Valmiki National Park
Valmikinagar is located nearly 100 kms from Bettiah in the northernmost part of the West Champaran district, bordering Nepal. It is a small town with scattered inhabitation, mostly within the forest area and a railroad station in the district of West Champaran close to the railhead of Narkatiyaganj.
The overall climate of Valmikinagar is pleasant. It lies on longitude: 83°- 0' East to 84°- 41’ East and latitude: 27°- 3’ North to 27°- 10’ North. Its Altitude is about 125m to 88m above Mean Sea Level (M.S.L.). The summer is from March to June, while the Rainy season is July to September. The pleasant winter months are November to February. The temperature in Valmikinagar is Minimum 8° C and Maximum 36° C. The rainfall is about 1461.2 mm to 2053.3 mm.
After covering 30 kms from Bagaha one enters Valmiki Tiger reserves forest at Rampur, and confronts the tack, which is broken and undulating, often showing highly fragile geological formations. As a result there are step ravines, knife-edge ridges and precipitous walls formed by landslips and sol-erosion. The road nearly 30 kms runs through the forest leading to Gandak barrage
The great Gandak and Masan rivers collect all the water from numerous, tortuous tributaries. The hill system is a continuation of the Shiwalik Range, largely made of imperfectly compacted and ill formed sandstone dotted with pebbles and boulders. Valmiki sanctuary covering approximately 800 sq km of forest and is the 18th Tiger Reserve of the country and ranked fourth with density of Tiger population. Adjacent to the sanctuary in the forest in Chitwan National Park of Nepal, lays the historic Valmiki Ashram and surrounding temples.
The place has the major religious and historical attraction of the Valmiki Ashram. Although it is located in Nepal, but one has to travel through the forests of Valmikinagar to reach the Ashram, and that is through India. Even the Nepalese have to travel through Valmikinagar, in India to reach the Ashram.
Apart from the natural beauty, it offers a lot to the tourists who are basically the adventure seekers and nature lovers. The peaceful environment of variety of activities in which the tourists of different age groups having different tastes can engage themselves.With Valmikinagar as base, a tourist can find expression to his nomadic instincts by visiting a number of places, the grandeur and beauty of which are bound to make one experience the heights of ecstasy.
Close to Valmikinagar is Triveni, which is a holy place for Hindus. The name is derived from the fact that three river, namely – Naraini, Sohna and Pachnad- merge here, to form Gandak, soon after they emerge from the hills. Triveni is also believed to be the site at which the fight commenced between the Lords of Forest and Water (Gaj and Grah or the Elephant and the Crocodile). The main fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve consists of Tiger, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Chital, Sambar, Hog Deer, Black Buck, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Langur and Rhesus Monkey, while the flora consists of Sal (Shorea robusta), Asan, Karama, Semal, Khair, Cane (Calamus tenuis), Jamun, Siccharrum, and Teak etc.
Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhimbandh Wild Life Sanctuary is located in the south west of Munger District. The forests cover an area or 681.99 sq.km on the hills and undulating tract of Kharagpur Hills. It is situated at a distance of 56 km from Munger, 20 km from Jamui Railway Station and 200 km from Patna Airport.
This forest are located in the famous Kharagpur hill range, south of river Ganga and is surrounded on all sides by non-forestry areas inhabited by dense population. The vegetation of these forests is very rich where Sal, Kend, Semal and other trees grow side by side the hilly terrain, protecting from the suns rays the forms and humble creepers which grow below.
A host of animals such as Tiger, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Nilgai, Sambhar, Barking deer, Wild Beer, four horned Antelope use to abide by in these forests. In the valley portions and at the foothills are several hot springs of which the finest are at Bhimbandh, Sita Kund and Rishi Kund. All the hot springs maintain nearly same temperature round the year, and seasonal fluctuation of discharge is also nominal. Among them the Bhimbandh group of springs have the maximum temperature (52° C to 65° C) and discharge (0.84-1.12 cum/sec) and constitute the best area for the exploration of geothermal energy potential.
All the thermal springs of sanctuary have a common geological frame. The spouts issue from the contact of massive guartzites (jointed and crushed) with states and phyllites (Kharagpur Group).
All the springs are situated at topographic lows within the guartziter. The aqueducts formed due to fracturing are long and narrow zones of fissures and broken rocks.
There are number of places of tourist interest nearby the Sanctuary like, Rishikund, Ha-Ha Punch Kumari, Rameshwar Kund, Kharagpur Lake, Sringrishi etc. There are Tourist lodge and Forest Rest House that offer accommodation facilities to tourists in the mid of the forest.
Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary
The Rajgir Sanctuary is located at 2 km from Rajgir Railway Station and 105 km from Patna Airport. The Sanctuary is stretched in an area of 35.84 sq.km. The Sanctuary area is full of small hills an undulating land. There are number of hot water springs in the area. Sulphur content in hot water is quite high.
