Indian Jungle Safari: Dudhwa’s 10 Mystifying Secrets Revealed!
Looking for a ‘Great Indian Jungle Safari’ but not sure where to head to? Well, not too far away from the Himalayan foothills and the borders of Nepal, lies the small Indian town of Uttar Pradesh, called Palia Kalan. India’s most well-kept secret – an exotic forest laden with exotic wildlife in an incredibly rare kind of ecosystem, is a hop, skip and a jump away from this quaint little town.
Great Indian Jungle Safari In Dudhwa
Ask the locals if you will, and you’ll find them going all praises for the Dudhwa National Park & Wildlife Reserve located in the vicinity. We have listed 12 amazing facts about the jungle that is sure to drag you off your chair and right into a thrilling jungle safari expedition in Dudhwa!
10 Incredible Facts Of Jungle Safari In Dudhwa
Table Of Contents
1. 4 Unique Forests Of The Terai Belt
The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is a wildlife conservation program undertaken by the Uttar Pradesh tourism board. Its diverse Terai ecosystem makes it is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries of India. The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve comprises of three of the best national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India, namely the Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat Wildlife sanctuary and Kishanpur Wildlife sanctuary. These protected areas provide a natural ecosystem to the wildlife with minimum human interference.
The naturalists assigned to you at the Dudhwa National Park and Tiger Reserve enhance your birding and safari experience with quality binoculars and share useful information about the forest’s wildlife. Apart from the Dudhwa Tiger Reserves, your Great Indian Jungle Safari also lets you venture into the forests of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. This reserve is known for its high wildlife conservation value since it houses the perfect ecosystem for the Tigers endemic to the Terai region.
2. A Rare & Diverse Ecosystem
A wildlife safari at the Dudhwa and Pilibhit wildlife reserves do not solely focus on spotting the Royal Bengal tigers; instead, the focus is to discover every aspect of the jungle and all its creatures in its truest sense.
The Terai region is a strip of forest land that covers northern India and southern Nepal. The forest belt of Terai runs parallel to the lower Himalayan ranges and the Gangetic plains. Few of the best and famous wildlife sanctuaries of India as well as Southern Nepal fall into the Terai region. The diverse ecosystems of these wildlife sanctuaries in Terai include huge open spaces of grasslands, savannas, dense forests, rivers, lakes and swamps which largely offers a diverse ecosystem for wildlife to thrive in.
The boundaries of the Pilibhit Wildlife Reserve and Kishanpur Wildlife sanctuary are interconnected. Also, the forest of Kishanpur further intersperses with the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. This enables the wildlife to freely move around, whilst increasing your chances of animal sightings and also spotting of the rare and endangered species of India endemic to Terai.
The Jungle Is Vast, Have You Seen It ALL?
Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers across the globe love the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Its diverse ecosystem is in fact what makes the wildlife sanctuaries of Terai considered one of the best wildlife safari parks in India!
3. Tall Grasslands – World’s Rarest Grass Type!
Elephant Grass (Saccharum) in Dudhwa is the world’s tallest & fastest growing grass species! It is the most dominant grass species in the Dudhwa National Park and grows up to an average height of 8 meters every year.
The Elephant grass, along with other grass species are called tall grasslands. Tall grasslands are very rarely found. Tall grasslands also shelter the most threatened grass species in the world. This leaves us wondering why are the grasslands of the Dudhwa National Park, such a rare phenomenon. It’s simple really. Short grasslands can be found in abundance across the globe and do not need much to live on, as compared to the unique grasslands in Dudhwa.
4. Secrets Of The Forest Soil
Dudhwa’s nutrient-rich soil is the reason behind the existence of the forest and the grasslands in the first place. The unique ecosystem of the Terai region plays a vital role in aiding the growth of the tall grasslands found only in Dudhwa.
- Firstly, the mineral-rich wet soil of the Dudhwa National Park makes for highly fertile soil.
- Secondly, the biomass and manure naturally induced into the soil helps enrich its quality.
- Thirdly, Dudhwa receives heavy rainfall during the monsoons.
- Fourthly, and most importantly, the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain of India – this makes all the difference! The Indus and Ganges rivers flowing across the Terai region acts as the main source of fertile alluvium found here.
- Also, a few underground streams appear in this region throughout the year keeping the soil moist and fertile.
Take for the classic food chain example: Deer eats grass and Tiger preys on the Deer; the grass, deer and tiger form a food chain. Also, the manure of these animals nourish the grass in return. No forest is complete without grasslands. The wildlife of Dudhwa and its flora owe its existence to its highly fertile soil. The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, due to its nutrient-rich soil makes for the perfect wildlife ecosystem to sustain its inhabitants.
5. What’s In the Grass?
The 31 species of grass in the grasslands of the Dudhwa National Park & Tiger Reserve are home to 5 types of deer namely, the Barasingha (swamp deer), Sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), Cheetal (spotted deer), Indian Hog deer and Muntjacs (Barking deer). Grazing animals are largely dependent on these rare grasslands for food, shelter and the grasslands also provide a natural camouflage against the predators of the jungle.
On your Great Indian Jungle Safari in Dudhwa, you also get to spot larger grazing animals like the endangered greater one-horned rhinoceros, Asian elephants, sloth bears, Indian leopards, Gaur (Indian bison), Nilgai (blue bull), the wild water buffalo (Asian buffalo) and endangered hispid hare. Birds like the Bengal florican, lesser florican, sarus crane and rufous-rumped; reptiles such as the endangered gharial, mugger crocodile and soft-shelled turtles are also the habitants of the grasslands of Dudhwa.
