Lucknow is the capital city in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the Minority Concentrated Districts and the most populous state. The place is metaphorically called the Constantinople of India, being 497 km away from New Delhi. Lucknow is a vibrant city that promises interesting features of wildlife such as the hog deer, rhino, swamp deer, chital and sambar. Various attractions include parks, forests and sanctuaries which are also a favorite among tourists.
Dudhwa National Park
Dudhwa National Park was established in 1958 as the wildlife sanctuary. In 1977 it became a national park and a tiger reserve in the year 1988. The park lies on the borders of India and Nepal along the foothills of the Himalayas.
The thick forest has huge Sal trees, mosaic grasslands, swampy marshes, tall termite mounds and the Suheli River along the southern boundary. The main attractions are its 1,600 species of swamp deer and 98 different kinds of tigers.
Billy Arjan Singh is India’s leading conservationist who created the sanctuary of the swamp deer species. He also introduced zoo-born leopards and tigers in the Duhwa wilds. The Indian rhinoceros was reintroduced, coming from Nepal and the Assam Forests. Five of them were allocated but the 2 died. Four females were replaced in 1985.
The park has over 350 to 400 species of residents and migratory birds, including the Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bengal Florican and Storks as well as the Swamp Francolin and many more. There are 37 mammals, 16 reptiles and 101 tigers to see.
Tree species are scattered throughout the park like the Bombax Malabaricum, Adina Cordifolia, Shorea Robusta and the Terminalia Belerica as well as the Terminalis Tomentosa, Eugenia Jambolana and the Dalbergia Sissoo.
Dudhwa National Park provides elephant rides for only Rs100 per head lasting for 3 hours. No jeep safaris or guides are available that is why visitors tend to hire a jeep or mini bus just to go around the park. They only ask for a Rs150 entry fee. Other attractions are the waters of Ganga, Varanasi and Agra.
All visitors are required an entry permit fee of Rs 50. The park is divided into nine ranges such as the Bankati, Salukhapur, Sathiana, Belrayan and Kila, offering great accommodation facilities. The best time to visit is during the months of November to May.
Kukrail Reserve Forest
Kukrail Reserve Forest is a picnic spot built by the Forest Department. It is 15 km from Lucknow. The deer farm and crocodile nursery are its main attractions which can be seen in their natural habitat. This reserve houses the black buck, spotted deer, sambhar and a variety of birds. The place also includes a rest house, a children’s park and a cafeteria for a whole day of sightseeing. The Science Museum and the Regional Science Center provides innovative programs about wildlife understanding.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
The Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh is the main hub for migratory birds during the winter months. It is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries spread over a 3 square km area. The sanctuary was declared as a protected area in the year 1984 by the Indian government.
A shallow lake is the main area which serves as the place for water birds. Most rare birds come from Siberia and Europe, traveling around 5000 kilometers every year. This includes the Pintail, Gadwall, Coo, Mallard, Graylag Goose and the Cotton Teal. Other local birds are the Sarus, Peacock, White Ibis, Bronze Winged Jacana, Tern Vulture, King Crow, Bee Eater and many more. The Bird Interpretation Center gives lots of information about birds and their behavior.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary is just 35 kilometers away from Lucknow. It is best visited from November to March.
Lucknow today has many places the whole family can visit and enjoy. Wildlife attractions in Lucknow are one of the major contributions in upbringing the city’s economy. It is also known as one of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuary.
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