Dudhwa National Park

Dudhwa National Park - The Largest and Thickest Forests Reserve, As the morning sun shines over the 50 feet tall Sal trees, dragonflies stretch out their wings by the gentle warmth of the golden sun. Sitting calmly on the dew- drenched leaves, they bask in the fresh warmth to recharge themselves for the day's flight. . Somewhere in the distance a koyal welcomes the morning with it's musical ode. Very little of the sun is able to cut through the
thickness of the jungle.But what reaches the ground definitely explodes into a majestic display of light and shadowon the canvas of dry leaves. An occasional rustle sendsshivers down the spine.This is Dudhwa National Park,the most precious reserves, that makes excellent wildlfie holiday vacations in India.

Location

Around 420km by road from Delhi and 260km from Lucknow, Dudhwa National Park is spread over 490sq km along with a buffer area of over 100sq km. Besides massive grassland and swamps, the Park boasts of one of the finest qualities of Sal (Shorea robusta) forests in India. Some of these trees are more than 150 years old and over 70 feet tall. But when the area was first notified
as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1965, and later as a National Park in 1977, it faced intense opposition from foresters, game lovers and local inhabitants.

Converted Into National Park

Nobody wanted to lose this precious piece of land that was a life-support system for the locals. It was Billy Arjun Singh who stepped in to see Dudhwa through its fate. Committed to the point of being obsessive, this man stood firmly in favour of the jungle and convinced the erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to notify the forest as a National Park.This was a turning point in the history of
Dudhwa National Park. Till then, the forest was a safe haven for both poachers and timber smugglers.Soon strict measures were taken to save the forest.In 1976, the park boasted of a population of 50 tigers, 41 elephants and 76 bears apart from five species of deer, more than 400 species of birds, a few crocodiles, and some other species of mammals and reptiles. officials claim that today the tiger population in Dudhwa has touched 70. However, the local NGOs believe that the number of tigers in Dudhwa doesn't cross 20.

Barasingha

Dudhwa National Park holidays will take you to your most thrilling holiday vacations where one rendezvous the barasingha, or the swamp deer, which can be seen in herds of more than a 100. India is the only country where this species of deer is found. According to a crude estimate, only 4,000 odd barasinghas have survived on the planet today, out of which more than 2,000 are found in
Dudhwa.Smaller than the sambar, the barasinghas have 12 antlers that can collectively measure more than 100cm in height. A full-grown stag can weigh as much as 180kg and measure 135cm at shoulder height. The coat is slightly woolly, dark brown to pale yellow, adapted perfectly to camouflage the herd in the tall elephant grasses of the region. With the onset of winter, there is plenty of food to eat and warm sun for the deer to bask in. It is the right time for the females to conceive and for the males to form harems. This is the season when the swamps of Dudhwa echo with the frequent wallowing of rutting stags. There is hardly a serious conflict between the adult males. Mock fights entail stiff postures and shrill calls rather than the actual locking of the horns. But the most intriguing behavior of the rutting male swamp deer is to decorate its antlers with grass - probably a ritual before going in for a mass courting.

Time for the New Borns

The onset of spring brings back harmony. The females have conceived and now the herd should be prepared to welcome the newborn fawns. There is no point wearing domineering antlers now. With winter gone, it's time to shed the woolly coats. During this point of time in the year, one can hardly see any fights amongst the males. Suddenly everyone in the herd is busy grazing,
preparing themselves for the harsh summer ahead. This is probably the only Park that doesn't have adequate buffer area to support the main Park. This leads to conflict between human beings and animals that do not respect each other's territories. In the late 70s, Dudhwa became a wildlife hotspot that was famous the world over.

Tiger Population

Another major attraction of the Dudhwa National Park is its tiger population. Holidays in Dudhwa National Park gives ample opportunity to site the majestic creatures, the tiger. Once Dudhwa was severely affected by man-eating tigers. Although today one hardly hears of man-eating tigers in Dudhwa, the structure of the Park could have facilitated the attacks. The reason - indiscriminate
killings by a tiger. On March 2, 1978, the first ever case of man-eating in the history of the National Park was registered. Soon after, three more men were killed. Suddenly, shock and fear gripped the entire area. The entire city lodged a protest with the forest officials, demanding the man-eater be killed.

Jeep and Elephant Safari in Corbett

Riding through the park with elephant trainers can be great fun. Since most of the area has marshy swamps, the most convenient way to move around the park is a ride on elephants back. With a nominal charge, you can move around the park in complete natural way. Jeeps are also available to cut through tedious and slow elephant rides.

How to Reach

By Air

Lucknow, Dhangarhi (Nepal, 35 km.) are the nearest Airports.

Buy Train

Dudhwa (4 km.), Palia (10 km.), Mailani (37 km.) are the railway stations located adjoining to this place.

By Road

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).