Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary (AWS)
The city of Abohar is located in the Fazilka District of Punjab towards the north-east of Sri Ganganagar city and southeast of the city of Fazilka. The Fazilka District was previously a part of the Firozpur District. The city is located close to the intersection of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab. For this reason the city is also known as the Trinity of Culture, Civilization and Ethinicity of Punjab. Abohar is famous as one of the largest producers of cotton in the northern zone of India. The city was originally found in the 12th century by Raja Abheraj Bhatti and was named as Abhegarh and later was named as Abohar.
Close to the city is the private wildlife sanctuary, the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located about 15 Km from Abohar. The sanctuary sprawls over an area of 186.5 Km2. The sanctuary spreads over thirteen villages that are home to the Bishnoi community. A unique initiative has been started by the Bishnoi community which has shown concern and taken up the responsibility to protect the black buck deer. The black buck is the State Animal of Punjab and is considered to be sacred by the Bishnois. The community also protects the blue bull popularly known as the Neelgai. The initiative taken by the community has been successful and the number of black bucks has risen by 3000. Visitors to the sanctuary can enjoy the scene of black bucks racing in the sanctuary.
The flora in the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is classified under the tropical dry mixed deciduous forest. The sanctuary is also home to several other animals apart from the black buck and blue bull. Porcupines, wild boars and black ducks can also be spotted easily in the sanctuary. Unlike other wildlife sanctuaries that are located over public or government land, the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over private land. The Bishnois protect the animals in the sanctuary from the hunters by not allowing them to hunt in the area.
The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is conveniently connected by road and is best visited during the winter months when the temperatures are favourable and visitors can enjoy the natural surroundings and see the wildlife of the sanctuary at its best. The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit for visitors who want to see the native black bucks in their natural surroundings.
The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary was originally notified as a sanctuary in 1975 and again in 2000. It is a private nature reserve located in the Fazilka District of Punjab. The sanctuary was initially established temporarily in 1975 and later in 2000 it was established as a sanctuary under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. The sanctuary is home to several varieties of flora and fauna indigenous to the area.
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