6. Where 500 Unique Bird Species Reside…
Over 500 bird species of the Indian subcontinent can be seen on the Great Indian Jungle Safari in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The wildlife sanctuaries transform into breeding grounds during winter when you are likely to spot both resident and migratory birds. Stand in the watchtowers present in the wildlife sanctuary and relish a great birding experience by Dudhwa’s majestic swamps on your Great Indian Jungle Safari.
Among Swamp Partridge, Red Jungle Fowl, Great Slaty, Painted Storks and Black And White Necked Storks; you can also spot Sarus Cranes, Owls, Fishing Eagle, Serpent Eagles, Emerald Doves, Indian Pitta, Orioles, Paradise Flycatcher, Woodpeckers, Shama, Barbets and Minivets, to name a few. Bengal Florican, Osprey Pea Fowl, Great Indian Hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill, Laggar Falcon, Shaheen Falcon and Red Headed Merlin are few of the endangered species of birds found in the Dudhwa National Park.
7. ‘God Beams’ All The Way
The Dudhwa National Park & Tiger Reserve has mystical leaf-carpeted forests that is home to over 89 species of trees. The wildlife sanctuary of the Dudhwa National Park is the only known remnant of the Terai ecosystem. This incredible wildlife reserve is home to gigantic Sal trees known to be over 200 years old! Another marvel natural phenomenon can be experienced on an early morning jungle safari in the Dudhwa National Park is the sight of golden beams of the sun seeping in through the leaves of these age-old trees.
The entire look and feel of the forest changes according to the changing positions of the sun during the day.
Undeniably, mornings in the jungle are best to watch the ‘God Beams’ as they are popularly called, first kiss the ground. It is an heavenly experience to hear birds chirping as you drive deep into the jungle, chasing the first rays of the sun. The forest also transforms during winters! A translucent, milky white layer of fog lingers between the trees during the winters; and when sunlight beams through the tress, the forest it looks magical, almost enchanted!
8. Be Bewildered By Wilderness
Spot 18 endangered species on your Great Indian Jungle Safari and witness exotic wildlife mostly endemic to Terai. India has few of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world and Dudhwa National Park is one of them. The wildlife sanctuaries in Dudhwa are home to 12 out of 33 unique turtle species found in India.
Dudhwa is also the best place to spot the critically endangered Gharials as well as India’s National Aquatic Animal, the Gangetic Dolphins. TUTC takes you on a boat safari in the rivers of the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary with naturalists who know exactly where to find them.
There are 33 endangered One-Horned Rhinos in the Terai grasslands of the Dudhwa National Park that have been brought back from the edge of extinction in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. These Rhinos also play an important role in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem of the Terai Region. Rhinos digest large volumes of plant material and disperse the seeds in their dung. Even their grazing helps increase plant diversity.
At the Dudhwa National Park, you can also spot India’s most sought-after and endangered nocturnal animal – the fishing cat. These cats have a unique fishing technique. They produce light waves on the water surface similar to an insect’s wave pattern. This leads to fishes thinking that there are insects on the surface and they swim up to surface and fall prey to the fishing cat – How cool is that?
9. Meet ‘Nature’s Architects’!
The enormous Gargantuan termite hills of Dudhwa isn’t something that goes unseen on your Great Indian Jungle Safari! The forests of the Dudhwa National Park are adorned with massive yet equally breathtaking termite hills emerging out of the ground. A few termite hills can reach a height of up to 9.1 meters! Each termite nest houses a million termites, but what’s really interesting is that these termites don’t actually stay inside their termite nests! So, what drives these tiny termites to go through the trouble of building enormous skyscrapers in the forests of the Dudhwa National Park?
The termite reside in the ground below the mounds. In fact, these massive termite hills are more of a temperature and air regulator more than anything else! These mounds provide humidity that keeps the termite skin from drying out. Structures known as fungus cones inside the mound helps breed fungus that break down wood and leaves accumulated by the termites for food. The fungus helps make the food more nutritious and digestible for consumption. These massive termite hills also act as a fort protecting the termites against invaders. The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and national parks within the Terai ecosystem provide for an amazing termite sighting during the wildlife safaris. To appreciate the incredible creation of these tiny beings, you have to see it for yourself on your Great Indian Jungle Safari at Dudhwa.
10. Tickle The ‘Laughing Tree’
The Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for sighting the incredibly swift Gangetic dolphins, the mighty endangered Gharials and a remarkable number of turtle species. But apart from this, this forest also has been guarding a well-kept secret that can only be discovered on a jungle safari with TUTC’s all-knowing naturalists! The Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve is very popular among the locals who speak highly about the ‘Gudgudhi’ tree.
It is one of the rarest naturally occurring phenomenon in the world to find a tree that actually reacts to human touch. Yes, you heard that right! This incredible tree is known to sway its high branches when it is tickled in the bark. Curious visitors are guided by the naturalists at Dudhwa towards this tree during their Great Indian Jungle Safari into the forests of Katarniaghat. Researchers speculate that the tree’s unusual reaction may be a result of the conjoined nerves of trunks and branches making it more sensitive to human touch.
Amazed much? Wait until you get onto TUTC’s specially modified safari jeeps and pace right into the heart of the jungle! The Dudhwa National Park and Tiger Reserve is blessed with a rare ecosystem where you get to experience what we call ‘The Great Indian Jungle Safari in supreme luxury. With a vast variety of wildlife and incredible fauna, these ancient forests of India house marvelous secrets waiting to be explored by adventurers at heart. If you are a die-hard wildlife enthusiast, a professional wildlife photographer or simply a curious soul, then Dudhwa is where you are ought to be.
Come, visit the Jaagir Lodge in Dudhwa and step into the realm of wilderness in the best wildlife safari park in India.
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