Among the wildlife found in the Sanctuary the notable ones are Leopard, Hyena, Barking Deer, and Nilgai etc. The birds, which have been identified, are peafowl, jungle fowl, partridge, black and grey quails, hornbill, parrot, dove, myna etc. Wild bear is very common to this area.
In addition to the Sanctuary there is a Bamboo Park (Venuvana). This was originally a park of King Bimbisara. The Forest Department constructed beautiful Deer Park with Cheetals, Nilgais and Sambhars. To add to all other beautiful places of historical importance there is an Arial Ropeway that provides the link with a hilltop Buddhist Stupa built by the Japanese.
The Sanctuary offers very good facilities for boarding and lodging provided by the State Government's Tourism, Forest and Public Works Departments.
Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kaimur Wild Life Sanctuary is located in the District of Kaimur under DFO Shahabad Division. Area of the sanctuary is 1342 sq.km, which is mainly confined to hills and undulating ground. Black bucks, Nilgai, Chinkara, Tiger, Leopard, Hyena, Wild boar, sloth bear etc are the common species found in these forests. The Sanctuary is well connected by rail and road. Nearest railway stations are Sasaram, Dehri-on-Son, and Bhabhua. Other important tourist places in the adjacent area are Mausoleum of Sher Shah at Sasaram Dhuan Kund (a natural water fall), Karkat Gadh etc.
Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is located at a distance of 20 km from Gaya and 60 km from Bodh Gaya. The area of the Sanctuary is 259 sq.km situated on either side off the NH2. The forest of the sanctuary are located on the hill and undulating tracts lying north of the hilly terrain which is an extension of Chhotanagpur plateau. Among the wild Life found here are Tigers, Leopards, Hyenas, Sloth Bear, Wolf, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Sambhar, Spotted Deer and Nilgai etc.
Udayapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Udaipur Wild Life Sanctuary is located in the district of West Champaran about 15 km from Bettiah. It covers an area of 8.87 sq.km. Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Wolf, Jungle Cat etc are found in the forest.
Kabar Jheel Bird Sanctuary
The Kabar Jheel (Lake) Bird Sanctuary is located 22 km north west of Begusarai. Area of the sanctuary is 63.11 sq.km. This Lake is formed through the meander of River Burhi Gandak that supports about 59 types of migratory birds and 106 residential species as well as 31 species of fishes.
Gogabil Bird Sanctuary
This Sanctuary is situated at a distance of 26 km from Katihar and is spread over on an area of about 217.99 km. By virtue of its global, national and regional significance the State Government has declared Gogabil Bird Sanctuary as a closed area. This wetland is rich in aquatic flora and fauna and is a fascinating wintering ground for the migratory birds.
Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary
Kanwar Lake of Begusarai, Bihar is the largest freshwater oxbow lake of Asia and biggest oxbow lake of India. The Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary is less popular bird sanctuary but home to 106 species of birds and 60 migratory birds. Due to excessive use of chemicals, loss of habitat and killings of Birds, population of birds in the Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary are falling towards the Critically Endangered, Vulnerable and Near Threatened categories. Oriental White-backed Vulture, Greater Spotted Eagle, Sarus Crane and Black-bellied Tern are few species can be spotted.
Nagi Dam and Nakti Dam Bird Sanctuary
The Nagi Dam (791 ha) and Nakti Dam (332 ha) are two sanctuaries so close to each other that they can be taken as one bird area. Nagi is c. 7 km from Jhagha in the district Jamui, and Nakti is a further c. 4 km from Nagi, occupying similar habitat. These notified sanctuaries are surrounded by rocky hillocks, formed by the damming of streams. Both these waterbodies are quite deep, with a clear water surface. These dams were built to supply water to local farms. There are cultivable lands adjacent to both the waterbodies.
Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
Located in the Bhagalpur District of the Indian State of Bihar, the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is a 50 kilometer stretch over the River Ganges from Sultanganj to Kahalgaon. This is the only protected area for the endangered Gangetic Dolphins in Asia which were abundant at one time, but now only a few hundreds remain. The Gangetic Dolphins have also been declared as the National Aquatic Animal of India in the year 2009, and which would fortify our efforts towards the protection of these endangered species.
Established as a National Park in the year 1991, the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary was especially designed for the conservation of this species. Conservation efforts have since helped sustain and safeguard the Gangetic Dolphin population within the sanctuary, which are known as ‘Soons’ by the locals. This Sanctuary also contains a rich diversity of other threatened aquatic wildlife that includes the Indian Smooth-Coated Otter, the Gharial, a variety of Freshwater Turtles and 135 species of Water-Fowl.
The core area of this Sanctuary is located between Sultanganj in the west of Bhagalpur, to Kahalgaon in the east of Bhagalpur, notably at the Barari Ghat where the Vikramshila Setu, a bridge built across the River Ganges starts. Bhagalpur Railway Junction is the closest Railway Station and well connected with the rest of the sub-continent. Patna, the capital city of the Bihar State is the closest Airport which is a few hours drive from Bhagalpur. Bhagalpur is well connected by road through a network of National and State Highways with the entire region.
October to June is however, the best time to plan a visit to the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin.