A short trip to Buxa fort is a whole jungle trail trekking experience through the Buxa tiger reserve. This place has a record of 394 species of butterflies. Many types of birds are spotted here. Buxa hill is home to many migratory birds. If you are a wildlife photographer, this is the best place for you. In our busy everyday life, we often forget about ourselves. Take some time for yourself and spend it in the green forest. A short trek with your loved ones can give you a fresh start from your mundane daily life. But it’s not only about the trip and its natural beauty. Buxa fort has its own history which goes back to almost 200 years.
HISTORY OF BUXA FORT
Buxa fort is one of the earliest forts in Eastern India. Its origin is uncertain. The legend is that the Bhutanese king had built the fort to protect the Silk Route, which connects Tibet with India through Bhutan. It was a point of connection between the king of Bhutan and the Cooch Kings. The fort came under British rule after the 2nd dooars war between Bhutan and the British in 1865.
British take over
After the invitation of Cooch king, British rulers captured the fort. The fort was formally handed over to the British on November 11, 1865, as a part of the Treaty of Sinchula. The fort made by the Bhutanese king, which had a bamboo wood structure. British rulers reconstructed the fort from its bamboo wood structure to stone structure. British rulers used this fort as a high-security prison. It used to be one of the most notorious and unreachable prisons in India.
They imprisoned Many Nationalist revolutionaries here. They imprisoned Krishnapada Chakroborty in the 1930s; Amar Prasad Chakroborty, the Forward block leader and ex-law Minister of India in 1943; Poet Subhas Mukhopadhyay in the 1940s. During the freedom movement, British rulers used the Buxa fort as a detention camp. Some of the stories also say that they imprisoned Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose here, but that is not confirmed.
Tibetan refugee camp
Before the Chinese Invasion Derpung was one of the celebrated monasteries in Tibet with over 10000 monks. In 1959, the Chinese troops were tasked to torture the monks of the Tibetan Monastery. Only a few hundred monks were able to escape to India. These monks represent all the diverse Tibetan orders. They used the Buxa fort as a Tibetan refugee camp for monks. Indian Ministry of External Affairs was alerted about the conditions of the refuges of Buxa Fort in 1966s. They decided to relocate the refugees to a better place. In 1971 the monks were moved to their new location at Bylakuppe and Mundgod in Karnataka.
Trekking to Buxa fort
There are plenty of opportunities for the tourists to trek here in Buxa Tiger Reserve. Trekking is mandatory from Santalabari or zero point to reach here. You can even go 2 Km further till Zero point on a public car from Santalabari. But after that, you have to trek to buxa fort. It is 5 Km away from Santalabari, and the route is beautiful and safer. There are several trekking routes from Buxa fort. Rover’s point is 3km ahead of Buxa. It is heaven for the bird watchers.
Roopang valley bordering Bhutan is a 4km trek from Buxa fort. The story is that there was a time when the Bhutanese villagers used to carry a basket full of oranges in their shoulders and carry them down to Santalbari. Oranges are locally called Santra, so the name of the village is Santrabari, now called Santalabari. Lepchakha is another beautiful valley. It is about a 5km trek from Buxa fort. The view from Lepchkha is a visual treat to our eyes. Lepchkha is a small hamlet on a hilltop that offers a panoramic view of the Buxa tiger reserve, plains of North Bengal, and adjoining Bhutan.
Wildlife of Buxa fort
This place has a record of 230 species of birds and 394 species of birds have. Buxa Tiger reserve is km apart from Buxa. The central eye-catcher of the buxa tiger reserve is watching the Royal Bengal tiger with all its majesty, a jeopardized species that has made the Buxa Tiger Reserve their home. This tiger is an example of the quite possibly the most excellent manifestations of nature; seeing the blazing orangish skin with pure black stripes roam through thick woods as though they own the land will undoubtedly leave you speechless.
There are also different tigers and cats, like leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats, and leopard cats. In this region, the regal python and Chinese pangolin also can be found by the sightseers. The reserve holds the largest population of elephants, Indian buffalo, numerous varieties of deer, leopards, varieties of butterflies and other warm-blooded creatures, countless types of Himalayan birds and reptiles. Buxa is very rich in biodiversity with an extraordinary compilation of orchids, and Several other medicinal plants are available in reserve.
How to reach
Plenty of cars are available from Alipurduar to reach Santalabari. The Cars will cost you around Rs.1000-1500. You can also get a bus from Alipurduar to Santalabari. From Santalabari, there is an uphill trek of about 3-4 km.
Jayanti (12 Km): Jayanti is known for its wildlife and scenic beauty. From Jayanti, you can also go for another trek to Mohakal, 15km from Jayanti. The Mahakal caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva. They are an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. You can also hire a jeep in the forest for a jungle safari.
Sikiajhora(28 Km): Also known as the Amazon of Dooars. The boat safari through the damanpur range is the most attractive point of Sikiajhora.