Tucked near the foothills of the Himalayas, Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand. It is the famous way towards the hill station of Mussoorie. Due to its salubrious climate, tourists visit Dehradun all year round and explore famous places like Kempty Falls and Robber’s Cave. But, do you know that you can witness wildlife in Dehradun? Yes! The city also holds some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. If you were not aware of this then here are some of the popular spots where you can explore the best wildlife in Dehradun.
So, here is a checklist of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that you can explore in Dehradun. Do not wait for another second and note them down for future reference.
1. Rajaji Tiger Reserve And National Park
Settled amidst the Shivalik ranges and near the foothills of the Himalayas, Rajaji National Park is a Tiger Reserve which is spread over an area of 820 sq. km. in Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, and Haridwar. After Jim Corbett, this park is the second tiger reserve in Uttarakhand. This national park was emerged by combining three wildlife sanctuaries, Rajaji, Chilla and Motichur in 1983 and was named after the famous freedom fighter, Sri C. Rajagopalachari, also known as Rajaji. While there are 4 gates of this park (Motichur, Jhilmil, Chilla and Ranipur), the Chilla gate is mostly preferred for entry.
The national park holds a diverse range of flora and fauna with over 300 bird species and 315 avian species. It is home to Himalayan bear, Samba deer, Himalayan Yellow-throated Marten, Common Krait, Himalayan-pied Kingfishers, Monitor Lizard, and others. Moreover, the rivers flowing through this park provides shelter to different fish species like goonch and chilwa. Tourists can opt for wild safaris inside the park to explore the flora and fauna. The best time to visit this park is from December to March as it opens every year between November and June.
If there are wildlife enthusiasts who want to explore wildlife in Dehradun, then Rajaji National Park is the place to be.
Address: 5/1, Ansari Road, Mohand Range, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001
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2. Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Established in 1967, Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary is positioned at the confluence of Assan and Yamuna Rivers. This sanctuary is popularly known as Dhalipur Lake and tourists often visit it for bird watching. It shelters 53 species of birds and 19 from these species migrate from Eurasia in the winter season. Some of the migratory species of birds include Pintail, Gadwall, Red Crested Tufted Duck, Shoveller and Brahminy Duck. The ideal time to visit this sanctuary is between October and December or in March and April. Apart from this, professional bird watchers plan a trip to Dehradun between May and September as several migratory birds take abode here for a while. To reach this sanctuary, you have to hire a taxi from Dehradun as it is 40 km away from the city.
Address: Jhanda Mohalla, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001
3. Benog Wildlife Sanctuary
Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, alias Vinog Mountain Quail Sanctuary, was authorized in the year 1993. Mostly a part of the famous Rajaji National Park, it is sprawled in an area of 339 hectares and is one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in Dehradun. It is full of various medicinal plants and is home to Himalayan goat, leopard, bear and various indigenous birds including red-billed blue magpie and white-capped water redstart. The place is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and Aglar River flows through the sanctuary which makes this spot ideal for bird watchers and nature lovers. The best time to visit the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary is in the months of summer.
Address: Mussoorie Range, Uttarakhand 248179
4. Jabarkhet Nature Reserve
Jabarkhet Nature Reserve (JNR) is private property but it is open to the public for exploration. It provides shelter to wildlife including insects, mammals and birds. Around 100 bird species can be found here and if you are specifically looking for a Kaleej pheasant, then my friend you have to definitely go to JNR. Apart from this, while walking on the trail you may come across Lammergeier vultures, Himalayan Griffon, magpies, jays and thrushes. If you are visiting in the summer season then you will be able to see over 300 varieties of flowers in the field. Each season brings its own beauty with it thus there is no ideal time to visit this place. Moreover, there are around 60 species of fungi and mushrooms available in this reserve, out of which some are poisonous. When in Mussoorie, do not forget to include this magnificent reserve in your itinerary.
Address: Near Bataghat, Dhanolti Road, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand 248122
5. Malsi Deer Park
Malsi Deer Park, a mini-zoological park, is one of the must-visit places to explore wildlife in Dehradun. The place is well-known for reserving one of the largest populations of deer in the country. It shelters Nilgai and two-horned deer along with other animal species like peacocks and tigers. It has gained popularity as a picnic spot or for family outing due to a salubrious environment and picturesque scene. It is just 10 km away from Dehradun and can be easily reached via road. Though Malsi Deer Park can be visited all year round, the best time to visit this place is between April and July due to pleasant weather in hills.
Address: Diversion, Mussoorie Rd, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248009
If you are a nature and animal lover, then you cannot miss out to discover the marvellous wildlife in Dehradun. Some of these national parks and sanctuaries shelter endangered species also. To experience some of the best nature and wildlife tours in Dehradun, include these splendid places in your itinerary for the next getaway to Uttarakhand.
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