Friday, June 16, 2023

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve UPSC

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is a protected area located in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the tiger reserves in the country and is known for its rich biodiversity. The reserve covers an area of approximately 730 square kilometers (280 square miles).

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is primarily known for its population of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris). In addition to tigers, the reserve also supports a diverse range of flora and fauna.

The vegetation in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve mainly consists of dense forests, grasslands, and wetlands. The reserve is located on the Terai-Bhabar region, which is characterized by a mix of plain and hilly terrain. The reserve is crisscrossed by several rivers and streams, including the Sharda River, which adds to its ecological significance.

Table of Contents

  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Location
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve History
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Area
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve River
    • River Sharda
    • River Ghaghara
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Lake
    • Sharda Sagar Dam
    • Barasingha Lake
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Tribe
    • Tharu Tribe
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Flora
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Top Things to do in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Chuka Beach
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Gangaram Story
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Location

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is located in the Pilibhit district and Shahjahanpur district of the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. The reserve is situated in the northeastern part of Uttar Pradesh, near the India-Nepal border. 

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is forming part of the Terai Arc Landscape, in the upper Gangetic Plain Biogeographic Province.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Pilibhit is Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, which is approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) away. Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport is a major airport in northern India and is well-connected to domestic and international destinations. From the airport, you can reach Pilibhit by road. There are various transportation options available, such as taxis, private cars, or buses. The journey usually takes around 5-6 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest major railway station to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is Lucknow Railway Station, which is approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) away. Lucknow Railway Station is well-connected to various cities in India and serves as a major transportation hub in Uttar Pradesh.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve History

The history of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve dates back to the early 20th century when it was established as a forest reserve. Here is a brief overview of the historical milestones:

Early Establishment: The Pilibhit Forest Division was established in 1908 as a protected forest area. At that time, it was primarily aimed at conserving the natural resources and maintaining the forest ecosystem.

Wildlife Sanctuary Status: In 1984, a portion of the Pilibhit Forest Division was declared as a wildlife sanctuary, known as Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary. This step was taken to provide additional protection to the diverse flora and fauna found in the area.

Tiger Reserve Designation: Recognizing the significance of Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary for tiger conservation, it was declared as a tiger reserve in 2014. The declaration was made under the Project Tiger initiative, a national program in India aimed at protecting and conserving the tiger population and its habitat. It is the 45th tiger reserves of India.

Inclusion in Terai Arc Landscape: Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is part of the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL), a large conservation landscape that spans across India and Nepal. The inclusion of Pilibhit in TAL has further enhanced its conservation value and facilitated collaborative efforts for wildlife conservation and transboundary conservation initiatives.

What is Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) Program?

The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is a vast conservation landscape that spans across the lowlands of Nepal and the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas and encompasses an area of approximately 49,500 square kilometers (19,100 square miles).

The primary objective of the Terai Arc Landscape initiative is to protect and restore the habitats and wildlife populations in the region, with a specific focus on conserving flagship species such as tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, and other endangered wildlife. The initiative promotes transboundary collaboration and cooperation between Nepal and India for the conservation of shared ecosystems and species.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve TX2 Award

TX2 Award: The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve has bagged the first TX2 Award in 2020 for doubling the number of tigers in the past four years (2014-18). The number of tigers in the reserve area has gone up to 65 from 25 in the period of just four years (2014-18).

What is TX2 Programme?

The TX2 (Tigers times two) programme is a global initiative aimed at doubling the number of wild tigers by the year 2022. It was launched in 2010 by the governments of all 13 tiger range countries and several conservation organizations, including the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The goal of the TX2 programme is to restore tiger populations and their habitats, as well as raise awareness about the importance of tiger conservation. The programme focuses on addressing the main threats to tigers, such as habitat loss, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, and human-wildlife conflict.

The participating countries commit to taking various conservation measures, including strengthening anti-poaching efforts, improving law enforcement, enhancing habitat protection, promoting community engagement, and supporting scientific research and monitoring. They work in collaboration with international organizations, NGOs, local communities, and other stakeholders to achieve the TX2 goal.

The TX2 initiative emphasizes the importance of collaboration and partnerships to ensure the long-term survival of tigers. It encourages countries to share best practices, exchange knowledge and experiences, and support each other in implementing effective conservation strategies.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Area

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve covers an area of approximately 730 square kilometers (280 square miles).The reserve's terrain consists of dense forests, grasslands, wetlands, and rivers, making it an important habitat for various wildlife species.

