Lataguri is a small town on NH31 in Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal.Lataguri is popular for the Gorumara National Park. It also has a Nature Interpretation Centre from where tickets, entry permits and other enquiries regarding the forest safaris can be obtained. Just 20 kilometers ahead there is the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. Murti River flows through the forests. This picturesque area comprising of Gorumara, Chapramari and Murti; is called Chalsa. A long drive to this place on a long weekend will provide the excitement and thrill of the wild as well as the tranquility and serenity of the Himalayan foothills, rivers and streams and the lush tea gardens.Lataguri is 607 kilometers from Kolkata and takes about 13-14 hours to reach by road. Lataguri is 60 kilometers from Siliguri and takes about 2 hours by road.
Why To Go
Starting as early as possible can help avoid heavy traffic jam situations. October to March is the best time to visit. Safaris are conducted by vehicles of the forest department. Take a guide for better sighting of wild animals. During a jungle safari it is advisable to abide by all the laid down rules like maintaining silence, not wearing dark coloured clothes, not wearing perfumes and not getting off the vehicle where not asked to.
Things To Do
Safari at Gorumara National Park: Spread over an area of 80 square kilometers, on the banks of Rivers Murti and Raidak, at the foothills of the Himalayas, this dense and moist deciduous forest with riverine grasslands, is situated. Gorumara is famous for its variety of flora and fauna. A guided jeep safari takes tourists to the core area where they often spot elephants, one-horse rhinos, wild boars, deer, snakes, peacocks and giant squirrels. Gorumara is the most popular destination of Doars. Do not miss climbing the two watch towers – Jatraprasad watch tower and Rhino point watch tower. The watch towers are high and the 360 degrees viewsof the flowing Murti River, wild life on its bank near the salt licks and the silhouette of the Himalayan Mountains are mesmerizing. Lataguri is the area just outside Gorumara National Park and has a good concentration of resorts including accommodation facilities by the government. The Nature Interpretation Centre is at Lataguri from where tickets for the safaris can be purchased. This is not far from the entry gate of the National Park from where the safari starts. Safari at Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary: With the Himalayas at the backdrop; this deep forest; 20 kilometers from Gorumara National Park; is spectacular. Tourists can often spot elephants, gaur, wild boar and leopards during a jeep safari. Sunset at Murti: Drive to the tranquil banks of River Murti, lying in between Gorumara and Chapramari. Watching the sunset sitting calmly by the river is rejuvenating for both the body and the soul. Drive to SamsingSuntalekhola: One can reach SamsingSuntalekhola after driving 40 kilometers from Lataguri on the winding road with lush green tea gardens on both its sides. Stop by and breathe in the fresh air. May be the tea for your morning cup comes from here. Enjoy the panoramic view of the hills and lush green valley from Samsing view point. Visit the Rocky Island for an unforgettable experience by walking through the boulders; down to the cool and pleasant gushing waters of the spring. Suntalekhola (Kalimpong District), a little further ahead of Samsing, is perched in the lap of Mother Nature. Mountains, streams, greenery, flowers and birds make the place enchanting. The bridge over the river is one of the chief attractions for clicking photos. The sound of the frivolously flowing river over the rocks together with the chirping of the birds creates an enigmatic environment. The scenic picnic spot has a few cottages on the slopes of the hills and even camps by the river. If not a dip, you must sit with your feet immersed in the river water. It is therapeutic. Drive to JhalongBindu:Bindu, 55 kilometers from Lataguri, is the Indo-Bhutanese border. The border restricts entry from India to Bhutan and vice versa.The drive to the picturesque place is remarkable. Dalgaon view point near Jhalong (Gorubathan, Kalimpong District) is known for the amazing view of the Jaldhaka River which is a natural boundary between the two countries. There is a dam and hydroelectric power plant on the river at Bindu. Presence of BSF is strong.
The forest safaris are done by vehicles of the forest department. All the other spots need to be travelled by car. In case of self drive, if one is not comfortable with hilly roads, he can hire cabs from Lataguri for Bindu and / or Suntalekhola.
How To Reach
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Jaldapara National Park, 80 kilometers from Lataguri 1.5 hours’ drive), is more of a grass land popular for sighting the one horned rhinos. Elephant safari is also possible here. BuxaTiger Reserve and Jayanti (Alipurduar District), 128 kilometers(3 hours’ drive) from Lataguri, are not only popular for the dense forest and wild animals but also for the historic Buxa Fort and the Mahakal Caves, together with nature’s pristine beauty.