Rajaji National Park
At a distance of 8 km from Haridwar, 21 km from Rishikesh & 55 km from Dehradun, Rajaji National Park is a Tiger Reserve situated at the edge of the sprawling Dehradun Valley. The park is spread over an area of 820.42 sq. km. in Dehradun, Haridwar & Pauri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand. It is one of the must visit national parks in India.
Motichur Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers about 90 sq. km, was carved out of Dehradun forests in the year 1966. Similarly, Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary was formed from the Shivalik forests and Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary from the Landsowne forests in 1967 and 1974 respectively. The Rajaji National Park was established by merging these three wildlife sanctuaries and named Rajaji National Park in the year 1983 after the famous freedom fighter and the last Governor-General of India Sri C. Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji.
The Rajaji National Park is situated along the Shivalik ranges in the Himalayan foothills and bordered by Haridwar, Dehradun and Chillawali. The Park comprises of the Shivalik ecosystem. The Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries are contiguous, and are separated from the Chilla Sanctuary by the Ganges River and the Chilla River. Rajaji National Park is rich in diverse species of flora and fauna.
The park has a wide variety of fauna with over 23 mammal and 300 bird species. With large number of elephants, the park is also home to the tiger, leopard, Himalayan bear, cheetal, hog deer, barking deer, Sambar deer and wild boar, antelopes such as the Nilgai, Goral, Jackal, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Civets, Himalayan Yellow-Throated Marten, Sloth Bears, Pythons, King Cobra, Common Krait, Indian Cobra and the Monitor Lizard.
This park also consists of 315 avian species that include great pied hornbills, Himalayan pied kingfishers, pea fowls, woodpeckers, pheasants, barbets, the fire tailed sunbirds, etc. and is visited by a large number of migratory birds during the winter months. The rivers flowing through the Park provide shelter to various species of fish like mahaseer, kalabanse, goonch, chilwa and trout.
The forest department arranges facilities for wild safari inside the park which enables the visitor to experience the flora and fauna. The Safaris can be booked in advance at the forest department reception at Chillawali village. A typical 30 km jeep safari lasts about one hour and is available in the mornings as well as evenings. The lodges located at the edge of the park also offer bird watching, treks, and walks outside the park. Rafting in Ganges under expert guides are offered in Wild Brook Retreat located near Gohari range.
The Park opens between 15th November and 15th June every year. The best time to visit is December to March. The Park has 4 gates (Chilla, Motichur, Ranipur and Jhilmil) and is accessible from Dehradun, Kotdwar, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Chilla entrance gate is the most popular and preferred entry gate for the wildlife enthusiasts.
Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM in summer and 6 AM to 3.30 PM in winter.
Safari Timings: 6 AM - 9 AM and 2 PM - 5 PM.
For Safari booking: 09871604712.
Entrance Fee: Rs. 150 for Indian, Rs.600 for Foreigners
Safari: Rs. 250 for Indians and Rs.500 for Foreigners
Movie / Video: Rs.2500 for Indians and Rs.5000 for Foreigners.
Rafting: Rs. 800 per person.
Cost of Guide: Rs.300 for general guide and Rs.600 for experienced Bird and wildlife guide.