Chilapata is a lush forest landscape situated a few kilometres from the famous Jaldapara National Park. Right in Alipurduar District, West Bengal, India – at the very edge of Bhutan. It is a lesser-known yet stunning destination. Tourists who make the time to visit this dense forest have always left impressed.
How to get to Chilapata Forest?
Located nearly 20 km away from the Alipurduar District- you can travel by air to reach the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in West Bengal. From there you can choose to travel by road or take a train from the Howrah railway station or the Sealdah railway station (which is just 30 mins away from the main airport) to reach Alipurduar. From there you can take a public or a private cab.
There are many lovely resorts around the area so tourists can seek their accommodation very close to their forest destination. From forest camps to forest bungalows built amid the Sal trees – that alone is a great start to this forest adventure!
What’s the best time to visit the Chilapata Forest ?
Months from September to February are considered to be the best periods to visit this forest.
Things to See & Do at Chilapata Forests
The best way for tourists to enjoy the forest trails in the jungle is to hire a tour guide. This will allow you to not only take the maximum out of your hiking experience, but it will also allow you to explore some of the many hidden treasures here.
The first thing you will notice is just how much of a dense forest the Chilapata Forest truly is. The trees are large and thick, making it challenging for the sun rays to seep in generously. So there is always a look of cool gloominess throughout. Obviously, this doesn’t take away any of the beauty it has, in fact, it creates a whole new appreciation for large trees and the incredible uses they have.
The diverse wildlife is a major part of the attraction here. Since the forest forms an elephant corridor between the famous Jaldapara National Park and the Buxa Tiger Reserve, you can witness your fair share of wildlife beauties on your way. Like wild Elephants, Bison, Sambars, Barking Deer, and if you are lucky, the elusive leopards. A Jeep Safari or an Elephant Safari are the most popular means of exploring the Chilapata forest and the surrounding jungle grounds of the Jaldapara National Park. As you travel deep into the forest, you can maybe even come across the famous yet super rare one-horned rhinoceros.
Keep in mind that while there is a stunning river flowing through the forest, most jeep safaris tend to avoid the trails along the river. This is probably to evade disturbing most wildlife and bird life that dwells along the river. Still, it doesn’t limit you from seeing a breathtaking range of wildlife at all. You can also explore the famous historical site – the Fort of Nal Kings, a.k.a. Nal Rajar Ghar. While this ancient site is in ruins, with a tour guide you can get a deeper understanding of the story behind it. The famous Buxa Reserve is a must, the Mahakal Caves and the Bhuta Basi, which is in the heart of the forest and will add more variety to your forest adventure.
Bottom line: Chilapata forests is an incredible gateway to a nature paradise that will leave an everlasting impression on you. Worth a visit? Absolutely.
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