My friend and ex-colleague Mahesh Swamy visited Cactus Garden in Sailana, Ratlam and wrote this beautiful account of his visit. Sailana is a town and a nagar panchayat in Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh. It is located in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh and 25 km from Ratlam town. It is an overnight journey from Gandhinagar, Gujarat to Ratlam by Shanti Express train.
About the erstwhile Sailana state – Sailana State was founded by Jai Singh, great-grandson of Maharaja Ratan Singh, founder of Ratlam State. Sailana city was built as new capital in 1736. Sailana State merged into India in 1948. A palace belonging to former royal family is still intact at Sailana.
Cactus Garden in Sailana – Cactus Garden is developed in the backyard of the Palace by Shri Raja Digvijay Singh. The garden has around 1200 type of cactus collected by Shri Raja Digvijay Singh from all over the world. The garden is being maintained by the king which is a private property for exhibition to the tourists. It will take 30-45 minutes to complete the stroll in the garden. The best season to visit will be between July- September.
Kedareshwar temple: After visiting Cactus garden, we visited Kedareshwar temple, situated 4 km from Sailana. This temple has been built at a foot of hillock and rain water gets collected in a pond.
Tips for visit to Sailana
- The visit to Sailana can be clubbed along with Ujjain Temple which is only 130 km away.
- The best season to visit Sailana will be between July- September
- Kharmour Bird Sanctuary: – Due to time constraint it was not possible to able to visit Kharmour Bird Sanctuary, also known as Sailana Bird Sanctuary. It is situated in the Sailana Village. This sanctuary is spread in a total area of 13 km2 and was established in 1983. This sanctuary is home to and is named after the ‘Kharmour’ (Lesser Florian) bird, a very rare species; and it is also a major stop for a wide variety of migratory birds. The famous Salim Ali ornithologist visited the sanctuary and spotted 89 species of birds, he has also written a book about the birds of Sailana