Valmiki forests & wilderness

Abode of protected wildlife in unique and primeval natural habitats

Nests of Nature and Nurture

Nature’s hidden and virgin recess in East India lies in the north-west corner of the State of Bihar     -     a tract of Himalayan Terai swathed with the splendid forests and wilderness of the Valmiki National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary.


The landscapes comprise of foothill ranges of Himalayan Siwalik’s extension with a mosaic of the cliffs, ridges, gorges and valleys. Add to this - the variety of floodplains of the rivers and streams.


The Valmiki National Park and Sanctuary are preserved in the lap of Champaran --Champa & Aranya. The legendary Ashram of ancient sage Valmiki in the north west end; the Ashram of modern sage Mahatma Gandhi at Bhitiharwa – his first laboratory of Satya & Ahimsa in the east end; and the Ashokan Pillar and Bauddha Stupa at Nandangarh, Lauria near the middle south form the triad of landmarks enclosing these home of wildlife and nature’s priceless treasure trove.


Situated between Latitudes 270 10’ to 270 03’ N & Longitude 830 50’ to 840 10’ E, the total area of Valmiki Wildlife sanctuary is nine hundred sq km, one third of which has the status of National Park.

The tract merges with the Royal Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Sanctuary in Nepal; the nature’s bliss and bounty oblivious of the geopolitical division


In recognition of the diverse landscapes sheltering rich wildlife habitats and floral and faunal composition with the prime protected carnivores, 840 sq km of this forest tract was constituted a Tiger Reserve in 1990.

A zealous endeavour to protect and preserve this treasure commenced in the year 1994 under the National conservation programme of the Project Tiger.



Nature’s Bliss of Diversity - Biophysical & Anthropological

Varied Landforms

Foothills of Himalayan Terai outliers - a continuation of Siwaliks

– Someshwar Hill range and Dun Hill system with knife edge ridges & precipitous slopes, cliffs, spurs, gorges, narrow valleys 

Bhabar- Dun tract of Terai

– Older Alluvium with sandy soil with variegated clay and loose boulder deposits and artesian flows; Lateritic formations on higher contours and newer Alluvium on southern parts with reissuing springs akin to artesian flows.

Flood plains of Gandak  & Burhi Gandak and their tributaries

– Criss-crossing & meandering rivers, streams and rivulets, manmade canals; Swamps and Grasslands

Agricultural plains

- Intensive cultivation of Sugarcane, Paddy and groves of Mango



Variety in Vegetation


Vegetation Types (Botanical Survey of India)

Forest Classes

1.Moist mixed deciduous


1. Bhabar – Dun Sal forest


2. Open-land  vegetation


2. Dry Siwalik Sal forest


3. Sub-mountainous semi-evergreen formation


3. West Gangetic Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest


4. Freshwater swamps


4. Khair – Sissoo forest


5. Riparian fringes


5. Cane Brakes


6. Alluvial grasslands and high level savannah

6. Eastern Wet Alluvial Grassland


7. Wetlands

7. Barringtonia Swamp Forest


Diversity in  Flora

Tree species: 86


The majestic Sal forests with associate tree species Terminalia, Adina and Rosewood and interspersing plantations of Teak, Bamboo, Semul, Shisham, Rohini and Khair – the dominant feature. The broadleaved mixed forests with stands of Khair, Jamun, Semal (silk cotton tree), Pani Gamhar (Trewia nudiflora), Safed Siris.                                                           

The cane brakes- the camouflaging impenetrable shelters of big carnivore –   the tiger.The unique low altitude Chir (Pine trees) in one pocket – Raghia hills. Grasslands along the river margins and aprons and stream banks and beds (major sps. Include Khar, Munj, Pater, Sabai, Kush etc.    

Many medicinal/herbal plants: Safed Musli, Satawar (Asparagas), Kalmegh.

Climbers and creepers: Piper longum, Bauhinia vahlii, Butea parviflora,

Shrub: Piper pepuloides, dwarf phoenix,

 Herbs and shrubs: 51


 Grasses and bamboo: 22

 Climbers and creepers: 17                   


Faunal diversity

Mammals: 53

Reptiles: 26                                      Amphibians: 13

Birds: 145

(Zoological Survey of India Report 1998)

Tiger, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Wild dog, Large and Small India Civet, Sloth bear , Gaur, Neelgai,  Sambhar, Chital, Barking Deer, Hog Deer,

Python, Cobra, Viper, Crocodile, Hill turtle, Monitor Lizard

White backed vulture, Hornbills, Hill Mynah, Paradise Flycatcher, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Black Necked Stork, Saras Crane


Ethnic & Racial composition

– the anthropological diversity in 250 villages in the close vicinity of Valmiki Wildlife sanctuary

  • Tharus – Semi tribal & Mongoloid race - a population through close contact of a different type of culture has almost completely changed their essential character – further transformed by slow acculturisation.
  • Dhangar – Origin as Indentured labourers from Chotanagpur

i.                     Oraons Dhangars- ( Schedule tribe from Chotanagpur)

ii.                   Munda Dhangars – (Schedule tribe from Chotanagpur)

iii.                  Lohar Dhangar – (Schedule tribe from Chotanagpur)

iv.                  Bhuiya Mahto or Bhuiya Dhangars (Musahar community, Schedule caste from Gaya)

o        Others

2.5 lakhs





0.5 lakh


0.5 Lakhs


Bounty of rivers and streams

Gandak – the leading lady of the river system and the mainstay of the water and soil resources of North-west Bihar- enters India at Valmikinagar (Bhainsalotan). This entry point is also the confluence of Gandak with rivers Pachnad and Sonha also descending into India from Nepal that is known as Triveni.

