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Old 8th March 2019, 14:40   #1
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Default Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

I wonder how such beautiful treasures are talked about so little and can only conclude - that is why they're so.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_3993.jpg

About 15 days back we were planning to have some guests over and were wondering where we could take them in this overcrowded state of UP. Dudhwa National Park which was recently visited by a friend was an option. I'm really glad we stuck to it. Everyone was in a cheerful mood. The weather was perfect for a road trip. And none of us had been to the chosen destination so it had an element of surprise for all.

Last edited by Tgo : 9th March 2019 at 15:02.
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Old 8th March 2019, 14:43   #2
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Default DAY-1: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa-Kishanpur-Katarniyaghat

DAY-1 : Home to Dudhwa - Relax

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All the driving done on the first day.

Started early in the day at 6:30 with packed breakfast. Covered most of the crowded or slow moving section up to Hardoi by 8:45. Stopped for a leisurely breakfast break at a dhaba after Hardoi. Switched driving duties and continued onward. Shajhanpur was a bit of a bother since it’s a very small town and roads are narrow and crowded but we didn't encounter any jams. The topography changed suddenly after Hardoi with the trees becoming taller and the soil getting darker and more fertile. We stopped for a photo session just after crossing Kali River since the beautiful Semal trees were very intriguing in their full bloom. Continued onwards to Palia Kalan where we stocked up some fluids for merry making in the evenings. Palia is also the last stop for supplies en-route to Dudhwa.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4169.jpg
Our first stop after Hardoi. Breakfast = Home Packed sandwich + Tea.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4171.jpg
Semal (Silk Cotton) Flowers.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4173.jpg
A welcome change in landscape after Kali River.

Reached Dudhwa around 1:00 PM with a total travel time of 6.5 hours and immediately had lunch after unpacking. Strolled around the settlement where they have a Machan (watch tower) overlooking a swamp. Soaked-in the view and the sounds of the land to our hearts contentment. Later we went to see the elephant stables since we did not have any safari planned for the evening. The stables are where the elephants are trained for patrolling and safari duties. The settlement around the cottages also houses the forest officials' residences, offices and the staff quarters for forest staff, safari guides, drivers and the mahouts.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4175.jpg
View from the Machan near the cottages at Dudhwa.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4177.jpg
The Elephant Stables. The little ones are between 1-2.5 year old.

Had planned to go to the little museum (interpretation Center) but our bodies were desperately calling out for a nap. Recharged after the nap we got out once again for a little stroll to the Nature Shop where we thought of picking up some souvenirs (Jackets, Tees, Keychains, Glasses and caps). Ended up not liking anything so walked back and retreated to the rooms for gup-shup. Had a light dinner at the canteen where the news of WC Abhinandan being returned to India was an added relief to all. Lights went out at 10:30 with the alarms set at multiple 5 minute intervals so as to ensure that even the laziest among us got up for the safari next morning.

Last edited by Tgo : 9th March 2019 at 17:13.
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Old 8th March 2019, 14:46   #3
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Default DAY-2: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa-Kishanpur-Katarniyaghat

DAY-2 : Morning Safari (Dudhwa) - Evening Safari (Kishanpur)

Our alarms went off in frenzy at 5:45. We were brought tea by our attendant by 6:00 am with some extra precious cups pre-filled in the thermos. Once the first one of us was ready and out in the open, the rest sped up and were sat in the Safari jeep, got acquainted with our driver and guide and also explained to him that the Tiger is not the only goal we have. The forest here was very different to the forests of Rajasthan I've frequented. This was a proper two-tier forest with tall Sal and Sakhu trees with thick undergrowth. Openings in the forest cover had tall grasslands which were being strategically burnt to promote fresh growth and prevent large scale natural fires. Spotting animals in these sections was easier. There are different zones as in all forests; a few I recall are Sonaripur, Sathiyana, and Salukapur. Salukapur is the place which is close to the Rhino area. It’s also the place where elephant safaris originate from and a place where one can take a tea and loo break inside the forest.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01879.jpg
Into the wild.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01896.jpg
Jackfruit Blossom.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01907.jpg
Spotted Dove

We expected to spot a rhino but were told that the Rhinos weren't a native animal of this area. Their introduction to the forest was the most successful project for its kind in the whole world. As a result the wild elephants who share the habitat with the Rhinos keep having tussles over territory. The Rhino area has been cordoned off with electric fencing for better control over their population and to avoid such tussles between these beasts.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01914.jpg
Jungle crossroads.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01921.jpg
Local flowers of a milkweed variety.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01922.jpg
Spotted Deer with new antlers, wished not to be disturbed.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01926.jpg
Loved the scenery.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_3966.jpg
Indian Darter

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_3984.jpg
Grey Headed Fish Eagle

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01916.jpg
Crocodiles were feeling left out since the last two shots were from their habitat.

Got back from the safari with dampened spirits since we missed a Tiger sighting by a few minutes. All we got to see were pictures captured by another group staying in the cottage next to ours. Had a quick breakfast and strolled over to the Interpretation Center (museum) where they had very informative displays of tiger pug mark identification, Taxidermy models, facts about other wildlife found at Dudhwa. We learnt that out of the 1300 species of birds found in India about 450 of them can be found in Dudhwa, which I immediately relayed to my Dad and planned his visit to this place in the birding season.

We decided to go to Kishanpur for the Evening safari and asked our attendant to arrange for the same. After a short nap, having paid the difference in fee and after pumping up the air in a leaky tire we were ready for the evening safari at Kishanpur. It was a distance of 49 Km to Kishanpur so we decided to follow the safari vehicle in our Duster. It’s a 45 minute drive across The Kali River which flows south of Dudhwa and separates it from Kishanpur.

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A short drive across the river (Dudhwa<->Kishanpur) for some more natural treasures.

This was also a very different experience as the trees were tall but the undergrowth was thinner which allowed one to see further into the forest and increasing the chances of a tiger sighting. It is said this forest has 30 tigers compared to the 21 in the larger forest of Dudhwa. We missed the tiger again but got some amazing snaps of the wildlife along the lake route. Spent some time on a Machan with a pair of binoculars and loved seeing all the activity different animals and birds were up to.

Some splendid close range pictures scored from the evening:-

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4001.jpg
Spot the difference in the forest cover. This is Kishanpur.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01937.jpg
A friendly Blackbuck that lives in the forest near a check-point.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01940.jpg
Old stuff is always pleasing to the eye.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01943.jpg
A local berry which is said to be used for making Sindoor in the past.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01947.jpg
Winding roads near the swamp.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4015.jpg
Indian Roller

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4033.jpg
Shikra

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4075.jpg
White Breasted Kingfisher

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4073.jpg
Jungle Babbler

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4072.jpg
Black Ibis

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4062.jpg
A magnificent Crested Serpent Eagle

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4054.jpg
Swamp Deer on this little island co-existing with - Guess Who. (Hint: to the left)

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4067.jpg
Bambi - Haha..

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4197.jpg
View from the lakeside Machan. I Love how these machans are accessible to visitors.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_1921.jpg
That's our gang, happy despite spotting no tigers.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01974.jpg
The termite nest right next to the tree trunk fooled me into believing it was the trunk itself.

After the Safari and having looked at the Picture of the tiger in another group's phones we headed back to Dudhwa via Palia to stock up supplies and to withdraw cash to settle the canteen payment. Same routine as the day before ensued and the lights went out a little early at 10 that day. It rained that night.

