In the terai region of the Shivalik Hills, across the border from Nepal's Chitwan National Park, lies one of the largest forests in Bihar. Spread over an area of 880 sq km, the Valmiki National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary has tigers, leopards, flying foxes, flying squirrels, wild cats, langur, sloth bears, antelopes, 241 species of birds and a variety of reptiles and butterflies. While there were only 10 tigers in the park in 2010, their population has now more than doubled to 22.
After covering 30 kms from Bagaha, one enters Valmiki Tiger Reserve Forest at Rampur, and confronts the track, which is broken and undulating, often showing highly fragile geological formations. As a result, there are steep ravines, knife-edge ridges and precipitous walls formed by landslips and soil erosion. The road of nearly 30 km runs through the forest leading to the Gandak barrage.
The Valmiki Tiger Reserve arranges safaris for tourists and offers accommodation as well. There are opportunities for trekking and birdwatching, and a full-moon visit is supposed to be quite an experience.
Jeep Safari 4 pax: â‚¹600 (two and a half hours); Elephant safari 3 pax: â‚¹300 (one and a half hours); Bullock-cart safari 4 pax: â‚¹400 (three hours); Full moon visit â‚¹500 per person, with dinner (five hours)
There are many historical sites around the national park. At Lauriya Nandan Garh, there is a 2000-year-old, 35-feet-high Ashokan pillar made of polished sandstone. Close to the stupa, you will find Nandan Garh, an 80-feet-high mound made of bricks. It is believed that the mound is an Ashoka Stupa in which the ashes from Lord Buddha’s funeral pyre were enshrined.
The Someshwar Fort is perched atop the Someshwar Hill, at an elevation of 2884 feet. The hill is located in Narkatiyaganj subdivision, near the Nepal border.
Where to Stay & Eat
Stay at BSTDC’s Valmiki Vihar (Cell: 08541885022; Tariff: â‚¹990) in Valmiki Nagar. It has 12 double-bedded rooms and a restaurant. There are also eight eco-huts (Tariff: â‚¹1,000) at Valmikinagar (2), Naurangia Done (2) and Goberdhana (4). Accommodation is also available at the Forest Rest Houses (Tariff: â‚¹500) at Kotraha, Madanpur, Naurangia Done, Gobardhana and Manugraha and an old wooden forest rest house at Ganauli. For bookings, contact the DFO, Valmiki Tiger Project - Division II, Bettiah, Tel: 06254-240367.
District : West Champaran
Road : 30 km from Bagaha
Landmark : Rampur
Circuit : Eco Circuit
Spread across 880 sq. km. (approx), the Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary is the safe home for the tigers, one of the threatened species of the world. Located at the cradle of Himalayan outermost ranges Shivalik range, the region has a very undulating landscape comprising of steep rise and deep ridges with the lush green forest around.
View & Feel
The leopards and tigers along with the fishing cats, chitals, sambar, black bucks, langur, sloth bears, gaurs make the jungle an adventuring destination. The deep wood of Sal, Asan, Karama, Semal, Cane etc. is a pleasant getaway that offers a breathing space to the soul.
Where to Stay
Nearest Railway Station: Valmiki Nagar Road/10Km
Nearest Airport: Patna/260Km
Name: Hotel Valmiki Vihar, Valmiki Nagar, West Champaran.
Types of Rooms: Non-AC Double Room.
Facilities: Coach/Car Parking.
Who to Contact
Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (A Govt. of Bihar Undertaking) Bir Chand Patel Path, Patna. Pin-800 001. Bihar. India.
Web Site: http://bstdc.bih.nic.in/