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. It is one of the must-visit national parks in India, and among the top tourist places in Haridwar.
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 Lansdowne 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.
Spread over an area of 820.42 sq. km, the Rajaji National Park is situated along with the Shivalik ranges in the Himalayan foothills and bordered by Haridwar, Dehradun, and Chillawali. The Park comprises 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. It is one of the best national parks in Uttarakhand.
The park has a wide variety of fauna with over 23 mammal and 300 bird species. One can see elephants, tiger, leopard, Himalayan bear, chital, 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 here as part of Haridwar sightseeing packages.
This park also consists of 315 avian species that include great pied hornbills, Himalayan pied kingfishers, peafowls, 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. It is considered as one of the prominent national parks near Delhi.
The forest department arranges facilities for wildlife safaris 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 the Ganges under expert guides is offered in Wild Brook Retreat located near the 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 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.
Entry: Rs. 150 for Indians, & Rs.600 for Foreigners, Rs. 300 for Guide & Rs. 800 for Rafting
Safari: Rs. 250 for Indians & Rs.500 for Foreigners
Movie / Video: Rs.2500 for Indians & Rs.5000 for Foreigners.