Three times rise in tourist inflow in Madhya Pradesh National Parks and sanctuaries
BHOPAL: Exotic jungles in Madhya Pradesh, tigers, deer and other animals and birds roaming freely in jungles and effective tourism facilities being provided by Forest department are attracting domestic as well as foreign tourists to the state.
This can be gauged by the fact that the number of tourists visiting state’s national parks and sanctuaries has risen from 5 lakh to over 14 lakh during last 5 years. These include 1 lakh foreign tourists. The Forest department has earned Rs 20 lakh from tourism, which is being spent on making available facilities to tourists and ensuring wildlife protection.
Protected wildlife area in Madhya Pradesh is spread over 10989.247 kilometers, which is larger than forest areas in about a dozen states and Union territories in the country. Forest area in Madhya Pradesh is about 94,689 kilometers.
There are 10 national parks and 25 wildlife sanctuaries in the state which are full of bio-diversity. Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, Pench, Satpura and Sanjay Gandhi National Parks have been given status of tiger reserves. Whereas wildlife sanctuaries have been established at Karera (Guna) and Ghatigaon (Gwalior) for protecting near-extinct bird Son Chirayya, Sailana (Ratlam) and Sardarpur (Dhar) for another rare bird Kharmore and 3 sanctuaries Chambal, Ken and Sone have been established to protect ghariyal and other water animals.
Bhopal’s Van Vihar National Park is recognised as a modern zoo. There is a National Fossil Park at Ghughwa in Dindori district where fossils of trees dating back to 6 crore years have been preserved. A new ‘National Dinosaur Fossil Park’ has been established in Dhar district in year 2011.