Bhawal National Park - Forested Wildlife Haven
Located in Gazipur in the Dhaka Division of Bangladesh, the Bhawal National Park is truly a natural treasure. The park was established in 1974 with the main goal of protecting the park’s most important habitants. It was also designed to provide recreational opportunities for the people of Bangladesh.
The Bhawal National Park covers an area of some 5 022 ha. This area is home to an incredibly diverse array of flora and fauna. The area was once covered by a lush forest canopy created by Sal (Shorea robusta) trees. Unfortunately illegal deforestation has stripped the area of much of this natural vegetation – in fact only 600 km2 remains of what was once a magnificent forest. New trees and woodlands have been planted in an effort to help the forest recover, but it will most likely take many years before they are mature enough to support the incredible animal diversity that was once so common in this area. The coppice sal forest that remains is unique and it would be a truly magnificent thing if it was to once again spread out and reclaim the land. In times gone by the Bhawal National Park was renowned for housing a wonderfully exotic variety of creatures, such as leopard, elephant, clouded leopard, black panthers, tigers, peacocks and sambar deer. Unfortunately many of these animals have disappeared completely and only a few species still remain in this small strip of protected vegetation. If the vegetation was to recover sufficiently, it may be hoped that this enchanting mixture of creatures may once again inhabit the forest undergrowth.
Nevertheless nature lovers will not be completely disappointed. The park is home to 220 plant species, 13 mammal species, 9 reptile species, 5 amphibian species and 5 bird species. The Forest Department has already attempted to reintroduce several animal species to the area, including peacock, deer, cat fish and python. The Bhawal National Park is situated only about 40 km north of Dhaka city, which makes it the perfect getaway spot for people looking for a bit of peace and tranquility. It also has very good amenities and recreational facilities.