Murti is a lovely getaway located on the banks of the meandering river of the same name. It is the perfect weekend destination for people looking to escape the din and bustle of city life. Murti the river originates from the Neora Valley National Park and flows through the main tourist attractions of Dooars before meeting the River Jaldhaka. It is along its bank stretching for 80 kilometers that the famous forests of Dooars have developed and are sustained. All the popular watchtowers of the forests are built overlooking Murti River. Murti, the place was initially a picnic spot but now with the resort it has become of the most popular getaways in North Bengal.

How to reach Murti


Murti can be reached by rail after reaching at the New Mal junction or the New Jalpaiguri junction from where you can hire cars. The nearest airport is Bagdogra and the National Highway 31 connects Murti to other cities and small towns. The distance of Murti from Siliguri is 73 kilometers while from New Mal it is 18 kilometers. From Chalsa it is a distance of only 8 kilometers which hardly takes a half an hour drive.

Accommodation in Murti


Hotels in Murti Dooars

Banani or Prakriti O Poribesh Beekshan Kendra is the nature education and wilderness resort located next to Gorumara National Park on the Nahrakata-Lataguri road. The bungalow is amidst sal forest on the bank of River Murti and is the primary choice of any tourist. It offers 12 rooms including one suite providing the best view of the river and the forest. Another excellent accommodation facility known as the Murti Tourist Lodge run by West Bengal Tourism is located near Gorumara National Park on the river bank. The rooms are tent or cottage style with a view of the river bed and animals. Other facilities include the privately run Prime Murti, Riverwood Forest Retreat, The Ca-Cur-Badi Forest Resort, Dreamland Hotel, Resort Olive Village and Dooars Nest. Food is available at all these accommodation facilities.

Attractions in Murti


Wild Bisons crossing Murti river.

Wild Bisons crossing Murti river

Murti can be visited anytime of the year because it has a pleasant climate. However, it is wise to avoid the monsoons because you will not be able to explore the forests on either side of the river. The Gorumara National Park and the Chapramari Forest are on opposite banks of Murti and are famous for the diverse flora and fauna. There is a small bridge through which you can cross the river and arrive at the jungles on either side. You can explore the jungles either on elephant back or through jeep safari depending on your choice. The beauty of nature in the region is quite a visual treat. However, roaming around the area at night is not advised because wild animals flock on the banks to quench their thirst.

Angling, camping and hiking through the trails are some of the commonest and most adventurous activities in and around Murti. If you are bird enthusiast then this is a paradise for you as you will see various local and migratory birds on the river bed. You can also spot alligators in the river. Other tourist attractions include the Panjhora River picnic spot, Chukchuki, Chalsa, Khunia, Jhalong, Bindu, Samsing and Suntalekhola.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Tamal Majhi, Anirban Banerjee, indiamike.com/ranjankumardey

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Established in 1986 Neora Valley National Park is located near Lava in Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling District. Covering an area of 89 square kilometers this park is of the richest biosphere reserve in India. Open from 8 am to 12 noon, 1pm – 4pm. It is closed on Thursdays. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and is growing rapidly in importance due to the number of tourists and also due to the diverse flora and fauna of North Eastern Himalayas. Located at a distance of 32 kilometers from both Lava and Samsing which is the border area, Neora Valley National Park has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Entry fee to this awesome reserve is INR 20.

Covering an area of 89 square kilometers this park is of the richest biosphere reserve in India. Often referred to as the land of the endangered Red Panda, it offers a staggering variety of vegetation and also birds. The nature lovers will be overwhelmed by the abundance of rhododendrons, bamboo groves and mountain streams. The highest point of Neora Valley National park is 10,500 feet which is the Rachela Pass.

How to reach Neora Valley National Park


Both buses and cars can take you to North East India’s biggest biodiversity zone, Neora Valley National Park. Buses plying from Siliguri will take you to Kalimpong from where Lava is 32 kilometers. The entry point of Neora Valley National Park is through Lava. There is an alternative route through Samsing for which you have to reach Chalsa from Siliguri which is 65 kilometers. From Chalsa Samsing is about 18 kilometers from where you can enter the biological zone. Accommodation is obviously in Lava or Samsing depending on whichever route you are taking.

Attaractions in Neora Valley National Park


The geography of the Neora Valley National Park is unique. The heavy growth in the forest sometimes even restricts the sunlight from entering the forest. It is also known as the Virgin Forest and quite true to its name much of the forest land is yet to be discovered pushing the adventure lovers to explore those inaccessible parts. The Neora River is the primary water resource of Kalimpong.

The flora of the region is diverse and the virgin wilderness supports tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and sub-temperate vegetation inside it. Mixed species of bamboo, sal, oak, ferns, rhododendrons and various types of orchids can be found in the park. The fauna supported by the forest environment is even more diverse. Red panda, sloth bear, Himalayan Flying Squirrel, wild boar, leopard cat, goral, serow, civet are some of the mammal species living in the forest. Others include lizards, king cobra, green pit viper, moths, bugs, wasps, cicadas.

Neora Valley National Park is also known as the bird watchers’ paradise. Some of the most sought after birds can be spotted here within areas of 1600m-2700 meters. Birds like Jerdon’s Baza, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Tragopan, Golden-throated Barbet, White-browed Bush Robin, White-tailed Robin can be seen.

Trek to Neora Valley National Park


This is also a trekkers’ paradise because he/she can explore the diversity while climbing up to the highest point of the park which is the Rachela Pass. Jaributi is a particular point inside the park which is full of medicinal plants. Other interesting points include the Tiffin Dara and the Red Panda Camp.

You must obtain the permit to enter the park from forest range offices in Lava and Samsing and nobody is allowed in the park after sunset.

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