General Information About Gorumara
Situated on the banks of rivers Murti and Raidak in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, the Gorumara National Park is a site that you cannot miss to afford on your next trip to Dooars. Spread over an area of 80 square kilometres, this medium-sized forest is situated in the foothills of the Great Himalayas and has a large variety of flora and fauna on display for the curious visitors, nature lovers and wildlife photographers, who visit the place to catch a glimpse of the miraculous workings of nature. Full of riverine grasslands and moist deciduous forests, the place is especially famous for its Asiatic one-horned rhino, but also houses many other mammals, reptiles, insects and birds, including the majestic Asian elephants, the royal Bengal tigers and the Great Indian Hornbill. Indian Wild Dogs, Giant Squirrels, Wild boars, deer, cobra, python, woodpeckers and a variety of other species can also be easily spotted here. Owing to its magnificent beauty and richness in flora and fauna, Gorumara National Park has come up as an emerging popular tourist destination in the last decade or so. Today, the area in the vicinity of the forest has the largest concentration of tourist accommodation in Dooars, which bears testimony to the increase in travel that the national park has witnessed.
Declared as the best-protected area in India by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2009, the national park also offers a myriad of safari options, wherein spotting of animal is not uncommon. The place is a beautiful one to spend a few hours in peace and solitude, to live in harmony with Mother Earth, and to appreciate the glorious bounties that it bestows upon humankind so generously.
Chalsa is a small town situated just on the foot of the Himalayas in the Dooars in Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. This small town is surrounded by hills, tea gardens, rivers and forests. One part of the town is surrounded by Gorumara National Park and other parts with Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary.
Gorumara National Park
Gorumara National Park is located in the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district. It is a medium-sized park covered with forests and grasslands. This National Park is highly acknowledged for nurturing a considerable population of Indian Rhinoceros. The park has recorded 193 species of birds, 7 species of turtles, 22 species of reptiles, 27 species of fishes and other micro and macrofauna. It is also known for its bird population. Cradled on the bank of the Murti River, Gorumara National Park has a variety of flora and fauna. The forest of garumara is famous for the Asian one-horned rhino. There is a watchtower beside the Forest Rest House offering a view of the Murti Valley and the entire park. Tourists climb up the tower to observe wild animals especially elephant, rhino, deer and bison as they frequently visit the salt reservoir below the tower. Gorumara Forest was first declared as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949, later was termed National Park in the year 1992, encompassing 89 Km. of the diverse forest. How to Reach: Bagdogra is the nearest Airport (Siliguri to Bagdogra 13 kms). Nearest Railway Station is Madarihat only 7 kms from the Sanctuary. The park is accessible from the rail stations at Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Cooch Bihar from where one can hire a jeep/car through National Highway 31 to Lataguri, the gateway to the park. National Highway 31 which connects Siliguri and Guwahati passes through Lataguri (about 75 kms from Siliguri), Chalsa and Nagrakata near the park. North Bengal State Transport Corporation Buses, Bhutan Govt. Buses, Mini Buses and Private Buses are available from Siliguri to Alipurduar via Madarihat. The Routes are (a) Darjeeling-Siliguri-Jalpaiguri (via New Teesta Bridge) - Mainaguri-Dhupguri-Gairkata-Birpara-Madarihat (224 kms.) (b) Darjeeling - Siliguri - Sevoke - Bagrakote - Mal - Chalsa - Nagrakata - Binnaguri - Birpara - Madarihat (214 kms.). Journey time from Siliguri about 4 hours.
While in Gorumara, tourists go inside the forests for jungle safari. Sighting of wildlife is quite common. Elephants, Rhinos, Indian Bison (Gaur), Peacock, Deer are the most common sightings. The forest safari is organised in special vehicles meant for the purpose. You must book your forest safari from the forest department and take an authorised guide along while visiting the watchtowers. Trespassing is illegal and can be dangerous as well.
Chukchuki Bird-watching Point
This paradise is situated on the extreme border of the Gorumara National Park. Chukchuki Watch Tower is the perfect vantage point for viewing and photographing the hundreds of birds that Gorumara National Park is known for. The Chukchuki Watch Tower is best to watch the birds of park. This spot of the Park provides clear views of the myriad birds that are native to the Gorumara National Park which is why the Forest Department set up the Chukchuki Birding Tower here. There are many migratory birds who often visit seasonally. Sitting of the Indian national bird Peacock is very common from here.
Chandrachur Watch Tower
It is situated near the Murti forest bungalow. Chandrachur Watch Tower offers the best views of wild-lands and untamed beauty of certain typical wild sections of the Gorumara National Park comprising forest-trees, shrubs, grasslands carved by rivers and rivulets.
Jatraprasad Watch Tower
'Jatra Prasad' Watch Tower is also called as 'Gorumara Watch Tower'. 'Jatraprasad Watch Tower' in Dooars was established in remembrance of the most favourite pet Elephant of the Forest Department after the death of the Elephant called Jatraprasad a few years back. He rendered great and dedicated service to the Forest Department and the tourists of the Gorumara National Park. The two- watchtower offers an excellent view of the forest wilderness, wild lives and rivulets running through the Gorumara National Park. Jatraprasad Watch Tower is the most popular place among visiting tourists. This is the oldest and the most popular Watch Tower. Truly, by many travellers, it is considered as the best place to get a glimpse of the wildlife of this famous Tower. This watchtower not only offers the great chance to see the wilds, it also offers the fantastic landscapes of the interior of the Gorumara National Park.
Medla Watch Tower
Medla Watch Tower is located at Kalipur eco-village near Ramsai on the eastern fringe of Gorumara National Park. There are unique Bullock cart driven forest safari available here. Murti, Samsing, Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary, Jaldhaka, Jhalong, Bindu, Paren, Caron, Diana, Jaldapara and even Bhutan can be travelled around Gorumara National park.
The Dooars Valley is especially noted for its wildlife sanctuaries, the most notable of which is Jaldapara, offering memorable elephant rides through rhino and tiger forests. Other sanctuaries include Buxa Tiger Project, Gorumara and Chapramari.
By Air : Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Gorumara. One can avail bus or cab from Bagdogra to get there.
By Train : Nearest Railway Station is Madarihat. The park is accessible from the rail stations at Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar from where one can hire a jeep/car through National Highway 31 to Lataguri, the gateway to the park. National Highway 31 which connects Siliguri and Guwahati passes through Lataguri, Chalsa and Nagrakata near the park.
By Road : North Bengal State Transport Corporation Buses, Bhutan Govt. Buses, Mini Buses and Private Buses are available from Siliguri to Alipurduar via Madarihat.
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