Chilla, Rajaji National Park Bird Watching

Watching birds in elephant country

The Rajaji National Park covers an area of 1075 sq.km. is located in the Shivalik, which are formed from the debris of the main Himalayas. The shaggy ridgelines of these hills are interspersed with rocky river beds. While the high ridges are dotted with chir pine, the undulating lower ridge forests have mixed tropical deciduous forests and flatter areas have Sal forests, Large rivers (raus) have water only in the monsoons, while smaller, shaded stream (sots) occasionally retain water in summer. Rajaji harbors at least 311 species, of which several are altitudinal and latitudinal migrants such as warblers, waders, ducks and flycatchers descending into the Shivalik during winter. Shivaliks are important breeding ground for endangered birds including Great Hornbill, Pallas Fish Eagle, River Lapwing ad Vulture species . Rajaji is listed as an important Bird Area by BNHS and Bird Life International.

Wallcreeper

Birding Area Name:

Chilla and surrounds in Rajaji National Park

Bird Specialities:

Black Stork, White-eyed Buzzard, Cinereous Vulture, Pallas Fish Eagle, River Lapwing, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Great Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Wallcreeper.

Birding Trails:

Pallas-Fish-Eagle

Rajaji National Park remains open for tourist from 15th November to 15th June, annually. This area is best explored in a three-day visit covering different forest and riverine habitats. November to March is a good season for winter migrants while he summer is good for breeding residents. Explore the Sal forest woodpecker, flycatchers and warblers near Dehradun (Phanduwala-Kansrao-Motichur trail) or Chilla (Ganga Bhogpur-Vindhyavasini). Birding along the Chilla Barrage can yield several waders, fish eagles and lapwings. The Rajaji Park Management is also identifying trails in Chilla Range for birders. One can also hire jeep safaris at Chilla for viewing elephant and carnivores.

District:

Dehradun

Nearest Railhead:

Haridwar

Nearest Airport:

Jolly Grant, Dehradun

How to reach here:

By road, a scenic motorable road running along the canal, exists all the way to Chilla (through Kunao Gate). Route: Rishikesh-Ganga Bhogpur-Chilla (30 min. drive). Alternately one can approach via Haridwar-Chandi Devi Mandir-Chilla (10 min. Drive). Buses ply from Haridwar and Rishikesh to Chilla.

Altitudinal Range:

280 to 1000 m, Chilla (350m), Phanduwala (730m)

Accommodation:

FRHs at Chilla, Motichur, Satyanarayan, Phanduwala, Kasrao, Ranipur, Beribara, GMVN Chilla and several private cottage near Ganga Bhogpur.