Gorumara
 

Gorumara Fact File

Best time to visit : November to April, The park is closed from mid June to mid September
Nearest town : Lataguri
Main Attractions : One horned Rhinoceros, Elephants, Bison, Brahmani Duck


Gorumara National Park is located in the Dooars (rolling hill slopes) region of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. This small forest area famous for its natural population of the Great Indian one horned Rhinoceros was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949. Later in the year 1992, it was established as a National Park, comprising 80 km of diverse forests.

The Dooars lying in the Himalayan foothills has great natural beauty and is home to some of West Bengal's most varied flora and fauna. Gorumara Park located on the bank of rivers Murti and Raidak has vegetation of riverine grasslands interspersed with savannah woodlands. Much of this forest is moist deciduous and sal (shorea robusta) is the most common and valuable tree. Teak, Simul, siris, Khair is also found here. The park is breathtaking with its rivers and mountain ranges.

Gorumara

Besides the one horned rhinoceros, the fauna of the park include Indian Elephant, Indian Bison, leopard, different species of deer, turtles, pythons, monkeys etc. and more than 200 species of birds. The park is a birdwatcher's paradise with beautiful birds like Indian pied hornbill, Woodpeckers, Sunbird, fly catcher, Minivet, Drongo, Pheasants and many more migratory birds especially in winter. Brahmani duck is a regular visitor here and the birds can be watched from Suksukia, a bird watching point inside the park.

Lataguri a small town adjacent to the park is the entry point. There are watch towers for viewing the animals inside the park. They are Yatraprasad 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 Suksukia Bird watching Point. Rhino observation point is the best place to observe wild animals like rhino, elephant, bison and deer as they regularly come to the salt reservoir just below the tower. From Gorumara it is only a two hours ride to Jaldapara wild life sanctuary which is also located in the Dooars.

Flora

Gorumara

Typical flora include:

Sal forests with Common Teak, Rain Tree (Shirish or Albizia lebbeck), and Silk Cotton (Shimul or Bombax malabaricum) trees.

Bamboo groves, Terai grassland vegetation and tropical riverine reeds.

Gorumara is home to numerous tropical orchids.

Fauna

Gorumara

The park has recorded fifty species of mammals, 193 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 7 species of turtles, 27 species of fishes and other macro and micro fauna.

Mammals: The Park is rich in large herbivores including Indian Rhinoceros, Gaur, Asian Elephant, Sloth bear, Chital, and Sambar Deer. Small herbivores include Barking deer, Hog deer and Wild boar. There is a comparative lack of large carnivores, with the only big cat being the Leopard. The park is not home to any resident population of Bengal Tigers, Indian Wild Dogs or Indian Wolf. Tigers are, however, occasionally spotted here. It does have numerous small carnivores including various civets, mongooses and small cats. The park has a large resident population of Wild boar, but the critically endangered Pygmy Hog has been reported from the park. It also has numerous rodents, including Giant Squirrels. The rare Hispid Hare has also been reported from the park.

Birds: Gorumara National Park is famous for its bird population - which includes brilliant submontane forest birds like the Scarlet Minivet, Sunbird, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Spangled Drongo and Great Indian Hornbill. Numerous woodpeckers and pheasants inhabit the park. Peafowls are very common. The park is on the flyway of numerous migratory birds, including the rare Brahminy Duck.

Reptiles and amphibians: The park is home to a large number of snakes, venomous and non-venomous, including the Indian Python, one of the largest snakes in the world, and the King Cobra - the world's largest venomous snake.

The best way to watch wildlife at the park is to use powerful binoculars from the numerous well-located watchtowers at the park. The watchtowers are:

  • Jatraprasad Watch Tower: Named after a legendary elephant

  • Rhino Observation Point: Watch tower in front of the Gorumara forest bungalow

  • Chandrachur Watch Tower (Old Khunia Watch Tower): Near the Murti forest bungalow

  • Chukchuki Bird-watching Point: Good for birding