Location: Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.
Area: 614 square kilometers.
Nearest Airport: Lucknow
Nearest Town: Dudhwa (4km)
Nearest Railway Station: Dudhwa (4 km), Palia (10 km) and Mailani (37 km)
Safari: Mini buses, Jeeps and Elephant Safaris.
Entry Fee: Rs 50 for Indian citizen and foreigners. Rs.150 for vehicles
Best Time to Visit: October-April
Number of Fauna Species: 37 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles.
Number of Avifauna Species: 400
The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is located in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the finest examples of the exceedingly diverse and productive Terai eco-systems. The reserve park is spread over an area of 614 sq km. The northern edge of the reserve lies along the Indo-Nepal border while the river Suheli marks the southern boundary.
The loss in the natural habitats of the swamp deer led to a drastic decline in their numbers. In order to save the rest of the population, a small area named the Sonaripur Sanctuary was remarked in 1958 for the conservation of this rare species of deer. Later, the area was extended to 212 sq km and was renamed as the Dudhwa Sanctuary.
In 1977, the area was further extended to over 614 sq km and was declared a National Park. Eleven years later, Dudhwa National Park became a part of Project Tiger in the year 1988. After this, the area of the Kishanpur Sanctuary was added to create the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
These forests had been the habitat of the rhinoceros almost 150 years ago. Apart from the swamp deer, a major rhinoceros rehabilitation project was started in 1984. Five rhinos were relocated from Assam but two of the females died due to the strains of transportation. Four more female rhinos from Nepal were brought here to replace these in 1985.
There are at least 37 species of mammals and 16 species of reptiles. The reserve park is a home to a large number of rare and endangered species including Bengal Floricans, Wild Pig, Jackal Leopard, Sloth Bear, Hispid Hare, Tiger and the lesser Cats such as Fishing Cat, Civet, Leopard Cat and Jungle Cat. Dudhwa Tiger Reserve has 101 tigers, 1800 Barasingha and four leopards.
The Hispid Hare has been sighted in this area only recently. The herds of deer are often spotted especially around the grassy wetlands of the Sathania and Kakraha blocks.
There are 400 species of avifauna or the birds of a particular region. The reserve is also abundant in water birds both local and migratory. There are Bulbul, Black and White Necked Storks, Painted Cranes and night birds such as Barbets, Bee Eaters, Great Indian Horned Owl, Jungle Owlet, Kingfishers, Minivets and Woodpeckers. The avian fauna is majorly aquatic in nature and can be seen around the lakes of Dudhwa such as Bank Tal.
The major vegetation types in this region are Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forest, Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest, Riparian and Swamp Forest and Dry Deciduous Forest. The dominant tree species are Shorea robusta, Terminalis tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, Terminalia belerica, Eugenia jambolana, Dalbergia sissoo and Bombax malabaricum. The various types of forests throughout the park are interrupted by wide stretches of mesophyllous grasslands locally known as the phantas.
Dudhwa National Park experiences an extreme type of climate. Summers are usually hot with the temperature rising up to maximum of 40°C. The winters are comparatively mild with the temperature ranging between 20°C and 30°C. The park receives an average annual rainfall of 1,600 mm.
During summers, light cotton clothes should be taken along while the light woolens are perfect for the winters.
The best time to visit the Dudhwa National Park is from October to April.
Tourists can hire mini buses and Jeeps in order to move within the park. There are also Elephant rides through the park.
You can visit the Frog Temple at Oyal, which is on the way to Dudhwa Reserve Park at a distance of 10 km from Hargaon. It is unique because of its architecture. The former Maharajas of the Oyal state in the district of Lakhimpur-Kheri built the temple. The temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The foundation of the stone temple is built in the shape of a large frog. The temple is on the route to Lakhimpur-Kheri and Dudhwa.
The Surat Bhawan Palace is one of the famous palaces of the Terai region. The rulers of the Singhai state build the palace in the Indo-Saracenic style. It is not far from the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and is on the way to the Lakhimpur-Nighasan-Dudhwa route. The palace is spread over a sprawling nine-acre of green area. The palace should be visited for the expansive lush green lawns, fountains, and a swimming pool and above all of the interesting architectural details of the palace.
By Air: The nearest airport to the Dudhwa National Park is the airport in Lucknow, which is well connected with many places in India including the metros like Delhi and Mumbai by frequent flights.
By Rail: The nearest railway stations from the Dudhwa National Park are at Dudhwa; 4 km, Palia; 10 km and Mailani; 37 km. Dudhwa is on the meter gauge of the North-Eastern Railway section and is connected via Mailani to Lucknow and Nainital.
By Road: The Dudhwa National Park is connected by road also. A drive from Delhi takes 8 to 9 hours and 3 hours from Shahjahanpur.
The accommodation inside the Park is provided by the Forest Department at its various centers. The Forest Rest Houses, Swiss Cottage Tents and Tharu Huts are available at Dudhwa, Sathiana, Bankatti, Sonaripur and Kila. The Wildlife Tours of India offers tour packages for the Dudhwa Wildlife National Park.
Palia is the nearest place to the Dudhwa National Park where the Post and Telegraph Offices are situated. STD/ISD facilities are easily available over here. Internet facilities are not available in the vicinity of the reserve.