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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Located at a distance of 52 kilometers from Jalpaiguri, 15 kilometers from Lataguri and 10 kilometers from Chalsa, Gorumara National Park can be found on the floodplains of Rivers Murti and Jaldhaka in the Terai Region of the Himalayan foothills. The main highlight of Gorumara National Park is the overwhelming population of Indian rhinos. It is one of the best protected and well maintained parks according to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The park covers an area of 80 square kilometers and the best time to visit the park is during the month of November through February when the weather is pleasant.

How to reach Gorumara National Park


Gorumara is located at a convenient position which can be reached by air, through rails and roads. Gorumara can be reached from Bagdogra within 2 hours through a winding road flanked by tea gardens. Alternatively one can reach the park by hiring a jeep or car from New Malbazar railway station or Maynaguri railway station. The car will take the National Highway 31 to Lataguri, the entrance to the park. For adventurous tourists you can take the path less trodden through Gajaldoba barrage over Teesta to reach Lataguri on the park outskirts.

Accommodation in Gorumara National Park


There are plenty of accommodation options around Gorumara National Park suiting the pocket of the travelers. There are budget accommodation facilities for tourists traveling on a stringent budget and on the other hand 3-4 star hotels and resorts display grand hospitality to the ones traveling extravagantly. The largest concentration of big budget resorts can be found in Lataguri. Both government and private resorts are available. Aranya Jungle Resort and Banai, WBFDC forest lodge near Murti River are the most popular ones. Some of the others include Aranya Resort – Lataguri, Riverwood forest retreat – Dhupjhora, Kakur Bari Resort – Dhupjhora, Sinclairs Retreast, Murti Cottages, Kalipur Eco Village and Dhupjhora Elephant Camps.

Attractions in Gorumara National Park


The diversity in the national park in terms of flora and fauna is astounding. It is home to 193 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, 27 species of fish and 7 kinds of turtles. All these different kinds of animals inhabit the park full of sal, teak, Bombax, grassland vegetation and Shirish trees. Different types of tropical orchids can also be found at the park. Gorumara is also famous for the safaris conducted for tourists. The entry fee at Gorumara is 40 INR. To see the fauna from close quarters you can opt for safaris which you have to book from the forest department.

Jataprasad is a famous watchtower named after the legendary female elephant Jataprasad located on the northern side of the park. There is also the Rhino Point close by. Methla Watchtower is in Kalipur eco village where a unique bullock cart driven safari is available. The others include Chukchuki Watchtower, Chandrachur Watchtower and Chapramari Watchtower. Rhinos, elephants, bisons, leopards and many other animals can be spotted from the watchtowers. Some of the other tourist attractions nearby include Jhalong, Bindu, Caron, Diana, Bhutan, Paren, Kalimpong Hills, and Jaldhaka.

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