The Chapramari wilderness camp on the fringes of Chapramari wildlife sanctuary in Panjhora is a unique place to stay during the sojourn for wildlife enthusiasts. Camping in the traditional cottages and savoring the view of the vast sanctuary is a dreamy stuff. The camp is maintained by West Bengal Government Forest Department and it is indeed the best option for visitors to stay. It enjoys a fantastic location within the forest. When you drive to reach the camp which is only a kilometer off the NH-31 highway you might spot wild animals enroute because the road runs through the middle of the forest cutting it into halves. Moreover, its location beside the Murti River offers various interesting sights for the visitor.

Accomodation in Chapramari wilderness camp


Facilities inside the camp are basic with few furniture and traditionally decorated interior. This camp is basically a part of eco-tourism initiative which is directed towards developing the underdeveloped regions maintaining the ecological balance of the environment. The basic amenities may remind you of the lifestyle of our ancestors.

There are 2 types of cottages available for visitors which require advance booking from the office of forest department. The rent for 2 bedroom cottage is 2500 INR and 3 bedroom cottage is 3000 INR including food and a safari to the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. The food is prepared with local agricultural produce and fish/chicken. You will be served with tea also which is of high quality due to the presence of sprawling tea gardens in the region producing top class tea. In the evening you can enjoy the tribal dance near the camp.

Attractions in Chapramari wilderness camp


The most exciting part of living in the camp is the safari to Chapramari watchtower exploring the wildlife sanctuary in general. Since Chapramari is a part of Gorumara, it shares the variety in flora and fauna. Elephants, bisons, rhinos, deers, boars, leopards and various species of birds and reptiles can be spotted here. Green pigeons, parakeet, hornbill, snipe, wild fowl, kingfishers and parrots are abundant in the region. If you are lucky enough you may spot a tiger as well since this sanctuary also preserves a small number of Bengal tigers. The watchtower is the vantage point from where you will be able to view the vast stretch of deep forest and occasionally the animals also.

The forest is full of trees like Sal, kawla, Chilauni, Jarul and Lali. Hila and Jiti tea gardens are also visible from the watchtower.

How to reach Chapramari wilderness camp


If you are traveling by train, get down at New Jalpaiguri, or Mal station and hire a jeep/cab to reach Chapramari. Bagdogra is the nearest airport. However, tourists visiting Dooars prefer to drive through the NH-31 Highway to reach Chapramari enjoying the natural abundance throughout the road. From Khunia crossing you have to travel another 4 kilometers towards Jhalong to arrive at Chapramari. Accessing the camp from Siliguri is only 2 hours drive. Chapramari is only 10 kilometers from Chalsa and 35 kilometers from Gorumara National Park. The sanctuary and the camp remain closed from15th June through 15th September.

Photo Courtesy: tripadvisor.in; flickr/Mousam Samanta,somenath_photography, debanjan_das28, Alan Jha

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Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is located at the Eastern Himalayan foothills in Alipurduar sub-division of Jalpaiguri district in the state of West Bengal.  It covers an extensive area of 216 square kilometers and is a maze of grasslands, perennial streams, woods, extensive belts of tall grass and sandy river banks. The beauty of the forest lies in the fact that it is home to an amazingly wide variety of flora and fauna with some endangered species. The one horned rhinoceros in particular is the most famed one inhabiting the forest. Jaldapara was declared to be a wildlife sanctuary in 1914 to preserve the diverse flora and fauna of this land. Rivers Torsha, Malangi, Kalijhora, Sissmara and Chirakhawa have created banks along which the wildlife sustains itself.

How to reach Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary


Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible by air, road and railway. The nearest airport is Bagdogra which is 145 kilometers away from Jaldapara. You have to reach Siliguri which is only 13 kilometers from Bagdogra by arranging a car or hiring a taxi. Alternatively, you can take the train to arrive at New Jalpaiguri Junction which is the major station in North Bengal. However, you can also arrive at Madarihat, Birpara/Hasimpara to reach the sanctuary which is 7 and 20 kilometers from the respective stations. If you are traveling by car, then it’s a drive through the NH-31 and once you reach Siliguri it is only 3 hours drive from there. Madarihat is the entry point of the sanctuary public buses of North Bengal and Bhutan ply on the Alipurduar route via Madarihat to reach the sanctuary.

Accommodation in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary


Accommodation facilities are a plenty in and around Jaldapara. Aranya Bhawan is the Jaldapara holiday home located in Madarihat. It is only 1.5 kilometers from the main entrance of Jaldapara and on a clear day you can see the majestic Kanchenjunga from here. It offers 1 double bed room and 2- 4 bedrooms with modern amenities. The double bedroom costs 1200 INR while the 4 bedrooms cost 1800 INR. Food at the restaurant costs 350-400 INR. The Hollong Tourist Lodge enjoys a central location with the forest which is thrilling. There are 5 double bedrooms priced at 2500 INR. This is the most preferred accommodation for adventurous tourists. The Jaldapara Tourist Lodge is situated in front of the main gate. They offer 5 double bedrooms divided into cottages and a suite priced at 2500 INR. Food is provided inside the lodge.

Attraction and activities in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary


Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is most famous for Asiatic one horned rhinos and you will spot many while you explore the forest on elephant back. Other animals found here include barking deer, tigers, elephants, sambhar, wild boars, bisons and hog deer. This place is a bird watcher’s paradise since it offers the greatest variety of birds in Bengal. Birds like Hornbill, Racket-Tailed Drongo and Asian Paradise Fycatcher, Green Pigeons, Doves, Bee-eaters, Rollers, Hoopoe, Shrikes, Bengal Florican, Black partridge, Shaheen Falcon, Great Pied Hornbills, Forest Eagle Owl, Large Green billed Malkoha and White Rumped Vulture are spotted here.

Some other places of interest include Totapara, Chilapata, Khayerbari, Gorumara National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve and Bhutan Ghaat.

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Sikia Jhora is a rivulet flowing through the famous Buxa Tiger Reserve surrounded by Damanpur Range. Sikia Jhora stream can be found in North Panialguri in Alipurduar subdivision. Taking into account the eco village tourism development initiative and the increasing number of tourists flocking the region, government had built a dam and an embankment along the stream a few years back. Sikia Jhora is one of the major tourist highlights apart from the tigers inside the Buxa reserve. Boating is allowed on the brooke and it also a famous bird watching spot. However, the rivulet swells up during rainy season and hence it is not a good idea to visit the place during monsoons.

How to reach Sikia Jhora


Sikia Jhora is well connected with the other parts of the country through air, road and rail. Several trains from metro cities arrive at New Alipurduar station or the New Jalpaiguri junction from where you can hire taxis to arrive at the spot. Kamrup and Saraighata are some of the express trains of the region. Buses also ply between Alipurduar and Sikia Jhora. Bagdogra is the nearest airport. Alternatively, if you are traveling in your own car, then Buxa is only 25 kilometers from Rajabhatkhawa which is at a short distance from Alipurduar.

Accomodation in Sikia Jhora


Both homestays and government bungalows are available for tourists at various spots in and around the Buxa Tiger Reserve. South Ridak, Raimatung, Jayanti and Kumargram are some of the places where you can stay and go on a day’s visit to Sikia Jhora.

Attractions & Activities in Sikia Jhora


This beautiful tourist destination is maintained by the eco tourism development committee constituting local villagers. They take care of the tourists visiting the region. Opposite to Sikia Jhora is the Kalkut forest which is also a popular picnic spot. Jaydevpur, Sahibbandh and Hatipota are some more picnic spots being developed close by for tourists. There is also a watchtower from where you can view the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

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Buxa Tiger Reserve is located in the foothills of Bhutan covering an area of 790 square kilometers and is of course famous for tigers, civet and red jungle fowl. The forest was declared as a tiger reserve in 1983 and received the title of National Park in 1992. Buxa Tiger Reserve forest is the largest in North Bengal and is home to second largest tiger population in entire West Bengal after Sunderbans. There are many species of mammals, reptiles, birds and an amazing collection of medicinal plants and orchids. It is only 24 kilometers from Alipurduar and about 180 kilometers from Siliguri, reckoned as the gateway of Bengal. Certain parts of the forest have still remained unexplored due to inaccessible terrain.

