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Gorumara National Park—a Biodiversity Hotspot—Pristine Nature at Its Best in the Foothills of the Himalayas

Updated on June 17, 2020
Prantika Samanta profile image

Educated as a microbiologist, trained as an editor, a quintessential nomad soul grounded to the earth. Loves anything that touches her soul

The national bird of India.
The national bird of India.

Gorumara National Park—an Overview

Gorumara National Park is a reserved area situated in the Doors region of India's eastern state, West Bengal.

The park lies in the Malbazar subdivision of the Jalpaiguri district. Jalpaiguri is an important and well-known place in the northern part of West Bengal. Malbazar is situated in the Dooars region in the northern part of West Bengal.

The park is maintained by the Government of India.

Sprawling an area of around 80 square kilometers, Gorumara National Park lies at the foothills of Eastern Himalaya in the Terai region on the flood plains of the Murti River and Raidak River.

A tributary of Brahmaputra river, Jaldhaka River, flows by the national park.

 
 
Year
Status
1895
Reserve Forest
1949
Wildlife Sanctuary
1994
National Park

History of the park

Dooars (meaning “doors”in the local languages) is a gateway that connects Bhutan with India through 18 passages.

The enchanting beauty of Gorumara National Park
The enchanting beauty of Gorumara National Park

Moments Captured During the Open Gypsy Safari in Gorumara National Park

How may national parks or wildlife sanctuaries have you visited?

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Nearest
Name
Airport
Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal
Railway Stations
New Maynaguri and New Mal Junction, West Bengal
Highway (passes by the entrance of the park)
NH 717
Towns
Lataguri and Ramsai

Note: Transport from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station, Siliguri, Bagdogra Airport: Buses, taxis, and hired cabs

The road that passes by the entrance gate
The road that passes by the entrance gate

Which Area Preferred for Accommodation and Why

Entry permits for the park's safaris and watchtower visits are available from Lataguri. Therefore for fast and easy access to the park, Lataguri is the most preferable place to stay. You can stay in government lodges, guest houses, or hotels in Lataguri.

Lataguri is a small town, around 45-minute drive from New Mall Junction. The junction is well connected with major railway stations, such as New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and Alipurduar Junction. Trains for almost all parts of India are available from these two stations.

Inhabitants of the Park

1. Animals, Fishes, and Turtles

The park is primarily known for being the home to a considerably greater one-horned rhinoceros population.

Other inhabitants of the park include Asian elephants, sloth bear, wild boars, mongooses, giant squirrels, different kinds of deer, barking deer; various species of turtles and fishes; and King Cobra and Indian Python. Tigers are seldom spotted in the park.

2. Birds

The park is an interesting place for bird watchers. Different types of birds, such as scarlet minivet, sunbird, Asian paradise flycatchers, Indian hornbill, woodpeckers, pheasants, and peafowls, can be seen.

3. Trees

Gorumara is a dense forest predominantly dominated by Sal forests with common teak, Shimul trees, rain trees like Shirish, bamboo groves, terai grassland vegetation, tropical riverine reeds, and tropical Orchids.

4. Villages

Apart from being home to many animals, birds, fishes, and reptiles, the park also has villages inside it. Some of these villages are Sarswati, Budhuram, Bichabhanga, and Murti Forest Village.

The entrance gate of Gorumara National Park (Lataguri)
The entrance gate of Gorumara National Park (Lataguri)

You can visit Nature Interpretation Centre adjacent to the ticket counters to know more about the park.

The panoramic vies of the greenery and rivulet
The panoramic vies of the greenery and rivulet

Safari in the Park

You can opt for safari in open Gypsy (vehicle) to get deep into the park and spotting animals and birds. The safari is available in four shifts everyday and it takes around 1.5 hours to complete a shift.

Each jeep can carry a maximum of 6 visitors besides the driver and the guide. Nearly 40 people per shift are allowed to visit the park.

Visitors can book an entire Gypsy or hire a Gypsy in a sharing basis.

Open Gypsy vehicles along with tourists waiting in front of the entrance gate for safari
Open Gypsy vehicles along with tourists waiting in front of the entrance gate for safari

When Does Gorumara Remain Open for Visitors??

The park is not opened for the visitors round the year. During the monsoon, the park remains closed. You can visit the park in the following months:

  1. March to September (March to June 14 and September 16 to 30)
  2. October to February

The park remains closed from June 15 to September 15 every year due to the monsoon.

Shifts to Visit the Park

The entry timings for four shifts are different for each season.

Based on the entry timings, the ticket counters open.

Remember

No safaris or watchtower visits on Thursdays.

Information on Entry Fees and Additional Charges

Entry Fees
Additional Charges
Fees for visitors (including children above 8 years) depend on the shift and tower
Vehicle charge for the tower selected
An authorized guide accompanies the visitors (in Gypsy) during the safari
Guide fee
Different entry fee for the visitors from foreign countries and the SAARC countries
Vehicle entry fee and camera fee

Please check the current information.

