Gorumara National Park was a reserve forest since 1895 in northern West Bengal, India. It was primarily famed for its population of rhino. The park had been declared as the best among the protected areas in India by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the year 2009. The park was declared a wildlife Sanctuary in 1949, on account of its breeding population of rhino. There was no history of human habitation in the Gorumara National Park. Staying at Lataguri resort and doing Gorumara Jungle Safari is an inevitable part of Dooars Tour.
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The Gorumara National Park Forest bungalow dates back to the British Raj era and contains a well-maintained log book from its inception, which made its a interesting reading. However, Gorumara was surrounded by many ethnic villages. More than 10,000 resident forest villagers derived their income from sources including employment in forest department activities, ecotourism, etc. Some of the villages were Saraswati, Budhuram, Bichabhanga, Chatua, Kailipur, and Murti Forest Village.
Gorumara Forest was home to numerous tropical (A tropical forest was a type of forest found in areas with high regular rainfall and no more than two months of low rainfall ) orchids. The park was rich in massive herbivores together with Rhinoceros unicornis, gaur, Asian elephant, sloth bear, chital, and sambar deer. Small herbivores included barking deer, hog deer, and wild boar. There was a comparative lack of enormous carnivores, with the sole big cat being the leopard. The park wasn’t home to any resident population of Bengal tigers, Indian wild dogs, or Indian wolves. Tigers were, however, occasionally spotted here.
Birds at the Gorumara National Park included submontane forest (situated in the foothills or lower slopes of a mountain range) birds like the scarlet minivet, Sunbird, Asian paradise flycatchers, spangled drongo, and Indian hornbill. The park was home to a large number of snakes, venomous and non-venomous, including the Indian python, one of the largest snakes in the world, and the king cobra – the world’s largest venomous snake.
Hiking is permitted on metalled roads but is slightly unsafe considering the population of elephants, gaur, and rhinoceros present in the park. The park was closed in the Monsoon season from 16 June to 15 September. The best time to visit Gorumara was from November to March.
How to Reach
By Air – Nearest airport was Bagdogra airport, about 80 Km from the Gorumara National Park. Bagdogra airport was well connected by road network to Gorumara National Park.
By Rail – Nearest railway station was New Maynaguri railway station, about 20 Km from the Gorumara National Park. New Maynaguri railway station was well connected by road network to Gorumara National Park. Now Lataguri had its own railway station. But only one train (Siliguri Jn-New Coochbehar DMU ) ran in this route.
By Road – Gorumara National Park was well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There were a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Gorumara National Park at frequent intervals. National Highway 31 which connects Siliguri and Guwahati passed through Lataguri.
Distance from major places
Chalsa – about 14 km
Jalpaiguri – about 35 km
Siliguri – about 59 km
Bagdogra – about 80 km
Guwahati – about 405 km
Kolkata – about 615 km
The forest bungalows were available for stay at Gorumara and Murti. Nature Tourism center was also available for stay.
The forest department provided accommodation at Gorumara Eco Village (at Kalipur), Gorumara elephant camp (at Dhupjhora) and Kalipur Rhino camp (at Ramsai).
The nearby small town Lataguri had many private resorts as well as the Gorumara National Park.
Reservations could be made online from West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation, West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited, West Bengal State Forest Development Agency.
All links are given below
Our stay for Gorumara Jungle Safari
To know more about stay click below mentioned the link
The best way to watch wildlife at the park was to use powerful binoculars, from the 4 well-located watchtowers at the park. The watchtowers are:
Jatraprasad Watch Tower: Named after a legendary elephant
Rhino Observation Point: Watchtower before of the Gorumara forest bungalow. Rhino point was another tower situated near to Jatraprasad and was covered within the same trip.
Chandrachur Watch Tower (Old Khunia Watch Tower): Near the Murti forest bungalow
Chukchuki Bird-watching Point: Good for bird watching. It was located between Ramsai village within Gorumara and Lataguri.
