Chilapata Forest is a dense natural forest near Jaldapara WLS in Dooars area of West Bengal. It is about 20 kms from Alipurduar town and is within the Jalpaiguri District. A drive through the forests is an enthralling experience.
As river Torsa flows down from the hills, it travels through the plains of Dooars dividing a continuous stretch of forest into Jaldapara and Chilapata. Jaldapara has traditionally been a popular destination for tourists for its population of one horned rhino and elephant. Chilapata on the other hand has gained in popularity only in the recent past.
Hasimara is the town adjacent to the forests of Chilapata and has a Indian Air force base.
Alipurduar is the most important town in the area and a major railhead is about 45 minutes drive.
As for rest of Dooars, the forests of Chilapata can be reached from Bagdogra Airport about 160 kms away (3.5 hours drive). There is another airport at Coochbehar (about an hours drive), but regular flights from Coochbehar are not available.
Hasimara is the nearest rail station about 10 kms away from Chilapata. Alipurduar is a major rail junction (20 kms). Most trains traveling to North East pass through and stops at Alipurduar. New Jalpaiguri is the most important rail station located at a distance of 155 kms (3.5 hours)
The National Highway criss-crosses Dooars. Hasimara town is located on the highway. From here the road towards the south passes through Chilapata forests.
There is another route passing through the southern part of Dooars and going to Coochbehar and Alipurduar from Jalpaiguri via Falakata. On this road there is a place called Sonapur crossing. From here the road going towards North reaches Chilapata forests through Mathura Tea Garden.
There are forest safaris available inside forest which you can avail. The safari would take you inside the forest and wild life sighting is most common. There are forest villages inside such as Kodalbasty where forest cover is thinner and Elephant sighting is regular. The CC Line is located close to Torsa river bed. The wide river bed offers view of a stretch of several kms and sighting of Gaur (Indian Bison), Elephant and Rhino is common apart from smaller animals such as Deers, Birds of wide variety and others. You can also visit Mendabari village where there is a watchtower for animal sighting.
Another major attraction at Chilapata is the "Nalrajar Garh" or the fort of the Nal kings. The fort was built during the Gupta period in the fifth century, although the fort itself is in ruins now, it has tremendous archaeological importance and reminds one of the golden age in the history of India. The site is not maintained very well at present and wildlife sighting at this place is not unusual.