Chilapata Forest in Jalpaiguri
The Chilapata Forest in Jalpaiguri ( Source : Flickr)
Chilapata Wildlife (Source: Flickr)
As you drive inside Chilapata, you can immediately sense the jungle getting close. The Chilapata forest is one of the hotspots of wildlife tourism as different species of wildlife are sighted here. It is reported to be the habitat of about 23 species of herbivores and carnivores. Besides this, 22 reptile species, 180 species of different birds, and a host of other fauna are found here. The forest of Chilapata is also famous for its diverse butterfly species. A major portion of the Chilapata forests like Mendabar, Bania and Barodabri are an ideal habitat sustaining elephants, rhinos and gaurs.
Since Chilapata is one of the major migration corridor for large herbivores like Asiatic Elephants and One Horned Rhinos, it is fast developing as a eco-tourism destination within West Bengal. The forest is largely savannah covered with large elephant grasses. Some of the common wildlife one can view here are the spotted deer, Bengal tiger, sambhar, hog deer, gaur, wild pig and peafowls.
Chilapata Tourist Attractions
Once the tourist comes to Chilapata, they can take guided safaris to the Kodalbasti forests and the Mendabari watch tower. During the day, one can visit the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger Reserve and the Khayerbari Leopard Rescue Centre. In addition, the Chilapata Jungle Camp with their idyllic setting and rustic look gives you an intimate and inspiring experience in the presence of nature and local tribal culture.
Another interesting sight is an ancient historical monument hidden deep within the Chilapata forest. Known as the Nalrajar Garh (fort of the King Nala), they are the fort ruins built in the 5th century during the Gupta period. However what remains of the entire structure are only some brick blocks with interesting carvings and some stone, apart from a broken gate and wall.
Boating on the River Bania and angling at the confluence of Bania, Kalchini and Buri Basra are other pleasure activities for the tourist to Chilapata.
Best Time to Visit Chilapata
Sunset in Chilapata Forest (Source: Flickr)
The best time to visit Chilapata and the Doors in general is between October to June to enjoy the beauty of the season amidst the forest greenery.
Accommodation in Chilapata
Chilapata Jungle Camp (Source: Flickr)
Chilapata is increasingly being frequented by casual tourists and wildlife lovers for whom a number of forest bungalows and rest houses are available. Some of the best options to rest in Chilapata are:
- West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) Malangi Lodge- This government lodge is in Barodabri and very close to Hasimara town. It is an eco-tourism resort and will provide the tourist with all basic facilities.
- Chilapata Jungle Camp- The jungle camp is a new presence run by help tourism. It has Elephant Cottages and Bamboo Cottages; where the former is made on concrete stilts of wood, brick and wood according to the local style and the latter with eco-friendly materials which replicate indigenous tribal architecture. The food is served in dining halls which are open to seep in the intoxicating smell of wild nature.
- Bamboo Village Resort- It is another pleasant resort in north Chilapata with traditionally decorated cottages, refreshing green gardens and spacious restaurant besides a children’s playground.
So explore nature in all its fascinating beauty and range in the jungle flavoured Chilapata!