About the Park
This small wildlife sanctuary covering an area of 245 sq km in the Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh is known for its lush green forest cover and a sizeable population of the common Leopard. It is the state’s second most popular wildlife sanctuary, established in 1976 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The thick vegetation here mostly comprises Teak, Sal and Bamboo, and supports diverse wildlife such as Tigers, Sloth Bears, Jackals, Leopards, four-horned Antelopes, striped Hyaenas, Chinkara, Barking Deer, Porcupine, Gaur, Muntjac, and Bison. The sanctuary does not have any resident Tiger population, but there is a presence of Tigers as they migrate from one forest patch to another in the state. The absence of this top predator has cleared the way for the Leopard to thrive at the top of the food chain of this sanctuary. Tourists come to this forest mostly to spot the common Leopard, which is more elusive and harder to spot than the Tiger in most other forests, but here. The landscape is a mix of flat and hilly terrain, and offers picturesque views of rivulets and streams flowing down the rolling hills into the flat lands to create water bodies that attract a large number of bird species. It is possible to see several species of Parrots and Parakeets, White-rumped Vultures, Green Avadavats, Lesser Kestrels, Peafowls, Woodpeckers and Racket-tailed Drongos.
The site of bamboo shoots and tall sal trees swaying in unison with the wind, coupled with the sounds of the forests, water trickling over pebbles, insects, toads and frogs croaking in the background, and melodious birds calling out to one another; this is the experience that you will have on a trip into this forest at any given time of the day.
Winter: Morning: 6.45 am to 11 am | Evening: 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Summer: Morning: 6.00 am to 10.30 am | Evening: 3 pm to 6.30 pm
Present prices for safaris
Gypsy safari: INR 2800 (US$ 46)
How to book jeep safaris: Bookings can be made through resorts and tour operators.
Any restrictions and rules: No fees for photography and videography for non-commercial purpose
Latest information on tourism zones: No zone system. No restriction on number of vehicles entering the park.
In the Field Update
April 2014: Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is most famous for its sloth bear population, which is estimated at roughly 300 bears. This year has been good for bear sightings, as these animals have been spotted along every safari route. Tourists have had a chance to leisurely observe sloth bears in every form, from sucking termites out of termite mounds, to searching for wild berries and fruits on bushes, or simply curled up in small pits dug into the ground for a cool resting place. The park has two water bodies, Parthapani and Tank No. 78, which attract various species of birds and mammals. Recently, sightings of leopards and herds of bison have been on the rise around these ponds.
While the park has its own resident population of elephants, due to its connect with the forests of Jharkhand and Odisha on its northern border, it often has visitors from adjacent forests. In the last few months, a herd of 30 elephants has been moved in twice from the forests of Odisha into Barnawapara, and the wildlife community is hopeful that the herd would eventually find the environment of the park suitable enough to become permanent residents!
The best sighting this year was of a Caracal, a highly elusive wild cat rarer to spot than even the tiger or leopard. This species was spotted at around 7 pm close to the Muba Resorts.
The closest airport to the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is in Raipur at a distance of 85 km. The Barnawapara railway station is at a distance of 60 km, and a cab can be hired from both these places to visit the sanctuary.
The best time to visit the park is between November and June. It remains closed from 1st July to 31st October during the monsoons.
Charges for Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary are as follows (2013):
- Entry Fee : INR 55 (Indian) and INR 200 (Foreigner)
- Gate Entry : INR 100 for Indian and Foreigner
Guide Charges : INR 100