Masan – that becomes Burhi Gandak down south.

Pandai – Flows into Bihar (India) from Nepal in the eastern end of the Sanctuary and meets Masan.

All these rivers with their and precursor and tributaries namely Rohua, Kotrahia,  Sonha, Manor, Bhapsa, Koshil, Harha, Singha, Dhonghi, , Ganguli, Dhoram are full of youth and verve. Their cascades in wanton and wayward playfulness while descending from hills ridges and gorges are enchanting. Meeting the planes they slowly mature to serene grandeur.





Situated between Latitudes 270 10’ to 270 03’ N & Longitude 830 50’ to 840 10’ E ,the total area of Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary is 880 sq km, 335 sq km of which has the status of National Park.


Locales & Sites of tourist interests – Visitors delight

  • Barrage across river Gandak at Valmikinagar at Indo-Nepal border- the first landmark of engineering feat and Indo-Nepal co-operation in harnessing water resources.
  • The legendary site of hermitage of Valmiki – the ancient sage in Nepal across Sonha River near Valmikinagar.
  • The Bhitiharawa Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi near Gaunaha in the eastern end.
  • The Ashokan Pillar (polished stone) and Baudh Stupas at Lauriya and Nandangarh.
  • The entry point of river Pandai and the legendary Railway terminals at Bhikhna Thori made by the British North Bengal Railways.
  • The temple of Jatashankar, the Nardevi temple and Madanpur Devi Asthan.
  • The Sonfa Temple of Mahajogin atop a tiny hill block across the Paldai River.
  • The Someshwar Temple atop Someshwar peak of mythical fame.



The tempting locales and spots for the amateur and connoisseur of wilderness; the eco-tourists and the nature’s wanderer


The forests of Ganauli and Harnatanr  - fronts and the core shelters with streams and rivers.

A unique expanse of 26 hamlets and villages embedded in the forests known as the Done area.

The peaks of Someshwar hills overlooking India and Nepal through awful and mesmerizing gorges tearing through the Terai hills – that gives the pleasure of discerning that the Himalayas are young mountain system that keep rising

The dense and deep pockets of forest in the oblong section of Someshwar Block from Gabardhana to Dhumatanr – Jasauli.

The wetlands, swamps and mixed forests of riparian tract of Gandak River in the Madanpur Range.

Vantage points at many locations to behold the captivating views of the snow clad ranges and peaks of the lofty Himalayas.





Access and Approach to Valmiki National Park & Tiger Reserve

Rail Connections

  • Bagaha – Valmikinagar Road – for western sector of sanctuary at entrance of Sanctuary Madanpur Forest Range & FRH; Bagaha is 14 K.M. from wildlife sanctuary by Road 40 K.M. from Valmikinagar ( Only passengers trains have stoppage)
  • Narkatiaganj – for eastern sector of Sanctuary (Manguraha Range & Forest Rest House).
  • Harinagar ( Ramnagar – to reach the Central sector of the Sanctuary – Goberdhana Range & Goberdhana FRH)
  • Bettiah ( 70 KM of Sanctuary by Road)

Direct train from New Delhi, Mumbai and kolkata, siliguri, Dehradun, Amritsar reaching Bagaha, Narkatiaganj, Ramnagar – the door step to Valmiki National Park ( 25 km) and also Bettiah the district hqrs and hqrs of Field Directorate Valmiki Tiger Project


Road approach

  • 275 km from Patna capital city of Bihar;  
  • 200 km from Muzaffarpur, major city and railhead of North Bihar;
  • 125 km from Gorakhpur, UP


Nearest Airports : Patna, Kolkata


  • At valmikinagar – Tourist Lodge – Valmiki Vihar; State Tourism Dev. Corpn. & Inspection Bungalow  of  Water Resources Department & Bihar Hydro-electric Power Corpn.
  • Forest rest Houses at

Kotraha (5 km from Valmikinagar & 35 km from Bagaha)

Ganauli (15 km from Valmikinagar )

Madanpur ( 30 km from Valmiknagar & 12 km from Bagaha)

Naurangia Done, (40 km from Bagaha)

Goberdhana (20 km from Ramnagar-Harinagar)

Manguraha    (20 km from Narkatiaganj)

Manpur ( 30 km from Narkatiaganj)

(Narkatiaganj, Ramnagar & Bagaha are 40-45-65 kms from  Bettiah respectively.)


Contact Addresses:

1.Chief Conservator of Forests-cum-Chief Wildlife Warden, Bihar, 4th Floor, Technology Bhawan, Visviseraiya Complex, Bailey Road, Patna;  Telephone: 0612 -2203464

2.Field Director, Valmiki Tiger Project, Bettiah, West Champaran, Bihar; PIN: 845438

Phone: 06254-245331; 232909; Mobile: 94318-09401

3.Deputy Director, Valmiki Tiger Project Division I, Bettiah, West Champaran, Bihar; PIN: 845438 Phone: 06254-232017; 234719; Mobile: 94318-09402

4.Deputy Director, Valmiki Tiger Project Division II, Bettiah, West Champaran, Bihar; PIN: 845438 Phone: 06254-232367;  Valmiknagar Camp Office 06251 -256514; Mobile: 94318-09403






















N a t i o n a l   P a r k

W i l d l i f e   S a n c t u a r y

T i g e r  l a nd                                      

























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Sunrise across Pandai viewed from Manguraha Forest Rest House

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Text Box: A herd of Neelgai (Bluebull) in Ganauli forests


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A view of the Terai foothill ranges of Siwalik in Done area and the river Harha














Cane brakes along Rohua Nala in Madanpur Forests; Photo- WTI