Herd of Chital Deer (Axis axis).
The spectacular Rajaji National Park is situated in the Indian state of Uttaranchal. It was formed in 1983 when the Rajaji Sanctuary, the Montichur Sanctuary and the Chilla Sanctuary were amalgamated. These three areas were started in 1948, 1964 and 1977 respectively. The entire national park stretches for over 820 square kilometres and extends across the districts of Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal.
Although the official park is fairly recent in its establishment, this area has a history that dates back millions of years. The Shivalik trail is estimated to be 10 million years old. It boasts an abundance of fossils that tell the tales of prehistoric animals traversing this ancient land. These fossils included some 50 different species of elephant, only one of which is still in existence today.
Part of the natural wealth of the Rajaji National Park lies in the fact that a portion of the Ganges River runs through it for 24 kilometres. This river is considered to be sacred by Hindu followers and plays an important role in their worship. It also acts as the sole source of water for the many societies and tribes that live along its banks. The Ganges River is accompanied by a plethora of smaller streams, feeding the land and making Rajaji lush and fertile. The vegetation varies from Sal Forests, Western Gangetic Forests and Northern Dry Deciduous Forests to extensive Low Alluvial Savannah Woodlands, Shrub land and subtropical Shiwalik Chir-Pine Forests. This rich landscape is, in turn, the ideal habitat for a number of different animals, including mammals, insects and birds. Some of the most commonly seen and popular beasts include the exquisite Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Bear, Chitall, Sambar Deer, Sloth Bear, King Cobra, Leopard Cat, Asian or Indian Elephant, Nilgai and Barking Deer as well as leopards, jackals, hyenas and a variety of antelope. Bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts are rewarded with bird species numbering over 400. Some of these live in the park all year round, while others are migratory, making seasonal appearances. These migrants travel across the mighty Himalayan Mountains and into India. Each of these plant- and animal species play an integral role in maintaining the all-important biodiversity of the Rajaji National Park and the area it occupies.
Winter extends from October to February and presents clear, sunny days with cold nights, while spring (March and April) is pleasant with regular, light rain. During these months, the new offspring of the various faunal species fill the air with their juvenile cries. Summer days are very hot and visitors may prefer to stay indoors until the cooler hours of nightfall. From July to September, monsoon rains fall. Storms and heavy showers christen the land in glorious displays of Earth’s power, leaving the vegetation lush and the air clean and clear.
Visitors will enjoy the wildlife safaris on offer at Rajaji National Park. These expose the land and allow guests to get the most out of their Indian experience. They are conducted in jeeps that can negotiate the various terrains of the park. Alternatively, this beauty can be seen atop a majestic Indian Elephant as it quietly meanders its way through its natural habitat. Such magical encounters with wildest India ensure that visitors are educated and exposed to one of the most beautiful of earth’s treasures.
For more information, please view: http://www.rajajinationalpark.in/