WBTDCL Jaldapara Tourist Lodge
First of all, we got rooms here not as per our choice. We stayed at WBTDCL Jaldapara Tourist Lodge for 2 nights. First day in the NON-AC deluxe rooms and second day in the cottage (Mayna). There are AC cottages and d/b AC/NON-AC rooms in the lodge alongside Jaldapara forest. It has a widespread well-curated lawn. The dense forest started from the back side of the lodge. A lush green lawn with properly maintained replicas of wild animals has increased the beauty of the property. It is true that nothing can beat staying in Hollong Bungalow which is inside the forest but one has to be very lucky to get a booking there. Every evening around 7 pm a light & sound show is happening inside the lawn of Tourist Lodge narrating about the animals of the jungle, which is very informative & nice to witness.
The NON-AC deluxe rooms better value for money, although the cottages are new and more trendy. The deluxe rooms have a nice balcony overlooking a big park and a changing/dressing room near to the bathroom, which we found very convenient for families with children. We got only jeep safari tickets from the reception with the help of the manager (you should check in by 12 to get the tickets). If you stay for 3 consecutive days in the lodge, elephant safari may be arranged by the authority. Rooms are well maintained, clean and washroom is airy and odorless. Bathrooms are neat and clean with a welcome kit. Cottages are also very good but situated at a backyard adjacent with a big lawn with neatly maintained garden and swings. We stayed in a Cottage which was very spacious with a comfortable bed. The bathroom was fitted with high-quality fittings.
Service is very good. The manager of the WBTDCL Jaldapara Tourist Lodge is a very straight and candid person. He will help you and guide you if you do not go for an argument with him. He spends maximum time from morning to night at his office and eager to know the problems of his lodgers. Staffs are dutiful and polite. The manager leads his team efficiently. Staying here is value for money.
The large restaurant of the Tourist Lodge is quite well known among tourists. Apart from boarders here, a general tourist traveling through Jaldapara area avail the restaurant facility on a regular basis. Menu based order is not taken during pick hours and you may have to settle for Bengali Thali for lunch. Breakfast is complimentary. Foods are tasty and good quality.
1. Beware of private travel agencies who pretend as government organizations and had imitated names which you will mistake as government tourism sites. They will book you in this lodge but charge extra 5% GST. Better to book from WBTDC website ( link given below) and avoid paying extra.
2. They treat kids above 8 years as extra person & chargeable.
3. An extra cot is chargeable.
How to reach
WBTDCL Jaldapara Tourist Lodge located near Madarihat station (8km). Distance from Siliguri is 40 km. One can travel by car or avail train from Siliguri Junction. Three trains namely DMU at 5 am (reaches Madarihat at 7.45 am), Dhubri exp.at 6.10 am (reaches Madarihat at 8.30 am) and Banarhat passenger at 7.15 am (reaches Madarihat at 11.27 am. The waiting toto (battery operated rickshaw) will take Rs.20/head to reach you at the lodge.