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Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park is located in the state of Uttaranchal. During the period of 1983, Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttaranchal was merged with Motichur and Chila Wildlife Sanctuaries and formed into Rajaji National Park. The park got its name after a known freedom fighter and first governor general of India named Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari, aka Rajaji. The breath taking beauty and exquisite biodiversity of the park add to the attractions for both nature and wildlife lovers. Rajaji National Park is spread over an area of 820.42 sq km. in three districts – Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal of Uttaranchal state. This park is normally open for visitors during Mi-November to Mid-June.
Rajaji National Park is located alongside the hills and foothills of Shivalik ranges in the Himalayan foothills and represents the Shivalik Eco system. The Shivalik trail is 10 million year old and very rich in fossils. Motichur and Rajaji wildlife sanctuaries fall to the north and south of the Shivalik Ridge. The streams that dissect these sanctuaries remain dry for most of the year but changes incredibly during monsoon. The area is predominantly covered with wide forest types ranging from semi evergreen to deciduous and from mixed broad-leaved to terai grassland. Lofty strands of Sal are also seen in many parts.
Best Visiting Places
Rajaji can be termed as a major Birding destination. A diverse avian species are found in forested foot hills and the open grasslands. Rajaji boasts of checklist containing 324 species including good birds like Greater Scaup, White Naped Woodpecker, Pale Footed Bush Warbler, Hornbill, Kingfishers, Parakeets, and Green Avadavat etc. The national bird Peacock is found here in large numbers. Countless species of butterflies and small birds add on to the charm of this place. Come winter season and innumerable migratory birds visit this sanctuary. Birding in Rajaji can be done around the different forest rest houses or on the 26 km forest drive at Chilla across grassland and mixed forests or along the Phanduwala- Kansrao- Motichur trail.
The Rides in Rajaji National Park
The entry to this park is prohibited without taking permissions and tickets from the forest department. Jeep safaris are available for 3 hours each, both morning and evening. Open jeep leading through rough terrains offers good opportunity to see wildlife and Birds in their natural habitats. The lodges situated at the edge of the park offer bird watching, trekking, walk outside the park, plunging in streams, rafting in Ganges under the inspection of professional guides.
Flora and Fauna
The thick jungles here are home for various species of wildlife. The deciduous forests, lush grasslands and pine forests form the range of flora at this park. The under wood consists of Rohini, Amaltas, Sandan, Pipal,Mahal, Aonia, Ber etc. The varied topography adds on to the vivid animal life found here.
The park offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to indulge among the picturesque nature and wildlife. The park is home to Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Asian Elephant, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Sloth Bears etc.
The Indian Hare and Porcupine are among the small mammals found in the Park.
Ganga and Song rivers, flowing through the park, house a wide variety of fish, like Goonch, Trout, Kalabanse, Mahaseer and Chilwa etc.
How to Reach
By Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun at a distance of 33km. Jolly Grant which is nearby the northern boundary of the park has a daily 50 minutes flight from Delhi.
By Train:Nearest Indian Railway Station is at Haridwar, 8 km, Dehradun, 24 km, and Rishikesh.
By Road: The National Park is at a distance of 220 km from Delhi and 510 km from Lucknow. Chilla is only 8 km from Haridwar Railway Station which is well connected to major locations.
Haridwar, 8 km, Rishikesh, 6 km