Rajaji National Park
Nestled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas in the abode of God's - Uttaranchal,
Rajaji National Park is situated at the conflux of three districts i.e. Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. The park was formed in 1983 when three wildlife sanctuaries of the area were combined into a single large area consisting of a myriad variety of flora and fauna.
The flora found in the area is diverse with distinct vegetation zones that include broadleaved deciduous forests, riverine vegetation and grasslands along with picturesque forests of pine trees that lend a unique charm to the environs. The fauna inhabiting the area is equally diverse with an estimated number of more than 23 species of mammals and 315 species of birds.
The place has been going through a rough patch lately with some unwanted publicity in the form of problems like soil erosion and poaching. Despite all the odds, Rajaji National Park continues to be one of the prominent national parks in the country and an important place to observe the flora and fauna of the region.
The park is open for visitors between November and June, while the best time for a visit is during the cooler months of December to March. From April onwards, the weather starts getting warm and it can get a bit sticky and uncomfortable.
Wildlife Attractions in Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park is known for its scenic beauty and rich biodiversity. The park is blessed with a variety of flora and fauna, which makes it a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The place promises a vacation of a lifetime for the tourists where one can watch a herd of elephants mightily trampling its way through the thick vegetation and a hidden striped predator, quietly waiting for its prey.
Prominent among other habitatants of the park are leopard, jungle cat, Himalayan yellow throated marten, sambar, cheetal, barking deer, wild boar, sloth bear, langoor, ghoral, monitor lizard, python, civet and even king-cobra.
The winged residents of the area include pea fowl, jungle fowl, kaleej pheasant, hornbil, woodpecker, thrushes, kingfishers, parakeets, warbler, barbet, finch, Indian roller, oriola and a host of other beautiful avians.
The two rivers that criss cross the park are home to a large number of fish such as Mahaseer, Kalabanse, Goonch, Chilwa and Trout.
The most convenient way to travel inside the park is in your own four wheeler, preferably a sturdy vehicle like a jeep. The other interesting option is to take an Elephant safari. The safaris, organised by the park authorities are of two and a half hours duration and cost between Rs. 50 and 100 per person. Feel the excitement of watching the wild animals from an elevation as you hold on to your elephant trampling its way through the uneven terrain.
Dehradun is a picturesque city situated at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, just a few kilometres from the park. It is generally the entry point for most visitors travelling to the park as the nearest airport from the Rajaji National Park is situated here.
The holy town of Haridwar is a prominent place of worship for the Hindus. The shimmering waters of the Ganga and religious chants coming from the temples situated at the 'Har ki Podi' makes a truly enchanting setting. A bath in the holy water of the Ganges is believed to have the power to purify ones soul.
Rishikesh is situated at a short distance from Haridwar. The picturesque views of the lush green forests along with verdant valleys provide a refreshing and eye soothing experience. Among the famous attractions of the place are the Laxman Jhoola and Ram Jhoola.
How to Get There
The park is situated at a short distance from the capital Delhi, which makes it easily accessible from all the major cities in India and the world.
By Air :
The Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is situated only a few kilometres from the northern boundary of the park. Air Deccan flies from Delhi daily at 10:55, 11:00, 13:20 and 14:00
By Rail :
Haridwar and Dehradun are the two most convenient railheads situated near the park. Buses and taxis are easily available to reach the park from both these places. Daily trains ply to Haridwar from Delhi, Mussoorie Exp. (22:15), Dehradun Exp. (7:40), Haridwar Mail (5:50) & Utkal Exp. (14:20) from Mumbai, Dehradun Exp. (22:25) and Chennai, Dehradun Exp. (8:30, Thu)
By Road :
The park can be accessed from the Dehradun-Delhi highway which runs along its northern boundary. Long distances buses ply from a number of major Indian cities connecting with cities like Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun. To reach from Delhi by road, take the NH58 to Haridwar via Meerut, Muzzaffarnagar and Roorkee. From here the district road leads to Chilla (the main entrance of the park).
Distances From Major Cities
200 km (NE)
9 km (NE)
Travel Tips/Important information
- Park charges Entry Fee : Rs. 40 (Indians) & Rs. 350 (foreigners), Vehicle : Rs. 100, Video Camera : Rs. 2500
- Park timings are Summer : 5:30 AM to 5 PM, Winter : 6 AM to 4:30 PM
- All visitors to the park need an entry permit, which can be obtained from the park gates.
- n Vehicles can be hired for travelling inside the park from the entry gates at a price of Rs. 500
- Follow the rules of the park and listen to the instructions of your guide at all times to avoid any kind of untoward incidents.
- A binoculars and prior information about animal habits would enhance your wildlife experience.