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Rajaji National Park

Rajaji National Park, one of the constituent parts from which the National Park was formed in 1983, acquired its name from the Rajaji Sanctuary.The Rajaji Sanctuary, Motichur Sanctuary, and Chilla Range of the Pauri Forest Division were combined to create the Park. According to legend, Rajaji, the newly appointed Governor General, declined an invitation to go hunting because the region’s ecological richness and abundance of wild animals so impressed him that he recommended building a wildlife sanctuary there instead.

The Park is made up of three parts: Rajaji, which was formed in 1948; Motichur, which was founded in 1936; and Chilla, which was founded in 1977. In 1983, they were combined and given the name Rajaji National Park. They cover an area of 820 sq. km. Awe-inspiring are the vastness of the forest and the numerous prehistoric elephant paths. Imagine the pleasure of seeing a towering tusker on the safari route, a sambhar stag bellowing its alarm, and a tiger or leopard emerging with arrogance written all over its feline face. For the finest opportunities to see wildlife, our visitors are led into the jungle by expert naturalists.

The Rajaji Tiger Reserve offers incredibly abundant birding chances because it lies on the border between the Gangetic plains and the Mountains. The ecosystem consists of mixed forests, sal forests, and riverine grasslands that are dotted with Zizyphus shrubs. Many of these things add to the wide variety of birds. The greatest time to travel is during the winter when a variety of migratory bird species from the high Himalayas are present. Rajaji is significant because it marks the northernmost point for both Great and Oriental Pied Hornbills. Whereas Oriental Pied Hornbills typically gather in noisy, gregarious flocks on "Bakhli" (Annogeisus latifolia) trees, Great Hornbills are typically observed in pairs on towering trees. It could be packed on weekends and in the nights because these tourist areas are close to Rishikesh and Haridwar. The best times to visit are early in the morning when both birds and people are most busy.


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In the Shivalik Range of the Himalayas, Rajaji National Park is located. Sal forests form a large portion of the terrain. While close to the metropolis, it offers a thrilling wild serenity. That is part of the Rajaji National National Park’s appeal, which is most known for its abundance of elephants. The Haridwar Range Reserve Forest shares a substantial portion of the southern and southeasterly borders of Chilla. Although it affords animals some extra room, this creates legal complexities, thus the park’s administrators have started working on a proposal to join Rajaji’s Haridwar Forest.

History of Rajaji National Park

The state of Uttarakhand, presently known as Uttarakhand, is home to Rajaji National Park. The park’s stunning scenery and abundant biodiversity are among its main draws for both environment lovers and animal aficionados. Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttaranchal, along with Motichur and Chilla, were combined to form Rajaji National Park in 1983. The park is named in honour of Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari (commonly known as Rajaji), a well-known liberation warrior and the country of India’s first governor general. India’s Rajaji National Park covers an area of 820.42 sq km and is only accessible to tourists from mid-November to mid-june.

A total of 820 square kilometres make up the park, which also contains portions of the Dehradun, Shiwalik, and Lansdowne Forest Divisions and the animal sanctuaries known as Rajaji, Motichur, and Chilla. In 1983, these three sanctuaries were combined to form Rajaji National Park, which bears the late Raj Gopalachari’s name. was India’s final governor general during the British Empire. The National Park is rich and diverse due to the Holy River Ganges, which flows through it for 24 km, as well as the numerous streams and WILD BROOKs. It provides plenty of possibilities for those who love the outdoors to take in the breath taking scenery and wildlife.

The Rajaji National Park (henceforth also referred to as the Park) submitted an intent notification on August 12th, 1983. In September 2012, Rajaji National Park was officially recognised as a national park. The Project Elephant and The Project Tiger, two prominent government animal conservation initiatives, have recently received approval. It currently enjoys all the rights and capabilities of a national park.

