Gorumara-Dhupjhora
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Contributed by Pralay Lahiry

Gorumara National Park is significant as representative of the wet evergreen forests of the duars(dooars). The major town of Siliguri is known as the gateway to the duars. Gorumara National Park is close to the major town of Siliguri and offers the visitors a chance to see wild elephants, gaurs(wild ox) and rhinos in their natural habitat.

One-horned Indian Rhinos can be seen in the wild in Gorumara. The density of Gaurs is one of the highest in India as there is no significant predator base. Gorumara-Dhupjhora is the one of the last remaining fragment of the majestic Terai/Duar jungles of Bengal.

Gorumara National Park and its surroundings were made famous by the "Magnificent Mal Squad" in the book "Queen of the Elephants" by Mark Shand. This famous book and the accompanying documentary was partly about this area.

Dhupjhora is also locally known as the 'Elephant camp' because of the philkana – elephant stables – located here.

 

Also see the 'Wild places of India' iBook for the iPad.
with even more information about Gorumara
 

 

Join Pralay Lahiry on this tour to see the last of the wet evergreen forests
of the duars/dooars of West Bengal.
 

Dhupjhora landscape and Murthy river

 

Jungle walk with guide

 

Dhupjhora is also known locally as the Elephant camp

 

Elephant bath.

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Experts way to mount an elephant as demonstrated by the mahout. This is the quickest way to mount and elephant and the easiest for the elephant.

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Crimson sunbird

 

Map of Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park

Link to google maps map of Gorumara National Park

Travelling to Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park

By Road:Dhupjhora Elephant Camp is about 2 hours journey from Siliguri.

By Rail: the nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri adjacent to Siliguri town.

By Air: the nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri.

Travelling inside Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park

There is only one way of travelling inside the park. By elephant.

There are morning and evening elephant safaris. The cost of one ride is included in your daily charge. However, the safaris are weather dependant and might not take place in case of rain or flooded river. In that case there will be no refund. There is no other way of travelling inside. It is possible to go a short distance on foot trek with a guide with prior permission from the Beat Officer but there is no guarantee that permission will be granted.

Best time to go to Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park

Best time to go is from middle of October to end of April. The rains open up from end of May and the undergrowth, which is dense, becomes denser. Winters are cold. So pack your woolens. The Gypsy safaris from Lataguri town, which is nearby, to the interior of the park stops from 15th June to 15th September.

Accommodation at Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park

Accommodation is provided by one tree house and six cottages built on stilts. The Tree House, or Gach Bari, is closest to the forest fringe. Since there is hardly any buffer zone in Gorumara, the forest starts around 20 metres from the FRH compound and often wild elephants wander inside during the paddy season in the colder months.

Gach Bari – the tree house at Dhupjhora

Things to see and do at Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park

The elephant safari is the high point. Elephant safaris are conducted in the morning and evening.  Elephant, rhino and gaur sightings are common at close range. However, in case of inclement weather, elephant safaris might be cancelled and there will be no refund.

In the evening there is a tribal dance organized by the local tribals who work in the tea gardens.

You can also arrange local transport for a visit to the nearby hill stations of Jhalong, Bindu, Paren or go for a safari in the adjoining forest of Chapramari. Nearby Lataguri town has a Nature Interpretation Centre.

Tribal dance

 

Practical tips

Budget

Rail/air fare apart, the vehicle charges from NJP to Dhupjhora is about Rs 1400/- in eight seater Maruti Van and Rs 1600/- for a Tata Sumo as of June 2011. Make sure you arrange transportation from local vehicles.
The Tree House costs Rs 3000/- per day for 2 persons and Rs 3300/- per day for 3 persons. For the other cottages it is Rs 3000/- for 3 persons and Rs 2800/- for 2 persons . This includes accommodation, breakfast, tea, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner plus one elephant safari and evening tribal dance.

Enjoy responsibly!!!
Pralay Lahiry



Thanks for reading. Your comments and feedback will be appreciated.


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17 Comments

  1. Dany
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 20:01:30

    Super informative wtiring; keep it up.

    Reply

  2. Sugata Bandyopadhyay
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 16:30:21

    Really helpful information with all details ….i have no words to praise it;
    We 2 families have planned to visit this park on next October,2011.

    Eagerly waiting your more writings on other forests also…..

    Reply

  3. Madhumeeta Hulyalkar
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 09:15:39

    Very informative and very well written……solved many of my queries as am planning to visit Gorumara and Neora Valley National Park in May 2012 with my 3 kids. Can u put some light on the trolley ride that runs in the park ?

