Rajaji National Park
Location: Raja Ji National park between Haridwar and Rishikesh
Rajaji is a beautiful reserve to the east of Haridwar. It is famous as an elephant habitat and also harbours the mountain goat, goral. Part of the awe-inspiring Shivalik ranges in Uttar Pradesh, these forests at the foothills that comprise Rajaji are endowed with Sal trees and bamboo shoots. Finally notified in 1984, Rajaji has been at the helm of trouble, beginning right from the issue of notification. The Gujjar tribals, prevented from migrating northwards, live in Rajaji throughout the year collecting forest produce, adding to the natural stress due to landslides and soil erosion. Threatened elephant corridors and ill-located army ammunition camps all add to the problems. The future of Rajaji hangs by a slender noose-the very baan rope that is made from the bhabar grass harvested from the reserve? The jury would have to step intao Rajaji before they pronounce their verdict.
In 1966, 90 sq. km. of the Dehradun forests became the Motichur wildlife sanctuary. The Rajaji and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries were set up in the forest divisions of the Shivalik and the Landsowne, in 1967 and 1974 respectively. Rajaji National Park, a syncitium of these three sanctuaries was named after the first Governor-General of India, Dr. C. Rajagopalachari, who was popularly known as Rajaji. In 1983, the notification of intent to declare Rajaji National Park was issued and in 1984, Rajaji National Park was finally established as an important protected area in the terai.
Gujjars, Taungyas and Gothias are some of the tribes that inhabit these forests. Gujjars, nomadic pastorals, are believed to have originally arrived at Rajaji as part of the dowry of a Jammu princess who was married in Sirmaur, in what we now know as Himachal Pradesh. They settled in the forests in huts called deras and were allotted sections of the forest called kholes for each family, where they are permitted to lop leaves of certain fodder trees between November and March, after which the Gujjars annually migrate to the Himalayas for the summer. They are polygamous and followers of Islam.
The park is most renowned for its elephants. The mountain goat, goral is another noteworthy resident. It is mainly confined to the precipitous pine-covered slopes. Besides the huge pachyderms and the nimble goats, you might come across huge herds of chital, sometimes as many as 250 to a herd.
Sambar, barking deer, hog deer, nilgai, wild pigs and sloth bears also inhabit these forests though you may not always catch a glimpse of these. The rhesus macaque and the common langur are fairly common here. Tigers and leopards are the prime predators in Rajaji. The leopard cat, jungle cat, civet and yellow-throated marten are other carnivores. Mammals like the hyena, jackal and the Bengal fox scavenge in the park. The Himalayan black bear though uncommon, can be sighted in the higher reaches of the park.
Several species of anurans, that describe toads and frogs, exist in the park. Uperodon systoma, Polypedates maculatus and Rana crassa are recorded from this park. The breeding pattern of bufonids shows interesting peculiarities. B. stomaticus and B.melanostictus breed in July-August on the northern slopes while the same species breed right until November on the southern slopes. Polyp dates maculates which lives in hollows of trees, breeds only in July.
Porcupines, pythons and king cobras also share these environs. As many as twenty-eight species of snakes along with twelve species of turtles and tortoises and nine species of lizards, including the Indian monitor lizard thrive here. Golden mahseer exist in the Ganges, though these are greatly threatened by illegal netting. Scolid wasps are the main insects and as many as 13 species have been recorded, five of which are new to all of Uttarakhand. 60 different species of butterflies in vivid colours flutter around in the park.
Rajaji boasts of more than 315 species of birds. Chestnut-headed, Blue tailed, Green and Blue-bearded Bee-eaters are found here. Five species of kingfishers include the Himalayan Pied, Lesser Pied, Small Blue, Stork-billed and White-throated. You can often see hornbills and jungle fowls, especially the Red Jungle fowl in these forests. Over 40 species of water birds visit the Ganges every winter. Cormorants, crows, the drongo, egrets, lapwings and nightjars, as well as owlets, partridges, pheasants, pond herons and tree pies are some of the birds that you may see. India’s National bird, the Peafowl is found in these habitats in plenty.
Places to See
Entry into the park is not permitted after dusk. So it is best to move around within the park during the mornings and late afternoons and you never know, but you might be lucky enough to see some splendid animals. Travel a kilometre from the entrance gate to the park to an old machan, once used by hunters, but now provided as a useful place for visitors to watch for the park’s various dwellers. Visit tribal villages in the park, where Gujjars living in rustic clay huts tend buffaloes. They are sure to be generous with bowls of fresh, warm buffalo milk. 5 km. from Chilla towards Haridwar is an artificial lake where you might see several migratory birds, including Black Stork, Grey Wagtail, ducks and other water birds. Wild elephants drink at this pool at dusk.
