Sardar Sarovar Dam
Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Shoolpaneshwar Wild Life Sanctuary
Welcome to Narmada(Rajpipla),
Narmada district is an district in the state of Gujarat in India. The district headquarters are located at Rajpipla. The princely state of Rajpipla was situated largely between two important rivers of western India-the Narmada and the Tapti, with the Satpura range in the south.
This district is famous for "Narmada River" and temples at the bank of the river. Ths Marble rock along the river is quite mesmerising. It is also famous for some "Anthropological sites". There are dams, canals are constructed on this river. The name of the district is inspired on the name of "Narmada River". Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Shoolpaneshwar Wild Life Sanctuary etc are famous wild life santuaries in the city.
This city of temples is at the confluence of the Narmada, Orsang and Saraswati rivers, and is therefore considered highly sacred. A dip in the ghats here is seen as the most sacred of all the sites along the Narmada. It is a home to temples such as the Kashivishwanath Mahadev temple, which has interesting wall paintings, and various others.
In these beautiful forest range you find the Ninai waterfalls and Shoolpaneshwar wildlife sanctuary. There are excellent trekking and camping options, especially after the monsoon season, when the area is most lush. As a visitor to an area being developed as an "ecotourism" site, treat this as an opportunity to find out how your visit can have the least adverse impact on the area (as some impact is unavoidable), and how what you learn can potentially even be enriching for it, or for other areas of biodiversity around the world.
Kabirwad is a famous place situated on an island in the middle of the river Narmada.It can be reached by boats which operate to and from the Shuklatirth Shiva temple. It is an incredible grove of a Banyan tree which has grown over the years and now occupies an area of almost 3 kms. The place is named after the famous Saint Kabir who lived here for many years. It also has an imposing Kabir Temple where visitors and worshippers come to pray. Thus people visit Kabirwad not just for historical reason but also to enjoy the solitude and sanctity offered by this huge Banyan Tree.
Kanjeta is a fully developed campsite situated inside the Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary in the Dahod district of Central Gujarat. Like all the other eco campsite, this campsite is also surrounded by a rich variety of diverse flora and fauna. The main attraction is the sloth bear but the area also harbours other species like panthers, jungle cats, civets, jackals, hyenas, honey badgers, foxes, porcupines etc. It also boasts of a variety of avifauna like treepies, white bellied drongos, racket tailed drongos, paradise fly catcher, black headed oriole, etc and a variety of reptiles.
The sanctuary's geological formation and structure adds alot to its beauty. River Panam originates from within the sanctuary. All of these great natural wonders give the sanctuary the potential of widening people's sensitivity towards wildlife in general.
The river Narmada is one of the seven holiest rivers of Hinduism. Thus the Narmada mini-parikrama is suppose to be one of the most pious things a Hindu can do. As with all parikramas, one walks clock-wise around the river, walking from source to sea on the south bank and sea to source on the north side, so that the holy site is always on the right. Ideally the pilgrim carries no belongings and accepts gratefully whatever hospitality the universe shows along the way.
The journey is roughly 2,600 km and takes two to three years to complete. On your visit to the river, you may come across sadhus performing this sacred act. Remember that you neither have to follow their faith, nor go to their extremes, to show your appreciation for the river. Treat every moment of your time with her, Narmada, as a pilgrimage in itself. As you visit the small temples, ashrams, and holy bathing sites along the river, let in to your body the energy that is created in hers.
The Narmada; the Periplus Maris Erythraei (c. 80 ce) calls it the Nammadus. The British Raj called it the Nerbudda or Narbada. It is a river in central India and the fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. Narmada is a Sanskrit word meaning 'the Giver of Pleasure.
There are many temples situated alog the bank of the river. Narmadakund and temples, is the origin of Narmada River. There are Marble Rocks along the river.
"Sir, do not walk alone or in ones or twos in this jungle; It is a risky and unpredictable beast. It is fearless; so quick to charge and so fast running. It can climb up the trees. It is very mighty and its sharp nails can cause very serious injuries". If you go to Ratanmahal Sanctuary and talk to some tribal they would most probably describe the sloth bear in the manner mentioned above. Sloth bear indeed is more dangerous than the leopard at times. But, it is a thrilling experience to have a glimpse of the bear in the Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is never a 'killing-experience' if you have a vehicle and if you are accompanied by guards! This is the place, where you may come across a leopard, a palm civet, an Indian civet, four-horned antelope, langurs, Loten's sunbird, large green barbet, yellow checked tit, crested serpent eagle, grey junglefowl and a pit viper...! A visit to Ratanmahal is indeed rewarding.
About 55.65 sq. km area of the Sanctuary is a triangular landmass, which covers reserve forests of 11 villages. Forest originally belonged to ex-ruler of Devgadh Baria State. Eleven villages with a population of about 7000 are located in and around the Sanctuary and 41 villages are located in its interaction zone. An area of 150 ha is in possession of irrigation department. Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh constitutes boundary in south and east of the Sanctuary, whereas forests in west, and revenue areas in north surround the Sanctuary.
