Buxa Tiger Reserve
About the reserve
Once famous for dolomite mining, Buxa was declared a tiger reserve in 1983 and got the status of National park in 1992. Located in the Assam-Bhutan border, Buxa has an area of 745 sq km, the largest forest in North Bengal and has the second highest tiger population in West Bengal after Sunderbans.
The park holds maximum number of elephant, Indian bison, leopard, many species of deer and many smaller mammals, innumerable species of birds and reptiles. Buxa is rich with bio-diversity and has a great collection of rare orchids and medicinal plants. Because of inaccessible terrain, some parts of Buxa hills in the Sinchula range are still unexplored.
Buxa is one of the oldest settlements in North Bengal. It is 24kms from Alipurduar and 180 km from Siliguri, well connected by both motorable road and railways. Several trek routes originate here.
Rajabhatkhawa is only 10 km from Alipurduar and is the main entrance to Buxa Tiger Reserve. There are a number of tourist accommodations available at Rajabhatkhawa including both private lodges and home stays. Rajabhatkhawa is approachable by both road and rail form Siliguri (153kms) and Alipurduar (17 km). It is an ideal place for the wild life lovers. Rajabhatkhawa has a watchtower deep inside the forest that gives the best opportunity to view elephant, bison and even tiger. The Nature Interpretation Center at Rajabhatkhawa is another attraction.
This is a small village deep inside the forests. Jayanti can be visited during your sightseeing day trip inside the forest. You may also stay here at one of the home stays or small resorts. The main attraction here is the wide expense of Jayanti riverbed and the Bhutan hills on the other side of the river. You can also go inside the forest with the forest permission and accompanied by a guide. Jayanti riverbed is the site for a number of Bengali and Hindi movies.
Buxa Fort / Buxa Duar
The ruins of the fort is on a hill that can be approached after a trek of about 4 km from Santalabari. The fort was used by the British to keep the leaders of India's Independence movement in secluded confinement. The fort is mostly in ruins but its historical significance is hard to miss once you are here. There are couple of small accommodations for overnight stay. You can visit here on a sightseeing trip of you may plan to stay here overnight.
This is a small village with great views of Dooars further 2 km trek from Buxa Fort. The village is on top of a hill overlooking Dooars plains and the forest. There are 3 / 4 drukpa home stays available here.
Treks in Buxa
Most popular trek starts from Santrabari (914ft) to Buxaduar A 4 km trek through the dense forested hills leads to Buxaduar Forest Bungalow. Accommodation is available here for the trekkers.
Another 4 km trek through the forest track leads to the Rover's Point-the land of unknown birds (4500ft). It is difficult to ignore the lure of Rupam Valley in Bhutan, another 12 km from there.
The journey through the entire region is full of unknown adventure and excitements and gives some breathtaking views of Jayanti River Valley far below, ever green forest canopy and glimpse of rare animals, flight of birds and colourful orchids.
Buxaduar to Jayanti is another popular trek in the region. This 13 km trek passes through the dense forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve. The music of wilderness, the chirping of unknown birds, the song of wild streams, the fragrance of nature will never allow you to feel the least stress of a long journey. The journey ends with a warm reception of an old staggering priest at the stalactite cave of jayanti, popularly known as the Mahakal cave. It is difficult to enter into the narrow, dark, damp cave but trying the same may be another precious adventure. The downhill trek from here leads to Jayanti Forest Bungalow. Lying by the riverside and surrounded by century old Sal forests and hills-Jayanti is a place to stretch your weary legs as the cool breeze brushes away all the exhaustion.
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