The Bindevasani village is located 14 km. northeast of Chilla, on the Chilla-Rishikesh road. A 15-minute steep climb from the village leads to a Durga temple that also offers a splendid view of the confluence of the Bindedhara and Nildhara rivers.
Proceed 14 km. north of Bindevasani to Nilkantha where there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Further from Nilkantha, Lakshman Jhula is the suspension bridge across the Ganges that leads to Rishikesh. It is believed to be the place where Lord Rama’s brother Lakshman crossed the Ganges on a jute rope.
The Kumbh Mela is held, once every twelve years in the holy city of Haridwar. Situated on the banks of the Ganga, it houses the famous Bharat Mata temple and the Gurukul Kangri University. Har-ki-Pauri, built by King Vikramaditya is a sacred bathing ghat on the Ganges.
Dehradun is a pleasant and scenic town, at a height of 2,200 feet that is especially favoured by tourists.
Wildlife Safari In Corbett National Park
Dhikala Jeep Safari – Book Online Jeep Safari:
Dhikala is the biggest forest zone in the corbett national park and you enter this zone via Dhangarhi gate. You have to show your permit at the enterance gate and once it is checked then only you are authorise to enter the park. Once you are through the Dhangarhi gate, your corbett safari is on. Only those who have permit to stay overnight in the park are allowed to take the safari. You can stay for night in the park from one to three nights. It takes about one to one and half hour to reach forest lodge inside the park. On the way you will encounter dense Sal forests, look at Ramganga river and will across many monsoon-drenched drains. Touring by gypsy is not permitted in Dhikala during day time. However you can travel into this area by a Canter which takes in 18 passengers and starts off from Ramnagar in the morning and return to base in the afternoon. This tour is called as Ramganga conducted tour and is permitted by the Corbett Tiger Reserve .
Visitor Season :15th November to 15 June
Bijrani Jeep Safari
Bijrani tourist zone in corbett national park is the first choice among day tourists. Its entrance is at Aamdanda which is about 1 km. away from Ramnagar. After entering through Aamdanda gate, you cross about 5 km. of buffer zone before reaching Bijrani and jungle safari starts from this point.
Bijrani is a beautiful spot and is known for its vast grass lands, deep forest , stormy drains and wild life. To visit this area, permission is granted by the Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve. Maximum 30 vehicles are allowed to travel into Bijrani during morning and same number of vehicles is allowed in the evening hours. For morning safari advance booking is required and for evening safari, permits are given on first come first serve basis. Bijrani has a forest lodge which has six rooms and a dormitory consisting of four beds. You can also take an elephant safari here.
Visitor Season: 15 October to 30 June
Jhirna Jeep Safari
Jhirna tourist zone in corbett national park is situated at 16 km. from Ramnagar. You have to obtain the permit issued by the Corbett Tiger Reserve before you proceed to Jhirna. This area is full of natural beauty and specially known for its wild beer which suddenly appears from nowhere near your vehicle. 25 vehicles are allowed to get into this area in the morning and same number is allowed in the evening. For morning trips, day visit permit is released in advance which comes into effect for six days before the actual day of the trip. For evening trips, first come first serve system is followed. This is the only tourist zone in Corebett National Park which is open for all 12 months. It’s compulsory to take a guide along. Jhirna has a forest lodge which has two rooms. You can stay the night here and go for an elephant safari in the morning.
Visitor Season: Round the year
Durga Devi Jeep Safari
Durgadevi tourist zone in corbett national park is farthest from Ramnagar at 28 km. This zone is a hilly area and is situated along the banks of Ramganga River. Besides looking at wildlife, you can also look at popular Mahasheer fish in the river waters. On your way you can halt at Dhangarhi museum. For the day visit, same rules are applicable here as those for Bijrani and Jhirna.
Visitor Season: 15 October to 30 June
Sitabani Jeep Safari
Sitabani tourist zone is not under corbett tiger reserve. In Sitabani, there is no limitation of vehicle. It’s a famous zone for bird watching. This is the only forest in corbett where we can walk inside the forest. Sitabani known for a temple and river. We can take some rest in river bank and see the reptiles. Morning and evening is the timing of safaris. When all the zones of CTR are full then we choose this zone for safaris. Corbett national park authority not issue permit for this. Sitabani forest department issue the slip for this safari. Scenic view of this part of the forest calls many tourists again and again.
