BY Seema Shukla
Rajaji National Park is located in three districts Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. Uttarakhand is spread in 820.20 Sq.Km.on both sides of the river Ganges. It is a very rich biodiversity National Park. It was named after the second and last Governor-General of independent India C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji). He was a prominent leader of the freedom struggle and one of the first recipients of India`s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (in 1954).
Rajaji National Park is well connected by train, road and air from all big cities like Delhi. Visitors can reach this National Park from Delhi or Lucknow. The distance is 220 km from Delhi and from Lucknow, it is 510km. Visitors can reach this park via crossing Meerut, Khatauli, Muzaffar Nagar, Roorkee, Haridwar to Chilla. Another way to reach this National Park is by railway. The nearest railhead is at Haridwar (24Km.), Dehradun (56Km.) and Rishikesh (18 Km). The tourist can also use airways to reach here. They can reach this national park via Jolly Grant, an airport that is approximately 35km away from this national park.
The park is dedicated to tigers, and it works like a tiger reserve. The main attraction of this park are Elephants, 12 Tigers, 250 Panthers and a good prey base including Spotted Deer, Sambhar, Wild Boar, Barking deer, Goral Two kinds of Bears Himalayan Black and Sloth, and over 400 bird species makes Rajaji National Park perfect wildlife and bird-watching destination.
This park remains open from 15th November to 15th June. It is closed in the rainy season. The visitors can visit this park between 6 AM to 7 PM. The management of Raja National Park provides Gypsy at the cost of Rs.2500 from the park gate. The tourist can also take their vehicle by paying with minimum entry charges of Rs.250/entry of vehicle for Indians and Rs.500/entry of vehicle for foreigners. They can also hire a general guide by paying Rs.600 and Rs.1000 - Rs.1500 for an experienced Bird and wildlife guide. The management also provides student discounts but to avail of this discount, the institutional educational tour certificate is required. The entry of children below 3 years is free. Indian tourist can take their still cameras for free foreigners have to pay Rs.50 to carry their cameras.
The management of Rajaji National Park has enlisted some don’ts for the national park like visitors’ entry after sunset and before sunrise is prohibited in the park. Night driving is not allowed in the park. Littering is not allowed in the park. Rajaji National Park is a fire hazard area. Visitors are advised not to kindly lit any fire or throw away lit matches and cigarettes in the forest or on forest roads. Fishing, feeding wild animals, and damaging plant or animal life are restricted in the park. Visitors cannot take their pets with them. Playing music, blowing horns, fast driving, shouting, teasing, or chasing animals are also prohibited.
Raja ji National Park is a very good place to visit for nature lovers.
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