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Dudhwa National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Located a bit north-centre of the Uttar Pradesh.
Map of the UP
Location Lakhimpur Kheri District
Nearest city Palia
Coordinates 28°31′N 80°41′E / 28.517°N 80.683°E / 28.517; 80.683Coordinates: 28°31′N 80°41′E / 28.517°N 80.683°E / 28.517; 80.683
Area 490 km² core, 124 km² buffer
Established 1977

Contents

General information

Hog Deer sighted at Dudhwa

Area: 490 km² core, 124 km² buffer

Established: 1958 as a wildlife sanctuary, 1977 as a national park, 1988 as a tiger reserve.

Dudhwa Tiger Reserve lies on the India-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalaya and the plains of the ‘terai’ in Uttar Pradesh. The main attractions of the park are its Swamp Deer (population over 1,600) and tiger (population 98 in 1995). The park is famous for the efforts of ‘Billy’ Arjan Singh, one of India’s leading conservationists, who was instrumental in the creation of Dudhwa as a sanctuary of the Swamp Deer. Later he successfully hand-reared and re-introduced zoo-born Tigers and Leopards into the wilds of Dudhwa.

The forests here are reminiscent of the forests of Bardia on the Nepal side, with huge Sal trees, tall termite mounds, patches of riverine forests and large open grasslands. Its lakes offer excellent opportunities for observing Swamp Deer, Hog Deer, and birds from ‘machans’. In the mid 1980s, Indian Rhinoceros was reintroduced into Dudhwa from Assam and Nepal. The park has a rich bird life, with over 350 species, including the Swamp Francolin, Great Slaty Woodpecker and Bengal Florican.

Dudhwa National Park is full of mosaic grasslands and dense sal forests to swampy marshes. Dudhwa National park’s terrain is as diverse as the wildlife population of it. While the northern edge of the Park lies along the Indo-Nepal border, the River Suheli is in the southern boundary.

Tourist can hope to find some of the rarest species of animals at Dudhwa Wildlife Park, one of them is Hispid Hare, a dark brown animal earlier thought to have become extinct, but rediscovered in 1984. The other animals to be seen here include Swamp Deer, Sambar Deer, Tiger, Rhinoceros, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Barking Deer, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Civet, Fishing Cat and many more.

The major attractions of Dudhwa National Park are the Tigers and Swamp Deer. The park also has a considerable number of the One-horned Rhino. Other major wildlife animals are Elephants, Sloth bear, Jackal, Wild pig, Fishing cat, Leopard, Jungle cat and many. Dudhwa also boasts off quite a good range of migratory birds that settle here during winters. It includes among others, painted storks, black and white necked storks, Saras-Cranes, woodpeckers, barbets, kingfishers, minivans, bee-eaters, bulbuls and varied night birds of prey.

Flora: The Dudhwa National Park is punctuated by extensive stretches of grasslands. The predominant tree species found in the park are Shorea robusta, Terminalis tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, Eugenia jambolana, Terminalia belerica, Bombax malabaricum and Dalbergia sissoo, and more.

Fauna:Swamp Dee r, Chital, Hog Deer, Tiger, Sambar, Rhino, Hispid Hare, a dark brown animal earlier thought to have become extinct, but rediscovered in 1984.

Avian-Fauna: 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.

Major Attractions:

Barasinghas: Passing through open grasslands, one can spot herd of these rare animals. Around half of the surviving population of Barasinghas is found in the park. These animals are smaller than sambar and weigh around 180 kg. The barasinghas have 12 antlers that measure up to 100 cm. Due to their slightly woolly, dark brown to pale yellow cloak, the grasslands acts as the perfect camouflage.

Elephant Rides: The spotting of animals and birds in their natural habitation, and that too sitting on top of an Indian elephant is an experience to treasure for a long time.

Dudhwa National Park Wildlife

The Dudhwa National Park is spread around 500 km2 along with a buffer area of almost 100 km2. 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 70 feet tall. In 1976, the park had a population of 50 tigers, 41 elephants and 76 bears apart from five species of deer, more than 400 species of birds, crocodiles and some other species of mammals and reptiles.

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 Salty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls, barbets, woodpeckers, minuets and many more. Much of the park’s avian fauna is aquatic in nature, and is found around Dudhwa’s lakes- especially Banke Tal.

Dudwa National Park is a stronghold of the barasingha, swamp deer, which can be spotted in herds of hundreds, this species of deer is found only in India. It is interesting to note that around half of the total Barasinghas on the Earth are present in Dudhwa National Park. Smaller than the sambar, the barasinghas have 12 antlers that collectively measure up to 100 cm.

