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Gorumara National Park

Gorumara National Park is a National Park in northern West Bengal, India. Located in the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills, it is a medium-sized park with grasslands and forests. It is primarily known for its population of Indian rhinoceros. The park has been declared as the best among the protected areas in India by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the year 2009.

Gorumara was a reserve forest since 1895. The park was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1949, on account of its breeding population of Indian rhinoceros. It was declared an Indian National Park on January 31, 1994. Originally as small as 7 km2, Gorumara has grown by incorporating neighbouring lands to about 80 km2.

Political Geography: The park is located in the Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, in the state of West Bengal in India.

Physical geography: Gorumara is located in the Eastern Himalayas’ submontane Terai belt. This region has rolling forests and riverine grasslands, and is known as the Dooars in West Bengal. The park is located on the flood plains of the Murti River and Raidak River. The major river of the park is the Jaldhaka river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra river system. In this regard, Gorumara is a significant watershed area between the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems. The park is very close to Jaldapara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Reserve.

The park is 79.99 km (49.70 mi) in area.

Climate: The temperature ranges from 10 to 21 °C (50 to 70 °F) from November to February, 24 to 27 °C (75 to 81 °F) from March to April and 27 to 37 °C (81 to 99 °F) from May to October. Rainfall mostly occurs between mid-May to mid-October and average annual rainfall is 382 cm (150 in).

There is no history of human habitation in the park. The park forest bungalow dates back to the British Raj era, and contains a well-maintained log book from its inception, which makes for interesting reading. However Gorumara is encircled by many ethnic villages. More than 10,000 resident forest villagers derive their income from sources including employment in forest department activities, ecotourism, etc. Some of the villages are Sarswati, Budhuram, Bichabhanga, Chatua, Kailipur and Murti Forest Village.

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