JALDAPARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary situated in Alipurduar Sub-Division of Jalpaiguri District in West Bengal is about 124 km from Siliguri. This sanctuary was constituted in the year 1941 for the protection of Wild Life, particularly one-horned rhinos, an animal threatened with extinction. River Toorsa runs through the Sanctuary. The forest is mainly savannah covered with tall elephant grasses. The wild life, in addition to one-horned rhinos, consists of Royal Bengal Tigers, wild elephants, deerĂ˘€™s, sambhar, barking deer, spotted deer and hog deer, wild pig, bisonĂ˘€™s and a number of birds, peafowlĂ˘€™s. Elephant ride is arranged for viewing of wild life preferably at dawn. Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Dooars, is the habitat of the rare one-horned rhinoceros, the mighty bison, the spotted deer, the barking deer, huge tuskers, fearsome wild boars and a variety of birds and animals. Elephant safaris can be enjoyed at the Sanctuary. Spread in vast 114 sq km area is the Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary in northern part of West Bengal. The entire sanctuary lies in a level flood plain. Jaldapara Sanctuary holds the largest expanse of terai grasslands in North Bengal intersected with riverine forests, dry-mixed forests and wet-forests. The Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary was constituted in the year 1943 for the protection of wild life, particularly single horned Rhinos. It is a paradise for animal lovers and bird-watchers. The sanctuary is famous for One-horned Rhinos and the Royal Bengal Tigers. In winters, it becomes a favored destination for the migratory birds. The western part of the sanctuary is crossed by river Torsa, while the eastern stretch is drained by river Malangi. Torsa River rises in Tibet and flows across Bhutan before entering the Brahmaputra. Since the whole area is on the flood plains, floods can be serious, with entire forests washed downstream. The whole park can be seen on a thrilling Elephant-safari, organized from Hollong. Jeep safaris are also organized inside the sanctuary.
Wildlife Attractions in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary
The Fauna: The sanctuary is home to the Great Indian rhinoceros. A small population of the Royal Bengal Tiger is also here. Sloth bear, Swamp deer, Bison, Wild Boar, Indian Muntjac, Chital Hog Deer, Leopard, Asiatic Elephant are the major species of mammals present here. The park holds maximum number of rhino population in India after Kajiranga National Park in Assam.
The Flora: The sanctuary consists mainly of riverine forests, with grasslands, maintained by burning and flooding. Cassia grass is the widely spread of new riverine accretions. Found mainly on sandy soils, it can be encountered in clay pockets. The Sal trees are also found on the east banks of river Malangi. The sanctuary is covered with innumerable species of shrubs and trees.
The Avifauna: The sanctuary is a haven for bird watcher, especially in the winters, when the migratory birds flock here. The sanctuary is supposed to be the land of Bengal Florican. The other birds found here are the Crested Eagle, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, Shikra, Jungle fowl, Peafowl, Patridges, Bengal Florican and Pied Hornbill.
The Park Trip: The sanctuary can be best viewed on an adventurous elephant safari. The Jeep safaris are also arranged in the park. The sights of rhino in a muddy pond, the herd of elephants or the running deer are the thrilling experiences in Jaldapara.
The place is well-connected by National Highways and State Highways to important railway stations like New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri. The Delhi-Gauhati and Howrah-Gauhati routes also connect this area. Flights to Bagdogra, which is approximately 140 km from Madarihat, are available from Delhi and Calcutta.
By Road: From Siliguri by road to Jaladapara is 214 kms to 240 kms from Siliguri depending on the route taken. NH 31 is the main highway.
By Train: From New Jalpaiguri (north Bengal's largest railway junction); all trains stop at Birpara and Hansimara Railway stations. Jaldapara is 20 kms from here. Only passenger trains stop at Madarihat which is 7 kms from the sanctuary.
Madarihat has some good hotels. The Forest Department and Tourism of West Bengal also provide the accommodation inside the sanctuary.