Dudhwa National Park

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    Dudhwa national park is situated at a distance of 300 km from Lucknow on the Indo-Nepal border in the foothills of the Himalaya in district of Lakhimpur Kheri. The park is open from October to May, and the best period for visit is in February-April.

    Area about 49,029 hectares or 614 sq. km. In 1958 it is established as a wildlife sanctuary, then in 1977 it become a national park, and in 1988 converted as a tiger reserve. Dudhwa National Park comprises of sal forests, marshes and grasslands which harbour a wide variety of wildlife. The Park is famous for the reintroduced one horned rhino and swamp deer (barasingha). It was here in 1984 that a major rhinoceros rehabilitation project was started since these forests had been the habitat of the rhinoceros 150 years ago. Dudhwa has the distinction of having the largest surviving population of this endangered species, their presence rendered more spectacular by the propensity for segregation of the antlered males.

    Dudhwa National Park is a home for 38 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, 400 species of birds and 90 species of fish. The main attraction of Dudhwa is swamp deer. Half of the world's 4000 swamp deer live here. Apart from this, four more types of deer found here: hog deer, spotted deer, barking deer and sambar. There are a few leopards also and recently a hispid hare has also been seen. Wild boars, elephants and bears also give an occasional sighting here.

    En route to Dudhwa, the unique Frog Temple at Oyal can also be visited. The only one of its kind in India, it was built by the former Maharajas of the Oyal state in the district of Lakhimpur-Kheri. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the base of the stone temple is built in the shape of a large frog. The temple is at a distance of 10 km from Hargaon on the route to Lakhimpur-Kheri and Dudhwa.

    The forest provides no jeep safaris or guides. Jeeps and mini buses can be hired to move around inside the park. Elephant rides through the Park are also available and moreover the mahouts or Elephant drivers also double up as guides.

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