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Dooars Forest, National park and Wildlife sanctuary

Forest and Wildlife of Dooars

Situated at the south of the outer foothills of the Himalayas, Dooars or Duars is the home of different species of wildlife and vegetation, which have made the place a point of attraction for nature lovers across the country. The dense Dooars forest, many wildlife sanctuaries, and national parks have enhanced the overall beauty of the Dooars of North Bengal. A number of endangered animals like Bengal tiger, Indian elephants, Indian rhinoceros, gaur, Indian peacock, clouded leopard, etc, and different types of birds such as Great Indian hornbills, brahminy duck, storks, etc adds to the pictorial beauty of Dooars. Some famous spots of Dooars are impregnated with different wildlife which is worth visiting once in a lifetime. 

Gorumara National Park: 

Gorumara National Park is a famous Dooars forest for its vast population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros. Other than this, the place is extremely enriched with a variety of wildlife like elephants, bison, leopard, jungle cat, etc. Gorumara is a must one for animal lovers, it never returns you disappointed without any wildlife view.

Wildlife:

This Dooars forest is well known for the Asiatic one-horned-rhino. This is the place of several species of mammals, various colorful birds, reptiles, and insects.  Apart from the rhino, there are ample numbers of leopards, elephants, Indian bison, deer, python, Malayan giant squirrels, etc. the National Park is also famous as the dwelling place of almost 193 species of birds, 27 species of fishes, 7 species of turtles along with huge numbers of elephants. The winter season gifts you different types of migratory birds (teal, stork, and ibis). Apart from this, Minivets, Pheasants, Hornbills, Mynas, pigeons, Cuckoos are also very common in the Gorumara National park. 

Vegetation:

The forest is very rich with trees like siris, teak, simul, and saal(most famous). The fast increase in the number of wildlife has led to the rapid development of tourism in this area. Jungle safari is one of the most popular and attractive activities among tourists. The safari is generally arranged in the early morning and late afternoon on jeeps. The different forest routes explore different core areas of the National forest. During the jungle safari, you must witness the exotic beauty of the jungle along with different animals such as boars, deers, elephants, and various migratory birds from a close distance. Both the elephant safari and jeep safari guarantee the sighting of the wildlife.

Gorumara national park
Gorumara forest Safari
Rhino in Gorumara forest
Rhino in Gorumara forest
Gorumara Jeep Safari
Gorumara Jeep Safari

Watchtower:

There are three different watchtowers, Jatraprasad Watchtower, Methla watchtower, and Chandrachur watchtower that provide the tourists with mesmerizing views of the entire forest area. Jatraprasad is the most famous of all the three watchtowers; it is situated in the northern part of the forest through the National Highway. The salt lakes just below the tower are the hotspots for wild animals.  Bullock cart-driven safaris are available near the Methla watchtower through Kalipur eco-village. Chandrachur watchtower is located in the midst of the open grassland that provides scope to enjoy different wildlife with a panoramic view of the forest area. Here in the morning, you can enjoy the nearby places like Bindu, Jhalong, Jaldhaka and the evening excites you with cultural programs like tribal dances and folk music. 

How to reach:

Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Gorumara. One can also take a bus or cab from Siliguri. Madarihat is the nearest Rly. Station. Even from the railway stations of Siliguri (NJP), New Mal jn, Jalpaiguri Road, Alipurduar, and Cooch Behar, car or jeep services are available to the forest, through National Railway 31 to Lataguri, the gateway to the park. North Bengal State Transport Buses, Bhutan Government Buses, Mini Buses, Private Buses are also available from Siliguri to Alipurduar via Madarihat.

Trainline through Gorumara national park
Trainline through Gorumara national park

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary: 

Chapramari forest safari
Chapramari Forest safari

Wildlife:

Chapramari wildlife sanctuary is one of the well-known and attractive tourist spots in North Bengal with exotic scenic beauty and a variety of wildlife. This place can be considered as an extended part of Gorumara National Park. Elephants, gaurs, leopards, chital, sambar, barking deer, and wild boars are the very common sights of this Dooars forest, and if you are lucky enough you may get one-horned rhinoceros on your way.

Birds:

On the other hand myna, white-breasted kingfisher, green magpie, Indian treepie, thrush, scarlet minivets, and migratory birds are the other points of attraction to the bird-lovers. Different types of flowering orchids will be welcoming you at different times of the year. The best way to feel the beauty of this Dooars forest is to have a jungle safari and watchtower visit, that increase ample opportunity to find wild animals and various colorful birds.

Chapramari Safari:

Chapramari jungle safari is one of the most popular and attractive tourist activities for the Dooars-lovers. Here the jeep safaris are generally offered by the forest department itself that includes entry permit, guide, and vehicle. There are limited numbers of jeeps in each time slot. The tourists must carry their ID proof and photocopy for permission.

