Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: 18 kms From Dholpur, Rajasthan
Area: 59.86 sq. Kms.
Specialty: Sambhar, Chital, Blue Bull
Notified In: 1955
Van Vihar and Ramsagar, old wildlife reserves of the rulers of Dholpur extend over an area of 59.86. sq. kms, were notified as wildlife sanctuaries by the Rajasthan Government in 1955 AD. Van Vihar is about 18 kms from Dholpur and Ramsagar is another 18 kms from Van Vihar. As a matter of fact, these are actually two separate wildlife sanctuaries. Van Vihar, located on Vindhyan plateau, supports a rather open stunted growth of Dhok and Khair trees. It is inhabited by animals like Sambhar, Chital, Blue Bull, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Hyena and Leopard.
Tigers were present in the area till the end of the nineteen sixties. It is said that Maharaj Udaibhan Singh of Dholpur had a great liking for the wild animals of Van Vihar. He used to hand feed not only the deer and antelopes in the reserve but also animals like foxes, jackals and birds. There is an old forest rest house in Van Vihar. It was initially built by the rulers of Dholpur. It is now maintained by the forest section and can be booked in advance by contacting the Dy. Conservator of Forests, Dholpur. Ramsagar part of the sanctuary has Ramsagar Lake.
The lake is very picturesque and supports rich aquatic life including fresh water crocodiles and a number of species of fishes and snakes. Water birds like Cormorants, Darter, Ibis, White-Breasted Water Hen, Moorhen, Jacanas, Stilt, River Tern, Ringed Plover, Sand Piper and Herons (grey, and purple) are quite common. During winter months, migratory ducks and geese also visit the lake in good numbers.
About 40 kms. from Dholpur is a charming and historic lake called Talab Shahi. The lake and the palace were built in 1617 A.D. as a shooting lodge for Prince Shahjahan. A palace and the lake were later maintained by the rulers of Dholpur. The lake attracts a large number of winter migratory fowls like Pintail, Shoveller, Red Crested Pochard, Comnion Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Garganey Teal, Wigeon and Gadwall.
Ahout 8 kms. From the town of Dholpur is a very old holy place called Muchchhkund. It commands a picturesque view. The place is named after Raja Muchchhkund. Raja Muchchhkund, the twenty fourth king of the Suryavanshi Dynasty (the solar race) is said to have reigned nineteen generations before Lord Ram. According to legend Raja Muchchhkund, was resting here when a demon Kaal Yaman while pursuing Lord Krishna, accidentally woke him up. The demon Kaal Yaman was burnt to ashes because of a divine blessing to Raja Muchchhkund. It is now a sacred place for pilgrim. It is said that the enclosures around it were built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar.