Jaldapara National Park is situated on the banks of the Torsa River at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Alipurduar District of northern West Bengal. It is situated at an altitude of 61 m and is spread across 216.51 km2 of vast grassland with patches of dense forests. Today, it has the largest population of the Indian one horned rhinoceros in the state, an animal threatened with extinction.
Formerly called Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary it was established in 1941 for the purpose of protecting the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. In May 2012 it was declared a national park. The nearby Chilapata Forests is an elephant corridor between Jaldapara and the Buxa Tiger Reserve.
It is a mosaic of woods, grasslands, perennial streams, sandy river banks and extensive belts of tall grass. The forest is mainly savannah covered with tall elephant grasses. Except Indian one-horned rhinoceros other animals in the park include Indian leopard, Indian elephants, sambar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild boars, and gaur.
Jaldapara National Park
Jaldapara is a paradise for bird watchers. It is one of the very few places in India, where the Bengal florican is sighted. Crested eagle, Pallas's fish eagle, shikra, Finn's weaver, jungle fowl, peafowl (peacock), partridge, and lesser pied hornbill are the other birds to be found here. Pythons, monitor lizards, kraits, cobras, geckos, and about eight species of fresh water turtles can also be found here.
The Malangi River also flows nearby from east to west. Drained by rivers Torsa, Malangi, Hollong, Chirakhawa, Kalijhora, Sissamara, Bhaluka and Buri Torsa, the Sanctuary provides extensive grassland which is the last refuge to a wide variety of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
Jaldapara is well connected by National Highway 31 with Siliguri and can be reached by car. Madarihat is the entry point for the sanctuary. North Bengal State Transport Corporation buses are available from Siliguri to Alipurduar via Madarihat. Cars can also be booked at Siliguri to reach Jaldapara.
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