Changa Manga was once the largest planted forest in the world, it has gone under major illegal deforestation. About 60% of the Changa Manga Wildlife Park has been deforested. It is spread over an area of 5065 hectares. Chang Manga is located in the Chunian District 70 km South of Lahore.
It was initially planted during the British era by British foresters to provide timber for steam locomotives. It was established in 1866. It is home to 14 species of mammals, 50 species of bird, 6 species of reptiles, 2 species of amphibians and 27 species of insects.
Most of the trees found in Changa Manga are Kikar and Mulberry. Presently, a portion of the forest has been turned in to a park for recreational purposes. Lots of people visit Changa Manga every year. There are many activities to keep the visitors interest alive. The main activity being a small rail ride which takes the visitors on a 5 km ride through the forest.
A man made circular lake called the Lunar Lake is also present where boating can be done. PTDC Rest houses are available to make the visitors stay comfortable. However it is advisable to book one in advance. A children’s play area and a waterfall are other things offered.
Changa Manga is home to the wild life as well. One can find wild boar, Nilgai, Jackal, and Asiatic Wild Cat here. It is a breeding ground for birds like Asiatic Vultures. Changa Manga is a lovely place to visit especially for families.
The forest also serves as a conservation and breeding center for endangered species. It hosts a conservation center with WWF SAVE (Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction), an international effort among India, Pakistan and Nepal. Next time you are in Lahore do check it out.