Things to do at Rajaji National Park- A Complete Travel Guide

Located in the north region of the country, Rajaji National Park is among one of India’s most famous reserve forests. Read on to learn some exciting facts about this national park. 

Table of Contents

  1. About Rajaji National Park
  2. Things to do in Rajaji National Park
  3. How to Plan a trip to Rajaji National Park
  4. Resorts & Hotels to stay in Rajaji National Park

About Rajaji National Park

Surrounding the mighty Shivalik mountain ranges, Rajaji National Park is famous for its abundantly rich flora and fauna. And it is the perfect holiday retreat for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. This national park is renown for its diverse wildlife, especially elephants and tigers. It has recently acquired Tiger Reserve status from the Indian Government. 

In addition, names in recognition of C. Rajagopalchari, the national park, spread over three districts of Uttarakhand, including Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. Moreover, this national park area remains enriched with invaluable fossils dating back as many as 100 centuries ago. If you plan to visit Haridwar, don’t forget to know details and the list of places to visit in the city. Scroll below to read the comprehensive travel guide and learn more about the places to visit in this national park.

History 

Rajaji National Park was established in the year 1983 by combining three wildlife sanctuaries named Motichur (1964, Rajaji (1948), and Chilla (1977), after the name of renowned statesman and freedom fighter Sri C. Rajgopalachariya, who was also the first Governor General of independent India. 

Moreover, according to historical sources, Sri C. Rajgopalachariya, when he visited Dehradun in 1948 as a Governor General, was taken to the Shooting Block in Dehradun Forest Division. Nevertheless, on witnessing the immaculate beauty of the area, he refused to hunt and advised that this area must be preserved for his beauty. It ultimately led to the development of Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Forest and Wildlife 

Rajaji National Park remains along the foothills of the magnificent Shiwalik ranges in the Himalayan and portrays the Shiwalik ecosystem. The Rajaji and Motichur sanctuaries are adjacent and remain separated from the Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary to the southeast by the Chilla and Ganges Rivers. On the other hand, Rajaji and Motichur wildlife sanctuaries lie south and north of the Siwalik Ridge, dissected by many canyons carrying water that drop from the central ridge. These creeks stay arid for most of the year but become raging cascades during the monsoon, making it an ideal habitat for breeding wildlife. 

Bird in Rajaji National Park

Flora in the national park is nestled between the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic plains and comprises Riverine vegetation, grasslands, scrubland, broadleaved deciduous forests, and pine forests that make the array of flora at these parks. And this vibrant flora and lush jungles make it a perfect resting spot for the fauna in this national park. Below is a brief overview of the flora and fauna species here:

Flora Species 

  • Amaltas (Cassia fistula)
  • Rohini (Mallotus philippinensis)
  • Arjun (Terminalia arjuna)
  • Palash (Butea monosperma)
  • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
  • Sal (Shorea robusta)
  • Sandan (Ougeinia Oojeinensis)
  • Khair (Acacia catechu)
  • Aonla (Emblica officinalis)
  • Baans (Dendrocalamus strictus)
  • Semul (Bombax ceiba)
  • Bel (Aegle Marmelos)
  • Kachnar (Bauhinia variegata)
  • Chamaror, (Ehretia laevis)
  • Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana)
  • Chilla (Casearia tomentosa)

Fauna species

While Rajaji National Park has the most significant population of tigers and elephants, other species of wild animals comprise:

  • Bengal Tiger
  • Asian Elephant
  • Jungle Cat
  • Leopard
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Goral
  • Striped Hyena
  • Indian Hare
  • Sloth Bear
  • Jackal
  • Rhesus macaque
  • King Cobra
  • Barking Deer
  • Sambhar
  • Wild boar
  • Indian langur
  • Indian Porcupine
  • Python
  • Monitor lizard

Interesting Facts

  • According to the directives of the Tiger Conservative Authority of India, the national park will serve as the core area of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. 
  • This national park is loaded with high minerals and moisture in the soil, making it a perfect breeding ground for wild animals.
  • This national park boasts an enriched fossil trail from ancient history and is considered to be at least 10 million years old.

Top reasons to visit Rajaji National Park

  • Rajaji National Park is the second-best tiger national reserve park after the famous Jim Corbett National Park 
  • An extensively spread-out geo-friendly location in an area of 820.20 sq. km.  
  • Witness the scenic wildlife safari in an open jeep. 
  • A massive diversity of flora and fauna and wild brook retreat.

Things to do

Safari

Extending to an area of 820.20 Square kilometres, this national park is home to several avian species in forested foothills and open grassland. The area remains surrounded by diverse forests varying from deciduous to semi-evergreen and from crossbred broad-leaved to terai grassland, giving it the most surreal look. Here are some exciting things to do in Rajaji National Park. 

