The Jaldapara National Park, formerly Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary is situated in the Alipur Duar, subdivision of Jalpaiguri District, in north Bengal. Established in 1941 for the protection of the Indian one-horned rhino, the sanctuary covers an area of 216 sq. km of dry deciduous forests, moist mixed forests, swamps and grass lands, perennial streams, sandy river banks and extensive belts of tall elephant grass. More than 30% of the total area is grassland. The Park is a habitat for innumerable species of shrubs and trees.
The main attraction in Jaldapara is the Asiatic one horned rhino which has the second largest rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Other animal species include Elephants, Indian Bison, Hog Deer, Spotted Deer, the Chital, the Hog deer, the Sambar and the Barking deer. Wild pigs, Tigers, leopards, jungle cat, leopard cat, fishing cat. common otter, Indian civet, Giant squirrel, Indian pangolin, Hispid hare, Indian porcupine and Indian Rock Python.
Jaldapara is a paradise for bird watchers. More than 240 species of birds are found in the National Park. It is one of the very few places in India, where the Bengal Florican can be sighted. The avifauna includes Owls, Nightjars, Crested serpent Eagle, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, Pied Harrier, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, Bee-eaters, Rollers, Hoopoe, Shrikes, Larks, Hill Mynas, Bulbuls, Finches, Red jungle fowl, Black partridge, Shaheen Falcon, Great Pied Hornbills, Forest Eagle Owl, Large Green billed Malkoha, White Rumped Vulture, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Green Pigeons, Barbets, Parakeets, Woodpeckers, Cuckoos, Orioles, Drongos, Babblers, Thrushes, Brahminy ducks, Whistling Teals and Merganser.
The most common birds are the large and little Cormorant, Indian Shag, Darter, Egret, Pied Wagtail, River Lapwing, Moorhen, White Breasted Waterhen etc.
Bagdogra is the nearest airport. Indian Airlines flies to Bagdora from Delhi and Kolkata New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead. Some of the convenient daily rail connections to the place are from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. All trains stop at Birpara and Hansimara Railway stations. Jaldapara is 20 km from here. Only passenger trains stop at Madarihat which is 7 km from the sanctuary. From Siliguri by road to Jaladapara is 214 km to 240 km depending on the route taken. NH 31 is the main highway.
Weather in Jaldapara is warm and humid all the year long. The park remains open from September 15 to June 15 and closes down during the monsoons. The best time to visit the park is from middle of October to end of February.
A permit is required for visit to the sanctuary. The Park can be best explored on an adventurous elephant safari. Jeep safaris are also arranged in the park. The Forest Department and Tourism of West Bengal also provide the accommodation inside the sanctuary.
For further information contact:
Assistant Wildlife Warden,
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary,
I N D I A