A forest in a small town called Lataguri in the lush green floodplains of Dooars, located in the Jalpaiguri district of the state of West Bengal. With an exclusive collection of tigers, deer, leopards, cheetahs, bison and innumerable species of animals and birds, the Lataguri forest is considered a paradise for nature-loving enthusiasts.
Lataguri Forest – All You Need To Know
How to reach
The nearest airport is Bagdogra. From Bagdogra, hire a cab to reach Lataguri travelling a distance of about 95 km.
The nearest railway station is New Mal Junction. Board a train from Siliguri to reach in one hour.
Hire a cab from Siliguri to reach by road, covering a distance of about 53 km.
Best time to visit
Winter season during the months of November till March.
Monsoons should be avoided as the forest reserves remain closed from June till September.
Main wildlife attractions
1. Gorumara National Park
Declared as a national park in 1992, Gorumara is prominent for its exotic flora and fauna. Situated on the banks of the rivers Murti and Jaldaka, its area stretches to a distance of about 80 square km.
Operating Hours are 6 AM to 6 PM during the summers and 6:30 AM to 5 PM during the winter.
The park attracts thousands of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts every year. It is prominent for the exclusive population of the one-horned Indian rhino. It offers various animal and bird species starting from the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian elephants, reptiles, turtles, leopards, deer, bears, boars, wolves, mongooses, woodpeckers, scarlet, minivet, drongo, hornbill, peafowls, pheasants and many more. It is also a home of many migratory birds thus alluring the bird watchers. The Indian Python and the King Cobra along with several reptiles inhabit the national park.
- Jatraprasad watch tower
- Chandrachur watch tower
- Rhino observation point
- Bird watching point
The park is densely populated with the tropical forests and the marshy grasslands. The deciduous trees like Sal, Teak, Shimul and the bamboo groves enhance the greenery of the forest.
Jeep safaris and elephant rides are available in plenty to experience the wildlife in the midst of the dense forest.
2. Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is an extension of the Gorumara National Park and stretches for about an area of about 10 square km. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1998. The Murti river separates the two forests.
Operating hours are 6 AM to 3 PM during the summers and 6:30 AM to 2 PM during the winter.
The sanctuary is relatively small as compared to Gorumara national park, yet you can find a large variety of animals and birds in abundance. Elephants, leopards, bison, deer, boars are quite common in the forests along with the mynas, scarlet, minivet, kingfisher, woodpecker, stork, magpie, parakeet. The forest is also a home for many migratory birds.
- Chapramari watchtower
The sanctuary is covered by the mangroves and the marshy lands with few water bodies where the animals are spotted often. There are small villages nearby where you can experience tribal life.
Several vehicles operate throughout the day for a scintillating wildlife tour across the sanctuary.
3. Buxa Tiger Reserve
The Tiger reserve is protected by the Forest Department of India and is one of the favourite tourist destinations in India. The area of the forest stretches to a distance of about 740 square km. The reserve derived its name from the famous Buxa Fort, located just beside the forest.
Buxa Fort is a historic fort that the British used as their prison, detaining many Indian freedom fighters like the legendary Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The forest was declared as a national park in the year 1992.
Buxa Tiger Reserve is famous for the Royal Bengal Tiger. There are many other diversified species of animals and birds dwelling in the forest like leopards, Asian elephants, deer, gaurs, buffaloes, boars, pythons, and birds like herons, hornbills, falcons, woodpeckers, partridges. The forest hosts the migratory birds like the black-necked crane, black stork which entices many bird watchers.
Apart from the innumerable species of animals and birds, the forest glorifies in its exclusive collection of orchids, shrubs, and trees. The forest area is covered with marshy and grasslands along with different species of ferns and deciduous trees.
The morning safaris start from 6 AM and the evening safaris start from 3 PM.
Jhalong is a perfect place for a refreshing weekend gateway in the midst of the tall pine and fir trees. Situated at the banks of the river Jaldhaka, it is frequently visited by Trekkers and the Bird watchers.
The place is considered a paradise for nature lovers and adventurists due to its unique location at the foothills of the Himalayas. The mesmerizing view of the greenery around rejuvenates heart and mind, a relief from the daily humdrum of life. The splashing sound of the river waters hovering along the boulders and stones entertains the soul.
Jhalong houses several species of birds like the kingfishers, thrushes, woodpeckers, hornbills, herons and storks along with the migratory birds like the waterfowl.
A Unique Experience
Lataguri is specifically famous for its unique combination of wilderness combined with nature’s beauty. You can indulge in experiencing the natural habitat of animals and birds whilst soothing your eyes into the blissful greenery spread across the forests. For forest ad nature lovers, it is a perfect destination to be included in the bucket list.