About Dudhwa National Park
From mosaic grasslands and dense sal forests to swampy marshes, the terrain of Dudhwa National Park is as diverse as the wildlife population it harbors. While the northern edge of the Park lies along the Indo-Nepal border, the River Suheli marks the southern boundary.
A Tiger Reserve since 1879, Dudhwa became a National Park in 1977 and adopted the Project Tiger in 1988. Although the Tigers at the Park are numerous, sightings are rare due to the thick forest cover of the area. Besides Tigers, Leopards, Hispid Hares, Swamp Deer (Barasingha) and Rhinos thrive amidst the vegetation.
Wildlife Attractions in Dudhwa National Park
Apart from the swamp deer, there are at least 37 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles. Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary is said to have 101 tigers and four leopards. Recently, the hispid hare has also been spotted in the area.
It was here in 1984 that a major rhinoceros rehabilitation project was started since these forests had been the habitat of the rhinoceros 150 years ago. Five rhinos were relocated from Assam but two of the females died due to the strain of transportation. These were replaced in 1985 by four more females from Nepal.
Dudhwa's birds, in particular, are a delight for any avid bird watcher. The marshlands are especially inviting for about 400 species of resident and migratory birds including the Swamp Partridge, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls, barbets, woodpeckers, minivets and many more. Much of the park’s avian fauna is aquatic in nature, and is found around Dudhwa’s lakes- especially Banke Tal.
The major vegetation types in this region are tropical semi-evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forest, riparian and swamp forest and dry deciduous forest. The dominant tree species are Shorea robusta, Terminalis tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, Terminalia belerica, Eugenia jambolana, Dalbergia sissoo, and Bombax malabaricum. The various types of forests throughout the park are interrupted by wide stretches of mesophyllous grasslands locally called the phantas.
The forest provides no jeep safaris or guides. Jeeps and mini buses can be hired to move around inside the park. Elephant rides through the Park are also available and moreover the mahouts or Elephant drivers also double up as guides.
The park is conveniently located at an easily approachable distance from all the major tourist attractions of the state. Travel to the historic city of Lucknow or pay a visit to the shimmering water of the Ganga at Varanasi. You can also visit Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
How to Get there
Lucknow is the most convenient airport. Indian Airlines operates a number of flights to Lucknow from major cities across the country. The timings of flights from Delhi are 9:30 (except Tuesday), 10:00 (Tuesday), 16:05 (throughout the week) and 17:30 (Wed, Fri, Sun). Air Sahara flies from Mumbai to Lucknow at 19:30. Outside India, Nepal at 35 kms is the nearest airport.
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 (conveniently connected to most of the Indian cities) and hit the road or take a train to any of the nearer stations from there. Some of the important daily trains from Delhi to Lucknow are Kaifiyat Exp. (19:25), Lucknow Mail (22:00), Shramjeni N Exp. (13:15), Vaishali Exp. (19:50), Gorakdam Exp. (20:15), Sapt Kranti Exp. (16:45) and Bihar S Kranti (14:40). Other daily Mumbai-Lucknow trains are Kushinagar Exp. (22:55) and Pushpak Exp. (8:20).
The State Roadways buses and private bus services link Palia to Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly and Delhi. Buses are frequent between Palia and Dudhwa. The most convenient way to travel to the park, if you are coming in from India, is to make your way to Lucknow, either by air or by rail and take a bus or train to Dudhwa, which is just 4 km from the entry gate of the park. For foreign tourists looking to start their 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
182 km (NW)/ 4 hrs.
410 km (E)
Travel Tips/Important Information
- The park charges include Entry Fee : Rs. 50, Vehicle Entry Fee : Rs. 150.
- Park timings are from 7 to 10 AM and 3 to 6 PM.
- 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.