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Biodiversity Parks, Delhi

Aravalli Biodiversity Park

Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Map
The Aravallis are among the oldest mountain ranges having evolved about 1500 million years ago, and extend from Gujarat through Rajasthan to Haryana–Delhi. The spurs of the Aravallis are popularly known as the Delhi Ridge in Delhi which is divided into the Northern, Central, South Central and Southern Ridge.

The Aravalli Biodiversity Park is located on the South Central Ridge and spreads over an area of 692 acres. The area is bounded clockwise by JNU (Nelson Mandela Marg), the Mehrauli - Mahipalpur road, NH-8 and the Palam road and the southern boundary of Vasant Vihar. The landscape is undulating with gentle slopes and dotted with numerous morrum and clay mined pits of different sizes, depths and shapes.

One can approach to the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, at present, either from Vasant Vihar- Poorvi Marg gate located at about 4 km south west of Moti Bagh, and 2 km west of Jawahar Lal Nehru University (Munirka) or from the Vasant Kunj Institutional gate which is about 3.5 km north of Mahipalpur and one km west of Vasant Kunj Malls.

The Park features two major zones - the visitor zone and the nature reserve zone.
The first community that is encountered at the Poorvi Marg gate is young plantation of the moist deciduous forest community represented by treelets of species such as Diospyros melanoxylon (Tendu) Adina cordifolia (Haldu), Madhuca longifolia (Mahua), Mitragyna parviflora (Ken)and Sapindus laurifolius (Soapnut, Reetha) under a canopy of Prosopis juliflora (Vilayati kikar).When fully developed, the top canopy of this native forest community will attain a height of 40 to 50 feet. You may also find a few uncommon birds like the Black-breasted Redstart, the red whiskered bulbul, and the Ashy Prinia.

The moist deciduous forest community merges with a luxuriant Acacia dominated forest community with species such as Aegle marmelos, Prosopis cineraria and Cordia garaf interspersed with grass patches.

A side trail leads to the Fernary, a conservatory developed in a pit with rugged cut slopes having crevices of varying dimensions that provide ideal niches for ferns such as Phymatosorus lucidus,, Lycopodium wightii and Drinaria propinqua.

To the south east of the Fernary, is the Conservatory of Orchids, one of the high points of the Park. The trail from the Orchidarium runs through a young plantation of the Wrightia dominated community which merges with the rangelands. The rangelands, spread over an area of 150 acres composed of a mosaic of grasslands and woodlands, are rich in avifauna and carnivores sprinkled with termite and ant mounds on its grounds. The trail that runs through the rangelands enters in to the visitor area which is being developed and will showcase Aravalli plant communities, a rock garden, a bulbous garden and conservatories of butterflies and medicinal plants.

On the way from the visitor area back to Poorvi Marg gate, one can approach to habitats, which harbours a wide range of communities native to Aravallis, distributed on either side of the main trail. Before reaching to the office complex there is a side trail with a water body in the centre surrounded by a rugged and undulating landscape with a mixed deciduous forest. The water-body supports aquatic vegetation and a few native ducks. Adjacent to the office complex, one can find a trail, which passes from the conservatory of herbal plants, goes towards a shallow valley, through stairway, called amphitheatre. Adjacent to the amphitheatre is a conservatory of butterflies. Being a saucer shaped depression with slopes harbouring native bush vegetation; it holds thousands of butterflies belonging to 30-40 species.

Five new Biodiverswity Parks which are in the pipelines, the details are as per below:-
Area 87 ha. Approx., Location -Near Delhi University
Area 70ha. Approx ., Location- Near Sainik Farms
Area 9770ha.
Area3.90 ha. Approx.,Location- Near South Central Ridge, along Aruna Asaf Ali Road
Area 56.65ha., Location –Mayur Vihar Ph-II