Amidst the tropical and sub-tropical deciduous forests near Haridwar in Uttarakhand is a beautiful home of various flora and fauna. A melodious confluence of elephants’ trumpets, tigers’ roars and birds’ chirping goes well to complement the rumble of the Ganges River streams that flow through the grasslands we are talking about. For these animal species, this place is home. But the world knows it as Rajaji National Park Uttarakhand .
While many people want to explore Rajaji Tiger Reserve, not many people know much about this place. And the purpose of this guide is to bridge this knowledge gap. read on!
Rajaji National Park – Complete Guide
Rajaji National Park is situated amidst the lush green surroundings of Shivalik Hills near Haridwar; A beautiful place that rightly boasts of its rich flora and fauna. The park was named after the famous freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India, Shri C Rajagopalachari , popularly known as Rajaji.
Until 1983, the area was known as Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary (est. 1948). But later it was merged with Motichur (est. 1964) and Chilla (est. 1977) wildlife sanctuaries and Rajaji National Park came into existence.
Best Time to Visit Rajaji National Park
You can plan a visit to Rajaji National Park from 15th November to 15th June as the park is closed for visitors during the remaining months.
April to June are comparatively warm, however, making it the best time to spot wild animals. The winter evenings are a bit cold here but are known to give the best of experiences.
5 Things to do in Rajaji National Park
The national park is home to diverse flora and fauna, including some endangered species of birds and animals. And therefore, it should come as no surprise that wildlife safaris and bird-watching tours are popular here.
In addition, several streams of the river Ganges provide opportunities for water sports; Like river rafting and canoeing. These activities, along with the jungle lodge inside, make it one of the best eco-tourism destinations in Uttarakhand.
Take A Safari
Wildlife safaris are very popular in Rajaji National Park. Both jeep safaris and elephant safaris are available. Jeep safaris are conducted twice a day; From 6 am to 9 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm.
The elephant safari was closed in 2007 following the death of the elephant ‘Arundhati’, who had served the reserve since 1981. However, they were relaunched in November 2016 with three tuskers – Raja, Rangili and Radha. Unlike 3-hour jeep safaris, elephant safaris are shorter and last from 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Visit Tiger Park
It also has a tiger reserve in its premises which is home to over 50 different species of mammals; Including the Asian elephant, tiger, leopard, Himalayan black bear, sloth bear, civet, jackal and hyena. Rajaji Tiger Reserve came into existence on 20 April 2015.
Rafting and canoeing are other adventure activities in Rajaji National Park. On request a 3-hour long rafting trip is offered on the Ganges River streams over a distance of more than 12 km. The jungle lodges inside the national park offer this facility at Rs 800 per person.
Catch Glimpse Of Rare Birds
The open grasslands in the foothills between the Western Himalayas and the Central Himalayas increase the diversity of bird species and consequently increase the viewing possibilities for bird watchers.
Greater Scoop, White-naped Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Pallas Fish Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Black-Naked Stork, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Scaly Thrush, Snow-brooded Flycatcher, Rusty Treecreeper, Pale-footed Bush Warbler, Titler Leaf Warbler, Green Avadavat and Reed Bunting are some of the avian species that can be seen here.
Rajaji National Park promotes ecotourism or responsible travel options by providing opportunities for volunteer travel and creating awareness among travelers about the flora and fauna of the place.
The national park aims to reduce the negative aspects of traditional tourism on the environment, enhance the cultural integrity of the local people, promote recycling, energy efficiency and water conservation, and create economic opportunities for the local people.
Best Places to visit near Rajaji National Park
After exploring the quintessential beauty of this stunning Rajaji National Park , you can also plan a trip to these nearby places which are really exciting retreats for nature lovers:
Chilla Barrage popularly known as Pasulok Barrage, is a stunning dam bridge which is situated on the river Ganges in Dehradun. You will be driving along the banks of the Ganges canal as you capture the mesmerizing sights of the region. Mirch is a part of Rajaji National Park and produces electricity for the entire Pauri Garhwal district.
Another delightful place to visit near Rajaji National Park is Jhilmil Lake. It is a conservation reserve known for its rich diversity in flora and fauna. You can catch a glimpse of some rare species of deer, tiger, leopard and elephant. The place also welcomes migratory birds which chirp sweetly in the ambiance.
4 Best Places To Stay In And Around Rajaji National Park
There are many government and private providers of accommodation in and around Rajaji National Park. The official website mentions that there are eco-friendly cottages and tents available at Wild Brook Retreat. Apart from this, there are also some forest rest houses at various entrances. These can be availed through the Forest Department.
Both Haridwar and Rishikesh are located within 25 km radius of Rajaji National Park. There are many accommodation options in both these cities. Since the park can be covered within 3 hours, tourists can choose to stay in Haridwar or Rishikesh of their choice.
The Wild Brook Retreat
It is located near the Gohri Range of Rajaji National Park; Near Vindhyavasini Temple. The retreat also offers rafting, safaris, trekking and camping facilities.
Distance from Rajaji National Park: 0 km
Price per night: INR 3,500 per person per night (twin-sharing) | INR 4,000 per person per night (one room)
Anand is a pocket friendly hotel near Rajaji National Park which is known for comfortable stay. They also offer breakfast buffet serving some of the best local delicacies. There are rooms with splendid balcony views and you can also make use of the free WiFi service here.
Distance from Rajaji National Park: 7.6 km
If you are traveling on a limited budget and looking for a place that doesn’t cost much on your pocket then Nandini Homestay is definitely a perfect choice for you. Free WiFi and parking facilities are also provided.
Distance from Rajaji National Park: 8.4 km
Sun N Soil Backpacker Hostel – Sun N Soil Backpacker Hostel
Sun N Soil Backpacker Hostel is definitely a great place to stay for travelers who love to make new friends and explore different cultures. Situated in Lachhiwala, the hostel gives you access to lounge area and garden as well. They provide free wifi facility.
Distance from Rajaji National Park: 9.6 km
So, the next time you plan to book your Uttarakhand tour during mid-November to mid-June, do not forget to consider this land of beauty, wildlife and adventure.
10 Best Hill Stations Near Haridwar – Travel India Travel
Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary Entry Fees, Timings, Nearby Attractions – Travel India Travel
6 Unexplored Places in Haridwar – Travel India Travel
Frequently asked questions about Rajaji National Park
Cost of Guide: INR 300 (General)** | INR 600 – INR 1,500 (Birds and Wildlife Guide)
Still Camera Fee: Free (Indian) | INR 50 (Overseas)
Video Camera Fee: INR 2,500 (Indian) | INR 5,000 (Foreign)
Filming Fee for Feature Films: INR 20,000 + INR 40,000 (Refundable Security)
Filming Fee for Documentaries: INR 2,500 + INR 15,000 (Refundable Security) (Indian) | INR 5,000 + INR 40,000 (Refundable Security) (Overseas)
*Student discount available on Certified Institutional Educational Tours only. Admission is free for children up to 3 years old.
**There must be one local guide per vehicle.