Documents Required for Permit

Indian visitors should carry both photocopies and original ID proofs of any of these documents: Voter's ID Card, Passport, or Driving License.

What Are the Four Watchtowers of Gorumara?

1. Jatra Prasad and Rhino Point
2. Chandrachur
3. Medla
4. Chuk Chuki

Jatra Prasad and Rhino Point

Jatra Prasad is the park's oldest and most popular watchtower named after the park's favorite pet elephant, Jatra Prasad. He used to work for the forest department and was loved by all.

Rhino Point is another notable watchtower close to Jatra Prasad.

You can find salt reservoirs close to these watchtowers, which increases the probability of spotting animals. Animals come to the reservoirs to lick salts.

Visitors can also get a vista of lush greenery and a rivulet from the towers.

Trees, chirping of birds breaking the silence, cool breeze, various animals are the highlights of the safari.

Jatra Prasad Watchtower and Rhino Point

Jatra Prasad Watchtower
Jatra Prasad Watchtower
View from Jatra Prasad Watchtower
View from Jatra Prasad Watchtower
A salt reservoir close to Jatra Prasad Watchtower
A salt reservoir close to Jatra Prasad Watchtower
Rhino Point
Rhino Point
Salt reservoirs close to Rhino Point
Salt reservoirs close to Rhino Point

Other Watchtowers of the Park

Tower
Overview
Chandrachur
Wild lands and forest trees, shrubs, and grasslands carved by rivers and rivulets
Medla
Lies at Kalipur eco village near Ramsai on the eastern fringe of the park
Chuk Chuki
A wonderful birders' corner as various species of birds can be watched. Most of the birds are native to the park. Some migratory birds can also be spotted

Sharing Our Experience

We chose the last shift of the Gypsy safari and visited Jatra Prasad Watchtower and Rhino Point. It was a cold day in mid January. Our safari package included a tribal dance program.

Our safari session comprised the following 3 events:

1. Spotting wild animals

During the safari, we spotted peacocks, peahens, a herd of deer, and different birds. Our guide was helping us in locating the probable places where we could find animals. Silence needs to be maintained inside the park, otherwise the animals get frightened and move deep inside the woods.

2. Visiting Jatra Prasad Watchtower and Rhino Point

The visit to Jatra Prasad Watchtower was not disappointing, as we spotted a herd of bisons and a couple of rhinoceros. We could locate the salt reservoirs lying a little away from the watchtower. The scenic view from the tower was also mesmerizing—it was lush green all around and a beautiful rivulet flowing near the watchtower.

We next visited Rhino Point, close to Jatra Prasad, and from there we got a clear view of salt reservoirs.

It was quite cold and the temperature dipped further as we entered the park. We covered ourselves with adequate warm clothes.

3. Watching the tribal dance

The last segment of our session was reserved for a fantastic tribal dance program. We were drove to the ground to watch the tribal dance, where we were offered tea and biscuits. The rhythmic dance, melodious music, and mesmerizing beats of the drums with lush greenery in the backdrop made the session quite interesting.

Glimpses of the Open Gypsy Safari Session

Open Gypsy Safari
Open Gypsy Safari
Spotted the national bird of India
Spotted the national bird of India
Spotted a deer
Spotted a deer
Tribal dance
Tribal dance

Preferred Time to Visit the Park

The best time to visit the park is during the winter, between November to March.

The weather is generally pleasant during these months and trees shed leaves. This helps in easy spotting of the animals. However, due to heat and humidity in the summer, animals go deep in the park to find shady areas. This results in difficulty for spotting animals

Closing Words

Gorumara National Park offers an enchanting view of the greenery and houses various tress, plants, animals, birds, fishes, and turtles. Therefore, it is one of the favorite getaways for nature lovers and an interesting spot for botanists and birders.

Maintain silence and keep the forest clean during the safari. Care should be taken that animals are not disturbed or hurt.

A
New Mal Junction:
New Mal Junction, 31, Haihai Pathar Tea Garden I P, West Bengal 735221, India

get directions

B
Gorumara National Park:
Gorumara National Park, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal 735101, India

get directions

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Prantika Samanta

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    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      11 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you, Avyukth. Nature has many hidden gems and exploring them gives an immense pleasure that is indescribable. Traveling transforms lives and make a difference in our lives. Whether one prefers to unwind or soak in the nature, we connect with nature or ourselves or family and friends. Such bonding are much required in our stressful lives. Wounds in the mind are healed, chatters in the mind becomes silent, and we feel fresh and energetic. Mighty mountains have taught me to become humble.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      11 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you, Prateek. The intent of sharing the article is to helping the travelers who would love to visit the places and use their time effectively. When we go for a vacation, most of us would like to cover most of the points within a stipulated time. Keeping that in mind, I have included the schedule so it helps in planning. If travelers are aware what things to be done before and after they reach the destination, planning becomes much easier and faster. We all intend to spend a hassle-free vacation pushing aside all tensions.

