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
Dhupjhora 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
For 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