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gorumara

Gorumara National Park is one of the important National Park of 79.99 Sq. KM in area located in the Tarai region of the Himalayan foothills in northern West Bengal , India.

It is a medium-sized park with grasslands and forests and famous for its population of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros. Gorumara was previously a Reserve Forest since 1895. The park was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1949 for its increased population of Indian Rhinoceros and declared as an National Park of India on January 31, 1994.

The park is located on the flood plains of the Murti River and Raidak River. The major source of water in the park is the river Jaldhaka. Moreover, Gorumara with adjoining forest areas in Tarai region is a vast watershed area between the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems. The park is very close to the Jaldapara nd Chapramari Wildlife Reserve.

The best way to watch wildlife at the park is to use powerful binoculars, with night vision facilities at night, from the numerous well-located watchtowers at the park. The watchtowers are :

  • Jatraprasad Watch Tower : Named after a legendary elephant

  • Rhino Observation Point : Watch tower in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow

  • Chandrachur Watch Tower (Old Khunia Watch Tower) : Near the Murti forest bungalow

  • Chukchuki Bird-watching Point : Good for birding.

 

Chapramari is off national highway 31 from Khunia more on the way to Jaldapara. It can also be approached from the metre gauge railway stations to Chalsa or Nagrakata.Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is heaven for the ornithologists and an ideal place to visit for the nature lovers. It is located near the NH31 connecting Siliguri in West Bengal and Guwahati in Assam. The forest is famous for its elephant population. The sanctuary has a huge variety of flora and fauna. The excellent blend of flora and fauna has increased the importance of the Wildlife Sanctuary. Gaur (commonly known as Bison) is pleanty found in this region. The forests are also home of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. Different varieties of deer, reptiles and other animals are abundantly found here.

 

The Jaldapara Sanctuary was established in 1941 covering 216 sq km. The forest is a mosaic of woods, perennial streams, wide sandy river banks and extensive belts of tall grass. The great diversity of flora and fauna of mixed deciduous forest, grasslands and river banks has made Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary as a breeding ground of Indian One-horned Rhino. It is situated in Alipurduar Sub-Division of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. The river Torsa 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 through the forest. The elephant is the only means of transport inside the forest. Different varieties of birds are found here viz. Crested Eagle, Fishing Eagle and Shikra, besides Jungle fowl, peafowl, patridges, Bengal Florican and lesser Pied Hornbill. Python, monitor lizards, krates, cobras, geckos and about 8 species of fresh water turtles have also found. Some of the areas in the forest and adjoining places are home of the large Fire-Flies.

The wildlife consists of the Great Indian One Horned rhinos, Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopard (Panthera Tigris), wild elephants, deers, swamp deers, hog deers, wild pigs, bisons. Some rare species like the hispid hare and the hog-badger are also found here. Besides wildlife viewing, there is scope for unusual holiday activities like elephant riding and leisurely strolls through the towering grass (but it is very risky)

 

Buxa fort,  is 24 kms from Alipurduar and 180 km from Siliguri, well connected by both motorable road and railways. Buxa is the trekkers paradise since several trek routes originate from Buxa. Most popular trek starts from Santrabari (914ft) to Buxaduar. A trek through the dense forested hills leads to Buxaduar Forest Bungalow (5 kms). Accommodation is available there for the trekkers. 4 kms trek through the forest track leads to the Rover's Point i.e. the land of unknown birds (4500 ft). The view of Rupam Valley (12 KM) in Bhutan is magnificient. The entire region is full of adventure and excitements. It gives some breathtaking views of Jayanti River Valley. Rare birds and orchids are seen in this area.

Buxa Tiger Reserve, set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. The place belongs to the subdivision of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri district, It is declared a National Park in January 1992. The name "Buxa Tiger" has been derived from Buxa Fort - a fort at an altitude of 880 meters on the Sinchula Range guarding the most important of the eleven routes into Bhutan.

 

A picturesque picnic spot along the meandering Jayanti River forming a natural border with beautiful Bhutan hills. Buxaduar to Jayanti is another popular trek route in the region. This 13 kms trek passes through the dense forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve. The music of wilderness, the chirping of unknown birds, the song of wild streams, fragrance of nature will never allow you to feel the least stress of a long journey. The journey ends with a warm reception of an old staggering priest at the stalactite cave of Jayanti, popularly known as the Mahakal cave.

Rajabhatkhawa is 12 kms from Jayanti and approachable by both road and rail form Siliguri (153 kms) and Alipurduar (17 kms). It is surrounded by dense forests of Buxa Tiger Reserve. Rajabhatkhawa is an ideal place for the wildlife enthusiasts. A watchtower deep inside the forest gives the best opportunity to view elephant, bison and even tiger. The Nature Interpretation Center at Rajabhatkhawa is another attraction. There is a small bazaar and a beautiful small rail station. Accommodation is available in forest rest house and also in a private rest house named Gracilips.

 
 
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