Thursday, May 18, 2023

Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park UPSC

Neora Valley National Park is a beautiful protected area located in West Bengal, India. It is one of the most pristine and least explored national parks in the region. 


The Neora Valley National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes. It is surrounded by dense forests, gushing rivers, waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains, offering a breathtaking experience to visitors. 


The Neora Valley National Park is famous for its Red Panda population.


Table of Contents

  • Neora Valley National Park Location
  • Neora Valley National Park History
  • Neora Valley National Park Area
  • Neora Valley National Park Hills
    • Kalimpong Hills
    • Lava Hills
    • Tiffin Dara
    • Rachela Pass
    • Rishyap Hills
  • Neora Valley National Park River
    • Neora River
    • Changey Waterfall
  • Neora Valley National Park Biomes
  • Neora Valley National Park Flora
    • Rhododendrons
    • Oaks
    • Bamboo
    • Ferns
    • Medicinal Plants
    • Orchids
  • Neora Valley National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Red Panda
  • Top Things to do in Neora Valley National Park
  • Neora Valley National Park UPSC Questions


Neora Valley National Park Location

Neora Valley National Park is located in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, India. It is situated in the Eastern Himalayas. It is nestled between the Neora River and the Kalimpong hills. 


The Neora Valley National Park is bordered by the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary of Pakyong District of Sikkim in the north and Toorsa Strict Reserve of Bhutan in the east. 


The southern boundaries of the Neora Valley National Park are adjoining to the forests of Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, which have connectivity with the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary and the Gorumara National Park.


The nearest town to Neora Valley National Park is Lava, which is about 18 kilometers (11 miles) away. 


Neora Valley National Park Nearest Airport:

Bagdogra Airport (Siliguri International Airport) is the nearest airport, which is 100 km away from the Neora Valley National park.


Neora Valley National Park Nearest Railways Station:

The nearest railway station to Neora Valley National Park is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. New Jalpaiguri Railway Station is a major railway junction located in Siliguri, West Bengal, India. It is well-connected to various cities and towns across the country. From New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, you can hire a taxi or take a shared jeep to reach Neora Valley National Park, which is approximately 100 kilometers away.




Neora Valley National Park History

Neora Valley National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and pristine natural beauty.


Early History: The history of Neora Valley National Park is closely linked to the conservation efforts in the region. In the 19th century, the forests of the area were extensively exploited for timber and other resources. The degradation of the forests led to the formation of local conservation groups and initiatives to protect the natural heritage of the region.


British Era: In the early 20th century, British settlers and tea planters recognized the ecological importance of the area and took steps to protect it. 


Establishment as a Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1961, the Neora Valley in the Kalimpong subdivision was declared a wildlife sanctuary under the West Bengal Forest Department.


Upgrade to a National Park: In 1986, the Neora Valley Wildlife Sanctuary was upgraded to the status of a national park, primarily to protect the endangered species found in the region. The park was named after the Neora River, which flows through it. 




Neora Valley National Park Area

The Neora Valley National Park spreads over an area of 88 km2 (34 sq mi) and is a rich biological zone in eastern India. It's compact size also makes it easier to explore and experience its natural beauty within a relatively concentrated area.


Its altitude ranging from 183 meters (600 feet) to 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) above sea level. 




Neora Valley National Park Hills

Neora Valley National Park is situated in the Eastern Himalayas, and it is surrounded by hills and mountains that contribute to its stunning landscapes. These hills and the overall topography of the region contribute to the unique charm of Neora Valley National Park. 


Here are some of the notable hills in and around Neora Valley National Park:


(1) Kalimpong Hills: 

The Neora Valley National Park is located near the Kalimpong hills, which are part of the larger Eastern Himalayan range. These hills offer panoramic views and serve as a backdrop to the park's scenic beauty.


(2) Lava Hills:

Lava is located in Neora Valley National Park. These hills provide a picturesque setting and serve as a starting point for trekking and exploring the park.


(3) Tiffin Dara:

Tiffin Dara is a popular hilltop viewpoint located within Neora Valley National Park. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding hills, valleys, and snow-capped peaks.


(4) Rachela Pass:

Rachela Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass located near Neora Valley National Park. It is a popular trekking destination and offers mesmerizing views of the Eastern Himalayan range.


(5) Rishyap Hills:

Rishyap is a scenic village located close to the Neora Valley National Park, surrounded by lush green hills. The village provides a serene atmosphere and serves as a starting point for treks in the area. The area is known for its views of the Kanchenjunga range. 




Neora Valley National Park River

Neora Valley National Park is bordered by several rivers that flow through the park, enhancing its natural beauty and providing crucial water resources for the region. 


The major rivers in and around Neora Valley National Park include:


(1) Neora River

  • The Neora River flows through the Neora Valley National Park.
  • The park derives its name from the Neora River.
  • It is one of the major sources of water for the town of Kalimpong and its neighbouring areas.
  • The river originates from the Kupup Lake in Sikkim.


(2) Changey Waterfall:

  • Changey Falls is a waterfall located 10 km (6.2 mi) from the hamlet of Lava in Kalimpong district, West Bengal.




