Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (National Park in Rajasthan)


Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan in western India. Spread across an area of over 578 square kilometers, the sanctuary is situated on the Aravalli hill ranges of Rajasthan. It ranges from 500 to 1,300 meters in elevation across rugged hilly terrain and forests. The sanctuary borders Kumbhalgarh fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the west. It also shares its boundaries with other prominent tourist attractions like Udaipur and Ranakpur. The sanctuary falls within moderately hot climatic conditions typical of the region.


Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich historical background. The thick forests surrounding the Kumbhalgarh fort have been protected by the royal family of Mewar for centuries. It was the favorite hunting grounds and residence for rulers like Rana Kumbha, Rana Pratap and Rana Udai Singh II. Post-independence, the area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1971 by the Government of Rajasthan owing to its rich biodiversity and wildlife population. It became part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in 2000. The sanctuary serves as an important corridor linking the Aravalli hills to the forests of Udaipur and plays a crucial role in conserving threatened species like wolves, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas as well as the majestic ‘Machhli’ or T24 crocodile. The sanctuary authorities carry out regular tasks of forest patrolling, wildlife monitoring, water conservation and engage in community welfare activities across 85 villages located within the periphery of the protected area.

Flora and Fauna of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary


Forest Types

Kumbhalgarh sanctuary harbors a rich and unique assemblage of flora owing to the diversity in forest types spread across varying altitudes and aspects.

The forests are classified into four distinct types

Northern tropical dry deciduous forests

Northern tropical thorn forests

Northwestern tropical thorn forests

Subtropical broadleaf hill forests.

The vegetation density ranges from open grasslands to extremely dense woods across the rugged hills and valleys.

Unique Plant Species

The sanctuary is home to over 400 unique plant species out of which 19 are listed as threatened. Some remarkable floral species found here include Anogeissus pendula, Boswellia serrata, Butea monosperma, Capparis sepiaria, Acacia leucophloea as well as several species of Euphorbiaceae and Apocyanaceae. The diversity can be attributed to the wide range of altitude, soil types and aspects. Several plants also hold high cultural, medicinal value.

Endangered Floral Species

Nearly 20 floral species found in Kumbhalgarh fall under threatened categories as per IUCN classification. These include species like Acacia senegal, Dalbergia sissoo, Pterocarpus marsupium, Sterculia urens, Mitragyna parviflora and Buchanania lanzan listed as vulnerable or endangered. Habitat loss and overharvesting are major threats. The authorities carry out periodic monitoring and conservation strategies like afforestation drives to protect the threatened and endangered floral wealth of the region.


Mammal Species

Wolf – Indian wolves are apex predators found in good numbers owing to abundant prey base and undisturbed habitat. Packs up to 6-8 wolves can be sighted.

Leopard – A healthy leopard population thrives here. Being excellent climbers, they reside in hilly and rocky landscapes. Territorial markings are commonly observed.

Four-horned Antelope – AVulnerable species as per IUCN, they inhabit open grasslands and scrub forests. Herds up to 16 antelopes can be seen.

Wild Boar – Found in troop sizes of 8-10 boars, they are most active during dawn and dusk. Crop raiding is a concern for farms adjoining the sanctuary.

Bird Species

Peacock – An Indian Peafowl national bird, peacocks are commonly sighted across streams and grasslands. Their population has been stable over the years.

Grey Junglefowl – Endemic to dry Indian forests, junglefowls can be spotted foraging in groups of 4-6 in leaf litter and shrubbery.

Red Spurfowl – Camouflaged as dry grass and leaves, these spurfowls are seen in pairs feeding on grains and insects year-round.

Parakeets – Small flocks of vibrant rose-ringed parakeets and plum-headed parakeets bring pops of green amidst the scrubby slopes.


Crocodiles – The famed Machhli crocodile inhabiting Jakham river is over 80 years old and draws reptile enthusiasts.

Snakes – Includes the Indian python, cobra, krait and vipers. Venomous snakes are handled by rescue teams during emergencies.

Threatened Fauna

The leopard, four-horned antelope and nearly 50 avifauna species found here are listed as threatened based on IUCN assessment. Habitat protection and restoring prey populations are conservation priorities to protect them.

Conservation Efforts

Forest Department Initiatives

The Rajasthan Forest Department takes lead in conservation activities at the sanctuary through various initiatives like regular patrolling to curb poaching activities and illegal logging. Anti-poaching camps have been set up and forest fire prevention steps are enforced before summers. Water holes and saltlicks have been developed to mitigate water scarcity. Afforestation drives for native plantations, weed removal and fencing are also conducted annually for habitat enhancement.

Local Community Involvement

Indigenous Rabari herders have a long history of harmonious coexistence and are recruited as guides. Women groups from local villages are roped for afforestation efforts. Nature education and awareness programs have been rolled out for schools in peripheral villages to highlight conservation values. These efforts have boosted community stewardship and support for the sanctuary in the long run.

Challenges Faced

With over 85 villages located amidst the area, biotic pressures like livestock grazing, wood cutting and unsustainable harvesting of forest produce for fuel and fodder remain formidable challenges. Water scarcity, habitat fragmentation, invasive species also threaten long term conservation. Striking balance between ecological integrity and villages’ resource requirements is crucial. Minimizing legal and illegal activities detrimental to wildlife is also attempted.

Tourism Potential


Kumbhalgarh offers spectacular opportunities for trekking across the Aravallis. Rugged routes of varying difficulty traverse through dense jungle passes, hilly grasslands and ruins of ancient temples. Key trekking trails lead to the Kumbhalgarh fort, Badal Mahal and the 13th century Ranakpur Jain temple showcasing magnificent architecture and intricate carvings.

Wildlife Safaris

Jeep safaris organized by the forest department provide chances for sighting a remarkable assemblage of wildlife in their natural habitat. Led by experienced naturalists, the safaris traverse multiple zones tracking leopards, wolves, antelopes, jungle fowl and more.

Accommodation Facilities

The KT Bungalow within the sanctuary offers basic accommodation for visitors and researchers. More luxury options like heritage havens, villas and resorts are available at Kumbhalgarh town and Ranakpur village located on the fringes including the high-end Taj property.

Best Season to Visit for Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary

October to June is the ideal period to visit when the climate is relatively cooler and chances to spot wildlife are higher as animals frequent waterholes. The scenic beauty is magnified in monsoons but jeopardized accessibility restrains travel.

Significance of the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is of immense ecological significance owing to its diverse flora, recognition as an important wildlife corridor and preservation of threatened species. Its strategic location greatly enhances protection and propagation of biodiversity in the entire Aravalli hill system and aids landscape level conservation. It serves as a key ecosystem upholding the health of forests in adjoining areas.

Call for Conservation Support

Though substantial efforts are underway, continued cooperation is vital for the sanctuary’s conservation. Environmental education, raising awareness on sustainable use of resources and discussions with indigenous communities would further help balance livelihood needs and conservation goals. Research on ecosystem services valuation can highlight the sanctuary’s ecological and economic importance and boost participation from all stakeholders. Overall sensitization regarding the long-term advantages of participatory conservation models over exploitative approaches would create deeper commitment and larger impact.