Last edited by Tgo : 9th March 2019 at 17:53.
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Old 8th March 2019, 14:48   #4
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Default DAY-3: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa-Kishanpur-Katarniyaghat

DAY-3 : Morning Safari (Dudhwa) - Drive to Katarniyaghat - Evening River Safari (Katarniyaghat) + Jungle Safari (Katarniyaghat)

In the morning we woke up to the sound of a drizzle and hoped that the safaris are not cancelled. They got delayed though. Left for the Safari at 7:30 and headed straight onto the misty lakeside route with slushy sections. That is where we spotted some mongoose like animals scurrying away into the shrubs. But, one of them did something very unusual, it stood up (curious mode activated, on its hind legs) while facing our approaching jeep and made sure it was something dangerous and made a run for it. Those 3-4 seconds is all it took for us to realize that these were not the mongoose. The guide spelt it out for us. We had seen Smooth Coated Otters. And that I think was the most prized sighting of the day... till we would reach Katarniyaghat.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01894.jpg
I guess the same milkweed before the blossom.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01975.jpg
Black Necked Stork

No tigers again, a hurried journey to the Rhino enclosure and a few chais later we were tracking our way back out of the forest. Saw a local train pass by on the tracks which go through the forest. Headed back to the canteen and packed up for the journey to Katarniyaghat that lay ahead. None of us knew what a surprise it had in store for us. Soon after we left at 11:45, we were guided by google maps into a village (shortcut to Ninghasan road) which ended up being quite an interesting journey. Since we were stuck behind a slow moving tractor trolley we had the time to sight-see the houses and chores people were out on and about. The road till Dhakerwa (65km) was beautifully lined with Semal and Palash trees in full bloom with numerous majestic Banyan and Peepal ones too.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dudhwakg.jpg
The route to eastbound Katarniyaghat from Dudhwa.

After following the canal across two heads we were on Ghaghara Barrage built on the Kauriala and Giruwa Rivers which turn into Ghaghara River downstream of the barrage. The sight was too good to skip the photo-op.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4200.jpg
A pano with the Giruwa and Kauriala merging at the Barrage on the right and the Ghaghara on the left.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4203.jpg
Opportunistic fishermen with their mobile fishing nets. Similar to the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4204.jpg
Powderpuff Blossom

The drive got more interesting after that as we drove through very poor roads and what looked like a defunct township at Girijapur. After a little correction in our direction with help of locals we headed straight for the Ghariyal Center at Katarniyaghat. This drive of 90 km from Dudhwa took us 3 Hours and made us decently hungry. As the confusion of accommodation was being sorted out we ordered food at the canteen and booked a river and forest safari.

The setting of the Ghariyal center left me really impressed. It has lush green gardens and a river side walk and sit-out area with a few gazebos, two tree houses and 5 cottages for guests. A jetty where the boats were docked and a mini zoo where alligator and turtles were kept in captivity for breeding. We were so excited to go on the river safari that we postponed unpacking our luggage and went straight to the jetty post-lunch. Not expecting much I was fairly surprised by knowing that a 16-foot long crocodile I was casually gazing at during the safari was actually an Alligator. I had never seen an alligator that size (bigger than a crocodile, including all of NatGeo on TV) in my life. We were told that there is an abundance of fresh water Dolphins in this area too. We had a nice and calm ride in the river as the sun was setting and took a good feel of the marshy river banks which are the habitat of these ancient reptiles.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_2189.jpg
Rays of gold piercing the clouds onto the river.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4131.jpg
The 14-footer Alligator (not Crocodile), mind you.

Out of the boat and into the Gypsy, we were ready for the jungle safari. Due to rains the previous night, we were told that we would be taking a shorter route since it’s easy to get stuck in the mud on the interior roads. Still, I would say this Safari was the most interesting one I have been on. As soon as we entered we could spot elusive birds left and right. Within 10 seconds of reaching the first opening we had spotted, vultures, doves, orioles, peacocks, and deer. The further we went into the jungle we realized and it was later confirmed by the guide that this marshy land on both sides of the cobbled road we were travelling on was the backwaters of the Giruwa River we crossed. The road we were traveling on was an old inspection road built by the Irrigation Department. The swamps and marshes are frequently visited by wild elephant which are quite a common sighting in this area. The safari was over by 7:30 by which time the sun was down and the surroundings were barely lit up. On our way to the Range Office where we had to stay for the night we could hear some rustling in the trees. Stopped, turned off the engines, and listened carefully. It was clearly elephants breaking trees and shrubs to feed on. We could hear them moving , trumpeting and see the foliage move about 20 ft. off the road but could not see them. It was really exciting and scary at the same time. The cracks and rasps of the trees and foliage they were making their way through really gave us a sense of the strength and might they possess. We hurriedly scooted away from that area. No Tiger again, but by now we were past it.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01994.jpg
Emerald Dove

