• BUXA NATIONAL PARK

      The Buxa Tiger Reserve with an area of 759 sq.kms was established in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. The core area of 315sq.kms around the Buxa Duar Fort was declared a National Park in January 1992.  

      This park is located in eastern Dooars (rolling humid plains) at 2600 ft above sea level. The Dooars comprises of deciduous forests which are densely wooded and grasslands and is home to some of West Bengal's most varied flora and fauna. 

      This tropical rain forests having an annual rainfall exceeding 5000mm has 150 species of plants and a variety of creepers, orchids, grasses, bamboo and cane. Trees like Teak, sal, simul, sishu are found in great numbers.

       The fauna of the park comprises 67 species of mammals, including 23 endangered ones and 36 species of reptiles. Besides the Royal Bengal tiger the second largest in number in West Bengal after Sunderbans, elephants, bears, civets, giant squirrel, Gaur, Chital, clouded leopard, wild Buffaloes, antelope and snakes including the regal Python are found here. About 230 species of birds and innumerable butterflies add colour to the forest. The rivers of Raidak and Jayanti which flow through the forest and the Narathali lake are home to migratory birds as well as endemic ones which abound the place. The Hornbills including greater Pied Hornbill,  Ibis Bill, Trans Himalayan Migratory Goosanders, Red-stars, Wag-tails, the rare black necked crane, migratory common teal, black stork, Large Whistling Teal, Minivets, White Eyed Poachared are some of the bird species sighted here.

       The headquarters Alipurduar court is a few km away from the tiger reserve. The two main entry points are Buxa (24km) and Jayanti (30 Km). Buxa (2600ft) is a two hour trek through picturesque surroundings from Santlabari, the starting point. The Buxa Duar fort here was used as a prison by the British, because of its remoteness. Many freedom fighters were imprisoned here. After independence, it  served as a refugee camp for Tibetans and Bangladeshis. There is  a 4km further trek to Rovers Point (the land of unknown birds at 4500ft) or a 14km trek to Roopam Valley in Bhutan from Bhutan. From Buxa, one can also take the 13km trek to Jayanti through the beautiful jungle preferably with a guide. There is a stalactite cave, popularly known as the Mahakal cave at Jayanti. Another entry point Rajabhatkhawa (17km from Alipurduar) has an orchidarium, animal rescue centre and a nature interpretation centre.

  • GORUMARA NATIONAL PARK

Gorumara National Park is located in the Dooars (rolling hill slopes) region of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. This small forest area famous for its natural population of the Great Indian one horned Rhinoceros was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949.  Later in the year 1992, it was established as a National Park, comprising 80 km of diverse forests.  

     The dooars lying in the Himalayan foothills has great natural beauty and is home to some of West Bengal's most varied flora and fauna. Gorumara park located on the bank of rivers Murti and Raidak has vegetation of riverine grasslands interspersed with savannah woodlands. Much of this forest is moist deciduous and sal (shorea robusta) is the most common and valuable tree. Teak, Simul, siris, Khair are also found here. The park is breathtaking with its rivers and mountain ranges.

     Besides the one horned rhinoceros, the fauna of the park include Indian Elephant, Indian Bison, leopard, different species of deer, turtles, pythons, monkeys etc. and more than 200 species of birds. The park is a birdwatcher's paradise with beautiful birds like Indian pied hornbill, Woodpeckers, Sunbird, fly catcher, Minivet, Drongo, Pheasants and many more migratory birds especially in winter. Brahmany duck is a regular visitor here and the birds can be watched from Suksukia, a bird watching point inside the park.

     Lataguri a small town adjacent to the park is the entry point. There are watch towers for viewing the animals inside the park. They are Jatraprasad Watch tower (named in memory of a legendary elephant of that name), Rhino observation point in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow, Old Khunia Watch Tower near the Murti forest bungalow and Suksukia Bird watching Point. Rhino observation point is the best place to observe wild animals like rhino, elephant, bison and deer as they regularly come to the salt reservoir just below the tower. From Gorumara it is only a two hours ride to Jaldapara wild life sanctuary which is also located in the dooars

  • NEORA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

The Neora Valley National Park, spread over an area of 88sq.km. in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal was established in April 1986. The park, a unique area of rich bio-diversity lies in the Himalayan foothills and is bordered on the east by Western Bhutan and the forests of Sikkim

     Neora Valley, one of the least tracts of virgin wilderness in the country sustains a unique eco-system where tropical, sub-tropical, sub-temperate, and temperate vegetative system still harbours a wealth of flora and fauna. The forests consists of mixed species like rhododendron, bamboo, oak, ferns, sal etc. The Valley also has numerous species of orchids.

      The fauna consist of such endangered species as the clouded leopard, red-panda, and musk deer. Other species are leopard, five species of civet, black bear, sloth bear, golden gat, wild boar, leopard cat, goral, serow, barking deer, sambar, Himalayan flying squirrel and thar. The park rich in bird life houses the bearded vulture, Himalayan griffon, red legged falcon, pigeons, doves, great pied hornbill and a large number of migratory birds like whistling thrush etc. King cobra, common cobra krait, green pit viper, blind snake and lizards are also found. Many colourful insects such as butterflies, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, bugs cicadas are added attraction of the valley. 

