Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
Stretching over an area of some 811 sq km (with a core area of 648 sq km),
Dudhwa National Park lies amid the warm, tropical forests of the terai,
in the foothills of the Himalayas. Sprawling along Indias border with
Nepal, Dudhwa is a tiger reserve, and lies north of the Suheli river.
The parks thick sal forests, extensive grasslands and wet marshes
harbour a wide range of wildlife, including tiger, swamp deer (barasingha),
elephant, jackal, sloth bear, leopard cat, jungle cat, civet, fishing cat
and a vast number of birds.
Dudhwas birds, in particular, are a delight for any avid birdwatcher-
plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls, barbets, woodpeckers, minivets
and many more, including some rare species like the Bengal florican. Much
of the parks avian fauna is aquatic in nature, and is found around
Dudhwas lakes- especially Banke Tal.
The great Indian one-horned rhino, which was hunted out of existence in
this part of the country by the end of the 19th century, has also now been
reintroduced in Dudhwa from other sanctuaries in Nepal and India. Brought
to Dudhwa in 1985, rhino populations have increased marginally over the
years since. Visitors, however, are not allowed into the rhino zone yet,
so dont count on seeing any.
Dudhwa had, in the recent past, been facing problems of encroachment and
poaching, both of which have had an adverse effect on the parks ecology.
Swamp deer populations, especially, had fallen, but recent surveys show
that the parks recovering, slowly but surely.
All visitors to Dudhwa National park have to get entry permits from the
Director of the Park, whose office is at the district headquarters of Lakhimpur
Kheri. Entry costs are roughly Rs 100 for three days, for foreigners. Indians
pay less, and extra charges are levied for vehicles and cameras. A daily
fee of between Rs 50 and Rs 100 is charged for a vehicle, depending upon
The town of Bareilly is the nearest major railhead and has train connections
to most major cities in northern India, including Delhi and Lucknow. Dudhwa
has its own station too, but connections to it are scarce. Palia, 10 km
from Dudhwa, also has a few trains coming in from other parts of Uttar
The nearest airport is at Lucknow, 250 km from Dudhwa.
Both from Lucknow and from Bareilly (besides other cities like Delhi) there
are good road connections to Dudhwa via Palia. Private coaches and buses
operated by the UP State Road Transport Corporation connect Palia to Bareilly,
Delhi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur and other towns.
Vehicles can be hired in Dudhwa to go on a tour of the park; a more eco-friendly-
and much more exciting- option is to take a ride on one of the park elephants.
Elephant rides are arranged in the morning and the evening, when there are
more chances of spotting animals.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Dudhwa is between November and May. The park remains
open to the public from November to June, but by June its usually
a little too hot for comfort. Remember to take your woollens along if youre
going between December and February- it can get pretty chilly here, in the
foothills of the Terai.