than 50 feet tall Sal trees, sunlight trying to touch the ground,
dragonflies stretching out their wings under the tender warmth of
the sun. Sitting firmly on the dew fresh leaves, they bask to
recharge themselves for the day. The melodious chirping of koyal/cuckoo
welcomes the new morning. The little sun rays which reach the ground
weave a magical display of light and shadow on the canvas of dry
leaves. This is what Dudhwa National Park, one of the largest and
thickest forests in India, all about!
Wildlife in Dudhwa National Park
The Dudhwa National Park is spread over 490sq km along with a buffer
area of over 100 Sq km. Besides massive grassland and swamps, Dudhwa
National Park is home to one of the finest Sal (Shorea robusta)
forests in India. Some of these trees are more than 150 years old
and over 70 feet tall. In 1976, the park had a population of 50
tigers, 41 elephants and 76 bears apart from five species of deer,
more than 400 species of birds, crocodiles and some other species of
mammals and reptiles.
Dudwa National Park is a stronghold of the barasingha/ swamp deer,
which can be spotted in herds of hundreds. India is the only country
where this species of deer is found. It is interesting to note that
around half of the total Barasinghas on the Earth are present in
Dudhwa National Park. Smaller than the sambar, the barasinghas have
12 antlers that collectively measure up to 100 cm. A full-grown stag
can weigh as much as 180 kg and measure 135cm. The coat of the
animal is slightly woolly, dark brown to pale yellow, adapted
perfectly to camouflage in the tall grasses of the area.
During the winter season the swamps of Dudhwa echo with the frequent
wallowing of rutting stags. This is also the time for mock fights
that entail stiff postures and shrill calls rather than the actual
locking of the horns. With the onset of spring the herd gets ready
to welcome the newborn fawns. With the passage of winter the
Barasinghas shed the woolly coats. During this point of time the
fights amongst the male Barasinghas are minimal.
Tiger is another major attraction of the Dudhwa National Park. There
was once such a time when Dudhwa was severely affected by man-eating
tigers for which the structure of the Park was held responsible.
Dudhwa is probably the only Park that doesn't have adequate buffer
area to support the main wild/ Park. This is bound to create
conflicts between human beings and animals.
Besides the abovementioned animals, the avian life at Dudhwa is a
delight for any avid bird watcher. The marshland of Dudhwa national
park is home to around 400 species of resident and migratory birds
that include the Swamp Partridge, Bengal Florican, Great Slaty
Woodpecker, plenty of painted storks, owls, barbets, woodpeckers,
sarus cranes, minivets etc. It is to be noted that much of Dudhwa's
avian fauna is aquatic in nature and found around lakes.
The major vegetation types in and around Dudhwa National Park are
tropical semi-evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forest,
riparian and swamp and dry deciduous forest. The dominant tree
species are Shorea robusta, Eugenia jambolana, Terminalis tomentosa,
Terminalia belerica, Adina cordifolia, Dalbergia sissoo, and Bombax
malabaricum. Stretches of mesophyllous grasslands, locally called
the phantasm, interrupt the forests at many points in the National
Safaris in Dudhwa National Park
You can hire Jeeps and mini buses to move around inside the Dudhwa
National Park. Besides the Jeeps and mini buses you can also enjoy
Best time to visit Dudhwa National Park
The best time to visit Dudhwa National Park is between November and
May. The park remains open to public from November to June, though
the months of May and June are a little too hot for comfort. While
visiting the Park during winter you must remember to take woolen
clothes as it can get pretty chilly, particularly between December
October to April
7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
(in Indian Rupees)
(Rates are subject to
Lucknow is the most convenient airport. Indian Airlines operates
a number of flights to Lucknow from major cities across the country.
The nearest railheads are Dudhwa (4 kms), Palia (10 kms) and
Mailani (37 kms), however the most convenient way would be to travel
to Lucknow and hit the road or take a train to any of the nearer
stations from there.
The State Roadways buses and private bus services link Palia to
Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly and Delhi. Buses are
frequent between Palia and Dudhwa. Start your journey of India from
Dudhwa, it is advisable to travel to the Nepal airport and take one
of the number of transport means available from there. To travel by
road from Delhi, take the NH24 to Shahjahanpur via Ghaziabad,
Moradabad, Rampur and Bareilly. A district road from here will take
you to Dudhwa via Pawayan, Kutar, Mailani, Bhira and Palia.
Distances from Major Cities
Lucknow : 182 km
Ramnagar : 50 km
Delhi : 410 km
Tips & Important Information
The best point to start
your park trip is at the Dudhwa Forest Office, where you can get
information from the foresters about everything ranging from
accommodation to safaris.The entire park is administratively divided
into nine ranges of which only Sathiana, Bankati, Sonaripur,
Salukhapur, Belrayan and Kila have accommodation facilities.
Elephants can be hired
from the office near the park gate or from the Salukhapur Chowki for
Rs. 100/head for about 3 hours.
A library at the Dudhwa
office provides information about the park. A nature shop located
near by sells books and other souvenirs.
All visitors to the park
require an entry permit, which can be obtained from the director of
the park, district headquarters, Lakhimpur-Kheri.
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