The Dudhwa National Park lies on the India Nepal border in the foothills of Himalaya and the plains of Terrai.This park existed since 1879 and got the status of National Park in 1977.Only eleven years later after the addition of Kishanpur Sanctuary Dudhwa became a part of Project Tiger. The Dudhwa National park sprawls over an area of about 614 sq. Km and the park is noted for its diverse and productive tarai eco-systems. The Dudhwa National Park is home to a diverse population of wildlife with one of the apt terrain ranging from mosaic grasslands to dense sal forests and swampy marshes. Though the population of tiger in Dudhwa is numerous it is very difficult to spot out because of the dense nature of the forest. The other wildlife population here includes Leopards, Hispid Hares, Swamp Deer (Barasingha) and Rhinos thrive amidst the vegetation.
The Dudhwa National Park is situated in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh where the northern edge of the forest lies close to the Indo-Nepal border. The river Suheli marks the southern boundary of the Dudhwa National park.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit the Dudhwa National Park is between the months of November to May and it remains closed from July to October.
The predominant vegetation or the flora of the Dudhwa National Park are tropical semi-evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forest, riparian and swamp forest and dry deciduous forest. The forest also harbours different tree species like Shorea robusta, Terminalis tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, Terminalia belerica, Eugenia jambolana, Dalbergia sissoo, and Bombax malabaricum.The mesophyllous grasslands called as the phantas can be seen in wide stretches throughout the entire area of the Dudhwa National Park.
The Dudhwa National park has a range of wildlife like sloth bear, ratel, civet, jackal, the lesser cats like the leopard cat, fishing cat and jungle cats; varieties of deer - the beautiful spotted deer or chital, hog deer and barking deer. The forest is also noted for the hispid hare which was considered extinct but to conservationist’s surprise it was rediscovered in 1984.This is a dark brown animal with bristly fur. The forest is also very famous for Barasinghas where at least half of the world's population can be seen. The barasingha which are seen in huge herds are physically smaller than the sambar and have 12 antlers that collectively measure up to 100 cm.The Dudhwa National park is also quite reputed for it was the habitat of rhinoceros even 150 years ago. The rhinoceros rehabilitation project was started in 1984 where five rhinos were transferred from Assam but two of the females died due to the strain of transportation. These were replaced in 1985 by four more females from Nepal.
The avian population in Dudhwa includes both native and migratory birds and is a major delight for avid bird watcher. It includes nearly 400 species of birds like Swamp Partridge, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican, plenty of painted storks, sarus cranes, owls, barbets, woodpeckers, minivets and many more. Much of the park’s avian fauna is aquatic in nature, and is found around Dudhwa’s lakes- especially Banke Tal.The avian species of Dudhwa National park also includes a range of owls like the great Indian horned owl, the brown fish owl, the dusky horned owl, scoops owl, jungle owlet, the brown wood owl and tawny fish owl.
The short nosed crocodile - the mugger and otters can be seen along the river banks as well as pythons and monitor lizards.
The en route to Dudhwa leads to a place called Oyal which is noted for its unique frog temple. This temple is located in the Lakhimpur-Kheri district whose presiding deity is Lord Shiva. This stone temple is the only one of its kind in India which is built in the shape of a frog by the Maharajas of the Oyal state.
SURAT BHAWAN PALACE
| This palace is situated on Lakhimpur-Nighasan-Dudhwa route and sprawls over an area of nine acres in the Terai area. The Surat Bhawan palace was built by he rulers of Singhai state in the Indo-Saracenic style with lush green lawns, fountains and swimming pool.The other nearby places which can be visited from Dudhwa National park is Lucknow at a distance of about 182kms and Delhi and its neighboring places.
The Forest Department of the Dudhwa National Park has set up various rest houses within the park.
- Forest Rest House, Dudhwa.
- Forest Rest House, Sathiana.
- Forest Rest House, Bankatti.
- Forest Rest House, Sonaripur.
- Forest Rest House, Kila.
- Tharu Huts, Dudhwa.
EAT OUTS AND PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION
Apart for the accommodation arranged by the Forest department there are number of middle range private hotels at nearest town Palia.
- Hotel Sharda, Palia. Phone 05871-233444.
- Hotel Pushpanjali, Nighasan Road, Palia. 233172.
- Bharat Lodge, Palia, Lakhimpur. 233536.
- Hotel Rai Palace - Palia. Tel. No. 235233, 298098.
- Hotel Mahendra, Dudhwa National Park Road, Palia, Phone 233247.
- Hotel Basera, Station Road, Palia. Phone 233835.
- Hotel Roopam, Palia. Tel. No. 9415166102
- Hotel Amar, Palia. Tel. No. 234211.
Lucknow is the closest airport.Indian Airlines operates a number of flights to Lucknow from major cities across the country. Air Sahara flies from Mumbai to Lucknow everyday.The next closest airport outside India is Nepal at a distance of 35 kms from Dudhwa.
UPSRTC and private bus services link Palia to Lakhimpur Kheri, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, Delhi etc. Buses ply frequently between Palia and Dudhwa.
The nearest railheads are Dudhwa (4 kms), Palia (10 kms) and Mailani (37 kms), however the most convenient way would be to travel to Lucknow and hit the road or take a train to any of the nearer stations from there. Some of the important daily trains from Delhi to Lucknow are Kaifiyat Exp.,Lucknow Mail,Shramjeni N Exp.,Vaishali Exp.