Monday, May 10, 2010

Joy of Jayanti

The trip to Dooars in mid April was suddenly planned out of thin air. There was no deliberation earlier and I was looking forward to my trip to Uttarakhand in May but the opportunity for a short tour arrived as there was a long weekend around “Poila Baisakh”, the Bengali New Year and I grabbed it with both hands. My aunt and uncle were my companions in this journey to the Dooars and all of us were thrilled since none of us had a chance to enjoy before a vacation in the midst of uninhibited surroundings of forest.

The name Dooars has its origin from “duar” or door. Historically, the gateways to Bhutan were known as “duar” and hence the name Dooars which is the plural form of “duar”. Now the entire region is known as Dooars.

Our first destination was the Jayanti forest that is part of the Buxa Tiger Reserve. We took the Kanchankanya Express to Alipurduar Jn. which is about 25 kms and one hour’s drive away from the Jayanti forest. Before entering the forest area one needs to get the entry fee paid for individuals, cars and cameras at the forest check post. Once beyond the check post our cell phones did not catch any towers (though we were later told that the Vodafone connection works at some places within the forest area but none of us had Vodafone service provider) and soon we reached the forest rest house, we had out booking at.

The bungalow has an exquisite location with the panoramic view of the Jayanti River (which remains dry for most part of the year) just beyond of the fencing of the rest house with a range of blue hills bordering the other side.




There had been nor’wester rains the earlier night along with hail storm, the effects of which we had noticed on our way to the rest house in the form of uprooted trees. But we found that part of the rest house was damaged as well. However our rooms were spared, thankfully. Two suites named Hoopoe and Treepie respectively (both named after species of birds) were booked for us at the Forest Rest House also referred to as Jainty 1. The other accommodations available there are a dormitory run by the forest department known as Jainty 2, “Abakash” – a CESC guest house and another PHE guest house. I came to know about those other options from Tubu, our caretaker. Later on we noticed the “Abakash” guest house which was nearby.

After lunch we decided to go for a jungle safari. My uncle has acquaintances in the forest department and they informed the Ranger of our arrival in advance. The Ranger in turn arranged a car for us and also provided a forest guard to accompany us as a guide. Anyway, one must take along a guide for a forest safari and we felt happy since ours’ was an armed one.

Soon we were inside the core area of the forest where deforestation is not allowed. We were driving through a narrow road between the woods with trees like Sal and Segun on both sides and little by little the forest was growing dense. We were acclimatizing with the absolute silence of the forest punctuated at times by some bird voices and some rattling noises made by unknown animals and insects. This was quite a new experience for us who are more accustomed to constant city noises. Suddenly we noticed a Hornbill (known as Dhanesh in Bengali) sitting on a perch. Our driver Omprakash was alert and put the brakes on to allow us get a closer look. I was getting my camera ready but the bird flew away before I could take a snap, probably disturbed by the unwelcome interference of us – Humans.

Our first destination was a watch tower known as “Teish Mile” or 23 Miles named so because it stands at a distance of 23 miles from the Coochbehar Palace, or that is what our guide Amulya told us. He also made us aware that not all tourists are allowed to come to this point as it requires special permission. That information certainly boosted our ego of being treated with special care. The three storied watch tower is located at a crossroad from where one can see animals coming from one part of the dense forest and going to another. But our luck was such that over a stretch of three quarters of an hour we could only see one Indian Bison and that too for a few seconds. The guards at the watch tower told us that the previous day itself a herd of elephants came very near to the watch tower but that did not help our cause. The only consolation was a deer cub which had been abandoned in the forest and sort of adopted by the watch tower guards. Though it roams around the forest during the day, it stays at the watch tower at night and behaves like any other domesticated animal. I must also mention the different varieties of butterflies we witnessed around the watch tower. I have never seen so many at a time and of so many types as well.




On our return journey from the watch tower we did not anticipate that our day without any incident would end up being so much exciting and adventurous.

Only God knows what was going on inside our driver’s mind while he was driving back. Probably he was way too keen on keeping an alert eye on the forest at both sides rather than on the road ahead, so that he could make us take a glimpse of more birds and animals and make up for our disappointment at the watch tower. The result was that the car skidded into the low bushes beside the road and just avoided a head-on collision with a tree. We were safe and unhurt, thankfully, but it was difficult to put the car on the road again, at least for the few of us. The accident took place at more than 1 km away from the watch tower and the driver went back to the tower to fetch one of the guards for an extra pair of hands to help bring the car back to the road. But even with his assistance the car could not be restored back. After much discussion we finally decided to go back to the tower and call for more assistance from the ranger’s office via walkie-talkie. The light of the day was fading out and we were feeling a bit nervous being stranded out in the middle of the forest. Our guide Amulya loaded his double barreled gun and that made us more uneasy. He also warned us of possible leeches along the road and soon my aunt and I got the taste of the bloodsuckers tickling on our feet. Somehow we made ourselves free of the leeches but the lower ends of our dresses and socks were left soaked with our own blood that the leeches have sucked out of us.




We reached the watch tower soon and waited for the rescue party. Evening had set in by then and there was uninterrupted darkness around us. We were feeling pity for the forest guards who stay at the watch tower for two to three days at a stretch and were trying to imagine the loneliness they suffer from. After some time we were amused to notice fireflies blinking all around us and forming some arbitrary pattern of flash lights with the complete black backdrop of darkness. Suddenly there was a different kind of noise and with the help of the search light that our guide carried, we located a large solitary elephant with trunks which had come to eat salt kept a place near the tower. Afterwards we learnt that it is a common practice in reserved forests and sanctuaries to keep salt at some specific places for the animals and the salt actually act as medicine for the animals. The elephant was hardly 25 feet away from us and was a bit startled at the sudden light focused on it. We put off the search light and I along with the guard went to the furthest point of the tower fencing to take a snap. The guard again focused the search light on the elephant and I took some quick snaps (later I found that they did not turn up as well as I would have liked). The elephant was now at less than 15 feet’s distance and it took refuge behind a tree and looked at us with untrusting eyes. A few moments later it retreated further and could be hardly seen any more. The guards at the tower opined that there may be more elephants nearby since they generally move in a group. But we could not wait any longer since in the meantime the rescue jeep had arrived and along it came our car as well. We were a little surprised since the driver was with us and he had the car keys but we were told that there was another set of keys at the forest office and the rescue team had restored the car on their way to the tower.



However, the herd of elephants did not give us a miss. On our way back suddenly both the cars came to a halt since the herd was passing by (we were able to see around six to seven of them again with the help of the search lights and a couple of them were very close in fact) and only when all the elephants disappeared into the dense forests we again started our journey back to the rest house. Unfortunately I could not take any snap of the herd since the driver and the guards did not allow keeping the search light focused for long for the fear that the elephants might attack us.

A heart warming dinner was ready for us in the rest house. After dinner our caretaker Tubu left for his quarters which is nearby but before that locked all the doors and windows and left the key with us. We were left all by ourselves at the rest house, an experience I never had before on any of my previous tours. There was a chirping sound from nearby and I asked Tubu which bird it was. To my utter shock he revealed that it was not a bird but a “Thakshak” snake which resides on the roof of the balcony of the rest house. Seeing me panic he assured that it was a “vaastu” snake and won’t harm but I could not keep aside my fear for the rest of the night.

The following morning I woke up before six contrary to my late rising habit. There was enough light outside but the sun had not risen till then. We went out of the rest house and enjoyed the sunrise from behind the hills which outlines the dried up Jayanti river. It was a marvelous experience and this time I had enough time to take a few snaps. A couple of young kids were playing within the rest house complex and talking to them we came to know that they were relatives of the caretaker. To our much amusement, the elder boy’s name was Colonel. I had never heard such a name and could not help but chuckle at the fact that so young a kid could bear such a intense name.



