A Visit to Gorumara National Park, Eastern India

Celebrating Wild Life Day: A Visit to Gorumara National Park, Eastern India 

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”Robert Louis Stevenson.

These lines are very true. I keep visiting the forests often. I feel charged and energised by the little break from the daily mundane. Gorumara National Park in the Dooars region of Bengal in India is one such place where I keep returning and always find something new. This forest is accessible from Chalsa and/or Lataguri; the small towns situated at the lush Himalayan foothill in Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal, India.

Lataguri has a Nature Interpretation Centre; from where tickets, entry permits and other enquiries regarding the forest safaris of Gorumara National Park can be obtained. Even an Animal Transit Centre is here for the treatment of rescued animals.

Nature’s abundance is felt here at the Gorumara National Park. Let us see have a look at the things to do on visiting the National Park.

Safaris at Gorumara National Park

Gorumara National Park is spread over an area of 80 square kilometres; with Rivers Murti, Jaldhaka and Raidak flowing through, at the foothills of the Himalayas. This dense and moist deciduous forest with riverine grasslands is an enticing place to visit. Gorumara National Park is popular for its variety of flora and fauna. A guided jeep safari takes tourists to the core area. One can often spot elephants, one-horse Indian rhinos, wild boars, deer, snakes, peacocks and giant squirrels. Two safaris take place; one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The WatchTowers

The watchtowers are pivotal to the safaris. Climb them and spend some time up there silently and patiently. The watchtowers are high and provide 360 degrees views. The watchtowers are strategically made near the river banks and salt licks are placed near the watchtowers. From the watchtowers, sighting the wild animals is definite as they come to drink water from the river. They are often seen crossing the river. They lick minerals and the salt from the salt licks. The dense forest, the flowing river, wildlife on its bank and near the salt licks and the silhouette of the Himalayan Mountains weave unknown magic.

The significant watch towers in the Gorumara National Park are Jatra Proshad, Medla, Chukchuki and Chandrachur.

Medla Watch Tower

The safari to the Medla Watch Tower is absolutely unique and is a complete package. The Watch Tower is near Kalipur Eco Village. It is 1 kilometre from the entry point at the Eastern Gate of the Gorumara National Park. We walked through the woods and climbed the Medla Watch Tower. And we were delighted to see many animals. We saw elephants crossing the river, gaurs (Indian bison), wild boars, rhinos, peacocks dancing in the field and numerous birds including an eagle and a hornbill.

Kalipur Eco Centre

By the time we reached the Kalipur Eco Centre, it was dusk. There we watched an amazing tribal dance. In the end, we danced with them. One cannot keep calm during a tribal dance. Such is the power and rhythm of their music. The promotion of rural folk culture and their handicrafts is significant. They coexist with the wild on a daily basis.

Morning Safaris

The morning safaris start at 5 am. The earlier you reach, the better it is. The drive through the mist at dawn feels like some good dream. The forest is mysterious. It allures. It has stories to tell. During the safari, one has to be alert and quiet. There could be an animal in front of you anytime. The animals always keep a watch. They are often camouflaged or are hidden behind large trees. Perfumes and bright coloured clothing should be avoided. Using flash during photography is absolutely prohibited.

Jatra Proshad Watch Tower

Jatra Proshad is a remarkable watchtower. Last month when I stood at the tower speechless and watched the foggy sunrise; I thought to myself, ‘Does heaven look any better?’ Structurally too, it is different from the rest of the watchtowers. It is a wide platform on the hilltop. The wide plains can be seen from the top.

Chukchuki Watch Tower

Chukchuki Watch Tower is a bird lovers’ paradise. It is called the Birding Point of Gorumara National Park. Well, even if I conclude the safari part, things to do near Gorumara National Park doesn’t end.

Visit the Dhupjhora Elephant Camp

Even if you are not lodging at the Dhupjhora Elephant Camp or Gachbari, do not skip visiting the place. The Elephant Camp is essentially the elephant stable of the Gorumara National Park. It is home to several rescued elephants who are now assisting the forest department for patrolling. Ecotourism has been developed in this area. Few rustic cottages are available and one of them is a treehouse. The reason for the place being named Gachbari meaning ‘tree house’. We saw many elephants. This place amidst dense forest and tea gardens is absolutely enchanting.

