Sights to See
The Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent natural habitat of endangered flora and fauna. It was declared as Sanctuary in the year 1983 with total geographical area of 600 sq km. Dry deciduous forests with enchanting hill ranges, cliffs, an extensive plateau, scattered grasslands, magnificent waterfalls and gorges, and primitive tribes are the fascinating attractions of Sunabeda Sanctuary. Maraguda Valley, Jumalgarh Fort with traces of an ancient civilisation and River Jonk add to rich cultural heritage of Orissa. This Sanctuary, being the source of origin and catchments of Jonk, Sunder and Indra rivers, plays an important role in socio-economic development of the locality.
Important flora of this dry deciduous forest include piasal, teak, bija, sisoo, ashan, harida, amla, hahada, mahul, dhaura, kendu, karada, sindha, mai, char, kumbhi, genduli, salia, bamboo, apart from varieties of succulent shrubs and palatable grasses.
The Sanctuary is abode of varieties of endangered animals such as the tiger, and leopard, wild buffalo, hard ground barasingha, nilagai, sambar, gaur, barking deer, chital, porcupine, hyena, wild boar, langur, rhesus monkey, etc., are other common animals. According to the census of 2004, the number of tigers was 32 and number of leopards was 36. Varieties of colourful birds such as hill myna, peafowl, red jungle fowl, partridge, green pigeon, coots, dabchick, teals, snake bird, open billed stork, fishing eagle, etc. are seen in the sanctuary. Besides, there are numerous species of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrate fauna (butterflies, insects, etc.)
Patora-Maraguda Circuit: Includes a large water reservoir surrounded by hills, the beautiful Jogeswar temple, Raji Udyan at Dam site of Upper Jonk Irrigation Canal, Reitalbandh with watch tower, and ruins of the Maraguda ancient civilisation. This circuit is visited by about one lakh visitors annually from within the state and the neighbouring Chhattisgarh state mainly for darshan in the temple, and to visit the Rajiv garden.
Bharuamunda-Gadhus-Chupani-Barkot-Ecotourism Circuit: Important attractions are: Godhus water fall, Shiva temple; Godhus forest complex with watch tower; herbal nursery -cum-demonstration plot; Chuapani game tank with watch tower; Barkhol game rank; and Jalki reservoir near Lodhra village, habitat of water fowls and other birds. Suitable sites for nature camps are at Godhus, nature trail at Conoung Bharuamunda Jalki reservoir and Godhus fall.
Kermeli -Maraguda Ecotourism Circuit: Important attractions are: bird congregation site at Raital reservoir with watch towers; Bairbhadi bandh; Patora reservoir and forest of Lodra and Manikgarh protected forests; and archaeological sites.
Barkot -Chereichuan - Ranimahals -Snubbed - Beniadhus Kharaldhus Circuit: Attractions: Game tank and watch tower at Cherichuan; Game tank and watch tower at Kholibhitar; Sunabedi Temple at Sunabeda village; and magnificent Beneadhus falls and Borra water Tower.
Food: All Forest rest houses/watch towers have crockery, cutlery and utensils. The watchman can cook simple meals if vegetables are carried and supplied to him. There is no catering facility inside the sanctuary.
Consumption of meat and liquor is not allowed inside the sanctuary.
Communication: A wireless communication system covering all important points within and around the sanctuary has been established. During an emergency, this communication network will usually be available to multi-day trekkers through the established base Stations. At present VHF Base station of the communication network in Sunabed are located at places like Godhus, Sunabeda, Nuapada.
- Treat the Sanctuary/National Park with respect.
- Transistors, tape recorders and loud speakers are taboo in the sanctuary, kindly maintain a licence.
- Take strict precaution to guard against carelessness.
- Keep a reasonable distance from all animals.
- Dress in colours that blend with the forest.
- Do not enter the sanctuary without a valid permit.
- Do not litter the sanctuary and avoid use of plastics and polythene products.
- Do not damage or remove any specimen of flora and fauna.
- Do not drive inside the sanctuary after sunset.