Dudhwa National Park ( dudhw r striya udy n) is a National Park and major part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve located in the Terai of Uttar Pradesh state, India. It covers an area of , with a buffer zone of almost . Barasingh or Swamp deer
The area was established in 1958 as a wildlife sanctuary for Swamp Deer. Thanks to the efforts of 'Billy' Arjan Singh the area was notified as a national park in January 1977. In 1988, the park was declared as a tiger reserve, and forms the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve together with the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
Elevation ranges from about to . The international border with Nepal forms the northern boundary, and the River Suheli the southern boundary. Its headquarters are located in Lakhimpur Kheri District. The nearest town with service facilities is Palia.
Like most of northern India, Dudhwa has an extreme Humid Subtropical with dry winter (CWa) type of climate. Summers are hot with temperatures rising up to . During winters from mid-October to mid-March, temperatures hover between . The months of February to April are ideal for visiting the park.
Prevalent winds are westerly. The hot wind Loo blows strongly from mid-April up to end of May. Monsoon starting in mid-June and lasting up to September accounts for 90% of the annual rainfall of . Temperatures range from between a minimum of in winter to a maximum of up to in peak summer.
The vegetation of the area is Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests. The high dense forests are interspersed with extensive stretches of Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands and flooded grasslands and savannas. The predominant tree species are sal, asna, shisham, jamun, gular, bahera and sehore.
Dudhwa National Park is home to one of the finest Sal forests in India, some of these trees are more than 150 years old and over tall.
Major attractions of Dudhwa National Park are the Tigers (population 98 in 1995) and Swamp Deer (population over 1,600). Billy Arjan Singh successfully hand-reared and reintroduced zoo-born tigers and leopards into the wilds of Dudhwa. Some rare species inhabit the park. Hispid Hare, earlier thought to have become extinct, was rediscovered here in 1984.
In the mid 1980s, Indian Rhinoceros was reintroduced into Dudhwa from Assam and Nepal.
The other animals to be seen here include Swamp Deer, Sambar Deer, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Tiger, Indian Rhinoceros, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Jackal, Civet, Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat.
Hog Deer at Dudhwa
The park has a rich bird life, with over 350 species, including the Swamp Francolin, Great Slaty Woodpecker and Bengal Florican. Dudhwa also boasts a range of migratory birds that settle here during winters. It includes among others, painted storks, black and white necked storks, Sarus Cranes, woodpeckers, barbets, kingfishers, minivets, bee-eaters, bulbuls and varied night birds of prey.
Dudhwa National Park is a stronghold of the barasingha, which can be spotted in herds of hundreds. It is interesting to note that around half of the world's barasinghas are present in Dudhwa National Park. Smaller than the sambar, the barasinghas have 12 antlers that collectively measure up to . One can spot herd of these rare animals passing through open grasslands. Around half of the surviving population of Barasinghas is found in the park. These animals are smaller than sambar and weigh around 180 kg. Due to their slightly woolly, dark brown to pale yellow cloak, the grasslands acts as the perfect camouflage.
Drongos, Barbets, Cormorants, Ducks, Geese, Hornbills, Bulbuls, Teal, Woodpeckers, Heron, Bee Eaters, Minivets, Kingfishers, Egrets, Orioles, plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls and more. One can also spot rare species like the Bengal florican.
Dudhwa's birds in particular are a delight for any avid bird watcher. The marshlands are habitat for about 400 species of resident and migratory birds including the Swamp Francolin, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, plenty of Painted Stork, Sarus Crane, several species of owl, Asian barbet, woodpecker and minivets. Much of the park s avian fauna is aquatic in nature and found around Dudhwa s lakes such as Banke Tal.
En route to Dudhwa, the unique Frog Temple at Oyal can also be visited. The only one of its kind in India, it was built by the former Maharajas of the Oyal estate in the district of Lakhimpur-Kheri. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the base of the stone temple is built in the shape of a large frog. The temple is at a distance of 10 km from Hargaon on the route to Lakhimpur-Kheri and Dudhwa.
Built in the Indo-Saracenic style by the rulers of the Singhai estate, Surat Bhawan Palace is one of the famous palaces of the Terai area. Not far from the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve on the Lakhimpur-Nighasan-Dudhwa route, the palace is set in a large green, retreat. Expanses of lush lawns, fountains, a swimming pool and interesting architectural details make a visit to the palace worthwhile.
The 19th century Indo-Sarasenic style built Surat Bhawan Palace is located around 8 km from the Dudhwa National Park. One can see the Himalayan Peaks from the Palace terrace on a clear day.
The spotting of animals and birds in their natural habitation during Elephant Rides, sitting on top of an Indian elephant is an experience to treasure for a long time.
- National Environment Science Camp
Since 2006, Karavan Heritage & Nature Society has conducted the National Environment Science Camp or NEVSC at Dudhwa National Park. This Camp is a nationwide student s movement for Environment Education and Conservation.
From November to March, they camp in tents in the heart of Terrai forest of Dudhwa. Teams from different schools arrive on successive slots to explore the dense Sal forest, spooky swamps and vast grasslands of the endangered Terrai region. They focus on a new theme every year: Habitats, Evolution, Web of Life and Nature Study Programs are the most successful and popular. The prime objective of the Science Camps is to provide students an insightful understanding of our unknown natural heritage. They have organized hundreds of such Programs where thousands of students from throughout India have participated. Students are taken to wilderness areas and through creative games and exciting activities, students are sensitized about the environmental importance of these places.
- Travel Information
Drive from Delhi (8 9 hours) or take the train to Shahjehanpur and drive to Dudhwa (3 hours). Alternatively one can fly to Lucknow and drive to Dudhwa in 6 hours.
Nearest Railway Stations: Dudwa (4 km.), Palia (10 km.), Mailani (37 km.) Nearest Airports: Lucknow, Dhangarhi (Nepal, 35 km.)
The park usually opens in November, after the departure of monsoons (rainy season).
Contact: Director, Dudhwa National Park, Lakhimpur Kheri, Phone: (05872) 52106
Dudhwa National Park Visitors Entrance and service Center is at:.
Image:01 - Dudhwa.jpg|Suheli River Image:Dudhwa4.jpg|Elephants Image:Dudhwa5.jpg|Elephants closeup
- Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
- Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
- Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary
de:Dudhwa-Nationalpark es:Parque Nacional de Dudhwa fr:Parc national de Dudhwa hi: it:Parco nazionale di Dudhwa ml: pnb: ta: uk: