Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is 45th tiger reserve project in India. It is located in Pilibhit District, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is covered under Project Tiger since 2008. The place is famous for its diversified ecosystems. The Terai area includes vast and open spaces of lands and many water bodies. While the northern area of reserve touches the Indo-Nepal border, the southern edge is connected to Khakhra and Sharda river.
Area: 730.2 sq km
Location: Uttar Pradesh
Established: September 2008
Flora & Fauna
The jungles in the reserve serve as natural home to more than 127 species of animals, 326 bird species and 2100 of the flower plants. Forests mainly include Sal and ecosystems provide food to elephant predators. There is a myriad of wild animals found in the reserve. For instance, endangered wild animals like tiger, swamp deer and blue bull. As far as bird species are concerned, there are more than 1300 birds found here including species like jungle babbler, fish owl, snack bird, hornbill, pea fowl, serpent eagle, black neck stork etc.
One can hear an echoing sound of animals like spotted deer that warns other animals regarding arrival of Tiger. Several endangered species of animals also find a home at the reserve and consist of animals like pangolin, Bengal Florican, vulture, sloth deer etc.
Major Tourist Attractions
- Chuka Beach: It is situated between Sharda dam and canal. It is a beautiful tourist destination with one bamboo hut, one tree house and four Thara huts. Best time to visit Chuka beach is between the month of October and April.
- Jaisantri Mata Temple: This is one of the most sacred places in Pilibhit and devotees believe that all of their wishes are fulfilled by visiting this temple. On special occasions, a big mela is also organized at this temple which attracts thousands of tourists every year. There is a sarovar situated near the temple and devotees usually take bath or a dip in the sarovar before going to temple. The serenity of the temple and beliefs of people in Jaisantri mata is what makes this temple a must go place in Pilibhit.
- Gauri Shankar Temple: It is a historical temple in Pilibhit. It is a beautiful temple as the design is quite architectural.
- Jama Masjid: Jama Masjid is a spacious sacred place but located in a congested area. The inside structure of the complex is well built and designed.
- Ardhnarishwar Temple: Every year innumerable tourists visit this temple to seek blessings of Lord Shiva and his wife. It is located in the heart of the city nearby Sungarhi Police Station. One may offer milk abhishek or rudrabhishek to Shiv and Shiva.
Activities to be enjoyed
Visitors can enjoy morning and evening jeep safaris at Pilibhit Tiger reserve to see wild animals living in their natural habitat. The roaring sound of tiger makes one thrilled by excitement when heartbeat rises. Travelers can also observe bird sounds in the calm jungles. While people enjoy watching animals roaming around in the jungle, it offers a real jungle experience without intruding the peace of wild animals.
Weather conditions and Best time to visit
The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve remains open from September to mid-June. After mid-June, the temperature becomes too hot and hence, it makes uncomfortable for visitors to enjoy safari. The best time to visit is the month of November. This is mainly because during this month, the visitors can witness arrival of avian species also. Tourists are advised not to visit Pilibhit in summers as summers are too hot here. Average temperature in summer is 36.8 degrees Celsius whereas average winter temperature is 14.5 degrees Celsius. During monsoons, the rains can ruin the journey while in winters, the weather is too chilling. Visitors going during the month of December to February must take woolens on the trip if they want to enjoy wild animals on the clean grass in the Reserve.
How to get there?
By Air: Nearest Airports are New Delhi, Lucknow, Agra and Gwalior which are 142.45, 136.96, 138.34 and 187.85 miles away from Pilibhit respectively.
By Train: One can travel to Pilibhit by train via computerized reservation facility. Pilibhit Railway Junction lies on Bareilly-Lakhimpur railway line. On the south-western side, the main station next to Pilibhit is Bhojipura. On the western side, the main station is Puranpur. There are three express trains that come directly to Pilibhit from Lucknow viz. Nainital Express, Rohilkhand Express and Lucknow-Agra Express. From Agra station, there are two stations i.e. Agra-Gonda express and Agra-Lucknow Express.
By Road: NH-74 passes through the Pilibhit district of UP. Regular buses ply at half an hour interval from Pilibhit to Bareilly. There is option of direct bus facility also and that is available from Delhi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Rishikesh etc.
Where to Stay
Travelers can stay at reserve tourist lodges and forest rest-houses situated at Bankatti and Mala. The one at Chuka is quite popular as visitors can enjoy at Chuka beach during their stay here. Hotel facility at nominal places is also available. In addition, hotels also provide daily vehicles to visitors for riding in the reserve area.
Please keep the reserve area clean by avoiding littering as forests are home to wildlife. Do not travel in the jungle area after dark.
Avoid making strange noises at the reserve area as it might fright the wild animals. Avoid smoking and do not take any firearm. Just enjoy the serenity of the place so that you can enjoy Pilibhit truly.
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