Chilapata Forest is located on the fringes of Jaldapara National Park and serves as an elephant corridor between Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara National Park. Chilapata Forest has a healthy population of wild elephants, leopards and wild pigs. Chilapata is around an hour’s drive from Alipurduar town. This area is mostly dense jungle with mud-paved tracks overgrown with vegetation. The thick forest canopy hardly allows any sunlight to enter and even at noon this place is dark like evening. And in this darkness lurks the animals. Enjoy safely!


Things to do in Chilapata Forest

You can also simply enjoy the thick forest greenery in the winter season by driving down the jungle alleys. The guests can enjoy elephant safaris as well as jeep safaris in Chilapata Forest. You can enjoy on the banks of a small hilly stream and a wooden bridge over it. You can take Tonga rides through the Mathura tea garden too. Boating on the Bania River and angling on the confluence of the Kalchini, Bania and Buri Basra are other fun options in Chilapata.

Wildlife from the watchtowers is the best option here. These towers are near water bodies where animals come for a drink. The animals also love a salt lick during hot summer months and so small heaps of salt are arranged by the authorities to attract them. One of the “must visit” is a watch tower overlooking the Torsha River. If you are lucky you may spot a rhino on the river bed, hiding in the tall grass. And then of course these grassy lands are home to elephants. But near the watch tower there are mostly trained ones, locally known as the “Kunki”. The tall grass growths are also the hidey hole of leopards. If you want a photo, get the perfect camera that can zoom into anything from the watchtower. It is better not to get close to the river or grassy lands.


Chilapata Forest Sightseeing

The forest bungalow here is an attraction in itself as it dates back to the British rule in India. There is a well-maintained and interesting log book that one can read to know more about the bungalow. Though there is no habitation in the park, there are many ethnic people in surrounding villages like Saraswati, Budhuram, Bichabhanga, Chatua, Kailipur and Murid. These villages are said to have more than 10,000 locals, whose main livelihood come from forest department activities, eco-tourism, etc. You can visit these villages to know more about their life and culture. One of the most special attractions here is the live ethnic tribal dance show held every evening in Budhuram Forest Village.

One of the most interesting sites here are the ruins of the “Nalraja Garh”, or fort of the Nal kings.It was built 2000 years ago in the Gupta period in the fifth century C.E., the Golden Age of India. This is one of the largest secular monuments of Gupta Period still standing tall in West Bengal. The Nalraja Garh is spread over half a mile. The interiors are filled with dense jungle and cannot be walked into. There may be some snakes, so better not to venture in. Though a shabby and ill maintained place, the fort is of great archaeological value.


How to reach Chilapata Forest

The nearest airport in Bagdogra. The closest railway station is New Alipurduar Junction which is well connected to New Jalpaiguri. Cars from the station will take you to Chilapata. However, the most convenient nearest station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) as most of the trains stop here.


Best time to visit Chilapata Forest

You can visit Chilapata anytime of the year but the forest stays closed from mid June to mid September every year.


Accommodation at Chilapata Forest

LOCATION: Beside river and forest

FACILITIES: Lawn, Gazebo, Parking, Campfire arrangement, Driver’s accommodation, Attached western bathroom, Hot water arrangements, Balcony, Dining Hall.

ROOM TYPES: Tents, Tree house, Double Bed.

LOCATION: In Village near forest

FACILITIES: Lawn, Gazebo, Parking, Generator, Campfire arrangement, Driver’s accommodation, Attached western bathroom, Geysers, Balcony, Dining Hall.

ROOM TYPES: Cottage, AC Double Bed, Non AC Double Bed, Dormitory.

LOCATION: In Village near forest

FACILITIES: Lawn, Gazebo, Parking, Campfire arrangement, Driver’s accommodation, Attached western bathroom, Hot water arrangements,  Balcony, Dining Hall.

ROOM TYPES: Cottage, Triple Bed.


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