Purna Wildlife Sanctuary is named after the river Purna flowing through the Dang district of Gujarat. The sanctuary is spread over vast undulating terrain with rolling hills, plateaus, and small valleys of the Western Ghats. Unlike most of Gujarat, the area is characterised by moderate, sometimes even heavy rainfall with an average annual rainfall of 2500mm. So much so that the area falls in the highest rainfall zone of the state.
Purna has the thickest forest cover in the state and the forest mostly comprises of the tropical moist deciduous vegetation. The landscape is lush green, and these thick forests are interspersed with rivers, small tribal villages and scattered fields. The prominent tribals here are the Bhils, Warlis, Konkanas, Dubdas, and Kolchas. Along with the flora and fauna, Purna takes great care to preserve the tribal culture of the state, be it in the form of houses, dresses, jewellery, agriculture, fishing, musical instruments, or folk dances. If you want to experience it in all its authenticity, watch out for the tribal folk and dance accompanied with musical instruments such drums during sunset.
Purna Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a sanctuary in 1990, and has, till date maintained the forests that also comprise of lofty teak trees rising tall and straight in the company of other associated flora such as sadad, timru, bamboo, khair, kalam, haldu, sisham, salai, kadaya, killai, sevan, and tanachh. Those are just a few; about 700 identified plants, especially grass and plants with broad leaves in high density and diversity are found in the sanctuary.
Mahal, the main village in the sanctuary is centrally located on the banks of river Purna. There is a very old forest rest house on the banks of this river. The place is the most preferred site for Nature Education Camps.
What’s a wildlife adventure without the animals: from leopard, rhesus macaque, bonnet macaque, common mongoose, Indian civat cat, Indian porcupine, four-horned antelope, barking deer, sambar, chital, hyena, jungle cat, flying squirrel, python and lizards – you’ll spot everything here.
Important birds such as common grey hornbill, grey jungle fowls, barbets, woodpeckers, shrikes, bee-eaters, flycatchers and many raptors may also be seen here. The nearest airport is from here is in Surat about 130km away, and the second nearest is in Ahmedabad, about 400km away.