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Buxa Fort And Buxaduar Tiger Reserve

Sprawling over an area of 760 square kilometres, the Buxa Tiger Reserve rests inside the Buxa National Park in Alipurduar district of West Bengal. It lies in the Buxa hills close to Bhutan border and makes it to almost every Dooars tour packages. The tiger reserve is considered one of the most diverse in the region. Showing extreme levels of bio-diversity, it displays an Indo-Malayan region which is highly endemic. Set up in the period of 1982-83, the Buxa Tiger Reserve also homes the Terai Ecosystem. It also encompasses a part of the Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan; the two places are separated by River Jayanti. Towards the east of the reserve lies the famous Manas National Park. This is the area through which Asian elephants migrate from India to Bhutan.

The south-west of the reserve has the Chilapata Forests, which are connected to the Jaldapara National Park. On an extreme end of the reserve lies the Rasikbill Lake. You would be surprised to know that the Buxa is the largest National in the Dooars. The tiger reserve has got its name after the historic Buxa Fort, which is a significant landmark here. The fort stands at an altitude of about 867 metres on the Sinchula mountain range. It rests guarding the Buxa Duar – the most prominent of the eleven routes to Bhutan. During the British rule the Buxa fort was captured in the year 1865 after the Dooars War unleashed from Bhutan. Later, it was used by the East India Company as a detention camp to hold freedom fighters. Interestingly, at that period, India had only two detention camps – one in Buxa and the other, the cellular jail in Andaman and Nicobar Island.

How To Reach Buxa Tiger Reserve?

The reserve is located approximately 200 kilometres away from Siliguri. It can be reached via National Highway 31. Buxa Tiger Reserve is 30 kilometres from Alipurduar town. The nearest railways station is Alipurduar junction; a train can be availed from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Siliguri. The nearest bus bay is in Siliguri. The nearest airport is Bagdogra. You can stay in Jayanti within the forest or close to it. Other places of accommodation are in the Rajabhatkhawa area, Santalabari area, and Raimatang.

What To See And Do In Buxa Tiger Reserve?

  • Flora and Fauna:
  • The tiger reserve is a home to a fantastic diversity of flora and fauna. Species like tigers, clouded leopards, deer, elephants, gaurs, wild dogs, pangolins, Himalayan black bears, civet, giant squirrels, mongooses, clawless otters, chital, sambar, buffalos, and red jungle fowl frequent the place. This apart, the reserve also homes Himalayan griffons, nutuch, hornbills, and red-breasted Himalayan partridges. You will observe innumerable small water bodies and ponds here, which are home to a large variety of tortoises. The reserve also supports the growth of some rare orchids and medicinal plants. The nearby rivers Raidak and Jayanti are frequented by migratory birds like the Trans Himalayan Migratory Goosander, Ibis Bull, Red-stars, Fork-tails, Wag-tails, Teals, White Eyed Poachard, minivets, Sultan tits, and more. It is also the place where you could spot the rarest birds of present times – Black Storks and Black-necked Cranes. Reptiles are pythons and monitor lizards throng the area.

  • Trek in Buxa
  • The trek will begin from Santalabari to Buxaduar, which lies at an altitude of 914 feet. This is a 5 kilometres trek through the hills and the forest, which takes you to the Buxaduar Forest Bungalow. If you travel another 4 kilometres from here, you will reach the Rover’s Point at an altitude of 4,500 feet. This point is also known as ‘the land of the unknown birds.’ 12 kilometres from here, you could steal a glimpse of the Rupam Valley in Bhutan. All throughout the journey, you will be able to view the majestic Jayanti River Valley.

  • Visit the Mahakal Cave
  • At the end of the trek comes Jayanti, which homes the Mahakal Cave. This stalactite cave is a natural wonder and very narrow, damp, and dark. Try it at your own risk. And if you want to continue the trek, you can travel downhill to the Jayanti Forest Bungalow.

  • Visit Rajabhatkhawa
  • 12 kilometres from Jayanti, Rajabhatkhawa is a popular tourist destination, which can be covered in your Buxa Tiger Reserve itinerary. It is surrounded by the forest of the reserve and offers ample opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to explore the place. Rajabhatkhawa has a watch tower deep inside the jungle from where you can spot elephants, bisons, and sometimes, even tigers. The place also has The Nature Interpretation Centre and The Animal Rescue Centre. You can opt for a park safari is a car or jeep as well.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Buxa Tiger Reserve?

The environment of the reserve is forever sultry. Summers are very hot; the temperatures are at their peak during the month of April. From June to August, the tiger reserve receives heavy rainfall. Showers can even occur in the month of May. September to April is a good time to visit this place. In fact, March is considered the best month for a trip to the Buxa Tiger Reserve, because the flora and fauna here become prominent during this time.

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