Surrounded by lush green forests and tucked away in a small corner called Hollong, the Jaldapara National Park is a must-visit place for every tourist and travel buff. This biodiversity hotspot is located in the interiors of West Bengal/Sikkim and is perfect for anyone looking for a serene national park tour. Filled with a diverse form of Flora and Fauna, the Jaldapara National Park is en enticing and enchanting revelation.
There is also the beautiful Hollong Forest lodge that is quite popular and in high demand, owing to its architecture and access to wildlife.
The first thing that you will encounter on your national park tour is a lush green forest, as you enter the Jaldapara National Park. This serene forest can be best experienced by an adventurous jeep safari. Just sit back and enjoy the joyful ride through the Jaldapara National Park, as you witness some bubbling flora and fauna.
You will be privy to rhinos hidden behind tall grasses, and you might climb the lovely watchtowers to get a good look at them. You will also meet mighty elephants who trod along with the jeep and might even end up greeting you with their trunks.
Also keep an eye for the exotic birds who pop up in the hidden crevices of the trees, or sit on a thin branch singing away, or even just stop in front of your jeep and pose away.
One of the most enchanting and surreal sights is watching the birds come down and peck on the salt piles. While you will be expecting birds, you will not be able to phantom the sheer beauty and rarity of the birds that come here. You will witness thousands of yellow-footed green pigeons, just sliding and swooping down. They sit on the salt pules and then fly away altogether once they are done. The sheer discipline and order are worth watching.
You will find other varieties of birds like Imperial Green Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, and different varieties of Parakeets.
You might also find colourful and vibrant peacocks dancing away around the Brooke. They will just simply bend down, take a sip and then fly to some other area.
One of the best and most iconic places during your national park tour is at the famous Hollong Forest Lodge. This lodge was once an ancient Hunter’s bungalow. Since then, it has been converted into a bustling atmospheric lodge.
To reach there you need to first rent a car to reach the gate of the jungle. There, all of your documents will be verified. You must also carry an identity proof, and will be photographed once you get there. After which you need to get yourself a forest department vehicle to reach the lodge. While this might seem a little overwhelming, it is all worth it for the beauty that will bless you.
The lodge only has a few rooms, so make sure you come as early as you can to experience the magic of the Hollong Lodge. The rooms are given on a first come first serve basis. If you can then try and stay in Room No. 5, which is one of the most coveted and sought after room, as it overlooks the jungle. You just sit inside your room and stare at the wildlife in front of you.
The lodge will give you a unique sense of being lost in the wilderness of the forest. Animals like Bisons and Rhinos will just walk inside the premises, so make sure you do not venture out alone at night or otherwise without supervision.
The beauty of this national park tour, especially at the Hollong Lodge is that animals can just come out from anywhere, and the staff will make sure that you witness it. You might we just having dinner when bison walk into the front lawn. The staff will them rush you off, leaving your dinner and guide you into the front lawn.
The staff have flashlights and will show you the animals in minimal light. You might even be awakened post-midnight by the stiff just to see the Rhinos lying and lazing in the back lawn. It is quite thrilling, and the real thrill of your national park tour will start here.
There is also a lovely rivulet that flows between the lodge and the forest. You can just sit there and watch as time goes by. There is also an area where the staff put salt every morning. Animals and birds come here to peck on this salt. This is unique, and you will not find this in another national park in India.
You can then head off to the underrated Chilapata forest, on your northeast national park tour. You do not need to get out of your vehicle to experience this dreamy and magical forest. Just drive by and watch as the enchanted forest starts to heal your soul and transports you to a world of wonders.
You will find yourself right on the laps of nature, however, it is strongly advised that you stay in your car and not get out to see and photograph the animals. The tall bamboo trees form a canopy on the road, almost resembling an enchanted tunnel. Just drive by slowly and take in all the mystic that the forest has to offer. You can also hear the melodious chirping of the birds and sometimes even the roars of the bigger cats that inhabit the Chilapata forest.
Once you cross the thickest part of the forest, you can stop near a bridge, under which a surreal stream flows by. Just get down and walk a little. You will still feel that you are inside the forest as the atmosphere is all nature, eerie and misty.
Make your way back before it gets too dark and end your national park tour on this high note.