Me @ Chalsa
- Submitted by: Namita, United States
- Submission Date: 03rd Jan 2008
The route from Siliguri to Chalsa was a journey full of interesting twists and turns. On the way we found Kalu Rimpoche Monastery, Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary before reaching Sevoke. Then we crossed the famous Coronation Bridge, also called Baghpool constructed on the Teesta River.
To explore the dooars, we stayed at Chalsa with a beautiful retreat built on a hillock there. Sinclairs Retreat Dooars is in the form of cottages spread all around amidst verdant green and interspersed with trees, shrubs and flowers. Flowerbeds and shrubs of different colours imparted brilliance to the whole environment. It was indeed a feast for the eyes. The Gorumara forest range is one of the many beautiful sites visible from the retreat itself.Our stay at the resort was so comfortable that we were filled with renewed energy and vigour. With fresh zeal, we started our site-seeing. There are so many interesting places around Dooars. We were completely enthralled with what we experienced next.
On our route towards Dooars, we reached Chapramari forests just after crossing the Teesta River. A huge variety of vegetation and wildlife covers the forests. Chapramari is famous for its elephant population and Gaurs (Indian Bison). Reptiles of different varieties also dwell here.
The most exciting part of our visit to Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary was the adventurous elephant ride in the morning that takes you into the forests. We could see a herd of elephants, rhino in a muddy pond and deers speeding by. The unending sound of bird chirping was indeed music to the ears.
Lava is a small hamlet near Kalimpong situated at an altitude of 2,100 metres. It is one of the few places in West Bengal to receive snow in winter. Lava is a beautiful place full of fir, pine and birch trees. The region is still virgin and wild animals such as the Himalayan Black Bear, Barking deer are found in profusion in these parts. We also saw a Buddhist monastery present on one of the hills of Lava.
Loleygaon is a small town located at a distance of 12 km from Lava at an altitude of 5,500 ft. A spectacular view of the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains specially Kanchenjunga captivated us and left us spellbound.
Great Indian one horned Rhinoceros formed the subject of our attention at the Gorumara National Park. Situated on the banks of the River Murti, the park is interspersed with trees like Teak, Simul, Siris, and Sal. The watchtower inside the park provides a breathtaking view of the entire park and is ideal to observe the wild animals. Apart from the rhino, the other animals include elephant, Indian bison, leopard and deer, python, monkeys. A bird watching point called Cukcukia helps one view the various species of birds like woodpecker, sunbird, and the Indian pied hornbill.
We took a small drive and we reached Samsing. Samsing is located at an altitude of 600m. A must visit for those wishing to catch a glimpse of orange orchards and cardamom plantations. To find some adventure, we took a short trek that originate from here. We opted for the 2-hour trek to Mouchuki the entry point to the Neora Valley National Park, which we were told was the most exciting.