Wild Wild Dooars...

#1 Nov 22nd, 2016, 17:40
Join Date:
Nov 2016
  • Somak Mitra is offline
Husband posted 80 km away from home which seems to be more distant because of appalling transport, working mother toiling hard in software ODC and nagging baby at home craving the cuddle of parents throughout the day…..breakout for some day makes a Quantum of Solace. Accordingly we thought for a good family time and Dooars was decided as destination.

Our journey kicked off from Sealdah at 23:15 on 29.10.2016. Padatik Express usually draws lesser crowd after the sweep of Darjeeling Mail and reservation is comparatively easy. Next morning, we were at New Jalpaiguri at 09:30. Our first destination was Lataguri, so we decided to book a cab from Prepaid Taxi Booth. Meanwhile, many people were swarming around us with many offers but we stuck to the booth. A Maruti Alto was arranged for Rs. 1500 and amidst lush green valley and tea gardens; we reached Lataguri (1.5 hrs journey) to board at Tuskers Den resort which had been booked online. The resort can surely boast of their excellent cuisine. Another advantage of the place means its location just opposite the Gorumara National Park (GNP) Ticket Counter. We have to rush for the Jungle Safari as ticket for the last trip for the day was open. Only GNP authorized cars i.e. Maruti Gypsy are allowed inside the park. We saw a list of watchtowers with their respective tariffs. After seeing the trend, we decided to visit Jatraprosad watch tower. It cost us around Rs. 1700 including our entry, fare of the Gypsy, Vehicle Entry Pass etc. We started at 15:00 and entered GNP within half an hour. On our way, we saw mainly peacocks and groaning sound of Gypsy engine kept the other jungle habitats away.

Jatraprosad offers a panoramic view of River Murti with two salt pits nearby. As we reached, a rhino was spotted grazing in the open grassland. A herd of Spotted Deer and Bison was also there at some distance. We felt overjoyed because we thought that wild animals will keep away from the shouting crowd. On return, we saw the resting place of tamed elephants. Real thrill was waiting for us on the highway where we came across six wild elephants including a cute little one crossing the road. Our endeavor at GNP ended with Tribal Dance at Hornbill Nest, Bichabanga, a FRH run by WBSFDA. GNP also offers Elephant Safari but that is exclusive for the residents of Gorumara Eco Village Kalipur, Gorumara Elephant Camp Dhupjhora and Gorumara Rhino Camp Ramsai. Online booking is not available and reservation has to be done beforehand from Forest Division. One should try to avail that for greater thrill and scenic beauty.

Next day, we proceeded to Madarihat. Our WagonR took Rs. 1600 for the journey. We had our booking at Holong Eco Village Resort, a private one. There, we came to know about the complexity of much-coveted Elephant safari. After fulfilling the requirement of Holong Forest Bungalow & Jaldapara Tourist Lodge (WBTDC), rest tickets are available for commoners. After standing in the queue for 3 hours at Ticket Counter at Jaldapara Tourist Lodge, I managed the first trip ticket for the next morning (Rs. 2450 for three persons). Meanwhile, other two of us proceeded to see South Khayerbari Tiger Rescue Centre. Next morning, we were ready within 05:00 and set out for Holong Forest Bungalow (starting point of Elephant Ride). Here comes another pitfall of our program. Staying in Holong Forest Bungalow is an exceptional experience which no other place in Jaldapara can offer. It is like staying in a watchtower where you can literally watch the wild lives from the window reclining on your bed. Online booking is there but one has to be ready for the 120 day ARP and book on the day of opening. The elephant ride took almost an hour; first in the jungle followed by open grassland. We saw rhino, bison, sambar deer and peacock. Moreover, the ride itself is an experience.

After having our lunch, we proceeded for Jayanti through Buxa Tiger Reserve (Tata Sumo took Rs. 1600). Blimey, more pitfalls in planning. We could not afford the main attractions of Jayanti-Buxa i.e. Mahakal Mandir, Buxa Fort, Pukri Lake, Raimatang as the baby and my father got a bit tired. Can’t complain because long car drives robbed their siesta since a couple of days. Moreover, these destinations require moderate trekking which was not possible for us. However, we spent the evening strolling in the riverbeds of Jayanti. WBTDC had set up a Rest House at Jayanti but it lacks canteen facility. So we had to arrange our food from outside.

Next day, we moved out from Buxa and proceeded to Murti. On the way, we visited Sikiajhora, a creek within the territory of Buxa Wildlife Division. We enjoyed boating over there.

We boarded at WBTDC Murti Tourist Lodge. Food is a bit costly here but otherwise the place is nice. We spent the evening on the bank of Murti River where the serene has been molested by beer cans, cigarette packet and everything that can create nuisance. We hired a Tata Sumo for Rs. 3000 for our sightseeing to Jhalong, Bindu, Jaldhaka, Samsing, Suntaleykhola.

Next day, we started at 10:00 hrs through the dense forest of Chapramari Tiger Reserve towards Bindu. We took some refreshment at Gairbas and River Jaldhaka with its rocky riverbed remained our company for the next three hours. We crossed Jhalong, Jaldhaka and finally reached Bindu to see the famous barrage on River Jaldhaka.
On the way back, we visited Samsing Tea Garden, Suntaleykhola, Rocky Island. We were back to our hotel at 18:00 hrs.

Next day, we proceeded to NJP to board Sealdah-bound Padatik Express. It became somewhat hectic for poor planning, but indeed was a sweet memory.
#2 Nov 22nd, 2016, 19:38
Join Date:
Dec 2008
In the land of awesomeness
  • aarosh is offline
Please make your album public as the images are not seen in the post.
#3 Nov 23rd, 2016, 10:26
Join Date:
May 2013
  • Bias_Traveller is offline
I also can not see your snaps.

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