    Reply

    • Pralay Lahiry
      Jan 11, 2012 @ 16:21:27

      Hi Ms Hulyalkar

      I do not know of trolley rides inside Gorumara National Park. As far as I know, only elephants and to a certain extent four wheeled vehicles (restricted access) can go inside. I am visiting Gorumara shortly and if I find any info regarding trolley rides I shall get back to you.
      As for Neora Valley, I have been only to the fringes. Proper Neora Valley is mainly covered on foot because of the mountaneous terrain and dense vegetation. I do not know of any trolley rides in Neora Valley.

      Thanks and regards
      Pralay Lahiry

      Reply

  4. Debaditya Kumar
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 11:54:55

    Dear Pralay Kaku,

    Thanks for making me rebember one of my best trips in dooars. I am really sorry for not to disturb you at siesta when the Black buzza came :-)

    Reply

  5. Sivakumar V K
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 11:54:28

    It is wonderfully prepared and very nice to know about the lesser known sanctuaries!
    Regards
    Sivakumar

    Reply

  6. aritra
    May 26, 2013 @ 14:42:15

    you know….you cant get better excitement & such a fantastic tour in such low price.its mind blowing to be there.GREAT for all nature & wildlife lovers..
    specially going into the very heart of the jungle riding on the back of a jumbo :)

    Reply

  7. Niladri
    Jun 03, 2013 @ 05:40:10

    First of all thanks for creating such a blog.

    I have a totally different query:

    Between Sigma 150-500 OS and Nikor 300 f4 with 1.4 TC.. which one is better for wildlife photograpfy, as far as sharpness at wide open focal lengths are concerned ? I need your view on this as you are using Sigma 150-500 OS.

    Thanks,

    Niladri

    Reply

  8. Niladri Bhattacharya
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 09:08:25

    I am a crazyyy forest lover.I just want to know the tariff of GORUMARA REST HOUSE & CHAPRAMARI REST HOUSE,otherwise your blog is mindblowing…i love it…

    Reply

  9. Pralay Lahiry
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 10:09:05

    If you are talking about the Gorumara Forest Rest House near Jatragachi Watch Tower, I do not know that one. Chapramari costs Rs 2000/- per night per room. However, in both cases you have to book well in advance and your booking might be cancelled without prior notice in case any Forest Official or VIP turns up.

    Regards
    Pralay Lahiry

    Reply

  10. Pralay Lahiry
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 10:11:49

    Niladri

    Nikkor will definitely be sharper though some softness might creep up due to the TC. STill better than Sigma since it can open up more at the desired focal length and 1st party primes are always better. End of the day, the person behind the lens matters most.

    Regards
    Pralay Lahiry

    Reply

  11. Amrita
    Sep 20, 2013 @ 12:14:57

    I want to go to the forest at end of Dec. with my husband & brother. Can I book a tree house in advance & how? Please give some information about it.

    Reply

  12. Ayan Chatterjee
    Nov 14, 2013 @ 07:20:33

    if i do not stay in dhupjhora….can i get the facility of the elephant safary?

    Reply

  13. NIRMALYA
    May 27, 2014 @ 08:08:50

    Dear Pralay
    Your web page is fascinating and highly informative. During oct, 2014 we are planning for a Dooars trip of 3 families. Can you please tell me which of the following FRH are best – Dhupjora, Kalipur, Punjora, Rhino camp. I understand that the bookings in the above are not cancelled if payment is done. Is it true? Are these rest houses privately owned or govt. ? We will also visit Murti WBFDC Lodge and Jaldhaka WBSEDCL (Hydel Project) guest hosue? But this guest house can be cancelled because of VIP visit. In that case, will there be any chance of getting any other private accommodation nearby after reaching there?
    Thanks

    Reply

  14. Subhasish
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 09:47:38

    Want to know the contact number for more information about the booking of Gachh Bari. Please send that.

    Reply

  15. Niladri Bhattacharya
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:17:02

    I just want to know ,what is the best lens for wildlife photography..
    NIKKOR,SIGMA OR TAMRON

    Reply

  16. Atanu Kundu
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 12:52:02

    Dear Sir,
    We would like to visit Gorumara-Dhupjhora National Park during January’2015 in 2nd week.
    In this regard please let me know the process of booking for night staying inside forest bunglow.
    In continuation of the above let me know the room tariff(AC) for one family(2Adult+1).
    Regards,

    Atanu Kundu

    Reply

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