Gorumara National Park
The Gorumara National Park is located at a distance of 12 kms from The Riverwood Forest Retreat-Dooars. Spread across 86 sq. km, the National Park has a stunning landscape and is home to a plethora of animals, birds, reptiles and insects. It was formed as a reserve forest in 1895 and was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1949 with the objective of protecting its Indian rhinoceros population. Eventually, in 1994, it was declared a national park. The Ministry of Environment and Forests declared it as one of the best protected areas in India in 2009. The Riverwood Forest Retreat – Dooars organises two types of jungle safaris to Gorumara: Jeep Safari (4X4 Gypsy) and Watchtower Safari.
The Watch Towers inside Gorumara National Park offer an excellent vantage point to observe the abundant flora, fauna and avi-fauna. Jatraprasad Watch Tower, named after the favorite elephant of the Forest Department, is the most popular watchtower amongst tourists. Located at the extreme end of the park, Chukchuki Watch Tower is an excellent spot to view the indigenous and migratory bird species in the jungle. Medhla Watch Tower was recently built in the vicinity of the river Murti. Visitors to the watchtower can observe herds of Elephants, one-horned Indian Rhinos and Gaur (Indian Bison) near the river. The Forest Department has arranged for buffalo carts to escort visitors to the watchtower.
The verdant forest area is home to a variety of trees like Teak, Simul (Silk cotton), Siris (Rain tree), Khair and Sal as well as different kinds of ferns and orchids.
The one-horned Indian Rhino is a major attraction at this park and is commonly spotted at Rhino Point along with the Gaur. Leopards, Elephants, Clouded Leopards, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Muntjac, Malayan Giant Squirrel are other varieties of wildlife in Gorumara National Park.
Bird-watching enthusiasts can treat themselves to the sights of Hornbills, Minivets, Woodpeckers, Pheasants, Cuckoos, Nightjars, Owls, Mynas and Pigeons. The winters have migratory birds like Storks, Teal and Ibis flying into the national park.
The park is home to one of the largest snakes in the world – the Indian Rock Python, and the world’s largest venomous snake – the King Cobra, among other venomous and non-venomous snakes. Reptiles like the Monitor Lizards, freshwater Turtles, Geckos and Kraits are also found here.
Best time to visit
The ideal time to visit Gorumara National Park is from October to May. The pleasant weather will keep you in a good mood while you explore and not worry about the scorching heat of summer.
The ideal ways to view the wildlife are either by going on a jungle safari or from the watchtowers that provide a beautiful view of the Gorumara National Park landscape. Medhla Watch Tower is open throughout the year.