Location and Entrances in Rajaji National Park

The Shiwalik eco-system is represented by Rajaji National Park, which is located along the Shiwalik ranges’ hills and foothills in the Himalayan foothills. Rajaji National Park, located in the Uttarakhand districts of Pauri Garwal, Dehradun, and Saharanpur, unites the three sanctuaries of Chilla, Motichur, and Rajaji. The Ganges River and the Chilla River divide the adjacent Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries from the Chilla Sanctuary to the southeast.

The Motichur and Rajaji wildlife sanctuaries, which are located to the north and south of the Siwalik Ridge, are divided by numerous ravines that flow water down from the main ridge and emerge as wide streams in the plains that are packed with pebbles and boulders. Most of the year, these streams are dry, but during the monsoon, they turn into furious torrents. The region has been identified as an Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest type because it is covered with a variety of forest types, from semi-evergreen to deciduous, and from mixed broad-leaved to terai grassland. In several areas, tall strands of sal predominate.

Bird species that live in open grassland and the slopes covered with trees can be found in Rajaji. Its location at the meeting point of the temperate western and central Himalayas improves the species diversity and, as a result, the viewing opportunities. More than 400 bird species are listed on Rajaji’s checklist, including notable species like the Greater Scaup, White-naped Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Black-necked Stork, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Scaly Thrush, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Pale-footed Bush Warbler.

This 40-kilometer track travels through unbroken sections of deep forest. These three interconnected forest ranges are separated from one another by the Suswa river, which also serves as the park’s northern boundary. These ranges are linked by a jungle road that travels from Asarori to Motichur via Phanduwala and Kansrao. On the SH-DD highway, near Karvapani gate, where Phanduwala is roughly 10 km away, is where one can approach this path. Ramgarh gate, which is close to Clemet Town, is a different path. To get to Phanduwala, this road travels through the Mathurawala wetlands along the Suswa river.

Best Time to Visit Rajaji National Park

The admission times are twice daily, from sunrise to dusk. 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and in the Evening: from 3 to 6.During monsoon season, the park is closed. Only from 15 November to 15 June is the park open. April is the greatest month to visit the park even though the temperatures are a little hot because this is when you can see the most of the animals. Also, it is advised that you go early in the morning because afternoon temperatures can spike. Winter is also a great time to travel, but because the temperature plummets, be careful to pack warm gear. The best months to visit Rajaji Tiger Reserve are November through March, when the days are lovely and the nights are chilly. The likelihood of spotting wildlife rises in the winter since more creatures emerge during the day to seek out sunlight.

Day visits are permitted after paying the entrance charge at the designated tourism zone’s gate. Entrance fees are assessed per person, with additional fees for vehicles, cameras, etc. Guests who are interested in staying the night in the park must make reservations for the FRH, ideally one month in advance, through the director’s office of Rajaji National Park. A maximum of three nights may be spent at a time in a FRH, and the same FRH may only be rebooked after three months have passed. Jeeps and Gypsies can be rented at the gate for a 2- to 3-hour jungle excursion, but you should reserve them in advance because there are more people than Jeeps available. For roughly 2-3 hours, the park drive winds over uneven scenery, traversing between river bottoms and mountains.

Rajaji National Park Jungle Safari

Before visiting the park’s grounds, it’s important to obtain permission and tickets from the forest department. Jeep safaris are available twice daily inside the park for three hours each time from sunrise to sunset in open jeeps through rough terrain on unmetalled treks through “Raus” and over hills, giving you the chance to see wildlife and birds in various habitats in the Mundal, Mithawali, Khara, and other ranges of the park. Rajaji National Park offers Jeep Safaris in the Chila Range and the Motichur Range.The park typically opens at 0600 hours and remains open until around 1100 hours. But, visitors with reservations for a full-day safari See birds between 11:30 and 12:30 at one of the rest rooms located inside the forest. The park is often open in the afternoon from 14:30 until 17:30. Local timings vary by season and are announced by Rajaji National Park’s forest officials.

