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Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve

 
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Gorgeous and multi-hued, butterflies are rightly called ‘winged jewels’ of the tropical forest. But, butterflies are more than pretty distractions; they play a crucial role in pollination and so, in the very continuance of the forest! India is very rich in butterflies. Making a trip specially to see their glory, can be a rewarding experience of discovery and a unique glimpse at our wild.
| Travel Tips | Other Places to see | Getting There | Accommodation |

In Arunachal Pradesh, at the very eastern tip of India, lies Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park, probably the last true wilderness and virgin forest that you will find anywhere in the country. Namdapha is nature’s last secret, its last vibrant oasis, that conjures up not individually gorgeous images of butterflies, flowers and rich animal life, but rather one huge pulsating entity, that fascinates, charms and changes one in unforgettable ways; which is why a visit to Namdapha is and experience of a lifetime.

Darter-bird at namdapha wildlife sanctuary

An amazing variety of butterflies thrive in the lush, dense tropical rain forests covering an area of 1985.23 sq. km, which form the core of this natural paradise. With altitudes that vary between 4,500 m and 200 m, Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park boasts such rich biodiversity that over 60% of all animals in India, (and many not found anywhere else) are found here. In fact, it is the only park in the world where the 4 big cats – the tiger, the leopard, the clouded leopard and the snow leopard are all found!

Just before the entrance of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park, at Jairampur, is India’s first and only Butterfly Conservation Area. In 2006, the state forest department also allotted another land of 84 hectare for conservation of Butterflies. The Namchik Valley Society for Wild life conservation in association with forest department will soon start the development program of this area. These efforts only reinforce the wealth and diversity of butterfly that make their home here and the robust health of this jungle.

The name of the town at the entrance of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park is Miao (quite like a cat call!). Another 28 km takes you to Deban, the forest dept. run tourist complex which is the main accommodation at Namdapha. Set on the banks of the beautiful river Noa Dehing, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, Deban helps introduce you to the wonder of this amazing jungle. About 5 km from Deban is the second camping site- Haldibari, bound by large water bodies, Haldibari this is a great place to watch the wildlife as they come to graze at the fringes. 10 km away from Deban is the Hornbill campsite – named after the huge, colourful birds that roost here in the evening, this Hornbill provides one of the few breaks in the otherwise dense forest cover and is marvelous for watching the fascinating birds that inhabit Namdapha, as also the flying squirrels and lesser animals. On a bright sunny day, in patches of damp forest floor, be ready to be transported to fairy-land, as incredibly different varieties of butterfly catch-up for a drink!

Hoolock-gibbon at namdapha wildlife sanctuary

A little further down from the Hornbill camp (and 15km from Deban) at Namdapha National Park is the enchanting Bulbulia campsite. Bulbulia is at a hot spring. The surrounding area is quite slushy and attracts animals who’d like to wallow. Further down is Rani Jheel. This pond situated on a slightly rising plateau, is super place to see rare ducks and colourful water birds. But you know, Namdapha is full of surprises, so you never really know what secret glimpse it might just offer you.

Firmbase is the last of the common camps at Namdapha. 25 km from Deban, this campsite offers amazing opportunities to view the wild animals and to get close to this fascinating beauty of this forest.

Flying Squirrel at namdapha wildlife sanctuary

Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park is about as wild, as magical and as close to true wilderness as one can get. This forest paradise nestled in the misty blue hills of our country’s north-east, remains the last refuge of the true virgin forest. If you’re a person, who’d like an experience of the wild that will stay with you for life, beckon you again and again, remind you that it will always be incomparable, then a visit to Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park is a must, no matter whatever the excuse, whatever the opportunity, when it comes along, grab it.