After breakfast, we went to see another view point named the Tashi Gaon Lake on Pukuri Hills. That the name means a hanging lake in Nepali, we came to know courtesy our guide Amar who belongs to the local Rava tribe. The car halted around 50 metres before the lake and there was a steep road to travel on feet to reach the lake. On our way to the lake, we noticed many peacocks and peahens but they flew away before I could attempt taking any photo of them. The lake was not very spectacular but the peaceful calm around the region touches one’s heart. And there were many fishes and tortoises in the lake which came to the surface of the water as we scattered the puffed rice (“Muri” as we call in Bengali) we took with us to feed them, in the water of the lake. Just beside the lake there were many colourful festoons and a place of worship for the Bhutias. There was no temple of sort but a small block of stone over which some metallic symbols were present and from the amount of molten wax around the place, one can conclude that candles are lighted regularly there as a mark of respect.






Our time at Jayanti had come to the end. After lunch, we packed our bags and started our journey to the next destination. We booked the same car and this time one of the acquaintances of the driver accompanied us as he did not want to drive alone on his return journey back to Jayanti. The name of the new person was Sajal and he turned up to be very friendly and enlightened us with many anecdotes on the place. He told us that Buddhadeb Guha (who is a well known Bengali writer and writes predominantly on forests) had visited Jayanti many a times and he was the writer’s companion on a couple of occasions. He also said that his name exists as one of the characters in one of his books but could not name the book. On the way he showed us the road to Mahakal Mandir, a temple atop a steep hill which is one of the “Sati Piths” (i.e. according to Hindu mythology, a place where one part of the body of Uma fell when her husband, Lord Shiva, danced in rage over her dead body). We noticed some tea gardens on our way as well. The first of them was the Atiabari Tea Estate near Rajabhatkhawa and after that we drove for quite a distance just next to the rail tracks. It was a new experience to us and when the trains passed by our side we felt quite excited. Here I must mention a very interesting story on the origin of the name of the place Rajabhatkhawa. The saying goes that at one point of time, the Raja (King) of Coochbehar swore that he will not eat rice (bhat) until he defeats the Bhutanese army and drives them off. After a treaty was signed between Coochbehar and Bhutan and the Bhutanese army retreated, the Raja ate (khawa) rice at this place to end his vow and hence the name of the place.

Soon we reached Hasimara. Going further straight we could reach Phuntsholing, the border town of Bhutan. But we took a left turn on to NH31 and after we crossed the Torsha river, we were almost approaching our next destination, the Jaldapara Sanctuary. We witnessed elephants in Jayanti and hoped to see Rhinocerous in Jaldapara, for which Jaldapara is renowned for. But that is a different story that I would share in my next post.

51 comments:

  1. Hi Deep

    I plan to take the Kanchankanya Exp and get down at Alipurduar. From there I plan to visit Jayanti, Raymatang, Jaldapara and Chilapata. Please advice where to book a car from. There will be 6 of us and a child. Do we need to keep the car at our disposal throughout the trip? Can this same car be taken for the jungle safaris? Where do we book the safaris from?

    Please mail me the details at mainak2005@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mainak,

    Sorry for the late response. I was away on another trip.
    Regarding car booking, do not book a car for the entire trip because you cannot take that car for the forest safaris. You have to book separate cars at the respective forests for car safaris.
    What we did was to book cars to drop us at the forests. For example, we got down at Alipurduar and took an auto to Jayanti. Similarly we booked a car from Jayanti to drop us at Jaldapara and another car from Jaldapara to drop us at Chilapata.
    For safaris you have to book cars at the respective forests as I just mentioned. Just tell the caretaker and he will arrange. You also need to take a guide with you for the safaris.

    Thanks,
    Deep.

