Dudhwa national park
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Dudhwa national park

  • Location : Indo-Nepal Border, Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.

  • Coverage area : 614 sq. km

  • Main attraction : Tigers

  • Best time to visit : November 15th to June 15th

  • Nearby excursions : Frog Temple , The Surat Bhawan Palace.

  • Nearby cities : Palia


Dudhwa Tiger Reserve or the Dudhwa National park is present in the areas of Lakhimpur & Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, lying right next to the Indo-Nepal border. It brings together two most amazing sanctuaries of the area namely, Katarniaghat and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuaries to represent the incredible natural forests and greenery along the region of Terai. It is awe-inspiring to note that Mohana River constitutes the northern boundary of the park which is along the Indo-Nepal border whereas the river Suheli constitutes the Southern boundary.


History of the dudhwa national park

The Post-Independence era saw huge intrusion towards the Dudhwa forest. Recurrent plague, severe famines, and menacing malarial mosquitoes were related to the region, making it rather inhospitable to humans, but it was just perfect for the survival of wildlife.

By the 1950s, the grasslands and marshes were majorly replaced by paddy and sugarcane. Under the name and facade of crop protection, the Gond and the Tiger, which is the local name for the Barasingha, encountered terrible fate at the hands of poachers.

In 1968, Billy Arjan Singh, began his journey to protect Dudhwa. He was working on it from his farm located in Kheri, which he named as ‘Tiger Haven’. Arjan Singh approached Indira Gandhi, our then prime minister, to declare the forest as a National Reserve. His efforts paid off and an area of 212 sq. Km. Was declared as ‘Dudhwa Sanctuary' that year.

The year 1958 saw huge changed when this park was declared as a ‘National Sanctuary'. In 1977 it was declared as a National Reserve/Park, and in 1987, the park was converted a ‘Tiger' Reserve and came under Project Tiger. Both Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary also come under Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.


The ptopography of the dudhwa national park

From mosaic grasslands and dense forests to muddy marshes, the topography of Dudhwa National Park is as unexpected and varied as the wildlife population present there.

From swampy marshlands to the dense forests, the topography of Dudhwa National Park is as vast as the wildlife it contains. River Mohana marks the northern boundary of the ark which is along the Indo-Nepal border; River Suheli marks the Southern BoundarySuheli.

Gular, Sal with Shisham and Jamun trees are the key attraction spots of this national park which comes under tropical semi-evergreen and deciduous forest.

Twenty per cent of this reserve is covered with grasslands. The marshes here constitute one-third of the primary habitat with rivers, wetlands, streams, and lakes that are either dried up or are perennial during the summers and flood up after the monsoons.

Lakes and rivers inside the national park are a source of freshwater for the wildlife throughout the year. The national reserve plays a critical role in sustaining biodiversity and a vital ecological balance in the region.


Dominant flora and fauna of the dudhwa national park

Flora

The main vegetation types of the Dudhwa region in Uttar Pradesh are Tropical moist deciduous Forest,Tropical Semi-evergreen Forest and Riparian Forest and Dry Deciduous Forest Swamp.

The whole of Dudhwa National Park consists of vast stretches of grasslands locally called the ‘fantasy'. The Dudhwa National Park has various trees among which the dominant tree species are Terminals tomentosa, Bombax malabaricum, Eugenia jambolana, Adina cordifolia, Shorea robusta, Terminalia belerica, and Dalbergia sissoo.

Flora

The main vegetation types of the Dudhwa region in Uttar Pradesh are Tropical moist deciduous Forest,Tropical Semi-evergreen Forest and Riparian Forest and Dry Deciduous Forest Swamp. The whole of Dudhwa National Park consists of vast stretches of grasslands locally called the ‘fantasy'. The Dudhwa National Park has various trees among which the dominant tree species are Terminals tomentosa, Bombax malabaricum, Eugenia jambolana, Adina cordifolia, Shorea robusta, Terminalia belerica, and Dalbergia sissoo.

Fauna

Dudhwa National Park provides a luxurious living surrounding for a large number of endangered species. Leopards and Zoo-born Tigers are the key attractions of this area, which were personally introduced to this reserve by the wildlife expert himself, Billy Arjan Singh. Swamp deers also hold the same position and honour as the wild cats at Dudhwa. The 80s, saw a tremendous development to the National Reserve when the one-horned Rhinoceros were also made a part of this park.

