The Garden of Eden In The Himalayas

THE #VALLEY #OF #FLOWERS, A BOTANICAL MARVEL AND WORLD HERITAGE SITE, IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND SERENE SPOTS OF UTTARAKHAND, PLEASING TO BOTH LOCALS AND TOURISTS.

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The Valley of Flowers, originally known as Bhyundar Valley, can be approached from the border town Joshimath, which is en route to the shrine of Badrinath. From Joshimath, about 25 km by road Gobind Ghat and beyond Gobind Ghat, one has to trek to the Valley of Flowers. Gobind Ghat to the entry point of the valley is 19 k m and to the highest point, one has to negotiate another 10 kms. This beautiful valley before 1937 was insulated and known only to some highland inhabitants of the Bhyundar Valley. They assiduously avoided it believing it to be the celestial playground of the gods, nymphs and fairies. The Valley was discovered to the outside world in 1937 by the eminent British explorer, botanist and mountaineer, Frank Smythe. In 1939, the British Botanical Association sent botanist, Margret Legge for further probe of the Valley. She slipped and never returned.

            A noted high altitude trekker, opines, ”In close proximity to the Valley of Flowers in the Sikh shrine of Hemkund Sahib. Every year, almost 4 to 5 lakh pilgrims visit Hemkund and the Valley. Tourism plays a very important role in the local economy as about 95% of the population of the surrounding villages depends on it.” But owing to unregulated tourism, large mounds of garbage, mainly plastic and mule dung had accumulated all along the trail. To combat the problem, the local community was organized into Eco Development Committees(EDCs) at Bhyundhar and Govindghat. The EDCs with the support and guidance of the Forest Department took over the responsibility of managing the various tourism related activities in the area and are also redressing the environmental issues of the region. Consequently, the 19 kms trek route to the Valley of Flowers bears a new clean look. This was unimaginable till even a few years back. in the last two years alone, over 90 tonnes of garbage has been removed from this area by the EDCs without spending a single rupee from government founds.

The EDCs are also providing employment opportunities to local youths as guides and photographers. Girls are also employed in the Interpretation Centres at Ghangharia and Bhyundar en route to the Valley of Flowers. The girls are engaged in slide shows for the tourists and for sale of photographs and souvenirs.

 

 

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Travel is your best teacher

There is no discounting that you learn some of the most important skills in the classroom but the lessons you learn about life when you leave your comfort zone and step into the unknown are incomparable, i.e. The travel is best teacher for you.

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TRUST YOUR INTUITION

If you travel on your own (by not opting for no-sweat group tours that have everything planned for you), you are likely to tackle situations where you have to make a choice or a decision immediately. No amount of research or preparedness can come to your rescue. But on the bright side, discovering things on your own, like what’s the cheapest and quickest way  to  get  from  point  A  to  point B, how much should you trust your instinct when talking to a stranger, how much should you spend each day…etc. all go a long way to smarten you up. When you are in another country, you feel less judged and more courageous too.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RICH TO TRAVEL

Yes, anybody can travel. When you often tell others about your travel plans, their immediate reaction is, “How can you afford it? It seems you have a lot of money”. That’s a misconception. If you decide to religiously save a certain amount from your paycheck, you can easily save a good amount for at least one trip a year. And a trip doesn’t mean you have to book a ridiculously expensive hotel. You can stay with a local, work along the way, eat simple food, take public transport, etc. and stick to your budget. These are simple tricks to minimize your spending.

ACCEPT, ACCEPT, ACCEPT

Don’t you like making plans and hope life turns out exactly that way? When you are travelling around the world, things often go wrong, but you have to keep calm, be flexible and learn to roll with the punches. “In hindsight, it will teach you acceptance. The time that was gone, was gone; why spoil the whole trip sulking over it. Travel is the best way to expose your-self to uncertainty.

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

You’re never too old to live your travelling and backpacking dreams. When you hit your 60s or 70s, you are often in a better financial position and can travel stress-free.

