Visit Gorumara National Park: Famous For The One Horned Rhino (2021)
Gorumura is one of the five national parks of West Bengal. Located at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, in the Terrai region of Bengal, Gorumara National Park is annually visited by tourists across the globe. This site has been under conservation since 1895. At that time, it was only a forest reserve. It was not until 1949 that it got the accreditation of a wildlife sanctuary. Later in 1994, Gorumara Wildlife Reserve finally became a National Park. Mainly famous for being the home to the one-horned rhino, this forest cover is home to many different endangered animals and birds. Image Source
Gorumara National Park is genuinely the pride of Bengal. Due to the sheer diligence of the forest department of West Bengal, this site got the award of the best-protected area in India in 2009. Gorumara forest has been praised for helping one-horned rhinos maintain their population and provide a safe habitat for them. Located along National Highway 717, this site is relatively easy to find. Even a few years ago, tourists could enter its premises through personal vehicles, but now things have changed. Now, visiting Gorumara National Park would require you to produce permission slips and avail of the permitted government Gypsy vans to explore its premises.
As this forest is surrounded by the Murti and Jaldhaka rivers’ majestic beauty, the scenic view surrounding it is genuinely enthralling. With a history of more than 100 years, this site is one of India’s most important forest reserves. If you want to explore the rich wildlife coverage and alluring beauty of Gorumara Forest, then you are at the right place. In this blog, we will provide you with all the vital information regarding the forest. Keep on reading to get a thorough idea about the National Park.
What Are the Types of Flora and Fauna Found in Gorumara National Park?
With a population of over 50 categories of mammals, 20 species of reptiles, and 300 species of birds, Gorumara National Park has undoubtedly one of India’s richest wildlife. Apart from one-horned rhinoceros, the Gorumara forest is also home to Asiatic elephants, sambar, chital deer, barking and hog deer, wild boar, sloth bear, and others. Even though the park is not officially home to tigers or wolves, local residents have claimed to spot them from time to time. While exploring the forest, you will notice squirrels, hares, and rodents running around. According to a survey, this park has 50 elephants, 60 leopards, 2000 bison, and 36 rhinos.
Gorumara National Park is also the habitat of many poisonous snakes, including Indian Python, Cobra, and others. If you visit the forest in the summer season, you might have to encounter some of this creepy crawlies.
Bird-watching is one of the most popular activities to do in the Gorumara forest as it is home to several different species of rare birds. Some of the most seen birds in this National Park include Peafowls, Woodpeckers, Pheasants, and others. You can see other birds in this forest include sunbird, Brahminy Duck, Scarlet Minivet, Spangled Drongo, Great Indian Hornbill, and others.
How Can One Reach Gorumara National Park?
To enter the forest of Gorumara, you will first visit Lataguri as Lataguri is the site where most of the Safaris towards the forest start. Moreover, all the permissions you will need to enter the forest are available in the forest ranger office in Lataguri. There are three different ways to reach Lataguri. We are including all of those modes in the following.
By Air: The nearest airport from Lataguri or Gorumara National Park is located in Siliguri. Bagdogra airport is the closest airport to the site. From there, either you will have to hire a car to go to Lataguri. As the distance between the two spots is only 66 km, it would not take you more than one and a half hours to reach there.
By Rail: The nearest railway station from Gorumara National Park is located in Mal Bazar. New Mal Junction is the closest railway station to the forest, and it is well-connected to different major cities of India, including Kolkata, Bardhaman, and others. You will get to the national park within half an hour as the forest’s distance from the station is only 29 km.
By Road: As Gorumara National Park is located alongside NH 717, reaching there via private vehicle is relatively easy. Along the route to the forest, you will pass other important tourist spots of Dooars, including Chalsa, Murti, and Jaldhaka. That is why arriving at the forest by road is a great idea. You will get to reach there quickly, but the vista that you will encounter while driving there is breathtakingly beautiful.
What Are the Important Things to Know Before Visiting Gorumara National Park?
There is some vital information regarding Gorumara National Park that you need to know before visiting there. They are provided here below:
The entire forest of Gorumara is divided into different sections where different watchtowers are located. While choosing your Jeep Safari, make sure you are being taken to the tower of your choice. Not every Safari will allow you to visit all the watchtowers.
There are separate tickets for each watchtower of Gorumara National Park. They are located in the core area of the forest. Each watchtower is dedicated to witnessing different animals. Buy tickets to these watchtowers according to your choice.
The five watchtowers that make this forest reserve unique are Jatraprasad watchtower (for seeing rhinos), Medla Watchtower (for visiting the panoramic view surrounding Gorumara), Chandrachuki Watchtower (for doing bird-watching without any hindrance), Chapramari Watchtower (for witnessing the rich wildlife of Gorumara amid its vast wilderness). These Watchtowers are closed every Thursday.
To book Jeep Safaris in Gorumara National Park, you will have to visit its local WBTDCL lodge. The ticket booking counter is located over there. It is pretty close to the Nature Interpretation Center in Lataguri.
From this year onwards, wbsfda.org is supposed to allow tourists to make online booking of Jeep Safaris in Gorumara National Park.
The entry timings of the park are different or different seasons. From March to September, the entry timings include 6 am to 7.30 am, 8.30 am to 10 am, 2 pm to 3.30 pm, and 4.30 pm to 6 pm. In the months October to February, the entry timings include 6.30 am to 8 am, 9 am to 10.30 am, 1 pm to 2.30 pm, and 3.30 pm to 5 pm.