  • Core : 602.7980
  • Buffer : 127.4518
  • Total : 730.2498

Core Area: The core area of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve covers approximately 602.7980 square kilometers (approximately 231.99 square miles). This is the primary zone where conservation efforts focus on preserving and protecting the critical tiger habitat and maintaining the ecological balance.

Buffer Area: The buffer area surrounding the core zone extends over approximately 127.4518 square kilometers (approximately 49.23 square miles). The buffer zone serves as a transitional area between the core zone and the surrounding landscape. It helps in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts, promoting sustainable land use practices, and providing additional protection to the reserve.

By combining the core area and the buffer area, the total area of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is approximately 730.2498 square kilometers (approximately 281.22 square miles).

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve River

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is crisscrossed by several rivers and streams, which add to its ecological significance and provide water sources for the diverse wildlife and vegetation in the reserve. The river Gomti originates from the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, which is also the catchment of several others like Sharda, Ghaghara, Chuka and Mala Khannot. 

(1) River Sharda:

The River Sharda, also known as the Mahakali River, originates in the western Himalayas and flows through the Terai region, forming a natural boundary between India and Nepal. In the case of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, the River Sharda acts as the northeastern boundary, separating the reserve from the neighboring areas in Nepal.

(2) River Ghaghara:

The River Ghaghara, also called the Karnali River, is another significant river that flows through the region. It originates in the high Himalayas and is a major tributary of the River Ganges. In the context of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, the River Ghaghara marks part of the southwestern boundary, running parallel to the River Sharda.

The presence of these rivers as natural boundaries adds to the unique characteristics and ecological significance of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. They not only contribute to the overall biodiversity and habitat diversity within the reserve but also provide water resources and support various aquatic species.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Lake

(1) Sharda Sagar Dam:

The Sharda Sagar Dam, also known as the Sharda Barrage, is a significant hydraulic structure built across the River Sharda. It stretches for a length of approximately 22 kilometers (about 14 miles) and is located along the India-Nepal border, near the foothills of the Himalayas and the plains of the Terai in Uttar Pradesh.

The dam serves multiple purposes, including irrigation, hydroelectric power generation, and water management. It helps regulate the flow of the River Sharda and facilitates water distribution for agricultural activities in the surrounding regions.

Being located on the boundary of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, the Sharda Sagar Dam plays a role in the hydrology of the reserve and can influence the water availability and habitat conditions for wildlife within the reserve. Chuka Beach located in Sharda Sagar reservoir.

(2) Barasingha Lake: 

Barahasingha Taal, also known as Barasingha Lake, is a picturesque water body located within the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. It is named after the Barasingha, also known as the swamp deer, which is the state animal of Uttar Pradesh.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Tribe

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is home to various tribal communities, including the Tharu tribe.

Tharu Tribe:

The Tharu tribe is one of the major tribal communities found in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. They have a distinct cultural identity and have been living in the region for generations. The Tharu people have a rich tradition of folk dances, music, and handicrafts. They are known for their agricultural practices and have a strong connection to the forest and its resources.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Flora

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is known for its diverse flora, which includes a wide range of plant species. The reserve is located in the Terai region of the Himalayas and is characterized by moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. Here are some of the notable flora found in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve:

Sal (Shorea robusta): Sal is one of the dominant tree species (76% of the area) found in the reserve. It is a large deciduous tree that provides dense shade and is commercially valuable for its timber. 

Khair (Acacia catechu): Khair is a medium-sized deciduous tree known for its tannin-rich bark. It is used in traditional medicine and in the production of dyes and tannins.

Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo): Sissoo is a fast-growing deciduous tree with a broad, spreading crown. It is known for its durable timber and is often planted along riverbanks to prevent erosion.

Mahua (Madhuca longifolia): Mahua is a flowering tree known for its edible fruits and flowers. The flowers are used to make liquor, while the seeds are pressed for oil.

Bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea): Bamboo is a fast-growing grass species that forms dense thickets. It is an important resource for the local communities and is used for construction, handicrafts, and as a food source for various animals.

Teak (Tectona grandis): Teak is a large deciduous tree highly valued for its high-quality timber. It is known for its durability and resistance to pests and is extensively used in furniture making.

Grasslands: The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve has extensive stretches of tall grasslands, which are often referred to as savannas or meadows. These grasslands are characterized by the presence of tall grasses, such as elephant grass (Saccharum ravennae) and spear grass (Imperata cylindrica). These grasslands provide habitat and feeding grounds for herbivores like deer, wild boars, and elephants. They also attract various bird species, including grassland birds like Indian skimmer, Jerdon's bushchat, and various species of larks.