Fun things to do

  • Enjoy the Rajaji National Park Safari: A jungle safari in this national park is exceptionally popular, and you can take a jeep safari or an elephant safari. The jeep safaris are operated twice daily, from 6 am to 9 am and from 3 pm to 6 pm. While the elephant safari was discontinued in 2007 after the elephant ‘Arundhati’ demise, it resumed in 2016 with three tuskers — Rangeeli, Raja, and Radha.
  • Tour the famous tiger park: When in Rajaji National Park, don’t forget to visit the famous tiger sanctuary. Here you can glimpse over 50 different species of mammals, including Asian elephants, leopards, tigers, Himalayan Black bears, jackals, sloth bears, and hyenas. 

Things to do near Rajaji National Park

  • Explore the scenic Chilla Barrage: Popularly known as Pashulok Barrage, it is an outstanding dam bridge on River Ganga near Dehradun. And to reach this destination, you can drive alongside the scenic Ganga Canal, making you catch fascinating panoramas of the region. In addition, this Chilli Barrage area generates electricity for the whole Pauri Garhwal district, including Rajaji National Park. 
  • Marvel at diverse flora and fauna at Jhilmil Jheel: Another enjoyable place to visit near Rajaji National Park is Jhilmil Jheel. It is also a forest reserve known for its vibrant diversity of flora and fauna. Also, here you can witness some rare species of tiger, deer, leopard, and elephant. Likewise, this area also greets migratory birds adding melodic chirps to the ambience.

Things to do with friends

  • Witness rare bird species: The open plains in the foothills between the central Himalayas and the western Himalayas improve the assortment of the bird species in the Rajaji National Park. Greater Scaup, Great Hornbill, White-naped Woodpecker, Black-bellied Tern, Northern Goshawk, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, and Snowy-browed Flycatcher are some prominent avian species here.
  • Enjoy rafting in the Ganges: Canoeing and River rafting are other exciting things to do in Rajaji National Park. 3-hour-long rafting excursions on distances transcending 12 km on the creeks of the River Ganges are delivered on request. In addition, the jungle resorts inside the national park offer this facility at INR 800 per person.

[Also read: Places to visit near Delhi by road]

How to Plan a trip to Rajaji National Park?

 Rajaji National Park

The national park is accessible from cities like Haridwar, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Dehradun and Saharanpur that remains well connected by air, rail and road routes to other cities in India. So you can readily plan a trip to park by any means you feel right. 

How to reach?

  • By Air- The closest airport to Rajaji National Park is Jolly Grant in Dehradun (35km), and from here, you can book a cab to reach your destination. 
  • By Road– Rajaji National Park has excellent road connectivity with major Indian cities like Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Delhi. You can readily reach here by booking a private taxi or taking local bus services. 

Best time to visit

The most suitable time to visit is from November to June, as the national park remains closed in the other months. Also, note that while April to June is a bit hot, this is a better time to spot a maximum number of animals.

Travel tips

  • The park is home to numerous rare species of flora and fauna. Be an accountable traveller and abide by the procedures summarized by the forest authorities.  
  • Never take any firearms or weapons within the park premises.
  • Do not go too close to any animal, and maintain a respectful distance. 
  • For a better experience, take some extra water and a pair of binoculars. 
  • Playing loud music and chasing or teasing the animals is strictly prohibited.

Safari Timing and Tickets

Rajaji National Park remains open to the public from 6 am to 5 pm daily. However, note that the safari timings are 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m and 2:30 p.m to 5:30 pm. And the ticket price is INR 750 for Indian citizens and INR 1500 for foreign nationals. Moreover, tourists need to spend INR 1500 additionally for a jeep safari. 

Hotels and Resorts

Hotel Name Address
Hotel KSS Inn DPS Road, Kanharwala , Bhaniyawla, Near Dehradun Airport| Phone: 074669 81990
Naturoville Resort Resham Majri, Lal Tappar, Haridwar-Dehradun Road| Phone: 0902772000
Capital O 72282 Yours Pacific 1, Nanda Ki Chowki, SidawaIa, Dehradun| Phone: 0124 620 1531

One of the most scenic national parks in the east of Haridwar, Rajaji National Park is undoubtedly the best scenic location that offers a perfect escape in the wilderness. So next time you visit Dehradun or Haridwar, don’t forget to have a fun time at this national park.

About the author

A Journalism Graduate who is a Travel Lover, Photophile and a Foodie..... who also has a small addiction to long roadtrips.

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