Nagarjuna Forest Reserve lies behind the Balaju hill and is one of the untouched forests around. It is also known as Rani Van (meaning Queen's Forest). The hill is believed to be the place where Buddha delivered his 'Prophetic declaration of Goshringa'. There is a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site at the top of the summit here and the reserve is in fact named after the Buddhist saint Nagarjuna.
There is also a small shrine called Padmasambhava and on can see spectacular views of the mountain ranges from there (Also from the view tower at the top). The place is surrounded by majestic natural beauty. One can find many types of Pheasants, Monkeys, and Deer over here.You can also go for an elephant ride in the park by paying Rs 100.
When to go
Early October- December end and March- May are the best months to visit as the weather remains dry and pleasant. The timings are:
Exit: before 5, at any cost.
Charges: per person/bicycle 10/-; bike- 30/-; car 100/-.
How to reach
Around 2.5 km to the north of Balaju is a place called Phulbari which is the entry point of the Reserve. Mudhuku Banjyang gate( around 3.5km northwest of Phulbari) can be the best exit point but one needs prior permission for that and it is possible only at the entry point during registration. One can either use bikes on the dirt trails or hike for around 3 hours to reach the main point.
1. Do not forget to make an entry of your name at the main gate before you enter and make an entry before you exit for the sake of safety and tracking during emergency cases.
1. Females are not allowed to walk alone, so make sure that you are accompanied by a guide or a male companion if you are a lone female traveler. Hiking alone(both male/female) is kind of unsafe and one must return back before 5 pm at any cost.
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