- Elephant/Jeep safari in Jaldapara National park.
- Visit Buxa Tiger Reserve.
- Visit tribal village of Toto in Totapara and Dukpa village of Lepchaka
- Offers an opportunity to observe the rare Asiatic one horned rhino
- Royal Bengal tiger and variety of birds and other mammals in the National Parks.
- Trek through the dense forests, hills,tea gardens and picturesque surrounding of the Dooar.
For this least explored land called Dooars or Duars synonymously used, literally means “Gateway to mighty Himalayas”. This large swathe of fertile plains rolls out to meet adjoining foothills of Darjeeling, Sikkim & Bhutan. Its anonymity in world map contributes to its charms and forte even though it is home to some important national parks, forest reserves, tea gardens and some unique tribes. In a way, it could retain an air of fabled mysticalness.
Rolling green landscapes envelops sub tropical foliage and Tea Gardens and National Parks in particular pulsate with myriad form of life such as obstinate unicorn Rhinoceros, highly elusive Royal Bengal tiger, Asiatic Elephant, rare and endangered avian etc and typical sub tropical flora.
On the fringes of these National Parks and Forest Reserves, many settlements proliferate over the time. This trip probes the wildlife through Jeep and Elephant safari in park and explores these settlements through moderate hike on the trails least treaded by any standard. It focuses primarily on northern edge of plain that borders with southwest Bhutan; these areas are devoid of any form of modernity excess – striking quaint yet evocative appearance.
Day 1. Bagdogra-Jaldapara.( 127 KM/4 hours)
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport meet our representative and transfer to Jaldapara national park (Madarihat). Once away from airport, you will immediately confront with chaotic traffic especially in Airport and siliguri town area but once you cross coronation bridge – that separates Darjeeling foothills with the Dooars, you will be greeted with rolling green tea gardens and well paved road traversing through smaller towns along the way, makes it scenic as well interesting drive. Upon arrival, if time permit, we will take a stroll in nearby forest village. Overnight in a tourist lodge.
Day 2. Jungle Safari and drive to Rajbhatkhawa (Buxa tiger reserve)
Jaldapara is a national park with wildlife sanctuary. River Toorsa that originates in Tibet cut through this park and with moist sub tropical climate and deposited alluvial soil provides conducive elements for Savannah grassland to flourish, which also provides a fodder and habitat for many wildlife to sustain. The park, boast of highest population of one horn Rhinoceros in the state.
Wake up early for an elephant ride.It takes around 20 min drive to reach elephant riding point in Hollong. In the early morning hours, sighting chances of wild life is much greater and wider views on Elephant ‘s back. Also low-lying mist/ fog in morning adds to the mystical allure of forest. Most likely wildlife to sight are one Horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic elephant, different species of deer, peacocks, birds etc. After the safari drive back to hotel. Rest and relax for a while and then we will embark on journey to visit Totopara – predominantly inhabited by TOTO – a unique tribe of Indo –Bhutanese origin with distinct culture and tradition however with the advent of modern means its on the curb of changing forever. After a scenic drive for 2 hours traversing deciduous forests covering 75 km arrive in Rajabhatkhawa. Overnight in a forest lodge.
Day 3. Jungle Safari and Pukhri hill hike.
After breakfast drive slowly through a few biological corridors for 13 km that takes 45 minutes to reach Jayanti for a Jungle Safari in Buxa Tiger Reserve. Although a famous Royal Bengal Tiger Reserve, there are only a very few instances of sighting Tigers even for the forest officials, its known for its elusiveness they say, “ Tigers see us but not them”. However there are more opportunities to sight other wild life such as tiger leopard, elephants, bears, civets, giant squirrel, Gaur, Chital, clouded leopard, wild Buffaloes, antelope and snakes and also 230 species of birds and innumerable butterflies. Later after lunch you can take a hike to Pukhri hill, drive for about 2 km till Tashigoan watchtower. After that hike for about 2 kms with moderate climb to reach Pukhri hill – it’s a small pond, which is considered sacred by Buddhist and Hindus and especially during sacred Buddhist holy month, Buddhist release fishes in pond to mark the ritual. Later, retrace the steps and meet vehicle near the watchtower and drive back to Rajabhathawa. Overnight in forest lodge.
