Planning a Trip to North Bengal? what about visiting Jayanti, Rajabhatkhawa, Santrabari, Buxa Fort under Buxa Tiger Reserve. Accordingly to the 01.01.1999 census, hereunder is the wildlife population (collected from Nature Interpretation Centre, Buxa Tiger Park)
Tiger – 32 (24 cubs)
Leopard – 70
Lessar Cat – 200 – 300
Civet – 200 – 300
Elephant – 85
Gaur (Bison) – 310
Barking Deer – 1100 – 1300
Hog Deer – 110
Spotted Deer – 450 – 550
Samber – 300 – 400
Pangolin – 190 – 290
Mongoose- 110 – 210
Porcupine – 50 – 70
Wild Boar – 2800 – 3200
Monkeys – 14800 – 15800
Peacock – 2300 – 2400
Jungle Foul – 2400 – 2600
Yes, after ten long years, this figures are reduced to a great extent, even you may even not even see a monkey during your whole tour, still the place itself is worth watching. Wide beds of jungle river, enchanting Rajabhatkhawa cottage, coloured species of Butterflies during your trek to Buxa Fort.
The Jayanti forest range covers around 780 sq km. It is about 25km from Alipurduar Junction and 15km from Rajabhatkhawa, which is the forest gate. The dense forest has teak, sal, akasmoni and sirish.
Buxa National Park, in the subdivision of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri district, was set up in the year of 1982-83 and declared as National Park in the year 1992, situated at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. The name “Buxa Tiger” has been derived from Buxa Fort – a fort at an altitude of 867 meters on the Sinchula Range guarding the most important of the eleven routes into Bhutan, which once was used for detainees during freedom movement of India. With an area of 759 sq km this picturesque reserve with its prodigious Terai, Bhabar as well as Hilly landscape, crisscrossed by numerous rivers and their tributaries, presents a breathtaking landscape.
The Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan is contiguous to North of BTR. Manas Tiger Reserve lies on east of BTR. BTR, thus, serves as international corridor for elephant migration between India and Bhutan. The reserve encompasses as many as eight forest types.
Where to go:
Buxa fort: This trek starts from Santrabari (914ft) to Buxaduar(2600 ft). A 5kms trek through the dense forested hills leads to Buxaduar Forest Bungalow. Accommodation is available here for the trekkers. Another 4 kms trek through the forest track leads to the Rover’s Point-the land of unknown birds (4500ft). It is difficult to ignore the lure of Rupam Valley in Bhutan, another 12 kms from there. colourful butterflies and orchids will be available through out your trek. In ancient times, this route was the main route for trade between Coochbehar/Rangpur and Bhutan/parts of Tibet. A Big Soccer Ground at the footsteps of Buxa Fort and many other nature’s wonders will definitely make you feel good. The remains of the Fort reiterates Government’s laxity in preserving our cultural heritage. Apart from this, the whole tour is enjoyable and within comfort level. Don’t forget to take Momo’s while you are in Buxaduar.
Accomodation : Forest Bungalow. Contact Deputy Field Directer (East), Buxa Tiger Reserve, PO – Alipurduar Court, Jalpaiguri, PIN – 736122, PH: 03564 256005.
Jayanti: At an autoricksaw from Rajabhatkhawa, Santrabari or Alipurduars stands Jayanti – the main attraction in the region. It remains dry for most of the year. One gets a panoramic view of the forest as well as the lower Himalayan range from the banks. If lucky enough, you may catch a glimpse of wild animals crossing the river or drinking water, too much crowded during important dates will spoil your animal watching, so avoid dates like 25th December, 26th January or other popular winter holidays. During my visit, I was left spellbound by the fact that almost 600 people enjoying Jayanti as Picnic, no restriction on alcohol consumption within the Forest area is another surpirise, although, we passed through two SSB checking camps. I have been to Corbett for a few times and this is simply unbelievable thereat. Lack in level of consciousness is prominent. Possible view of Elephant, Spotted Deers, Leopard exists at Jayanti. A stalakite cave popularly known as ‘Jayanti Mahakal’ and ‘Pookri Pahar’ are well known destinations from Jayanti.
Accomodation : Forest Bungalow contains two Double Bed Rooms, three Suits with the name of Dhor Gour and Sambar and a 12 bed Dormitory, Contact Deputy Field Directer (East), Buxa Tiger Reserve, PO – Alipurduar Court, Jalpaiguri, PIN – 736122, PH: 03564 256005. Another good option is the CESC holiday home which can be booked from the Head Office of CESC at Kolkata. A Bungalow of Public Health Department can also be booked by getting into contact with Executive Engineer, PEH Directorate, Club Road, Jalpaiguri, PH: 03561-230659
Rajabhatkhawa: It is said that, after getting released from the hands of the King of Bhutan, the Maharaja of Coochbehar, Dhairjendra Narayan took his meal in the way of rice at this place. So, Raja Bhat Khawa. Enroute Jayanti from Alipurduars, you will have to stop at Rajabhatkhawa for obtaining necessary permission and paying appropriate fees. it is only 12 kms from Jayanti and approachable by both road and rail form Siliguri (153kms) and Alipurduar (17 kms). Surrounded by dense forests of Buxa tiger reserve, Rajabhatkhawa is an ideal place for the wild life lovers. A watchtower deep inside the forest gives the best opportunity to view elephant, bison and even tiger. The Nature Interpretation Center at Rajabhatkhawa is another attraction. There is a small bazaar and a beautiful small rail station.
Accomodation : WBFDC Jungle Lodge. Booking:WBFDC, 6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th Floor, Kolkata – 700013., Ph: 033-22370060 or Div. Manager, Buxa Loggin Division, PO – Alipurduar Court, Jalpaiguri, PIN – 736121, Ph: 03564 – 255004, 0353-25116306.
Suggested itinerary from Kolkata:
Day 1 – Board at Train from Kolkata preferably Kanchan Kanya / Uttarbanga Express as this will take the inner forest route and take you directly to Rajabhatkhawa.
Day 2 – Stay at Rajabhatkhawa, get necesary permissions etc, arrange vehicle for the next day.
Day 3 – Proceed to Jayanti, stay thereat, take chances of wild life views.
Day 4 – Stay at Jayanti and double your chances of wild life views.
Day 5 – Proceed early morning to Santrabari, start trek to Buxa Fort. You will reach there by afternoon. Make a halt there. A full moon night would be wonderfull.
Day 6 – Come down to Santrabari, proceed either to Rajabhatkhawa or to Alipurduars as per your Train bookings.
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