North India > Jhalana Leopard Reserve

Introduction

Jhalana leopard reserve is a forest area within Jaipur city of Rajasthan state in North India. It is a small leopard reserve, spread over approx. 19.94 sq. km area. Despite of being a small forest area, its flora and fauna is promising for wildlife photographers and wildlife lovers. It lies in south-eastern part of Jaipur city thus its easy accessibility is of great advantage for tourists staying at Jaipur city hotels, during their Rajasthan tours. It is a dry decideous forest, spread over two hills of Aravali range. This hilly terrain, running from south to north from eastern edge of city, with many popular forts over it, deterred the human encroachment and thus left safe for wildlife able to survive.  It was declared as a leopard reserve in 2018 and is believed to be the first such reserve, dedicated for conservation of leopards as we have seen in the case of tiger reserves. Here we can find more than 28 mammal species, 130 bird species and good range of trees.

History

Location of Jhalana forest is just 16 kms from Amer fort which was power center of this region thus it was obviously the part of Jaipur kingdom. Rulers of Jaipur uses this forest for hunting reserve. Till British India period, tigers were also present in this forest as city population was less and forest was spread over large area. It is said that its last tiger was killed by Maharani of Jaipur in 1948. This is on record thus a confirm information but local people says that tiger presence was occasionally recorded in this forest till 1960. It was a tigress with cubs. For convenience in hunting expeditions, they have made hunting palace in the forest.Thus after 1960, leopard population started increasing in this forest. At the same time, city was expanding, taking away forest area thus in 1962, it was declared as reserve forest and thus steps were taken to save the forest and its wildlife. Later in 2018, that time Chief Minister Vasundra Raje took initiative to declare it as a Jhalana Leopard Reserve. This was remarkable step as so far we have heard about term "Tiger Reserve" but now we have "Leopard Reserve" also, dedicated for conservation for leopards.

Specialty

As per the name of this reserve, we can understand that Jhalana is good for leopards safari and photography. Due to high density of leopards, here leopard sighting is easy and almost assured. Being part of Jaipur city, its accessibility is very much convenient for tourists. They can either do advance booking and may proceed with last moment planing. With presence of more than 130 birds species in this small forest area, here birds sighting is also very good. 

Safari Timing

It is interesting to note that Jhalana safari is open throughout the year. Here limited safari vehicles are allowed for safaris thus advance booking is highly recommended. Please note the safari timing information.
 

Season Morning Round Afternoon Round
Winters 06:15 AM - 08:45 AM 03:30 PM - 06:15 PM
Summers 05:45 AM - 08:15 AM 04:45 PM - 07:15 PM

Jungle Safari

For jungle safaris in Jhalana leopard reserve, open jeeps are used for tourists. These jeeps are registered vehicles thus outside cars are not allowed for jungle safaris. Here safaris are operated for morning round and evening round, in a day. This reserve is having 3 safari zones in which safaris can be done. All these safari zones are popular thus guest may visit to any safari zone.  For small groups, tourists have option to visit by mini-bus, an economocal option for jungle safari. During jungle safari, tourists have option to visit Shikar Audhi (Hunting Palace), an ancient building used for hunting in this forest. This visit requires to pay a nominal fee.  In addition to routine jungle safaris, tourists can visit to interpretation center to have some deep information about Jhalana leopards, habitat, flora & fauna information with air-conditioned waiting room. It is just close to safari entry gate thus convenient for visit. 

Flora & Fauna

Read about flora and fauna attractions of Jhalana leopard reserve. Despite of small in size, it has variety of species in trees, mammals, birds and reptiles. Here we have tried to prepare short checklist of prominently seen trees, mammals, birds and reptiles. 

Trees Mammals Birds Reptiles
Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leopard Great Egret Jerdon's Snake-eye
Boswellia serrata Spotted Deer Black-winged Kite Common Sand Boa
Dichrostachys Cinerea Sambar Deer Black Drongo Diadem Snake
Flamboyant Tree Desert Fox Shikra Common Leopard Gecko
Prosopis cineraria Rusty Spotted Cat Indian Scops Owl Monitor Lizard
Acacia tortillis Nilgai Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Rat Snake
Terminalia chebula Jungle Cat Rose-ringed Parakeet Indian Cobra
Acacia senegal Gray Langur Indian Grey Hornbill Indian Rat Snake

How to reach

Jhalana forest is just adjoining to Jaipur city thus we can say that it is almost part of city. As Jaipur is capital city of Rajasthan state thus its flight and train connectivity is very good. Thus accessibility of Jhalana leopard reserve is very good. It is accessible in all seasons.
Nearby Airports: Jaipur Airport (06 kms), Delhi Airport (250kms)
Nearby Railway Station: Jaipur railway station (11 kms)
Nearby Tourism Destinations: Sariska National Park (110 kms), Keoladeo National Park (190kms), Ranthambore National Park (175)

Best time to visit

Although Jhalana leopard reserve is open throughout the year but major tourism took place in between October to March months. Tourists prefer this time for their wildlife trips, due to good climatic conditions, local holidays, festival holidays etc. Thus for leisure tourism, period from November to March is best tme to visit this forest. Where as wildlife photographers, pefers that period of time when chances of leopard sighting and birding in more. As per local safari guides, this period is from December to April thus we can say it is the best time for wildlife photography. If your interest is on butterflies, then choose the monsoon period thus consider July to October months for local visit.

How to Plan

Although Jhalana leopard reserve is open throughout the year but in popular tourism seasons, it often gets fully sold out thus planning in advance is highly recommended. Here we recommend to finalize your tour plan in 45-60 days advance so that safari permits can be arranged in advance. Ideal combination of visitors are 2, 4, 6. As safari duration is short, in compare to popular tiger reserve safaris, thus we will get more time gap between morning and afternoon safari thus in the mean time, we may do some city tour our just relax at hotel. Tour to Jhalana will not be too costly as safari cost per person is less, in compare to tiger reserves and stay will be in Jaipur city hotels thus we will have more hotel options. Here November and December end will be peak time due to Pushkar festival in November and Christmas + New Year holidays in December end thus avoid this time for Jhalana visit. It can be well clubbed with Sariska, Keoladeo and Ranthambore national park.

Accommodation

As Jhalana leopard reserve is located in Jaipur city so all Jaipur city hotels are suitable for Jhalana trip. We can consider any Jaipur city hotel for stay, as per our budget and undertake the safaris. If our hotel will be in South or East of city, then it will be of added advantage.

Nearby

There are so many places to visit, along with Jhalana safari tour. First of all we have option to explore Jaipur city at times when we are not doing jungle safaris. In addition to this, we have surrounding safari destinations like Sariska national park, Ranthambore national park, Keoladeo Ghana National Park etc. Further to this, we may proceed for cultural and heritage tour by visiting Pushkar, Ajmer, Agra, Shekhawati, Bikaner etc.

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