ALL THINGS ROMANTIC

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Every single time when you travelled, you discovered romance in yourself. It has nothing to do with falling in love with a person. It’s about discovering and romancing a new side of you that you’ve just discovered. As a tourist, you enjoy the beauty of simple, everyday life. You become more aware of the wonderful things nature has to offer.

THE WORLD ISN’T A BAD PLACE TO LIVE IN

“Maybe, everybody in the whole world is scared of each other,” American author John Steinbeck had said. It’s true. It is important to be smart and take basic precautions while travelling, but you also learn to trust good people, and your faith in humanity increases. Travel helps you get rid of race, religion and cultural stereotypes. When you travel, you realise that people, all over the world, are not very different – though they may do things differently.

LESSON IN HUMILITY

You may be that special one for your loved ones, buy once you set out on a journey, you are just a small part of the vast world. You realizes the world doesn’t revolve around you. And it’s okay.

YOUR MANAGEMENT SKILLS IMPROVES

Planning your travel is like a crash course in better management. Whether you’re planning a trip with friends or going solo, a lot of planning and co-ordination are required to book your tickets, do your visa, find the best budget places to stay etc.

Haridwar plays host to the winged guests

BESIDES TOURISTS THAT FLOCK THE HOLY CITY TO SEEK SALVATION, HARIDWAR IS ALSO A HAVEN FOR THEIR WINTERING

Every year, Haridwar plays host not only to lakhs of pilgrims and tourists, from across the country and a abroad, who come here on their religious sojourn, but also to a large number of the winged guests, from the high altitudes in the Himalayas and also from across the Himalays, which descend on the wetlands of the region during winter. migrated-birdsJust as the benevolent nature has endowed Uttarakhand with a rich wealth of luxuriant forests, magnificent mountains and gurgling rivers, she has also blessed it with a number of excellent wetlands, including #AsanBarrage gar in Dehradun district, #PashulokBarrage near Rishikesh and Bheemer reservoir and the #Missarpur Ghat in Haridwar district, which are a haven for migratory fowls for their wintering.
The aquatic birds have already started arriving in the wetlands of the district for their seasonal itinerary. Dinesh Bhatt, professor in biological sciences, department in the Gurukul Kangari University, Haridwar, and an internationelly acclaimed or nithologist, who has conducted extensive research work on the pattern of behaviour of the migratory avifauna, says, that with the onset of winter, when it is too cold in north Europe and Asia and with no germination in from their native, these aquatic fowls migrate from their native habitats, including Palaearctic region in Europe and Asia and descend on the wetlands of the warm regions on the wetiands of the warm regions for shelter and nutrition. ”Their in-built biological clock, making field, help these migratory birds in their smooth journey, along birds2the specific flyways, to descend on the wetlands in the Indian sub-continent and other warmer places. They stay here till March and as the warmer days arrive, they bid adieu to their wintery abodes and, with their sure sense of direction, return to there native habitats far off for breeding,” says the noted avian biologist.
The wetlands in Haridwar region, such as Pashulok Barrage near Rishikesh, solani River Ghat near Roorkee, Jhilmil Jheel near Laksar, Bheemgora Barrage and the Missarpur Ghat near Haridwar city, which are abuzz with the chirping and frisking of the multi hued aquatic fowis these days, presents a splendid spectacle and a rich feast to the eyes and the ears. Vinay Sethi, a bird scientist, has identified about 34 species of the trans Himalyan birds, Including ruddy shelduck, northern pintall, mallard, gadwall, red crested pochard, black headed gull and Eurasean curlew, which arrive in the wetiands here from cold coutries such as Poland, Uzbekistan and Siberia,
During recent years, these trans Himalayan migratory birds, which used to congregate in the wetlands here in October and November, have started coming late, that is, in November and December and their number is also dwindling. The ornithologists attribute the change in their pattern of migration mainly to global climatic fluctuations. Besides the migratory birds from the Palaeartic region, some species of birds, such as herons wkagtails, egrets, cormorants, black necked redstart, white throated kingfisher and black winged stilt, come down malayas to the lower altitudes for wintering. “Besides the wetlands in the region, the river banks in the melodious notes of the multi coloured migratory birds these days,” says Rajeev Mehta, warden of the Rajaji National Park.
Till a few years ago, the Bheemgora Barrage, situated between Neeldhara and other tributaries of the Ganga at the foothills of the Himalayas, used to be an ideal birding destination for migratory birds during winter, However, during the massive floods of 2010, there was erosion of large parts of the Island here which was used for roosting by the migratory birds, The bird lovers are demanding recreation of the Island at Bheemgora Barrage, with plenty of vegetation on it. Heavy traffic on the Dehradun-Haridwar National Highway and human intervention are other sources of nuisance for the migratory birds here. Now these migratory fowls have found a new destination at Missarpur Ghat, 8 km from Haridwar, for their foraging. The shallow water, the pleasant amblience, the intermixing of the treated sewage water with that of the Ganga, make this ghat a virtual paradise for the migratory birds.
The birds lovers say that thought the state, sufficient efforts are not being made for the conservation of the avifauna, both native and migratory. Since some of the globally threatened bird species, like painted stork, osprey, pallas’s fishing eagle and oriental darter, come to these wetlands, it is all, the more necessary to initiate measures for the conservation of these wetlands for the safe and regular arrival of these rare species of birds. “The conservation of these wetlands will also enhance the aesthetic beauty of these sports and also give a boost to eco tourism,” says a local bird activist.

