Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal

Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal

Declared a national park in 1979, Van Vihar is located in Bhopal in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Considered as a hidden gem of Bhopal, Van Vihar will surely leave you enthralled with its exquisite treasure trove of wildlife. Its swanking green settings and amazing mixture of flora and fauna will leave you wanting for more. Home to a large number of species, Van Vihar National Park Bhopal is surely an unexplored gem of the state.

History of the Van Vihar National Park

The zoological park of Van Vihar has been formed from a depleted forest area and after being declared a national park under the Wildlife Protection Act, this site is a shining beacon in the field of conservation and eco-restoration. Covering an area of about 4.45 km sq., it is developed and managed as a modern zoological park as per the regulations of the Central Zoo Authority, even though the place has the status of a natural park. Initially, in the mid-twentieth century, there was a lot of dispute over this valuable piece of land and finally realizing the importance of both the in-situ and ex-situ conservation of the wildlife fauna, it was decided to bring this area into a legal umbrella under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Today, the place offers a typical combination of a plethora of meadows, rich wetland areas, pools of water at different places, mixed bamboo vegetation, and a great diversity of exquisite flora and fauna. Again, the green oasis amidst Bhopal also plays a pivotal role as a carbon sink contributing to the environmental health of Bhopal.


Something is mesmerizing about the location of Van Vihar. It is just adjacent to the famous Upper Lake or Bhojtal Lake which is also called the “Bada Talab” and is also a Ramsar site. Van Vihar National Park Bhopal is a part of the Upper Lake Catchment Area which checks siltation and contributes to pollution-free water in the lake. It also overlooks the shining waters of this humongous water stretch. It encompasses a serene area that is pretty much away from the din and bustle of daily life. The location is one of calmness and tranquility with a host of migratory birds enhancing the charm of the landscape further with their visit during winter.

Things to Do in Van Vihar National Park

So many things at the Van Vihar National Park Bhopal will leave you spell-bound. The place has a huge collection of wild animals. The herbivorous animals like Spotted Deer, Black Buck, Blue Bull, etc. roam around freely here while the carnivores like tigers, lions, bears, leopards, etc. are kept in separate enclosures. Again, the place has ponds where turtles and crocodiles have been kept with care.

The natural ambiance of the place is equally mesmerizing. Here you are likely to spot amphibians and a great many species of birds. You might just spot a gharial or mugger swimming in the water or basking along the banks. Again, the spot is ideal for bird watching and is also considered a paradise for the migratory birds. Some of the easily spotted birds include bush cat, spotted owls, painted storks, kingfishers, coots, etc.

Van Vihar also has a Nature Interpretation Centre to fetch interest and create awareness among people regarding wildlife conservation. The place also local markets and souvenir shops nearby along with food and beverage stalls.

How to reach Van Vihar National Park

The nearest bus stand and railway station are located at a distance of 5 km from the national park and the nearest airports are situated 10 km from here. One can hire a taxi or cab from the respective locations. Buses and auto rickshaw are also the best way to commute within the city.

Best time to visit Van Vihar

However, the ideal time to visit the park is between July and September months. During this time one can spot the wildlife species in their natural habitat.

Places to visit near Van Vihar

Van Vihar National Park is located adjacent to Upper Lake near Shyamala Hills in Bhopal. The sightseeing places around the park are Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Gohar Mahal, Birla Museum, Moti Masjid, Bharat Bhavan, etc.

Van Vihar Bhopal Timings and Entry Fees

Van Vihar Bhopal Timings:

The visiting time of the van vihar during summer months is 6 AM to 7 PM and during winter months is 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM. For more information look at the table.


Months Timings
1 April to 31 July 6:00 AM  to 7:00 PM
1 August to 31 October 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM
1 November to 15 February 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM
16th February to 31 March 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM


Entry Fee:

The gate entry charges in Van Vihar vary. For instance, a walking tour per person would costINR 20 and the charges depend as per the excursion and activities. Here is a complete list ofthe entry fees as per the choices.

  • Individual on Foot / Cycling INR 20 for Indian and INR 30 for foreigner
  • 2 Wheelers (Max 2 persons per Vehicle) INR 60
  • Auto Rickshaw (Max 4 persons including driver) INR 120
  • Car / Light Vehicles / SUV's (Max 8 persons including driver) INR 250
  • Mini Bus (Max 20 persons, extra will be charged pro rata) INR 1100 for Indian and INR 2200 for foreigner     
  • Movie Making including Still Photography (Per Person / Per Day) upto 7 days INR 20000
  • Commercial Photography / Videography (Per Person / Per Day) 8 - 15 days INR 15000
  • Internal Area Safari (min 6 persons) rate per person INR 50

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