Explore the beauties on the route from Sitarganj to Kathgodam via SIDCUL & Chorgallia
Text & pictures by Rehan Asad| Chorgallia is the small village of Haldwani Tahsil, District Nainital. Located twenty-eight kilometers south of Kathgodam on the alternative snaky route passing between the Gaula river bed and forest range on the other side. As Nevill¹ (1904) described the origin of name Chorgallia derived in the late 19th century when the dacoits found this spot at the crossing of Nandhaur river as safe hiding heaven in the thickly populated forest of Bhabar². The vigilance of precious Sal forest of Bhabar in adjoining area leads to the construction of government estate Bungalow by Forest Department in Colonial-era. This Bungalow is now turned in ruins.
The Nandhaur river arising from the height of seven thousand feet at Chaugarh crossed Chorgallia by passing through Bhabar forest range and entered the Terai forest of Pilibhit district. It is only after crossing Chorgallia, the river is renamed as Deoha. In 2012, the beautiful landscape of Nanduar forest area³ was declared as Wildlife sanctuary. Chorgallia as a gateway to Nandhaur Wildlife reserve received the attention of the tourist. This year Uttarakhand spring bird festival selected Chorgallia as the site to increase the awareness towards the diverse species of the birds residing at Nandhaur wildlife reserve. The event was conducted from 03rd March to 5th March/2017 at Chorgallia forest rest house campus. Once you enter the route to Chorgallia from Kathgodam after crossing colonial days bridge on the Gola river, the natural landscape of Bhabar forest and riverbed will be welcoming your drive. On the way to Chorgallia, you have to cross three river crossings (known as rapta by locals), that is only unsafe after heavy rains in Monsoons. The water channels comings from the height with high velocity can sweep even heavy vehicles like bus/truck in running water. After driving further twenty eight-kilometer south from Chorgallia you will reach Sitarganj (a town with the municipal board of District Udham Singh Nagar). Most of the Terai forest in this stretch of twenty-eight kilometers has been cleared off and industries have been established since the formation of SIDCUL (State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand) in 2002. The fifty-kilometer drive from Kathgodam to Sitarganj offered sightseeing of rivers beds, river crossings (rapta), Nandhaur wildlife reserve, Shiwalik elephant reserve, distant hills of Himalayas, with beautiful Chorgallia village located in the midway of the route.
- Nevill, H. R. “Nainital: A Gazetteer, BEING VOL XXXIV, of the District Gazetteers of United Province of Agra and Oudh.” (1904). Printed at Allahabad, Government Press, United Provinces.
- Bhabar is a tract formed in the foothill of Himalayas by the deposition of the coarse material such as pebbles and cobbles. The river bed in this area appeared waterless except monsoons due to extreme porous nature. The foothill of Himalayas is divided in Terai and Bhabar.
- Nandhaur forest area is a forest reserve of 296 square Kilometer located between Sarda, Gola, and intersection of Nandhaur in Haldwani region of Nainital. It’s home to Asian elephants, Tigers, Leopard and Sloth Bears.
- For more details of the Nandhaur wild reserve and Valley, take a look at the write-up of Aananda Banerjee published in live mint 2012 given here is the link: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/xdri6vwrUMgBLelR02t5yH/Saving-a-forest-from-vanishing.html.