Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary is located on the foothill of Sintura Range of the Eastern Himalayas. It falls in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal and is basically a marshland or swamp which is famous for birds. The place is flocked by a large variety of birds and is therefore known as a bird sanctuary. It is spread across an area of 175 hector and also includes Aviary & Tortoise rescue center, python house, leopard house, crocodile rehabilitation center and deer park. The sanctuary can be visited throughout the year and is at a distance of 34 kilometers from Alipurduar; 45 kilometers from Cooch Behar and 212 kilometers from Siliguri.

How to reach Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary


Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary can be approached by road, air and rail. If you are traveling by your own vehicle then National Highway is the connector for you to reach either Alipurduar or Cooch Behar. Otherwise, government buses of Bhutan, North Bengal State Transport and private buses and taxis are available to arrive at Rasikbil. If you take the bus from Cooch Behar then you will arrive at Rasikbil within 2 hours via Toofanganj. Alternatively, disembark at Kamaskshaguri station which is only 6 kilometers from Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary. Other than this particular station, you can get off at New Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar station as well and hire cabs from there. Flight travelers will arrive at Bagdogra airport and hire cars/taxis to arrive at Rasikbil.

Accommodation in Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary


Rasikbil Nature Resort maintained by the forest development corporation of West Bengal is the best place to stay. It offers cottages and dormitory accommodation facilities. The rate is 900 INR and you must reserve the place prior to your arrival. Food is also available here and the price is included in the rent.

Attractions in Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary


birds-spotted-in-rasikbil-coochbehar-west-bengalRasikbil Bird Sanctuary offers a serene environment to the visitors. Expect for the chirping of birds which will ring like music in your ears no other sound will disturb the blissful peace. Both local and migratory birds can be viewed at Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary. Usually birds like ibis, kingfisher, owl, storks of different verities, cormorants and spoonbill can be found in and around the lake. Apart from these famous water birds like Wigeon duck, Grey Headed Lapwing, Shoveler, Pintail, Red Crested Pochard, Lesser Whistling Teal, White Eyed Pochard and Common Teal can also be spotted here. This is a bird lover’s heaven and you must be ready with your camera.

Apart from bird watching you can also visit the Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Temple and also Alipurduar and Buxa Tiger Reserve which is a short drive away.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Snehasis Sinha, dooarsecoviillege.blogspot.in

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Cooch Behar is a district in north east West Bengal with a royal heritage. It is bound by Jalpaiguri to its north, by Assam to its east and by Bangladesh to its south. It used to be ruled by the Koch dynasty and therefore this name. Cooch Behar became a district in West Bengal in 1950 and is the only planned district in north Bengal on the Himalayan foothills. Since the Cooch Behar Palace still holds significance in the development of the district, it has been declared as a heritage town. Cooch Behar also happens to be the maternal home of Maharani Gayatri Devi. The residents enjoy a lovely climate and the best time to visit is during November through February when the temperature is between 10 and 24 degree Centigrade.

How to reach Cooch Behar


Cooch Behar is very well connected with other parts of the country through rail, road and air. Cooch Behar railway station is well connected to the rails of all the metro cities and all the superfast and express trains halt at Cooch Behar railway station. The North Bengal State Transport Corporation runs buses to and from West Bengal, Assam and Bihar to reach Cooch Behar. Private buses also ply to Cooch Behar and the bus terminus is near the palace. Taxis can be found near Transport Chowpathi and rickshaws have become a major mode of transport within the town. People traveling in aircraft can either arrive at Cooch Behar Airport or Bagdogra Airport located in Siliguri. Bagdogra airport is 160 kilometers from Cooch Behar.

Accommodation in Cooch Behar


There are several hotels in Cooch Behar for visiting tourists. They range from budget accommodation to luxury and deluxe ones with room rents ranging from as low as 225 INR to as high as 3000 INR per night. You will get standard rooms as well as suites according to your taste. Facilities vary depending on the type of hotel you choose to stay. Most of the hotels are located either near bus stands or near railway station making them easily accessible by tourists. In Cooch Behar mostly local delicacies are served in the restaurants. However, the luxury hotels with their restaurant facility serve multi-cuisine preparations.

Attractions in Cooch Behar


100_1007Cooch Behar is a city of royal heritage and it still proudly presents the Cooch Behar Palace in its full glory to the tourists. The Rajbari as it is locally known is an imposing building built in Italian Renaissance style. Constructed by the great Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887, this magnificent structure is 1.5 meters in height covering an area of 4768 square meters. When you step inside the palace you will notice the royal insignia everywhere and the floor is marble. The palace has more than 5 rooms and halls including the Durbar Hall, library, kitchen, bedrooms, billiard rooms, dressing room, dining, ladies gallery and many more.

Next in importance is the Madan Mohan Temple. Constructed during 1880s by Raja Nripendra Narayan, it is dedicated to Lord Madan Mohan along with shrines of Bhvani, Tara and Kali. The Raash Mela during Raash Purnima is an important festival when the temple is illuminated and becomes crowded with hundreds of worshippers. Other tourist attractions include Sagar Dighi, Moti Mahal, Laal Bagh, Ananda Ashram, MNJ Club, Rani Bagan, Patton Tank, and Hiranyagarbha Shiva Temple.

 

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