Jaldapara National Park is a popular national park located on the banks of the Torsa and Hollong rivers with diverse flora and fauna. It is situated at the base of the Eastern Himalayas in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district.
This is one of the major national parks in the Dooars region of West Bengal.
At 61 meters, Jaldapara is surrounded by 216.51 sq. km. of extensive grassland and stretches of riverine forests. It was declared a sanctuary in 1941 and upgraded to a national park in 2014.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about Jaldapara National Park,
- How to reach
- Flora and Fauna
- Things to do
- Best time to visit
- Places to stay
- Nearby attractions
Let’s see each of these points in detail.
|Name of the park||Jaldapara National Park|
|Area||216 sq km|
|Famous for||One-Horned Rhinos, Bisons|
Jaldapara Sanctuary was established in 1941 to protect the area’s diverse flora and animals, especially the one-horned rhinoceros, a species that is vulnerable to extinction.
Over its 216 square kilometers, the Jaldapara Sanctuary includes woodlands, meadows, perennial streams, sandy riverbanks, and large expanses of tall grass.
It has a variety of plants and animals that live in mixed deciduous forests, meadows, and riverbanks. The sanctuary also has vivid grassland that serves as the shelter for various species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
Torsa, Malangi, Hollong, Chirakhawa, Kalijhora, Sissamara, Bhaluka, and Buri Torsa rivers flow along this park.
How to reach Jaldapara National Park
|Nearest Bus Stand||Madarihat PS|
|Siliguri to Jaldapara distance||125 km|
Air: The closest airport to Jaldapara is Bagdogra, and visitors can drive through Siliguri to get there.
Rail: NJP is North East India’s most significant railway station. All of India’s famous stations have direct connections to NJP.
Madarihat is the station that is the closest to Jaldapara.
Road: Jaldapara is accessible by cabs and buses from Siliguri via the National Highway. Madarihat serves as the sanctuary’s entrance. It is situated on NH 31 (Siliguri-Hasimara section).
From Siliguri to Alipurduar through Madarihat, buses operated by the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, Bhutanese government buses, and mini buses are available.
From Siliguri, you can also rent a car to get to Jaldapara. It will cost you between Rs. 2000 – 4000. Share jeeps are also available till Madarihat.
Flora and Fauna at Jaldapara National Park
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide range of wildlife and beautiful flora that will captivate you in every possible way. The majority of the woodland of this national park is savannah and is covered with tall elephant grass.
The Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros is the sanctuary’s major attraction. Jaldapara National Park, and Kaziranga National Park in Assam, have India’s highest number of one-horned rhinos.
Leopard, elephant, sambhar deer, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild pig, and bison are among the other animals seen here.
Jaldapara is a haven for avian enthusiasts. It is one of the few locations in India where you can see the Bengal florican, also known as the Bengal Bustard. Along with the pied hornbill, peafowl, partridge, and jungle fowl, other birds that can be found in this area include the crested eagle, Pallas’s fishing eagle, and Shikra.
In addition, eight species of freshwater turtles, a python, a monitor lizard, a Krate, a cobra, and a gecko have taken shelter here.
Therefore this place will offer sights of rich wildlife engaged in different activities. You can have exciting views of the rhinos remaining submerged in the small lakes or elephants crossing rivers and drinking water in the streams.
The river Torsha runs through this rainforest sanctuary, which is also another beautiful place to see in Jaldapara. The Malangi River also runs from east to west.
Things to do in Jaldapara National Park
You can travel through the dense forest and explore the wilderness on elephant backs and jeep safaris.
Elephant Safari at Jaldapara National Park
Most guests staying overnight at Jaldapara in any homestay or resort prefer an elephant safari.
You can also avail of morning and afternoon 4×4 safari options.
Early in the morning, an exciting elephant safari can be planned to view the magnificent grandeur of the grasslands of Jaldapara.
The best way to see the sanctuary’s One-Horned Rhinos, Asiatic Elephants, Gaur (Indian bison), Deer, and other animals is on an elephant ride.
Timings of Elephant Safari
Every morning the safari is one hour.
