The Mahavir Harini Vanasthali National Park is located in Vanasthalipuram, 15 km from Hyderabad. This was once the hunting grounds of the Nizams. Now it is home to the Spiral Horned Black Buck and rare species of birds.
The Park has been named after the Jain deity Lord Mahavira and came into existence in 1975 on his 2500th birth anniversary. The Park is maintained by the Forest Department of Andhra Pradesh. It is spread over an area of 189 hectares and is covered with Acacia trees and grasslands. It looks beautiful during the rains when golden and white flowers can be seen on the lush green trees. Neem, Buteas, Bauhinias and a variety of thorny scrubs can be seen all over the forest.
The Park is home to the endangered Black Buck which is the state animal of Andhra Pradesh. There are 400 black bucks, 500 Cheetals and a large number of Wild Boars. Other animals that can be seen here are Mongoose, Porcupines, Monitor Lizards and a variety of Snakes. The birds include Quails, Peacocks, Partridges, Doves, Egrets, Pond Herons, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Vultures and Kites. About 80 birds migrate to the Park every year.
Observation towers and rest shades for watching wildlife are located all over the Park. The Park can be toured in a van which is organized by the Forest Department. Audio visual education on wildlife and nature is organized by the Forest Department. The park also has a well stocked library and an exhibition hall.