Todgarh Raoli Wildlife Sanctuary

The drive to Todgarh Raoli Wildlife Sanctuary was like a Safari in itself, passing through amazing Aravalli Hills, dry scrub land, degraded hill slopes and many a hairpin bend. At the village Todgarh, we called Gopal Ji, the caretaker at the forest rest house, to check what was cooked for dinner. He didn’t have much, so we picked up some veggies from the market and continued our drive towards the sanctuary. That’s the kind of a home like experience we had at this little known sanctuary.

The road to Todgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is full of beautiful views like this.
The road to Todgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is full of beautiful views like this.

We passed though gorgeous landscape to reach the forest rest house, to be greeted by Gopal Ji with some delicious chaas, and he started preparing our lunch. Gopal Ji lives in a village called Dudhaleshwar, right next to the forest. The rest house is situated on the forest edge, on an elevation with a beautiful view of the sanctuary. The area around the forest is thankfully still not ‘developed’. The rooms were clean and comfortable, and the only sounds were natural. The perfect ambience to settle down for a few weeks to catch up on some writing.

There is a banyan tree next to the rest house kitchen and I parked myself there with my camera and tripod. The tree, full of fruit, attracts many birds and animals. We didn’t have much time at Todgarh, so I decided to focus on this tree for my photography.

DSC_4362
A Rufous Treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda).
DSC_4367
The Five Striped or Norther Palm Squirrel (Funanbulus Penantii), which is an almost exact replica of its South Indian cousin, which has three stripes.
DSC_4370
A Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), known for tackling venomous snakes.
DSC_4410
Rose-Ringed Parakeets (Psittacula krameri).
DSC_4424
Indian Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor).
DSC_4441
Black-Rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense).
DSC_4447
Jungle Babblers (Turdoides striatus).
DSC_4460
White-Bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens).
DSC_4474
Gopal Ji (on the left) with Nihal Mathur sipping the evening chai.
DSC_4491
A Brown Rock-Chat (Cercomela fusca).
DSC_4499
A Northern Plains Langur (Semnopithecus entellus) with child.
DSC_4502
Evening at Todgarh WLS is cool and quiet.
DSC_4509
In the absence of light pollution (or at least less of it), the stars are clearly visible, something we city folk never get to see.
DSC_4517
Early foggy morning. Temperature was some 14 degrees in mid December.
DSCF3381
The dining space at the Todgarh Wildlife Sanctuary forest rest house. The photograph is taken from the kitchen space, with the ficus tree to the right (not in frame).
DSCF3379
The Todgarh Wildlife Sanctuary forest rest house in the early morning light.
DSCF3389
Shikha and Nihal bask in the morning sun as we wait for Gopal Ji and his awesome paratha breakfast.
DSC_4525
A rather shy Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris) too was feeding on the ficus tree.
DSC_4531
A male Rhesus Macaque (Macaca Mulatta).
DSC_4533
Red Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
DSC_4534
A Peacock, Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) stumbled into our rest house.
DSC_4536
The vegetation itself looks so beautiful.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast and chai, we stepped into the Colonel Tod’s Trail, a small trek through the forest. Nihal and Gopal Ji led the way.

Gopal Ji outside the door of the sanctuary.
Gopal Ji outside the door of the sanctuary.
DSC_4540
Such a beautiful tree.
DSC_4546
The forest floor is covered in patches with these tiny white flowering plants.
DSC_4547
The beautiful colours of an Indian deciduous forest.
DSC_4553
A Blue Pansy butterfly (Junonia orithya ocyale).
DSC_4557
Dry leaves and blue sky.
DSC_4562
Fungus on fallen forest wood. Just one of the ways the entire complex ecosystem works.
DSC_4563
An Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii)patiently waits for prey at a stream inside the Todgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
DSC_4567
What looks like a Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata).
DSCF3397
A tiny streams runs next to Col. Tod’s Trail.
DSCF3395
The forest is classified as northern tropical dry deciduous “and the lower altitude are influenced by Dhok tree whereas higher altitude is influenced by Khirni, Bamboo, Siris, Salar, Godal, Holeoptelia with many seasonal flowering plants like Butea.”
DSCF3396
A panoramic view of the forest floor.
DSCF3393
Such beautiful untouched forests are our precious heritage, and we must protect them and their fragile ecosystems.

We didn’t spot any mammals on the way, though “the sanctuary has a booming population of Sloth Bears and Leopards with more number of Grey Jungle Fowls along with various species of birds and reptiles like tortoise. In addition, wild species like Wolf, Striped Hyena, Civets, Jackal, Blue Bull, Sambar, Chinkara and reptiles like Python, Indian Cobra, Indian Krait, Water Snake, Russel’s Viper.” (Sanctuary Magazine).

See: Diversity and status of avifauna in Todgarh-Raoli Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India.

Also read about the Story Of Todgarh Here.

This was one of the most beautiful forest visits we have made, and my heart aches to go back. And we hope to, soon.

