Buxa Tiger Reserve is located in the foothills of Bhutan covering an area of 790 square kilometers and is of course famous for tigers, civet and red jungle fowl. The forest was declared as a tiger reserve in 1983 and received the title of National Park in 1992. Buxa Tiger Reserve forest is the largest in North Bengal and is home to second largest tiger population in entire West Bengal after Sunderbans. There are many species of mammals, reptiles, birds and an amazing collection of medicinal plants and orchids. It is only 24 kilometers from Alipurduar and about 180 kilometers from Siliguri, reckoned as the gateway of Bengal. Certain parts of the forest have still remained unexplored due to inaccessible terrain.
How to reach Buxa Fort and Tiger Reserve Forest
Buxa Tiger Reserve is well connected to the major modes of conveyance. If you are traveling by train, you have to reach Alipurduar station which is 37 kilometers from Buxa forest. You can hire a taxi from the station. Alternatively, you can fly by air for which the only airport is Bagdogra. People who are traveling by their own car should take the NH-31 to reach Bux through Rajabhatkhawa which is 25 kilometers away from the spot.
Accommodation in Buxa Fort and Tiger Reserve Forest
Both homestays and government bungalows are available for tourist accommodation. Buxa Duar, Nimati/Range, South Ridak, Raimatung, Jayanti and Kumargram are some of the places where bungalow accommodation maintained by West Bengal Forest Development Corporation is available. The one at south Raidak has been renovated of late and the Jayanti and Buxa Duar bungalows offer 16 bed dormitories. Rajabhatkhawa offers government rest houses for tourists. Homestays are available at Jayanti, Raimatung and BuxaDuar. The houses are nice with warm hospitality of the village folks. There is also arrangement for food in the bungalows.
Attractions & Activities in Buxa Fort and Tiger Reserve Forest
Buxa Tiger Reserve Forest is home to over 400 species of trees, 400 species of herbs, 150 species of orchids, 250 species of shrubs, 100 species of grass, and about 130 species of aquatic flora. The forest is full of Champa, Simul, Chikrasi, Gamar and Sal trees. Even the fauna has wide variety in it. Asian Tiger, elephant, bison, sambar, giant squirrel, antelopes and wild boar can be spotted in the jungle. The forest is also a bird watcher’s paradise boasting 284 species of birds. Beautifully colored butterflies can also be found here. The Narthali Lake and the banks of Raidak and Jayanti Rivers are popular spots for watching migratory birds. It is home to some endangered species of animals as well.
Buxa Fort lies about 4 kilometers from the forest. Now only the ruins can be seen which used to be a major seat of the British administration once. Since it sits at an altitude of 2600 feet you have to trek through the forest to reach it. The fort used to serve as a prison for the British at one point and therefore even the ruins have lot of historical significance. Number of trekking routes originates from here which include Santrabari, Rover’s Point, Rupam Valley and Jayanti village to fulfill your dose for adventure.