Chapramari Watch Tower-Extention of Garumara but separated by Murti river.
Watch Tower visit and Jeep Safari
The park was closed in the Monsoon season from 16 June to 15 September. The best time to go to Gorumara was from November to March.
One also could visit the neighboring forest villages to be accustomed to the approach to life and culture of the villagers. A live show of the ethnic tribal dance could be seen every evening in Budhuram Forest Village. One can visit the Lataguri Nature Interpretation Centre for an interpretive exhibit of the local natural history.
Forest department’s main ticket counter was located at Lataguri. There were also other counters including in Murti area. Note that the ticket counters for watchtower trips and Jeep Safari were different, but both were located at Lataguri nearby. The entry gate for the Jeep Safari was at Lataguri itself. However, the entry gates of the various watchtowers were scattered and situated some distances away. But pick up and drop took place at Lataguri near the ticket counter.
Watchtower visits and jeep safaris took place both in the morning as well as in the evening at specific entry timings. However, at any point in time, only 40 persons were allowed to enter for a particular watchtower or safari. Each jeep could take up to 6 persons. You could also book a full jeep for your family but you had to pay for 6.
As the numbers restricted by the government which led to a problem, you required to queue up at the counter long before it opened to ensure you got a fair chance to went to a selected tower of your selection and at your preferred entry time.
I was at the counter one hour before it opened in the afternoon and I was lucky to get entry tickets for the day’s jeep safari in the forest.
Fee (Updated March 2018 )
Watchtower Entry fee
Jatraprosad Watch Tower – Rs. 120/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd Shift), Rs. 160/- (4th Shift) per person
Medla Watch Tower – Rs. 120/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Shift) per person
Chandrachur Watch Tower – Rs. 120/- (1st, 2nd, 4th Shift), Rs. 70/- (3rd Shift) per person
Chapramari Watch Tower – Rs. 70/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd Shift), Rs. 120/- (4th Shift) per person
Chukchuki Watch Tower – Rs. 70/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd Shift), Rs. 120/- (4th Shift) per person
Gypsy Fee (Maximum 6 persons in 1 gypsy)
Jatraprosad Watch Tower – Rs. 990/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Shift) per gypsy
Medla Watch Tower – Rs. 930/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Shift) per gypsy
Chandrachur Watch Tower – 930/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Shift) per gypsy
Chapramari Watch Tower – Rs. 1140/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd Shift), Rs. 1290/- (4th Shift) per gypsy
Chukchuki Watch Tower – 720/- (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Shift) per gypsy
Guide fee – Rs. 180 per gypsy
Gypsy entry fee – Rs. 100 per gypsy
Video camera fee – Rs. 200 per camera
Timing (March to September, except for the period when Forest remains closed)
1st Shift – 06.00 AM to 07.30 AM (Ticket Issue Timings – 05.30 AM)
2nd Shift – 08.30 AM to 10.00 AM (Ticket Issue Timings – 06.30 AM)
3rd Shift – 02.00 PM to 03.30 PM (Ticket Issue Timings – 01.00 PM)
4th Shift – 04.30 PM to 06.00 PM (Ticket Issue Timings – 02.00 PM)
Timing (October to February)
1st Shift – 06.30 AM to 08.00 AM (Ticket Issue Timings – 06.00 AM)
2nd Shift – 09.00 AM to 10.30 AM (Ticket Issue Timings – 07.00 AM)
3rd Shift – 01.00 PM to 02.30 PM (Ticket Issue Timings – 12.00 PM)
4th Shift – 03.30 PM to 05.00 PM (Ticket Issue Timings – 01.00 PM
Gorumara Jungle Safari cost (by Jeep)
My Gorumara Jungle safari (by Jeep) costs Rs. 1520 which consists of
Entry fee = 200
Guide = 180
Jeep = 1140 (for 4 persons )
Note that per person entry fee for foreign nationals (except SAARC countries) is double.
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Last updated on 15.01.21