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Pilibhit Tiger Sanctuary

Pilibhit Tiger Sanctuary is situated in Bahraish District, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Pilibhit District of Indian State, Uttar Pradesh. This Pilibhit Sanctuary lies all the way along the border of India and Nepal in foothills of Himalayas and plains of terai in the Uttar Pradesh State. Pilibhit Tiger Sanctuary is one among India’s Project Tiger reserves.

Pilibhit stands proudly as one among the dense forested region in Uttar Pradesh.  In 2004 estimate, it was known that Pilibhit District covers an area of about 800 square Kilometer forests which constitute about 23 percent of total area of this district. Pilibhit forests accommodate fair number of tigers, somewhere close to 36 along with their prey.

Towards the north eastern direction of this Pilibhit Tiger Sanctuary lays the Sharda River (known as Mahakali River in Nepal) that clearly defines Indo-Nepal border. The southwest border is clearly marked by River Ghaghara and River Sharda. The core area of this tiger reserve is about 1,089 square kilometer whereas the buffer area should be of 627 square kilometer. The elevation range of this reserve lies between 168 and 175 meters above the MSL. Government of India decided to design 4 new areas to conserve tiger in the year 2008 and that includes Pilibhit Tiger Reserve too.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve runs all the way through the district of Pilibhit, Khutar range of the Shahjahanpur and Kishenpur sanctuary, whereas the existing may have Kakraha range of the Bahraich, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctaury and Dudhwa. Kakraha, Khutar and Pilibhit are all known to be reserved forest areas that were then converted to highly protected spots for Tiger reserves.


As Corbett Tiger Reserve went along with Uttrakhand, there was a need to develop Pilibhit forest as home land for striped cats in Uttar Pradesh. In the year 2005, a proposal was designed in order to develop a home for highly endangered striped cats in the forest of Pilibhit and forwarded to Indian Government in the month of April 2008. In September 2008, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve was publically declared as a special category of beautiful ecosystem with wide open fresh spaces and good quantity feed for these hungry predators. Pilibhit is actually about 1/3 rd area portion of its entire area. They are numerous other creatures and animals that are living in this region which may be the last species of their category. There is a need to prevent these animals from hunters and foresters.


Pilibhit Tiger Sanctuary acts as host to huge number of highly productive and diversified Terai-Duar savanna together with grassland ecosystem. The grasslands together with Terai forests consist of about 127 animals, 2,100 flower plants and 556 species of birds. This area also serves as home for approximately six million people. They depend on these animals for livelihood.

A study conducted by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), high value for tiger conservation is found only in Dudhwa – Pilibhit tiger reserve as this is the one and only population that possess both behavioral adaptation and ecological adaptation of tigers that are quite unique to Tarai region.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to tour Pilibhit tiger sanctuary is between the months of September and mind of June. This area is open to public between the months of September and June. June will be literally very hot and there by lead to slight discomfort. Rainy season is also not preferable to tour this place. If one wants to tour this place in the months of December and February, they need to pack their woolen clothes as this area will be slightly chilly. But this is the right time to catch up good number of wild animals because of the presence of clean green color grass in Terai foothills.


Pilibhit tiger reserve has got its own hog huts for tourists. There are also forest rest houses and lodges in Chuka, Mala, Bankatti and various other places. The accommodation is very nominal in all these places. There is a canteen in Chuka.

Bairelly and Pilibhit have many hotels where one can accommodate on either non-air conditioned or air conditioned rooms at a very nominal rate. From these hotels, there are many daily trip vehicles available towards Pilibhit tiger sanctuary.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to Pilibhit tiger reserve is at Lucknow which is about 160 mi (250 km) from the city of Pilibhit. Delhi is also located approximately 164 mi (264 km) from this Pilibhit.

By Rail

The nearest town that has railway head is Pilibhit. Pilibhit station is well connected with all the major cities in north India and even from Lucknow and Delhi. There is a railway station at Pilibhit Tiger Reserve also. But the train connection is very less as Uttar Pradesh government is very careful about not having any railways station near to this Pilibhit tiger sanctuary as it may lead to death of many wild animals. Bilaspur and Puranpur are two other towns with railway station close to this tiger reserve. These stations receive few trains from other regions of Uttar Pradesh.

By Road

Towards north of Pilibhit lies Nainital and Bareilly lies in the west. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is well connected through roads via Shahjahanpur. There are many government operated UP State Transport Corporation buses and private buses that link Pilibhit with Shahjahanpur, Lakhimpur Kheri , Delhi, Bareilly and several other towns.