This campsite is situated at the foot of the hills Malsamot, is amidst, teak forests with sunset, sunrise, valley view points, bracing cool climate and the Ninai waterfalls is breath- taking. It is a 2 hour drive around a winding road from Rajpipla located inside the Dediapada Wildlife Sanctuary. These waterfalls and hills of Malsamot offer a splendid picnic location and nature trip near Rajpipla.
This substantially elevated place near Maharashtra border, is amidst, teak forests with sunset, sunrise, valley view points, bracing cool climate and the Ninai waterfalls is breath- taking. It is a 2 hour drive around a winding road from Rajpipla located in the Dediapada Wildlife Sanctuary. These waterfalls and hills of Malsamot offer a splendid picnic location and nature trip near Rajpipla.
Near Rajpipla, 1163 km away up the river from the sea, is Sardar Sarovar dam. At the reception center there is a map and an interpretation center. You can book a guided tour which will take you through six points around the dam site: a garden; the foundational stone laid by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961; a site with a side view of the flow of the water from the dam; a lake where boating takes place; the first lock gate of the main canal; a trekking site with a nature education camp for students. Near the site is also the Surpaneshwar Shiva temple that the Government had built to replace the original ancient temple that was submerged by the dam. At the foot of the dam is the Kevadia colony, where the employees of the dam live and where there are also places for visitors to stay.
At a height of 128 m and growing, Sardar Sarovar dam is the largest dam on the Narmada. The dam builders state their mission as "harnessing the untapped waters of the Narmada for survival of millions of people and environmental sound sustainable development of the western India by providing the essence of life-Water and Energy.". The dam provides water for irrigation and drinking water supply, hydropower, and flood protection across the state of Gujarat.
Along the Narmada there are innumerable Shiva temples; many are well-known, such as Nareshwar, and Shuklatirth. There are more than one named Surpaneshwar Shiva temple, so don't get confused. In addition to the more accessible one near the dam site, there are others that have more atmosphere precisely because of their seclusion.
On the banks of the Narmada, where this river meets the river Dev, is one Surpaneshwar Shiva temple. It is only 5 km from the city of Bharuch, but is surrounded by the lush forests of South Gujarat. Instead of the buses, trains, and other vehicles that will take you to many other sites on your itinerary, a two hour journey on a small boat from Bharuch will get you there, giving you time to prepare yourself for the sanctity of the natural world, represented by a Shiva temple deep in a forest.
Birds having affinities with Himalayan and Western Ghats, a variety of raptors, the hills of Satpuda range, the thrill of coming across a python or flying squirrel, pangolin or big/ lesser cats and the scenic beauty of moist deciduous forest... all this can be enjoyed by an eco-tourist at Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary encompasses an area of 607.71 sq. km in Narmada district, which comprises a major watershed, feeding the Sardar Sarovar and the Karjan reservoirs. Hilly tract of the Sanctuary bordering Narmada supports some of the best forests in Gujarat. The physical aspect is dominated by the Rajpipla hills. DhamanMal, the highest peak located in the eastern portion, is about 882 m in altitude. The general slope of the area is towards the west.
The forests are some of the best and the densest in the State and are known for richness of biodiversity. The sightings of various bird species, which have more affinities with Himalayan and Western Ghat, have unfolded a hitherto unknown, but interesting aspect of the area. Moist deciduous forests have very high scenic and aesthetic values. The flora of the ecosystem represents remnants of semi-evergreen to moist deciduous forest. Much of the vegetation is modified due to influence of the biotic pressure and forestry operations.
Moist teak forest, moist mixed deciduous forest, dry deciduous scrub, dry bamboo brakes and dry tropical riverine forest, constitute varied habitats in the Sanctuary. These forest types merge into each other imperceptibly. Teak is the principal species. Patches of pure bamboo dominate the western and north-western parts. A study documented 575 species of flowering plants in the Sanctuary.
Vishal Khadi Campsite is a campsite situated on the way to Rajpipla-Netrang road. It is around 20 km away from Rajpipla. The site is surrounded by several forest areas, namely, Karjan forest area, Dediyapada forest area and Dang forest area, and fertile agricultural plains and river valleys. The sightseeing includes the bathing ghats on the River Narmada at Chandod and Garudeshwar, the fort at Dabhoi, waterfalls, the Jain temples of Jagadia. One can also go for boating to the nearby Karjar River as the back waters of the river extend till the campsite. The site consists of separate cottages with attached toilets and bathrooms and it also has tent accommodations.
This campsite is situated in the Narmada District. It is 28 kms from Rajpipla towards Kevadia Colony at the Narmada Dam site. It is 7 kms from the Thawadia checkpost. It is situated inside the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to a gamut of flora and fauna. The wildlife attarction include leopards, wild sloth bears, hyena, various species of Deers and wild dogs. One can also see the rhesus monkey and the barking deer or muntjac which are rarely found in other parts of the country. One can arrange for day picnics or treks with the help of the forest department, with the forest, waterfalls and other natural beauty within easy reach.
- Tilakvada, Zarwani Waterfalls, Shoolpaneshwar Temple, Gheer Khadi etc.