Day 4. Trek to Buxa Fort/Lepchaka village.
This morning drive to the trail head at Santhalbari for Buxa fort trek. It is 18 km and takes around 45 minutes. During the British period, this fort was used as a detention centers for freedom fighters. This is a 4kms trek through dense forest, hills and picturesque surrounding. The trek route is well marked with viewpoints and shades along the way. Explore Buxa fort and Buxa Heritage Museum for some times and continue further for about 3kms to Lepchaka, a small hilltop village mostly inhabited by Dukpas – Originally, they were Bhutanese as every aspect are similar ranging from language, tradition, culture and religion with Bhutanese but they were found at crossroad with no legal claims from both sides during demarcation of Indo – Bhutan border. Eventually they are taken into fold as Indian Citizen. Overnight in a village hut.
Day 5. Trek to Jayanti-Drive to Rajabhatkhawa.
Start trek from Lepchaka to Jayanti. The trail is the mixture of village, forest and riverside hike. Technically, it all descends and crosses river Jayanti a few times. At the beginning, we will visit village monastery and also chances to see wild life is prime along the way. The hiking distance is approx. 9 km and takes around 5-6 hours to cover. Upon arrival at Jayanti, board on to the waiting vehicle and drive to Rajabhatkhawa for overnight stay. Overnight in forest lodge.
Day 6. Departure.
After breakfast transfer to Bagdogra airport for your departure flight or you can extend your tour to Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling.
Group SizePrivate tour with your own group.
Trip AccommodationBest available tourist lodges and resorts.
Trip TypeWild life, walking and village tour.
Trip SeasonsBest during Oct-March
Best MonthsFebruary, March, October, November
Good MonthsJanuary, December
Not RecommendApril, May, June, July, August
Prices & Dates
Cost will be provided on request.
• Accommodation in listed or similar lodges/resorts or village Home Stay.
• Meals as specified with the cost.
• All land transfers and transportation by exclusive good quality vehicle.
• Bottled mineral water in drive.
• All sightseeing and entrance fee.
• Experienced English speaking tour guide.
• Indian Visa.
• International or domestic flight fare.
• Personal expenses such as bar/beverages in the hotels, optional tips/gratuities to staffs, laundry, gifts etc.
• Any additional cost of forced upon by changing itinerary due to your health/medical, political situation,
or inclement weather.
• Medical travel insurance.
• Anything not included in the included section.
Nima Dhondup Bhutia is the senior most guide for Darjeeling, Sikkim and Doars Tour. From past political turmoil to changing tourism scenario in the region, he has seen it all from close quarter. His career as guide started from 1980, and going great gun still. His experience along with amicable nature and soft-spokenness brings forth a subtle difference in every tour that he conducts.
He was born and brought up in Tibetan Self-help camp in Darjeeling, when it was still quaint and serene towns unlike now. He still remember fondly the days of yore and growing changes that the time dictates. He graduated from one of prestigious school – Mt Hermon school in 1977. You will still find vestige of old school of English in his accent.
Anand Thapa who hail from Jaigoan – one horse town that border with south west commercial hub, Phuentsholing, Bhutan. He had his schooling in Bhutan. Later he went to Darjeeling to pursue further education. With the lush green tea garden, colonial churches and looming Mt Kanchenjunga captured his imagination, this is how travelling struck him deep.
After his studies, he went to Kathmandu and to different cities in India, making a living doing odds jobs. Finally, he joined Wind Horse tours overlooking the affairs of guests relations, marketing in 2013. Meeting and interaction with guests from different walk of life have fuelled his passion to a new height and claims to be a huge influence as a learning experience.