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Rajaji National Park

The home of the mighty elephants

A small state in northern India, Uttarakhand boasts of some of the country’s largest sanctuaries. And while the Corbett National Park is one of the most famous parks in the state, 200 odd kms from the same, is Rajaji National Park that is today home to not just elephants, but also tigers, panthers and colourful birds like the great pied hornbill. Spread over 820 square kilometres, fossils of 50 species of elephants (dating back to 10 million years) were also found inside the national park. Right now, unfortunately only one species of elephants survive in the country, and since this park has more than 500 of them, your chances of spotting these majestic beasts are literally the best.

Established in 1983, Rajaji National Park was initially dividied into three different sanctuaries, namely Rajaji sanctuary, Chilla sanctuary and Motichur sanctuary. While Rajaji sanctuary was started in 1948, Motichur was established in 1964 and Chill sanctuary was started in 1977. However in 1983, the government decided to bring all the above three mentioned sanctuaries under one roof and this is how Rajaji National Park came into existence. The new sanctuary was named after the first Govenor General of Independent India, Raj Gopalacharya who was also a freedom fighter. He was well known as Rajaji, and that is how the park became famous as Rajaji National Park. 

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, this park is spread across three districts of Uttarakhand, including Haridwar, Pauri Garhwal and Dehradhun. Boasting of a wide variety of flora and fauna, that includes different types of plants/trees and animals including leopards, tigers and goats, this park is a perfect wildlife getaway, especially for those who live in North India.  

How to get there:
  • By Air: Nearest airport is Dehradun Airport(35km)
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is Rishikesh Railway Station(18km)
  • By Road: Delhi(230km)
Best time to visit:
  • The main gate of Rajaji National Park is at Chilla, and can be accessed from Delhi by road along NH58 (223 km/6-7 hours).
  • The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun (32km/1 hour) and you can take a taxi from the airport to the park gate.
  • The closest railway station is at Haridwar (9km/30mins), which is well connected by trains from around India, and is a short taxi trip to the Chilla Gate.
V Recommended: Activities to do
V Recommended: Things to buy
Shopping in Rajaji National Park
There is not much shopping that you can do in Rajaji National Park, exept for some pottery items and jungle souveniers.    If however you are looking to shop for some religious items, you can always head to either Rishikesh or Haridwar, where you can pick up various items like rudraksh, handlooms, brass and wooden decorative pieces & traditional wears. .
Getting there
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