Excursion

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 state 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 state, 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, 9-acre (36,000 m2) retreat. Expanses of lush lawns, fountains, a swimming pool and interesting architectural details make a visit to the palace worthwhile.

General details

Area : 490 km2

Season

Mid November-mid June, the best period being February-April.

Headquarters : Lakhimpur (Kheri), UP, India

Altitude: 150-183 meters Nearest Town: Palia (10 km.) Nearest petrol pump! Hospital / market /bank / Post & Telegraph Office are at Palia

Climate (Dudhwa National Park): Like the rest of north India, Dudhwa also has an extreme type of climate. Summers are hot with the temperature rising up to 40 °C. During winters, the temperature hovers between 20 and 30 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1,600 mm.

Travel information

Drive from Delhi (8–9 hours) or take the train to Shahjehanpur and drive to Dudhwa (3 hours). Alternatively fly to Lucknow and drive to Dudhwa (245 km, 6 hours).

Nearest Railway Station: Dudwa (4 km.), Palia (10 km.), Mailani (37 km.)

Nearest Airport: Lucknow, Dhangarhi (Nepal, 35 km.)

Other Attractions

Frog Temple: This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located in Oyal, which is nearly 10 km from Hurgaon en route Lakhimpur-Kheri. The base of the temple is in the shape of a large frog.

Surat Bhawan Palace: This 19th century Indo-Sarasenic style built 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.

Genetic pollution in wild Bengal Tigers

Tara, a hand reared supposedly Bangal tigress acquired from Twycross Zoo in England in July 1976 was trained by Billy Arjan Singh and released to the wild in Dudhwa National Park, India with the permission of India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in an attempt to prove the experts wrong that zoo bred hand reared Tigers can ever be released in the wild with success. In the 1990s, some tigers from Dhudhwa were observed which had the typical appearance of Siberian tigers: white complexion, pale fur, large head and wide stripes. With recent advances in science it was subsequently found that Siberian Tigers genes have polluted the otherwise pure Bengal Tiger gene pool of Dudhwa National Park. It was proved later that Twycross Zoo had been irresponsible and maintained no breeding records and had given India a hybrid Siberian-Bengal Tigress instead. Dudhwa tigers constitute about 1% of India's total wild population, but the possibility exists of this genetic pollution spreading to other tiger groups, at its worst, this could jeopardize the Bengal tiger as a distinct subspecies.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Indian tiger isn't 100 per cent “swadeshi (Made in India)”; by PALLAVA BAGLA; Indian Express Newspaper; November 19, 1998
  2. ^ Tainted Royalty, WILDLIFE: ROYAL BENGAL TIGER, A controversy arises over the purity of the Indian tiger after DNA samples show Siberian tiger genes. By Subhadra Menon. INDIA TODAY, November 17, 1997
  3. ^ The Tale of Tara, 4: Tara's Heritage from Tiger Territory website
  4. ^ Genetic pollution in wild Bengal tigers, Tiger Territory website
  5. ^ Interview with Billy Arjan Singh: Dudhwa's Tiger man, October 2000, Sanctuary Asia Magazine, sanctuaryasia.com
  6. ^ Mitochondrial DNA sequence divergence among big cats and their hybrids by Pattabhiraman Shankaranarayanan* and Lalji Singh*, *Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 007, India, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, CCMB Campus, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 007, India
  7. ^ Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), Government of India
  8. ^ "Indians Look At Their Big Cats' Genes", Science, Random Samples, Volume 278, Number 5339, Issue of 31 October 1997, 278: 807 (DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5339.807b) (in Random Samples),The American Association for the Advancement of Science
  9. ^ BOOKS By & About Billy Arjan Singh
  10. ^ Book - Tara : The Cocktail Tigress/Ram Lakhan Singh. Edited by Rahul Karmakar. Allahabad, Print World, 2000, xxxviii, 108 p., ills., $22. ISBN 81-7738-000-1. A book criticizing Billy Arjan Singh's release of hand reared hybrid Tigress Tara in the wild at Dudhwa National Park in India

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : India : Plains : Uttar Pradesh : Awadh : Dudhwa National Park

Dudhwa National Park, in Lakhimpur-Kheri District of Uttar Pradesh, adjacent to Nepal border, is one of the major projects for wildlife preservation in India. Spread over an expanse of approximately 811 sq km of marshes, grasslands and dense forests, it is a home for over 38 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles and numerous species of birds. It has two core areas: Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary. They are 15 km apart with agricultural land between them. Unlike other major national parks in India like Corbett, Kaziranga etc., its uncommercialized environment makes it an ideal place for animal and bird lovers to spend a day or two in peace, closest to nature.

