Suhelwa / Suhaildev Wildlife Sanctuary, Shravasti - Timings, Safari Cost, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Shravasti): 52 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day

Place Location: At Suhailwa

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: The sanctuary remains closed from 16th June to 14th November and from 25th December to 5th January every year.

At a distance of 52 km from Shravasti, and 56 km from Balrampur, Suhelwa, or Suhaildev Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected wildlife reserve spread across Gonda, Shravasti, and Balrampur districts of Uttar Pradesh. Situated along the Indo-Nepal border, it is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh, and among the best places to visit as part of Shravasti Tour Packages.

The forest of Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary was owned by Maharaja of Balrampur before the implementation of the Zamindari Abolition Act 1952 and was known as Balrampur Estate. The forest is one of the oldest forests in Uttar Pradesh and was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1988. Sprawling in an area of 452 sq km, this sanctuary is a strip of land, approximately, 120 km long from the east to west and 6-8 km wide. In the north are the jungles of Nepal and together they form a situational unit. The wildlife sanctuary encompasses Tulsipur, Barhawa, Bankatwa, Eastern Suhailwa, and Western Suhailwa Range and the Buffer Zone covers Bhaabar and Rampur Range.

With a buffer zone of 220, the sanctuary is known for affluent flora and fauna making it one of the top tourist attractions of Shravasti. The fauna found in the sanctuary includes Leopard, Tiger, Bear, Wildcat, Wild Boar, Sambhar, Spotted Deer, Nilgai, Barking Deer along with Monkeys of different types. Also, Suhaildev is home to 300 species of birds. One can spot, little Grebe, Indian Cormorant, Darter, Indian Pond Heron, Cattle-egret, Little-egret, Black Kite, Greater Spotted Eagle, Long-Billed Vulture, White Rumped Vulture, Grey Francolin, Sarus Crane, Pheasant-Tailed Jacana, Bronze-Winged Jacana, etc.

Another unique feature of the sanctuary is the presence of the Tharu Tribe. The Tharu tribe having mongoloid features have been residents of this area for a long and are entirely dependent on the forest land for their survival and livelihood.

There are two entry points to Suhelwa Wildlife sanctuary, one is from East Suhailwa Range and another is from Tulsipur Range. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from 15th November to 15th June and will be closed from 16th June to 14th November. Apart from the closing season, the sanctuary remains closed from 25th Dec to 5th Jan. Only 4 seater private vehicles are allowed inside the sanctuary and one can be hired from Balrampur, Gonda, and Bhinga. Tickets can be booked from, The Range Officers of East & West, Suhailwa, Bankatwa, and Tulsipur Range.

Six Forest Rest Houses are located inside the sanctuary for accommodation where one needs to book it earlier. One needs to carry the mandatory documents to enter the sanctuary like a photo ID for Indians, and a Passport for foreigners.

Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM

Entry Fee: Rs. 30 for Indians & Rs.350 for Foreigners