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An elephant safari through Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park is a national park in the Northern Plains of West Bengal, India.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1991 and a national park in 2012.

Landscape[edit]

Jaldapara National Park lies in the Himalayan foothills and has great natural beauty. The river Torsa flows through this rainforest sanctuary which is mostly covered with tall grasses, the sanctuary encompasses luxuriant vegetation and a rich variety of wildlife. The Malangi River also flows nearby from east to west. Riding elephants and terrain vehicle safari is the only way to move inside this forest. Elephant safari is preferred by the people staying at Jaldapara (in Holong Forest Guest House or Tourist Lodge) overnight. The terrain vehicle safari is available in the morning and in the afternoon.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Flora[edit]

The forest is mainly a savannah covered with tall elephant grasses. A particular kind of plant known as Ramgua or Ramguna tree is found in this forest. These trees have unique blood-like red sap, that comes out of their bark when cut.

Fauna[edit]

The main attraction of the park is the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros. The national park holds the highest rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The other animals found are tigers, elephants, deer, sambhar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild pigs and bison.

Jaldapara National Park 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, partridges, and lesser pied hornbill. Python, monitor lizards, krates, cobras, geckos and about 8 species of freshwater turtles have also found sanctuary here.

Climate[edit]

Warm and humid all year long. The best season to visit is from the middle of October to the end of February.

Get in[edit]

Madarihat is the entry point for the park. It is on NH 31 (Siliguri-Hasimara), 140 km east from Siliguri, 80 km north from Cooch Behar and 50 km west from Alipurduar.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport with commercial flights is Rupsi Airport (RUP IATA) in Lower Assam. Another option is Bagdogra Airport (IXB IATA) in Siliguri, which handles daily flights from all major cities in India and twice weekly international flights to and from Paro and Bangkok.

By train[edit]

The nearest railway station is Madarihat which is 7 km from the park. All passenger trains stop here.

  • 1 Madarihat railway station.

By bus or hired car[edit]

Jaldapara National Park is connected by road with Siliguri and other places in the Dooars. NBSTC buses, Bhutan Government buses, minibuses are available from Siliguri to Alipurduar via Madarihat. Cars can also be hired at Siliguri.

Get around[edit]

Map
Map of Jaldapara National Park

Fees and permits[edit]

Entry fees to visit the park (Hollong): ₹25/- per head for Indian Nationals. ₹50/- per light vehicle. ₹200/- per heavy vehicle. ₹5/- per still camera. ₹250/- per video camera.

See[edit]

You can see rhino, various types of deer, elephants, bisons, peacocks, etc.

See the view from Hollong Rest House (govt.)

Buy[edit]

Eat and drink[edit]

Jaldapara family tourism and restaurant is a cheap rated lodge which is very close to the ticket counter for car & elephant safari.

However, no drinks inside the park. Bring your own to drink at your lodge.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Hotel Royal Green, NH 31C, Kharibari Forest, Madarihat, +91-9933160106.

Lodging[edit]

  • 2 Aranya Tourism Property (Jaldapara Tourist Lodge), Madarihat, +91 3563 262230 (Telefax), +91 3563 262606. It much bigger than Hollong Tourist Lodge and has dormitories too. Direct booking at Tourist Lodge. ₹1,000 (non AC double bed), ₹300 (dormitory - 5 bedded), ₹650 (double-bedded Tourist Hut)..
  • Hollong Tourist Lodge. It is maintained by WBTDC. There are only 7 rooms available for tourists. Booking has to be done 120 days in advance. The lodge is 7-8 km deep inside the forest from the entry gate on the high way at Madarihat. All rooms are double bedded at ₹2,500 per day. If you want to have food, the package is ₹400 per head per day which includes breakfast with tea or coffee, evening snacks with tea or coffee and dinner. Lunch is an optional ₹150 per meal.
  • Malangi Nature Resort (url=), Baradabari (at the other side of the park), +91 3581 2886308. Run by West Bengal Forest Development Corporation.
  • Bamboo Village Resort, Uttar Chakoakheti, ☏ 033 6607 7252 This resort has both A.C. and Non A.C. rooms and an onsite restaurant serving Bengali dishes.
  • Chilapata Homestay, Uttar Chakoakheti, ☏ +91-9903362610 This resort-cum-homestay has 18 A.C. rooms and an onsite restaurant serving Bengali and Chinese dishes. Jeep safari arranged from the resort.
  • Humro Home Chilapata, Kumai Busty, ☏ 1800-123-3759 This homestay has 2 Non A.C. rooms and food arrangements for guests. Serves local food.
  • Nalgarh Retreat Chilapata, Uttar Simlabari, ☏ +91 8013311814 This resort has both A.C. and Non A.C. rooms and food arrangement for guests.

Camping[edit]

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Bhutan Ghat, 85 km from Madarihat, is a road that passes through beautiful forest and tea gardens
  • Buxa Tiger Reserve (60 km from Madarihat) — a forested area located in Buxa and Jayanti hills is a habitat for tigers, Asian elephants and other mammals plus a variety of birds, amphibians and reptiles
  • Gorumara National Park
  • Totopara, 30 km from Jaldapara, is a small village on the banks of River Torsa bordering Bhutan that is the only habitation of the Toto tribe


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