How to reach Buxa Fort and Tiger Reserve Forest


way to buxa fort through buxa tiger reserve forest

way to buxa fort through buxa tiger reserve forest

Buxa Tiger Reserve is well connected to the major modes of conveyance. If you are traveling by train, you have to reach Alipurduar station which is 37 kilometers from Buxa forest. You can hire a taxi from the station. Alternatively, you can fly by air for which the only airport is Bagdogra. People who are traveling by their own car should take the NH-31 to reach Bux through Rajabhatkhawa which is 25 kilometers away from the spot.

Accommodation in Buxa Fort and Tiger Reserve Forest


Both homestays and government bungalows are available for tourist accommodation. Buxa Duar, Nimati/Range, South Ridak, Raimatung, Jayanti and Kumargram are some of the places where bungalow accommodation maintained by West Bengal Forest Development Corporation is available. The one at south Raidak has been renovated of late and the Jayanti and Buxa Duar bungalows offer 16 bed dormitories. Rajabhatkhawa offers government rest houses for tourists. Homestays are available at Jayanti, Raimatung and BuxaDuar. The houses are nice with warm hospitality of the village folks. There is also arrangement for food in the bungalows.

Attractions & Activities in Buxa Fort and Tiger Reserve Forest


Buxa Tiger Reserve Forest is home to over 400 species of trees, 400 species of herbs, 150 species of orchids, 250 species of shrubs, 100 species of grass, and about 130 species of aquatic flora. The forest is full of Champa, Simul, Chikrasi, Gamar and Sal trees. Even the fauna has wide variety in it. Asian Tiger, elephant, bison, sambar, giant squirrel, antelopes and wild boar can be spotted in the jungle. The forest is also a bird watcher’s paradise boasting 284 species of birds. Beautifully colored butterflies can also be found here. The Narthali Lake and the banks of Raidak and Jayanti Rivers are popular spots for watching migratory birds. It is home to some endangered species of animals as well.

Buxa Fort lies about 4 kilometers from the forest. Now only the ruins can be seen which used to be a major seat of the British administration once. Since it sits at an altitude of 2600 feet you have to trek through the forest to reach it. The fort used to serve as a prison for the British at one point and therefore even the ruins have lot of historical significance. Number of trekking routes originates from here which include Santrabari, Rover’s Point, Rupam Valley and Jayanti village to fulfill your dose for adventure.

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Jayanti is a small forest village inside the Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal. Located along the banks of Jayanti River, this is the only settlement inside a forest area where you can spot tigers. This is where visitors can enjoy the thrill overnight. The river forms a natural barrier with the Bhutan hills on the other side of the forest. Known popularly as the ‘Queen of Dooars’, the Jayanti village is a pristine place with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Free from the pollution of city life, this vast green zone is bound to take your breath away. Staying in the village within the Buxa Tiger Reserve is a memorable experience for any traveler.

How to Reach Jayanti


If you are traveling by air, then Bagdogra is the only airport in the proximity although it is 195 kilometers from the destination. Alternatively, if you have taken the train, then disembark at Alipurduar station which is only 30 kilometers from Jayanti. You can hire taxis from Alipurduar station to reach Jayanti. Jayanti can also be approached from Cooch Behar and Jaldapara through Rajabhatkhawa. Jayanti can be visited any time of year because of its pleasant weather. However, it is advisable to avoid the monsoons.

Accommodation in Jayanti


Accommodation facilities in Jayanti are basic. You will be able to enjoy your sojourn in the cottages with single and double bedrooms inside the forest area which is exciting. Attached bathrooms with hot water are available 24/7. You can savor the lovely view of the Bhutan hills and the Jayanti River from the windows. The spectacular scenic beauty of the place will leave you asking for more. The owners of the homestays will arrange for guides and permits to explore the forest area and also visit the watchtower to spot animals. The food served is essentially Bengali cuisine and it is delicious.