The timings of the Jaldapara National Park Elephant Safari are,
Summer (April to October):
|1st Shift||5:30 AM – 6:30 AM|
|2nd Shift||6:30 AM – 7:30 AM|
|3rd Shift||7:30 AM – 8:30 AM|
Winter (November to March):
|1st Shift||6:30 AM – 7:30 AM|
|2nd Shift||7:30 AM – 8:30 AM|
|3rd Shift||8:30 AM – 9:30 AM|
Elephant Safari Cost
|Ride booking charges per person||1020 INR*|
|Vehicle entry cost||400 INR*|
|Guide charges||350 INR*|
The elephant safari at Jaldapara National Park costs approximately Rs 1200 per person.
Jeep Safari at Jaldapara National Park
On the approach from Hollong to the Chilapata range, Jeep safaris can be taken from the Madarihat Jaldapara Tourist Lodge and Kodalbasti Point.
No vehicles for Jeep safaris are directly operated by the forest or tourism departments.
In Jaldapara National Park, there is just a handful of designated, privately owned open Gypsy vehicles that are utilized for Jeep safaris.
Timings of Jeep Safari
Every day, there are four safari excursions offered: two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
The timings of the Jaldapara National Park Jeep Safari are,
Summer (April to October):
|1st Shift||5:30 AM – 7:00 AM|
|2nd Shift||7:30 AM – 9:00 AM|
|3rd Shift||2:00 PM – 3:30 PM|
|4th Shift||4:00 PM – 5:30 PM|
Winter (November to March):
|1st Shift||6:00 AM – 7:30 AM|
|2nd Shift||8:30 AM – 10:00 AM|
|3rd Shift||1:30 PM – 3:00 PM|
|4th Shift||3:30 PM – 5:00 PM|
Jeep Safari Cost
|Ride booking charges per person||187 INR*|
|Jeep safari vehicle (Gypsy) cost||1400 INR*|
|Guide charges||350 INR*|
|Jeep safari per person cost (Total)||500 – 600 INR approx*|
*Charges may vary
A safari lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes. A jeep has room for up to six people.
You can reserve a full Jeep by paying the entire vehicle rental fee for six people or joining a group and paying per person.
Taking beautiful snaps during safaris is another thing you can do here. Thousands of tourists visit this heavenly place to click mind-blowing photographs of nature and wildlife every year.
If you are a nature enthusiast or a photography lover, this is the ideal place to be. So follow the narrow trails bordered by wild floras and capture the exotic species in your frames.
Set the placidly flowing streams, the dense grasslands, and the magnificent sunsets here as your background.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you can have a better view of the surroundings from the popular watchtowers of Harindanga and Jaldapara.
Best time to visit Jaldapara National Park
The period following the monsoon, from October to January, is the ideal time to visit Jaldapara National park.
During winter, the temperature is pleasant and ideal for trips to the jungle, but the trees lose their leaves in winter, and the grasslands become sparser. However, you can surely spot wildlife during this time.
The forest appears lush and peaceful during the monsoon, as the jungle is denser than ever, and the trees and meadows have grown during the monsoon with new leaves. Therefore, spotting animals during this time may be difficult until they come out in the open, as they often remain hidden in the foliage. Additionally, there may be sporadic rains.
The park remains closed from June 15 – September 15 since it is the breeding season for animals.
You can also visit this place during summer, but the weather may be uncomfortable.
So try to plan your trips in winter and avoid visiting in summer and monsoons.
Places to stay near Jaldapara National Park
Madarihat Tourist Lodge, Aranya Tourism Property, and Hollong Tourist Lodge are popular accommodations to stay in Jaldapara. These places are well surrounded by greeneries and serenity and are well tucked with sprawling gardens and lawns.
You can also have beautiful forest views from these places. Wildlife can also be spotted from Hollong Lodge. Jeep safaris and other transports can be arranged from here.
These lodges will also provide a lot of facilities and delicious food.
Other attractions near Jaldapara National Park
|Attraction||Distance from Jaldapara National Park|
|Chilapata Forest||22 kilometers|
|South Khairbari||14 kilometers|
|Buxa Tiger Reserve||43 kilometers|
|Gorumara National Forest||75 kilometers|
The beautiful and famous Jaldapara National Park is wrapped with a peaceful ambiance and unmatched beauty.
So this winter, plan your journey to this National Park with your friends and family.
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