Gifted with fertile land, the province of Punjab is home to lush green farms and plenty of natural vegetation. Some of the most attractive forests and game reserves on earth are found in the region. The Changa Manga forest, which is believed to be one of the world’s largest man-made forests is also located here. In this blog, we are going to learn more about this fascinating game reserve in Pakistan, but first of all, let’s take a look at some quick facts.
Quick Facts About The Changa Manga Forest
The Game Reserve of Changa Manga – A Brief History
The plantation of this wildlife reserve began more than a century ago in 1866. Between 1871 and 1872, Mr. B. Ribbentrop, who was the Inspector General of Forests in British India, studied the forest area of Changa Manga and identified the regions where long rooted bar trees could be planted. Forest harvesting began in Changa Manga in 1881 as the full growth of the forest took around fifteen years.
How Did the Forest Get Its Unique Name?
The name “Changa Manga” has a very unique history. It is actually based on folklore, the story about two brothers, known by the names of Changa and Manga. According to the tale, they were outlaws who used this dense man-made forest as a shelter to escape the law-enforcement authorities. They were a constant source of terror and remained quite popular among locals even after police caught them, which is why the forest site was named after these two dacoits.
Location of Changa Manga
Let’s get to know a little more about the location of Changa Manga forest. Found in Kasur District, about 80 km southwest of Lahore, the wildlife reserve is accessible via the National Highway 5 (N-5) when travelling to Sahiwal or vice versa. Since the forest site covers around 12,510 acres of land, Changa Manga is recognised as the largest wildlife reserve in Pakistan.
Best Route to get to Changa Manga Wildlife Park
So, which is the best route to get to Changa Manga? Well, it may vary according to the city you are travelling from. Enjoying a central location in Punjab, the Changa Manga forest can be reached by using the following routes.
- From Islamabad: Via Lahore-Islamabad M2 Motorway (437 km, roughly a 5-hour drive)
- From Lahore: Via N-5 Highway (80 km, a little less than a two-hour drive)
- From Sahiwal: Via N-5 Highway (110 km, around a two-hour drive)
- From Multan: Via M4 and Lahore’s M3 Motorway (approximately 310 km, roughly a 4-hour drive)
Tree Species in Changa Manga
Trees like Acacia Nilotica (Kikar), Eucalyptus (Safaidah), Morus Alba (White Mulberry), Dalbergia Sissoo (Sheesham) and a few species of Populus trees are found in the forest that makes it a perfect habitat for different types of wild animals and birds.
Wildlife Species in Changa Manga
Since it is one of the world’s oldest game reserve, you’ll come across different types of wildlife species in Changa Manga. The forest is home to animals like Indian peafowl, golden jackal, mouflon, nilgai and wild boar. There is also a conservation centre dedicated to Gyps Vulture in the secluded area of the forest. The centre is a part of the WWF Pakistan’s Gyps Vulture Restoration Programme. Hence it can be said that Changa Manga is playing a significant role in conserving wildlife in Pakistan.
Recreation Activities in the Reserve
The forest of Changa Manga is currently being looked after by the Punjab Forest Department, which has converted a large chunk of this wildfire reserve into a recreation park. Over the years, different types of tourist attractions have been added to this place including a swimming pool, an artificial lake for boating, a mini zoo, a cafeteria and a motel providing accommodation facilities. All of the recreational spots in the park are linked with a tramway that runs all across it. Moreover, the place also hosts a few cantilever and suspension bridges to facilitate the visitors exploring the park on foot.
With ample greenery, a wide range of natural vegetation, incredible wildlife species and different types of exciting outdoor activities, the Changa Manga forest has become a popular tourist attraction. The entry to this wildlife reserve is free, however, you may have to pay ticket prices ranging from PKR 20 to PKR 400 for availing the recreation facilities available inside the park.
The unperturbed natural environment of changa manga wildlife park with a variety of trees and animal species also makes this game reserve an interesting place to be explored by the individuals studying biological and environmental sciences to benefit their respective fields.
This was a complete overview of the wild and wonderful forest of Changa Manga. If you have been to this place, share your experience by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, serious efforts are underway to preserve greenery in Punjab and the rest of the country. For example, an urban forest is being grown within the heart of Lahore using Miyawaki Method, which is a Japanese technique. Also, different types of campaigns are running countrywide on both public and private levels to preserve the habitats of wildlife species and promote tree plantation in Pakistan.
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