General Information About Chilapata
Although Chilapata is a renowned and dense forest, still it is yet to get any honour for National Park or Reserve Forest. Chilapata forest comes under Jalpaiguri district in eastern Dooars and closes to Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary. Enriched with flora and fauna Chilapata forest forms an elephant corridor between Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. The ecological boundary of Chilapata spreads along the banks of Bania river in the east and river Torsha in the west. Both rivers bring fresh monsoon alluvial to support and protect the grassland ecosystem of the forest.
Chilapata in Dooars is a dense forest and offers the genuine flavour of wild-life in the wilderness. Going through the forest is really thrilling to feel like cutting a green wall. Once famous for its terror of bandits, the forest has become one of the major visiting places for the visitors travelling in Dooars. Chilapata forest features the wonders of wildlife in the real colour of nature.
Chilapata is a hub of wild animals. It used to have a large number of one-horned rhinos. But the ruthless killing by the King of Coochbehar during the last leg of the 19th century brought to dwindling of the population of rhinos. Apart from one-horned rhinos, a large number of elephants, bison, deer, leopard, lesser cats, cheetal, sambar, barking deer, wild boar etc. are available in the forest.
Reptiles like python, krait, cobra, water monitor and freshwater turtles enrich the wildlife of Chilapata forest make it one of the most precious treasures in Dooars.
Chilapata is also one of the favourite destinations for bird watchers in Dooars. The forest boasts about its colourful and beautiful birds like a fishing eagle, shikara, crested eagle, jungle fowl, peaceful partridge, Bengal florican, paradise flycatchers, racket tailed drongo, pied hornbill etc. Chilapata also is known for its butterfly species of diversity.
Best time to visit
Many of North Bengal areas remains in beautiful atmospheric condition from the month of September to the month of February. Therefore, this time is the most suitable to visit Chilapata.
Jaldapara is the nearest tourist destination. Madarihat, the entry point for Jaldapara National Park is just 15 kms away. The largest forest of Dooars, Buxa Tiger Reserve, is also close by at a distance of 30 kms. Chilapata is located between the two forests of Jaldapara and Buxa giving it a unique advantage of tourists being able to visit both the forests from here.
Apart from forest visits, tourists can easily visit Bhutan border town of Phuentsholing from here (22 kms). Alipurduar, the district headquarter, is just 40 kms and the historic town of Coochbehar is 50 kms.
The vicinity to all major destinations of Eastern Bhutan gives Chilapata the unique advantage of being centrally located. Tourists may easily visit all the tourist destinations of the area based here.
Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary and Mendabari Camp are accessible through road, rail and air. You have to take National Highway 31 to reach Chilapata if you are driving your car.
By air you have to come to Bagdogra airport from where you can hire a taxi to take you to Chilapata. The easiest is, however, boarding a train and disembarking at Alipurduar station from where it is only an hour’s drive to Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary. The Mendabari Jungle Camp is 2 kilometres inside the forest.
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