The Forest Department schedules all of the safaris, and it does it entirely at its discretion. Please take note that Rajaji National Park no longer allows elephant safaris. In addition to bird watching, treks, walks outside the park, swimming in streams, and Ganges rafting with professional guides, the resorts near Gohari Range and Wild Brook Retreat provide these activities. A monsoon safari can consist of little more than a nature drive through the reserve’s or national park’s buffer zone. When nature is damp and there may be rain at any time, it offers you a different sense of adventure while riding in an open jeep (Gypsy). Nonetheless, there are occasional days in June, July, August, and September when there are unforeseen or intense downpours. The safari trail may be damaged or heavily inundated by rivers after a rainstorm. Even if you have a reservation for that day, the forest authority must approve your safari. In every sense, safety is paramount. No reimbursement is possible if it is cancelled in such a circumstance. Only we have the power to postpone the safari to the next time the ground is suitable.

Tiger Reserve Status

The plan to designate the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand as a tiger reserve has received approval from the Union cabinet. After the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the 48th Tiger Reserve in India, it will be the second tiger reserve in the state. The Rajaji National Park will serve as the core of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, and the Tiger Project, which expands the area to 1150 km, will also include about 300 km of the Shyampur range of the Haridwar forest division and portions of the Kotdwar and Laldhang forest division, which serve as a buffer zone. On April 15, 2015, Kudremukh (Karnataka) and Rajaji (Uttarakhand) received final approval for their declaration as tiger reserves. Rajaji was established as Uttarakhand’s second tiger reserve.

Wildlife in Rajaji National Park

Rajaji is heavily forested, with the Sal Forest and a few other forest types – including the Western Gangetic Moist, Northern Dry Deciduous, and Khair-Sissoo forests – making up the majority of the cover. In contrast to the Shiwalik Chir-Pine in the upper peaks of the hills, the southern, drier borders of the park are covered in low alluvial Savannah woodlands.The park is home to the Asian Elephant, whose northern and westernmost boundaries are protected by the Project Elephant and include the Cheetal, Barking deer, Sambar deer, Wild Boar, Nilgai, and Goral antelopes.The Rhesus Macaque and the Hanuman Langur are examples of primates. Some of the smaller mammals that can be found in the park are the Indian Hare and the Indian Porcupine.One of the biggest Pythons, a King Cobra, a Common Krait, an Indian Cobra, and a Monitor Lizard are among the reptiles found in Rajaji. Moreover, the park is home to 400 different bird species. Other occupants of our refuge include the Oriental Pied Hornbill, Crested Kingfisher, and Crimson Sunbird.

Once the migratory birds cross the formidable Himalayas onto the Indian subcontinent, this region serves as their first staging place. You can experience all the thrills and excitement of a vacation in the midst of the Indian wildlife at the Wild Brook Retreat and Rajaji National Park. precisely where the action is. There the rules of the jungle are in effect, in the lap of the most untamed nature. Predators prowl the uninhabited paths, as deer bleat, birds scream, and reptiles slither across the ground.The park also safeguards minor carnivores including the Jackal, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Civets, Himalayan Yellow-Throated Marten, Himalayan Black, and Sloth Bears, as well as carnivores like the Royal Bengal Tiger under Project Tiger and the Leopard.

Birds and Bird Watching in Rajaji National Park

Rajaji offers three different opportunities for birding: 1) near the several forest rest homes, 2) on the 26-kilometer forest drive through grassland and mixed forests at Chilla, and 3) along the Phanduwala-Kansrao-Motichur route. With over 400 species of indigenous, resident, passing, and migratory birds. There are numerous forest birds in Rajaji National Park. It has 3 species of hornbills, including the Near Threatened Great Pied Hornbill, 5 species of barbets, and 11 species of woodpeckers. Stattersfield et al. (1998) designated Brooks’s Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus subviridis) and Tytler’s Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus tytleri) as restricted range species under the Western Himalayan Endemic Bird Area. Both species migrate to the park during the winter.312 different species of birds have been identified.