Mammals

Tiger, Squirrels, Spotted deer, Swamp Deer (Barasingha), Elephant, Blackbuck, Marmots,Wolf, Hyaena, Fishing cat, Langur, Hispid Hare, Sloth bear, Leopard, Jackal, Civets, Jungle cat, Macaque, Indian rhinoceros, Bat, Hog deer, and Four-horned antelope.

Reptiles

Indian Gharial, Marsh crocodile, Indian Rat snake, Russel’s Viper, Common Krait, Common Indian Monitor, Blind snake, Red Sand Boa, Branded Krait, Russel’s Kukri snake, Cobra, Checkered Keelback, Himalayan Pit Viper, and Yellow Monitor, Freshwater Turtle.

Birds

Bengal Florican, Bulbul, Painted Stork, Egrets, Bee-eater, White-necked Stork, Swamp Francolin, Barbet, Geese, Minivet, Hornbill, Asian woodpecker, Duck, Sarus crane,Cormorant, Kingfisher, Orioles, and Drongos.


The climate of the Dudhwa National Park

It more or less the same as North India, an extreme type of climate is observed in Dudhwa. Summer months are insanely hot with temperature crossing 40 C. During the winter months the weather is usually pleasant with the temperature ranging from 20 C to 30 C. And annual rainfall of 1600mm is observed in Dudhwa.

However, the best time to visit the reserve park is from February to April. The weather is soothing during that time and it neither too hot nor too cold.

The reserve is open to the public from 15th November to 15th June annually, however, May, June and July can be too hot to bear.


Accommodation at the dudhwa national park

The forest department offers accommodation at various locations.

  • Bankati Forest Rest House - 4 suites with amenities like power supply and parking.

  • Dudhwa Forest Rest House with four suites, dormitory with additionalbeddings if required

Contact the Field Director for reservations.


Transportation to dudhwa national park

By air

The nearest airport is Lucknow airport. From there one can hit the road to Dudhwa National Park.

By rail

Dudhwa is a railway station which is only 4km away from the actual reserve. There is a road which connects the railway station and the reserve.

By road

Dudhwa National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by the road network.


Transportation in dudhwa national park

The national park office offers vehicles on rent which can be used for safari and sightseeing inside the park. The tourists can hire coaches and jeeps to go sightseeing in the park and travel the entire area of the park. Elephants rides are also available for viewing the nature in Dudhwa. The elephant rides are completely eco-friendly,and it is relatively more comfortable for the people to spot animals from the elephant back in the morning and the evening. Various rest houses which offer accommodation at Dudhwa, Kila, and Sonaripur, can also arrange for vehicles on hire.


Distance from major cities

  • Lucknow , 220 Km

  • Chennai , 2200 Km

  • Delhi , 400 Km

  • Mumbai , 1620 Km

  • Kolkata , 1150 Km

  • Ahmedabad , 1220 Km

  • Bengaluru , 2140 Km

  • Chandigarh , 600 Km

  • Hyderabad , 1580 Km


Things to do in Dudhwa National Park

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Tiger spotting

Drive through the yellow mustard fields of Kishanpur reserve and vast sugarcane fields. This densely covered jungle with trees like teak and Sal and interspersed with meadows and streams is a vibrant ecosystem supporting a variety of birds and is home to the Royal Bengal tiger.

Elephant safari

Take an elephant safari from the park's front gate through the forest, crunching along Teak trees, thick undergrowth, and tall grass, to spot the Indian one-horned rhino. Don't miss spotting the endangered Barasingha.

Interact with Tharu tribals

The Tharu tribe lives in serenity with nature, working with sugarcane fields, building environmentally friendly homes out of mud, straw, and manure, with huge mud containers storing grains. The women are known for their colourful attire and chunky jewelry and are also engaged in crafts like weaving dhurries, and baskets out of local grass and figs. Engage a local guide to explore the Tharu villages.

More attractions

Banke tal

Tigers and Four-headed antelopes can be found over here. 2014 turned out to be a year of a surprise for them as the Ruddy-Mongoose was spotted here for the first time in History.

Frog temple

The Frog Temple has an intricate structure due to which it is considered to be one of the oldest temples across India. The peaceful ambience surrounding the shrine along with the inspiring architecture doesn't fail to surprise the tourists.


Map

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