Naya Raipur is one of the rapidly developing areas of Chhattisgarh. A fun fact is that around 30% of the state is covered by forest. Moreover there are some man made forests in the state. Nandanvan, a newly opened Jungle Safari is Asia’s largest man made forest nested inside a modern city under construction.
Monsoon is not a very good season for jungle safari. Contrary to this notion, we headed to Naya Raipur around 35 km from our place. It took around an hour and half to reach the Safari Park. After booking the tickets for the safari we entered the park through the gigantic gates. The park was very well decorated with lawns, flower gardens and tribal paints along the walls. We strolled around taking pictures of the foliage and some deer sculptures before heading to the safari zone.
We checked our tickets in the A/c tourist waiting area and hopped into the non A/C bus. Soon other tourists and our guide boarded the bus. We were briefed about the park. The forest area was developed from past ten years and was opened to tourists from last two years. A huge U shaped lake surrounded the forest area where a cruise boat was roaming.
In a 1.5 km bumpy ride we entered the Herbivores Zone through the double layered security gates. We spotted Sambar deer, spotted deer and the elusive Black buck among others. A giant monitor was chilling in the cloudy afternoon. Next, we headed to the Bear Park where we spotted a couple of Sloth bears who were more focused on getting their food in the peripheral zone.
It had started raining as we entered the tiger zone. Unfortunately it was very difficult to spot the jungle king through the torrential rainfall as we peeped through the plastic sheets of the safari bus. It rained for next 20 minutes as we headed out of the Tiger Zone. Luckily the rain stopped as we entered the Lion Zone. I could spot the mother Lion sitting on a rock while her kids were busy playing in the mud. If was a great photo opportunity as I clicked them through the grill of the safari bus. The sighting was amazing.
Finally we stopped at the Crocodile Park before heading back to the pier. It was 5.30 pm in the evening as we explored the pier, the lake and the gardens adjacent to it. We headed back to Raipur city after a high tea with samosa and coffee in the cafeteria area of the park. The whole experience was totally worth it.
Entry ticket- Jungle Safari- Non AC- Rs 200, A/c bus- Rs 300, Boating- 100. There are total 4 safaris- Herbivores safari, Bear safari, Tiger safari and Lion safari. The bird park is under construction. There is a crocodile park on the way. Total duration- 1.5 hours. Last entry is around 5 pm in the evening.
Distance from Raipur city is around 30+ kms towards the Jagdalpur highway from which you need to take a left (courtesy Google baba).
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