Understand

History

After independance of India in 1947, the locals starting encroaching the wilderness of the jungle and the forests started being replaced by paddy and sugarcane. Its location on the Indo-Nepal border provides ideal environment for poachers who hunt for the animals here and sell their products in Nepal, which being a tourist place gives them a huge market for these things. It was a heaven for poachers, game lovers and locals. It is due to the untiring and single-handed efforts of 'Billy' Arjan Singh that this park now stands with its richness. The area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1965 which received a lot of criticism from the people benefitting from the area. Standing up to the point of being obsessive, Billy favoured the decision and went on to convince the erstwhile Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, to declare the forest as a National park in 1977. In 1984-85, seven rhinos were relocated from Assam and Nepal to Dudhwa to rehabilitate a rhino population which lived here 150 years ago. Four years later, it was declared a Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger and currently is a major habitat for tigers in India.

Landscape

The forest is located on the foot-hills of the Himalyas with the flat land covered by spreads of grasslands, swamps and dense forests of tall sal trees. The area is an extremely fertile vast alluvial plain. This mix of ecosystems plays a key role in sustaining a large number living species. The swamps and vast grasslands with tall, yellow grass provide a natural habitat for tigers, deers, rhino etc while dense forests support a variety of other animals and birds also.

Flora and fauna

Dudhwa National Park is a home for 38 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, 400 species of birds and 90 species of fish. The main attraction of Dudhwa is swamp deer. Half of the world's 4000 swamp deer live here. Apart from this, four more types of deer found here: hog deer, spotted deer, barking deer and sambar. The officials figure on the population of tigers is 101 but according to Billy himself there is not enough prey to support more than 20 tigers. The rhino population has increased from 7 to 16 since 1984. There are a few leopards also and recently a hispid hare has also been seen. Wild boars, elephants and bears also give an occasional sighting here.

Fees/Permits

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.

Sleep

Camping

Karavan Heritage and Nature Society organizes National Environment Science Camp at Dudhwa National Park every year in the months of November -December and January. The theme of the Camp this year is Re-discover the Garden of Eden. The objective of the Camp is to Observe, Experience and Conserve our Pristine Environment by the means of great games and stimulating activities. The Camp has been structured on the lines of a formidable Decathlon; an Olympics Race with 10 challenging dares. Some really interesting personalities will grace the Camp; Javaman, an extinct ancestor; Major yA-mA, the fierce Warden of Dudhwa and tricky Po-Ching, the dread of Dudhwa. Jungle Tents: Pick your Luxury Suites: Banke, Tara, RLS, Billy, Jogi and many more. Our Jungle Tents are named after the legends of Dudhwa. The tents are large roomy, spacious and comfortable. They are made of Canvas and each tent can accommodate 8 students. The tents can be zipped open and closed. The entire tent can be sealed and secured. Our tents provide warmth in winters and are cool in summers. They are highly aesthetic and the layout is perfect. The color merges with the surroundings and gives you a feeling of being a pioneer naturalist a la Corbett. We provide cozy and comfortable bedding consisting of mattresses, sheets, pillows and quilts (or sleeping sheets, as per the season) Every room tent is provided a semi-permanent toilet tent.

Delicious Food: Karavan's logistics team toils its heart out to arrange for healthy, wholesome, mouthwatering dishes, desserts, soups, great snacks. The culinary delights of our logistics team are not to be savored elsewhere.

Hygiene and Sanitation: As a matter of principle and also from the practical point of view, our Campsite is always spic and span. If the hygiene and sanitation of a Campsite is found wanting, the best experience stands ruined! The fact that our campsite is always tidy has been highly appreciated. The Forest Department extends its cooperation to us for this very reason. We encourage the Campers to abide by the concept of Zero-Pollution throughout the camp and we have received excellent support.

Environment Policy: We observe a very strict environment policy of Zero-Pollution. Wastage of resources (fuel, lighting, water, paper etc.) is minimal. We make a conscientious effort not to disturb the wildlife by noise and loud music. We serve only vegetarian food. Waste is properly segregated. All the organic waste is disposed in a pit. Bio-non degradable waste is collected in sacks and taken away for municipal disposal. We vacate the Campsite in its original state. It is difficult to imagine if it was here that someone lodged here at all.

Transport: 

Karavan arranges for quality transport: good busses and jeeps.

Humble Luxuries: A Jungle Camp experience ought to be made mandatory. It instills a certain discipline and attitude of toughness. In these circumstances of limited resources, Karavan provides things of such convenience that it fills you with joy; because their utility cannot be visualized. It is a sheer surprise to find it with you when you need these ‘little things’ most.

A Personal Touch: you will find our entire staff very disciplined and courteous. All your concerns will be addressed to sincerely.

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