Just open from 15th Nov to 30th June and a not much trodden park as compared to the neighbour Corbett, Rajaji is too young just 20 years old to offer competition. The wildlife sanctuaries of Chilla, Rajaji and Motichur together forms the 820sq km area. The thick forests of sal and amaltas along with the tributaries of Ganga make the place beautiful. Not for the tiger but home to many elephants, chital, deers, boars, jackals, bears etc the river valley in the park gives you glimpses of animals. Many species of butterflies dot the place.
Take a elephant safari for 2 hours at 9am and 3 pm during winter and 5.30am and 5pm in summers. It takes you to the depths of the forests where the chances of spotting are more. Booking in advance would be better. Jeep safaris are another option, or taken in your own vehicle if you dare to but you will have to take the services of a guide. A birdwatchers paradise, Rajaji homes a variety of migratory birds in winter.
Atop the Neel Parbat is the Chandi Devi temple which can be easily reached by a chair car. From the top Haridwar town is clearly visible and the twin temple Mansa Devi in the opposite peak. The temple is 1 km from the park at the ridge of the park.
Where to Stay
GMVN has a Tourist Guest House near the entrance of the park. There are around 6 huts and the rooms cost Rs 1500 to Rs 2200. Tel - 01382-266697, 98.
Wild Brook Retreat is 8 km in the jungle and has 4 safari tents and 6 cottages. Bird watching tours, safaris, white water rafting, fishing, trekks etc are organised by them. Know more about them here - www.wildbrookretreat.com. The rooms and cottages are available from Rs 3800 to Rs 7490/- Contact +91 (0)141260457.
There are 9 forest rest houses in the park The Forest rest house in Chilla range from Rs 400/- to Rs 1000/- The contact is 0135-2621669. The Forest Rest house in Motichur ranges between Rs 500/- to Rs 1000/- The contact is 0135-2621669
Eat & Shop
The Ganga is the main attraction here in Haridwar. A holy bath, visit to the temples, the markets of Haridwar decked with wooden artifacts, idols of gods and godesses, artificial jwewllery, utensils etc makes up the other part of the trip. Bottle a little ganga jal back home which would be an ideal gift for elders. Rajaji has no other eating place except for the place of stay, otherwise hop into the GMVN tourist guest house to food. Moving out of Rajaji enter Haridwar to have delicious veg food from Chotiwala which is located opposite the Tourist office in the Railway road. Chotiwala is a well known chain of eateries in Haridwar and Rishikesh. The Brijwasi Mithaiwala sweet shop in Barra baazar has some pedas, barfis to try.