Chalsa in Jalpaiguri
Chalsa Town ( Source : Flickr)
Known as the “Queen of Dooars” during colonial rule, Chalsa is a small town within Jalpaiguri district in the Himalayan foothills. It is about 7 kms from Malbazar towards the Dooars and takes about one and a half hours from Siliguri. Chalsa is a traveller's delight in Jalpaiguri owing to its proximity to nearby tea gardens, forests, rivers and the backdrop of the hills. In addition, the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary and the Gorumara National Park flank Chalsa on two of its sides making it a haven for all wildlife lovers. The astonishing population of elephants and rhinos in the surrounding forests of Chalsa make it an annual pilgrimage for many of them.
The casual tourist can engage in a number of activities in Chalsa like trekking, sightseeing, jungle safari, angling, camping and river picnic to make his Chalsa trip memorable. Filled with great natural beauty, the drive through the national highway which connects West Bengal with the North-East will enrapture you with its heavenly scenic views.
Enjoy the serenity of this place through which the Kurti River flows down a little hillock and its surrounding tea gardens.
Tea Gardens around Chalsa
( Source : Flickr)
Situated at an altitude of 163 metres (535 ft.), Chalsa is a green canvas with its ever expanding tea gardens besides forests and national parks wholly surrounding it. As a tourist, you can even view these tea plantations from the balcony of your hotel room. The most prominent is of course the Chalsa tea garden.
For nature lovers, the extensive variety of orchids and other flora is sure to mesmerize you! The Madhu tea estate and Ivill tea garden are other beautiful places where you can take a stroll. Some other tea gardens around Chalsa include Sathkaya tea garden, Indong tea garden, Rangamati tea garden, Mitiali tea garden, samsing tea garden and others.
Tourist Destinations around Chalsa
The Chalsa Township is also important as the gateway to the entire Dooars region and many tourists use it as a halt to spend the night while moving upward the Dooars. Some of the tourist destinations which you can access from Chalsa include:
Wildlife in Chalsa ( Source : Flickr)
- Gorumara National Park- Situated on the banks of the rivers Raidak and Murti, at a distance of 14 km from the town of Chalsa, the Gorumara National Park is renowned for having a considerable population of one-horned rhinoceros in its natural habitat. A pilgrimage for all wildlife lovers, Gorumara National Park also gives you the opportunity to capture through your gaze and lens, large varieties of deer, Indian elephants, and the Indian bison locally named “gaur”, python, leopard, monkey and other animals which flit through the giant landscape surrounded by rippling streams and tall elephant grass.
A trolley safari is one of the magical moments which you can spend while travelling through these forests. It is advised that you hire vehicles from Chalsa till Lataguri when you enter the Gorumara National Park.
- Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary- One of the oldest sanctuaries in India, the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the eastern bank of the Murti River. The entire sanctuary is placed wthin the plain land of the Dooars. The sanctuary is renowned for its population of Gaur or Indian bison, leopard and Indian elephants. All nature lovers would be amazed by the breathtaking view of the forests that Chapramari offers against the background of the looming Himalayan peaks like Kanchenjungha.
- Jaldapara National Park- It is a national park constituted in 1941 to protect wildlife around the area, especially the one-horned rhino. It is located in the Dakshin Barajhar Forest, and is a one and half hour road journey from Chalsa.
The Torsha River flows through the sanctuary. It is closed for tourism during the heavy rainfall monsoon season.
- Samsing- 15 km from Chalsa, Samsing is a picturesque small village with expansive tea garden valleys, forests and hills in the distance.
Situated at an altitude of 600 meter, Samsing is sure to enthral tourists with its virgin green landscape.
Orange orchards, a meandering emerald river, picture postcard tea gardens, sleepy hamlets and the Himalayan peaks- these are some of the jewels you will capture journeying towards this pretty place.
- Lataguri- Another important jungle destination for wildlife lovers is Lataguri, located on the outskirts of the Gorumara National Park. The vegetation of this place is interspersed between savannah woodlands and riverine grasslands and has diverse flora and fauna.
Other tourist attractions which you can visit from Chalsa include the Murti River, the picturesque village Bindu, Baikunthapur Forests, Buxa Tiger Reserve and others.
Best Time to Visit Chalsa
The tourist can visit Chalsa at any time excepting the monsoon season.
Accommodation in Chalsa
Source : Flickr
There are a number of decent hotels in Chalsa which will give you a good night’s rest and all the basic facilities. If you are looking for luxury accommodation in Chalsa, the Sinclair’s Retreat which is situated on a hummock will be your ideal place.
There are also multiple lodges and resorts around Gorumara while the forest department itself has two bungalows, in Chapramari and Gorumara respectively. Be sure to book your accommodation before you arrive.
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