Birdwatching, Jungle Safari & More: Plan Your Adventurous Long-Weekend Trip At Gorumara

Gorumara National Park


Go on jeep safaris or hang out at watchtowers in the Gorumara National Park to spot wild elephants, bisons and the one-horned rhino.

What Is It?

Gorumara National Park is famous as the home of the famous, and rare, one-horned rhinoceros. It’s located in the emerald-green, rolling hills of the Dooars in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949, and later established as a National Park in 1992.

The park is located on the bank of rivers Murti and Jaldhaka, with thick rainforest of simul, siris, and khair trees.

You will also come across Indian elephants, the Indian bison, leopards, and different species of deer, turtles, pythons, monkeys etc, and more than 200 species of birds {including parakeets, jungle mynas and kingfishers, the neelkanth or the Indian roller bird, and the hornbill}. The park has several strategically-placed watch towers near watering holes, from where you can view the animals.

How Do I Get There?

You can take a train – the nearest station is New Mal Junction. You can also take a train to Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri {NJP}and drive down in a hired vehicle. It is two hours journey from Siliguri. Another railway station to get down at is Chalsa, but not all trains stop there. From New Mal Junction, it takes about an hour to the park. There are frequent bus services available from Siliguri to Chalsa {from Chalsa, it is a 30 minutes journey by road}. The nearest airport is Bagdogra which is 85 kms away.

What's So Unique About It?

Well, like we said, this is the home to the greater one-horned rhino, the largest of the rhino species. It has been brought back from extinction thanks to rigorous efforts by wildlife conservation outfits. These could be found across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent. It has a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which give it an armour-plated appearance.

You will also love the being surrounded by the beauty of the Dooars valley. These are the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas and considered to be the gateway to Bhutan and Tibet.

Close to Gorumara, there are other nationla parks so you will be spoilt for choice. You can go on an elephant and jeep safaris through the Jaldapara National Park; look for tigers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve; or say hello to the valley’s one-horned rhinoceros in the Gorumara National Park.

What Can I Do There?

It’s great for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. The best time to visit is October to April, when the weather’s cooler. One of the must-do things is taking a safari through the forest. Normally the rates are fixed so you do not have to bargain much. You will have to purchase a safari permit from the forest office {carry a govt-issued ID along} and take a guide along.

You can also hire cycles and visit the nearby tea estates. Or rent a car and drive down to beautiful Samsing town with its rocky waterfalls or Santeekola hill station.

Anything Else?

There are several different levels of accommodation options around. You can stay at the eco-friendly Tusker Den, just a walk away from the main forest office. Or at Silver Ridge – a quaint resort with white porticos and a lake in the center {with a bamboo bridge}. The mid-rung Sinclairs Retreat in Chalsa is another great choice.


Stay away during the rainy season. Gorumara {and all other national parks in the region} stays closed from June 16 to September 15.

Gorumara National Park