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  3. Dear Deep,
    Thanks for the informations at the blog. Inspired, I and my wife is planning for a trip to Jayanti. Is their any forest bwunglow at Jayanti ? Should we take a car from Alipur Duar to the Bunglow ? Can I request you to please enlighten us upon this issues ?
    Subharunmitra@gmail.com

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  4. Thanks Subharun,
    There are many cars and even auto rickshaws available at the Alipurduar Jn to Jayanti. We took an auto as we were only three persons. If you have permission to stay at the bungalow, the forest check post will allow you to go beyond right up to the bungalow. There are no other transportation like bus etc. So you must hire a car or an auto. Road is okay, not very bumpy; so auto ride was not uncomfortable.
    There is a lovely forest rest house called Jayanti 1, where I stayed (picture available in the blog). There is another called Jayanti 2 but probably it has only dormitory.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Deep,
    Was going through your post. Appreciate ur writing in such a vivid yet interseting way. I am too visiting Jaldapara this April 16 (one day) and planning to Jayanti in May. My wife earlier had been there in CESC bunglow. Can you help me by providing information as below :

    1. Which one will be best to stay locationwise and thrillwise..Jayanti 1/2, CESC or PHE bunglow

    2. For Jayanti 1 or 2, how to book in a faster way

    3. Can i take help of tourist guide there in advance for bookings, site seeing etc. If you have nos, do send me

    If I am not bothering you much, do send me your opinion in sujoy.m@dasturco.in

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sujoy, Jayanti 1 is undoubtedly the best option. CESC bungalow is very nearby, but it does not have the view of the mountain. Forest TRH can only be booked from DFO's office. The details is -

    Deputy Field Director
    Buxa Tiger Reserve, East Division
    Alipurduar Court, Pin - 736122
    Phone - 03564 256005

    What you can do is call the number and ask for a fax number and then again follow up over phone.

    If there is a local person whom you know in Alipurduar, that would help probably who can follow up personally, but unfortunately I do not have any such contact.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Deep ,
    I want to visit to Jayanti forest. Would give me a tour plan from NJP? Is it too short for 3 days ?

    Prithwish Ghosh
    Calcutta

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Prithwish,

    Nearest station to Jayanti is Alipurduar Jn. From there it is one hour's drive. Take the kanchankanya Express. From NJP it would take 4-5 hours I think by car.
    Alas, the forest rest house at Jayanti (the picture of which you see is in post) was completely gutted a few days back. There is another accommodation of forest department but that is probably a dormitory arrangement. So, you can look for other accommodations like the CESC and PHE guest houses.
    You can find some more info like booking contacts including private hotels and guides at these links
    http://www.indiamike.com/india/west-bengal-f32/information-on-jayanti-and-buxa-tiger-reserve-a-beautiful-place-to-hang-out-in-dooars-t81350/3/
    http://dooarstourism.tripod.com/buxawheretostay.htm

    3 days is enough for Jayanti. You can also trek to Buxa Fort and the Mahakal temple if you are fit enough. Forest bungalows at Buxa and Rajabhatkhawa are also options that you can look for accommodation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi,
    Greetings !!!

    I want to stay at PHE Guest house at Jainty. Do you pls give me the contact no of the booking Officer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Sumit, I am not too sure but found this phone number in a website - 91-3561-30659. Probably it is a Jalpaiguri number.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Deep .
    The right no is -- 03561-230659.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh! my apologies Sumit. Not my fault though; that was the phone number I found in the website. Anyway, your info will certainly help others.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Deep.....I went through the IM posts and also the couple of your blogs.Can you please inform me like,
    1)I am going to visit Jaldapara on Dec,2011 and would get down at Hasimara Rly Stn at around 10.30am.
    Would there be transportation available for reaching the WBTDC rest house?
    How much will they charge?
    Would they serve lunch at Jaldapara Tourist lodge on that very day?
    2)How far is Jayanti from Jaldapara(in KMs)?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The travel blogs were amazing and it inspired and helped me a lot.I have been to Jaldapara before and this time my 2.5yrs old daughter demanded an elephant ride in the jungle where she can see the tiger!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks Travel Bug for your comments.
    Jaldapara is quite near to the Hasimara railway station; may be at most 30 mins away. You should get a cab there but not sure about the cost.
    If you are staying at the Hollong Bungalow, then keep in mind that lunch will not be served on that day. Otherwise if you are staying at the govt. tourist bungalow just outside the sanctuary then I do not know. But there are restaurants just outside the sanctuary with many options.
    Actually what you can do is that book a car for a few hours, go to the tourist lodge to check in, then to some restaurant for lunch, and then visit the south Khoirabari nature park and may be even to Phuntsholing (the Bhutan border) or Totopara which are close to Hasimara.