      The main entry point to the park is Lava (7016 ft), a small village adjacent to the park. There is a nature interpretation centre here. The other entry point is Samsing (3000 ft). There is no motorable road inside the park. Visitors should take an entry permit from the park authorities in Lava or Samsing

  • Singhalila National Park

Singhalila National Park located at a very high altitude of more than 7000ft from sea level (between 2400 m to 3650m ) is the highest National Park in West Bengal. It is situated in the extreme north western boundary of Darjeeling District and extends on an area of 78.60sq.km. 

       The vegetation of these virgin forests mainly alpine, changes with the range in altitude. The main tree species found are the Rhododendron, Magnolia, Oak, Hemlock, Silver Fir, Juniper, Mailing Bamboo, Buk, Kawla, Bhujpatra etc. Other flora include primulas, aconitums, gentians, arisaemas and orchids adorning the forest clearings. The fauna found in the park are leopard, serow, pangolin, elephant, chinkara takin, red panda, barking deer etc. The park has a variety of birds such as pigeons, doves, sibia, minivet, magpie, cuckoo, hornbills, Kaleej pheasants and a large number of migratory birds.

   Treks: The park is famous for its treks with spectacular views of Himalayan peaks through a mist of pristine forests and mountain flowers. Maneybhanjang ( 2134m) at a distance of one and a half hours by road from Darjeeling is the starting point to one of the popular trekking routes in the eastern Himalayas, via Tumling (2900m) or Tonglu (3050m) - Gairibans(1900m) - Sandakphu ( 3636m)(35Km) - Phalut (3605m) - Rimbik (2286m) and back to Manebhanjyang. The park area is enclosed within this trek route beyond Tonglu or Tumling. The trekkers can halt at Meghma/ Tonglu,  Gairibans, Sandakphu and Phalut for the nights. 

       Maneybhanjyang to Mekhma (2600m) takes 4 hours, then to Tonglu or Tumling and from there to Gairibans through dense forests and wild flowers. This trek is a paradise for wild flower lovers particularly in March-April when rhododentrons bloom in white, scarlet, pink and yellow and large white and pink flowers of the magnolias, orchids along with beautiful birds adorn the way. But be wary of the leeches which infest the wet ravines. From Gairibans it is a steep four hour climb to Sandakphu. Halfway is the settlement of Kala- Pokhri at 2750m. The arduous trek through treacherous routes is worth the breathtaking view of the majestic Kanchenjunga the third highest peak in the world, from Sandakphu. Sandakphu is known as the mountain of poisonous plants cause of the cobra lillies seen here. The one day trek from Sandakphu- Phalut about 23km is the best of all the treks. Phalut lies on the borders of West Bengal, Sikkim and the eastern border of Nepal. The best for this trek along the Singalila ridge which passes through desolate hills covered with patches of forest is October and November. At Phalut, one can have real close look at the Kanchedzonga and experience the spectacle of circular rainbows. From Phalut the way down to Sirikhola on the banks of river Sirikhola, one can see meadows clustered with blue iris, orchids and a further 6km leads to Rimbik, a small village which connects Maneybhanjang and Darjeeling (51km)by road. From Sandakphu one can skip the trek to Phalut and come straight down to Sirikhola through a steep descend via Gurdum (2300m

  • Sundarbans National Park

Established in 1978 in twenty four Paraganas district, Sunderbans Tiger reserve is spread over an area of  2608 sq. kms. Sixty percent of the demarcated area of the Sunderbans sprawling actually over 9630sq.km, is in Bangladesh. The national park with a core area of 1330sq.km, has been designated as a World Heritage Site in 1985 and is a part of the Project Tiger. The Sunderbans has three wildlife sanctuaries at Sajnekhali, Lothian Island and Haliday Island.

        The park has estuarine mangrove eco-system as it is situated in the deltaic estuaries of the Ganga and Brahmaputra. The entire inter tidal zone has been designated as Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere program. This littoral forest supports a diversity of trees and shrubs adopted to conditions and inundation by high tides. Straddling the rivers Hooghly in the west and Teulia in the east the park has many small rivers, forested islands besides the vast stretch of mangrove swamps. 

        Sunderbans is home to the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger. The park harbours the largest number of tigers among the tiger reserves of the country and is the only Mangrove tiger land in the world. The man eating tigers here are good swimmers and eat fish and crab. The other fauna are fishing cat, water monitor, wild boar, different species of deer, rhesus monkeys, large numbers of crocodiles and Gangetic dolphin(in the Raimgangal river) and a variety of other fish, olive Ridley sea turtles etc. Project tiger has also launched a programme to protect the Olive ridley sea turtles. Another interesting place to visit in the Sunderbans is the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary which has a variety of birds such as Brown winged kingfisher, Grey headed lapwing, Golden backed woodpecker, White swans, Swamp patridge, Pallas fish eagle etc. There is a crocodile pool and a mangrove Interpretation centre which houses specimens of snake, fish and other fauna with sound and light shows at Sajnekhali. Other places in the Sunderbans are Bhagatpur Crocodile Project which is a crocodile breeding farm ( access from Namkhana), Sagar Island, Jambudweep, Sudhanyakali watchtower, Buriidabri Tiger Project, Netidhopani Watchtower, Haliday Island.