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4165.jpg
Long Billed Vultures

As we were unpacking in pitch darkness in front of the cottages we were given, we could still hear the elephants call in the jungle. It was quite a scene with a grave sense of vulnerability overpowering every other thought. After unpacking we played a quick round of Ludo and went for dinner. Chatted a little with a forest staff person near the dining area who told us a little bit about the barrage and the abandoned colony at Girijapur. It used to be a railway colony which was abandoned after they built the barrage since the station got submerged and was shifted to Katarniyaghat. I shared with him the great experience we had during the safari and how unique an experience it was for us compared to the more popular destinations in Rajasthan. He was a humble fellow and was very grateful for this little word of appreciation. We dozed off just as the rodent living in the false ceiling of our cottage also called it a day. Alarms were preset for the day to come.

Last edited by SmartCat : 10th March 2019 at 09:59. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 8th March 2019, 14:51   #5
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Default DAY-4: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa-Kishanpur-Katarniyaghat

DAY-4 : Morning Safari (Katarniyaghat) - Tunday Kababi (Lucknow) - Return Home

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_0217.jpg
The early morning view outside our cottages.

Woke up for our 5th and final Safari to the Jungle. The sight outside the cottage was surreal. Dew drops falling on the dried up leaves and the Bulbuls and Barbets calling from beyond the mist were a uniquely serene experience. Sipped some tea to get our bodies working, packed up our luggage in the car as we wanted to leave without delay after the safari. We were out on the route by 7:30. This time the first sighting of the day was of the wild boar, which calmly crossed the cobbled road into the forest. Further down the road we spotted numerous Milkweed Assassins (bugs) on low lying leaves. We crossed a stream and the rest of the safari was spent capturing the flora in its undisturbed best. While on the way out from Route-1 we saw a Vulture feeding on a carcass being troubled by crows. Eventually covered route-2 and got back to the cottages.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc01998.jpg
Wild Boar

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-dsc02003.jpg
Milkweed Assassin (Bugs)

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4205.jpg
Yellow Legged Green Pigeon

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4207.jpg
Long Legged Buzzard

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4222.jpg
Crossing this lazy stream.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4232.jpg
Openings like this were where most of the action was to be found.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4215.jpg
Red Capped Babbler

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4216.jpg
Ruddy Kingfisher

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4230.jpg
Pied Bushchat

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4260.jpg
Common Buzzard

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4267.jpg
Black Headed Oriole

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4275.jpg
Grey Hornbill

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4283.jpg
Oriental Pied Hornbill

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-vult.jpg
A fiesty crow troubling this Long Billed Vulture while it was feeding.

Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-img_4234.jpg
A friendly Neel Gai near the cottages greeted us on our return from the safari.

After a quick breakfast we left for Lucknow by 11:30.

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Return route from Katarniyaghat to Auraiya via Lucknow.

The drive via Lakhimpur was interesting since the route was along the feeder canal originating from the barrage at Ghaghara River all the way to Sharda River near Lakhimpur which was a distance of 50 odd km. The road had been laid with compacted gravel for widening and was a breeze to drive on. Eventually we reached Lucknow to devour the famous Galawati Kababs at Tunday Kababi, Aminabad. Being Mahashivratri we didn’t find much traffic within the city or at major congestion spots. Parked in front of the Press Club in Hazratganj and took a battery Rickshaw to Aminabad. Feeling satiated after a heavy meal of Kababs and Korma we headed back to Hazratganj. The ladies immediately walked into a textile store, no questions asked while we waited outside the store in a mark of disapproval. Soon we were in the car and on our way back to Auraiya via the Agra Lucknow E-way. With some great memories and tired bodies we were pleased to be back home by 8:30.

