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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Dhupjhora is located on the southern part of the Gorumara forest and is famously known for the Elephant Camp. The Pilkhana or the elephant stables are located on the western banks of Murti River and therefore the elephant camp. This zone is also known as the Gachbari because of the Tree House accommodation offered to the tourists who visit this area with an excitement to watch elephants and also take a ride on their back into the forest. This unique eco-friendly tourism has won the hearts of many wild life enthusiasts.

How to reach Dhupjhora Elephant Camp


reaching-dhupjhora-elephant-campDhupjhora is accessible by flight, train as well as by road. Flight arrives at Bagdogra and from there you have to reach Siliguri to arrive at Gorumara or Dhupjhora. Alternatively, you can board a train and reach New Jalpaiguri station. From here hire a jeep/cab traveling through the Sevak Bridge to reach Dhupjhora. The road is wonderful with the first half offering you the view of majestic hills and the second half mesmerizing you with the pure greenery of the forest. Gorumara is 80 kilometers from Siliguri and the journey is quite smooth in most parts. From Lataguri the entrance to the camp is only 10 kilometers.

Accommodation in Dhupjhora Elephant Camp


dhupjhora-elephant-camp-1For accommodation the tree houses and cottages are available which you have to book previously. You can either draft 3,500 INR to the address of the forest department for booking or ask your travel agent to do it. The tree house of course made of wood has basic amenities inside and a balcony to enjoy the view of the jungle from atop. The charge includes boarding and food as well. You will be served 4 meals a day with deliciously cooked food. However, the menu is quite strict in terms of variety which is fish in lunch and chicken for dinner and also room service is not available. You have to come to the cafeteria to have food or snack on anything.

Attractions in Dhupjhora Elephant Camp


Gorumara is a thick forest with dense tropical vegetation. Birds and different types of animals like rhinos can be spotted here frequently. So, while you anticipate seeing an elephant you could just confront a rhino. The most striking activity at the camp is the bathing of the elephants in Murti River. The bathing episode lasts for 20 minutes. Next you can see them having lunch. These elephants are not wild; hence they are served rice and pulses for lunch. The special attraction at the camp is the elephant ride which begins at 6:30 and you will be taken deeper into the jungle to explore it. The mahut of the elephant will be your guide. The tour takes 1 hour.

During the evening you can either sit at the balcony marveling at the woods or visit the community center for local song dance program enjoying your snack. You may have a chance encounter with a peacock as well. The tea is particularly very tasty. You can also take a stroll through the tea garden adjacent to the forest. The best time to visit Dhupjhora is during summers. Enjoy the wilderness from ‘Chandrachur Watch Tower’. (except 15th June to 15th September).

Photo Courtesy: ghumakkar.com

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