Visitor Season: Round the year
Dhikala Canter Safari
Canter safari in Corbett is the best way to explore the dhikala forest when you are staying outside the Corbett tiger reserve, touring by gypsy is not permitted in dhikala zone during day time. However you can travel into this area by a canter which takes in 18 passengers and starts off from Ramnagar in the morning and afternoon respectively. Which canter went to Dhikala in the morning time it return to the base in afternoon, similarly afternoon canter comes back to the base in evening. These tours are called as Ramganga conducted tour and permitted by the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Visitor Season :15th November to 15 June
Wildlife Safaris in Corbett National Park: Wildlife, Jeep and elephant Safaris are the ideal way of exploring the Indian land. In fact, jungle safari tours have added excitement and fun to the journey. There are number of ways to cover the Jim Corbett National Park. Jim Corbett National Park endorses Jeep Safari, Horse Safari, Bird Safari, Elephant Safari, Fishing safari and the Nature walk.
Forest Lodge in Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park is one of the famous wildlife reserves in India, covering more than 520 sq km area in the Himalayan foothills. Every year thousands of tourists come to this park to enjoy the wild life adventure and nature. For the convenience of visitors Jim Corbett National Park has been distributed into five tourism zones. Every zone has its separate entry gate. /p>
Tourism Zone and Entry Gates are defined below
Forest Lodge in Dhikala Zone:
Dhikala Forest Lodge: This is the long-familiar destinations in Corbett. It is placed at the edge of the Patli Dun valley. River Ramganga flows in numerous channels from there. Dhikala offers a superb uninterrupted panoramic sight of the valley, with the Kanda peak in the backdrop. This sight seems as much more imposing the tower in the vicinity Dhikala. The Tourist complex on Dhikala chaur ( one of the last large meadows of the Park) and Phulai chaur. A reader through the many paths through chaurs is rewarded by the observations for the wild elephants, chital, the stag of pigs and many species birds of the meadows and the raptors. Old convalescent home in Dhikala is a historical structure, having been built more than a hundred of years.
Sarapduli Forest Lodge: This forest lodge is on Dhangarhi-Dhikala road. It is located downstream from Gairal on the dish of the southern bank Ramganga while the northern bank is drawn up vis-a-vis a strong peak. Movement of the large mammals (tigers, elephants included) is very high, in Sarapduli. It is also a good place to see the crocodiles and also a good thing for the observation of birds.
Sultan Forest Lodge:
Sultan is the first forest lodge during the driving way of Dhangarhi with Dhikala. Sultan is named after the Stupid Sultan, the seasonal flow which crosses this area. It is characteristic in the dense zone of forest.
Gairal Forest Lodge:
This forest lodge is reached by a short turning with broad of Dhangarhi-Dhikala forest main roads. It is located on banks of Ramganga close to the place where the first entry gate of the park. In Gairal Ramganga the portrait d’ a character different from this fact at places downstream (like Dhikala). Here, it acts; a crystal clear, fast, which runs river of mountain which runs through the picturesque forests. To be out of the way, Gairal presents ideal conditions to look at fauna and the birds in all peace.
Khinnanauli Forest Lodge:
Khinnanauli is situated in the middle of Khinnanauli chaur, this forest lodge is an excellent tiger territory. It is one of most recently built convalescent homes Corbett. Its strategic site offers an easy escape to the various parts of the park.
Kanda Forest Lodge:
Kanda Forest Lodge is the highest forest lodge (nearly 1 km altitude) in the Jim Corbett National Park. Kanda is more in north of Corbett National Park. To be at the top, you have an advantage of experiment and find image all the valley with Ramganga point angle. Kanda located in the north of the park is also known as that the neighbour of The Himalayas for its resemblance to the Himalayas in terms of climate, vegetation and fauna. Here, you obtain the true feeling of the Himalayas.
Forest Lodge in Bijrani Zone:
Malani Forest Lodge: This forest lodge is to 12 km in the North-West because of Bijrani. Located on the edge of the central zone of the Park, Malani has offer; one of most picturesque and loneliness. The reader of Malani is very enriching in the observations by mammals and the birds.
Bijrani Forest Lodge:
The zone located around Bijrani once a part; a block of catch the sight. During the British period, it was much more famous for the quality of the hunting which it offered to shikaris. Compared to Dhikala, the ground with Bijrani is drier and the vegetation is diversified.
Forest Lodge in Jhirna Zone
Jhirna Forest Lodge:
This forest rest house is with an interior of the southern limit of the Park. The rest house is on the road of Ramnagar to Kalagarh that turns in a East-West direction through the Park. The landscape is drier than in Dhikala and of the vegetation is mainly undergrowth. Jhirna was an agricultural village until 1994, date on which it was moved within the framework of the Tiger project. The hills in the north of Jhirna are covered with dense spots of bamboo. In more d’ to be a good habitat for the tiger, the leopard and the stag, the place accommodates the other mammals like interesting sloth bear and the wild boar. A variety of birds can also be appreciated here.