    From Jayanti it takes around 2 hours (around 75 kms) as far I remember. Travel costs are much higher in dooars than in any city.

    Elephant rides are conducted from the Hollong bungalow in the morning. There are 3 hour long rides starting every hour. Please try to take the first one (probably at 6) as chance of spotting animals are higher. But there are no tigers are Jaldapara. You can see leopards at Khoirabari though. And there are rhinoceros at Jaldapara.

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  16. Nice to read such lively and vivid travelogue on Buxa-Jayanti. I can suggest another bunglow for the people who could not avail the CESC or the PWD bunglow at Jayanti. It is besides the river Jayanti named Banalata. Rooms are decent and the caretaker and his mother makes food as per your choice. One can try there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I get any contact Number of Banalata Bunglow?

      Delete
    2. Hi Satyabrata, can you please provide the details of Banalata Bungalow as requested by a reader here.

      Delete
  17. Hi Deep, I am planning a trip to the Dooars (mainly for elephant rides) for all of 3 days :( I'd want to do both Jaldapara and Gorumara but seems like there is no way I can get to Hasimara by train. So I am down to only Gorumara which I can reach even if the train can take me to only NJP (which seems possible as per info on IRCTC website). Is there a way to get to Jaldapara from Gorumara other than taking train from NJP? Whatever the means, I need to have access to a decent toilet for the trip (which is the main reason I am inclined for trains). Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Jajks, it would take around a couple of hours to drive from Gorumara to Jaldapara, so you can just book a car for the journey and not worry for the toilets since it is a small journey.
    Kanchankanya Express (Train # 13149)goes to Hasimara from Sealdah. Where from are you starting your journey?
    The Bagdogra airport is the nearest airport if you plan to travel by air.
    Let me know more details if you need any further help.

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  19. Thanks Deep! Since you have been to Gorumara - is the Rhino Camp separate from the Elephant Camp? I am hoping to be able to book the Elephant Camp overnight stay package by WB Tourism, so was wondering if I have to make arrangements to go to places like Rhino camp, and the watch towers - Chandrachur, Medhla, Chukchuki separately or if the Camp package. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jajks, I stayed at the Forest Rest House which is just beside the Rhino Point. Not sure if there is any Rhino Camp, but there is an Elephant Camp at Dhupjhora. You can visit this URL - http://www.jalpaiguriwildlife.org/geco.html. There is one famous watch tower apart from the ones you mentioned - Jatraprasad - named after a Kunki (kind of domesticated by the forest dept) elephant. I think the package does not include arrangements to these places - most often they do not - just comprise lodging and may be fooding. But they can surely arrange for you if you pay extra.

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  21. Great info again, Deep, thanks. I think I have zeroed in on an itinerary, but that includes two bits that seem rather precarious. First is traveling *at night* from Gorumara to New Mal rail station by rented car, then traveling 1.5 hrs to Madarihat in NJP-Alipur Dooar Express train, then *walking* to Jaldapara Forest Lodge. That is the only one train per day that can take reservations between New Mal and Madarihat. The things that jump out at me are - safety, and the fact that arriving at night at the Lodge means risking if there will be anyone at all at the reception desk. Also the walking bit near a railway station in India from my previous experience has been not so great (thanks to persuasive cab drivers), but on the other hand I read that the Lodge is at a walking distance from the station; plus that late at night (approx 8-8.30 pm) I don't expect to get a cab that will like to take on passengers. I could be wrong though...

