The lesser seen Paren through a birder's eye (North Bengal)

#1 Dec 13th, 2012, 12:19
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  • umahatha is offline
#1
While searching for a spot away from the crowds and noises - got the name of Paren. It's name always appears along with Jaldhaka/Jhallong/Bindu sight seeing in dooars. But I planned to stay there for full two days. And taken the oath that will get into any motor vehicles except going there and coming back.

Darjeeling Mail took us (Me and my better half) to Njp at around 8:45 am and we boarded into a Maruti WagonR. The toute went via Sevoke-Odlabari-Malbazar-Khunia-Rongo-Gairibas. After crossing the Rubber plantation areas at Rongo-Gairibas and Jaldhaka, the road took left at the sign board reading 'Nature resorts - WBFDC 3 KM'. The horrible condition of this 3 Km road should better kept untold. Every now and then we were cursing the road conditions but then suddenly we found ourselves entering the WFBDC arena surrouned by lush green hills and 4 beautiful cottages! Truly speaking - this place got my heart at first sight..

Birds were calling all around the place and it clear to us that the place was neatly maintained!

We had cottage III waiting for us. The cottage with attached bath (good too) was quite spacious for two people and clean as well.

The only thing that I can complain about was my luck with the bad weather. The sky was morbid and awfully dirty white! I knew birding and photography was going to be challenging.

(to be contd.)
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#2 Dec 13th, 2012, 13:30
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#2
While getting settled in our cottage I found the lovely notes of the singing White-capped Water Redstart is calling me! I rushed with my camera and there she was - just atop out cottage! I just love this bird - the songbird in awesome costume!

After clicking numerous poses of the beauty - we decided to take a walk to explore the area. I was loving to roam around the place without any un-natural noises. All that was there to listen was the giggling of the small stream flowing beside the valley and chirps of the birds!!

The walk offered me a lot of birds as Spotted Forktail, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Plumbeous Water-Redstart, Blue-throated Barbet, Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike and many more!

After a long spanned but short walk - we were feeling hungry and the lunch was ready. I should say that the cooks of all the WBFDC resorts that I have visited till date - are simply great! They really cook the normal foods so well - that you don't have think about it. Just order and enjoy.

One important thing to mention - you will not find any electricity for the whole day - but from evening onwards it will be there for you. Actually this place has it's own small source of Hydel electricity to run with. So they had put some rationing process I guess.

It's December 8 and the night was cold. It was raining from the evening. Not heavy but drizzling. The evening went by in the chairs kept at the balcony with nicely prepared onion pakora and smoking coffee! We were simply happy!

The next began with a bit of sunrays I should say... Last night's rain made it possible i think. And me and my camera - both were happy with the sightings! Got a few lovely and colorful butterflies as well..

Just before the lunch - we had company. Two families were there and soon we were in the same tune. They also came in search of a tranquil place and birds! And eventually we were conncted to IndiaMike as well! Mr. Subrata Sanyal and family. The rest of the day turned out to be more gloomy than the previous day even. But still we tried birding with a whole lot of energy and enthusiasm.

And at the end of the day we could list names like - Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, White-tailed Nuthatch, Black-chinned Yuhina and Silver-eared Mesia etc.!

The second night was colder than the first. But the evening spent exceptionally nice with out fellow newly met birders and chicken pakora-coffee! The combination worked out just great I should say!

The next day was the day when we had to bid adieu to Paren. But before that we had a plan to visit to the Dhouley view point. A 3-4 km easy walk through the forest. The road and the destination both were perfect - only if there was a bit more light! The sun was looking like a full-moon!!

But while returning back to our cottages - Paren gifted us with one of the most colorful birds I have ever seen - The Scarlet Minivets! Spotting credit should go to Mr. Subrata Sanyal. I was overwhelmed and more than a happy man with this catch!!

We had our car ready and a lot packing to do. We knew we have to come back once more to Paren. Just to experience the sunny side of her!!

Good bye and thanks if you kept reading my first travelogue till the end!!!

Cheers!!

Just sharing the sighting with you all -

1. White-capped Water Redstart
2. Spotted Forktail
3. Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker
4. Plumbeous Water-Redstart
5. Blue-throated Barbet
6. White-crested Laughing thrush
7. Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike
8. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
9. White-tailed Nuthatch
10. Slaty-backed Forktail
11. Black-chinned Yuhina
12. Silver-eared Mesia
13. Yellow-bellied Fantail
14. Hill Myna
15. White throated Fantail
16. Scarlet Minivet
17. Red-vented Bulbul
18. Grey Wagtail
19. Grey-backed Shrike
20. Crested Serpent Eagle
21. Black Drongo
22. Bronzed Drongo
21. Hume's leaf-warbler (most probably)
22. Streaked Spiderhunter
23. Blue whistling thrush (not photographed)
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#3 Dec 13th, 2012, 13:33
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#3
Hi umahatha,

Nice write up and photos !!!!!

Great one for Paren thread.

