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Jaldapara National Park

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Asia : South Asia : India : Eastern India : West Bengal : North Bengal : Jaldapara National Park
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Jaldapara National Park (formerly Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary) is in West Bengal in India.

Understand[edit]

It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1941 with the aim of protecting the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. In May 2012, its status was upgraded to that of a national park.

Landscape[edit]

Jaldapara is situated in the foothills of eastern Himalayas

The river Torsha flows through this rain forest sanctuary which is mostly covered with tall grasses, the sanctuary encompasses a luxuriant vegetation and a rich variety of wildife. The Malangi River also flows nearby from east to west. Riding elephants and 4x4 safaris are the only ways to move inside this forest. An elephant safari is preferred by most people staying at Jaldapara (in holong lodge or tourism lodge) overnight. The 4x4 safari is available both in the morning and in the afternoon.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The forest is mainly savannah covered with tall elephant grasses. The main attraction of the sanctuary is Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros. The sanctuary holds the highest rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The other animals found are tigers, elephants, deers, sambhar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild pig and bisons. Jaldapara is a paradise for bird watchers. It is one of the very few places in India, where the Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis also called the Bengal Bustard) is sighted. The other birds to be found here are the crested eagle, Pallas's fishing eagle and shikra, besides jungle fowl, peafowl, partridges, and lesser pied hornbill. Python, monitor lizards, krates, cobras, geckos and about 8 species of fresh water turtles have also found sanctuary here.

Climate[edit]

Warm and humid all the year long. The best season to visit is the middle of October to the end of February. Summer temperatures ranges from 22-35 degrees C while winter temperature ranges from 6-19 degrees C.Monsoon starts as early as mid May & continues upto late September.This region experiences heavy to very heavt rainfall during June-August.

Get in[edit]

Madarihat is the entry point for the sanctuary. It's located on the NH 31 (Siliguri-Hasimara), 140km east from Siliguri, 80km north from Cooch Behar and 50km west from Alipurduar.

By air[edit]

Bagdogra is the nearest airport at a distance of 140km.

By rail[edit]

The nearest railway station is Madarihat which is only 7km from the sanctuary. All passenger trains stop here. Jaldapara Tourist Lodge is a walkable distance from this railway station.

All the mail and express trains stop at Birpara/Hasimara railway stations; both are 20km away from the sanctuary.

By road[edit]

Jaldapara is connected by road with Siliguri and other places in North Bengal. North Bengal State Transport Corporation buses, Bhutan Government buses, minibuses are available from Siliguri to Alipurduar via Madarihat.

Fees/Permits[edit]

A permit is required to visit the sanctuary. As of 2007-08, entry fees to visit the park (Hollong) were:

  • ₹25 per head for Indian and Nepali nationals.
  • ₹50 per light vehicle.
  • ₹200 per heavy vehicle.
  • ₹5 per still camera.
  • ₹250 per video camera.

A thrilling elephant safari is organized in the early morning from Hollong to offer the exquisite beauty of the vast grassland of Jaldapara. The elephant ride is the best possible way to explore the sanctuary with the rare sight of one horned rhinos, Asiatic elephants, Gaur (India bison), deer etc. Elephant safari charge is ₹600 per head as of Jan 2014. Tourists staying in Hollong Tourist Lodge get the first preference and priority. The service is provided on a first come - first served basis. 4 persons are accommodated on an elephant. There are 6-7 elephants operating from Hollong every morning and they make 2 round trips. If it is high season one more round trip is arranged.

Recently elephant safari is also introduced from Barodabari Malangi Lodge of WBFDC. Tourists who do not get tickets from Hollong can avail of this option.

The jeep safari inside the sanctuary is another main attraction. Jeeps can be hired from Madarihat for day visits.

See[edit][add listing]

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is the place to see one horned Rhinos, elephants, Gaurs (Indian Bison), deer and a good number of birds.

The best possible way to spot wild animals is doing elephant safari. Elephant safari is done from Hollong Tourist Lodge and Barodabari Malangi Lodge.

Jeep safari is another way to explore the wild. Jeep safari can be done from Madarihat Jaldapara Tourist Lodge and Kodalbasti Point on way to Chilapata range.

  • Amar Nath Das. jeep safari. ₹1510 per jeep for 6 persons.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Bar and restaurant attached with good facilities

Drink[edit][add listing]

No drinks inside the sanctuary. For consumption in the lodge, it is better to carry one’s own choice.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Resort Mayur, (Lataguri near Gorumara Forest), +91 993 335 3453, [1]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Resort Mayur located in lataguri. An economy resort. Car parking facilities are available. ₹850-1450.  edit
  • Resort Sonar Bangla, (Lataguri), +91 33 4004 6229. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Resort Sonar Bangla is an economic resort located in lataguri on the outskirt of Gorumara forest. Rooms with attached bathrooms are available. Car parking. Car rental from NJP or Bagdogra are available. ₹800.  edit
  • Rose Valley Lataguri, Lataguri (Gorumara National Park), +91 993 335 3453. Resort Rose Valley (Nakshatra) is in the heart of Garumara National Forest. The resort provides you with a natural healing effect cocooned in the heart of sprawling mountains in the backdrop, the silvery lake cutting through the ground, alluring tea gardens, mushy wilderness and lush greenery. It has 6 rooms with four beds and 14 double bedded air-con rooms, Conference Hall, Restaurant, satellite TV, Also arranges safari to parks. ₹3,000-3,500.  edit

