Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park (Elephant Land of India) is located in the State Uttarakhand. It spreads over the Pauri Garwal, Dehradun and Haridwar districts of Uttarakhand. The scenic beauty and rich biodiversity of the park are its real attractions for nature enthusiasts. The National Park has been named after Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari (Rajaji). He was the last Governor-General of Independent India.
The Park extends itself up to an area of 820.42 sq km. Certainly, the extension of the park is along the slopes of the Shiwalik range in the lower regions of Himalaya. This park got its status by merging the three wildlife retreats – Chilla, Motichur, and Rajaji in 1983. The Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries are touching each other.
The Ganges and the Chilla rivers separate the Chilla sanctuary from the Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries. The holy river the Ganges flows through the park at a distance of 24 km. So, it offers ample opportunities for nature enthusiasts to enjoy the captivating landscape and wildlife.
Wildlife- Rajaji National Park
The dense green forests form the environment of the Rajaji National Park. As a result, this environment forms the habitat for the number of animals. The forests are homes for different types of flying birds, ground animals, and water animals. India’s National bird, Peacock is found here in wealth.
Rajaji Park is home to bird species in the forest’s lower regions and in open fields. It’s an area in a changing zone between temperate western Himalaya and the central Himalayas. As a result, the park is the habitat of the rich variety of bird species which includes the occupants and migratory also.
For instance, Woodpeckers, Barbets, and Hornbills, Crested Kingfisher, and Crimson sunbird are the inhabitants of this retreat. Apart from these, Larger Cormorant, Ruddy Shelduck, Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, are the migratory birds of this park. Besides, the small flock of Black Storks, Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard, etc. are some of the water birds that visit the Park during winter.
The varied geography of the national park favors the inhabitation of rich animal life. The Asian Elephant, for which this park is the Northern and Westernmost limit ensuring it under Project Elephant. Thus it is Elephant Land of India.
Additionally, this national park is home to many animals like Cheetal, Deers, Wild Boar, Goral, Nilgai, and Sloth Bear, etc. Apart from these, Besides these, Monkeys, Indian Hare, Indian Porcupine, Cats, and Yellow-Throated Marten roam in National Park. The Himalayan black bear common, in the higher reaches of the park.
Rajaji Park incorporates some of the reptiles like python, King Cobra, Common Krait, Indian Cobra, and the Monitor Liza
Vegetation: The park lies between the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic fields. So, the main forest types of this park are the broadleaved deciduous, riverine vegetation, scrubland, prairies, and pine. Apart from this Sal, Amaltas, Palash, Semul, etc. are the main trees of the Park’s forest. Besides these, the Shiwalik Chir-Pine on the high reaches of the slopes. The various forest types semi-evergreen, terai grassland, and Indus-Ganges monsoon forest protect this region.
Tourist Activities-Elephant Land Of India, Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park offers a number of tourist activities to its tourists.
Jungle Safari-Rajaji National Park
The park offers Jeep safaris inside the park for 3 hrs each time in the morning and in the evening. The forest safari goes on in open jeeps through rugged terrain on not a hard road trek and over hills. As a result, it gives the opportunity to see wildlife and birds in different habitats in Mundal, Mithawali, Khara and other ranges of parks.
The park offers river rafting (with experts) for 3 hrs. at a stretch of 12 km in the Ganges river.
This Park is extremely rich in resident forest birds. In addition, this area is the first landing ground for the migratory birds after crossing over the Himalayas into the Indian subcontinent. As a result, this park is a popular spot for bird watching.
So, in Rajaji National Park, Chila and Gohari Ranges are available for bird watching with expert bird watchers. Apart from these, the barrage on river Ganga near Haridwar is also a popular site for bird watching. Besides, some of the migratory birds hunting around Motichur Rau, Berribada Rau, and Kawasan River.
Best time to Visit-Rajaji National Park
The park is open to visitors between mid of November to mid of June. From November to the Middle of March, the temperature of this region falls to 2-degree celsius. The frequent snowfall occurs in the adjoining higher hilly area. As a result, the climate remains too cold in these months. So, tourists must bring woolens in their luggage.
How to reach-Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand
As the Park adjoins the three districts, Dehradun, Haridwar, and Pauri Garhwal, of state Uttarakhand. So, It is easily accessible from Dehradun and Haridwar by rail and road.
By Road: There is direct communication via road from some of the major cities like New Delhi, Lucknow, etc. to Dehradoon and Haridwar. In addition, there are direct buses from Haridwar, Dehradun, and Rishikesh to Rajaji National Park.
Nearest Railway Stations: Haridwar ( 43 km away from Rajaji National Park), Dehradun (21 km away from Rajaji National Park), Rishikesh (18 km). There are so many direct trains from major cities of India to the above railway stations. Taxis services are available from these stations to Rajaji Park.
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant, Dehradun, (21 km away from Rajaji National Park). Delhi is the nearest national/international airport from Dehradoon which is 223 km away. There are regular flights from New Delhi to Dehradoon.
Where to stay
Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam offers a tourist rest house with AC Delux, executive rooms and dormitory facilities. Further, there are 10 forest rest houses and 6 Gujjar huts in the park. Here visitors can stay. In addition, there are many hotels and tourist complexes around Haridwar, Dehradun, and Rishikesh.