Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary: Of Myriad Merriments


The huge expanse of grasslands with scraps of riverine forests— Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary— is nestled at the Eastern Himalayan foothill on the banks of River Torsa in West Bengal, India. There is a conflict of opinion as to in which year it was declared a wildlife sanctuary — 1941 or 1943. However, it had not been long since its status had been updated to that of a National Park– 2012. Covering a vast expanse of an area spanning more than 216 square kilometers, Jaldapara is home to the much famed Asiatic one horned rhino. Other notable animals out there are elephants, rhinos, deer and Indian Bison (Gaurs) along with several birds.

Drained by the famous rivers like Malangi, Torsa, Kalijhora and Chirakhawa, the sanctuary is well-known for its flora and fauna besides its wildlife.

Key Attractions

Khairbari: The South Khairbari Leopard Rescue Center makes for one of the key attractions of Khairbari. In the year 2005, nineteen rescued tigers were brought here when tigers were banned from performing in the circuses.

Chilapata: Touted as one of the tourist favorites, Chilapata is situated along the eastern side of River Torsa. You can head for a comprehensive tour here after securing permission from the forest department. They will provide an approved guide as well. Do not miss out on the archeological spectacle— ruins of Nal King’s fort. Established in the 5th century AD (Gupta Period), this edifice takes us back to the much revered Golden Age.

Totopara: Home to the endangered ethnic community, the Totos, this place is a must check-out if you are interested in ethnic tourism. Get the rarest of opportunities to observe the life experience of the Totos closely.


The forest cover is primarily featuring tall savannah, has one of the highest rhino population in the country— second only to the National Park in Assam. Other animals in the list are:

  • Tigers
  • Barking Deer
  • Elephants
  • Large civet
  • Porcupine
  • Hispid Hare
  • Wild Pig
  • Hog deer
  • Common Otter
  • Sambhar
  • Rock Python
  • Small civet
  • Bisons
  • Spotted Deer
  • Giant squirrel

The various species of birds to be found here include Pallas’s fishing eagle, peafowl, Pied Harrier, Woodpeckers, Green Pigeons, Orioles, Cormorant, Egret, White Breasted Waterhen, Parakeets, crested eagle, pied hornbill and jungle fowl among others.

Elephant Safari

You can rely on the elephant safari in Dooars to go along a tour spotting wild animals in the forest. In this regard, it must be mentioned that those staying at the Hollong Tourist Lodge enjoy a special benefit here. The forest department has been conducting these safaris from the Hollong Tourist Lodge since quite a long time and those staying up here are given priority when it comes to experiencing a safari. Those staying in Jaldapara Tourist Lodge and those staying in Barodabari Malangi Lodge obtain the second and third preferences respectively. 4×4 safaris, in fact, are the only way to traverse the forest (or get inside it).


The Hollong Tourist Lodge remains an impeccable accommodation choice simply because of its position— it is situated right inside the dense forest in due proximity to a salt pit. Tourists can secure direct views of the wild animals like gaurs, elephants, Sambars and Chitals etc as forest officials fill the pit up with salt everyday in a bid to attract these animals.

Getting there

Your Travel agent in Kolkata should be well aware of the fact that Jaldapara is well connected by roads and can be traversed via Bhutan Government buses, North Bengal State Transport Corporation buses available from Siliguri, West Bengal.

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