The Jeep Safari cost depends on which watchtower you are planning on visiting. If you want to visit Chandrachur, Medla, or Rhino Watchtowers, you will have to pay INR 1050 for the vehicle. But in case you plan on going to Chukchuki and Chapramari watchtower, you will have to pay INR 780 and INR 1200, respectively.
Apart from the Jeep Safari fees, you will have to pay an additional vehicle fee of INR 400 and an entry fee of INR 120 to 160, respectively, to explore different Watchtowers of Gorumara National Park.
To avoid paying so many different fees, many people tend to rent the entire jeep for themselves and pay an overall INR 2400. If you have more than three family members, renting the whole jeep will be quite convenient for you.
Gorumara National Park is closed from June 16 to September 15 every year.
Best Time to Visit Gorumara National Park
Many tourists visit Gorumara National Park right after the monsoon season between October to early November. Although these months might offer you to enjoy the lush greenery of thick forestry, yet it is not the best time to visit the wildlife reserve. Due to the massive density of the forest due to the monsoon season, animal sighting gets hindered. Even Animals standing pretty close to you will not be visible due to the thick shrubbery. That is why December to February are the best months to visit this forest. During these months, you will get to explore the area in a comfortable climate and have more chance of witnessing the wild animals in their natural habitat. In the summer season, too, you might see the animals in the forest, but the hot and humid weather will undoubtedly put a damper on your expedition.
What Are the Best Places to Visit Near Gorumara National Park?
Gorumara National Park’s location allows tourists to explore some of the most beautiful places in West Bengal pretty easily. Some of the best places near the forest reserve are provided below.
- Samsing: Located at a half-an-hour drive from Gorumara forest, Samsing is a beautiful village located in the Northern part of West Bengal. Surrounded by the mesmerizingly beautiful tea gardens and enthralling mountains, this hamlet is an underrated tourist spot in the state. This town’s height is 3000 feet and is one of the most romantic sites in West Bengal. You will also notice some beautiful and rare species of birds in this region, including greater racket-tailed drongo, grey nightjar, orange-bellied leaf bird, and others. For trekking enthusiasts also, Samsing is quite essential. This spot is the starting point of many trekking trails. The destination of these trails is the Rachela Pass, the highest point of Neora Valley National Park. The distance from Gorumara National Park to Samsing is 29 km.
- Gorubathan: Located in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal, Gorubathan is another spectacular site near the Gorumara forest. By car, you would reach this spot within forty-five minutes. As this town is located by the gorgeous river Chel and surrounded by the lower Eastern Himalayas, its scenic beauty is quite captivating. Mostly known for its tea gardens, this village is charming. While visiting Gorubathan, you must also explore its adjacent tourist spots, including Faforkheti, Sakham forest, Dalim fort, and others. As this region is quite underrated, it is not over-crowded by tourists throughout the year. That is why you will get to spend some time in solitude by visiting there. The distance from Gorumara National Park to Gorubathan is 33 km.
- Jhalong: Mostly known for the hydroelectricity project, Jhalong is a beautiful place to visit near Gorumara National Park. By driving for an hour, you will reach this beautiful town located by the breathtakingly beautiful Jaldhaka river. The dam located in this region is also the center of attention for many tourists. When you visit this town, you will be genuinely be mesmerized by the lush green mountain and the babbling Jaldhaka river. If you want, you can spend a day doing camping in Jhalong. The riverside camp in this spot is quite popular among nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The distance from Gorumara National Park to Jhalong is- 44 km.
What Are the Best Places to Stay Near This National Park?
Most of the hotels near Gorumara National Park are located in Lataguri. We are including some of the best places to stay near the forest in the following.
Dishunyopur is a three-star resort that is located in Lataguri. With luxurious rooms filled with all modern amenities, this property is relatively easy to identify. As this resort comes with an in-house Chinese restaurant, having delicious meals while exploring the forest is not a big deal. The location of this resort will allow you to reach Gorumara National Park within ten minutes by car.
The property is so well-maintained that staying there for a few days will be a pleasant experience for you.
Address: Neora River Bridge, Dakshin Kantadighi Kumarpara, Lataguri, West Bengal 735219.
Phone Number: Not available.
Price of a room per night: INR 1600.
2. The Riverwood Forest Retreat
With an outdoor pool, fitness center, and luxurious cottages, the Riverwood Forest Retreat is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay near Gorumara National Park. Located at a fifteen-minute drive from the forest, this property is quite popular among tourists.
The beautifully landscaped garden is one of the most popular areas of this hotel for guests to relax. As this resort has an in-house restaurant, you will not have to worry about getting tasty meals while staying there.
Address: New Jalpaiguri, Metteli, Dakshin Dhupjhora, West Bengal 735206.
Phone Number: 095936 77148.
Price of a room per night: INR 10,000.
Gorumara National Park is one of the most famous forests in India. The chance of seeing majestic one-horned rhinos, leopards, elephants, and other wild animals lure tourists and wildlife lovers to visit there repeatedly. In this blog, we have included every necessary detail regarding the forest. If you want to stay there, do not forget to bookmark this webpage for future references. We hope you have a safe and happy journey while visiting this enchanting National Park.