The Chapramari wilderness camp on the fringes of Chapramari wildlife sanctuary in Panjhora is a unique place to stay during the sojourn for wildlife enthusiasts. Camping in the traditional cottages and savoring the view of the vast sanctuary is a dreamy stuff. The camp is maintained by West Bengal Government Forest Department and it is indeed the best option for visitors to stay. It enjoys a fantastic location within the forest. When you drive to reach the camp which is only a kilometer off the NH-31 highway you might spot wild animals enroute because the road runs through the middle of the forest cutting it into halves. Moreover, its location beside the Murti River offers various interesting sights for the visitor.
Accomodation in Chapramari wilderness camp
Facilities inside the camp are basic with few furniture and traditionally decorated interior. This camp is basically a part of eco-tourism initiative which is directed towards developing the underdeveloped regions maintaining the ecological balance of the environment. The basic amenities may remind you of the lifestyle of our ancestors.
There are 2 types of cottages available for visitors which require advance booking from the office of forest department. The rent for 2 bedroom cottage is 2500 INR and 3 bedroom cottage is 3000 INR including food and a safari to the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. The food is prepared with local agricultural produce and fish/chicken. You will be served with tea also which is of high quality due to the presence of sprawling tea gardens in the region producing top class tea. In the evening you can enjoy the tribal dance near the camp.
Along with these, if you want to stay at lower price, you can visit nearby Sumsing or Suntalekhola for night stay. Only 30 min drive from Chalsa crossing.
Attractions in Chapramari wilderness camp
The most exciting part of living in the camp is the safari to Chapramari watchtower exploring the wildlife sanctuary in general. Since Chapramari is a part of Gorumara, it shares the variety in flora and fauna. Elephants, bisons, rhinos, deers, boars, leopards and various species of birds and reptiles can be spotted here. Green pigeons, parakeet, hornbill, snipe, wild fowl, kingfishers and parrots are abundant in the region. If you are lucky enough you may spot a tiger as well since this sanctuary also preserves a small number of Bengal tigers. The watchtower is the vantage point from where you will be able to view the vast stretch of deep forest and occasionally the animals also.
The forest is full of trees like Sal, kawla, Chilauni, Jarul and Lali. Hila and Jiti tea gardens are also visible from the watchtower.
How to reach Chapramari wilderness camp
If you are traveling by train, get down at New Jalpaiguri, or Mal station and hire a jeep/cab to reach Chapramari. Bagdogra is the nearest airport. However, tourists visiting Dooars prefer to drive through the NH-31 Highway to reach Chapramari enjoying the natural abundance throughout the road. From Khunia crossing you have to travel another 4 kilometers towards Jhalong to arrive at Chapramari. Accessing the camp from Siliguri is only 2 hours drive. Chapramari is only 10 kilometers from Chalsa and 35 kilometers from Gorumara National Park. The sanctuary and the camp remain closed from15th June through 15th September.
Photo Courtesy: tripadvisor.in; flickr/Mousam Samanta,somenath_photography, debanjan_das28, Alan Jha