Chapramari and Gorumara-do these two names strike a bell? No? Unheard of them thus far-right? I join you in this ignorance. I stumbled on the two just a day before. Since then, I have been unearthing several interesting things about Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary and Gorumara National Park that would an make ardent traveler in India sit up and wonder why he/she has not heard of them till now.
So, what Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary and Gorumara National Park are all about?
Chapramari wildlife sanctuary is famous for animal safari.
Gorumara national park is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers.
First, we will deal with Chapramari wildlife sanctuary, its location, how to reach, and what to see there. If there are hotels or forest lodges to stay near Chapramari, we will look into them.
Location of Chapramari wildlife sanctuary:
- Interesting fact #1
Chapramari wildlife sanctuary is not a separate entity but a part of Gorumara National park.
- Interesting fact #2
River Murti flows right in between them.
- Interesting Fact #3
Darjeeling, one of the most beautiful hill stations of India is located very close to Chapramari.
- Interesting fact #4
The other river that makes the region fertile is Jaldhaka river.
- Interesting fact #5
‘Chopra’ is the name of a fish that is found in abundance in the two rivers and hence the name ‘Chapramari’.
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is located in West Bengal, India. Its nearest town is Chalsa that is located 30 km away.
If Chalsa town doesn’t throw any clue to you as to the location of Chaparamri, how about Siliguri in West Bengal?
Well, Siliguri and Chapramari are separated by a distance of 70 km only.
How to reach the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary forest?
The nearest railway station to reach Chapramari forest is New Mal Junction. It is also known to the locals as ‘Malbazar’.
Nevertheless, I would say traveling by bus from Siliguri is the best option to reach the Chapramari wildlife sanctuary.
Whatever may be your mode of transportation to go to Chapramari, you must get down at Chalsa and then travel further by private vehicle only.
Which wildlife you can spot in Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary forest?
Oh, the usual Indian forest animals that are very common to the jungles in India. They include:
- Gaurs (Indian bison)
- Several species of deer such as cheetal and sambar
- Wild boar
Birds that you see in Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary forest:
From what I gathered from my research, migratory birds from Australia and Siberia turn a blind eye to the Chapramari. It may be due to the non-availability of prey.
Therefore, you can spot most of the very commonly sighted birds of India such as ring-neck parrots, kingfisher, myna and green pigeon which alone is a rare bird in Indian cities and towns.
Image of green pigeon:
I think it is more of a multi-colored pigeon with a strong beak.
Other avifauna that lives in Chapramari wildlife sanctuary in various seasons in a year are:
- Scarlet Minivets
- Green Magpie
- Stork and egret
- Black cormorant
Here is an excellently captured video of Green Magpie. It is a very beautiful bird with a rare shade of green.
The most beautiful bird of India:
Look at this breathtaking green bird that is called ‘Gold-fronted Leafbird’.
If you have alert eyes and are a veteran bird watcher, you can spot it in the Chapramari wildlife area.
Is there any organized animal safari in Chapramari wildlife sanctuary?
Yes, there are. The local forest department itself offers open jeep safaris in Chapramari.
Apart from guided jeep safari, you can also climb up on a watchtower and to have a canopy view of the small forest.
What about staying options in Chapramari forest? Are there jungle lodges?
Yes of course. The West Bengal Forest Department conservatory operates a rustic looking jungle lodge called Banani Resort though ‘resort’ is too big a description for a basic lodge.
Another staying option at Chapramari is the state government-run forest guest house that is slightly more comfortable than the Banani Resort.
Here are some more places to stay in Chapramari wildlife preserve:
- Sinclairs Retreat
- Chapramari wilderness camp
- Raman Homestay
- Aranya Jungle resort
Can I stay in Siliguri and visit Chapramari sanctuary?
Yes, surely you can. Since the Chapramari is not a very big place to watch wild animals, you only require a maximum of three hours in Chapramari.
Siliguri hotels are much better than the Chapramari jungle cottages. Just a two-hour car drive from Siliguri will get you to the gates of Chapramari wildlife sanctuary.
Eating choices in the forest hotels in Chapramari.
Since you are staying far off from civilization, food will be provided wherever you chose to stay in Chapramari.
Gorumara National Park, West Bengal.
Well, as I mentioned earlier, the Chapramari wildlife sanctuary is just a part of Gorumara national park and hence, all the other details such as reaching and staying Chapramari applies to Gorumara National Park.
Let us now move on to an overview of the Gorumara National Park, West Bengal.
In West Bengal, the plains of Dooars region is home to the Gorumara National Park. After driving for about 30 minutes are so, you will see the imposing Himalayan hills loom large in front of you.
The Gorumara National park occupies an area of just 80 sq.km only.
Fauna of Gorumara National Park forest:
All the animals and birds that are seen in Chapramari wildlife sanctuary can be seen elsewhere in Gorumara also.
There are reports of sightings of Indian Hornbill in Gorumara National Park. It is a surprise member of this part of India.
As far as the flora is concerned in Gorumara, you can see the rare ‘silk cotton’ tree and the ‘rain tree’.
Since you will be foraying into the forest with a guide, he will take you to Rhino Point watchtower and Chandrachur Watch Tower. The best spot to watch birds nest, you need to go to Chukchuki Bird-watching Point.
I hope you find this blog post on two excellent natural attractions of West Bengal informative and useful.