Rafting season picks up momentum

RISHIKESH, A CENTER IN YOGA AND MEDITATION, HAS OF LATE EMERGED AS A GREAT HUB OF WATER SPORTS, SUCH AS rafting-in-rishikeshRAFTING, KAYAKING AND CANOEING

#Rafting activities, which after remaining suspended for about three months during the rainy season, began on September 15, have started gaining momentum in #Rishikesh region. It may be recalled that Rishikesh, which was always been a world famous centre of pilgrimage, #yoga and meditation, has emerged during the last few decades as a great hub of water sports, such as rafting, kayaking and canoeing. The gradient and speed of the flow of the Ganga water, with world-class foamy rapids, serene environment and salubrious climate make the #Rishikesh-Kaudiala-Shivpuri region as an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts from across the country and abroad.

Though rafting activities in the region started in the 90’s of the last century, these took the form of a thriving industry with the creation of the Uttarakhand state in 2000. “ Now there are about 136 rafting companies, including some pan India rafting companies, operating in the region, providing employment to about 20,000 people, including the transporters, hoteliers and other sections of the business community. Rafting industry, which generates the revenue of hundreds of crore of rupee for the state government, the rafting companies and the locals, is the backbone of the economy of the region. Rafting industry, which was flourishing in the region, was dealt a severe blow by the unprecedented floods which ravaged the state in mid June last year. “Since the last year’s monsoon mayhem created the impression that Uttarakhand, including Rishikesh region, is not safe destination for tourists, the rafting industry came almost to a standstill. Now there are signs of revival and though the water sports lover are not turning up in as large numbers as they used to turn up before the nature’s fury struck the state last year, the industry has started recovering.” There are about 400 rafts operating in the region at present at these colourful rafts can be seen dotting the stream of the Ganga these days.”

The rafting companies undertake rafting expeditions for different types of persons on different rapids. “The 9km stretch from Ram Jhoola to Bhrampuri suits the novice, the families and the children, while the 17 km stretch up to Shivpuri is good for the youths and the rapids up to Marine Drive and Kaudiala are meant for the adventurous. Different companies offer varying packages, depending on the facilities being provided. For simple rafting the package varies from Rs.400 to Rs.1,500 per person, while for rafting, along with beach #camping and #adventure sports, the package ranges from Rs 1,500 to Rs. 2,500 per person.

