Tal Chhapper (blackbuck) Wildlife Sanctuary
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is a sanctuary located in the Churu district of Northwestern Rajasthan in the Shekhawati region of India. It is known for blackbucks and is also home to a variety of birds. The sanctuary is 210 km from Jaipur on the fringe of the Great Indian Desert and situated on road from Ratangarh to Sujangarh. The Tal Chhapar sanctuary lies in the Sujangarh Tehsil of Churu District. It lies on the Nokha-Sujangarh state highway and is situated at a distance of 85 km from Churu and about 132 km from Bikaner. The nearest railway station is Chappar which lies on Degana-Churu-Rewari line of North Western Railways. The nearest airport is Jaipur.
Tal Chhapar is a refuge of the blackbuck.
The sanctuary is named after Chhapar village which is located over there. It is a flat saline depression locally known as a “tal” that has a unique ecosystem in the heart of the Thar Desert. Perched at a height of 302 meters (990 feet) above sea level. Tal Chhaper Sanctuary, with almost flat tract and interspersed shallow low-lying areas, has open grassland with scattered Acacia and Prosopis trees which give it an appearance of a typical savanna. The word “tal” means plane land. The rain water flows through shallow low-lying areas and collect in the small seasonal water ponds.
The geology of the zone is obscured by the wind blown over-burden. Some small hillocks and exposed rocks of slate and quartzite are found in the western side of the sanctuary. The area between hillocks and the sanctuary constitutes the watershed area of the sanctuary. The whole sanctuary used to be flooded by water during the heavy rains but with salt mining going on in the watershed, hardly any rain falling on the hillocks reaches the sanctuary.Near by villages are Jogalia, Jaitasar, Bidasar.
In February 2006, Tal Chhaper was included in the itinerary of “Heritage on Wheel” train. Now tourists have opportunity to visit the sanctuary twice in a week by train.
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