Travel tips & useful Facts about Namdapha National Park
Best time to go to Namdapha
  1. October & November are the driest months so for those who're made of sugar and salt...
  2. The time for butterflies is however in the end or beginning rains! So, late May or September is good, it does rain heavily here.
  3. A time to really get the best is during the Namdapha Eco-Cultural Festival in Jan – Feb, that way, you’ll not just get the animals and the wild, but get a unique glimpse into the tribes and tribal life and really dig into Arunachal
Required permits for  travel to Namdapha
  • All Indians require an Inner Line Permit to enter Changlamng district (in which Namdapha is situated) – it is usually got by the tour operator or you can get it at the Home Ministry or at the he Resident Commissioner of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh stationed in New Delhi. It will take some 8-12 weeks.
Planning travel to Namdapha
  1. Hornbill-bird at namdapha wildlife sanctuary
    It is best to plan the entire trip with a local tour operator in Arunachal - he will arrange for permits, transport, accommodations and treks well in place
  2. Leeches are everywhere in Namdapha and in large numbers. Carry protective gear.
  3. Rain is never predictable, give yourself some extra days to make sure that a trip is not wasted.
  4. To really get the most out of a Namdapha visit, camping inside the Park at Hornbill, Bulbulia, Haldibari is a must. A reliable travel agent's services are advised - recommended is Help Tourism.
  5. Kolkata office: Ph: 09831031980, 098313 63849, 033-24550917,
    033-24549719,
    E-mail: kolkata@helptourism.com, asit.helptourism@gmail.com
    Delhi office at Malviyanagar, E-mail: garumara@yahoo.co.uk

 


Other places to see near Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park

Obviously a trip for even more butterflies and birds is recommended to the Jairampur  butterfly sanctuary. If you can go to Miao (and its best to go with a local), then you’d be able to really get a whiff of the local people, tribes, houses, culture and food plus get to the Forest Dept museum, a visit worth making.


Reaching Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park

By Air: The nearest airport is Dibrugarh, Assam (Taxi charge about 3000/-). Dibrugarh is well connected to Delhi an Kolkata by regular flights.

By Rail:The nearest station is at Ledo, near Margherita (56 km) in Assam. Local train connects Margherita to Tinsukia (a major station) which is connected with major cities of India by regular passenger trains. (Taxi charges about 2000/- from Tinsukhia).

By Road: Good motorable roads connect Miao (entry point of the park) to Dibrugarh (NH 37 from Dibrugarh to Makum via Tinsukhia, then NH 38 to Ledo – SH to Miao and then Link road 28km to Deban – total distance 140 km / 5 hours drive time). Miao can also be reached by Jeep/Gypsy from Margherita (Assam).

Common-Jezebel-butterfly at namdapha wildlife sanctuary

Place to stay at Namdapha
Places to stay at Namdapha Tiger Reserve and National Park are mostly accommodation provided by the Forest Dept. and their campsites. The advice here is to really plan in advance, as stay options at Namdapha are always in demand and difficult to get.

  1. The Forest Rest house at Deban (Ph: 03807-223126, charges Rs. 125-250 ) has 5 rooms, the caretaker cooks for you. Tourist Huts – 4 such where the charges are Rs. 85 – 125 & the Dormitories of 2 rooms x 15 beds at 30/- each day per bed.

Reservations Contact: Field Director, Project Tiger, Namdapha Tiger reserve, Miao. Telefax: 03807-223126, 03807-222249)

  1. Camp Namdapha ( Ph:03806-262343, 03759-240378, 09435083289) is a tourist resort with 4 cabins and 5 stilt huts. Charges are Rs.2000/- per person with a minimum group of 6 persons. The charges include Accommodation, all meals and guides)


You can also stay at Miao at the Circuit House, Tourist Lodge and Inspection Bungalow. Advance Booking can be obtained from: The Sub-divisional Officer, Miao - 792 122, Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Phone: +91-3807-222245

Other useful tourist information contacts are :

  1. The Field Director, Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Miao - 792 122, Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh, Phone / Fax: +91-3807-22249.
  2. Assistant Director (Tourism), Directorate, Information and Public Relation, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh, Phone: (0360) 2244115,
  3. Government of India Tourist Office, Sector- C, Naharlagun - 791 110, Arunachal Pradesh, Phone: (0360) 2244328

Click here for more hotels in Namdapha

Note: phone numbers are subject to change, please call the Arunachal Pradesh Tourism office at your City for details.

About Namdapha National Park: Namdapha National Park Information
Altitude  200-4500 meters
Temp
Summer 32 (Max) & 18 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 20 (Max) & 0 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go October – November & January – February
Monsoon June – September
Summer April – May
Winter December – February
Clothes Cottons in summer and moderate woolens in winter
Nearest Airport Dibrugarh, 140 km
Nearest Railway Station Margherita, 56 km
Bus Station Miao (Entry Point) – Direct buses from Dibrugarh.
Hospital & Doctor

Dibrugarh (140 km) is the nearest city with good medical facilities

Places to see Itanagar, Akashi Ganga, Forest Dept. Museum…more
   
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