Apart from offering a smoothing environment and an opportunity to enjoy the romance and thrill on water; the place also offers a scope to indulge in physical activities, such as cliff jump and rock climbing. Every thing here in Rishikesh is planned and Safe.

#Pathikworld Tours got expertise in all types of adventure activities and well experienced in activities during camping and rafting.

Get #Rafting Packages here

Rehabilitation of a species

EFFORTS MUST BE MADE TO SAVE THE VANISHING SPARROWS

Abane of modernity is that is having destroyed our delicate ecological sparrow-birdbalance, resulting is fast depletion of green    cover, #wildlife and #avifauna. Among the many species of avifauna that are on the verge of extinction, is the house sparrow which is fast vanishing. Till a few decades ago, the chirping and frisking of horse sparrows popularly known as #gaurayya, used to be a familiar sight in most Indian house-holds. It was even considered an auspicious omen if this small bird built its nests in the corridors, the ceiling, a niche or any of the recesses in the house, But this is now a history. Bird expert say that in the last quarter of 20th century, there used to be about 500 sparrows in one sq km in the country, while today there are just 50 in one sq km. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has expressed grave concerns about the declining numbers of this species. The small bird, which is most friendly with humans, is a vital part in the chain of the eco-system. Hence its, disappearance is fraught with serious consequences. Dinesh Bhatt , a noted bird biologist and dean of the life sciences department  in Guruku Kangari University, Haridwar, is a member of many international ornithological societies.  He says that modern lifestyles have adversely impacted the sparrow population all over the globe. “There is lack of nesting spacing  in the modern setup due to changing architecture specifications,” says Bhatt. Sparrows mostly build their nests inside houses and other buildings. In the good old days, traditional structures of houses had plenty of holes wooden, beams, corridors and open windows where sparrows could build their nests. In modern structures especially in high rises and those made of glass, there is hardly any space for the sparrows to enter and build their nests. The lack of appropriated nesting sites hinder their breeding success,” informs Bhatt.

There are some other factors that have contributed to the decline in the sparrow population. The use of pesticides  in insecticides is playing havoc with the sparrows, which are omnivores and feed on seeds and insects. In the olden days, peas and bean were found scattered in plenty in fields and houses and the sparrows used to feed on them and the larva found in them. With the modern trend of packaging the peas and the beans, the feeding base of sparrows has dwindled. Besides this, global warming is also affecting their reproductive cycle. Electro magnetic waves of high frequency from mobile towers are another threat for the #sparrows. The expert team of life sciences department of Gurukul Kangari Unilversity Conducted a survey in Uttrakhand regarding the population of #sparrows their breeding activities, sight selection, egg laying behavior and parental care. The population of the sparrows was significantly higher in rural areas as compared to urban ones. Rural areas provide favourable conditions, like natural nesting sites and plenty of feeding base, including cultivated fields of wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables. The weeds shrubs and bushes of various plant species around the houses in rural and sub- urban areas provide protected sites for roosting.

The team has found that while the population of sparrows in their natural habitats was declining in major parts of urbanised  areas, including Roorkee, Haridwar, Dehradun, Kotdwar, Pantnagar, Haldwani, and Udhamsinghnagar, this species is still thriving well in sub- urban areas of Nanital, Almora, Pauri, Shrinagar, Rudraprayag, Guptkashi, Gauri Kund and Joshimath. In a welcome initiative, the team has launched a project for the rehabilitation of this endangered species in the region. The team has so far fixed 500 nests boxes at different location in residential areas in the city and the BHEL. Sixty nest boxes have also been fixed in Roorkee. Out of these nest  boxes, 40 percent have been occupied by sparrows and the rest have been occupied by other birds. This has resulted in slight increase in their population in the region, by some bird enthusiast and member of the team. encourages by the success by of the project, the team has planned to fixed 300 more nest boxes in different parts of the city and its outskirts, including Roorkee and Rishikesh. These saviours  of the houses sparrows have shown the way to bring our little feathered friends back from near obscurity and in a way for it to co-exist with the modernisation

 

from Haridwar Plus, May 4, 2014

A treasure trove of ADVENTURE TOURISM

LIFE IS EITHER AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE OR NOTHING AT ALL. THERE IS NOT BETTER LAND THAN UTTARAKHAND trekking1WHERE THIS SAYING CAN COME TRUE ?

Uttarakhand has tremendous potential as an adventure tourism destination, experiencing the magic of the outdoors and being one with Mother Nature and the three cardinal elements namely earth, water and sky. There’s an entire range of adventure activities that can be nurtured in these domains. Land related activities that can be fostered include trekking, camping, mountain climbing, rock climbing, biking, cycling and skiing. These activities are being promoted by individuals in only a small way but can be taken to the levels of annual fixtures if given little push by the government and corporate houses.

Uttarakhand is blessed with water bodies at regular intervals. Some of the water related activities that can be encouraged in the state include white water rafting, canoeing, boating, water skiing, angling etc. Rafting is already quite popular in the region but there are several hindering issues that keep cropping up time and again. But that is no reason why other similar activities cannot be tried out. Hurdles can be sorted out if we approach them with an open mind set.

Aero sports such as hang gliding, bungee jumping, ballooning and parachute flying are sky activities that are full of potential. But just a handful of the individuals have ventured to put their money in these fields. It is the government that must show the way and encourage enthusiastic youngsters by introducing incentives and know-how so that other are willing to replicate successful examples. Uttarakhand tourism administrators must be focused on promoting tourism in these specific areas of immense potentials.

Mountain climbing, trekking and mountain biking are some pursuits that need to be developed in collaboration with the local communities.

–From Haridwar Plus, 6th July, 2014

Make way for the Barasingha

Swamp deer have found a welcome home in the Jhilmil Jheel Area, which is a community conservation reserve.IMG_0257

At a time when wildlife is facing threats from various quarters, there is good news from Jhilmil Jheel in Rasiabad forest range of Haridwar Forest Division for wildlife enthusiasts. The Jheel is emerging as a haven for swamp deer, a highly endangered species of wildlife protectd under schedule 1, like the tiger and elephant etc. of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972; it is also included in the red data list of rare animals in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) an affiliate of the UNO.

The adult male swamp deer has huge antlers branching to more than 12 points. So it is popularly called Barasingha in India. Swamp deer mostly move in herds of 20-30, but in the mating season the size of the herds gets larger. The swamp deer shed their antlers in April, The male deer are poached for their antlers, the sale of which has now been banned.

Dr. B.D. Joshi, professor of environmental sciences in Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar and a noted wildlife expert, says that in north India, at this time, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve along with Kishanpur Sanctuary in UP, with around 1200+ population of this species, are the stronghold of the swamp deer, while a small number of this species is also found in the swamps near Hastinapur in Meerut district. In Uttarakhand, Jhilmil Jheel in Haridwar Forest Division has emerged as an ideal habitat for this rare species of animals.

It may be mentioned that in 2005, the state forest authorities, co-ordinating with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Dehradun, conducted a survey of the Jheel to assess the population of swam deer in the Jheel, which is a saucer shaped wetland, spreading over 3783.5 hectare of land along the bank of the Ganga. The area is rich in floral and fauna biodiversity, but at that time, there was no authentic data about the presence of swamp deer in the Jheel. The team, to their delight, sighted a herd of 32 swamp deer.

On the report of expert team, the state Government recommended to the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment to declare the wetland a protected area for the better conservation of swamp deer. In 2005, the then President of the country, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, dedicated this

Community Conservation Reserve to the country by releasing a poster.

Jhilmil Jheel in Haridwar and Asan Barrage in Dehradun in Dehradun are the only two community conservation reserves in Uttarakhand, the first for the conservation of swamp deer and the second for migratory fowls

“A Community Conservation Reserve is different from a National Park or a Wildlife Santuary , since parks and santuaries are totally managed by the forest department, while the local community is involved in the management of the Community Conservation Reserved,” told by Dr. RBS Rawat, the chief Principal conservator of forest of the state.

 — from Haridwar Plus, Dated 24th Nov. 2013

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Saving Green History

RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK HAS INITIATED A PROJECT TO CONSERVE A 300-YEAR-OLD BANYAN TREE IN THE SANCTUARY

Those who have seen the Holly-wood’s super hit scientific fiction Avtar willbanyantree perhaps never forget the powerful scene of the gigantic tree which provided shelter to a large number of the aliens. You can have glimpse of some such scene in the famous Raja ji National Park of Uttarakhand. The only difference is that here the tree is a banyan tree which is a habitat of a large number of wild animals and avian species. In the movie, the humans destroy the vast tree to dislodge the aliens, whereas in the Rajaji Park, the forest personnel have prepared a project for the conservation of the banyan tree. Since the film provided the motivation, the park authorities have named the tree as Avtar. The tree, with eight meter diameter of its trunk, is said to be more than 300 years old.

The authorities of the Rajaji Park, Which spreads over 820.28 sq km of old_treeparts of Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri districts of the state, have incorporated in their 10 year management plan of the park, a project for the conservation of old trees. The conservation of the old trees is one of the major planks of the Heritage Conservation Project Which forms part of the management plan-2022 prepared by the park authorities. In the park there is ‘God’s plenty’ of the old trees, specially banyan, peepal, behad and saal trees, which are more than 100-150 year old. The director of the park, S.P. Subudhi says that with the help of the G.P.S.technique they have identified and located 114 very old trees which are due to soil erosion. “By adopting measures, such as making check dams, for their conservation, their life can be extended. The conservation of one such tree will cost about Rs. 1 lakh”, says the director of the park. But it is being argued by a section of the people that instead of spending Rs. one lakh on conserving one old tree, it will be better to spend this big amount on planting one hundred new saplings. However, Haridwar based state head of the Wildlife Protection Society India (WPSI), Rajendra Agarwal says that the old trees are heritage trees and have their own importance. “Old is gold. These old trees are very large in size. They provide shelter to the wildlife and the avian species such as eagles, hawks, kites, vultures and bats. They are habitats of monkeys and langoors. The leopards relax on their large horizontal branches and the fowls make nest on them for roosting and breeding. One such tree is equal to one hundred eco systems”, says Agarwal.

The chairman of the State Forest Corporation, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion has also hailed the proposal of the forest authorities and says that they will extend all help to the project. “These old trees, due to their large size, help greatly in purifying the air and are a vital link in the eco-system”, says champion. These heritage trees will be great centre of interest for the tourists and will help lure more tourists to the park. Moreover, they will also be a centre of interest for the researchers and forest scientists.

…. from Haridwar Plus, 17 Nov. 2013

If wish to visit thee old goldies, send mail at info@pathikworld.com

The Mountain Quail

Uttarakhand is very rich in bird life; in Corbett park alone there are about 600 species of bird. The wanton destruction of bird The Mountain Quaillife had a detrimental impact and many species like the Forest Spotted Owlet, Pink-headed Duck and the Himalayan Mountain Quail were driven to the verge of extinction.

The Himalayan Mountain Quail was first reported in 1846 and has not been spotted since 1876. “About a dozen specimens were collected near Mussoorie in the Cloud End’s Estate and Sher-ka-Danda Ridge in Naintal prior to 1877. Field observations during the mid-nineteenth century suggest that it may have been relatively common, but it was certainly rare by the late 1800s, potentially indicating in population and may have escaped detection in what remains of the forested mountain areas of the Central Himalaya between 1500 and 1850 meters.”

The rediscovery of the Forest Owlet in 1998 indicates that Himalayan Mountain Quail could have survived the pressure of the wilderness in the region.