There are 151 of them who are inhabitants, 87 migrants, 49 altitudinal migrants, 7 local migrants, and the whereabouts of the remaining 18 are unknown. Rajaji serves as the western limit of the range for various species, including the Great Pied Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and the Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons). Due to its location in an eco-tonal zone and the variety of habitats that it has, Rajaji National Park has a highly rich bird diversity. a type of bird. The park is home to over 315 different bird species. The peacock, which is India’s national bird, is widely distributed here. The abundance of butterflies and small birds in this area adds to its charm.

The Rusty Cheek Scimitar, the Babbler, the Golden-spectacled Warbler, the Chestnut-tailed Starling, the Brown Hawk-Owl, the Drongo Cuckoo, the Indian, the Slaty Headed Parakeets, the Great Hornbill, the Red Jungle Fowl, the Lineted Barbet, the Crested Kingfishers, the Black Hooded Oriole, the Khaleej P Several migrating birds visit the National Park throughout the winter months.

Flora

The area’s flora has flourished and multiplied due to the special climatic circumstances, as well as the presence of the mountains, rivers, and plains. One of Rajaji National Park’s most remarkable characteristics is the abundance of animals and birds. The combining of three National Parks has increased the variety of species that call this region home and created a secure environment for them to flourish and grow in their natural habitat.

The variety of flora at these parks includes broadleaved deciduous woods, riverine vegetation, scrubland, grasslands, and pine forests. The vibrant wildlife here is housed in the deep woods. The vibrant animal life that is restricted in this national park is also a result of its varied topography. An abundant and varied forest ecology can be found at Rajaji National Park. Some significant plant relationships, such the Shorea-Mallotus-Adina community, Shorea-Terminalia-Bridelia community, Dalbergia-Acacia community, and Syzyguim-Phoebe-Drypetes community, are revealed by a general survey of the forest.

The Park’s tropical forest ecosystems contain a number of distinctive features that are highly significant from a scientific standpoint. The permanent vegetation of the park can be broadly categorised under the Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests and divided into the following six kinds based on physiognomy and floristic composition:

  1. Sal Forest
  2. Mixed Forest
  3. Forest Riverine
  4. Scrubland
  5. Savannah (grassland)
  6. Subtropical Pine Forest

Rohini (Malollotus philippinensis), Amaltas (Cassia fistula), Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), Sal (Shorea robusta), Palash (Butea monosperma), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Khair (Acacia catechu), Baans (Dendrocalamus strictus), Semul (Bombax ceiba), Sandan (Ougeini).

Weather

Winters (October to February) : The period is quite tranquil and calming due to the chilly evenings, sunny days, and return of stream birds like Himalayan Pied Kingfisher, White Capped Redstarts, and Plumbeous Redstarts. The marshes are overrun by the migratory birds as they descend in great numbers. Warm jacket, hat, gloves, and a binocular are essential items.

Spring (March to April) : Beautiful weather, local showers, bird chattering, peacocks beginning to dance, and red jungle crows beginning to call. Excellent period for overnight camping in the wilderness and outdoor treks. Backpack, camping guidebook, and good walking shoes are necessities.

Summer (May to June) : The ideal season for photography; yet, the days are rather hot despite the mild nights. T-shirts, shorts, hats, sunglasses, and plenty of water are essential items.

Monsoon (July to September) : There is a celebration of rain everywhere, and it appears to be covered in green and azure blue. And the stillness transforms into thunder, lightning, and torrential rain. This is hilarity in the forest, and wild animals adore it. The best time to take photos of breath-taking landscapes and wild animals. Raincoat, flotation devices, T-shirts, shorts, and gumboots are necessities.

