Roofed with an extensive layer of forests, grasslands and several species of flora & fauna, Uttar Pradesh is a snug hideout for eco-travelers. Ringing with the sound of timeless traditions, U.P.- the heartland of India is where nature is at its best. The fertile Gangetic Plain, thick forests filled with marshes and swamps, and the sluggish rivers floating in this area, provide the state with a rich diversity of birds, animals, and vegetation.
A one of its kind location, U.P. is where true wilderness strikes you. There is so much of unexpectedness at every turn of the jungle’s road that every visit to its parks would hold at least one unique feature- something which has never been experienced before! U.P. is indeed a magical land waiting to be discovered only if you have the spunk to break out of the monotony of a schedule.
So let’s take you to some of the breathtaking eco-destinations of Uttar Pradesh where you could aptly travel in harmony with nature-
Dudhwa National Park
A unique wildlife reserve of the country, Dudhwa National Park is situated near the India-Nepal border in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of U.P. With the finest quality of woodland, marshes, and grasslands, the park is an ideal and protected home for over 38 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles and several species of birds. Interestingly, national animal, national aquatic animal and national heritage animal all three can be seen in this national park which is also known for the contributions of Late Billy Arjan Singh.
A rich habitat of rare animals, Dudhwa, apart from being a tiger reserve, contains 4 species of deer- swamp deer, hog deer, spotted deer and barking deer along with gharial- the endemic aquatic reptile of India and the Rhinos. The reserve is also an ornithologists’ paradise. With over 400 species of resident and migratory avian fauna, the park is a delight for the birders as well as nature lovers. Come, experience the rich biodiversity here and you will just fall in love with the picturesque wildlife habitat.
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
Among the many wetlands of Northern India, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary hosts a rich population of resident and migratory birds. Located in Unnao district on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway, the sanctuary is pretty much surrounded by trees and greenery enclosing a vast lake.
During the winter season, the birds migrate across the Himalayas from Europe and Siberia. These include greylag goose, pintail, cotton teal, red-crested pochard, gadwall, shoveller, coot and mallard. Besides, the local migratory and residential birds are- sarus crane, painted stork, peafowl, white ibis, dabchick, whistling teal, open-bill stork, vulture, pigeon, king crow, Indian roller and many more. Moreover, the rare sight of the spotted and barking deer, reptiles as cobra, krait, ratsnake etc. could also reward you with exciting experiences.
National Chambal Sanctuary
The gushing streams flowing through the whispering woods and winding lanes cutting through Chambal ravines make the sanctuary one of the popular eco-destinations in the state. Stretched around the area of 5,400 sq. kilometres across the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, National Chambal Sanctuary witnesses the markings of history and is bursting with a rich & diverse eco-system.
Home to an imposing 330 species of local and migratory birds, the sanctuary also hosts an International Bird Festival annually. In fact, this tranquil sanctuary is a retreat for distinct animal lovers, birders, trekkers, photographers and anyone who wishes to get away from the madding crowd. From the elegant Indian skimmer to the endangered Gangetic Dolphin, the red-crowned roof turtle to the scarce gharial, National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best spots to discover the wild beauty on earth.
Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
A veritable haven for birds that come here in their multitudes from far and wide, Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary near Agra, encompasses a freshwater marshland, popularly known as Keetham jheel. It was the exquisiteness of this place that ignited the passions of Lord Krishna and Radha and inspired the renowned poet Soordas to compose the “Bhakti Kavya” one of the finest pieces of devotional poetry ever written.
Its picturesque landscape, luxuriant foliage, and a huge lake make it a refuge for more than 165 species of migratory and resident birds. The sanctuary also houses around 300 pythons as well as contains the biggest Bear Rescue centre for rescued dancing bears.
Indeed, the melodic tunes and sweet songs of the birds ringing out all through the day entertain streams of visitors and birders here.
Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Nestled on the banks of the River Ganga near Meerut, Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts as it houses a wide range of animals, birds, mammals, amphibians, and plants. Huge flocks of local and migratory birds with interesting behavioural features are the principal attractions of this beautiful marshy land.
Being a storehouse of a large variety of plants and animals, the forests represent one of the richest gene pool resources of flora and fauna in the state. Further, one can also indulge in activities like forest trails, trekking, and wildlife photography here.
The diverse ecological niches existing in the reserve provides it with rich fauna as well as dense and lofty trees with a multitude of species. Apart from over 350 sorts of birds, the sanctuary embraces a variety of species of animals such as cheetal, blue bull, leopard, hyena, wild cat, and alligators.
Indeed, the lush greenery and the beautiful wildlife of the place are a magnet for zillions of tourists and nature lovers that throng here every year.
Besides, there are many other such eco-destinations that are worth a thousand smiles. These include Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Chandra Prabha Sanctuary, Okhla Sanctuary and so on.
Certainly, U.P. all through the decades has been a one stop eco-tourism hub housing a good population of flora and fauna. The state is not just about tracing the historical pageant but the pleasure treasure pours when you roam like a nomad to seek the natural panorama. So get set for a refreshing journey to these wondrous eco-destinations in the state.