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January 22, 2019

Adventure treks lined up in north Bengal forests

Adventure treks lined up in north Bengal forests

The State Forest Department will introduce trekking and jungle trails for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers in some of the reserve forests of north Bengal from January 2019.

Senior foresters said the new tourism avenues would start in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Neora Valley National Park, Jaldapara National Park, Singalila National Park and the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Alipurduar.

To go for a trekking or nature trail, the visitors would have to take permission from the Forest Department. They will also have to pay entry fees and charges for guides, the rates for which would be announced shortly. In each of the parks, only one route had been chosen for the trip.

The department has also readied a booklet containing maps of the routes, the flora and fauna which can be sighted along the trails, prospective sites where tents can be pitched, the dos’ and don’ts while moving through a reserve forest, the homestays available and several pictures.

The highest and toughest route is in the Neora Valley National Park, which would be a five-day expedition and would commence from Lava to Todey-Tangta, covering areas like Chaudaferi, Daulakhora, Jaributi, Alubari, Hatichere, Jorepokhri and Ruka. Located in Kalimpong, Neora Valley is fast gaining popularity among nature lovers.

If a visitor chooses Jaldapara, he/she will start from Lankapara and will move along hilly streams and rivers, reach close to the Bhutan border and will move though Totopara, a habitat of a primitive tribe in Madarihat block of Alipurduar, to reach Lankapara again after four days.

In due course, online booking facility for the treks and nature trails will be introduced. The plan is to create options for people to explore the nature in a sustained manner. The treks will also be helpful for researchers and students.