Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the heart of Eastern Dooars at the Himalayan foothills. It serves as the corridor between Buxa Tiger Reserve National Park and Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary for Asian elephants and One Horned Rhinos. It is only 20 kilometers from Alipurduar and is an hour’s drive. Mendabari Jungle Camp is the eco tourism resort of Chilapata Forest. The camp is 2 kilometers inside the forest in Kodal basti or settlement and provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for adventure lovers to stay amidst vast jungle accompanied by wild animals 24 hours. If you wish to be thrilled to the core, this place is for you.

How to reach Chilapata


Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary and Mendabari Camp are accessible through road, rail and air. You have to take National Highway 31 to reach Chilapata if you are driving your car. By air you have to come to Bagdogra airport from where you can hire a taxi to take you to Chilapata. The easiest is however boarding a train and disembarking at Alipurduar station from where it is only an hour’s drive to Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary. The Mendabari Jungle Camp is 2 kilometers inside the forest.

Accommodation in Chilapata


Mendabari Jungle Camp reminds one of the rural lives of our ancestors. It is absolute bliss and also undaunted thrill that you will experience here. The Elephant cottage is made with cement, brick and wood in local style standing on concrete stilts while the Bamboo cottages are more authentic ones made from eco-friendly materials capturing the traditional architecture of the tribal houses. Food is prepared from the fresh organic local produce and offers different varieties of local the local cuisine. It is served on thatched dining tables with 4 sides open to enjoy uninterrupted view of the jungle. However, you are not allowed to go out of the cottage at night on bare foot because leopards have been noticed in the zone. The Elephant cottage cost 1500 INR and the bamboo cottage comes at 1000 INR. Food is charged separately.

Attractions & Activities in Chilapata


Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 23 species of herbivores and carnivores and around 22 species of reptiles and 180 species of birds. Some rare orchids and trees and plants are found in the forest as well. This diverse flora and fauna is nurtured by the rivers Torsha and Bania which bring in the fresh monsoon alluvial soil. Apart from Asian elephants and one horned rhinos, sambar, barking deer, wild boar, hog deer, cheetal, leopard, and monkey can be found in the forest. You will be able to spot majority of these animals from the Mendabari watchtower on wildlife safari.

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Khyerbari Leopard Rescue Center are close by. Mathura Tea Estate and Rabha Tribal community are the other tourist attractions near the forest. Deep within the forest lay the ruins of the fort of Nalraj. The historians are divided on the era of its construction and trace it back to 5th -7th century. Only the entrance of the fort is now visible. While returning back you will see the ‘bleeding treeknown as Ran Guna. Other activities include baoting on Bania River, angling and trekking the jungle trails.

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28 Mile is a small settlement within the Buxa Tiger Reserve with 110 households. The number of households has increased considerably since 1960. Homestays are available for tourists at the 28 Mile Basti as it is known in the local language. There is also a well furnished cottage at 28 Mile serving guests who visit Buxa Tiger Reserve. Buxa is one of the largest forest reserves in West Bengal and is home to Asian tigers whose population is only second to that of Sunderbans. The importance of Buxa increased manifold in the year 1992 when it was declared to be a national park.

How to reach 28 miles


Buxa Tiger Reserve is nicely interconnected with the major modes of transportation. If you are traveling by train, arrive at Alipurduar station which is 37 kilometers from Buxa forest. You can hire a taxi from the station to reach Buxa. On the other hand, you can take a flight to the Bagdogra airport and from there hire a cab to arrive at Buxa. Tourists who are traveling by their own car should take the NH-31 to reach Buxa through Rajabhatkhawa which is 25 kilometers away from the destination.

Accommodation in 28 miles


As already mentioned above 28 Mile offers accommodation facilities to the tourists. The home stays offer basic amenities while the cottage provides modern ones. The small settlement at 28 Mile within the forest offers home stays. Tourists at times prefer this spot because of its proximity to the Bala River bed which is a popular spot for bird watching; both migratory and local birds. The Leo Cottage is located within this core area of the forest. The room rents vary from 1000 INR to 1500 INR. The cottage offers 24 hours hot water, dining, camp fire, car parking facilities. You will be served with delicious Bengali dishes at 400 INR per person.

Attractions & Activities in 28 miles


Staying at 28 Mile provides an opportunity to you to explore the forest from the core area. You have to seek permission from the forest department but if you are staying at the cottage you will be able to explore the jungle through safaris and treks. Animals like tigers, elephants, squirrels, sambhar, bisons and deer can be found in the forest. Snakes and other insects can also be spotted if you keep your eyes open. The forest is vast and there are tea gardens on the fringes which you can visit. There is also a boating spot in the jungle known as Shikia Jhora which offers an exciting coat ride on the brooke.

Trek to Buxa Fort

 

 

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