Strap up your boots to head out for a thrilling sightseeing experience at Rajaji National Park. Abundant with exotic bird species, rare mammals and enthralling range of flora, the national park is just the place for recreation. Sprawled over 802.42 sq kilometers of land in Uttarakhand, Rajaji National Park today is one of the most beautiful destinations to explore the rich wildlife of India. This famous sanctuary derived its name from Late Sri C, Rajgopalchari who is popular with the name Rajaji. The sanctuary was built to venerate this great person, Rajaji who first served the country as a freedom fighter and then nurtured his love for the country as the first governor of India.
This glorious park is famous for Asian elephants and provides one a memorable experience of thrilling elephant ride. One can explore this habitat of wild elephants moving with their unique splendor amidst the lush trees on elephants itself. Having included in Project Elephant, this already so rich landscape of the gracious elephants has become a place of attraction and promotes existence of these Asiatic mammals.
You can visit the park from mid of November to mid of June and enjoy your love for photography. The conjunction of Chilla and Motichur sanctuaries with Rajaji wildlife life sanctuary in 1983, transformed the then secular wildlife park into a national park of trio to unite the unending wilderness. The magnificent location of the national park adds to the glory of the wildlife. It is developed at one of the productive lands of India and thus, conserves rare species of flora and fauna.
At the foothills of magnificent Shiwalik Ranges, the national park blooms and bears the flourishing ecosystem of Shiwaliks. You can locate the park at remote towns of Uttarakhand namely, Dehradun, Sahranpur and Pauri Garwal. While the Rajaji and Motichur sanctuaries reside in each other’s neighborhood, the Chilla sanctuary is separated by the duo at far south-east by Chilla and Ganges rivers. The streams of river Ganges make the place extremely vegetative and full of greenery.
The unique topography of the national park enriches the area with different type of forests that range from deciduous to semi-evergreen and from terai grasslands to the mixed broad-leaved. Trails of Sal trees dominate many areas of the park and makes trekking expedition amazing. Though some streams of the forests remain dry, in monsoon season you can witness them overflowing with torrents of water forming a picturesque image in front of your eyes to behold forever.
Best moments at rajaji National Park can be savored in the months from mid November to mid June. While planning your trip, you must research about temperature and weather for an enjoyable vacation. In summers, the temperature at Rajaji varies from 32 degree Celsius to 45 degree Celsius. Though hot, you can indulge in elephant rides in this season. In the period between June to September, the national park witnesses heavy rainfall. During this season the nature blooms and weather varies from humid to pleasant. With temperature oscillating between 20 degrees and 25 degrees, the winter season from October to February can be a rewarding choice to visit the park.
There are minimal options available for lodging near Rajaji National Park. However, you have a choice to stay at Wild Brooke Retreat developed and run by the forest department itself. The cottages offer rusticity and comfort at the same time to the travelers. Besides this, here you can experience the best of nature. The blooming greenery is at the optimum. Ganges backdrop enriches the experience allowing you to spend leisure time ambling by the shore and relishing picturesque views. Further, the adventure enthusiasts would love hiking to this place as river rafting is right at the corner and one can indulge in it as much as one wants. Also, the cottages are private and offer complete intimacy. Another feasible option to stay amidst the national park is Jungle resort. 10 kilometers into the woods, the resort offers right ambience, surroundings and facilities for a leisure stay. You can enjoy forest view in addition to hill sights from its fantastic location. Jungle resort is enveloped in greenery and makes your vacation a memorable experience.
