(Last Updated on : 23-02-2016)
The wildlife of Rajaji National Park is blessed with elephants
, tigers, leopards, deers and ghorals as its best known life forms. Three sanctuaries in the Uttaranchal - Rajaji, Motichur and Chila were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park.
Location of Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park is situated along the hills and foothills of Shiwalik
ranges in the Himalayan
foothills and represents the Shiwalik eco-system. Combining three sanctuaries, namely Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji - Rajaji National Park is spread over the Pauri Garwal
districts of Uttarakhand
. The Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries are contiguous, and are separated from the Chilla Sanctuary to the south-east by the Ganges River
and the Chilla River.
Motichur and Rajaji wildlife sanctuaries lie to the north and south of the Siwalik Ridge and are dissected by many ravines carrying water which descend from the main ridge, becoming broad pebble/ boulder filled streams in the plains. These streams remain dry for most of the year but become raging torrents during the monsoon
. The area is covered with diverse forest types
ranging from semi-evergreen to deciduous
and from mixed broad-leaved to terai grassland and has been classified as Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest type. Lofty strands of sal dominate in many parts.
History of Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park is situated in the state of Uttarakhand. The picturesque beauty and rich biodiversity of the park serve as its major attractions for both nature lovers as well as wildlife enthusiasts. In the year 1983, Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttaranchal was merged with Motichur and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries and made into Rajaji National Park. The park has been named after Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari
(also known as Rajaji), a famous freedom fighter
and first governor general of India
. Rajaji National Park of India spreads over an area of 820.42 sq km and is open to visitors only from Mid-November to Mid-June.
Animals at Rajaji National Park
Rajaji is home to avian species which are found in forested foothills and in open grassland. It's location in a transition zone between temperate western Himalaya and central Himalaya that enhances the species diversity and consequently the viewing prospects. Rajaji's checklist has about 400 birds species and includes good birds like 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
, Tytler's Leaf Warbler, Green Avadavat
and Reed Bunting.
Among various hunting birds, Osprey, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Brown Fish Owl
deserve special mentioning. Other birds namely Greylag Goose, Ruddy Shelduck
, Comb Duck, Spotbill Duck
, Stork-billed Kingfisher
are found mainly near the banks of rivers.
Tourism in Rajaji National Park
The scenic beauty of the Rajaji national Park captivates the tourists who visit the park both from Indian states and other foreign countries. Dense evergreen forests
include various trees sal, mahegony; other characteristic features are riverine vegetation and terrain grasslands, making the park lush with fruits
and other treasures of forestry.
Best Season to Visit Rajaji National Park
The park is open from mid-November to mid-June. Winters are the most pleasant time to visit the park i.e. between November and March, when the temperature ranges between 20 and 25 degree Celsius during the day. In summer, temperatures can be as high as 48 degree Celsius. The park remains closed in the rainy season, when there is an average 750 mm of rainfall.
Accommodation at Rajaji National Park
There are not too many options available for comfortable stay in Rajaji National Park. Comfortable Eco-friendly cottages in wilderness are available at Wild Brook Retreat near Gohari range of Rajaji National Park via Kaudia village
close to Vindhya Wasini Temple 24 Km. from Haridwar
. Set amidst the beautiful valley of Nalani in the foothills of Himalayas, Wild Brook Retreat offers perfect wild ambience. The cottages are spacious with comfortable big beds and attached European bathroom. There are big Verandahs with easy chair to sit and watch birds. These cottages have view of Gohari Range's core area. There are comfortable and well located cottages in wilderness of Rajaji National Park.
How to reach Rajaji National Park
The nearest airport to Rajai National Park is Jolly Grant, Dehradun at a distance of 35km. Jolly Grant Airport
which is only a few kilometers away from the Northern Boundary of the Park has a daily 55 minutes flight from Delhi
. By road, the National Park is 220 kms from Delhi & from Lucknow
it is at a distance of 510km.Chilla is at a distance of 8 Km. from Haridwar Railway Station which is well connected to major cities and 24 Km. from Rishikesh
. Bus services and overnight trains are available for Dehradun and Haridwar from Delhi and Lucknow.
The Dehradun, Doiwala, Rishikesh, Haridwar State Highway is the most preferred road since one can access the Ramgarh
, Motichur, Kunao and Chilla forests through this route. The Moradabad
, Haridwar State Highway
and the Delhi-Dehradun State Highway are other options.