'll like to see more of those beautiful birds
aamar payer tolai sorshe...(I have wheels under my feet)
#4 Dec 13th, 2012, 13:40
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Yes this is one place about which people still know less. When I visited Paren about 2yrs back with my family I also liked the place on the first sight. We took all the 4 cottages. So it was us only there. It's peaceful environment & lush green forest behind the cottage were mesmerising to me. I always like this kind of a place for vacations.
When did you visit? There was a boy named Sukhomoy who was like the care taker of this place...and he had his brothers working in the kitchen. At night they arranged for a fire outside these cottages when we were there.
#5 Dec 13th, 2012, 14:50
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duronto Jajabar View Post Hi umahatha,

Nice write up and photos !!!!!

Great one for Paren thread.

'll like to see more of those beautiful birds
Thanks Duronto Jajabar!
This was my first write up in this Group and you are the first to appreciate! so thanks again! I am glad you liked it!
Will definitely post few more photos..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saptarshi Majumdar View Post Yes this is one place about which people still know less. When I visited Paren about 2yrs back with my family I also liked the place on the first sight. We took all the 4 cottages. So it was us only there. It's peaceful environment & lush green forest behind the cottage were mesmerising to me. I always like this kind of a place for vacations.
When did you visit? There was a boy named Sukhomoy who was like the care taker of this place...and he had his brothers working in the kitchen. At night they arranged for a fire outside these cottages when we were there.
Yes.. anybody loving tranquility and birds will fall in love with this place! And yes they still work there... But the evening rains didn't allow us to think about camp fire..
I stayed there 8th & 9th December 2012.
#6 Dec 13th, 2012, 14:57
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by umahatha View Post Yes.. anybody loving tranquility and birds will fall in love with this place! And yes they still work there... But the evening rains didn't allow us to think about camp fire..
I stayed there 8th & 9th December 2012.
Awww...it's ok...you could not enjoy the campfire but you enjoyed a different weather altogether. Look at this positive side.
#7 Dec 13th, 2012, 16:19
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saptarshi Majumdar View Post Awww...it's ok...you could not enjoy the campfire but you enjoyed a different weather altogether. Look at this positive side.
So true! The misty weather was altogether too great once you put your camera apart!
#8 Dec 14th, 2012, 16:11
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#8

A few more snaps to cherish

As promised, here are a few more shots of the birds of Paren
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#9 Dec 15th, 2012, 21:58
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#9
Welcome to Indiamike Uttam!!

Fabulous start indeed with yours lens & mind work. I'm sharing few more details from an earlier trip to this rarely visited place.

One can reach New Mal Junction via NJP by train, it takes 70-75 minutes. Just outside station share auto takes you to Mal Bazar bus stand. Take any bus towards Chalsa More. At this four point crossing there is a share zeep/taxi stand where at each 30 mins ( or even quicker) you get a share car towards Paren/Jaldhaka. Cost is Rs 45. The car takes the highway through 12km till you reach the Jaldhaka Project road (left turn , while heading east ).From there its' 24km to Project site. Beyond Sipchu check post( Chalsa Range )the road condition deterioates. This road is single lane road. It crosses a manned level crossing, the infamous rail line nowadays , causing numerous collision incidence to wildlife.

Paren Nature Resort is maintained by W.B.F.D.C and the booking can be made from their Kolkata office in Subodh Mullick Sq.The status of availability of cottage room can be checked online through : http://www.wbfdc.com/ecotourism.asp. Currently 4 cottages ( double -bedded) are present with a separate dining cum kitchen in the compound. Another private resort has recently came up near local bazar on Paren -Todey road ( 30ft uphill), after crossing the BSNL BTS.

Interesting to note that the adjacent village name is : "Compound". Nature resort is on a kachcha road 1.5km off the main Paren- Todey Road.This road was bifurcated from Jhalong -Bindu Road 1.5 km earlier.

Note: Only BSNL signal is available in Paren Resort/ Compound area. Faint Vodafone or other signals sometimes available beyond 3/4 km radius.
-Paglaghora
Paren Asola Gue Leh Ajmer Gurudongmar Hogennakkal Orchha Raiganj Agartala

Phadamchen AritarTop Gnathang Lunghtu Akpa Gramphoo Hee Osiyan Rampur Attargo
#10 Dec 15th, 2012, 22:11
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#10
Sharing some snaps from our old trip:

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The Paren Nature Resort, WBFDC

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An inside view of cottage room. Coincidentally this was Cottage III, same where Uttam stayed

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Neatly maintained attached toilet/bath
#11 Dec 15th, 2012, 22:23
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#11
Few More snaps:

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The project road goes amidst Chalsa range

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The rubber plantaion starts here

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Pawan Rai,localite who cooks and takes care of everything.For contact PM me.

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The omni owned by, Dhankumar ( a localite of compound)rents the car for sightseeing or to drop at Mal bazar.

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Jaldhaka river is the international boundary between Bhutan ( the opposite bank) & India.
#12 Dec 17th, 2012, 14:02
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#12
Excellent .... all of you ... Its really a treat for birding-lovers.
#13 Dec 17th, 2012, 16:51
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#13
Paglaghora, thanks a lot for adding up the precious info and the beautiful pics! Now this peace of work on Paren looks like complete (well almost) !
#14 Dec 17th, 2012, 17:37
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#14
mod note: moved to wildlife forum.
#15 Dec 17th, 2012, 17:43
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#15
Vaibhav, this sort of places are common in terms of Wild life or off-the-beaten trails ! I guess 50 : 50
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