Surrounded by rainfed, dry, low fertility, shallow revenue land from all sides and no other forest in the vicinity, Hingolgadh Nature Education Protected Area is the Sanctuary with a unique significance. The Sanctuary is the only of its kind (i.e. specially meant for nature education) in the entire country. The area is surrounded by six revenue villages. An area of 654 ha was declared as a Sanctuary in August 1980. The Sanctuary is managed for the purpose of organizing nature education camps. Acacia senegal dominates the Vegetation of the forest. The forest mainly has stereo typed vegetation having very low height. The sparse woody vegetation at places has given way to profuse growth of grass, which is the main contributor of fodder for the herbivorous animals like Chinkara and Nilgai. 'Kasedo' and 'Sishoti' are the dominant shrubs having edible fruits and they attract variety of birds. From the year 1984, this Sanctuary is under the administrative control of Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar.
About the Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is situated in Jasdan taluka of Rajkot district. The state highway passes through the middle of the Sanctuary and divides it into almost two equal halves. The Sanctuary is at a distance of 180 km from Ahmedabad, on Ahmedabad-Jasdan state highway. Botad is the nearest railway station and is about 45 km away from the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is 17 km away from Jasdan in south and about 8 km away from Vinchhiya in the north. The forest area has tremendous ecological impact on the surrounding villages. The surrounding area is semi-arid, where acute water shortage is experienced in the summer months.
The Sanctuary is the only of its kind in the country, since it has been declared for specific objective of conducting nature education camps. Nature education is imparted to the students and people with a view of spreading environmental awareness. However, it is due to this tiny patch of forest that the villages on the periphery of this forest get sufficient drinking water and do not require any external support. The villagers too, have realized this fact and therefore they co-operate in protection of the forest.
Acacia senegal dominates the growth. The presence of 'Kasedo', 'Sishoti' and 'Ber' in good number with profuse fruiting in different seasons supports variety of birds. Ample fodder, in the form of palatable grasses and leaves of trees, is available for the herbivorous animals. This in turn, has led to steady increase of this fauna.
This forest classified, as 6B/C1- desert thorn forest (as per Champion and Seth classification) is an open scrub forest interspersed with patches of grasslands. It is dominated by Acacia senegal and therefore classified as 6/E2- Acacia senegal or 'gorad' forest. 'Gorad' constitutes about 69% of total trees in the Sanctuary. As per remote sensing study carried out by GEER Foundation, the vegetation cover increased in the Sanctuary in 1996 and 1998.
How to get there
By PlaneThe Nearest airport is Rajkot (70 kms).
By RailThe Nearest Railway station are:
- Gondal - 32 kms.
By RoadThe Nearest bus station is Jasdan (15 kms).