“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness – John Muir”
Dooars is endowed with some of the richest natural forests in India and has always been a paradise for nature lovers. Forest walk or jungle safari is like a therapy for those who seek to connect with nature to recharge themselves. 56 years old Kanchan Ghosh always wanted to explore the wilderness in its purest form. Flats at Panthaniwas near Chapramari forest provided him with the best options to witness the grandeur and richness of wildlife.These enchanting forests in Dooars are attracting not only tourists but home buyers like him who look forward to settle there for life.
The wide expansion of forest is home to a large variety of fauna and countless other species and subspecies of birds, reptiles, and animals. The picturesque valleys of Buxa with forests marked by walking trails to the riverbeds at Jaldapara and the lush greenery of Gorumara NationalPark offer a fascinating diversity of terrain that will mesmerize anyone.
Dooars offers some of the best forests in India. Here is the list of forests around Panthaniwas that you can explore:
- Gorumara National Park:
Gorumara, famous for one-horned Rhinoceros, is arguably one of the most popular national parks in North Bengal.Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is divided by Murti River that is just 1km away from Panthaniwas. Spread over an area of 80 square kilometres in the foothills of the Great Himalayas, Gorumarais home for 50 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, flower species, and a thick dense forest. Declared as the best-protected area in India by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2009, visitors can experience beautiful panoramic view of the forests from one of the many watch towers placed strategically within the premises.
- Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary:
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuaryis famous for its mega-herbivores such as the Elephant and the Gaur along with carnivores like Royal Bengal tiger, cheetah and leopards. The name ‘Chapramari’ is derived from a variety of small fish called ‘Chapra’ and ‘Mari’ signifies ‘plenty’ in their language. Located on the northern side of Gorumara, the drive to Chapramarithrough some of the verdant tea gardens in the undulating plains ofDooars will leave you enthralled with joy. If you are a birdwatcher, carry a pair of binoculars to catch a glimpse of colourful birds like parrot, kingfisher and green pigeon, among many others.
- Jaldapara National Park:
Situated in the Eastern foothills of the Himalayas and spread over 200 sq. km area, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest concentration of Asiatic one-horned rhinos outside Assam. Located on the bank of River Torsha, it has vast grasslands and patches of riverine forests and tall elephant grasses. The wilderness of Jaldapara National Park can be witnessed by elephant safari. You can spot leopard, Bengal florican, peacock, python, cobra among various other mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds. There are around eight species of fresh water turtles present and protected in Jaldapara.
- Buxa Tiger Reserve:
Buxa Tiger Reserve, a part of the Buxa National Park is situated in the AlipurDuar has been a hotspot for tiger sighting. Interspersed with the River Jayanti, mountains and dense forests – the reserve forest boasts of rich biodiversity. It is also home to over 400 species of trees and herbs, 150 species of orchids, 250 species of shrubs, 100 species of grass, and about 130 species of aquatic flora. Encompassed by a mix of different types of forests—riverine, savannah, evergreen, sal and others, Buxa Tiger Reserve is also a delight for bird watchers.
- Neora Valley National Park:
Just 11km away from Panthaniwas, Neora Valley National Park is situated in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal and touches the neighbouring state of Sikkim and our neighbour country, Bhutan. The forest is a continuation of East Sikkim Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary and still has some virgin area. The dense forest form a canopy over here and makes it a hub for trekkers and adventure seekers. Neora Valley is one of the rare places in India where elusive red pandas and clouded leopards are spotted.