Although I am an avid traveler and have been around the country to many destinations, these forests and the lack of info available on the internet about them compelled me to pen down a travelogue which also happens to be my maiden travelogue on Team-BHP. Credit goes to late gd1418, nilanjanray and manolin to have started threads in the past covering these forests and the routes which had quite some information which I could not find anywhere else on the internet. I thank my brother-in law for capturing some of these amazing pictures on his first stint at wildlife photography.

Last edited by Tgo : 9th March 2019 at 17:49.
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Old 8th March 2019, 14:53   #6
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Default Miscellaneous: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa-Kishanpur-Katarniyaghat

Accommodation:-
Booked through UP Ecotourism website. Cottages at Dudhwa National Park are all at one place which is the entrance to the forest. Tharu Huts at Katarniyaghat are a bit tricky since other two locations for Katarniyaghat that are Motipur (Katarniyaghat) and Kakraha (Katarniyaghat) are quite far away from the sanctuary and boating center. Best is to book at Katarniyaghat (as displayed in the drop down menu) where they have 2 locations (Ghariyal Center/Boating Center and Range Office separated by a 2 minute drive)

The best experience was booking accommodation which compared to booking the same in touristy cities was a cakewalk (no comparisons, no deals, just straightforward decent jungle accommodation easily available through online booking. Was really impressed how the bookings were still available compared to other more popular sanctuaries I've visited in Rajasthan.

INR 3000 (Dudhwa) and INR 2000 (Katarniyaghat) per night for double occupancy cottage inclusive of breakfast. 5% GST extra.

Food:-
Once we reached we still had to sort out the three meals for the day. At both places they have arranged for fixed timing buffet - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner - outsourced to a catering agency. Slight customizations are possible. Food is strictly vegetarian with a few egg items thrown in occasionally. One can get some items ordered to their liking based on the availability of the raw materials required. Food had a home cooked style which we gladly relished.

INR 350 per head per meal (standard menu).

Safari:-
Safari bookings were done along with the accommodation booking which was done online. It is not necessary to book in advance since the bookings can be done through a personal attendant allotted to your cottage. Since the originating point for all safaris is the same where the cottages are located one can easily catch hold of safari jeeps over there. Vehicles used are Tata Xenons with everything above the window line chopped off and with 2+2+3 seating apart from the front two seats which are reserved for the driver and guide. Booking costs include vehicle entry and guide fee. So no paying extra unless you feel like tipping your driver and guide. Sometimes you also get a Gypsy with seating for 6 guests, which gets a bit cramped but is much less noisy on the ru

INR 2000 for Dudhwa - 3 hr. 18% GST extra
INR 2826 for Kishanpur - 2 hr. safari + 1.30 hr. (to and fro travel from Dudhwa). Booking can be done by paying the difference (INR 826 inclusive of GST) on the spot.
INR 1750 + 100 for Katarniyaghat - 2 hr. Didn't book in Advance
INR 800 for Boat Safari at Katarniyaghat - 45 mins. Can't be booked online.

Route and Travel Time:-
From Auraiya to Dudhwa (297km): Auraiya>Kannauj>Hardoi>Shajhanpur>Palia Kalan>Dudhwa | 6.5 Hr.
From Dudhwa to Katarniyaghat (90km): Dudhwa>Majhgain>Ninghasan>Ghaghara Barrage>Katarniyaghat | 3 Hr.
From Katarniyaghat to Auraiya (367km): Katarniyaghat>Lakhimpur Kheri>Sitapur>Lucknow>Tirwa>Auraiya | 4.5 Hr. + 3.5 Hr.

Animal sightings:-
Spotted Deer
Swamp Deer
Hog Deer
Sambar Deer
Blackbuck
Neel Gai
Wild Boar
Otters
Python
Aligators
Crocodile
River Dolphin
Wild Elephants (could only hear them close-by)
Wild Boar
Monkeys
Langurs

