Take A Break And Help Nurture Local Biodiversity At The Belun Eco Village
Looking for a truly peaceful break in the middle of nature? If you love nature, observing local fauna and want to lend a hand in preserving local ecosystems, hit up Belun Eco Village.
What Makes It Awesome
Around 175 kms from Kolkata, Belun Eco Village (in Burdwan district) harbours a unique eco-system. Every year the annual floods of Shibai River submerge the adjacent landscape and create a marshland for a couple of months. After the water recedes, the region becomes home to a healthy population of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies. Local as well as migratory birds flock to Belun and mammals like jackals, foxes, fishing cats and civets are spotted regularly. The folks behind Belun started nature conservation efforts there with the villagers and now work mutually to sustain the fragile ecosystem.
It is a relatively isolated place but there's much to do here for nature lovers. Visit the nearby Shibai river - during monsoons, it floods the banks and creates an endless stretch of marshland. And when the water recedes, several species of birds, mammals and butterflies make this marshland their home. The guys who run Belun have set up a Nature Interpretation Center on the banks of the river so you can sit with your binoculars and spot various birds and wild cats. They have also created a small forestland on the river bank which supports more than 600 species of local fauna starting from insects and birds to reptiles and mammals. You can also go water rafting or on guided bird and butterfly watching tours, village walks, and angling. You can pack for a picnic by the riverside, or go on a night trail spotting jackals, foxes, civets, and owls. They also organise campfires, nature orientation camps and photography workshops.
Choose from four triple bedrooms for guests with attached western bathrooms and all modern amenities for INR 2,250 per adult per day and INR 1,450 (for children between 5 to 10 years). The price includes food, lodging and selected activities. Children below 5 years get complimentary stay.
You can come here as a volunteer to support their professional biodiversity research programme and social projects - there's one on gharials and Gangetic dolphins. They also do bird population surveys, spiders and butterfly surveys, fish population surveys, and awareness campaign for snakes and other reptiles.