Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park that we know today is an integration of Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla Wildlife sanctuaries which are parts of Dehradun, Shivalik and Lansdowne Forest Divisions. The sanctuaries were merged in the year 1983 and named after the first Governor-General of India, Dr. C. Rajagopalachari, who was popularly known as Rajaji. The Motichur and Rajaji Sanctuaries are adjoining to each other while Chilla Sanctuary gets separated by Ganges and Chilla River on the south -east.
In 1984, Rajaji National Park was finally established as an important protected area in the Terai Region. The park stretches over 820 sq kms and is located in the lower Himalayan Ranges the foothills of Himalayas also popular as Shivalik Ranges.
The national park is interspersed with various sporadic streams and brooks which are highly perennial in nature. Owing to the natural settings and adequate water presence, the park supports and cherishes diverse forest (flora) type are classified into six categories: Sal forest, Mixed forest, Riverine forest, Scrub forest, Grassland, Sub-tropical pine forest. Though Sal dominates predominantly.
The Fauna of this beautiful reserve forest is also myriad. It is famous for elephants which can be seen roaming around in herds in their full glory. The thick foliaged forest is also a house to antelopes like mountain goats, gorals, carnivores like tigers, leopards, wild cats. Other animals found are sloth bear, wild boars, the Indian hare and the Indian porcupine. Among the primates there are the rhesus macaque and the Hanuman Langur. Reptiles in Rajaji include one of the largest Pythons, King Cobra, Common Krait, Indian Cobra and the Monitor Lizard.
The park is also known for its remarkable avian species which includes over 350 species. India's National bird, Peacock is also found ubiquitously. Avifauna includes pea fowl, woodpeckers, pheasants, Himalayan pied kingfishers, great pied hornbill, and fire tailed sunbirds and barbets, supplemented by a number of migratory species during the winter months. This area is the first halt after the migratory birds cross over the Himalayas into the Indian subcontinent.
The rivers flowing through the park harbors the Mahaseer fish, one of the fiercest freshwater fish that can grow to about five and half feet!
The biosphere of the park therefore has many unique characteristic, which has much significance from scientific point of view and has immense opportunities to hold nature lovers buy its charm.
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