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Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary

Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary

Shoolpaneshwar wildlife sanctuary

Shoolpaneshwar wildlife sanctuary is located in the Narmada District of Gujarat.The sanctuary was first created in 1982 over an area of 150.87 sq km and known as “Dhumkal Sanctuary”. Subsequently in 1987 and 1989 the area of the sanctuary was enlarged to 607.70 km2and it was renamed as “Shoolpaeshwar Sanctuary”. The sanctuary derives its name from a historic temple of Lord Shiva, which once wxisted in this region on the bank of river Narmada. The temple is now submerged due to the SardarSarovar Reservoir. However a new Shoolpaneshwar temple has since been built near Rajpipla. The word “Shoolpaneshwar” refers to Lord Shiva portrayed as having “Shool” or “Trishul” in his hand i.e. “Pani“.

The forest area rated as one of the best and thickest in the state, is spread over an area, which includes a major watershed feeding two major reservoirs with the Rajpipla hills as back drop. The thick vegetative ground cover not only provides endless greenery and habitat and home to a variety of life forms, but also conserves the soil and water. This sanctuary has vast, undulating terrain, ever-pervading greenery, tall inspiring canopy, deep awesome valleys, sombrely silent rocks, gentle youthful streams, majestic waterfalls, breath taking landscapes, culminating at the congregation of Vindhyan-Saputara hills ranges.

The area is predominattly tribal with “Vasavas” as the main tribal community. The local population heavily depends on the forest produce for socio-economic substenance. A mere glance at the tribal houses and habitations reflects their dependences on bamboos in every sphere of life.


The flora of the ecosystem represents semi-evergreen to moist deciduous forest. There are more than 575 species of flowering plants like timru, amla, khair, aritha, sadad, tanachh, karanj, bamboo crops often referred to as bamboo-brakes.


The Sanctuary is a home for 32 species of mammals, several species of reptiles, 198 species of birds and countless insects.  Important animals are Sloth bear, leopard, rhesus, common mongoose, Indian porcupine, four-horned antelope, barking deer, chital, pangolin, flying squirrel, python, snakes, lizards, tortoise etc. The sanctuary has the rare distinction of having flying squirrels. It is reported to have tigers, leopard cat and wild dogs in the past. However, tigers have not been sighted have more than two decades. Important birds are crested serpent eagle, shirka, sparrow, hawk, great-horned owl, gray hornbill, red and gray jungle fowls etc.



There is the fantastic Zarwani Waterfalls deep inside Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.

How to Reach

Nearest airport is Vadodara 90 Km and nearest international airport is Ahmedabad (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport) 260 Km.


Nearest rail head is Bharuch 80 Km.


Nearest bus stand is Ankleshwar 60 Km.