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]The nearest Airport is Udaipur, 180 km, while Ajmer has the nearest Railway Station, 120 km. It’s a little off the NH8 just after Devgarh, when traveling from Udaipur towards Ajmer direction. The forest rest house can be booked from Rajasthan Forest Department. Accomodation is very affordable, clean and the food hygienic and tasty.[/box]

30 thoughts on “Todgarh Raoli Wildlife Sanctuary”

    • Hi Neha! Will send you the booking details via email, since it’s someone’s phone number. As for the drive, from Mumbai, it’s Udaipur first, then Nathdwara – Rajsamund – Amet – Deogarh – Todgarh. You will go to go off the NH8 (all these are on the NH8) towards your left to reach Todgarh.

      Reply
  1. A forester friend from Rajasthan suggested this place for my next self-drive family trip to Rajasthan. It’s wonderful to discover your site and write up. My interest also lies in wildlife and birds. I have been to Kumbhalgarh before and loved it. I can see I am going to love this place as well and Gopalji too. I believe it is an extension of the same forest.

    If I am coming from Ajmer, what is the diversion point from NH 8? I believe I have to take a right turn somewhere.

    Reply
    • Hi Sudipto! Good to hear from you. Take a right from ‘Bhim’, when coming from Ajmer.

      See this here at OSM : http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/25.7197/74.0526
      Google maps doesn’t seem to have this detail yet.

      Todgarh is the village. The forest gates are near the village called Dudhaleshwar. Enjoy your stay. If you need Gopalji’s numbers, let me know, will email them to you. You must call him in advance and tell him of your stay and food preferences.

      Reply
  2. Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes I would love to have Gopalji’s number. I had met a similar character in Kumbhalgarh who was the caretaker of the Badal Guest House there. It was a fascinating experience staying there.
    Do you have any image of the Forest Rest House? I am told it’s a very nice, old, colonial styled building? I believe even Col James Todd’s house is still there albeit in ruins? Can you throw some light on that?
    Meanwhile, if you care, here is my travelogue on Kumbhalgarh

    http://sudiptoroytrips.blogspot.in/2012/01/hidden-fort-of-kumbhalgarh.html

    Reply
  3. Hi Sudipto. I have emailed you the phone number. These pictures are what I have of the forest house, nothing from the inside…

    Reply
  4. Wow…the photos really show how nice the rest house area was that even a peacock stumbled on your way. Not very very green by dry green and nice hospitable rest house person too, I hope if I ever go there and need to book a guesthouse I can ask you for their numbers, ofcourse when and if I go there which could be anytime in future till my lifetime permits or lasts. Your writeup is quite detailed, provides fine idea of what one can expect in the place and how to go there. I loved the night stars which we city forks can’t get a veiw of dou to light pollution.

    Reply
  5. Its a great find and well written! I must mention that your writing style is great- its fun to read!
    I will appreciate if you can throw some more light on the FRH. although from your pictures it looks great, but I’m not sure how updated it is? someone who has visited this place long back informed me that there is no electricity, but that was 3-4 years back. From my experiences, most of the FRH are quite basic…and some of them are not very clean as well. while in remote places especially in hills it is understandable. what’s your take on accommodation in Raoli WLS?

    Reply
  6. i am from jodhpur. used to trevel this area in train from my chilhood. khablighat to phulad. mere man me buchpan se ye area me tracing ka man hai . i think u can undestand my feelings. pls help me i want to stay at forest guest house for 2 days. can u give me gopalji s no. it wl help me a lot to fullfil my dreams

    Reply
  7. i used to trevel in aravli range since last 40 yr. of cource by train.hamesha se man me tha ki is area me trcking ka mauka mile.so pls help me. pls give gopal jis no. it wl help me a lot. i m from jodhpure

    Reply
  8. Hi,
    A very beautiful offbeat place. I surely am interested in visiting .
    Request you to advice on a few queries.
    Please mail me the contact of Gopal ji , so I can make my booking for stay .
    Also , where do I make bookings for the jeep safari to the forest.
    Although , have read about the wildlife species in the forest, but what are the chances of sightings in the forest .
    Thanks nd brgds

    Reply
    • Hi Rajesh. There is no official jeep safari. You can, however, contact Gopal Ji and go for walks in the forest. Do listen to him, as the forest has leopards wild boars and bears.

      Reply
  9. Hello, Me and my two friends plan to visit this sanctuary in the last week of January and would like to have more details about this forest rest house like little more pics if you have. Also please email me the number of Gopalji so we can contact him by end of December and try to reserve a room there.
    We are natives of Udaipur and never been to this place. Surprisingly unaware about such a place in our state.

    Regards

    Reply
  10. Hi thanks a lot for all info. we are planning to go to Todgarh next week and would surely want to stay in Forest Rest House. Could you kindly mail me Gopal Ji-s phone contact as soon as possible? Thanks a lot
    Fiona

    Reply
  11. hello admin ji.. very nice and useful post of todgarh… thanks a lot… May u please send the gopal ji number and some information about forest guest house on my email,..? please send me…

    Reply

Leave a Comment