    • Avyukth profile image

      Avyukth Krishna 

      11 months ago from Bangalore

      Amazing article ! Only when we interact with nature are we truly reminded of our place on Earth . I'm glad that you took the time to do so and I'm also thankful to you for sharing your experience with all of us.

    • PrateekJain24 profile image

      Prateek Jain 

      11 months ago from Madhya Pradesh, India

      This article is very useful in a way one can refer to it while travelling to that place you explained it in a very simple and attractive manner. I like the inclusion of schedule about the traveling package. This help us in identifying the daily routine after reaching the destination and also it make us aware of Various new location.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      11 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you for your kind words. Glad to know that you have liked it.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      11 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Good narration. Nice article. Thanks.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thanks Abitha. Glad that you have liked it. Indeed the safari was a memorable one and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

    • Abitha Deepak profile image

      Abitha 

      13 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Prantika,

      A thrilling safari and a picturesque account! There are tons of details for people planning a visit.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you, Swapnil. Glad to know that you have liked it. I love to travel and my motto is one should travel as much as possible not only to rediscover or to rejuvenate but also to explore the place.

    • Swapnil Ghosh profile image

      Swapnil Ghosh 

      13 months ago from Kolkata

      This the 3rd article of you which I've read and the best thing about them is that it not only provides detail about the place but also servies as a guide to plan our own trips. Thanks

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you so much.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 months ago from India

      Very well detailed and useful guide for anyone planning to visit!

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thanks Surya. It was my first visit to a national park. I enjoyed thoroughly and never thought I can see peacocks and other animals so close to me in the open.

    • Surya Sashank Rasinkar profile image

      Surya Sashank Rasinkar 

      13 months ago

      This article is really can be used as a virtual guide telling everything he needs to know for not to suffer .

      You tuned it in a nice way ma'am

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you so much. I am glad that you have liked it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      This is a very useful and interesting guide for anyone planning a visit to this park. You have showcased it well.

    • Suchismita pradhan profile image

      Suchismita Pradhan 

      13 months ago from India

      Very helpful information

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      Sreya 

      13 months ago

      A compact brief description... Very helpful

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you, Surya. Glad that you have liked my article.

    • Surya Sashank Rasinkar profile image

      Surya Sashank Rasinkar 

      13 months ago

      very useful ,nicely presented clearly

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you so much, Muralikrishna, for reading my article. Glad to know that you have liked the article.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you Peggy. I am glad that you have liked the article. Great to know that you too like National Parks. There are some villages inside the park and villagers mainly work for the forest department .

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you Dr Pran Ragan, glad to know you have liked the article.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you, Rajinder, for reading the article. Glad to know you have included this national park in you list. Kids will have a great time.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you, Niks, for reading my article. I am glad that you have liked my article.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Thank you for liking my article.

    • Prantika Samanta profile imageAUTHOR

      Prantika Samanta 

      13 months ago from Kolkata, India

      Of course. It's a beautiful place and you will like it.

    • profile image

      amit kumar sharma 

      13 months ago

      Super soon I will go there

    • profile image

      Arpita 

      13 months ago

      Very informative with all required details

    • Niks007 profile image

      Niks 

      13 months ago from India

      you have shared a profound and precisely written article. I wish to visit this park, someday. After reading this article, nature lovers will add this place to their wishlist. Thanks a lot, keep writing.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 

      13 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Honestly speaking, despite being a Himalayan trekker I never heard about "Gorumara" park lying in the foothills of Himalayas.

      Your style of presentation is unique and incredibly majestic. While I was reading through your hub, I literally started imagining that I am there, right there.

      Such a vivid description and engaging photographs that you have added that I have fallen in love with this park.

      I have included this in my travel list. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      13 months ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      A nice informative article. Thanks for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      13 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for telling us about your safari tour of the Gorumara National Park and sharing your photos with us. One of my favorite places to visit is a national park. They are all very special places. I was interested to learn that several villages are within the national park.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      13 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Interesting and informative travel article about Gorumara, with all the necessary details.

      Your wonderful article is well presented with beautiful and helpful pictures.

      Recently we had been to Sariska National Park and your article reminded me of all the wonderful time, we had spent there. I had published an article about it. Peacocks were all around us and the Safari tour was one of the best experiences, we had.

      Thanks for sharing. Have a good day.

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      13 months ago from South India

      Incredible North Bengal nature park, biodiversity and landscapes, Ms Prantika, you've virtually taken me all over Gorumara and created an instinct to visit there soon. Wonderful reading and is very useful for tourists.

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