Gorumara was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1949 and a national park in 1992. Although Jaldapara National Park is traditionally considered popular for its one-horned rhinos, Gorumara has overtaken Jaldapara in footfall over the years and the options for jungle safari have also increased.
Gorumara National Park lies in the Himalayan foothills and has great natural beauty. The park is on the bank of the Murti and Raidak rivers and has the vegetation of riverine grasslands interspersed with savannah woodlands. Much of the forest is moist deciduous and sal (shorea robusta) is the most common and valuable tree. Teak, simul, siris, khair are also found here.
This article also covers Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, which is separated from Gorumara by the Murti River.
Gorumara has recorded 50 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, and 30 species of amphibians.
Mammals: The park has a huge concentration of herbivores like the Indian rhinoceros, gaur, Asian elephant, sloth bear, chital, and the sambar deer. In comparison, there is a lack of carnivores with the only big cat being leopards. Tigers are occasionally spotted here. It has a huge population of elephants and wild boars. The rare pygmy hog and the hispid hare have been reported in this park.
Birds: Gorumara National Park is famous for its bird population - which includes brilliant submontane forest birds like the scarlet minivet, sunbird, Asian paradise flycatcher, spangled drongo and great Indian hornbill. Numerous woodpeckers and pheasants inhabit the park. Peafowls are very common to spot. The park is on the flyway of numerous migratory birds, including the rare Brahminy Duck.
Reptiles and amphibians: The park is home to a large number of snakes, venomous and non-venomous, including the Indian python, one of the largest snakes in the world, and the king cobra - the world's largest venomous snake.
The park is closed in the monsoon season (normally June–September).
Although there are railway stations nearby, the nearest station to get to Gorumara National Park smoothly is New Mal Junction railway station at Malbazar. There's a railway station within Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, but no train stops there.
- 1 Chalsa railway station. Provides access to Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary.
- 2 Lataguri railway station. Provides access to Gorumara National Park.
National Highway 31 which connects Siliguri and Guwahati passes through Lataguri (about 75 km from Siliguri), Chalsa and Nagrakata near the park. Gorumara National Park is 1 km from Lataguri, 10 km from Chalsa. It is recommended to hire vehicles from Chalsa or Lataguri to enter the National Park. Most hotels will arrange for the visit.
Fees and permits
A terrain vehicle safari costs ₹2200 and can accommodate up to 6 people. Entry fees vary from ₹70-160. Fees for each watch tower and entry point is different. Other fees like parking fees and guide fees are also to be paid. Online booking can be done here. On-site booking facilities are also available. The park remains closed on Thursdays.
The best way to watch the wildlife at the park is to use powerful binoculars, with night vision facilities at night, from the numerous well-located watchtowers at the park.
- Chandrachur (near the Murti forest bungalow).
- Chukchuki. Good for birding.
- Jatraprasad. Named after a legendary elephant.
- Rhino Observation Point (in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow).
There are no ranger-led or otherwise all-terrain vehicle or elephant-back forays into the jungle. Hiking is permitted on gravel roads, but is slightly unsafe considering the population of elephants, gaur and rhinoceros present in the park.
Eat and drink
- The Reserve Gorumara, ☏ , .
- The Salt Pit, Chawk Moulani, Lataguri, ☏ , . Bar and restaurant
- Aranya Jungle Resort, Lataguri, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Gorumara Forest Rest House, ☏ .
- 1 Gorumara Manna Resort, Lataguri.
- Green View, Lataguri, ☏ . No lodging only food
- Jungle Heritage,, ☏ . Lataguri, originally a gift shop closed for long time
- Kakurbari,. Murti
- Kanchanjungha Tiger Hill (opposite the Gorumara Forest Gate), ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: 11:30AM. ₹800/₹1200/₹1500.
- Panchavati Forest Resort, Lataguri, ☏ , .
- Resort Sonar Bangla, Lataguri, ☏ , .
- Resort SunCity Lataguri (Rose Valley Lataguri) (Lataguri), ☏ . It has 6 four-bed and 14 double-bed AC rooms, Conference Hall, Restaurant, satellite TV, Also arranges safari to parks. ₹3000-3500.
- Silver Ridge Resort, Lataguri, ☏ , , email@example.com.
- 2 Sinclairs Retreat Dooars, Chalsa, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Reserve Gorumara, ☏ , , email@example.com. ₹2500 - 5000.
- 3 Tiyabon Resorts, Mangalbari, Kharar Bander Forest, ☏ , . Check-in: 11:30AM, check-out: 11AM. In Tiyabon 15 cottages are spread over 2.33 acres of land adjasent to forest. ₹800-1600.
- 4 Tuskers Den Forest Resort, Lataguri, ☏ , , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Double bed room ₹1200-2600, four bed room ₹2200.
- Sangam Homestay, Dandeli, ☏ .
The following lodges are operated by either West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC or simply West Bengal Tourism) or West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC or simply West Bengal Forest). These lodges can be booked from either Kolkata or Siliguri.
- 5 Moorti Tourism Property (Murti Tourist Lodge), Murti. Run by West Bengal Tourism.
- 6 Tilottama Tourism Property (Tilbari Tourist Complex), Lataguri. Run by West Bengal Tourism.
- Garumara Jungle Camp, Chalsa.