Jaldapara National Park
It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1991.
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 jeep safari is the only way to move inside this forest. Elephant safari is preferred to the people staying at Jaldapara (in holong lodge or tourism lodge) overnight. The jeep safari is available in morning and in afternoon.
Flora and fauna
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 is sighted. The other birds to be found here are the crested eagle, Pallas's fishing eagle and shikra, besides jungle fowl, peafowl, patridges, and lesser pied hornbill. Python, monitor lizards, krates, cobras, geckos and about 8 species of fresh water turtles have also found sanctuary here.
Warm and humid all the year long. The best season to visit is Middle of October to the end of February.
Madarihat is the entry point for the sanctuary. It is located on the NH 31 (Siliguri-Hasimara), 140 km east from Siliguri, 80 km north from Cooch Behar and 50 km west from Alipurduar. By air - Bagdogra is the nearest airport.(140 km) By rail – the nearest railway station is Madarihat which is only 7 km from the sanctuary. All passenger trains stop here. Jaldapara Tourist Lodge is in a walkable distance from this railway station. All the mail and express trains stop at Birpara/Hasimara railway stations, both are 20 km. away from the sanctuary. By road - 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. Cars can also be hired at Siliguri.
A permit is required for visit to the sanctuary. (As of 2007-08) Entry Fees to visit the park (Hollong) : Rs. 25/- Per head for Indian Nationals. Rs. 50/- Per light vehicle. Rs. 200/- Per heavy vehicle. Rs. 5/- Per still camera. Rs. 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 Indian rhinos and Asiatic elephants. The jeep safari inside the sanctuary is another main attraction. Jeeps can be hired from Madarihat for day visits.
Elephant Ride Charge (as of 2007-08): a) Adult Rs. 120/- Per head (Maximum 4 persons are allowed on each Elephant)
On an elephant ride you can see so many animals, like rhino, various types of deer, elephants, bisons, peacocks, etc.
See the view from Hollong Rest House (govt.).
Bar & Restaurant Attached with good facilities
No drinks inside the sanctuary. For consumption in the lodge, it is better to carry one’s own choice.
No. of rooms: (7) Seven Double Bedded rooms @ Rs.1000/- per room per day + Compulsory food @ Rs.175/- per head per day (dinner, breakfast & bed tea only). Lunch - Optional Rs.75/- per head.
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)
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.
A Fort at an altitude of 867 metres on the Sinchula Range guarding the most important of the eleven routes into Bhutan, the Buxa Duar. Only 60 kilometres from Madarihat, the Fort used as a detention camp for freedom fighters during British rule.
Attraction:- 1) Flora and fauna of the region, 2) Pukhri Pahar, 3) Mahakal Cave, 4) Buxaduar (12 km trek through forest)