Located at a distance of 52 kilometers from Jalpaiguri, 15 kilometers from Lataguri and 10 kilometers from Chalsa, Gorumara National Park can be found on the floodplains of Rivers Murti and Jaldhaka in the Terai Region of the Himalayan foothills. The main highlight of Gorumara National Park is the overwhelming population of Indian rhinos. It is one of the best protected and well maintained parks according to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The park covers an area of 80 square kilometers and the best time to visit the park is during the month of November through February when the weather is pleasant.
How to reach Gorumara National Park
Gorumara is located at a convenient position which can be reached by air, through rails and roads. Gorumara can be reached from Bagdogra within 2 hours through a winding road flanked by tea gardens. Alternatively one can reach the park by hiring a jeep or car from New Malbazar railway station or Maynaguri railway station. The car will take the National Highway 31 to Lataguri, the entrance to the park. For adventurous tourists you can take the path less trodden through Gajaldoba barrage over Teesta to reach Lataguri on the park outskirts.
Accommodation in Gorumara National Park
There are plenty of accommodation options around Gorumara National Park suiting the pocket of the travelers. There are budget accommodation facilities for tourists traveling on a stringent budget and on the other hand 3-4 star hotels and resorts display grand hospitality to the ones traveling extravagantly. The largest concentration of big budget resorts can be found in Lataguri. Both government and private resorts are available. Aranya Jungle Resort and Banai, WBFDC forest lodge near Murti River are the most popular ones. Some of the others include Aranya Resort – Lataguri, Riverwood forest retreat – Dhupjhora, Kakur Bari Resort – Dhupjhora, Sinclairs Retreast, Murti Cottages, Kalipur Eco Village and Dhupjhora Elephant Camps.
Attractions in Gorumara National Park
The diversity in the national park in terms of flora and fauna is astounding. It is home to 193 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, 27 species of fish and 7 kinds of turtles. All these different kinds of animals inhabit the park full of sal, teak, Bombax, grassland vegetation and Shirish trees. Different types of tropical orchids can also be found at the park. Gorumara is also famous for the safaris conducted for tourists. The entry fee at Gorumara is 40 INR. To see the fauna from close quarters you can opt for safaris which you have to book from the forest department.
Jataprasad is a famous watchtower named after the legendary female elephant Jataprasad located on the northern side of the park. There is also the Rhino Point close by. Methla Watchtower is in Kalipur eco village where a unique bullock cart driven safari is available. The others include Chukchuki Watchtower, Chandrachur Watchtower and Chapramari Watchtower. Rhinos, elephants, bisons, leopards and many other animals can be spotted from the watchtowers. Some of the other tourist attractions nearby include Jhalong, Bindu, Caron, Diana, Bhutan, Paren, Kalimpong Hills, and Jaldhaka.
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Matthias Rosenkranz, Abhisek Bhattacharya