Bird Sightings:-
Swamp Hen
Lesser Adjutant Stork
Black Necked Stork
Lesser Whistling Duck
Pond Heron
Darter
Black Ibis
White Breasted Kingfisher
Ruddy Kingfisher
Red Wattled Lapwing
Long Billed Vulture
Oriental Pied Hornbill
Indian Grey Hornbill
Yellow Legged Green Pigeon
Emerald Dove
Spotted Dove
Jungle Fowl
Indian Flameback Woodpecker
Jungle Babbler
Black Headed Oriole
Grey Wagtail
White Browed Wagtail
Purple Sunbird
Little Green Bee Eater
Red Capped Babbler
Grey Headed Fish Eagle
Crested Serpent Eagle
Shikra
Long Legged Bzzard
Common Buzzard
Black Drongo
Racket Tailed Drongo
Pied Bushchat
Red Whiskered Bulbul

Last edited by Tgo : 9th March 2019 at 17:49.
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Old 11th March 2019, 08:31   #7
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Moving thread from Assembly Line to Travelogues forum. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th March 2019, 10:39   #8
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

Superb travelogue Tgo. Must say, you've provided a lot of information (including costs) with wonderful pictures to support the write-up. This will go quite a long way in helping others plan similar trips.

Coming to your trip, it does take a lot of luck and many times, numerous visits to national parks or reserves to get a glimpse of a tiger. Yet, there are so many other creatures great and small that make up for the disappointment. Loved that shot of the alligator.

Apart from the animals, it was great to see the various landscapes captured in the photographs. Lots of greenery and a proper forest is always a welcome sight. Hope these are preserved for later generations. Interesting to see the fishing nets as well.
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Old 11th March 2019, 13:10   #9
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Superb travelogue Tgo. This will go quite a long way in helping others plan similar trips.
Thank you for the words of appreciation.

I had intended for this to be a resource for future visitors hence all the details in a separate section. Would you believe while researching prior to our visit, the best information was available on Team-BHP itself. This is my little contribution back to the forum.
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Old 12th March 2019, 00:53   #10
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

A very well written travelogue Tgo !!!
Beautiful photographs and very detailed information for others to take note of. Thanks for sharing.

Warm Regards,

Siddhartha.
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Old 12th March 2019, 02:18   #11
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Default Re: Miscellaneous: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa-Kishanpur-Katarniyaghat

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Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
Accommodation:-
Animal sightings:-
Spotted Deer
Swamp Deer
Hog Deer
Sambar Deer
Blackbuck
Neel Gai
Wild Boar
Otters
Python
Aligators
Great write up mate and very good pics.t felt as if I was there.

Just for info Alligators are native to only US and China. They aren't found any where else.

The pic you posted is of the Indian Gharial.

Didn't you spot a tiger ?
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:15   #12
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

Nice writeup, Tgo. Thanks for sharing some really useful information on Dudhwa. How is the water situation there currently? We are heading into the summer, are there any arrangements made to supply water from borewells?

I haven't visited many wildlife reserves in north India, apart from Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh. Almost everyone here knows that Kabini is my favourite park Dudhwa, Corbett and Kaziranga are in the list.
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Old 12th March 2019, 13:35   #13
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

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Originally Posted by siddarthab View Post
Thanks for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nibedk View Post
The pic you posted is of the Indian Gharial.

Didn't you spot a tiger ?
Thank you for the appreciation.

Noted. They are quite distinctly different.

We didn't spot a tiger, but others in the same safari slots did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
How is the water situation there currently?

Dudhwa, Corbett and Kaziranga are in the list.
Due to the rains we've had in winters, the water in the lakes and swamps seemed adequate till the end of summer. But I'm shooting in the dark as I am unaware of the situation in the past.

Missed out an Important Note: The forest is closed from June till November.
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Old 12th March 2019, 15:24   #14
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

Rating the thread with well deserved 5 star. Never imagined UP will have such exquisitely managed place. Kudos to you for providing deep insights about this National Park. I will be planning a visit to the park pretty soon!

Thank you.
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Old 13th March 2019, 07:46   #15
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Default Re: Terai Forests of UP - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur & Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

The lazy and dream snaps with roads as the leading lines are amazing to stare at. Nicely done! Cats or no cats, does not matter as longs as you enjoy the journey!

Also loved the panoramic snap of barrage. How I wish, there was a train in the frame! Would have been an icing on the cake !
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