Situated in the south-eastern part of the greenest district of Rajasthan- Pratapgarh- is a wildlife sanctuary known for its rich flora & fauna and historical significance. Sita Mata wildlife sanctuary is one unique landscape of dry deciduous and bamboo vegetation. Did you know this abundant forest is home to more than 40 species of reptiles, 9 of amphibians, 30 fishes, and 50 mammals? Mentioned below are similar interesting facts about the place that will turn your curious persona on, raising an itch to pack your bag and head to this beautiful wildlife reserve, instantly!
1. The place is often regarded as a bird’s paradise. There are over 325 species of birds that have made the sanctuary their home. Moreover, many of the migratory birds including, Little grebe, little cormorant, Indian darter, Black-necked Monarch, White-throated Ground Thrush, Brahmini Myna, Rody Paster, wood shrike, white browed fantail flycatcher, purple sunbird, too have chosen the reserve as their haven making the sanctuary second only to the Kaladeo national park from the avifauna biota point of view.
2. The flora of the sanctuary is yet more amazingly abundant. It houses more than 800 species of plants, trees, ferns and bryophytes. You can find 108 species of medicinal plants in the sanctuary, out of which 17 are counted among the 32 recorded endangered ones by the National Medicinal plant board of New-Delhi.
3. Trees that have commercial value like Teak/Sagwan, Mahua, Indian frankincense, dyers’s oleander, Indian Ash Tree, Pongame oiltree, Dendrocalamus strictus (solid bamboo), Sterculia urens (resin/gum), Anogeisus latifolia (gallotannin, wild silk), sheesham, sandal, Kadam, East Indian ebony, saalar, too are found in abundance here.
4. Rare species of mammals, amphibians, and antelopes too are found here. In fact, animals like nocturnal flying squirrels, four-horned antelope (Chousingha), and pangolin are the major attraction of the place.
5. The great wildlife of the sanctuary can be attributed to its fantastic topography. It is situated at the confluence of Malwa plateau, Aravalli mountain range, and range of Vindhyachal hills. The mergence of these three different geological formations has given the landscape a unique hilly terrain the altitude of which ranges from 280 to 600 MAMSL (Meters above sea level), creating an ideal habitat for varied biodiversity.
6. There are five major seasonal and perennial rivers on the landscape namely Jakham, Karmoi, Sitamata, Buddho and Tankiya that are spread across the 422.95 square kilometers forest area of the sanctuary.
7. As the name suggests, place has a great religious significance as well in India. It is believed that Goddess Sita (female protagonist of the epic Ramayan) had spent her exile on this very place. In the duration of her stay here, she gave birth to the twins Lav and Kush, the progenitors of Suryavamsh dynasty in Rajasthan. In fact, there is a famous temple dedicated to the goddess in the heart of the forest, where Rishi Valmiki’s hermitage ashram was supposedly situated.
8. Another historically significant place in the sanctuary is 'Lakhiya Bhata'. Here one can see a series of rocks on which prehistoric animals are engraved.