Attractions & Activities in Jayanti


Apart from exploring the forest and spotting animals like tigers, leopards, peacocks, deer and elephants from the watchtower you can visit the other tourist attractions nearby. The ruins of Buxa Fort are a historical site located at an elevation of 2600 feet. It was built during the British reign in India and used to serve as a prison for the freedom fighters. Later it became a refugee camp area for the Tibetans and Bangladeshis flees to India. There is a lake known as pokhri by the locals close to Pokhri Hill which is a sacred place for the local population. The fun part is that you have to trek to these spots.

The Mahakal temple is a popular religious site for the Hindus located near Bhutan border. It is actually a cave dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also famous for bird watching. Also the Bala River bed is another spot for bird watching. Peacocks are easily spotted in this zone and taking a stroll along the bed will be gratifying. However, tourists are not allowed here at evening because of frequent visit from leopards. You can also visit the Bhutia Basti located 1.5 kilometers from Jayanti. Narthali Lake, Rajabhatkhawa and Santarbari are other tourist spots.

 

 

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Suntalekhola is a small hamlet located at an altitude of around 750 meters in the Dooars Himalayan foothills of West Bengal. Suntalekhola when translated in English means ‘orange stream’ and is quite a beautiful and peaceful tourist destination. It lies about 4 kilometers from Samsing and is also the south eastern entry point of Neora Valley National Park. The WBFDC cottages or river camp is the best place to stay in Suntalekhola because it offers unhindered view of the beautiful green landscape and the high mountains. A number of trekking routes originate from Suntalekhola most of which lead to the National Valley National Park. This is an added attraction for the adventurous souls.

How to reach Suntalekhola River Camp


Disembark at New Mal junction if you are traveling by train and hire a car to arrive at Samsing which is only 34 kilometers from the junction. Do not forget to negotiate the fare with the driver. Suntalekhola is uphill about 4 kilometers from Samsing. The entire route is charming with lush tea gardens, mountains and small streams. You can feel the nature here and breathe some fresh air. The Bagdogra airport is around 75 kilometers from Suntalekhola.

Accommodation in Suntalekhola River Camp


You will find the deluxe cottages as soon as you cross the check post. There are 4 tents which are names Cruiser, Popinjay, Windmill and Swiss Spangle. The tents are well facilitated for camping. There are attached bathrooms with geysers and also mini steel wardrobe along with dressing units. They also provide fan and light inside the tents. They serve to the guests as well and you can have chicken at dinner. A plastic table and chairs are furnished inside the tent for the guests to use. The Swiss Luxury tent comes at 1200-1400 INR and the Nature Education and Wilderness Resort with 2 bedrooms come at 1100 INR and the suite at 1500 INR. The reservation can be done at the forest department office.

Attractions in Suntalekhola River Camp


You will have a close contact with nature and explore it at your freewill. There is a suspended footbridge in front of the camp area which leads to the Suntalekhola Nature Resort. Here, you can spend time amidst beautiful and colorful flowers and enjoy the sight. Coming so close to nature also provides an opportunity to bird watching. This place is famous for that and you will find Golden-spectacled and Chestnut-crowned Warblers, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Grey Nightjar, White-naped and Black-chinned Yuhinas, Long-tailed Sibia and many more. Apart from bird watching you can trek to the entry point of Neora Valley National Park known as Mouchuki which is 6 kilometers trek from Suntalekhola.

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Chukchuki Watchtower is also known as Chukchuki Birding Point inside the Gorumara National Park. It is an ideal vantage point for watching myriad birds and photographing them. Tourists visiting Gorumara are taken to the watchtower for bird watching either on elephant back or by a car. It is a bird watcher’s paradise where one can spot local as well as migratory birds. The watchtower is situated towards the end of the park and provides perfect view of the birds. It is one among many other watchtowers in the park from where visitors can spot different animals like rhinos for which the park is famous.

How to reach Chukchuki Watchtower


Chukchuki can be reached only after you have arrived at Gorumara National Park. Gorumara can be reached by air, rail or by road depending on the place you are coming from. The park is only 10 kilometers from Chalsa and 1 kilometer from Lataguri. Bagdogra is the nearest airport if you are traveling by flight and New Jalpaiguri or Maalbazar are the stations where you have to reach to arrive at Gorumara. Alternatively, you can take your car and opt for a long drive also. In that case, Highway NH-31 will be the route.

