Nestled in the Shivaliks near the foothills of Himalayas, Rajaji National Park spans over three districts of Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri-Garhwal in Uttarakhand. It was formed by merging three erstwhile sanctuaries namely Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji. The park is named by C.Rajagopalchari, a prominent freedom fighter of India. Recently, it has been bestowed with the status of tiger reserve.
The vegetation of the park ranges from broad leaved deciduous forests, riverine vegetation, scrubland, grasslands and pine forests. Some of the trees found here are amaltas, sal, palash, rohini and the like. The varied topography shelters diverse fauna. The park is a home to elephants, tigers, goral chital, sambar, barking deer, hog deer, nilgai, wild pigs ,sloth bears rhesus macaque and the common langur, leopard cat, jungle cat, civet and yellow-throated marten ,hyena, jackal and the Bengal fox. Over 315 species of birds are found in the park, The park is also a home to over 500 including pea fowl, vultures, woodpeckers, pheasants, kingfishers and barbets, great pied hornbill, pied kingfisher and the fire tailed sunbird. The rivers which flow through the park harbour species of fish such as trout and mahseer.
When to go
The best time to visit the park is from December to March.
This park which harbors several avian species, is the first staging ground after the migratory birds cross over the Himalayas into the Indian subcontinent.