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Three new Tourist destinations at Dooars / Duars - Garochira near Birpara, Gossainhat near Gayerkata and Neora Jungle Camp near Lataguri
New places are on offer in north Bengal for nature lovers with the Jalpaiguri forest division developing infrastructure in the buffer areas with a host of attractions for tourists. The division has developed three spots to create alternative employment opportunities for people living on the fringes of forests.
"So far, we have developed three sites at Garochira near Birpara, Gossainhat near Gayerkata and another near Lataguri, all in the forest areas," said Kalyan Das, the divisional forest officer of Jalpaiguri forest division. "Our attempt is to ease the pressure on core areas as well as to create means of alternative employment for people residing in forest villages."
At Garochira, where the department has built three cottages, visitors can enjoy the lush green Bhutan hills with rivulets in the back - drop.
"Travel on the road to Garochira village is adventurous. One has to cross rivulets flowing down from the Bhutan hills and they may rise any time. The visitors have to wait to cross till the water levels recede in the rivers," said the DFO. "We are offering nature trails in the forests and the hills for the tourists, who can visit the famous Kali temple at Makrapara also. Most importantly, the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is located only 30 kilometers away People can stay in the cottages amid the serene nature and enjoy a day's visit to Jaldapara," he added.
Local people are given the charge of the cottages where mouth-watering food will be served to the guests. Besides the cottages, the department is planning to create facilities for tent stay also. "We hope that the site will be a hit during the ensuing Durga Puja season. A self-help group formed by us has been engaged to run the cottages and they are expected to earn a decent income during the tourism season," said Bidhan Chhetri, a member of the self-help group. For bird lovers, the depart¬ment has on offer the Gossainhat Eco Park. Located near Gayerkata off National highway Number 31. The site has a watchtower and dormitories for the tourists.
"One can sight a variety of avian species during the winter. These include moorhen, lesser whistling teal, cotton teal and ferruginous duck. The tourists have the options to sit and watch the birds or take a walk to the Moraghat forest. We have also developed a water body where boating is available at Rs 10 per head for 30 minutes. Further, we have rest sheds for day visitors or picnickers who can enter the area by paying Rs 5 per head," said Das.
He added that a lot of youths from four forest villages were employed in the tourism sector at Gossainhat. The third spot developed by the Jalpaiguri forest division is the Neora jungle camp, which is 5 kilometers from Lataguri in Sursuti forest close to Gorumara National Park. "We have boating facilities in Neora but the key attraction there is a 22 kilometers jungle safari oh cars. Rhinos, deer, gaurs (Indian bison) and elephants can be sighted during the tour," said the DFO.
"We have photographs and information on animal species in an eco - club. Children can enrich themselves while adults can entertain themselves with the indoor games we have at a cottage. There is also an option to watch dance and listen to songs by tribals paying Rs 200 at a nearby village." in Neora. Das said, six villages were engaged for the safaris, while catering at the jungle camp would be taken care of by youths from the Bamni forest hamlet. .. The Telegraph
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