In the Eastern Himalayan foothills of the Indian state of West Bengal, there is a wildlife refuge called Jaldapara National Park. Along with breathtaking beauty, a rich cultural heritage, and a great diversity of flora and animals, it is home to all of these things.
For people who appreciate the outdoors, wildlife, and adventure, the 216 square kilometer park is a must-visit destination because of its population of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros.
The History and Importance of Jaldapara National Park
Jaldapara National Park was established in 1941 and recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1943 in order to protect the dwindling population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses.
The river Jaldhaka, after which the park received its name, divides the park’s eastern and western portions. The Terai region of the Indo-Gangetic plains, where the park is situated, has a unique environment that supports a wide variety of flora and animals.
Jaldapara National Park is important in part because of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. As one of the few places in India where rhinoceroses may be found in significant numbers, the park provides a secure sanctuary for their survival.
The park is a biodiversity hotspot since it is also home to Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, sambar deer, barking deer, spotted deer, wild boars, and other species of birds, in addition to rhinos.
Flora and Fauna of Jaldapara National Park
Riverine woodlands, mixed deciduous forests, and towering elephant grass forests are the features that set Jaldapara National Park apart. The park has more than 200 distinct tree species, including sal, teak, simul, and khair, which provide a beneficial environment for a variety of wildlife.
The park is well-known for its 200-strong population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Rhinoceros may be easily spotted grazing on the plains or swimming in the rivers, making for an odd wildlife sighting. Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, Indian bison, hog deer, Indian wild boar, and several monkey species, such as rhesus macaques and Indian langurs, are among the other creatures in the park in addition to rhinos.
The Jaldapara National Area is a sanctuary for birdwatchers as well, with around 300 different species of birds having been identified there. A few of the well-known bird species that may be found in the park are the Bengal florican, crested serpent eagle, Pallas’s fish eagle, great hornbill, jungle fowl, peafowl, and many kinds of woodpeckers, partridges, and pheasants.
The park is home to a wide variety of butterflies, adding a dash of color to the area’s natural beauty and delighting aficionados of butterflies.
|Monday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Tuesday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Wedesday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Thursday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Friday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Saturday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Sunday||6:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Car 60 Entry fee (per person) 250 Vehicle Entry fee (per Trip) 200 for Video Camera 250 Guide Charges 800 Vehicle Hire Charge (Gypsy) Entry Fee for Foreigners 200 Entry fee (per person) 1000 Elephant Ride fee (per head)||Elephant 60 Entry fee (per person) 250 Vehicle Entry fee 800 Elephant Ride fee 25 Car Parking fee 200 for Video Camera 100 Guide Charges Day Visit Charges 100 Entry fee (per person) 300 Vehicle Entry fee 25 Parking fee 250 Guide Charges|
Activities and Attractions in Jaldapara National Park
There are many options for exploration and up-close experiences with nature at Jaldapara National Park. One of the most popular activities in the park is the elephant safari, which allows visitors to go through the jungle on the backs of trained elephants while viewing various creatures.
The elephant safari is a thrilling experience since you may observe the magnificent one-horned rhinoceros and other creatures up close while moving through high meadows and lush woods.
In addition to offering elephant safaris, Jaldapara National area also offers vehicle safaris, which offer a unique perspective of the area. Jeep safaris provide visitors the ability to travel off-the-beaten-path, cover more park territory, and improve their chances of spotting elusive creatures like the Bengal tiger and Indian leopard.
Birdwatching is another popular activity at Jaldapara National Park. Birdwatchers will find plenty of variety in the park’s bird population. Early in the morning and late in the day, when birds are most active, are the best times to watch them. Visitors may spot a variety of colorful and rare bird species while exploring the park or from the watchtowers.
Visitors are invited to visit the Toto villages, interact with the locals through cultural exchange, and even take part in performances of the local dances and music.
Another attraction is the Chilapata Forest, which is near to Jaldapara National Park. The enormous Chilapata Forest establishes an essential elephant corridor between Jaldapara and the Buxa Tiger Reserve.
The Chilapata Forest, known for its stunning landscape, diverse flora and fauna, and exciting wildlife encounters, allows visitors to go on safari through it.
Accommodation and Facilities in Jaldapara National Park
A variety of housing options are available in Jaldapara National Park to meet a range of requirements and preferences. Private resorts and government-run hotels that are near to the park both provide adequate overnight options. To ensure a comfortable stay in the woods, these accommodations offer basic conveniences like cushy beds, pristine restrooms, and food.
The park provides visitors with dedicated camping and picnic sites as well as the option to camp out under the stars and enjoy bonfires at night. However, prior to any camping in the park, permission must be obtained from the forest department.
Because Park is a protected area, it’s important to keep in mind that anyone entering must adhere to the standards and regulations set by the forest department. It’s crucial to adhere to the park’s established recommended safari times. It is essential to maintain the park clean, refrain from trash, and respect the species and their natural habitat while you are there.
Best Time to Visit Jaldapara National Park
When the weather is nice and the park is available for tourists, the months of November through April are the ideal times to explore Jaldapara National Park. The park is alive with wildlife during these months, making the likelihood of seeing the one-horned rhinoceros and other creatures very high.
It is not advised to come during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. The park is closed at this time owing to floods and excessive rain.
How to reach?
Jaldapara National Park is located in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, India. It is well-connected by road, rail, and air, making it easily accessible from various parts of the country.
The nearest airport to Jaldapara National Park is Bagdogra Airport, which is approximately 140 kilometers away. Bagdogra Airport has regular flights from major cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bangalore. From the airport, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Jaldapara National Park.
The nearest railway station to Jaldapara National Park is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP), which is approximately 130 kilometers away. NJP is a major railway junction and is well-connected to various cities in India. From NJP, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Jaldapara National Park.
Jaldapara National Park is well-connected by road to nearby cities and towns. One can hire a taxi or take a bus from Siliguri, Bagdogra, or other nearby places to reach the park. The park is approximately 141 kilometers from Siliguri, 130 kilometers from Jalpaiguri, and 35 kilometers from Madarihat.
Within Jaldapara National Park, elephant safaris, jeep safaris, and forest department vehicles are the primary modes of transportation. Elephant safaris and jeep safaris can be booked at the park’s entrance gate or through the forest department. These safaris are accompanied by trained guides who provide valuable insights about the park and its wildlife.
It’s important to note that the roads leading to Jaldapara National Park pass through protected forest areas, and it’s essential to follow the traffic rules, speed limits, and other regulations to ensure the safety of wildlife and visitors alike.
Jaldapara National Park Safari Timings, Entry Fees and Timings
Jaldapara National Park Jeep Safari Timings:
1st Shift: November to March- 6:00AM to 7:30AM | April to October- 5:30AM to 7:00AM
2nd Shift: November to March- 7:30AM to 9:00AM | April to October- 7:00AM to 8:30AM
3rd Shift: November to March- 3:00PM to 4:30PM | April to October- 3:30PM to 5:00PM
Jaldapara National Park Elephant Safari Timings:
1st Shift: 5:30AM to 6:30AM
2nd Shift: 6:30AM to 7:30AM
3rd Shift: 7:30AM to 8:30AM
Day Safari: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Jaldapara National Park Entry Fees and Other Charges
For Indian Nationals- INR 100 per head
For Foreign Nationals- INR 200 per head
Car entry fees- INR 300 per vehicle
Elephant safari –
For Indian Nationals: INR 800 per head
For Foreign nationals: INR 1000 per head
Jeep Safari –
INR 450 per person
Guide – INR 250
Still Camera – INR 50
Video Camera – INR 500