Rajaji National Park Home > Uttarakhand > Attractions > Wildlife > Rajaji National Park

Rajaji National Park

Close to the foothills of the Himalayas, covered by the Shivalik is a famous national park in India names as Rajaji National Park. It is stretched over an area of more than 820 square kilometres and touches three districts of Uttarakhand: Pauri Garhwal, Dehradun and Haridwar. Prior to 1983, this entire area was divided into three wildlife sanctuaries, with the names Rajaji, Motichur and Chilla, which were then merged into one and given its present name.

Rajaji National Park got its name from C. Rajagopalachari (nicknamed as Rajaji), who was the first recipient of Bharat Ratna – India’s highest civilian award. Rajaji served as the first and the last governor general of Independent India, he also played a major role in India struggle for freedom.

The rich biodiversity and picturesque beauty of this park serves as a major attraction for both wildlife enthusiasts as well as nature lovers. The Rajaji and Motichur sanctuaries are contiguous and the Chilla River and the Ganges River separates the Chilla Sanctuary on the south east. Rajaji and Motichur wildlife sanctuaries lie to the south and north of the Shivalik ridge and they are divided by numerous ravines that flow down from the main ridge. In the plains, these ravines becomes boulder filled streams.

These streams have ragging torrents during the time of rainy season but they remain dry during most part of the year. The entire area is filled with various types of trees ranging from deciduous to semi-evergreen, along with terrain grassland and mixed broad leaved. This area has been categorised as Indus-Ganges Monsoon forest. Most of the portion is dominated by lofty strands of Sal.

Geography and Climate

Rajaji National Park represents the Shivalik Eco-system and is situated along the foothills of the Himalayan range. On the map it is situated between Dehradun (Latitude 300 20’ North and Longitude 780 01’ 15 East) and Haridwar (Latitude 290 56’ 40 and Longitude 770 54’ 30 East). It is around 300 meters to 1500 meters above sea level.

The climate of this reason is quite pleasant throughout the year. Summer seasons are quite dry. There had been an incident in the past when wild fire broke out in the national park. Tourists are asked not to ignite any kind of spark when they are inside the park. Smokers are particularly instructed to put off the smoke. On the other hand, rainy seasons are very wet. Most of the streams here remain quite dry during throughout the year, but during the rainy season they are flooded with water.

It is for this reason the park remain closed during rainy season. The muddy terrain becomes quite slippery during the rainy season and it becomes quite difficult to tread along the uneven paths during this time.

Flora and Fauna

Rajaji National Park is thickly foliated by Sal forest and various other types of trees which include the Khair-Sissoo and northern dry deciduous and Western Gangetic Moist forest. The drier southern margins of the park are covered by low alluvial savannah woodlands. On the high reaches of the hills one can find Shivalik chir pine.

The park is home to wild boar, sambhar deer, barking deer, cheetal, antelopes such as goral, Nilgai and the Asian elephant. These elephants are mainly towards the western and northern most boundaries and are protected under the Project Elephant. The primates include the Hanuman langur and the Rhesus Macaque. The park also has some small mammals in the form of the Indian porcupine and the Indian hare.

Many types of reptiles are also found in this park such as the monitor lizard, Indian Cobra, Common Krait, King Cobra and Pythons. More than four hundred species of bird can also be found in the park. Some of the residents of this park are crimson sunbird, crescent kingfisher, and oriental pied hornbill.

This park serves as the first landing place for migratory birds after they cross over the mighty Himalayas and enter the Indian subcontinent. People who are looking for real adventure in Indian safari must surely pay a visit to this place. You can miss an action within the blink of an eye. Spend some time here and see how it feels like to be in the Nature in its most raw form. Reptiles slither across the earth, birds shriek in the sky, the deer call for help and predators prowl the wild pathways. This park is also home to Royal Bengal Tiger and other carnivores such as sloth beers, civets, leopard cat, jungle cat, hyena, and jackal.

Wildlife lovers can find nearly 300 species of birds here. There are good numbers of Peacock – the national bird of India. The beauty of this place is enhanced by different types of small birds and butterflies. Great hornbill, slaty headed Parakeets, Drongo Cuckoo, Brown Hawk-owl, and Chestnut tailed Starling, Golden spectacled Warbler; Rusty cheeked Scimitar, Thrushes, Finches, woodpeckers and so on. This place is also home to many types of migratory birds.


