Spread over an area of 820 sq. Kms, Rajaji National Park and Tiger Reserve is situated along the hills and foothills of Shiwalik ranges in the Himalayan foothills and represent the Shiwalik eco-system. Combining three sanctuaries, namely Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji - Rajaji National Park is spread over the Pauri Garwal, Dehradun and Saharanpur districts of Uttaranchal. The Motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries are contiguous, and are separated from the Chilla Sanctuary to the south-east by the Ganges River and the Chilla River.
Motichur and Rajaji wildlife sanctuaries lie to the north and south of the Siwalik Ridge and are dissected by many ravines carrying water which descend from the main ridge, becoming broad pebble/boulder filled streams in the plains. These streams remain dry for most of the year but become raging torrents during the monsoon. The area is covered with diverse forest types ranging from semi-evergreen to deciduous and from mixed broad-leaved to terai grassland and has been classified as Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest type. Lofty strands of sal dominate in many parts.
Rajaji is home to avian species which are found in forested foothills and in open grassland. It's location in a transition zone between temperate western Himalaya and central Himalaya enhances the species diversity and consequently the viewing prospects. Rajaji's checklist has 324 species and includes good birds like Greater Scaup, White-naped Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Black-necked Stork, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Scaly Thrush, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Pale-footed Bush Warbler, Tytler's Leaf Warbler, Green Avadavat and Reed Bunting.
Birding in Rajaji can be: i) around the various forest rest houses, ii) on the 26 Km forest drive at Chilla across grassland and mixed forests, iii) along the Phanduwala - Kansrao - Motichur trail. This 40 km trail goes through undisturbed stretches of dense forest. The Suswa river runs parallel to these three connecting forest ranges and marks the northern boundary of the park. A jungle road connects these ranges from Asarori to Motichur via Phanduwala and Kansrao. Approaches to this route can be from the Asarori gate opposite Karvapani gate on the SH-DD highway from where Phanduwala is about 10 km. An alternative route is from Ramgarh gate near Clemet Town. This road goes through the Mathurawala swamps along Suswa river to reach Phanduwala.
The area is important as the western limit of the Asian Elephant and also holds Tiger, Common Leopard, Striped Hyena, Sloth Bear and the Goral.
How to reach: Rajaji National park is accessible from many directions by road, rail and air. Bus services and overnight trains are available for Dehradun & Haridwar from Delhi (231 kms ) and Lucknow. Chilla is 8 kms from Haridwar Railway Station which is well connected to major cities and 14 kms from Rishikesh. Jolly Grant Airport which is only a few kilometers away from the northern boundary of the Park.
Where to stay: Rajaji is close to Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh. A variety of accommodation is available at these places. There are also forest rest-houses at Beripara, Chilla, Motichur and Ranipur.
Whom to contact:
1) Director Rajaji National Park,
5/1 Ansari Road, Dehradun; Ph: 0135-621669
2) Dy. Director Rajaji National Park,
Haridwar; Ph: 0133-425193
Longitude: 77° 55’E ~ 79° 80’E; Latitude: 29° 52’N ~ 30° 15’ N
Altitude: 300 meters to 1350 meters
Best Season: November to March
Rajaji National Park – Sanctuary Asia
Birds of Rajaji National Park, India - Forktail (PDF)