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  22. Hey Jajks, please check the railway website www.irctc.co.in once more. Although there is one NJP-APDJ Exp that leaves New Mal Jn at 6:15 pm but do not think you can actually reserve tickets online for such a small distance. Also I presume that the Jaldapara Forest Lodge is the govt. lodge just outside the sanctuary, and it is quite near the station but still it may not be a good idea to wander there in the late evening or night. Do not think you will find a cab then if you did not pre-book.

    I still believe that it would be best for you to travel by a rented car for the entire stretch from Gorumara to Jaldapara and that too during day time, late afternoon would also be fine. And the distance is not great, I believe around 100 kms and would take may be a little more than a couple of hours.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds good, Deep. Your solid advice made a difference - I have now with my aspirations for the nocturnal train journey ;-) .
    BTW, someone did pick up the phone at WBTDC yesterday!! And they said that the elephant ride booking from Jaldapara Tourist Lodge is arranged at the lodge, WBTDC in Kolkata can't do it. I read somewhere that there are 3 shifts in the morning and one in the afternoon, is that still correct? I am hoping to get a ride in the afternoon even if we miss the morning one (I will talk to the receptionist at the Lodge asap when we arrive previous evening). Also I am planning to go to Chilapata (inspired by your blog!) at about 11 am after checking out of the Lodge. Will there be enough time to have a decent trip through the forest, if I am to start the trip from Jaldapara by rental car so that I can still make it to Hasimara by 4.30 pm or Alipur Duar by 4 pm to catch the train to Kolkata? If we are starting from Chilapata, the closer of the two stations will be Hasimara. But is there something for which I should prefer Alipurduar?

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  24. Thanks Jajks. As far I remember there was no elephant ride in the afternoon when I was at Jaldapara. There were 3 rides in the morning, starting every hour. The best probability of seeing more animals is on the first ride. But more often than not you will see rhinos and may be some birds including peacock.
    As far I know the rides are organized by the Hollow Bungalow (the govt tourist lodge that is inside the sanctuary). If you do not stay over there (I think the Jaldapara Tourist Lodge is just outside the sanctuary) you have to make your own arrangements to reach the Hollong Bungalow in the morning. You have to make prior reservations for the elephant ride but that I think can be taken care of by the staff at the outside lodge as well since both are run by WBFDC. So, first thing when you reach the lodge is to make sure you do the arrangements for the ride.
    Chilapata is not far from Jaldapara, may be it would take about an hour to reach there. If you board the train from Alipurduar then Kanchankanya Exp is the best train which leaves at 4:45 pm. You can board the train from Hasimara as well and it will give you some more time (about 40 mins). Just remember Alipurduar is a junction station and also the starting station. On the other hand Hasimara is a small station where the train halts only for a minute or two. Alternatively you can take your return train from New Cooch Behar station. Chilapata is actually mid way between Jaldapara and Cooch Behar. Saraighat Exp leaves NCB at 5:15 pm.
    Regarding the forest ride at Chilapata, please make prior inquiry about whether you will be allowed to have a jungle safari in an outside car. At most of the forests they only allow safaris conducted by locally affiliated cars.
    Another place that you can visit if Chilapata does not falls through is South Khairabari which has a leopard rehabilitation centre.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just wanted to add some more information about the elephant ride from Hollong bungalow as correctly mentioned by Deep.

    All the rides are in the morning and you will (typically - depending upon the rush) need to stay for 2 days (either in Hollong bungalow or in Jaldapara Tourist Lodge)to get it.

    We were lucky to get the ride in just one day stay since one of the teams who had earlier booked the ride had to cancel it due to some problems.

    Each ride can take up to 4 adults max.

    ReplyDelete
  26. can u tell which train is best to go jayanti from kolkata? and should we take permission to stay in jayanti?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take the Kanchankanya Express to Alipurduar Jn. which is about 25 kms and one hour’s drive away from the Jayanti forest.

