Saturday, July 13, 2024

Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Valmiki Tiger Reserve UPSC

Valmiki Tiger Reserve, also known as Valmiki National Park, is a protected area located in the state of Bihar, India. Valmiki National Park is the only National Park and Tiger Reserve in Bihar. The reserve is named after the great sage Valmiki, who is believed to have written the epic Hindu Ramayana.

One of the main attractions of the Valmiki Tiger Reserve is its population of Bengal tigers. It is one of the few remaining strongholds of these majestic big cats in the state of Bihar. The reserve is a paradise for birdwatchers as well, with over 250 species of birds recorded in the area.

Table of Contents

  • Location
  • History
  • Area
  • Mountains
  • River
  • Tribe
  • Flora
  • Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Butterflies
    • Reptiles
  • Gaur
  • Elephant Rescue Centre
  • UPSC Questions

Valmiki Tiger Reserve Location

Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located in the state of Bihar in northern India. It is situated in the West Champaran district, near the border with Nepal. The reserve spans across an area in the Gangetic plains and is surrounded by the Valmiki Nagar Wildlife Sanctuary. 

The nearest town to Valmiki Tiger Reserve is Bettiah, which is approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) away.

Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Valmiki Tiger Reserve is the Patna Airport, also known as Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport. It is located in the capital city of Bihar, Patna, and is approximately 210 kilometers (130 miles) away from the reserve. From the airport, visitors can travel to Valmiki Tiger Reserve by road, either through private vehicles or by hiring taxis. 

Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Valmiki Tiger Reserve is the Valmiki Nagar Road railway station. The Valmiki Nagar Road railway station is approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the reserve.

Alternatively, another railway station that can be considered is the Bagaha railway station. It is located in Bagaha, which is around 50 kilometers (31 miles) away from Valmiki Tiger Reserve.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve History

Valmiki Tiger Reserve has a rich history associated with both natural conservation and cultural significance. Here are some key points regarding the history of the reserve:

1. Early Conservation Efforts: The conservation initiatives in the Valmiki region can be traced back to the 19th century. During that time, Maharaja of Darbhanga, Rameshwar Singh, took measures to protect the forests and wildlife in the area. He declared portions of the forest as a sanctuary in 1908.

2. Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1978, the Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary was established, covering an area of about 800 square kilometers. It was primarily aimed at safeguarding the habitat of tigers, elephants, and other wildlife species.

3. National Park Status: In 1990, Valmiki Wildlife Sanctuary declared a national park.

4. Upgradation to Tiger Reserve: In 1989-90, the Valmiki National Park was upgraded to Valmiki Tiger Reserve, with a specific focus on conserving the Bengal tiger population. This upgrade aimed to provide more protection to the tigers and promote their long-term survival. It is the 18th tiger reserve in the country.

5. Cultural Significance: The Valmiki region holds immense cultural significance due to its association with the ancient Hindu epic, Ramayana. It is believed to be the birthplace of Maharishi Valmiki, the sage who composed the Ramayana. The Valmiki Ashram, situated within the reserve, is considered a sacred site and attracts pilgrims and devotees.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve Area

Valmiki Tiger Reserve covers an area of approximately 899 square kilometers (347 square miles). The tiger reserve area includes diverse ecosystems such as dense forests, grasslands, and riverine habitats, providing a suitable environment for a variety of wildlife species. 

  • Core/critical tiger habitat : 598.45 sq km
  • Buffer/peripheral area : 300.93 sq km
  • Total : 899.38 sq km

Plains Bio-Geographic Region: Valmiki Tiger Reserve Situated in the Gangetic Plains bio-geographic region.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve Mountains

Valmiki Tiger Reserve encompasses foothill ranges of Shivalik Himalayan.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve River

  • Gandak, Masan, Pandai, Manor, Harha, Sonha, Pachnad, and Bhapsa river passes through Valmiki Tiger Reserve.
  • Gandak river forms the western boundary of the reserve.
  • Harha -Masan River system originates from the Valmiki Forests and forms Gandak River.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve Tribe

What are the tribes of Valmiki Tiger Reserve?

Valmiki Tiger Reserve is home to several tribal communities that have been living in the region for generations. The major tribal communities found in and around the reserve are:

(1) Tharu Tribe:

The Tharu tribe, recognized as a scheduled tribe, is found in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve landscape. The Tharu people have a rich cultural heritage and traditional knowledge of the forests. 

(2) Dhangar Tribe:

The Dhangar Tribe, which comprises four tribes (Oraon, Munda, Lohra, and Bhuiya), is also found in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve region. These tribal communities have their distinct cultural identities and practices. They have traditionally engaged in various occupations, including agriculture, animal husbandry, and gathering forest products.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve Flora

Valmiki Tiger Reserve is known for its diverse flora, consisting of various types of vegetation and plant species. Valmiki National Park forms the easternmost extent of the Himalayan Terai forests. The vegetation is a combination of Bhabar and Terai regions. The reserve's vegetation includes forests, grasslands, and riverine ecosystems. 

Here are some of the notable flora found in the reserve:

(1) Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest:

The moist mixed deciduous vegetation dominates the alluvial plains of the Gandak River. Sal (Shorea robusta), rohini (Mallotus phillipensis), and sihor (Streblus asper) are the dominant tree species. Other important associates include Terminalia tomentosa, Terminalia belerica, Adina cordifolia, Dalbergia latifolia, Mitragyna parviflora, Ehretia laevis, and Anogeissus latifolia. Teak, bamboo, semal, shisham, and khair are also present in the form of plantations.

(2) Sub-Mountainous Semi-Evergreen Forest: 

This forest type is characterized by the dominance of Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Ficus species, and Agai (Dillenia pentagyna).

