Gorumara National Park
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Gorumara National Park

  • Location : Jalpaiguri, West Bengal

  • Coverage area : 79.45 sq km

  • Main attraction : Indian rhinoceros, Asian elephant, Wild boar

  • Best time to visit : mid-September to May

  • Nearby cities : Jalpaiguri


Located in the Jalpaiguri district of the state of West Bengal, Gorumara National Park is a beautiful place to enjoy the serene beauty of nature. The park is situated in the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills and was primarily concerned about the conservation of the Great Indian One horned Rhinoceros.


Climatic conditions

The climatic conditions in Gorumara are known to remain pleasant all through the year. It records temperature of within 24˚C-27˚C during the summer season (March and April) while the winter months of November to February has a temperature of 10˚C-21˚C. On an average, the national park receives 382 cm of rainfall during June to September.


Best time to visit

The rainy season is when the park remains closed as the ambience gets pretty much troublesome. From 15th June to 15th September the National Park is closed for visitors. Therefore, the ideal time to visit the place is from mid-September to May.


Types of animal in park

Indian rhinoceros, Asian elephant, Wild boar, Hog deer, Barking deer, Gaur, Sloth bear, Deer, Sambar, Leopard, Tiger, Indian wild dogs, Indian wolves, Giant squirrels, Pygmy Hog, Hispid Hare are the most notable mammals in this region. Visitors need to obtain a special permission from the authority to enter into the core area of the park. Approximately 48 species of carnivores and herbivores and 7 species of turtles has been recorded in the forest.

Flora

Sal, Simul, Siris, Bamboo, Teak, Khair, and Savanna grass s the dominant flora of the region. The vegetation here is so thick here that even in the broad daylight there is hardly any sunlight reaches down to the forest floor making it, sometimes, impossible to see through the thicket.

The park is a birdwatcher's paradise and has more than 200 species of birds which include but not limited to:

Indian pied hornbill, fly catcher, Minivet, Drongo, Woodpeckers, Sunbird, Pheasants.

It also is one of the finest places to spot the migratory birds.


Distance from major cities

  • Lataguri , 7 km

  • Chalsa , 14 km

  • Jalpaiguri , 32 km

  • Siliguri , 59 km

  • Kolkata , 614 km

  • Lucknow , 972 km

  • Bagdogra , 85 km

  • Guwahati , 406 km

  • New Delhi , 1530 km


How to reach the National park ?

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Gorumara National Park is located in the Dooars region of West Bengal. There is a well connection of the Indian railways to this place, if not directly. The nearest major railway station is New Mal Junction (which is located at Malbazar area). Tourists prefer to stay at Murti and Lataguri areas as it has easy access to the safaris and the rest of the downtown region. The main counters for issuing the entry permits or the tickets for the watchtower visits and the safaris are located at Lataguri.

Lataguri is a small township located at the south-western fringe of Gorumara National Park and is about 28kms from the Malbazar. To come by road, visitors can get to Chalsa (8kms) and then take on to the highway (NH-717). Chalsa is about Murti 8kms and Lataguri is 20kms. There are buses from Malbazar and Chalsa to reach the National Park. Taxis are also easily available for hire at both these places.

So, many tourists reach Gorumara from NJP, Siliguri and Bagdogra by car and taxi. There are also buses leaving from Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminal at Siliguri (Hill Cart Road) reaching Chalsa and Lataguri. It takes close to 1 hour 30 minutes by car from NJP to Murti (66kms) and 1 hour 45 minutes to Lataguri (79kms). The main connect is through NH717 and one can reach the Park within an hour.

The closest airport is at Bagdogra.National Park is 80 km away from the airport and takes approximately 2 hours to reach.

Accommodation facilities

Camp cottages, managed by the state forest department are the finest stay options. These cottages can be booked through the Divisional Forest Department's Office 'AranyaBhavan' located at Jalpaiguri.

Orchid Resort, Camping De Dooars, Hotel Prime Murti, kadambini resort, Lake View Resort and Resort Sonar Bangla are some of the preferred stays at and around Gorumara National Park.

Thing to do

Jeep Safari

This safari takes the tourists around various parts of the forest to spot wildlife and is typically a two hour trip that includes the transfers. The safaris have an expert guide along with the drive who helps you spot the animals in the forest. There are two slots - early morning and afternoon jeep safaris. The entry to the forest for jeep safari is at Lataguri and starts from the main road. There are several villages along the way to the forest which are nestled in the national park such as Sarswati, Budhuram, Kailipur, Bichabhanga, Chatua, Murti forest village. These villagers are engaged in the forest department or work for ecotourism activities.

Elephant safari

This is, what many like to refer, as one of the most thrilling yet romantic way to spot the wildlife. They take you into the core forest area as the elephants have a strong sense of animal presence. However, for those who can arrange for the accommodation at Gorumara Eco Village at Kalipur, Gorumara Elephant Camp at Dhupjhora villages and Gorumara Rhino Camp located at Ramsai are allowed to go for the elephant ride. It is not even accessible to those staying at the tourist lodges of WBFDC and WBTDCL.

Watchtower

The entire Gorumara National Park has been divided into many sections which have watchtowers built to spot wild animals. The watchtowers are located in the core areas of the forest at vantage locations and each visit lasts for about 2 hours. Jatraprasad is the most popular one as tourists are taken to a spot where tribal dance is performed by the local Santhal community post the watchtower tour.

Bird watching

Tourists are advised to carry their binoculars as a plethora of avian species can be spotted at Gorumara National Park. Be it the common Indian hornbill and paradise flycatcher, or the endangered ones like brahminy duck, visitors can spot a plenty of different species of birds.

Lataguri nature interpretation centre

Located just close to the National Park, this Nature Interpretation Centre has an interesting light and sound show that runs the flora and fauna of Gorumara.


Map

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