow the road as it takes left turn in 100 mete₹ Cross Pump House, Hotel Lake View Ranjeet, Boat Club, Entrance of Indira Gandhi Manav Sanghralaya to reach the gate. This is a very scenic road and if walking is not an issue, you will love it as it covers most popular destination of Bhopal - Lake View Road.
Moving Inside Van Vihar
You can take your own vehicles / hired vehicles inside after paying appropriate fees. Unfortunately, in the year 2015, Park Management has increased the fees very steeply (Effective July 2016 the fees was reduced again). However, walking through the park is still best option though consumes a lot of time as its a 5 Km long road. Second Best option is hiring a Bicycle at very nominal rates (as on 16th May 2016 rate was ₹ 10/- per hour and ₹ 50/- as security Deposit). The Park also maintains electrically operated Golf Carts, which can be hired for ₹ 275/- for max 5 persons. 2 Extra Persons can be accommodated by Paying ₹ 55/- each. These prices are over and above individual entry ticket of ₹ 20/- per person.
Internal Area Safari
Recently Park Management has started a safari that takes visitors to internal areas of park in government vehicles. Charges for the Safari are ₹ 50/- per person but minimum 6 people are required. So even if a single person wants to do it, he will have to pay ₹ 300/-.
Van Vihar Timings
1st August to 30th October: 6.30 am to 6.30 pm
1st November to 15th February: 6.30 am to 6 pm
16th February to 15th April: 6.30 am to 6.30 pm
16th April to 31st July: 6 am to 7 pm
Park remain closed every Friday and on festivals of Diwali, Holi and Rangpanchami
Van Vihar Park Entry Fees (Ticket counter closes 30 minutes before Park closing time) Rate List Last Updated 9 March 2017All Prices in ₹ (Indian Rupees)
|1.||Individual on Foot / Cycling||20 / 30|
|2,||2 Wheelers (Max 2 persons per Vehicle)||60|
|3.||Auto Rickshaw (Max 4 persons including driver)||120|
|4.||Car / Light Vehicles / SUV's (Max 8 persons including driver)||250|
|5.||Mini Bus (Max 20 persons, extra will be charged pro rata)||1100||2200|
|6.||Trekking Longer Duration (More than 2 hours on fixed route) per person|
|7.||Movie Making including Still Photography (Per Person / Per Day) upto 7 days||20000|
|8.||Commercial Photography / Videography (Per Person / Per Day) 8 - 15 days||15000|
|9.||Internal Area Safari (min 6 persons) rate per person||50|