Rajaji National Park
Himalaya encompasses within itself many different types of flora, fauna and wildlife. Located in the Uttarakhand district and is a part of the Shivalik Ranges, close to the foothills of Himalayas is a very popular wildlife zone named The Rajaji National Park. The Park has been named after C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), a prominent leader of the Freedom Struggle, the second and last Governor-General of independent India and one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (in 1954). The park is spread over more than 800 sq. km.
Rajaji National Park is spread over the area of 3 districts of Uttarakhand which encompasses the areas of Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. This national park is among one of the famous wildlife zone in the Himalayan region. It is famous for its variety of flora and fauna (wildlife). Rajaji national park was formed by merging 3 sanctuaries together, namely The Chilla, Motichur and the Rajaji sanctuary in the year 1983. Rajaji is thickly foliated predominantly by the Sal Forest and a number of other forest types which include the Western Gangetic Moist and Northern dry Deciduous and Khair-Sissoo forests.
Animals easily found here are cheetal, hog deer, barking deer, Sambar deer, wild boar, antelopes such as the Nilgai, Goral and of course the royal Asian Elephant. The park also protects carnivores such as the Tiger and the Leopard and the lesser carnivores like the Jackal, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Civets, Himalayan Yellow-Throated Marten and Sloth Bears. The primates include the Rhesus Macaque and the Hanuman Langur. The Indian hare and the Indian Porcupine are among the small mammals found in the park. Reptiles in Rajaji include one of the largest Pythons, King Cobra, Common Krait, Indian Cobra and the Monitor Lizard.
Rajaji contains within itself more than 315 species of exotic birds. The bird diversity in Rajaji National Park is very rich because of it being Eco-tonal zone and also because of different kind of habitats present in it. The majestic Ganges flows through the National Park for a distance of 24 km, the innumerable streams and brooks make it rich and diverse. It offers ample opportunities to nature lovers to enjoy the captivating landscape and wildlife.
The Park also boasts the tribal village of the Gujjars where people are found to be living in primitive clay huts. The park is kept open between the middle of November to middle of June. The months between November and March are an ideal time to visit the park as the temperature is around 22°C during that time. The park is kept closed during the monsoon season due to heavy showers.
From Delhi it is a comfortable 5 hour drive through Meerut, Muzaffar Nagar, Roorkee and Haridwar. Near Khatauli are a number of stopovers for refreshment like Cheetal Grand, Moolchand Resorts and Midway.