Rules

Do not wear clothes in dark colours, such as khaki, olive green, or grey. Avoid wearing bright clothing, especially white and red.Keep complete silence while on a jungle drive, both inside cars and on watch towers, to maximise your chances of seeing wildlife. Keep a minimal distance from the wildlife and pay close attention to the guide’s advice.

Don’ts – Night driving is strictly prohibited in the park, and admission is not allowed before sunrise or after sunset. Do not carelessly dump or leave rubbish, litter, fruit peels, polythene, etc. There is a fire threat in Rajaji National Park. It is urged that visitors refrain from lighting any fires or discarding lit cigarettes or matches in the forest or on forest roads. At the National Park, fishing is not permitted. Never try to feed any wild animals.Don’t harm any plants or animals. The Park does not permit pets.It is not permitted to play transistors or cassette players in the park. The park does not permit the use of nets or weapons. It’s against the law to yell at, tease, or chase after animals. Horn blowing and excessively fast driving are severely forbidden.

How To Reach in Rajaji National Park

On the other bank of the Ganges River from Delhi, Chilla is reached through Meerut, Khatauli, Muzaffar Nagar, Roorkee, and Haridwar.

By Air : Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is 35 km away and closest. Just a few kilometres from the park’s northern boundary, Jolly Grant Airport offers daily flights to Delhi that take 55 minutes to complete.

By Rail : The closest railheads are in Rishikesh (56 km), Dehradun (24 km), and Haridwar (24 km) (18 Km).

By Road : The National Park is 220 km from Delhi and 510 km from Lucknow away. Chilla is located 24 kilometres from Rishikesh and 8 kilometres from the well-connected Haridwar Train Station.

There aren’t many dining establishments or cafes within the National Park itself. Also, the area is spread out over a wide area, thus navigating the National Park will take some time.While planning to visit the National Park, it is preferable to bring your own supply of meals from home or outside eateries. Having said that, there are a number of eateries in the vicinity where you can get a sufficient selection of both comfort food and local cuisine to keep you fed while travelling. The Rajaji National Park will serve as the main portion of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, as directed by the Indian Tiger Conservation Authority. A 300 km2 tract that serves as a buffer zone, including parts of the Kotdwar and Laldhang forest divisions and the Shyampur range of the Haridwar forest division, will soon be included in the Tiger Project.


FAQs on Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand

Which airport and railroad station are closest to Rajaji Tiger Reserve?

The Rajaji Tiger Reserve's closest airport is Jolly Grant, while the railroad station closest to it is Haridwar.

When it rains, is Rajaji Tiger Reserve closed?

During the rainy season, Rajaji Tiger Reserve does indeed remain closed.

When time of year is ideal for visiting Rajaji Tiger Reserve?

The ideal time to visit Rajaji Tiger Reserve is from November to March.

Does Jeep Safari have any facilities?

In Rajaji Tiger Reserve, you can indeed rent a safari vehicle.

In Rajaji Tiger Reserve, how many tigers are there?

There are 34 tigers in Rajaji Tiger Reserve, up from 16 in 2015–16, and five cubs.

What makes this national park renowned?

Elephants are abundant in Rajaji Tiger Reserve, which is well-known. Around 600 elephants, 250 leopards, and 34 tigers are present.

How much does a Jeep Safari cost?

Rajaji Tiger Reserve charges 1500 rupees for a Jeep safari.

In Rajaji Tiger Reserve, how many different bird species are there?

The Rajaji Tiger Reserve is home to about 315 different bird species.

What size is the Rajaji Tiger Reserve's territory?

The Rajaji Tiger Reserve spans an area of 820 km, including parts of the districts of Pauri Garhwal, Haridwar, and Dehradun.

Is there a cost to enter and what is the cost of admission to Rajaji Tiger Reserve?

Absolutely, admissions for the Rajaji Tiger Reserve must be purchased in advance. The Rajaji Tiger Reserve's entrance fees for 2021 are as follows; For foreigners: 600; for Indians, RS. 150.

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