One of the country’s youngest sanctuaries, Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary was notified as recently as December
One of the country’s youngest sanctuaries, Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary was notified as recently as December2012. Stretching over an area of 270 sq km, Nandhaur falls between both Haldwani and Champavat forest divisions, and is home to abundant wildlife and avifauna. Its recent inclusion in India’s protected areas means that it is still relatively undiscovered and so is perfect for true naturalists.
TIP Hire a sturdy jeep or a Bolero, as the terrain is rocky and bumpy
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Since Nandhaur does not see many visitors as of now, there are no guides available. However, if you ask politely, a forest guard may come along with you and offer useful spotting tips.
Entry ₹100 Vehicle Entry ₹250 Timings 8.00am-noon; 2.00-5.00pm
Nandhaur Forest Rest House
The FRH, a graceful Colonial building which dates from 1876, is the first thing you see as you enter the sanctuary. It is set in lush grounds with a gravel path leading up to the sprawling verandah. You can ask them for water or tea before setting out to explore.
Get to the sanctuary early in the morning to make the most of your day. There are several routes you can take. These include the way to the Suryabeni Temple, Machchli Van and Jaulasal.
All paths take you through thickly wooded predominantly sal forests. The perennial Nandhaur river flows through the sanctuary. It is rare that you will come across other visitors, so you will have only animal calls and birdsong for company.
Nandhaur is home to tigers, wild elephants, leopards, jungle cats, small Indian civets, jackals, flying foxes and sloth bears, as well as over 200 species of birds, including the rare great pied hornbill, which you might see if you are really lucky.
Water Distribution System
This interesting distribution system on the Nandhaur river dates to the 19th-century. Set underground, along the riverbank, are stone channels. When the water rose to a certain level, instead of flooding the riverbank, it would flow into these channels for a distance of 4 to 5 km. Along the way, there were little towers from where the water would rise into tanks that the guesthouse could use. With time, the level of the river has decreased greatly, so the system is no longer in operation, but it is still worth a look.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
There are three forest rest houses within the sanctuary. Nandhaur Forest Rest House (Tariff: ₹1,250) is the most comfortable option. Note that the kitchen has to stock up in advance, so inform them of any needs well before you plan to reach there.
Jaulasal FRH (Tariff: ₹1,250), built in 1923, offers two suites, as does Amwlakheda FRH (Tariff: ₹1,250), which dates from 1887. Both serve meals if given advance notice. Book in advance with the Haldwani Forest Division (Tel: 05946-220002, Cell: 09411076337). Those who cannot give up on creature comforts at all can opt to stay in Haldwani, and visit the sanctuary as a day trip from here.
Blue Saphire Clarks Inn (Tel: 05946-235201-03, Cell: 084760-18881/ 19991; Tariff: ₹5,000-9,000) is a comfortable choice, as is GenX Devashish 1589 (Tel: 224466, 224566; Tariff: ₹4,400-10,000) on Nainital Road.
Lemon Park Hotel & Spa (Tel: 266305-06; Tariff ₹2,950-3,950) on Nainital Road has efficient service.
When to go The sanctuary is open from 16 October to 14 June every year. The winter months are the most comfortable, though chilly at night Location Nestled in the Kumaon Himalayas, part of Terai Arc landscape, between River Gola in the west and River Sarda in the east Air Nearest airport: Pantnagar Rail Nearest rail: Haldwani