Swamp: The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is also home to swamps and marshy areas, particularly in the low-lying regions and along the riverbanks. These wetland habitats support unique plant species adapted to waterlogged conditions, such as reeds, sedges, and water lilies. Swamps are important for maintaining the water table, filtering pollutants, and providing breeding grounds for amphibians, reptiles, and various bird species. They also serve as feeding and resting areas for animals like deer, wild boars, and waterfowl.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Fauna (Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Animals)

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is known for its rich and diverse fauna, with a wide range of animal species found within its boundaries. Here are some notable fauna species that can be found in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve:


  • Bengal Tiger
  • Swamp Deer
  • Leopard
  • Fishing Cat
  • Leopard Cat
  • Spotted Deer
  • Hog Deer
  • Barking Deer
  • Blackbuck
  • Sambar Deer
  • Sloth Bear
  • Short-nosed Fruit Bat
  • Painted Bat
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Common Langur
  • Porcupine
  • Small Indian Civet
  • Golden Jackal
  • Indian Fox
  • Hyena
  • Hispid Hare


  • Bengal Florican
  • Darter
  • Lesser Whistling Duck
  • Combed Duck
  • Grey Partridge
  • Black Partridge 
  • Swamp Partridge
  • Peafowl
  • Red Jungle Fowl
  • Cormorants
  • Egrets
  • Herons
  • Hornbill
  • Eagle
  • Saras


  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Mugger Crocodile
  • Gharial

Top Things to do in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, located in the Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, India, is known for its rich biodiversity and as a habitat for the Royal Bengal Tigers. If you're planning a visit to the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, here are some of the top things to do:

  • Tiger Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Walks and Hiking
  • Visit the Swamps and Grasslands
  • Tribal Village Visits
  • Photography
  • Conservation Awareness
  • Visit Chuka Beach
  • Siphon Canal
  • Sapt Sarover
  • Kharja Canal
  • Barahasingha Taal
  • Bhim Taal


Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Chuka Beach

Chukha beach is the part of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. It is situated on the bank of Sharda river (Sharda Sagar reservoir) in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Chuka Beach, located in the vicinity of the Sharda Sagar reservoir, offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and relax by the riverside. The serene ambiance, along with the picturesque view of the reservoir and forested surroundings, makes it an attractive spot for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve Gangaram Story (Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga)

Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is a 2022 Indian Hindi-language adventure drama film which is written and directed by Srijit Mukherji. The film stars Pankaj Tripathi, Sayani Gupta and Neeraj Kabi in the lead roles. The film was released on 24 June 2022.

Gangaram Story:

Gangaram is the Sarpanch (leader) of a remote village in Uttar Pradesh, India. His village has been suffering from famine and crop failure, exacerbated by wildlife encroachment. During an unsuccessful visit to a government office to seek poverty aid, he glances upon a poster that stated that the kin of victims of fatal tiger encounters in areas bordering tiger reserves would be entitled to a ₹10,00,000 compensation from the Govt. of India. In a desperate attempt to alleviate the conditions of his village, Gangaram plots to sacrifice himself in a tiger attack. During his search for a tiger, his path crosses with that of a poacher (Jim Ahmed) with whom he forms an unconventional partnership. The story then follows his journey, highlighting social issues faced by the lesser fortunate.

Gangaram unites with the poacher and both go looking for a tiger. After many days they find a tiger. Gangaram walks toward the tiger and the poacher is ready to shoot it. But the tiger is full and walks away. Forest officers follow them and shoot the poacher and take Gangaram into custody. Gangaram's story becomes famous all over India. He is pardoned from the court.

In the final scene, Gangaram comes back to the jungle in 4 wheelers with officers who want to promote tourism. Gangaram wants to take a leak and he goes to the jungle alone and is attacked by a tiger.

Source: Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Pilibhit Tiger Reserve?/Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in which state?

A. The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is located in the Pilibhit district and Shahjahanpur district of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Q. When was Pilibhit declared tiger reserve?

A. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve was declared a tiger reserve in 2014.

Q. Which river flows through Pilibhit Tiger Reserve?

A. River Sharda and the River Ghaghara flows through Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.

Q. Which tribe is found in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve?

A. Tharu tribe is found in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve.

Q. How many tigers in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve?

A.  Pilibhit Tiger Reserve had 25 tigers in 2014 and the number increased to 65 in 2018.

Q. Why is Pilibhit Tiger Reserve famous?

A. The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is famous for several reasons:

  • Royal Bengal Tigers
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation Efforts
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Unique Ecosystem
  • Location and Connectivity
  • Cultural Heritage

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

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