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Sita Mata Sanctuary

SitaMata Sanctuary is a spectacular wildlife sanctuary which is situated in south-east part of Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan in India. It covers roughly an area of around 422.95 or more square kilometres consisting of dense forest land which is about 40% of the total land area of this. In Pratapgarh, the only attractions are the Sita Mata Sanctuary. As there is the confluence of three types of geological formations- that of Malwa Plateau, the unforgettable Vindhyachal Hills and the great Aravali ranges, the topography of the forest area is undulating.

Araveli Range The Legendary Mountain of Ramayana

Starting from the Araveli and spreading over the Vindhyachancal mountain ranges, the forest covers around 423 sq. km. and is thick wooded with deciduous trees. More specifically, this sanctuary is situated near Chittorgarh - in Dhariyavad.  According to the legend, Sita, wife of Lord Rama’s wife, Sita – respectfully called Sita Mata, stayed in Rishi Valmiki's ashram, which lies in this jungle when Lord Rama had sent her on exile.

This thick forest of deciduous teak woods and bamboo trees is the only place where the teak trees have very high building value. Hence it is valuable in that sense. Moreover, It acts as a natural habitat to a great wildlife. Having the added advantage of three rivers running through this jungle, it has many varieties of deer- Chousingha being one of them. Other important species like Caracal wild boar, a variety of Leopards, jungle cat, hyena, wild Pangolin, fox and flying squirrels are also found here. If you are looking for a place where natural beauty, wild life in their natural habitat is to be found, then this Sanctuary is the place for you. For Locals it is a considered to be a good picnic spot too.

The fact that the Saint Valmiki’s Ashram is located here which is the birthplace of Luv and Kush (the twins born to Sita and Lord Rama), Hanuman and Sitamata temples and other places of historical importance makes this interesting from the mythological point of view. Another significant place of interest in the Sanctuary 5 km from 'Tikhi Magri' is 'Lakhiya Bhata'- where series of prehistoric animals are engraved on rocks. An annual fair is held in this sanctuary near a Temple called the Sita Mata temple in the month of July.

Recently proposals have been put forward for this Sanctuary to be declared as a National Park. A few local people and some forest officials have initiated the process with this objective in mind.

Sanctuary And Its Surrounding

The sanctuary is located between 74 degree 25' E and 24 degree 04' N in Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan. The elevation of the forest ranges approximately between 280 meters to 600 metres above sea level. Rainfall in this area annually is on an average around 756 mm. There is a temperature variation which during winters ranges between 6° C to 14° C while in summers from 32° C to 45° C. The Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary with its thick wood spreads over the Great Araveli ranges. It covers the well known Malwa plateau which is crossed with a number of seasonal rivers, namely – Sitamata, Tankiya, Karmoi, Budhho, and Jakham. Jakham is the major river among these. This is located around 108 km away from the divisional HQ and 45 km from Udaipur and Pratapgarh. The sanctuary which covers 423 kms consists of vegetation which is mainly of dry and deciduous in nature but rich with exceptional flora and fauna.


 The thick deciduous foliage is inhabited by a variety of Deer- Chousingha with its fame and pride making a niche in the area. And to threaten their existence and continue the food chain are the Caracal wild boar, Pangolins and Leopards.


The lush SitaMata jungle enroots some 145 species of different plants, herbs, shrubs and trees. One could find 7 plant species which are on the list of the International Union for Conservation of endangered plants. Among these 7, one is the rare Vanda Orchid. It is overwhelming for your sight and other senses as you are walking or driving by in a jeep through this sanctuary filled with stately dry mixed deciduous(Northern) and tropical deciduous trees(Southern) which are centuries old. Rivers flowing freely and waterfalls surround these trees.

Attractive Storekeepers

The most striking animals of SitaMata sanctuary is a herbivorous mammal – the flying squirrel. At Arampura forest, just around sunset, they can be seen gliding up and down trees or jumping from one tree to another. Their feeding related activities start with the sunset and therefore during the day time it hides in the hollow of a Mahua tree. The right time to watch flying squirrels is from February to March. The Mahua tree sheds its leaves with the onset of spring and opens the visual to the squirreling activities of the time. Naturally, it is easier to spot the squirrel gliding between the branches of the leafless trees.

For the Variety of deer that inhabit this forest, there is a rich pasture. Among this variety of deer, the Chousingha (four – horned antelope) is the most famous variety. Caracal, leopard, wild boar, hyena, jackal, wild bear, jungle cat, nilgai ,fox, pangolin, porcupine and spotted deer are some of other animals which are found to be living in this forest.

October and March is the best time to visit SitaMata Sanctuary.

Climate And Best Time to Visit

The SitaMata Forest area covers both hills and valleys, altitude roughly ranging between 280 to 600 meters above the sea level. The area on which the SitaMata Jungle inhabits, is inclined from North-West direction to the South-East and has three main rivers – the Sitamata, the Jackham and the Karmoi flowing perennially through it.

During winters the climate of SitaMata drops to around 6° C while in summers the temperature shoots up to 45° C. Rainy season here starts from July and continues till August and sometimes to September. Rainfall has been measured to be 500 to 1,000 mm in this Jungle.

Different seasons beckoning different earthly bounties to the land, the best to visit the place between October and March.

Reaching From Urban to Wilderness

By Air

The Dabok Airport of Uduaipur town is the nearest flying destination available from this place. The airport is around 145 KMs from this wild nature’s pride and can be travelled in taxis as well. And if you wish to enjoy the local fervour, just take a bus or a trekker from Udaipur and enjoy the land at its best.

By Road

The nearest city, Pratapgarh, is very well connected with the other main cities of Rajasthan, Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh by road. One finds Buses which runs daily. This Services runs from Pratapgarh to Chittorgarh (110 km),  to Banswara (85 km), to Udiapur (165 km), to Dungarpur (195 km), to Rajsamand (133 km), to Jodhpur (435 km). It also connects Pratapgarh to Jaipur (432 km) in Rajasthan, to Ratlam (85 km), to Mandsaur (32 km) in M.P. and to Delhi (705 km).

By Train

Till date, Pratapgarh is not connected with a railway line.  The nearest railway tract or station is Mandsaur (M.P.) (28 km) & Chittorgarh (110 km).

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Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
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