Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
The abundance and variety of wildlife in Uttar Pradesh is a gift that the state has received in as its legacy. The Hastinapur Wild Life Sanctuary, lies alongside the Northern tip of the River Ganga, flowing thru the districts of Muzzafarnagar and Bijnore. The sanctuary extends all the way to the districts of Hapur and Amroha .The regions of Khaadar, Khola and Bangar are also assimilated in the total spread of the sanctuary.
The older route of the River Ganga , which is now just a swampy area is well known for the inhabitation of the Twelve – Horned Deers or the “Baara Singha” as famously known. The now defunct route / region of the Ganga is also known as “Boodhi Ganga” region [Region of Old Lady Ganga].The Khola Region of the sanctuary is covered with dense forest whereas the Khaadar region is mainly wide expanses of grass-land with a sprinkling of forests. The region is home to the State animal –Swamp Deer, in addition Hog Deer, Cheetal and Sambar are also found. The State Bird, The Saaras [Crane] also finds sanctuary in the region. Pythons are found in numbers in the area. In the numerous water bodies dotting the region, Wild Otter and a variety of fishes are found. Crocodiles are abundant in the River Ganga and can be seen basking in the Sun quite often during winter months. Turtles also inhabit the Ganga River and are home to many a variety of the amphibian. Playful Ganga Dolphins are an attractive sight on the stretch between the Barrage at Bijnore to Brajghat in Hapur district.
Under Crocodile Breeding Projects, baby crocodiles are released in the Ganga River near Hastinapur. Under the aegis of WWF, the Turtle Rehabilitation Program also has its centre near the Hastinapur Sanctuary. Migratory Birds, both local and foreign flock in numbers near the numerous water bodies present in the region. The Hastinapur Wild Life Sanctuary is a part of “Asia Flyway” project. The district of Meerut is also home to the Leopards, which is an indication of a healthy, eco-friendly environment.
The remains of Mahabharata period can also be seen in Hastinapur. The holy, pilgrimage site of the Jains, “Jambu Dweep”, is also in Hastinapur. The famous temple of “Shuk Dev” in Shuk Taal, a temple dedicated tp Lord Hanuman, having a 72 feet high statue of Lord Hanuman and the bathing ghats at Braj Ghat are some of the major tourist attractions, in the precinct of the Sanctuary.
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