Buxa Tiger Reserve
 

Buxa Tiger Reserve Fact File

Area : Area of Tiger Reserve is 760 Sq Km with a core area of 331 Sq Km
Altitude : 61 meters (200 ft.)
Location : Alipurduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri District, West Bengal
Nearest Town : Alipurduar (District Town)
Other Nearest City : Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri
Distance: 175 Km from Siliguri, 17 Km from Alipurduar
Best Season : October to April


Buxa Tiger Reserve was set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner. This picturesque reserve with its proigous Terai, Bhabar as well as Hilly landscape, is issected by numerous rivulets. The varitable flora and fauna of these wet forests attracts tourists and nature lovers every year. This part of the country is characterized by its high degree of plant & animal bio-diversity where 60% species are endemic to the area. The Generic diversity of mammals is second highest among all the tiger reserves of India. Astonishing bio-diversity of animals comprise of a reach avifauna of more than 230 identified species, 67 mammals (out of which 21 are endangered), 36 species of reptiles (10 numbers are endangered). Apart from Bengal Tiger there are plenty of Leopard, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat, Jungle Cat, Indian Civet, Palm Civet etc. The Hornbills including greater Pied Hornbill abound the area. One of the rarest bird of India the Black-necked Crane has been sighted in the Reserve during the early winter. The migratory beautiful Black Stork is a visitor of the area. The monsoon ends and beautiful Minivets, Sultan tits arrive, during summer rare Ashyminivet is also sighted.

Flora

More than 300 species of trees, 250 species of shrubs, 400 species of herbs, 9 species of cane, 10 species of bamboo, 150 species of orchids, 100 species of grass and 130 species of aquatic flora including more than 70 sedges (Cyperaceae) have been identified so far. There are more than 160 species of other monocotyledons and ferns. The main species constitutes trees like Sal, Champ, Gamar, Simul, Chikrasi.

Fauna

The main species include Asian Elephant, Tiger, Gaur, Wild boar, Sambar .

In the Reserve more than 284 species of birds, 73 species of mammals, 76 species of snakes, 5 species of amphibians have been identified so far. In a recent survey (2006) it has been found that Buxa Tiger Reserve has the highest number of fish species in the North Bengal region. Apart from tigers animals like Elephants, bears, civets, giant squirrel, Gaur, Chital, clouded leopard, wild Buffaloes, antelope and snakes including the Regal Python are found here

About 230 species of birds and innumerable butterflies add colour to the forest. The rivers of Raidak and Jayanti which flow through the forest and the Narathali lake are home to migratory birds as well as endemic ones which abound the place. The Hornbills including greater Pied Hornbill, Ibis Bill, Trans Himalayan Migratory Goosanders, Red-stars, Wagtails, the rare black necked crane, migratory common teal, black stork, Large Whistling Teal, Minivets, White Eyed Poachared are some of the bird species sighted here. Two new species of frog have been discovered in the park in the year 2006

Endangered species

Some of the endangered species found in BTR are Indian Tiger, Asian Elephant, Leopard cat, Bengal Florican, Regal Python, Chinese Pangolin, Hispid hare, Hog deer Lesser Adjutant "Leptoptilos javanicus", White-rumped Vulture "Gyps bengalensis", Slender-billed Vulture "Gyps tenuirostris", Chestnut-breasted Partridge "Arborophila mandellii", Rufous necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis "Ferruginous", Pochard "Aythya nyroca" and Great Hornbill "Buceros bicornis"

Activities

Trekking

Buxa (2,600 ft) is a two hour trek through picturesque surroundings from Santlabari, the starting point. The Buxa Duar fort here was used as a prison by the British, because of its remoteness. Many freedom fighters were imprisoned here. After independence, it served as a refugee camp for Tibetans and Bangladeshis. There is a 4 km further trek to Rovers Point (the land of unknown birds at 4,500 ft / 1,400 m) or a 14 km trek to Roopam Valley in Bhutan from Bhutan. From Buxa, one can also take the 13 km trek to Jayanti through the beautiful jungle preferably with a guide. There is a stalactite cave, popularly known as the Mahakal cave at Jayanti. Another entry point Rajabhatkhawa (17 km from Alipurduar) has an orchidarium, animal rescue centre and a nature interpretation centre.

Boat safari into the dense forests of Sikiajhora

A boat ride into the dense forest of Sikiajhora is a unforgettable experience comparable very much to the amazong forest. The boat takes you 14 kms into the forest for wildlife viewing

Buxa Fort

Buxa Fort

Buxa Fort is located at an altitude of about 2600 ft A.S.L. at a two-hour trekking distance from Santrabari. The trek is a very pleasant one with some beautiful scenery en route. Originally established as a cantonment by the British East India company in 1873, it was used by the British as a deportation camp for political prisoners during India's struggle for freedom. The area's general inaccessibility, as well as dense forests, made it ideal for this. Some illustrious freedom fighters who were imprisoned here were - Triloki Sen,, Arun Guha, Surendra Mohan Ghosh, Hemendra Ghosh, Anil Roy, Maj. Satya Gupta, Amalendu Dasgupta, Jagannath Das Gupta, Khitish Chandra Mullick, Bhupati Majumdar and many others. Post-independence, it lost its significance and until today remains rather neglected. In the sixties, Buxa Fort was used as a relief camp for Tibetan refugees.
The Tibetan Buddhist monks who also sheltered here, attracted quite a few national and international tourists. During 1970-71, it was again used as a relief camp for Bangladeshi refugees for about six months. The trekking route to the fort both Santrabari is set amidst breathtaking scenery and provides trekkers with an opportunity to sample nature in a form unspoiled by modern influences.

Pukuri Lake

You can visit “Pukri Mai”, a small sacred pond situated inside the park where fishes like Magur and Singi and Turtles are kept. Festivals are held at certain time of the year by both Buddhist and Hindus and local tribals.