Neora Valley National Park Biomes

The primary biomes inside Neora Vally National Park are:


  1. Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest of the Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests
  2. Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest of the Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests
  3. Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest of the Himalayan subtropical pine forests




Neora Valley National Park Flora

Neora Valley National Park is known for its rich and diverse flora, with a wide variety of plant species that thrive in its pristine and unspoiled environment. The park is home to a unique blend of tropical, subtropical, and temperate vegetation, owing to its location in the Eastern Himalayas. 


Here are some notable plant species found in Neora Valley National Park:


(1) Rhododendrons:

The park is renowned for its vibrant rhododendron forests. These beautiful flowering plants bloom in various colors, including shades of red, pink, white, and purple, adding a burst of color to the landscape.


(2) Oaks:

Neora Valley National Park is home to several species of oak trees, such as Quercus lamellosa, Quercus semecarpifolia, and Quercus lanata. These majestic trees contribute to the park's dense forests and provide habitat for various wildlife.


(3) Bamboo:

Bamboo is abundant in the Neora Valley National Park and plays a crucial role in its ecosystem. Different species of bamboo, including Dendrocalamus hamiltonii and Melocanna bambusoides, can be found in the park's forests.


(4) Ferns:

Neora Valley National Park is known for its diverse fern species. The park's moist and shady environment provides a suitable habitat for a variety of ferns, including filmy ferns, tree ferns, and sword ferns.


(5) Medicinal Plants:

The Neora Valley National Park is also known for its rich collection of medicinal plants. Traditional communities, such as the Lepcha and Bhutia tribes, have long used these plants for their healing properties. Some notable medicinal plants found in the park include Swertia chirayita, Aconitum spp., and Picrorhiza kurroa.


(6) Orchids:

Neora Valley National Park is home to a wide array of orchid species. These delicate and exquisite flowers can be found growing on trees, rocks, and the forest floor. Some popular orchid species in the park include Dendrobium, Cymbidium, and Coelogyne.




Neora Valley National Park Fauna (Neora Valley National Park Animals)

Neora Valley National Park is home to a diverse range of fauna, including several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and butterflies. The park's varied habitats, from dense forests to mountainous terrain, provide a suitable environment for numerous wildlife species. 


Here are some notable examples of the fauna found in Neora Valley National Park:


Mammals:

  • Red Panda
  • Asiatic Black Bear
  • Sloth Bear
  • Clouded Leopard
  • Asian Golden Cat
  • Wild Boar
  • Leopard Cat
  • Goral
  • Serow
  • Barking Deer
  • Sambar Deer
  • Flying Squirrel
  • Tahr


Birds:

  • Rufous-throated Partridges
  • Rufous-winged Fulvetta
  • Gold-naped Finch
  • Crimson-breasted Woodpeckers
  • Golden-throated Barbet
  • Satyr Tragopan
  • Ashy Wood Pigeon
  • Jerdon's Baza
  • White-gorgeted Flycatcher
  • Chestnut-crowned Warblers
  • Black-faced Laughingthrush
  • White-browed Bush Robin
  • Lesser Cuckoo
  • Darjeeling Woodpecker
  • Brown Wood Owl
  • Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers
  • White-browed Shrike Babbler
  • Black Eagle
  • Red-headed Bullfinch
  • Fire-tailed Sunbird
  • Maroon-backed Accentor


Reptiles:

  • King Cobra
  • Common Krait
  • Green Pit Viper
  • Blind Snake
  • Lizards




Red Panda in Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park is known for its population of Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens), which is one of the key attractions of the park. The park provides a suitable habitat for these adorable and endangered creatures. 


Here are some details about Red Pandas in Neora Valley National Park:


Population: Neora Valley National Park is home to a significant population of Red Pandas. 


Habitat: Red Pandas are found in the park's dense forests, especially in areas with a mix of bamboo and deciduous trees. 


Conservation Status: Red Pandas are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 


Ecological Role: Red Pandas play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitat. They primarily feed on bamboo shoots, leaves, fruits, and occasionally small mammals and birds. As they consume bamboo, they contribute to its growth and distribution in the forest.



Red Panda:

  • The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is also known as the Lesser Panda.
  • It is a small mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. 
  • It has dense reddish-brown fur with a black belly and legs, white-lined ears, a mostly white muzzle and a ringed tail.
  • The species has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2015.




Top Things to do in Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors to immerse themselves in its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. 


Here are some top things to do in Neora Valley National Park:


  • Trekking
  • Wildlife Spotting
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Photography
  • Camping
  • Village Visits
  • Enjoy Picnics
  • Visit Kupup Lake




Neora Valley National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Neora Valley National Park?/Neora Valley National Park in which district of West Bengal?

A. Neora Valley National Park is located in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, India.


Q. Neora Valley National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Neora Valley National Park is famous for Red Panda.


Q. Why is Neora Valley National Park famous?

A. Neora Valley National Park is famous for Red Panda.


Q. What is the altitude of Neora Valley National Park?

A. The altitude varies from 183m to 3200m of Neora Valley National Park.

Neora Valley National Park

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