There is always huge scope to see elephants, bison, and deer on the forest route. Chapramari is actually blessed with an amazing ecology, varieties of migratory birds, and animals always enhance its beauty. The watchtower on the Murti River is the prime attraction that allows the visitors to experience wild elephants in their natural habitat with wild boars, deers, gaur, and sambar. 

Chapramari forest Bungalow
View from Chapramari forest Bungalow

Fare (January 2020):

• Vehicle entry fee: Rs. 100

• Vehicle cost from Lataguri: Rs.1140, Rs. 1320(with Nepali dance)

• Guide fee: Rs.180

• Video Camera: Rs.200

• Per person entry fee: Rs. 70 (shift 1-3), RS. 120(shift 4)

• Visit Chapramari watchtower for 4th shift: Rs. 400. 

Chapramari Forest
Chapramari forest

How to reach:

Bagdogra is the nearest airport; tourists can hire a car to reach the place from there. Car service is available from Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Coachbehar, Alipurduar, and the adjacent areas. Apart from that train service is also available, Malbazar, Chalsa, NJP stations are close to this place, from where tourists can hire a car and reach the place. 

Neora Valley National Park:

Located in Kalimpong district of North Bengal, Neora Valley National Park is another point of tourist attraction.  The entire forested area is crisscrossed by several mountain streams, even the place is named after the Neora river, flowing through the place. This area was earmarked as the National Park in the year of 1986 and challenged the endless human interference, biotope changes and environmental pollution. The place has been preserving its natural biodiversity and much of the national park has inaccessible forests in its territory.

Bike trip through Neora Valley national park
Bike trip through Neora Valley national park
The view of Kangchenjunga from Neora Valley national park
The view of Kangchenjunga from Neora Valley national park

The place offers you a beautiful landscape full of varieties flora and fauna. Vehicles can take you to the zero point which is about 13 km inside the forest; it’s an amazing experience through the midst of the deep greenery. Apart from that one can also reach the place by trekking through several trails in the forest, it is the best way to explore the forest and its diverse flora and fauna along with the birdlife. At the entrance of this Dooars forest, you can get the government authorized guide, who can take you for a trek through the forest. There is a way for trekking that covers all the way to Phuntsholing located at the Bhutan border.

Wildlife:

Among the wild species Red Panda, Black Asiatic Bear can be found, though they have become extremely rare for several reasons. The Barking Deer, Leopards, Leopard cats, Himalayan Thar, Flying Squirrel, wild cats, Royal Bengal tigers can catch your eyes while trekking through the dense forest. Neora Valley is also considered the birding paradise for the bird-lovers with about 265 species like Rusty Bellied Shortwing, Myanahs, Swallows and Parakeets. Apart from them Himalayan Griffon, Redstart, Golden Headed Black Finch and so on are quite common in the National Park, the best time for birding is between December and March.

Trekking route through Neora Valley national park
Trekking route through Neora Valley national park
River flowing through Neora Valley forest
River flowing through Neora Valley forest

Fees:

The entry permission in Neora Valley is available at the forest range office at Lava. The whole process of going to the forest and getting back with the permission, can take around two hours.

Entry fee- for tourists- 120/- per person, per day

500/- per day, for foreigners

Vehicle entry fee- 400/-

How to reach:

It’s very easy to reach Neora Valley from Lava, which is just 105kms   from NJP station; from Lava by road this place is just 10 kms away. Tourists can have jeep type vehicle to reach the valley by road. Another route lies through Samsing, crossing the places like Malbazar, Chalsa and Metelli. Bagdogra is the nearby airport, from where you can hire a car to reach the place.

Jaldapara National Park: 

Jaldapara is a unique place of Dooars situated in the foothills of Eastern Himalaya, in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. The natural beauty, cultural heritage, and wildlife of the place have made it popular among tourists. Jaldapara is enriched with an extensive variety of flora and fauna. One can spot a variety of animals and birds enjoying the paradise of this Dooars forest.

Wildlife:

One horn Rhinoceros are famous here. Elephants, Indian leopard, Bison, Barking Deer (amazing name), Wild boar, spotted deer, Rhinoceros are specially preserved here. Birds are colorful and varied which acts as a feast for those who are bird lovers.  

Jaldapara Elephant safari
Jaldapara elephant safari
Bisons wandering in Jaldapara national park
Bisons wandering in Jaldapara national park

Jaldapara is the best place to visit if you are planning to go and feel embraced in the love with mother nature. It is famous for its National park and rich flora and fauna. There are numerous places to visit once you enter Jaldapara. you can give your time to nature escaping from the mess of this mundane world.