Pine trees, grasslands, scrubland, riverine vegetation, and broadleaved deciduous forests form the flora of Rajaji national park. The vivacious wildlife here finds their home in the dense jungle here. The vivid animal life that inhibits here is because of the varied topography of the national park. The under-wood is often absent and is light, consisting of Aonla (Emblicaofficinalis), Chamaror (Ahretialaevis), Sandan (OugeiniaOojeinensis), Baans (Dendrocalamusstrictus), Arjun (Terminaliaarjuna), Palash (Buteamonosperma), Shisham (Dalbergiasissoo) and Bel (AegleMarmelos). There are several other species of plants as well.

Rules of the Park

Tourist who come and visit Rajaji National Park must be aware of certain things for their own protection and for others. Remember, you are going at a place filled with wild animals and they at times don’t like the presence of human beings. We are, in essence, entering their territory. Let us take a look at some Do’s and Don’ts while visiting national park.


Tourist should avoid wearing bright coloured clothes such as white and red. They should wear clothes that have dull colour such as grey, olive green or khaki.

Tourist should try to maintain peace when they are roaming in the jungle, like when they are in watch towers and in vehicles. Like said before, they can miss an action within the blink of an eye, so be watchful and observing, otherwise you may scare away someone.

Tourist should always follow the instructions given by the guide. Always maintain a comfortable distance between you and the wild life. Never forget, if you move closer, these animals may feel threatened and may attack you.


Tourists are not allowed to move inside the park before sunrise and after sunset. No one is allowed to drive inside the park during night time. Show that you are a good citizen and behave in a decent manner. You have come here to enjoy, but never forget civic sense; essentially do not throw polythene, trash, peels of fruit away in a careless manner.

This national park is quite prone to fire breakout, particularly during dry summer season. Tourists should remember not to light any kind of fire, on forest roads or in the forest. Never try to feed the animals and damage any plants. Tourists are not allowed to carry their pets inside the park and fishing is prohibited. At the time of taking pictures, visitors are asked not to move away from the jeep.

Entry and Accommodation

In order to visit the park tourist are required to obtain an entry permit, which are available on all the entry gates of the national park. Tourists have a time limit of three hours to visit the park. Entry fee for Indian tourist is Rs. 150 and for Foreigners is Rs. 600. For those who want to hire a gypsy will have to spend Rs. 1250 and charges for taking a guide is Rs. 200.

Entry charges for vehicle are Rs. 250 for Indians and Rs. 500 per entry for foreigners. The park remains closed during rainy season, so tourist should come here only from 15th November to 15th June. There are limited numbers of gypsies available for booking for so tourist should book them in advance. Indians can take their still cameras for free, but foreigners have to pay Rs. 50.

There are limited numbers of options for staying in Rajaji National Park. Wild Brook Retreat provides comfortable eco-friendly cottages in the wilderness. This accommodation is close to Vindhya Vasini temple which is 24 km. from Haridwar near Gohari range.

The Jungle Safari in Rajaji National Park

Before entering the premise of the park, it is essential to take the ticket and permission from the forest department. Jeep Safaris are available twice in a day for three hours each, in the morning and in the evening. Tourists are allowed only from sunrise to sunset. Inside the park, open keeps take the tourist through unmetalled treks and rugged terrain. They get the opportunity to see wild life from close proximity as the jeep move over the hills.

Lodges are placed at the edge of the park and provide the opportunity to walk outside the park, watch birds, rafting in Ganges under the guidance of experts, and plunge in stream. Tourists, who want to learn rafting, can do so through basic rafting course. Rafting can be done at a stretch of 12 km with expert trainers.

How to Reach

People who are coming from the capital of India Delhi can reach Rajaji National Park by travelling through Meerut, Khatauli, Muzzafarnagar, Roorke, Haridwar and Chilla. This park is located on the other side of the Ganges River from Chilla.

By Air

Nearest airport from this park is thirty-five kilometres away from Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. The northern boundary of the park is only few kilometres away from Jolly Grant airport. It takes around 55 minutes to fly by air from Delhi to Dehradun.

By Rail

Nearest major railway station from this place is Rishikesh which is eighteen kilometres away, Haridwar (24 km.) and Dehradun (56 km.).

By Road

Rajaji National Park is around 500 km. from Lucknow and 220 km. from Delhi. From Haridwar railway station, Chilla is 8 km. and all the major cities are well connected to it. Rishikesh is nearly 24 km by road.

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