(3) Freshwater Swamps and Riparian Fringes: 

Freshwater swampy areas are home to species like Jamun, Sihor, and Gular. Riparian fringes along the rivers feature various vegetation types depending on the specific location and hydrological conditions.

(4) Alluvial Grasslands:

Grasses such as Imperata cylindrica, Saccharum spontaneum, Eulaliopsis binata, Vetiveria zizanoides, Capillipedum assimile, Chrysopogon aciculatus, Phragmites karka, Themeda species, and Typha angustata are commonly found in the alluvial grasslands of the reserve.

(5) High Hill Savannah:

The hilly regions within the reserve support vegetation including Chir Pine trees (Pinus roxburghii) in certain pockets, along with other tree species like Piyal, Mandar, Banjan, Bhelwa, Harra, and Bodera.

(6) Wetlands:

Wetland areas within Valmiki Tiger Reserve host a variety of plant species adapted to the wetland environment, including aquatic plants and marsh vegetation.

(7) Medicinal Plants:

There are several medicinal plants found in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR). Some of them are Satawar (Asparagus racemosus), Safed Musli, Dudhkoraiya (Holarrahena antidysenterica), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Piper (Piper longum),etc. These medicinal plants contribute to the rich biodiversity and traditional knowledge associated with the region.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve Fauna (Valmiki Tiger Reserve Animals)

Valmiki Tiger Reserve is renowned for its rich and diverse fauna, including several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and other wildlife. Here are some of the notable fauna found in Valmiki Tiger Reserve:


  • Tigers
  • Leopards
  • Indian Wild Dogs
  • Leopard Cat
  • Fishing Cat
  • Spotted Deer
  • Sambar
  • Barking Deer
  • Hog Deer
  • Indian Bison (Gaur)
  • Nilgai
  • Wild Boar
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Common Langur 
  • Crab-eating Mongoose
  • Yellow-throated Marten
  • Himalayan Serow 


  • Kaleej Pheasant
  • Hill Myna
  • Paradise Fly Catcher
  • Himalayan Bulbul
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork
  • White Backed and Slender Billed Vultures
  • Common Pochard
  • Red Crested Pochard
  • Pintail
  • Brahminy Duck
  • Black Necked Stork


  • Common Mormon
  • Great Mormon
  • Club Beak
  • Grey Pansy
  • Lime Butterfly
  • Glassy Tiger
  • Great Eggfly
  • Common Crow


  • Python
  • King Cobra
  • Krait
  • Monitor Lizard
  • Crocodile
  • Hill Turtle

Gaur in Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Valmiki Tiger Reserve is home to the Indian Bison, which is commonly known as Gaur or Indian Gaur (Bos gaurus). The Gaur is one of the largest species of wild cattle and is found in various parts of India, including Valmiki Tiger Reserve.

The Gaur is known for its large size, muscular build, and distinctive appearance. The males, called bulls, can reach a shoulder height of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) and weigh over a ton. They have a dark brown to black coat with white or yellowish markings on their face, neck, and legs. The females, called cows, are relatively smaller in size.

In Valmiki Tiger Reserve, the Gaur can be found in the forested areas, grasslands, and hilly regions. They are an important part of the reserve's ecosystem, contributing to the overall biodiversity and ecological balance of the area. Conservation efforts in Valmiki Tiger Reserve aim to protect and preserve the habitat of the Gaur and other wildlife species that reside in the reserve.

Elephant Rescue Centre in Valmiki Tiger Reserve

The State Government of Bihar has established an Elephant Rescue Centre within the premises of Valmiki Tiger Reserve. The primary objective of the center is to provide a safe haven for stray, abandoned, and injured elephants.

The Elephant Rescue Centre plays a crucial role in the rehabilitation and care of elephants that are in distress or in need of medical attention. It offers a dedicated facility equipped with veterinary facilities, trained staff, and appropriate infrastructure to cater to the specific needs of elephants.

The center focuses on rescuing elephants from various situations, such as those that have strayed from their natural habitats, are injured due to accidents or conflicts, or have been abandoned or orphaned. Once the elephants are brought to the rescue center, they receive necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation, and care.

The aim of the center is to ensure the well-being and welfare of these elephants, with the ultimate goal of reintroducing them to suitable natural habitats or providing long-term care if reintroduction is not feasible. The center also contributes to raising awareness about elephant conservation and promoting harmonious coexistence between elephants and local communities.

The establishment of the Elephant Rescue Centre in Valmiki Tiger Reserve reflects the commitment of the government towards the conservation and welfare of elephants in the region.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Q. Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located in which state?

A. Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located in the West Champaran district of Bihar, India.

Q. In which year was Valmiki Tiger Reserve established?

A. In 1989-90, Valmiki Tiger Reserve was established.

Q. Which river flows through Valmiki Tiger Reserve?

A. Gandak, Masan, Pandai, Manor, Harha, Sonha, Pachnad, and Bhapsa river flow through Valmiki Tiger Reserve.

Q. At which border Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located?

A. Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located along the India-Nepal border. It is situated in the northernmost part of the West Champaran district in the state of Bihar, India, adjacent to the Chitwan National Park in Nepal. The Gandak River forms the western boundary of Valmiki Tiger Reserve, which serves as a natural border between India and Nepal in that region.

Q. What is the ranking of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in India?

A. Valmiki Tiger Reserve is the 18th tiger reserve in the country.

Q. Who is Valmiki Tiger Reserve named after?

A. Valmiki Tiger Reserve is named after the sage Valmiki. Valmiki is a revered figure in Hindu mythology and is considered the author of the epic Ramayana, one of the most important texts in Hindu literature.

Q. How many tigers are there in Valmiki Tiger Reserve?

A. According to the Tiger Census, 2018, the number of tigers in Valmiki Tiger Reserve is 32.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve

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