Tourism industry is one of the booming businesses in today's world. National parks and wild life sanctuaries are an important dimension contributing a lot to the growing popularity of this industry. India is a country in the global map which has a lot of parks and wildlife sanctuaries that breed and nurture a wide range of flora and fauna. Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary in West Bengal has been able to fetch a lot of currency to the West Bengal Government.
This is a protect park which is located in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. The vast grassland with rivers and forests make the park look very attractive. This park is famous for the one-horned rhinoceros that was once on the verge of extinction.
Jaldapara was the land of the primitive "toto" tribe. They lived in the Totopara that lies in the north of the park.
With the aim of protecting the rare Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, this wildlife sanctuary was established in the year 1941. Today Jaldapara has the highest number of one-horned rhino after Kaziranga in the country.
Area and location:
Covering a total area of 141 sq km. this park consists of mainly dry deciduous forests. Located at an altitude of 61 meters, this sanctuary falls in the Alipurduar sub-division of Jalpaiguri District in West Bengal.
A myriad variety of flora and fauna can be traced in the park. It is drained by many rivers like Torsa, Hollong, Sissamara, Malangi, Chirakhawa, Bhaluka, etc. This provides extensive green grassland to many mammals, birds and reptiles.
Dry deciduous forest, alluvial savannah, moist mixed forests are the different types of vegetation. Most common trees found in the sanctuary are Sal and Shishu trees. The savannah forest here is covered with tall elephant grasses.
It is a known fact that the sanctuary houses a large number of one-horned rhino. Besides that you will also find sloth bear, swamp deer, sambhar, chital, elephant, Indian muntjac, bison, wild pigs, etc.
The Jaldapra wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers. The Bengal Florican would impress you. Very few places of India display this rare and beautiful bird. Other birds are Crested Eagle, Peafowl, Patridges, Jungle Fowl, Pied Hornbill, Shikra, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, Drongos, Babblers, Thrushes, etc.
It is also the home to 8 species of turtles and many species of reptiles and snakes like Monitor Lizards, Geckos, Python, Cobras and Kraits.
Best time to visit:
With a moist tropical climate and heavy monsoon, the temperature of the sanctuary ranges from 2C in winter to 41 C in summer. The ideal time to go for a vacation would be from October to May.
You need not worry about a comfortable stay in Jaldapara. Mid-range hotels to budget hotels- all are available in and around jaldapara. You can accommodate in Hollong Tourist Lodge, Garumara Jungle Camp, Tourism Center- Kolkata, Tourism Center-Silliguri, Jaldapara Tourist Lodge, etc.
How to reach the park?
- Bagdora is the nearest airport that is 135 km away from the park. You can rent a taxi or other car via Siliguri to Jaldapara.
- You have to take the National Highway 31 from Siliguri to Dalgaon via Coronation Bridge. The nearby cities are New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Bagdora that are 133 km, 75 km and 135 km away from the park respectively.
- Rangapara, 60 kms away from Bhalukpong in Sonitpur district is the nearest railhead.
What else do you get?
Besides elephant rides in the Jaldapara sanctuary, there are a lot of attractions in the nearby areas. A travel of 62 km from the sanctuary would take you to Gorumara National Park that is ideal for bird watching.
You can also visit the pristine beauty of the primitive village Totopara. Chilapata that is located at a distance of 25 km in Cooch Bihar with its elephants and leopards would be a great part of your holiday trip.
Thus you cannot miss a chance to visit the Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary. Steal some moments from the common din of life to enjoy the graces of Mother Nature.