Gorumara National Park
This park is located in theDooars Region of Jalpaiguri district.River Murti, Jaldhaka and Ingdong have passed through this national park. In the year 1949,Gorumara Forestwas declared as wildlife sanctuary when it was a small forest. Later in the year 1992, it was declared as a National Park, comprising of 89 kms. of diverse forest. The wildlife, in addition to one-horned Rhinos, consists of wild Elephants, Deer, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer and Hog Deer, wild Pig, Gour and a number of Birds, Peafowls, etc.
There is no history of human habitation in the park. The park forest bungalow dates back to theBritish Rajera, and contains a well-maintained log book from its inception, which makes for interesting reading. However Gorumara is encircled by many ethnic villages. More than 10,000 resident forest villagers derive their income from sources including employment in forest department activities, ecotourism, etc. Some of the villages are Sarswati, Budhuram, Bichabhanga, Chatua, Kailipur and Murti Forest Village.
Political Geography:The park is located in theMalbazar subdivisionofJalpaiguri district, in the state ofWest BengalinIndia.
Physical geography:Gorumara is located in theEastern Himalayas' submontaneTeraibelt. This region has rolling forests and riverine grasslands, and is known as theDooarsinWest Bengal. The park is located on theflood plainsof theMurti RiverandRaidak River. The major river of the park is theJaldhakariver, a tributary of theBrahmaputrariver system. In this regard, Gorumara is a significantwatershedarea between theGangesandBrahmaputrariver systems. The park is very close toJaldapara National ParkandChapramari Wildlife Reserve. The park is 79.99 km (49.70 mi) in area.
Climate: The temperature ranges from 10 to 21 °C (50 to 70 °F) from November to February, 24 to 27 °C (75 to 81 °F) from March to April and 27 to 37 °C (81 to 99 °F) from May to October. Rainfall mostly occurs between mid-May to mid-October and average annual rainfall is 382 cm (150 in).
Flora:Typical flora include: Salforests with commonteak,rain tree(Shirish orAlbizia samanlebbeck), andBombax(also known as silk cotton tree or Shimul). Bamboogroves, terai grassland vegetation and tropical riverine reeds. Gorumara is home to numerous tropical orchids.
Fauna:The park has recorded fifty species ofmammals, 193 species ofbirds, 22 species ofreptiles, 7 species ofturtles, 27 species offish, and other macro and micro fauna.
Mammals:The Park is rich in large herbivores includingIndian rhinoceros,gaur,Asian elephant,sloth bear,chital, andSambar deer. Small herbivores includebarking deer,hog deerandwild boar. There is a comparative lack of large carnivores, with the only big cat being theleopard. The park is not home to any resident population ofBengal tigers,Indian wild dogs, orIndian wolf. Tigers are, however, occasionally spotted here. It does have numerous small carnivores including various civets, mongooses and small cats. The park has a large resident population ofwild boar, but the critically endangeredpygmy hoghas been reported from the park. It also has numerous rodents, includinggiant squirrels. The rareHispid harehas also been reported from the park.
Birds:Birds at the Gorumara National Park include submontane forest birds like thescarlet minivet,sunbird,Asian paradise suncatcher,spangled drongo, andIndian hornbill. Numerous woodpeckersandpheasantsinhabit the park.Peafowlsare very common. The park is on theflywayofmigratory birdsincluding the rareBrahminy duck.
Reptiles and amphibians:The park is home to a large number of snakes, venomous and non-venomous, including theIndian python, one of the largest snakes in the world, and theking cobra- the world's largestvenomous snake.
The best way to watch wildlife at the park is to use powerful binoculars, withnight visionfacilities at night, from the numerous well-located watchtowers at the park. The watchtowers are:
** Jatraprasad Watch Tower: Named after a legendary elephant
** Rhino Observation Point: Watch tower in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow.
** Chandrachur Watch Tower (Old Khunia Watch Tower): Near the Murti forest bungalow.
** Chukchuki Bird-watching Point: Good for birding.
** Medla Watchtower.
There are no ranger-led or otherwisefour-wheel drive vehicleorelephant-backforays into the jungle. Hiking is permitted on metalled roads, but is slightly unsafe considering the population of elephants, gaur and rhinoceros present in the park. The park is closed in theMonsoonseason from 16 June to 15 September. The best time to visit Gorumara is from November to March.
One can also visit the adjoining forest villages to get acquainted with the lifestyle and culture of the villagers. A live show of the ethnic tribal dance can be seen every evening inBudhuram Forest Village. One can visit theLataguri Nature Interpretation Centrefor an interpretive exhibit of the local natural history.
Lataguriis the nearest small Tourist Strip nearGorumara National park.Private Resorts / Accommodation are available here. Tourist may visitGorumara National Parkin day time staying atLataguri.Day visit permission to the National Park may be obtained from : Nature Interpretation Centre, Department of Forest Govt. of West Bengal),Lataguri.
Tourism in Murti
A place besides river Murti, around 8 km away from Chalsa and 60 km away from Jalpaiguri is famous for its scenic beauty. This place is located in between Gorumara and Chapramari.
Excellent scenic beaury is the main attraction of this site. It is an experience to listen to the music of Murti River staying at Govt. Nature Resort and Private Resorts. Both Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary are very close to this place.One can get day visit pass from Lataguri Interpretation Centre to enter the National Park and Sanctuary.