Jaldapara

Why To Go

Jaldapara National Park in the Alipurduar District of West Bengal is situated at the foot hills of the majestic Himalayas, on the banks of the Torsa River, is vast, comprising of grasslands and patches of riverine forests. It is a habitat management area and is famous for Asiatic one horned rhinoceros. The nearby Chilapata forest is across the Torsa River. The experience of safaris here is remarkable. It takes 15 hours to reach Jaldapara from Kolkata by road. It is 680 kilometers of drive.

Travel Tips

September to May is the best time to visit Jaldapara as during monsoons the forests remain closed for tourists. Please abide by the norms/ laws of the safaris It is advisable not to wear dark coloured clothes and not to use perfumes during safaris. Maintain silence and do not go around on your own inside the forest, unless instructed by the guide.

Things To Do

Madarihat is the entry point of Jaldapara National Park. Jeep safaris are done by forest department operated vehicles. Safaris inside the 216.5 square kilometer vast National Park, famous for its diversity of flora and fauna make memories of a lifetime. This National Park is home to rhinos, gaurs, leopards, elephants, different kind of deer; reptiles like pythons, cobras, lizards and various species of fresh water turtles; and birds like peacocks, different kinds of eagles, hornbills and many more. There are 3 watch towers or viewpoints covered by the jeep safari. From the watch tower animal sighting is definite at the saltlicks and near the banks of the water bodies. Besides Torsa, there are numerous perennial streams from the following rivers: Malangi, Hollong, Chirakhawa, Sissamara, Kalijhora, Bhaluka and Buri Torsa. As there are extensions of grasslands, often animals are seen crossing the little flowing streams. Watching the setting sun is a pivotal part of the evening safari. Early morning elephant safari is a lifetime experience. Don’t miss Khayerbari Nature Park, 15 kilometers from Madarihat Jaldapara, set on the banks of Buri Torsa River is a serene picnic spot with a children’s park, boating facilities on the river and car safari in the world of rescued animals. It is a Leopard Rescue Centre with rescued leopards and Bengal tigers. Visit the Chilapata Forest, 23 kilometers away from Jaldapara, on the other side of River Torsa. It is a dense forest forming elephant corridor from Jaldapara National Park to Buxa Tiger Reserve. The picturesque drive to Chilapata is blissful, with the road meandering through tea gardens on both sides with the grand silhouette of the Himalayas at the back drop. From safaris, watch towers, forest trails to historic fort ruins and the essence of tribal life at Kodalbasti; Chilapata offers it all. Drive up to Phuntsholing, the border town of Bhutan, just 30 kilometers from Jaldapara and/or Chilapata; for a day trip. Jaigaon is the adjoining Indian town. The iconic Bhutan Gate with intricate Bhutanese wood carvings, Zangto Pelri Lhakhang Monastery and Park, Karbandi Monastery and Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre are some significant places to see.

Getting Around

The forest safaris are done by vehicles of the forest department. All the other spots need to be travelled by car. The roads are not very sloping.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

Bagdogra Airport is 134 kilometers from Jaldapara and takes around 3 hours. Cabs need to be hired from the airport.

TRAIN

Madarihat is just 7 kilometres and Hasimara is 12 kilometers from Jaldapara and takes around 15-20 minutes to reach. Cars as well as autos are available. Jaldapara is easily accessible from Alipurduar Juntion, New Alipurduar and Coochbehar and take around 1 hour to reach. Even though it takes 2 hours to reach Jaldapara from New Jalpaiguri (NJP), NJP still remains the most popular railway station for accessing Dooars, Bengal Hills and Sikkim.

ROAD

From Kolkata Airport take National Highway (NH) 21. Stay on NH 21 through Chaudanga Ranaghat Krishnanagar Bypass and then cross Beherampore and then take the Malda bypass Road. Continue from Malda Botolbari Bus stop on NH 21 for some times and then merge to NH 27 to the right. Continue on NH 17 from Shiliguri and merge to NH 31 on Siliguri Hasimara section to Madarihat. If required take a night halt at Malda which is almost the midpoint between Kolkata and Madarihat. Kolkata to Malda is 328 kilometers’ drive and takes about 7.5 hours. Malda to Madarihat is a distance of 352 kilometers and takes around 8 hours to drive.

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Surrounding Attractions

Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jayanti (Alipurduar District), is 61 kilometers from Jaldapara and 53 kilometers from Chilapata and takes about 1.5 hours and 1 hour respectively. The mystic forest at the foot hills of the Himalayas and its wild animals, the historic Buxa Fort and the Mahakal Caves; make the place extremely elusive. Chalsa area offers pristine wilderness, set on the foot hills of the great Himalayas. Safaris at Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, the hilly drives on the magical roads with lush tea gardens on both sides of the road and the meandering Murti River, weave a magic for tourists to discover.
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