Friday, May 19, 2023

Buxa National Park

Buxa National Park UPSC

Buxa National Park is a renowned national park located in the state of West Bengal, India. The park is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas and shares borders with Bhutan and Assam. It is a part of the Buxa Tiger Reserve, which also includes the adjacent Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary.


Apart from its natural beauty, Buxa National Park holds historical and cultural significance. The park houses the Buxa Fort, which served as a prison during the British colonial period and later as a detention camp during the Indian independence movement. The fort remains an intriguing site for history enthusiasts and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


Table of Contents

  • Buxa National Park Location
  • Buxa National Park History
  • Buxa National Park Area
    • Gangetic Plains
    • Indo-Malayan Region
    • Terai Ecosystem
  • Buxa National Park Hills
    • Buxa Hills
    • Sinchula Hill Range
  • Buxa National Park River
    • Raidak
    • Sankosh
    • Jayanti
    • Churnia
    • Turturi
    • Phashkhawa
    • Dima
    • Nonani
  • Minerals Resources
  • Buxa National Park Flora
    • Tropical Evergreen Forests
    • Subtropical Broadleaf Forests
    • Bamboo Forests
    • Alpine Vegetation
    • Medicinal Plants
  • Buxa National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Top Things to do in Buxa National Park
  • Buxa National Park UPSC Questions


Buxa National Park Location

Buxa National Park is located in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. It is situated in the northeastern part of the state, close to the international border with Bhutan. 


It is located in eastern Dooars (rolling humid plains) at 2600 ft above sea level. 


Nearest Airport to Buxa National Park:

The nearest airport to Buxa National Park is Bagdogra Airport. Bagdogra Airport is located in Siliguri, West Bengal, India. From Bagdogra Airport, Buxa National Park is approximately 180 kilometers away.


Nearest Railway Station to Buxa National Park:

The nearest railway station to Buxa National Park is Alipurduar Junction Railway Station. Alipurduar Junction is a major railway station in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. It is well-connected to various cities and towns across the country. From Alipurduar Junction Railway Station, Buxa National Park is approximately 35 kilometers away. 




Buxa National Park History

Establishment of Buxa Tiger Reserve: In 1983, Buxa Tiger Reserve was established as the 15th tiger reserve in India. This designation aimed to protect and conserve the critically endangered Bengal tigers, which inhabit the reserve. Buxa Tiger Reserve was recognized as an important habitat for the conservation of this iconic species.


Constitution of Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1986, the Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary was constituted, furthering the conservation efforts in the region. The wildlife sanctuary aimed to safeguard the diverse flora and fauna found in the area surrounding Buxa Tiger Reserve. It provided protection to numerous species of wildlife and promoted their natural habitat conservation.


Expansion of Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1991, an additional area of 54.47 square kilometers was added to the Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary. This expansion extended the protected zone, encompassing more diverse ecosystems and enhancing the sanctuary's conservation impact. The added area contributed to the preservation of vital wildlife corridors and provided enhanced habitat for various species.


Declaration as a National Park: In 1992, Buxa Tiger Reserve was elevated to the status of a national park. The declaration recognized the ecological significance and conservation value of the reserve. The upgrade to a national park aimed to ensure enhanced protection and conservation efforts, safeguarding the park's biodiversity and promoting the long-term preservation of its natural resources.




Buxa National Park Area

Buxa National Park spread over an area of 315sq.kms.


Gangetic Plains: Buxa National Park lies in the Gangetic Plains with the Himalayas bordering it.


Indo-Malayan Region: Buxa National Park represents the highly endemic Indo-Malayan region.


Terai Ecosystem: The “Terai Ecosystem” constitutes a part of the Buxa National Park.




Buxa National Park Hills

Buxa National Park is characterized by its hilly terrains, which add to its scenic beauty and make it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and trekkers. The hills in the park are part of the larger Eastern Himalayan range, which extends across Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Myanmar. 


The Buxa National Park hills offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including lush forests, valleys, and rivers. Trekking through these hills provides visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the region and explore the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in the area.


(1) Buxa Hills:

The Buxa National Park is nestled in the Buxa Hills of the Eastern Himalayas, offering a picturesque and scenic environment for visitors to explore.


(2) Sinchula Hill Range:

The Sinchula hill range lies all along the northern side of Buxa National Park and the Eastern boundary touches that of the Assam State.




Buxa National Park River

Buxa National Park is traversed by several rivers and streams that add to its natural beauty and provide water resources to the park's ecosystems. 


Sankosh, Raidak, Jayanti, Churnia, Turturi, Phashkhawa, Dima and Nonani rivers flow through Buxa National Park.


(1) Raidak River:

  • Raidak is a tributary of the River Brahmaputra.
  • It is a trans-boundary river. 
  • The total length of the river is 370 kilometres (230 mi).
  • It flows through Bhutan, India and Bangladesh. 
  • It is one of the main river in Alipurduar District of West Bengal, India.
  • The Raidak River also called Wang Chhu or Wong Chhu in Bhutan.
  • The Chukha Hydel Project (336MW) harnesses the waters of the Raidak River.


(2) Sankosh River:

  • Sankosh river rises in northern Bhutan 
  • It empties into the Brahmaputra in the state of Assam in India. 
  • The two largest tributaries of Sankosh River are the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu.




Minerals Resources in Buxa National Park

The region surrounding Buxa National Park, particularly the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, is known for its mineral resources. The district is rich in minerals such as coal, limestone, dolomite, and quartz. These minerals have been the subject of mining activities in certain areas outside the national park.


Buxa was famous for dolomite mining in the north Bengal region. Mining activities can have environmental impacts, including habitat destruction, soil erosion, and pollution. To safeguard the integrity of Buxa National Park and maintain its ecological balance, mining and mineral extraction are generally restricted within or in close proximity to protected areas.




Buxa National Park Flora

Buxa National Park is known for its rich and diverse flora, which includes various types of vegetation ranging from tropical forests to alpine meadows. The park's flora is influenced by its location in the Eastern Himalayas and the presence of different altitudinal zones. 


Here are some of the prominent plant species found in Buxa National Park:


(1) Tropical Evergreen Forests:

In the lower elevations of the Buxa National Park, you can find lush tropical evergreen forests dominated by tree species such as Sal (Shorea robusta), Simul (Bombax ceiba), Gamari (Gmelina arborea), and Amari (Chukrasia tabularis). These forests are characterized by dense vegetation, with an understory of shrubs, climbers, and various ferns.


(2) Subtropical Broadleaf Forests: 

As you ascend in altitude, the forests transition into subtropical broadleaf forests. Species like Teak (Tectona grandis), Khair (Acacia catechu), Champa (Michelia champaca), and Mahua (Madhuca longifolia) are commonly found here.


(3) Bamboo Forests:

Buxa National Park is also known for its extensive bamboo forests. Various species of bamboo, including Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Bambusa pallida, and Melocanna baccifera, form dense thickets and provide important habitat for wildlife.


(4) Alpine Vegetation:

At higher elevations, the vegetation becomes more alpine in nature. Rhododendrons, including Rhododendron arboreum and Rhododendron campanulatum, add vibrant colors to the landscape during the flowering season. Other alpine plants such as primroses, gentians, and orchids can also be found in these areas.


(5) Medicinal Plants:

Buxa National Park is home to a variety of medicinal plants that are used in traditional medicine. Species like Rauwolfia serpentina (Sarpagandha), Aconitum sp. (Bikh), and Datura metel (Dhatura) have medicinal properties and are of significant importance.




Buxa National Park Fauna (Buxa National Park Animals)

Buxa National Park is known for its diverse and abundant fauna, with a wide range of animal species that call the park their home. The park's varied ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and hilly terrains, provide habitats for numerous wildlife species. 


Here are some of the prominent fauna found in Buxa National Park:


Mammals:

  • Bengal Tiger
  • Leopard Cat
  • Sloth Bear
  • Fishing Cat
  • Civet Cat
  • Hyaena
  • Jackal
  • Mongoose
  • Indian Fox
  • Wild Dog
  • Marbled Cat
  • Golden Cat


Birds: 

  • Eurasian Griffon
  • Amur Falcon
  • Malayan Night Heron
  • Oriental Pied Hornbill
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Chestnut-breasted Partridge
  • Cinnamon Bittern 
  • Stripe-breasted Woodpecker
  • Velvet-fronted Nuthatch
  • Black-naped Oriole


Reptiles:

  • King Cobra
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Common Krait
  • Green Vine Snake
  • Monitor Lizards
  • Garden Lizard
  • Indian Roofed Turtle




Top Things to do in Buxa National Park

When visiting Buxa National Park, there are several activities and attractions that you can explore to make the most of your experience. 


Here are some of the top things to do in Buxa National Park:


  • Jungle Safari
  • Trekking
  • Bird Watching
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Visit Buxa Fort
  • Jayanti River Excursion
  • Nature Walks
  • Tribal Village Visit
  • Visit Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga




Buxa National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is the Buxa National Park?/Buxa National Park located in which district?

A. Buxa National Park is located in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. 


Q. Why is Buxa National Park famous?

A. Buxa National Park is famous for Tiger Reserve.

Buxa National Park

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