Jaldapara welcomes you with its vivid scenic beauty, charming river, the deep forest where you can easily go for an adventurous safari and see the mysterious bright eye animals in the dense forest. You can enjoy the safaris with guides, you can stay in the forest Bungalow. You can go to a watchtower to see the birds. Moreover, you can visit a plethora of places which are near to Jaldapara. So, you can book your tickets as soon as you get a holiday.

Fees:

Rooms: Rs. 1200-2000

Foods: Rs. 450-600

Core safari: Rs. 2400/Gypsy

Madarihat is the closest railway station to reach this place and Bagdogra is the closest and only airport, from where the tourists can hire a car to reach the place. Cab and taxi services are also available to Jaldapara.

Buxa Tiger Reserve:  

Wildlife:

Buxa Tiger reserve is one of the famous places of North Bengal. It is located in the northeastern corner of West Bengal. The main eye-catcher of the Buxa Tiger reserve is watching the Royal Bengal tiger with all its majesty. The world-famous Royal Bengal tiger, a jeopardized species, has made this Dooars forest its home. This tiger is an example of quite possibly the most excellent manifestations of nature; seeing the blazing orange skin with pure black stripes roam through thick meadows as though they own the land, will undoubtedly leave you in awe. There are also different types of Bengal tigers and cats; like leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats, and leopard cats.

Elephant herd in the river Dima of Buxa
Elephant herd in the river Dima of Buxa
Butterflies of Buxa
Butterflies of Buxa

In this region, the Chinese pangolin and regal python also can be found by the sightseers. The reserve holds the largest number of elephants, Indian buffalo, panther, numerous varieties of deer and other warm-blooded creatures, countless types of Himalayan birds and reptiles. Buxa is rich in biodiversity. It has an extraordinary compilation of uncommon orchids. Several medicinal plants are available in the reserve.

Birds:

A total of more than 284 bird species are found in this locality. The streams Rydak and Jainti that move through this region invite numerous beautiful birds like The Himalayan Migratory Goosanders, Ibis Bill, Fork-Tails, Whistling Teal, White-looked at Poachard. In the late winter season when the weather is chilly then the incredibly uncommon Black-necked Crane regularly moves here and there. The Black Stork is additionally a regular guest to this area. The modest Ashy Minivet skips around as summer season and The Pied Hornbill, Minivets and Sultan Tits show up as the Rainy season comes.

Jayanti River flowing through Buxa
Train journey through Buxa Tiger Reserve
Train journey through Buxa Tiger Reserve

Safari:

The jungle safari can be the most adventurous and must-do thing in the Buxa Tiger Reserve. Going further into the crude woods, away from the daily hustle of the city, encircled by the tranquillity of nature.

You can pick morning or night safaris that last 3-4 hours each. Morning safaris start from 6:00 AM and night safaris start from 3:00 PM. A jeep safari will cost about INR 800. Trekking is another must-do thing one should definitely try. A 5 km long journey across the thick woodland drives to the Buxaduar Forest Bungalow. Here, comfortable services for trekkers are made accessible.

Alipurduar Junction is the nearest railway station and Bagdogra is the closest airport, from where car service is available  

 

Buxa Tiger Reserve Entry fee:

Rs.120 per person.

Rs.400 per car.

Rs.200 per Bike. 

Safari: Rs. 1500 for 6 people.

Charges are not required if you are coming by bus.

Leopard spotted in Buxa Tiger Reserve
Leopard spotted in Buxa Tiger Reserve

Chilapata Forest:

Chilapata is a dense forest near Jaldapara National Park that is situated in the lap of Dooars and it is 20km apart from Alipurduar, the nearest town. Chilapata forest is an elephant corridor between Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. This place is very rich in wildlife.

Wildlife:

Chilapata is mainly famous for the one-horned rhinoceros but also animals like elephants, leopards, and wild boars, deer, bison, barking deer, lesser cats are found here. 20 species of snakes and a large variety of butterflies can also be spotted here. 22 species of Reptiles like python, krait, cobra, water monitor, turtles enriched the wildlife of Chilapata. More than 175 species of beautiful and colorful birds like fishing eagle, shikara, crested eagle, jungle fowl, pied hornbill, paradise flycatchers, racket tail drongo are also found here. Hence, Chilapata is an ideal place for birding.

River flowing through Chilapata forest
River flowing through Chilapata forest
Nal Rajar Garh in Chilapata forest
Nal Rajar Garh in Chilapata forest

The jungle safari also allows you to witness the historical ruins of the fort called the Nal rajar garh, built in the Gupta Era during the fifteenth century. Another beautiful point is Mendabari Watchtower located in the vicinity of the riverbank of Kunai. The watchtower offers you the scenic beauty of the river Kunai flowing through Chilapata.

How to reach:

Bagdogra is the nearest airport and New Alipurduar, NJP, Rajabhatkhawa, New Coachbehar, Hasimara, New Mal are the railway stations close to this place where you can hire a car to reach Buxa.