Gorumara National ParkGorumara National Park, located in the Dooars (rolling hill slopes) region of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal is famous for its natural population of the Great Indian one horned Rhinoceros.
This was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949. This area comprising 80 km of diverse forests was later established as a National Park in the year 1992. The dooars region set in the Himalayan foothills has great natural beauty and is home to some of West Bengal's most varied flora and fauna. Gorumara National park is located on the bank of rivers Murti and Jaldhaka. The Thick rain forest has Teak, Simul, Siris and Khair trees in abundance.
The fauna of the park include Indian Elephant, Indian Bison, leopard, and different species of deer, turtles, pythons, monkeys etc. and more than 200 species of birds besides the one horned Rhinoceros. The park is a birdwatcher's paradise with beautiful birds. Chukchukia, a bird watching point inside the park is a popular tourist spot.
The entry point Lataguri is a small town adjacent to the park. Strategically placed watch towers provide an easy way for viewing the animals inside the park. They are Jatraprasad Watch tower (named in memory of a legendary elephant of that name), Rhino observation point in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow, Old Khunia Watch Tower near the Murti forest bungalow and Chukchukia Bird watching Point. Rhino observation point is the vintage point to observe wild animals like rhino, elephant, bison and deer as they come to the salt reservoir just below the tower to quench their thrust.
Wild Life in Gorumara
The watchtower beside the Forest Rest House gives a panoramic view of the entire park and the Murti Valley. The tower is the best place to observe wild animals like one horned Indian rhino, Elephant, Indian Bison (commonly known as Gaur), Leopards (locally known as Chitabagh), Rock Python, Malayan Giant Squirrel and deer as they regularly come to the salt reservoir just below the tower. Visitors need to obtain a special permission to enter into the core area of the parkas it is an extremely fragile eco system.
Major significance of this National Park is the number of schedule I animals it harbours which are given maximum protection. Some of them are
(1) Great Indian One horned Rhinoceros
(2) Indian Elephant
(3) Gaur (Indian Bison)
(5) Rock Python
(6) Malayan Giant Squirrel
The Gorumara national park has approximately 48 species of carnivores and herbivores, 193 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 7 species of turtles, 27 species of fishes and other macro and micro fauna.
The Park is a birdwatcher's paradise with its rich bio-diversity reflected in its wonderful avi-fauna comprising Hornbills, woodpeckers, Green Pigeons, Cuckoos, Orioles, Babblers, Minivets, Pheasants, Mynas, Lbis, and of course our National Bird Peacock. Many migratory birds including the Brahminy duckand Teals are regular visitors to the National Park.
Watch Towers located at various vantage points provide excellent facilities for wildlife viewing. They are Jatraprasad Watch Tower (named in memory of a Kunki Elephant). Rhino Point (in front of the Gorumara Forest Rest House), Chandrachur Tower (Old Khunia), Chukchuki Tower (a bird watching point) and Metla Tower (recently added)