West Bengal

Inside Dooars – The Wild

This is the corridor of Asian elephants and the natural habitat of Indian one-horned rhinoceros. The Dooars is not just another place – it has the richest biodiversity in this planet, a mix of seven types of forest – from ever-green to moist deciduous – covered with more than forty species of grasses, hosting a large variety of flora and fauna – Dooars is unending. This trip offers the loneliness of the dry river beds, the vastness of woodlands surrounding them, and the lifestyle of the tribal people residing there.
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Itinerary – 8 Days 7 Nights

Day 1 – Chalsa

Pick up from New Mal Jn and move towards Chalsa. Overnight at a natural resort at Khariar Bander Forest near Chalsa.

Day 2 – Gorumara

After breakfast early morning jungle safari to Gorumara National Park. In the evening visit the Chapramari beat. Overnight at Chalsa.

Day 3 – Rajabhatkhawa

After breakfast move towards South Kheorbari and then reach Rajabhatkhawa. Overnight at Rajabhatkhawa homestay located beside the Buxa Tiger Reserve.

Day 4 – Buxa

Jungle safari and visit to Jayanti, trek to Buxa Duar and come back late evening. Overnight at Rajabhatkhawa homestay.

Day 5 – Raimatang

After breakfast move towards Raimatang crossing the river bed. Stay in the laps of nature amidst the forests. Overnight stay at a nature camp in a village inside Raimatang bit.

Day 6 – Chilapata

Day 06: After breakfast move towards Chilapata. Overnight at a nature resort located beside Chilapata forest range.

Day 7 – Chilapata

Day 07: Early Morning move for Jungle safari and then back. After lunch enjoy the serene nature and relax. Overnight at Chilapata.

Day 8 – Trip ends

Drop to New Alipurduar/Hasimara

 Photo Credit: Kalpurush via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Kalpurush via Compfight cc

The Gorumara National Park has emerged one of the richest biodiversities in the region and in India as well. A Wild Life Sanctuary since 1949 and a National Park since 1992, within an enclosure of merely 90 sqkm, is harboring a rich heritage of floral and faunal diversities, unaffected over years. A total of 33 mammalian species have been spotted in GNP along with 595 species of flowering plant and 43 grass species. According to a study (S. B. GHOSH, Journal of Environment and Ecology, ISSN 2157-6092, 2012, Vol. 3, No. 1) Diversity Indices of Gorumara indicated high degree of species richness, extreme evenness in their distribution and movement inside the national park.

Photo Credit: sahana2802 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: sahana2802 via Compfight cc

Buxa Tiger Reserve is the largest chunk of forest in north Bengal and has the second highest tiger population in West Bengal after Sunderbans. Before creation of Buxa Tiger Reserve in 1983, the tiger population in erstwhile Buxa Forest Division was 17 in 1972 and 27 in 1979 (Mallick & Mitra 2002). The entire forest area of Buxa Tiger Reserve, except for a small patch of upper ridges between 1700m to 1800m latitude, is suitable habitat for the tigers. During 2007 tiger census in Buxa Tiger Reserve evidences of tiger’s existence were found in between Raimatang jhora, Dima, Buxa jhora, Bala, Jayanti, Baje khola and Khururi jhora. Presence of a minimum of 12 tigers is recorded during this census (Anon. 2008).

Buxa serves as the critical corridor between the forests of the adjoining Assam and Bhutan. It is apprehended that some of the tigers might have migrated from Buxa to the adjacent higher hills of Bhutan.
(source: Singh, L. A. K., ed. “Past and present status of the Indian Tiger in northern West Bengal, India: an overview.” Journal of Threatened Taxa 2.3 (2010): 739-952.)

Chilapata – by Rimli Sengupta on Outlook Traveller FEB 2008

On the final afternoon I take a float down the river Bania in a rickety country boat. Bania flows through the Chilapata forest, adjacent to Jaldapara. Like most rivers here, Bania is rain-fed. Its waters are crystal clear but there isn’t much of it. Our boat constantly gets grounded in the pebbly bottom and has to be pushed free. Dense old-growth forest looms above both shores. Towering trees lean over the river putting much of it permanently in the shade. Elaborate root systems snake down the muddy bank; secondary roots descend straight into the riverbed from 50 feet above. This is prime elephant country. At one point, while grounded and struggling to break free we hear rustling on the near shore. An elephant, not 10 feet away, has been watching us for a while. It melts into the thicket when the forest guard accompanying us raises his shotgun.

At the edge of Chilapata forest, villagers scratch out a living. During the November harvest, I am told, the rice paddies are overrun with elephants. Ganesh Shah, a local entrepreneur, is trying to attract wildlife tourists to witness this front line. His resort, surrounded by rice paddies, is less than half a kilometre from the forest’s edge. In the dim glow of a single solar-powered CFL, as six nubile Rabha maidens dance to plaintive songs, the thin night air is rent with hooting and hollering. An elephant has crossed over from the forest onto the shorn paddy field next to the resort. My hosts are clearly torn: should they shoo the animal away like they usually do, or should they let it come a bit closer so I can get a better look? The jungle admits no half-measures; the animal is chased away.

Chilapata is home to the ruins of an ancient fort from the Gupta era that the forest has reclaimed. All that remains is a handful of stone blocks with distinctive carvings. These lay strewn about in a dark glade deep within the old-growth forest. Following the stones I come to a gully for monsoon runoff. The moist earth at the bottom of the hollow bears accurate record of who has been here recently. The elephant prints are most prominent, large disks half full of water. Off to one side, framed by the ochre of fallen leaves, is a fresh leopard pugmark on a faded print of a male shoe, size 10. A cheer wells up from my brain stem. The jungle is alive and has pulled rank.

Ontrip prefers homestays and independent hotels for staying. At Chalsa (Gorumara) and Chilapata, we offer stay at nature resorts. There is homestay accommodation at Buxa, while Raimatang has iconic camp like accommodation. All the stays are located in the midst of forest and natural surroundings. Basic facilities like electricity, water, and attached western style bath are available. All four properties have their kitchen and serve local dishes. Traveler may choose all meal plan (AP) or only stay plan (EP).

Ontrip arranges transport for the trip except jungle safaris. We recommend MUV for this trip. Traveler may arrange their transport separately. We do not arrange Rail or Air Tickets.

Trip Cost
Due to uncertainty of dates and rates, we are unable to offer this trip on a fixed cost. Please fill-up the form below and we will revert back to you in no time.