By fortdhariyawad

Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary

The Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary situated in the Pratapgarh district in Rajasthan, declared as a protected forest area by the Government of Rajasthan. It is a dense forest with an area of 422.95 square kilometers, which is about 40% of the total land area of the district. The Thickly wooded Sita Mata Sanctuary sprawls over the Aravali ranges and the Malwa plateau, with the seasonal rivers Jakham, Karmoi, Sitamata, Budho and Tankiya flowing through the forest. Jakham is the largest river. It is the only forest region where more than half of the trees are high building value teak. These include salar, peepal, babel, neem, siras, churail, kachnar, Gulmohar, amaltas, bakayan, Ashok, mahua, goondi, khejadi (Prosopis spicigera), kumta (Acacia rupestris), amla, bamboo, sindoor, chironjee, Rudraksha and bel trees. Of the 108 varieties of high-value medicinal herbs found here, 17 are endangered. A Large number of residential and migratory birds are found in this region, nearly 130 varieties. Some of them are little grebe, little cormorant, cattle egret, white- necked stork, green pigeon, red turtle dove, little brown dove, weaver bird, etc. The flying squirrel can be seen gliding from one tree to another around sunset in the Arampura forest, 17 km away from Dhariyawad. The best time to watch flying squirrels is between February and March when most of the mahua trees shed their leaves and it is easier to spot the squirrel gliding between branches of leafless trees. The Asiatic Lion, which used to occur in Rajasthan, is now confined to Gujarat. Sita Mata Sanctuary had been considered as a place to relocate some lions, but the availability of prey was deemed to be negligible. Also, the area was prone to human disturbance. The other houses ancient Valmiki Ashram (the birthplace of Luv and Kush, the twins born to Sita and Lord Rama), the Hanuman and Sitamata temples, and other places of historical and mythological importance. Another place of interest in the sanctuary, 5 km from Tikhi Magri, is Lakhiya Bhata, where drawings of prehistoric animals are engraved on rocks. There is a fair held in the sanctuary at the Sita Mata temple every July.

Fort Dhariyawad is at a distance of 14.7 km from Sita Mata Sanctuary located in the South of Rajasthan and is surrounded by thick subtropical forests of the Aravali Hills. Bhils and tribal people inhabit this area.