In consonance with the viewpoint, The Forest Department of Kumaun has launched a unique project during the Wild Life Week, ‘In the Quest of the Himalayan Mountain Quail’, to find out whether it is extinct or elusive. Interestingly, many bird watchers had spotted it in different areas in Uttarakhand during 1945-50 but could not photograph it. “What makes it enigmatic,” is that the local villagers identified the species from the picture and description.”

The Mountain Quail is one of the the rarest Galliforms (heavy bodied, ground-feeding birds) in the world. Sarvpirya Consul, A keen bird watcher, states, “It is a medium-sized bird with red bill and legs. The writer spot in front of the eye in both males make them distinctive. “Its rediscovery in Uttarakhand will bring about a revolution in the field of ornithology and facilitate in establishing Uttarakhand as a haven for bird watching in the International Circuit.

….from Haridwar plus dated 27 Oct. 2013

Rajaji Park- A Tiger Reserve

AFTER A LONG WAIT, RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK IS AT LAST ISSUED THE FINAL NOTICE TO ATTAIN ITS NATIONAL STATURE

The wildlife enthusiasts have a reason to cheer. The state Government after a long wait of about 30 years, has at last issued the final notification for the Rajaji National Park which consists of 9 ranges and is spread over 820.40 sq.km. of Haridwar, Pauriand Dehradun districts of Uttarakhand. The initial notification for the setting up of the Park under the Project Elephant was issued in 1983. However the final notification could not be issued since various hurdles had to be cleared. It may be recalled here that the Park, which marks the northern limits of the Asiatic elephant, is one of the safest heavens for jumbos in the country. At present, there are about 415 pachyderms in the Park and the male, female ratio is excellent.

tigerreeserve

A few month ago, the Tiger Conservation Authority of India had agreed to grant to the Park the status of a Tiger Reserve, making it the second tiger reserve of the state. The first being the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, which was the first Tiger reserve of country. Wildlife Protection Society of India, Haridwar’s head Mr. Rajendra Agarwal, says, “It is indeed a matter of great delight for the wildlife conservationists of Uttarakhand. The Rajaji Park, besides being an Elephant Reserve , now will also be a Tiger Reserve , now will also be a Tiger Project and, thus it becomes the first National Park in the state to run the two most prestigious wildlife conservation projects- The Project Elephant and The Project Tiger.

The granting of the status of Project Tiger in the Park required firstly, that the final notification for the National Park status be issued. Now with the issuing of the Final notification, decks have been cleared for the launch of Project Tiger in the Park. After the exact mapping of the Rajaji Park boundaries, 14 revenue villages on the periphery of the Gohari Range of the park have been excluded from the park boundary. As per directions of the Tiger Conservative Authority of India, the Rajaji National Park core area of the Rajaji Tiger Project, while about 300 sq.km. of Shyampur range of the Haridwar forest division and parts of Kotdwar and Laldhang forest division, which function as a buffer zone, will also be included in the Tiger Project, augmented area to 1150 sq.km.

“After amalgamating the new area as buffer zone in the existing boundaries of the Rajaji Park the notification of the Project Tiger will be issued by the state government within a month,” informs the Principal Chief Conservator of the state forests. Besides a fairly good population of the tuskers in the Rajaji Park, tigers are also sighted. Park sources say that about 20 tigers, mostly confined to be a region, have been sighted.

The launching of Project Tiger in the Park will give a fillip to the conservation of the big cats. “It will increase the protections level of tigers in the Park,” says the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State, SS Sharma. Actually, the Rajaji Park faced many challenges include the issue of resettlement of the Van Gujjars (tribals) from the park. Due to porous borders, poachers find it easy to enter the park and target endangered species of the wildlife. Moreover, the railway tracks passing through the park have become the death knoll for wildlife.

Now, the launch of Project Tiger, ample funds will be available to get better infrastructure and resources, including trained manpower to protect wildlife and improve the quality of their habitat. Steps like setting up Rajaji Tiger foundation and State Tiger Protection Force can be taken. The long pending issue of rehabilitation of tribals and issue of shifting railway track will finally resolved.

— Haridwar Plus, Dated on 22 September, 2012