Lodges[edit]

  • Hollong Tourist Lodge is maintained by WBTDC. There are only 7 rooms available for tourists. Booking has to be done 120 days in advance since bureaucracy rules. The lodge is located 7-8km approx. deep inside the forest from the entry gate on the high way at Madarihat. All rooms are double bedded at ₹2,500 per day. If you want to have food, the package is ₹400 per head per day which includes breakfast with tea or coffee, evening snacks with tea or coffee and dinner. Lunch is an optional ₹150 per meal.
  • Jaldapara Tourist Lodge, PO Madarihat, Dist. Jalpaiguri PIN 735 220 - It much bigger than Hollong tourist lodge and has dormitories too. Direct booking at Tourist Lodge, Telefax +91 3563 262230, +91 3563 262606. Rates: ₹1500-3500 (2013)
  • Malangi Nature Resort at Baradabari (West Bengal Forest Development Corporation), on the other side of the sanctuary.
  • Chilapata Jungle Camp - a new outfit near Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary, run by Help Tourism. For bookings contact: info@helptourism.com.
    • Booking can be done for all:
      • From Kolkata - West Bengal Tourism, 3/2 B.B.D. Bag (E), Kolkata-700029. Telephone +91 33 2225 4723, +91 33 2210 3199, e-mail: dtwbtour@vsnl.net,
      • From Siliguri - West Bengal Tourism, M-4 Building, Hill Cart Road, Siliguri, Telephone +91 353 2511974, +91 353 2516306.

Priority to enter Jaldapara Sanctuary is first given to those booked into the tourist lodges only if there are less people booked in the lodges, can people not staying at the lodges get a safari. There are only a limited number of safaris per day. (May 2008)

Acacia Eco Resort- paschim Madarihat, this beautiful eco-resort is located between Duncans Tea Garden Nursery or Madarihat Land Project and Aryaman Tea Estate owned by Birla Group, this resort also borders South Khayerbari Rescue Center. A huge property with 12 nicely furnished rooms and lawn with nice foods and well maintained resort. Its owner Ashis Chakraborty a gentleman truly who out of love for forests owned this nice eco-resort and a person with huge knowledge of forests and wildlife. This resort also shares an Elephant corridor from Jaldapara to Khayerbari. Acacia is located a few kilometres away from Madarihat towards Falakata road, take right turn from Salukmondal then follow the roads heading towards the resort after crossing the tea-estates, a school, a church and culverts.

Stay safe[edit]

  • Keep fire away. This is the most destructive of all forces. Please do not kindle fires, throw lighted matches, cigarettes, bidis etc.
  • Keep the forest clean. Do not litter with plastic, paper, cellophane etc.
  • Keep pets at home.
  • Do not carry firearms, explosives, etc. These are prohibited.
  • Keep sober. Do not consume alcoholic drinks within the sanctuary.
  • Entering inside the forest prohibited. Follow the specific road/ path only.
  • Picnics are not permitted inside the sanctuary.
  • Do not tease the wild animals. Watch and observe nature silently.
  • Drive slowly. Permissible speed is 20km/h.
  • Disorderly conduct is not permitted.
  • No person shall hunt, destroy or remove or collect any forest produce or wildlife. Fishing prohibited.

Violations of any provisions as mentioned above or any rules shall be punishable under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and rules made thereunder and Indian Forest Act,1927.

Get out[edit]

  • Totopara - 30km from Jaldapara, a small village on the banks of River Torsha bordering Bhutan is the only habitation of Toto, a primitive tribe in Dooars. Their number has dwindled to less than 1000.
  • Chilapata - Hidden deep inside the Chilapata Forests the ruins of a thousand yeas old fort of Nal King has a tremendous historical and archeological importance. On way to Cooch Behar, a trip through the deep and dark Chilapata Forest (20km from Alipurduar) is a pleasant and exciting experience. Built in the 5th century during the Gupta Empire the ruins still recall the memories of the Golden Age of India.
  • Gorumara National Park
  • Buxa Duar

A Fort at an altitude of 867m in the Sinchula Range guarding the most important of the eleven routes into Bhutan, the Buxa Duar. Only 60 kilometres from Madarihat, the fort was used as a detention camp for freedom fighters during British rule.

  • Jayanti, 75km from Madarihat. A beautiful picnic spot on the bank of Jayanti river.It provides an excelletn view of the hills of Bhutan.

Attractions

  1. Flora and fauna of the region
  2. Pukhri Pahar
  3. Mahakal Cave
  4. Buxaduar (12km trek through forest)
  • Jayanti Bala Suvankar Basu ☎ +91 943 420 4776/ 03561 226050.
  • Banalota Loudge ☎ +91 943 460 7393
  • Bhutan Ghat, 85km from Madarihat, the road passes through beautiful forest and tea gardens. A picnic spot.


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