North Bengal is essentially divided into two major regions – the Terai and Dooars. There are several other districts of North Bengal which include Cooch Behar, Dakshin Dinajpur, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Murshidabad and Uttar Dinajpur. But when it comes to tourism, people generally visit the Dooars region in Jalpaiguri District and the Darjeeling districts. We are nature lovers and thus we prefer visting and exploring the Jungle ranges of that region. So our trip was confined to visiting the various Jungles of Dooars. We travelled to only the Dooars region of North bengal and was unable to Visit the Terai range which houses the Gorumara National Park. Our chief places of visit were the Jaldapara National Park, Rajabhatkhawa, Raidak, Chilapata etc. They all come under the Buxa National Park.
Now coming to the beauty of Dooars. It is unparalleled. If you love nature and enjoy getting soaked in nature then this is the place for you. We truly believe that India has so many nature retreats to gift us that we must appreciate the diversity and bounty of nature that India has. Anyway coming back to Dooars, we went by the Teesta Torsha express and reached Alipurduar. From there we went to our forest bunglow.
We boarded at the Forest house first in the Jaldapara National Park. If you are planning to stay at the core jungle and experience jungle life then you must stay at the forest house. But it is very difficult to book your visit there and therefore you must book your stay at least a year in advance. We were planning to visit the core forest area for a very long time and hence we had done all the reservations in advance. If, however, you are unable to get a reservation there, then there are many small resorts around the National park and you can easily get accomodation in any one of them. There are two major safaris of the National park, one at the morning and another in the evening. This you can book easily just one hour prior to the start of the Safari.
The safaris are conducted in safari jeeps and Sumo cars, with 6 people per car. They make an entire route from Jaldapara to Hollong. Even if you do not get to view a single animal in the entire safari, then be assured that you will definitely get to see them at Hollong. Getting sight of an animal, capturing the perfect shot is a matter of luck when it comes to jungle safaris. We, however, were quite lucky this time and got to see and capture many fantastic moments of the amazing wildlife in that region.
While our many safari trips we were up and about at the early hours of dawn in the watch tower of a spot known as 23 mile. There are similar spots spread all around the Buxa National Park called as 21 mile, 20 mile, 22 mile etc in the core area of the Jungle. In these spots, salt pits are created for the animals especially the elephants who come there to eat them. These spots are ideal to view the wildlife of that region as different kinds of birds and animals come there to feed themselves during the wee hours of dawn or just at dusk.
The Chilapata Forest is a dense forest near Jaldapara National Park and forms the elephant corridor between Jaldapara and Buxa Tiger Reserve. An elephant corridor is a narrow strip of land or jungle that allows elephants to travel from one patch to another.
Next we stayed on the Rajabhatkhawa Forest Bunglow which is a located in a small village near Buxa Tiger Reserve. You might get to see the ever clandestine Tiger. Eh err that is if you are lucky 😛 We were not so much this time. 😀
Raidak forest is situated near the meandering river Raidak, amongst rich lush green forests thus making it a visual treat for the tourists. It also forms an important elephant corridor. The Raidak forest bunglow makes for an excellent stay. You will get excellent views of animals here and the trip to this forest would be very fulfulling.
If you love nature and especially love forest, wildlife and flora then you must visit North Bengal. A solo traveller would get to quench his/her thirst of undisturbed beauty at North Bengal. It is truly a visual delight to watch nature which has not yet been touched by urbanisation. Another important thing is that the people of North Bengal are extremely warm hearted and lovable. They will make you feel at home instantly. Our heart yearns to visit that place again and again. We have yet to explore Gorumara and that trip is on our bucketlist already. With hearts filled with happiness and eyes filled with wander, we present for your our small version of North Bengal 🙂
Happy Sunday Folks! 😀