One can witness a plethora of animals at the national park living with complete harmony with nature and each other. Cheetal, sambar deer, barking deer, antelopes for e.g. goral and nilgai, wild boar and elephants are some of the distinguished animals you can find here. In addition, the western and northern areas of the park are famous for Asian elephants and the park is included in Project Elephant, courtesy the perfect habitat to harbor this magnificent mammal. There are some exotic primates at the national park, which include the Hanuman Langur and the Rhesus Macaque. Amongst smaller mammals, Indian porcupine and Indian Hare are highly dominant. The park is covered with reptiles and you can locate some largest of them such as king cobra, pythons, Indian cobra, monitor lizard etc on this very land. Besides these a variety of snakes are found slithering on the trees and branches in this dense woodland. Be all set to be amazed by the royal Bengal tiger, which you can spot here easily basking in his bewitching grandeur. This glorious species of tiger is considered endangered and Rajaji National Park has been included under the Project tiger too to conserve them. Other carnivorous animals, which you can enjoy watching here, include leopard, jackal, jungle cat, hyena, civet, leopard cat, sloth bears and many more. The diversity in vegetation at the national park allows one to witness a plethora of birds as well and makes the journey thrilling for avid bird lovers. You can hear birds chirping everywhere. With over 300 species of birds, some that are a must to must mention are rusty-cheeked scimitar, golden-spectacled warbler, babbler, brown hawk-owl, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Drongo Cuckoo, Great Hornbill, Lineted Barbet, Red Jungle Fowl, Crested Kingfishers and woodpeckers. The presence of Ganges River and various gushing streams make the national park rich in aquatic life too. You can watch trout, goonch, mahaseer, chilwa and kalabasu sailing gracefully in the glistening river streams.
The rich verdure of the national park will surely bewitch every one of you nature lovers and make the trek worth. With different shades of green leaves blended cheerfully with vibrant colors of the flowers, the scene becomes enthralling and the experience refreshing. Courtesy the fertile Indo-Gangetic land type, the national park is covered with broad-leaved deciduous trees, scrublands, riverine vegetation, pine forests and verdant grasslands. The wilderness and unique topography accounts for rich vegetation in the areas of the national park. Vivid flora will amaze you and you can witness some exotic plants, trees, bushes, grass, flowers and climbers here. To mention a few among the unending variety, Sal, Amaltas, Shisham, Palash, Arjun, Khair, Baans, Semul, Sandan, Ber, Chilla and Bel would be unavoidable.
To explore the richness of a national park, especially the one as vivid as Rajaji, you must take a safari. Safari through the beautiful grasslands and dense wilderness would allow the hidden naturalist inside you to come out and live a time of your life. Not just you can witness the surprises of the jungle slowly unfolding as you go deep within the woodlands, but you can also let loose with the refreshing aura, thrilling safari and all the spotting of endangered and exotic species of animals and birds. The national park serves as the paradise to many who are inclined towards nature and strive to take time out from their busy schedule for exhilarating sightseeing at such splendid locations. With glorious Bengal Tiger roaring with the first sunrays and giant elephants moving together in a herd at a distance, with sweet chirping birds and melodious river trails, with eye-catching greenery and blooming vegetation, you will know that nowhere could you feel more alive than here. What adds to the pleasure of taking a safari at Rajaji National Park is that, here combination packages of bird watching and river rafting are available to fetch you a whole new level of adventure. Every day the jeep safari is available from sunrise to the sunset for a duration of three hours. The guide and the driver take you through the rugged terrain and allow to enjoy the wildlife from vicinity. Mundal, Khara and Mithawali are three popular routes for jeep safari. Then the boundaries of the park serve ideally to the avid bird watchers. You can also enjoy trekking or ambling here for leisure time. Fully developed Wild Brooke Retreat is the destination for adrenaline enthusiasts and you can try out rafting here at river Ganges and make your journey a memorable experience.
You can reach the place via Delhi passing through a series of cities which include Meerut, Muzaffar nagar, Khatauli, Haridwar, Roorkee and Chilla.
Air: Available after every 55 minutes daily, one can take a flight from Delhi and reach Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun of Haridwar. It is the nearest airport from the north of Park.
Rail: Some of the nearest railway stations to the national park are Dehradun, 56 kms, Haridwar, 24 kms and Rishikesh, 18 kms.
Road: The roadway network is well-developed and one can reach the park from Delhi which is 220 kms from the destination or from Lucknow which is approximately 510 kms from the park. Also, Chilla is merely 8 kilometers from the Haridwar railway head and only 24 kilometers from Rishikesh.