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Jaldapara National Park

Earlier known as Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, this National Park is located in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal near the foothills of the Eastern Himalayan range. The Jaldapara National Park rests on the banks of River Torsa bordering Bhutan, and is a must-have in all Dooars itineraries. Spread over an area of 114 square kilometres, the park is at an elevation of 61 metres and homes a nice combination of grasslands and riverine forests. The park also holds the largest population of Asiatic one-horned rhinos after the Kaziranga National Park; these animals are on the verge of extinction. It is also a Habitat Management Area of Category IV. The National Park lies in the vicinity of the Chilapata Forests and the Gorumara National Park.

How To Reach Jaldapara National Park?

The park can be reached via National Highway 31 (Siliguri-Hashimara). It is 125 kilometres from Siliguri can be reached within 3 hours by car. The nearest major railways station is New Jalpaiguri Railways Station. From here, you have to travel to Madarihat railway station, which is 7 kilometres away from the park. The nearest airport is Bagdogra (145 kilometres). From Bagdogra, it is 13 kilometres to Siliguri.

What To See And Do In Jaldapara National Park?

  • Flora and Fauna:
  • The National Park is a home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna. You can spot the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Indian leopard, Asiatic elephant, sambar, deer, bison, and wild boars. It is also a bird watcher’s heaven, holding species like the Bengal florican, crested eagle, shikra, Pallas’s fish eagle, jungle fowl, partridge, Paradise flycatcher, Finn’s weaver, hornbill, racket-tailed drongo, and peafowl. A variety of reptiles can also be found here, including pythons, kraits, cobras, monitor lizards, geckos, and fresh water turtles. This apart, the forest floor supports the growth of tall elephant grasses, thus forming a savannah.

  • Meet the Tribe
  • Jaldapara is the only home of the primitive Toto tribe of Dooars. At present, there are less than a thousand Totos in the area. Their aboriginal lifestyle is an attraction here and takes you back to the ancient times when facilities were basic, yet humans thronged gracefully. The tribe dwells in a small village called Totopara, which is 30 kilometres away from Jaldapara.

  • Tour to Chilapata Forests
  • Inside the forests lies the ruins of an old fort, which is believed to be the home of the mythological character, King Nal. This 5th century fort is of great historic and archaeological significance. Built during the Gupta Empire, it bespeaks a golden era gone by.

  • Trip to Khayerbari
  • It is an animal rescue centre located 15 kilometres from Jaldapara. Khayerbari is a home to a number of leopards and Royal Bengal tigers. These animals were rescued from various circuses after the government banned the use of animals in circuses.

  • Visit Gorumara National Park
  • 80 kilometres from Jaldapara lies Gorumara National Park. It is located on the bank of rivers Murti and Raidak and contains a large population of Asiatic one-horned rhinos. This apart, the National Park is also a home to Asian elephants, peacocks, and bisons. The entry point of this park lies at Lataguri – a small town nearby. You could also indulge in angling in the rivers.

  • Tour to Buxa Tiger Reserve
  • Established in the period of 1982-83, the Buxa Tiger Reserve holds a large number of Royal Bengal Tigers – an important animal species in the region of North Bengal. Situated in northeast Dooars, the park borders Bhutan and Assam, and holds the historic Buxa Duar and Buxa Fort.

  • Journey to Bhutan Ghat
  • 85 kilometres from Madarihat, the entry point of Jaldapara, lies Bhutan Ghat. It is a picnic spot frequented by many. The journey will need you to travel through mesmerising forests and a number of tea gardens.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Jaldapara National Park?

The best time to visit Jaldapara National Park is from October to May. The ambient seasons are during March and October. The park remains closed for visitors from the 15th of June to the 15th of September owing to heavy rainfall.

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