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The Best kept Wild Secret of India!

The Best kept Wild Secret of India

Musings of the Secret Forest ….

Sandwiched between India and Nepal lies a stretch of undulating forest which many have not even heard about ! – it stretches hundreds of Kilometres on the either side of the border and at heart of it lies the lesser know – Katraniaghat Tiger Reserve, with its stunningly beautiful landscapes it is a treasure trove of rare flora and Fauna and is yet not spoiled by the demon of ‘Over Tourism’ and is virgin paradise for Wildlife enthusiasts and Nature lovers alike.

The Katerniaghat Forest provides strategic tiger corridor between their habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and the Bardia National Park in Nepal. Its fragile Terai ecosystem comprises a mosaic of Sal and Teak forests, lush grasslands, numerous swamps and wetlands. It is home to a number of endangered species including gharial, tiger, rhino, Gangetic dolphin, swamp deer, hispid hare, Bengal florican, the white-backed and long-billed vultures apart from being the home to the legendary Bengal Tiger in its ‘Terai Avatar’

The Sanctuary is a protected area in the Upper Gangetic plain in Uttar Pradesh and covers an area of 400.6 km2 (154.7 sq mi) in the Terai of the Bahraich district. In 1987, it was brought under the purview of the ‘Project Tiger’, and together with the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dudhwa National Park it forms the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

Known to be one of the best places in the world for seeing the Gharial – Crocodile in its natural habitat is the Girwa River, where it is found sympatric with the Mugger.

The Department of Forest organises Jeep Safari in the Park at set timings in the mornings and afternoons , however owing to the less number of tourists visiting the park the number of available Jeeps for safari in the park on a given day is only 10 to 15 , this however adds to the novelty of Karaniaghat as less crowds and pressure on the Park (unlike many other popular Wildlife Parks in the country) make life mush easier on the varied Wildlife which exists in this Natural Haven

The exciting Boat ride on the Girwa river organised by the Forest Department is great way to get upclose uninterrupted views of the banks and glimpses of the gharials and other regional fauna.

Also, a birders Paradise with close to 350 kinds of avian creatures. Some of these are migratory birds like Red Crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, White-Rumped Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Indian Roller, Rufous Treepie, River Lapwing, Black-Winged Stilt, Common Coot, Pied Kingfisher, White-Throated Kingfisher, Spoonbill, Asian Openbill, Lesser Whisling Teal, Northern Pintain, Mallard, Tufted Poachard, Great-Crested Grebe, Great Egret, Peasant-tailed Jacana, Bronze-Winged Jacana, Shikra, Red-headed Vulture, Cinereous Vulture, Long Billed Vulture, Rocket-tailed Drongo, Black Hooded Oriole, Green Bee-eater, Stork Billed Kingfishe.

Visit to Katraniaghat can be combined with visits to nearby Wildlife Parks like – Dudhwa and Sohelwa on the Indian side and Royal Bardia National Park in Nepal

Best time to visit Katarniaghat:

Tiger Reserve is during the month of Mid-November to Mid-June.

How to Get There:

By air: The nearest airport is at Lucknow. It is well connected to various other parts of the country.

By rail: The nearest railway station is at Bichhiya which is well connected to various towns and cities.

By road: There are various buses running to Katarniaghat. The nearest bus station to the reserve is at Bichhiya.

Where To Stay :

State Run Accommodation options:

Department of Forest run rest houses are available at Katarniaghat, Nishangara, Dharamapur and Murtiha Zones of the Park

Privately run Accommodation options:

Bhinga Tents by the River
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