Valmiki National Park is located in the West Champaran district of Bihar state, India. The extensive forest area of Valmikinagar was previously owned by the Bettiah Raj and Ramanagar Raj until the early 1950s.Valmiki tiger Reserve (VTR) is one of the nature’s virgin recesses in east India is situated in the North West corner of the State of Bihar. The Pristine forest and wilderness of VTR is an excellent example of Himalayan Terai landscape. VTR comprises the Valmiki National Park and Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary. The VTR forest area covers 899.38 sqkm which is 17.4% of the total geographical areas of the district West Champaran.
The Valmiki National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary lie in the West Champaran district of Bihar. Name of the district has been derived from two words Champa and Aranya – meaning Forest of Champa trees. Geographically, it is situated between 830 50’ and 840 10’ E longitude and between 270 10’ and 270 03’ N latitude. Total forest area comprises about 900 sq km., out of which expense of Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary is 880 sq km. and spread of the National Park is about 335 sq km. area. In north, the protected areas are bordered by Nepal while the Indian state Uttar Pradesh bounds the Wildlife Sanctuary from western side.
The landscape of VTR encompasses foothills ranges of Himalayan Siwaliks with mosaic of the cliffs, ridges, gorges, hills, streams and valleys; dense forests, open woodlands, grasslands, swamps and riverine fringe. Situated in Gangetic plains bio-geographic zone of the Country, the forest has combination of bhabhar and terai tracts. Boulder and pebble deposits by the Himalayan rivers in foothills characterized the bhabhar tract while the finer sediments deposits feature terai lands.
Foothills of Himalayan Terai Outliers - A Continuation of Shiwaliks
Someshwar Hill Range and Dun Hill system with knife - edge ridges and precipitous slopes, cliffs, spurs, gorges, narrow valleys.
Bhabar- Dun Tract
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 and Burhi Gandak and Their Tributaries
Criss-crossing and meandering rivers, streams and rivulets, manmade canals; Swamps and Grasslands. River Gandak forms the western boundary of Valmiki wildlife sanctaury. It enters in India at Valmikinagar, where two rivulets Sonha and Pachnad joins it forming a holy confluence ‘Triveni’. The river is called ‘Narayani’ in Nepal. Harha – Masan River system originates from the Valmiki Forests and forms Burhi Gandak River down south. River Pandai flows into Bihar (India) from Nepal in the eastern end of the Sanctuary and meets Masan. All these rivers with their precursor and tributaries namely Rohua, Kotrahia, Manor, Bhapsa, Koshil, 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.
Wild Animal Diversity
The wild mammals found in the forest of VTR are Tiger, Rhinoceros, Black bear, Leopard, Wild dog, Wild buffalo, Wild boar etc. There are several species of deer and antelopes found in VTR which are barking deer, spotted deer, Hog deer, Shambhar, Blue bull. Apart from that hyena, Leopard cat, Wild cat, fishing cat, Languor, Monkey, Flying squirrel, etc. can also be sighted in VTR. There is sight in Madanpur forest block on the main road from Madanpur to Valmikinagar where large number of Indian flying fox can be sighted any time.
The reptiles which are commonly found in VTR are python, Cobra, King cobra, Krait, Banded krait, domuha snake (sand boa), etc. Among aquatic reptiles crocodiles, otters (water cat), Ghariyal, monitor lizard, etc. are found in VTR. Good number of crocodiles are found near Belahwa Village which is adjacant to the VTR. Ghariyals are found in river Gandak.
At present 241 bird species have been reported from VTR. Some of the interesting birds of VTR are Nepal kaleej pheasant, three-toed quail, flycatcher, grey shrike, green willow warbler, tree pipit, white eye, green barbet, waders, ibises, storks, pitta, plovers, snipes, pied hornbill, emerald dove. There are five types of green pigeons and purple wood pigeon found in VTR. In the night several owls, owlets, nightjars, etc. can be easily sighted.
The jungle of VTR abounds in various kinds of moth, caterpillars and butterflies. Some common butterflies like common Mormon, great Mormon, glassy tiger, great eggfly, club beak, grey pansy, lime butterfly, common crow can easily be sighted.
As per champion and seth classification there are seven forest types found in VTR which makes VTR a special destination for nature lovers.