South Khayerbari is famous for Tiger and Leopard Rescue Center located around 10 kilometers from Madarihat. During the ban of using wild animals in circuses around 11 tigers were rescued and kept at Khayerbari. The tigers were rescued from Olympic circus in Hooghly district and were initially kept at Hollong and later shifted to Khayerbari Rescue Center. The center comprises of 5 units each consisting of 3 cells which are capable of accommodating 15 tigers at the most. The forest officials are of the opinion that this is a unique endeavor in the entire north east to rescue and rehabilitate tigers and leopards which were used in circuses.

Attractions in South Khayerbari


inside-leopard-safari-park-at-south-khayerbari-nature-parkTourists will also find cubs and grown up leopards which were rescued from illicit animal smugglers on the hills. They are providing rehab facility to all the animals suffering from various kinds of torture and danger. There are 18 leopards in this center. The environment of the place is serene and tourists will find it interesting to watch the animals enjoying themselves in their home. River Buri Torsha flows through the forest which can be spotted by tourists on jeep safari.

How to reach South Khayerbari Tiger and Leopard Rescue Center


South Khayerbari Tiger and Leopard Rescue Center can be reached by train, road or air service. Tourists will have to get down at Hasimara and travel to Madarihat which is 12 kilometers from the Hasimara station to arrive at South Khayerbari. You can reach the center by car through NH-31 which connects entire forests of Dooars to Kolkata metro city in West Bengal and also to Guwahati in Assam. Alternatively, if you are traveling by air, then Bagdogra is the nearest airport from where you can hire cars, taxis and even buses to arrive at Madarihat and finally reach South Khayerbari.

Accomodation in South Khayerbari


3 forest cottages are available for the tourists to stay near South Khayerbari Rescue Center. All of these cottages are set up on the bank of Buri Torsha River and food is served inside the cottage only. You must book the cottages from West Bengal Forest Development Offices before visit.

An amazing tiger and leopard safari will take you through the forest where you will be able to spot the majestic animals busy in their lives. The highlight of this safari is that you can see these animals up close. Apart from the safari, you can also visit the forests nearby like Chilapata, Buxa Tiger Reserve, and Jaldapara. Boating on the River Buri Torsha is also available inside the rescue center.

Photo Courtesy: longjourney.in, flickr/jaybee50

 

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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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