Neora Valley National Park is situated in the Kalimpong district, West Bengal, India and was established in 1986. It covers an area of 88 km2 with an elevation of 183 – 3,200 meters. Virgin natural forests, dense bamboo groves, colorful canopy of Rhododendron trees, lush green valley, meandering rivers and streams with snowcapped mountains in the backdrop form a picturesque landscape.
The highest point is Rachela Danda. The forest in Neora Valley has such luxurious growth that even sunlight finds it difficult to touch the ground. Much of the park is still inaccessible, making it an adventurous place for the nature lovers and trekkers who can take the challenge to explore the still - unknown terrain in the Kalimpong hills. It borders Sikkim and Bhutan.
It is one of the richest biological zones in the entire Eastern India. It is the land of the elegant red panda in the pristine undisturbed natural habitat with rugged inaccessible hilly terrain and rich diverse flora and fauna making this park an important wilderness zone.
Himalayan Cutia at Neora Valley National Park
Neora Valley, one of the last tracts of virgin wilderness in the country, sustains a unique ecosystem where tropical, sub-tropical, sub-temperate, and temperate vegetative system still harbours a wealth of flora and fauna. The forests consist of mixed species like rhododendron, bamboo, oak, ferns, sal, etc. The valley also has numerous species of orchids.
Mammals reported from this area are Indian leopard, five viverrid species, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, Asian golden cat, wild boar, leopard cat, goral, serow, barking deer, Sambar deer, Himalayan flying squirrel and tahr and the red panda. Among other endangered mammalian fauna, clouded leopards are seldom seen and likely to be present in the park.
October to April is ideal for visiting this park though day visits are open to tourists from 16th September to 15th June. The park remains closed for 3 months during monsoon.