Attractions in Chukchuki Watchtower


There are 5 camps in Gorumara National Park where you can put up during your sojourn. However, you will have to book in advance in order to get rooms and guide for your elephant ride. There is a cafeteria where you can have food and snacks and also watch tribal dance in the evening.

You will be taken to the Chukchuki watchtower on the back of an elephant which is the most exciting activity in the forest or you can also opt for the four wheeler safari in which case you will ride a jeep. You will watch birds like Indian Hornbill, Spangled Drongo, Scarelet Minivet, Peafowls, Peacocks, woodpeckers, pheasants, Asian paradise suncatcher. These are all submontane forest birds and the place is also famous for migratory birds among which the rare Brahminy duck can also be spotted.

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Ramsai eco camp is basically a rhino camp located close to Kalipur eco camp in Gorumara. It happens one of the 5 camps managed by the forest department of Jalpaiguri established to promote tourism in the Gorumara region. Of course, like all the other 4 this Ramsai eco camp also provides an opportunity to experience jungle stay full of adventure and wildlife safari. An added opportunity at this camp is the vast tea estate of Ramsai. In fact, for adventure lovers visiting the place during monsoon will be a great idea because at Ramsai rhino camp tourists are allowed during this time of the year.

How to reach Ramsai Forest and Eco Camp


Ramsai (ramsay) forest and eco camp can be reached through Lataguri only because the entrance through the Gorumara forest has been closed. It only takes 1 hour to drive from Lataguri to Ramsai. You can hire a sumo for which you have to pay 1000INR if it is non AC and 1200INR if it comes with AC. If you are driving by your car, take National Highway 31 and follow the route through Chalsa and Nagrakata. Alternatively, get down at New Maal station which is 30 kilometers from Ramsai or New Maynaguri which is 20 kilometers from the same venue. If you are traveling by air, then Bagdogra is the nearest airport.

Accommodation in Ramsai Forest and Eco Camp


For accommodation, you will obviously be staying at the camp which needs to be reserved beforehand. You can also stay at the Forest Inn which has been recently acquired by Ramsai. This is a private property. The Ramsai rhino camp is a relatively new one with the same offering adventure to the tourists. The properties have basic amenities including food. Fresh local fish is used to prepare fish curries which are delicious and you must try the Puti and the Boroli fish.

Attractions in Ramsai Forest and Eco Camp


You can enjoy the elephant safari covering 1 kilometer into the jungle and a visit to the Medhla Tower and the tea garden at Ramsai. You can spot rhinos, elephants, bisons and wild boars from the watch tower. A unique bullock cart ride will cost 35 INR per person and take you through the small village inhabited by a few thousand people. As you explore the village and the Gorumara Park, you will realize that technology has not been able to take away from the simplicity of their lives. Come back and enjoy the tribal dance in the evening.

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Klaipur eco resort at Gorumara is a unique combination of jungle adventure and village lifestyle. The resort is located in the southern part of the Gorumara National Park famous for one horned rhinos which also serves as the border to Medla forest. The facility is administered by the Forest Department of Jalpaiguri Div II. Kalipur is one of the 5 such camps facilities run by the forest department of Jalpaiguri. This is an amazing facility for jungle lovers and adventure enthusiasts because this will remind you of the tree house stay. You will simply love the abundance of nature in these parts.

How to reach Klaipur Eco Resort


Gorumara is well connected with the major transport modes of the town. If you are taking the train, get down at New Jalpaiguri Station and hire a jeep/cab to travel 95 kilometers to reach Gorumara. Alternatively, the nearest airport is Bagdogra if you traveling by air which is 110 kilometers from the park.  From Jalpaiguri it is only 49 kilometers. You can either take the Maynaguri-Ramsai route about 17 kilomeetrs to Kalipur or drive through Lataguri which is 10 kilometers. The best time to visit Gorumara Kalipur Eco Resort is from the middle of October through March.  From 15th June to 15th September the park remains closed due to rain.

