Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park is 216 sq. kms of grasslands and dense deciduous forests watered by the crisscrossing Torsa and Malangi rivers. It is home to the famous Indian one-horned rhinos, elephants, leopards, tigers and nearly 350 species of birds including the rarest Bengal Florican.

Jaldapara was established as a sanctuary in 1941 for conservation purposes and to protect the rhino from extinction. In May 2012 it was declared a National Park. Surrounded by tea gardens and farmlands on all sides, Jaldapara National Park is constantly under pressure from population and illegal grazing by livestock.

The two entry gates to Jaldapara National Park are Madarihat and Salkumar. Elephant safaris as well as Jeep safaris are available from both these gates. The safaris are held in the mornings and late afternoons to the watchtowers located near the core areas where wildlife sighting is very regular.


Landscape of Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park covers 216 sq km, and is a vast stretch of mixed deciduous forests, mountain streams, tall savannah grasslands and river banks. The biggest river here is Torsha. The Malangi River also cuts across from east to west. Other rivers are Hollong, Chirakhawa, Kalijhora, Sissamara, Bhaluka and Buri Torsa.


Flora and fauna at Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park is a storehouse of many endangered mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds. It has the second largest Indian rhino population after Kaziranga in Assam. The Royal Bengal Tiger, elephant, leopard, spotted deer, Sambhar, barking deer, bison, wild pigs and rarest hispid hare and the hog-badger also inhabit Jaldapara.

It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise and you may stand lucky to spot the rare Bengal Florican, Rumped Vulture, Pallas’s fish Eagle, Pied Harrier, Crested Eagle, Common Buzzard, Shikra, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, Partridge, Finn’s weaver and the hornbill. The amphibian and reptile list is also impressive at Jaldapara with the Indian King Cobra at the helm. Pythons, kraits, cobras, monitor lizards and about different species of turtles also roam free here.


Things to do at Jaldapara National Park

Elephant safari and jeep safari are the two major activities here. Tourists can enjoy these safaris from Madarihat as well as Salkumar. The service is provided on a first come – first serve basis. Four persons can ride one elephant. There are 6-7 elephants operating in both these gates and they make two round trips. If it is peak tourist time one more round trip is arranged. Also, 4×4 jeep safari is available both in the morning and in the afternoon. Bird watchers from all over the world come here to spot some of the rarest species of residential as well as migratory birds.


Things to see at Jaldapara National Park

Visits to watchtowers located beside salt licks and waterholes are the best spots to catch a glimpse of the wildlife in Jaldapara. There is also a Leopard Rehabilitation Centre and Wildlife Museum nearby. Other attractions include the tribal village of Totopara, the home to one the oldest tribes of India – the Totos.


How to reach Jaldapara National Park

Jaldapara National Park is around 140 kms from Bagdogra airport. There are 3 railheads – Madarihat Railway Station is 07 km away but only local and passenger trains halt here. Mail and express trains stop at Hasimara and Falakata railway stations, which are around 20 kms from the different entry points of Jaldapara. However, the two most popular nearby railheads are New Jalpaiguri and New Alipurdar. You can also travel by road, from Siliguri and other places in North Bengal. Bus option are from North Bengal State Transport Corporation and Bhutan Government.


Jaldapara National Park accommodation