Watch the Sunset at Murti

Drive to the tranquil banks of River Murti, lying in between Gorumara and Chapramari. Watching the sunset; while sitting calmly by the river is relaxing for both the body and the soul. Dip your feet in the cool river water. It is therapeutic. Then enjoy a thrilling drive through the road which goes through the Nagrakata forest. The drive will be etched in your mind. Any moment you may encounter elephants crossing the highway. Definitely, you have to drive carefully.

Visit the Tea Gardens of Chalsa

The lush tea gardens with the Himalayan hills at the backdrop is bound to attract you. Go inside the tea gardens and walk through the bushes. You will be rejuvenated. Tea is a proven detox anyway. It is better to take a guide with you and/or enter when people are working in the gardens. Leopards often reside amidst the low bushes.

Safari at Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary with the Himalayas at the backdrop is just 20 kilometres from Gorumara National Park. It is a spectacular place to visit. Tourists can often spot elephants, gaur, wild boar and leopards during a jeep safari through the deep forest.

Gorumara National Park is one place where you can experience the thrill of the wild; the tranquillity of the Himalayan foothills; the serenity of rivers and streams and the composure of lush tea gardens.

Author

Dipannita

A versatile writer and travel freak, discovering the world in her own casual way. Loves to immerse into the core of Mother Nature and extract her inherent beauty.

24 thoughts on “A Visit to Gorumara National Park, Eastern India

  • March 5, 2021 at 10:34 am
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    Putting up at Jungle Queen in Gorumara Forest has been a great experience 😊😃❤

    Reply
  • March 5, 2021 at 2:05 pm
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    Yes I would recommend staying at ‘Jungle Queen’ because it is amidst the tea gardens bordering Gorumara National Park. If one is lucky, she will get to see elephants there itself. I can’t forget my morning walk through the tea gardens. Peacocks are all around the place. If one is interested she can contact Grasshopper Holidays (9804203434)

    Reply
  • March 6, 2021 at 11:18 am
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    Amazing location for sure. captured beautifully. no better way to celebrate wild life day!

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  • March 6, 2021 at 12:41 pm
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    Great pics! I enjoyed a lot reading your article.

    Reply
  • March 6, 2021 at 6:59 pm
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    Gorumara National Park sounds like a wonderful place to visit someday with the family. I like how there is many areas to explore as well.

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  • March 6, 2021 at 7:39 pm
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    You captured amazing photos, it was a lovely tour being able to see all these creatures and plants.

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  • March 6, 2021 at 11:39 pm
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    India, here I come. I love elephants. I would love to visit.

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    • March 9, 2021 at 12:29 pm
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      You are welcome to India. The Southern states and North Eastern foothills are elephant’s den in India.

      Reply
  • March 7, 2021 at 2:37 am
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    A few years back, my parents visited this Gorumara National Park and they absolutely loved that place! I hope to visit this national park someday soon 🙂

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  • March 7, 2021 at 2:39 am
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    Wow, what an amazing experience! And I love the photos you took. I’ve always wanted to experience a Safari, I think that will have to move up on my bucket list, lol. Thanks for sharing this incredible adventure!

    Reply
  • March 7, 2021 at 10:51 am
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    I didn’t realize there were so many things to do in India. It’s so fascinating.

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  • March 7, 2021 at 11:44 pm
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    People are starting to get out and travel a bit more now. It makes me wonder if we’ll have to have a Covid shot to travel in the near future? I’m glad you had a nice time at the national park!

    Reply
  • March 8, 2021 at 12:43 am
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    such a great place safari to visit.I love animals.Nice images!

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  • March 8, 2021 at 3:53 am
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    Elephants and tea gardens… two of my favorite things. Before I got married I began dreaming of elephants.

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  • March 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm
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    The place is gorgeous!!! I can’t wait to explore india again, can’t wait!!

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  • March 8, 2021 at 10:12 pm
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    I love a safari and thanks a lot for sharing this experience with us! I would love to be there and interact with such sweet elephants! – Knycx Journeying

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  • March 10, 2021 at 10:08 am
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    I have never been to Gorumara national park but would love to explore it. It seems like a must visit place. I prefer watching wild animals in their natural habitat.

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  • March 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm
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    Gorumara National Park seems like a good place to visit. This is the first time I heard about it. Putting it in my travel bucket list now!

    Reply
  • Pingback: Gorumara National Park On National Forest Martyrs Day | Monkatforty

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