Thursday, 28 February 2013

Destination India

West Bengal (PART-V)

Jalpaiguri (2)


Chalsa is a small town situated just on the foot of the Himalayas in the Duars in Jalpaiguri district. The region is famous for its wildlife sanctuaries, the most notable of which is Jaldapara. The forests in the Dooars have a large variety of deer, namely, the sambar, barking deer, spotted deer and the hog deer. Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary, another haven for wildlife, is known for its flora and fauna, rich wild life, which includes elephants, guars, pigs, reptiles, birds and fishes. Buxa Tiger Reserve, covering an area of 761 sq. km, is a paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. While the peice-de-resistance is the Royal Bengal Tiger, the other animals also inhabit the region like Leopards, Elephants, Chital, Sambar, Barking deer and Malayan Giant Squirrel.

Chalsa is surrounded by hills, tea gardens, rivers and forests. One part of the town is surrounded by Gorumara National Park and other part with Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. This small town was known as Queen of Duars in British India. Canvas like tea gardens and dense forest will quench the thrist of your mind. The Sinclair's retreat is located on a hillock close to Chalsa.



Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest Sanctuaries in India. It situated in the Nagrakata block of Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal. The Murti River flows by the western boundary of it and the Sanctuary is totally located on the plain land of the Doors. Just 9.6 square kilometers area is bounded in this Sanctuary. It is a very small Sanctuary in India compare with others. The Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is filled with dense greenery which provides a natural home to the animals and birds living here. With very tall trees and thick bower of greenery, this sanctuary is a wildlife heaven. In 1895, it was declared as Reserve Forest by the British Government. In 1998, it was declared as Wildlife Sanctuary.

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for Indian Elephant. A large numbers of Elephant are there. Beside this the Royal Bengal Tiger and Indian Bison(Gaur) are very common animal in this Sanctuary. Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wildboar, Pangolin and many more species are also available in the Sanctuary. 


Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is paradise for bird watchers. There are more than 100 species of birds which include Green Magpie, Indian Treepie, Thrush, Scarlet Minivet, Hill Mayna, Whitr Breasted Kingfisher, Hornbill, Large Grey Headed Fishing Eagle, Adjutant Stork, Peafowl, Green pigeon, Roller, Florican, Flinch, Bee-eater, Black Partridges and many more. In winter you can find out various migratory birds like Brahminy, Teals, etc.

An observation tower is located in the front of the Glade in the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a very beautiful bird watching point as well as elephant and Gaur.

Jalpesh Temple

Jalpesh Temple, an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at a distance of around 15 km from Jalpaiguri town. It was built by the last successor of King Baghadatta, called Jalpash, who built the temple around 800 AD. The temple bears a long history to trace back. Bhaktiyar Khilji when invaded Kamrup destroyed this temple of Jalpesh. However, one of the Kings of Bhutan again restored it in the 12th century. But subsequently the temple was lost in the jungle. Again, in the year 1665, King Pranannarayan of the Cooch Behar dynasty excavated the temple site and re-established the temple.
Again in the year 1897, the temple was almost destroyed by an earthquake. With the unavailability of government help, funds were raised to repair the temple. A huge mela is held at the site of the temple in the month of January, which attracts bulk of people from Assam and Duars as well as the hills of the Darjeeling district.

Jogomaya Kalibari

The famous Jogomaya Kalibari in the Temple Street of Jalpaiguri is worth visiting. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. A shrine of Baba Loknath has also been constructed in the temple complex.
The idol of Goddess Kali is believed to be extreme powerful and divine. Tourists flock at the temple site mainly during the celebration of Kali puja.

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