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Arunachal Pradesh Pakhui Tiger Reserve
The Pakhui (Pakke) Tiger Reserve is a fairly new addition to the Project Tiger by the Government of India. Located in northeast India, the Pakhui Tiger Reserve comes in the East Kamneg district of Arunachal Pradesh state.
With a total area of 862 sq km, it is nestled in the Eastern Himalayan Foothills and hence is a part of the East Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot. The Pakhui Reserve has a hilly, craggy terrain and is bound by perennial rivers on at least three sides, viz. Pakke, Khameng and Nameri. The average elevation of the region varies from 400 m to 2000 m from the sea level and is densely wooded, with occasional strips of plain land.
The Pakhui area was notified as a Forest Reserve in 1966 and there was allowed some selective wood to be harvested commercially until it was prohibited completely in 1996. It became a Game Reserve in 1977 and then in 2001 it was registered as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Finally, in 2002, the Government of India implemented Project Tiger and Pakhui became a Tiger Reserve.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The intense tropical climate and the high density of flowing water bodies make it inaccessible and unsafe in the monsoons. The best time to visit the Pakhui Tiger Reserve is between November and April.
Places To Visit
The region surrounding Pakhui Tiger Reserve is host to a lot of tourist activities. There are a lot of river sports on the Nameri River like rafting and trekking in the surrounding valleys.
How To Reach
The nearest domestic and international airport is at Tezpur (50 km) and Guwahati (280 km). From the airport one must travel to either Bhalukpong or Seijosa to reach Pakhui.
There are trains to Soibari (36 km), which is closest to Seijosa. Alternatively, one can also arrive at Biswanath Chariali (47 km) or Rangapara (60 km) railway stations.
The nearest town is Tezpur from where there are regular State transport and private transport buses to Seijosa and Bhalukpong. Buses are also run from Guwahati and Itanagar that take you to Tezpur or Rangapara.
Flora And Fauna
The vegetation in the Pakhui area is dense and is a mixture of evergreen, semi-evergreen and east Himalayan forests, as these are the Eastern Himalayan foothills. There are many expensive woods and rare and threatened plant species in these forests. There are thousands of flowering plants and numerous orchid species in the Pakhui forests.
There are a total of 236 different bird species in the Pakui range with several hornbill species and many rare and endangered species like the Oriental Bay Owl, White-Winged Wood Duck and Ibisbill
Including the large predators and herbivores there are 40 mammalian species in the Pakui Tiger reserve. There are several species of the cat family like Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Civert and so on. The herbivore species include species of Macaque, Elephant, Giant and Flying Squirrel, Himalayan Bear and Indian Bison
The wildlife of the Pakhui is staggering with such intense diversity in all the classes of animals that many believe that the area has not yet been fully explored. Apart from the regular birds and mammals, there are over 60 species of reptiles and amphibians combined. The Pakhui Tiger Reserve is also frequented by butterfly lovers for its 500 butterfly species that amount to a third of all in India.
Where To Stay
The visitors can stay at Nameri where the Forest Department, with the help of locals, has started Ecotourism camps that provide accommodation and all the necessary facilities like safaris, to the Reserve visitors.
All outsiders entering Arunachal Pradesh need an Inner Line Permit (For Indian nationals) or a Restricted Area Permit (For foreigners), there are no relaxations and these documents are mandatory with valid photo ids.