Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is located in Pilibhit district, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh. It lies along the India-Nepal border in the foothills of Himalayas. According to an estimate Pilibhit has over 800 km sq. forests constituting roughly 23% of the total area of the districts. The north-eastern boundary of the reserve is river Sharda which flows making the surrounding of the reserve a great spot of weekend holiday. Going to the reserve on weekdays can be of great excitements for the families living in nearby places and can be a good adventure spot for those planning for a week trip.
This reserve is one of the finest examples of the highly diversified and productive teraiduar savana and grassland ecosystem. This type of grassland constitute to be the habitat for almost 127 animals, 556 birds and 2100 flowering plants. It is also a home for around 6 million people who depend on them for their livelihood. The reserve is a shelter to large number of rare species which include Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, swamp deer, hispid hare and Bengal floricans. The bird life here is a treat to watch as the reserve is a home to many species of birds. There are around 326 species of birds which includes red jungle fowl, hornbill pea fowl, fish eagle, serpent eagle, black neck stork, wooly neck stork, green pigeon, fish owl etc.
Visiting the Pilibhit Tiger reserve can be of great experience because different and incredible species of birds and animals are found here to which anybody can be attracted. The woodlands in the sanctuary are dominated by numerous medicinal plants and trees such as mahua, saagun, amaltas, tendu, koraiya, ber etc. Indeed, visitors enjoy spectacular views as they walk amongst wildflowers, rugged cliffs and imposing headlands along the forest range.
The best time to visit the park is from July to March as the region’s charm is increased with the fresh green cover after the rains which last till August at the most. The sanctuary is a must-visit destination not only for the wildlife or nature lovers but also for the adventure enthusiasts. The lush green foliage enveloping the sanctuary enhances its magnificence and makes it a wild and green wonder.
For both the avid bird watcher and the casual visitor, the sanctuary has a Bird Interpretation Centre so as to spread awareness about the rich avifauna here. There is also a walking trail along the banks of the lake where the Forest Department has provided benches for tourists.
This bird habitat also plays host to a few wild animals including Indian porcupine, jackal, fox, mongoose and nilgai. A few varieties of turtles such as Indian flap shelled turtle spotted pond turtle, Indian soft shelled turtle and Indian roof turtle are found here as well. A small reptilian population also thrives in the sanctuary including a red sand boa, wolf snake, rat snake, the poisonous common krait as well as Russel’s viper.
So, if you are a wildlife enthusiast and have a penchant for capturing the wild and the untamed, get your cameras ready and head over to the bountiful natural reserves of Uttar Pradesh.