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Gorumara National Park

It is by far the most popular tourist destination of Dooars area in North Bengal. Gorumara is a relatively small forest spread over just 80 sq km, but from tourism perspective the importance of this forest is immense. It is also one of the newest tourist destination of East India. Till late 1990s, Gorumara was visited by only a few enthusiasts, but over the last few years its importance has increased substantially, tourism infrastructure has improved and tourists are visiting the hords.
 

Why Visit Gorumara

There are many reasons behind increased interest in Gorumara.
* Among all the forests of Dooars including Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary etc. Gorumara offers the largest number of watchtower visit options and forest safari choices to a tourist. Check the "Watchtowers" Tab for further details on this.
* The relative density of wildlife is quite high at Gorumara, in other words, chances of animal sighting here is much higher.
* Tourism infrastructure is also well developed with many tourist lodges of different budget around here. Check the Accommodation tab to find a hotel of your choice.
* The forest is very close to the transit hub of the region. New Jalpaiguri Rail Station is just 65 kms and Bagdogra airport 75 kms away. Check Getting There tab for transport related information.
* Forest based tourism depends a lot on co-operation of forest officials, the authority at Gorumara National Park has been very forthcoming in promoting sustainable tourism in the area.
* Gorumara can be combined easily with other forests such as Chapramari, Jaldapara or with other destinations such as Samsing, Bindu, Jhalong etc. to create short to medium duration holiday tour. Check our holiday tour ideas for a tour package of your choice.
* The area is very peaceful and there is rarely any untoward incidence reported in the area.

Weather in Gorumara

As for the rest of Dooars, the weather in Gorumara is Moist Tropical. The Temperature during the Winter months between November and February vary between 10 deg C to 20 deg C. April and May are the summer months and the temperature may go up to 35 deg C. July to September is the rainy season, this is also the mating season for wildlife. The forest remains closed for visiting tourists during these months. But the green cover during the rainy season is mesmerizingly beautiful.

The relative humidity varies between 80 to 100 per cent with July-August being the most humid and January - February being the least.

Average rainfall varies between 3000 to 4000 millimetre during normal year. The monsoon months of July to September witness maximum amount of rain. Flooding in the area is also not uncommon although no major flood has taken place around Gorumara during the last few decades.

Getting There

Most people travelling to Gorumara are from Kolkata who travel by overnight Train. You may get down at New Jalpaiguri station and travel to Gorumara by road (65 kms, 1.5 hours). If you plan to fly to Bagdogra, the nearest airport, the distance and transfer time from Bagdogra will not be very different.

There are a few trains such as Teesta Torsa express and Kamrup express that stop at Maynaguri. Although it’s a much smaller station, Gorumara is just 20 kms and half an hour drive from Maynaguri. On the southern fringe of the forests is the New Mal Junction where trains such as Kanchankanya, Capital Express and Mahananda Express has a stop. The forest is about 20 kms or half an hour drive from Malbazar as well.

If you are travelling by car, you may either take the Jalpaiguri - Maynaguri road (National Highway 31) or the Sevok – Malbazar road (National Highway 31C). The southern fringe of the forest and Lataguri would be slightly closer through the first route and the Northern fringe such as Dhupjhora would be closer through Sevok. The Sevok – Malbazar route is a beautiful drive with Tea gardens, rivers, mountains, forest all crossing your path.

Watchtowers inside Gorumara

There are a number of watchtowers inside and along the edges of the forest. These watchtowers are the best places to observe wildlife in their natural environment. All watchtower visits are regulated by the forest department with approved vehicles and guides taking the guests to the watchtowers. These forest safaries are organised during early morning hour just after sunrise and also in the afternoon before sunset.

Jatraprasad Watchtower - Named after a forest department elephant, Jatraprasad is the most popular watchtower among tourists as it provides view of wide expanse of the core forest area with regular wildlife sighting.

Khunia Watchtower - This watchtower is built recently inside Khunia forest especially for viewing elephant and Gaur (Indian Bison). It is located about 4 kms from Khunia crossing and is also known as Chapramari watch tower.

Medla Watch Tower – This watchtower is on the Eastern Fringe of Gorumara forest adjacent to Ramsai. There are two forest accommodations in the neighboring area one being the Rhino resort and the other one known as Kalipur eco village. You can take a ride on a bullock cart to visit this watch tower. Wide expanse of river Murti in front provides ideal spot for watching wild life.

Rhino Observation Point - The watchtower is situated adjacent to the forest bungalow inside the Gorumara. A very good place for leisurely watching rhino and elephant as they come to the salt reservoir just below the tower.

Chukchuki Watchtower - This is basically a bird watchers' paradise situated at the boarder of the park. The physical distance from Medla watch tower is less than a kilometre, but you have to travel to Chukchuki through a different route through the forest increasing the distance several fold.

Chandrachur Watchtower - This watchtower is located deep inside a forest. There used to be a village inside the forest and although the village has now been shifted outside, the large open grassland where the village once stood, has become an ideal point to spot wildlife.

Places Around

Lataguri is the nearest town adjacent to the National Park. It is also the most popular choice for accommodation among tourists. Other tourist destinations within short distance include the following.

Samsing – About 30 kms from Gorumara, this village on the foothills is also the entry point to another national park of the area, the Neora Valley National Park.

Jhalong - Bindu– are small villages in the hills on the Bhutan boarder. You can take a day trip and return to your resort at Gorumara, or spend a night here.

Jaldapara – The famous forests of Jaldapara is about an hour an half from Gorumara and can be visited as a day tour.

Murti – The name of the river also gives name to the place where the forest road crosses the river. This is a common tourist place and a picnic spot.

Flora

The forests of Gorumara are partially wet semi evergreen and at places one can observe the Savannah grassland. The wet semi evergreen forests offer closed canopy of considerable height and fully shaded forest floor littered with leaf. Due to absence of grass, large herbivores are relatively rare in this forest.

The savannah grasslands are mostly besides the river Murti and covers about 20 per cent of the total forest area. These forests include Khair, Simul, Saal trees. This is the ideal grazing ground for Rhinos, Elephants, Hog Deer, Chittal, Sambhar and Gaur.

Mammals

The park is home of 48 species of Carnivores and Herbivores and offers one of the best diversity of Mega fauna. The forest is part of an important migratory route of Elephants. It is also the residence for the great Asian one horned Rhino and Gaur, the Indian Bison. Other species of wildlife include leopard, Jungle cat, fishing cat, leopard cat, Indian civet, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Wild Pig, different species of deer with Sambhar being the most common, turtles, pythons, monkeys etc.

It is estimated that there are about 350 elephants in Gorumara most of whom are migratory. There are several dozens of Rhinos, about 250 Deer and about 50 Leopards in the forest. The Leopards mostly prefer to stay in the tea gardens surrounding the forest. The forest is also home to about a thousand pythons. 

Birds

Gorumara is home of 193 species of birds. The park is a birdwatcher's paradise with beautiful birds like Indian pied hornbill, Hoopoe, Woodpeckers, Sunbird, Ibis, Fly catcher, Minivet, Drongo, Crested Serpent Eagle, Nightjars, Owls, Red Jungle Fowl, Pheasants and many more migratory birds especially in winter.

Among migratory birds, Brahmany ducks and teals are regular visitor here. Other water birds include Little Cormorant, Indian Shag, Darter, Egrets, Lesser Adjutant Stork and Lapwing.  The birds can be watched from Chukchuki, a bird watching point inside the park.

Reptiles and amphibians

The park is 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.

Map of Gorumara

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