Accommodation in Kalipur Eco Resort


The cottages at Gorumara Kalipur Eco Resort are beautiful and furnished. The 4 cottages have bamboo finish and traditional built. You will get a feel of how our ancient forefathers used to live inside tree houses. The balcony offers a panoramic view of the lush green grasslands and the adjoining tea garden. The cottages providing accommodation for 2 people come at 3900 INR while the ones offering 3 bedrooms come at 5100 INR. The room charges also include food which consists of fish in lunch and chicken at dinner. The elephant trip charge is also included in this but for a bullock ride you will have to pay 35INR per head.

For  booking:

Divisional Forest Officer,
Wildlife Division – II
“Aranya Bhawan”, Jalpaiguri – 735101
Tel. + Fax : 03561-220017

Attractions in Kalipur Eco Resort


While enjoying your sojourn at Gorumara Kalipur Eco Resort you can explore the park through an elephant ride. You will be taken deep into the park to the Medhla watch tower where you will spot one horned rhinos which are only found in Gorumara in the entire country. Besides, you will also find elephants, bisons and leopards sharing space with rhinos. It is also a popular place for bird watchers where you will notice rufous treepiesserpent eaglesdrongospeacockshornbillfowls and black ibis. These birds are mostly found around the plains of Murti and Jaldhaka rivers.

Once the elephant safari is over, you can visit the Ramsai tea garden adjoining the park. The manager will arrange a visit for you on request. During the evening you can watch the tribal dance with the beatings of ‘madol’, drums creating an enchanting atmosphere. Also do not forget to visit the local shrines and seek blessings from them. You can enjoy a film on the wildlife to enhance the mystery pervading the atmosphere in the jungle.

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Dhupjhora is located on the southern part of the Gorumara forest and is famously known for the Elephant Camp. The Pilkhana or the elephant stables are located on the western banks of Murti River and therefore the elephant camp. This zone is also known as the Gachbari because of the Tree House accommodation offered to the tourists who visit this area with an excitement to watch elephants and also take a ride on their back into the forest. This unique eco-friendly tourism has won the hearts of many wild life enthusiasts.

How to reach Dhupjhora Elephant Camp


reaching-dhupjhora-elephant-campDhupjhora is accessible by flight, train as well as by road. Flight arrives at Bagdogra and from there you have to reach Siliguri to arrive at Gorumara or Dhupjhora. Alternatively, you can board a train and reach New Jalpaiguri station. From here hire a jeep/cab traveling through the Sevak Bridge to reach Dhupjhora. The road is wonderful with the first half offering you the view of majestic hills and the second half mesmerizing you with the pure greenery of the forest. Gorumara is 80 kilometers from Siliguri and the journey is quite smooth in most parts. From Lataguri the entrance to the camp is only 10 kilometers.

Accommodation in Dhupjhora Elephant Camp


dhupjhora-elephant-camp-1For accommodation the tree houses and cottages are available which you have to book previously. You can either draft 3,500 INR to the address of the forest department for booking or ask your travel agent to do it. The tree house of course made of wood has basic amenities inside and a balcony to enjoy the view of the jungle from atop. The charge includes boarding and food as well. You will be served 4 meals a day with deliciously cooked food. However, the menu is quite strict in terms of variety which is fish in lunch and chicken for dinner and also room service is not available. You have to come to the cafeteria to have food or snack on anything.

Attractions in Dhupjhora Elephant Camp


Gorumara is a thick forest with dense tropical vegetation. Birds and different types of animals like rhinos can be spotted here frequently. So, while you anticipate seeing an elephant you could just confront a rhino. The most striking activity at the camp is the bathing of the elephants in Murti River. The bathing episode lasts for 20 minutes. Next you can see them having lunch. These elephants are not wild; hence they are served rice and pulses for lunch. The special attraction at the camp is the elephant ride which begins at 6:30 and you will be taken deeper into the jungle to explore it. The mahut of the elephant will be your guide. The tour takes 1 hour.

During the evening you can either sit at the balcony marveling at the woods or visit the community center for local song dance program enjoying your snack. You may have a chance encounter with a peacock as well. The tea is particularly very tasty. You can also take a stroll through the tea garden adjacent to the forest. The best time to visit Dhupjhora is during summers. Enjoy the wilderness from ‘Chandrachur Watch Tower’. (except 15th June to 15th September).

Photo Courtesy: ghumakkar.com

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