Have you ever dreamt of holidaying in a place that is filled with dense woods, roar of lions, shrewd cries of jungle hyenas, chattering of monkeys, chirping of birds, etc? This would really be a holiday full of excitement and adventure. Now you must be thinking of parks and sanctuaries. India is a place full of national parks and sanctuaries. Dudhwa national park located in Uttar Pradesh in North India houses a number of wild animals and birds that can leave you spell bound. The sight of the mosaic grasslands, dense forests and swampy marshes of this national park attract a number of visitors across the country.
The park area was established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1958. 'Billy' Arjan Singh made sincere attempts to turn the area in to a national park. The area was notified as a national park in January 1977. The park was designated as a tiger reserve in the year 1988 and it forms the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve along with the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary.
Area and location:
The park is located on the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalayas and the plains of the 'Terai'. The park encompasses a total area of 811 sq. km. with a core area of 490.2919 sq. km. and 190.0371 sq. km. The total area of the Kishanpur sanctuary is 204.41 sq. km.
Fauna: A number of wild animals are found in the Dudhwa national park. This park houses 38 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 90 species of fish and 16 species of reptiles. A huge number of swamp deer are the major attraction here. It is very interesting to know that there are 4000 swamp deer in the whole world and half of them are found here.
You will also find hog deer, barking deer, sambar, spotted deer, tigers, rhinoceros leopards, elephants, wild boars, bears, etc. The rhino population has increased in the recent years. Many Indian Rhinoceros from Assam and Nepal were introduced in the park during the mid-1980s.
Not only this, the park is a paradise for the birdwatchers. Great Indian horned oil, Bulbuls, Teal, scops owl, Ducks, Geese, Hornbills, white-necked stork, woodpeckers, kingfishers, brow fish owl, Drongos, Barbets, Cormorants, Heron, Bee Eaters, Minivets, etc. will keep you occupied. Bengal florican also give an occasional sighting here.
Flora: Tropical moist deciduous forest, tropical semi-evergreen forest, riparian and swamp forest and dry deciduous forest, etc are the main vegetation of the forest. You would find tree species like Terminalis tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, Shorea robusta, Terminalia belerica, Eugenia jambolana, Dalbergia sissoo, and Bombax malabaricum.
When to visit?
You can visit the park anytime between Mid-November to mid-June and; but the best period is from February to April.
Lucknow is the nearest airport which is linked with all the major cities of the country.
You can travel from Delhi or Mumbai to Lucknow by train. The nearest railheads are Dudhwa, Palia and Mailami that are 4km, 10km and 37km away from the national park.
Many buses ply regularly from Palia to Dudhwa. There are state roadways buses and private coaches that link Palia to Lakhimpur Kheri, Shajahanpur, Bareilly and Delhi.
If you are not acquainted with Indian transport system or if you are a first-time traveler, then it is better to take flights from Delhi or Mumbai, then travel to Dudhwa either by bus or train.
Visiting some more places:
For some extra fun and adventure you can visit the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Frog Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Surat Bhawan Palace from where the Himalayan Peaks can be seen are other places of attractions. The first one is located in Oyal and the latter at a distance of 8 km from the park.
The forest department doesn't provide any jeep safari inside the park. However if you want you can avail the elephant rides that are available within the park. An elephant ride is the best way to know about the flora and fauna.
All in all a trip to the Dudhwa National Park would surely be fruitful. You can experience a varied and diversified wildlife in the dense jungles of Uttar Pradesh.