      Need to have permission if you want to stay at forest rest house, otherwise if your hotel is within the core area you have to pay entry fee at a check post before entering the forest area.

      Some lodging options -

      1> Forest rest house has been burnt down hence no booking

      2> Abakash - CESC guest house - license expired hence no booking

      3> PHE guest house (03561-230659/03561-225535/033-22482130) kolkata office - New Secretariat Bldg - fax-033-22489843

      4> Rovers Inn (03564-256567/9434754349/9434110245)- right on riverbed - resort type

      5> Bonante - resort type (9932229686 / 9775802984)

      6> Natures Hut - home stay type

      7> Jayanti Bala - home stay type (9800602717)

      8> Jayanti 2 - forest dept er dormitory type - write to

      Deputy Field Director
      Buxa Tiger Reserve, East Division
      Alipurduar Court, Pin - 736122
      Phone - 03564 256005

      Delete
    2. thanks for this info:....GREEN VIEW ECO FAMILY RESORTS jayanti:can you tell me about this....mainly location,view...can we(me and my friends) stay their(only for 2-3 days)....?

      Delete
    3. Not sure, did not see any private hotel myself, probably they are not within the core forest area

      Delete
  27. can i take any car from newalipurduar station or newcoochbehar station and go to the jayanti...by car...is it possible....??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went via Alipurduar Jn but taxis should be available from other stations as well, auto rickshaws may also be available.

      Delete
    2. Hi Deep,

      I am planning for a trip to Jayanti-Buxa (and if time permits some other nearby places) in May this year. Request your advise on the appended-

      * Will that be a good time to visit that place.

      * I am planning to go by road from NJP, will it be too long and expensive comparative to train ( via Alipurduar Jn).

      * I will be starting from NJP on 06th May and have time till 11 May. I have already been to Lataguri-Gorumara-Jaldapara.
      Please guide me a trip plan.

      * Can't i get the resort/govt lodge booking done (if any)from the WB govt office at Dalhousie like Holong booking.

      * Suggest some other nearby places also if that can be included in this trip.

      Thanks
      Bhaskar

      Delete
  28. Hi Bhaskar,

    I am trying to address your queries one by one but may not be in the exact sequence.

    May is a good time to visit the forest.

    Forest rest houses can be booked from the forest department only
    For Buxa/Jayanti, contact
    Deputy Field Director
    Buxa Tiger Reserve, East Division
    Alipurduar Court, Pin - 736122
    Phone - 03564 256005

    WBTDC lodges be booked from BBD Bag office and WBFDC lodges can be booked from WBFDC and Raja Subodh Mullick Square office.

    NJP to Jayanti is quite far may be nearly 4 hours; not sure about the cost. Train via Alipurduar is much better option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deep,

      Can you please tell me what are the nearby places i can cover within 5/6 days from Jayanti .... please suggest an itinerary for that period....

      Bhaskar

      Delete
  29. Bhaskar,

    You may visit the Buxa fort and also Rajabhatkhawa and there is one lake nearby but I have not been to these places.

    Now consider other places. As you have mentioned you have already visited Gorumara and Jaldapara. So I'm keeping them out. I am listing out some of the other alternatives but these are not very close to Jayanti and you have to stay at those places.

    Chapramari, Murti
    Jaldhaka, Jhallong, Bindu
    Samsing, Sultanekhola
    Coochbehar, Rasik Bil


    Thanks,
    Deep.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Deep,
    Planning to visit Buxa in a family trip in a group of 10-12 (some elderly peorple in the group as well) this winter. Can you please let me know whether PHE bungalow in Jayanti would be sufficient to accomodate 10-12 people? Is there any other acco where 10-12 people can be accomodated?
    If staying in Jayanti is not an option then we may need to stay in Rajabhatkhawa.
    Also any idea how many days before the PHE at Jayanti can be booked?

    Regards,
    Sudipta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sudipta,
      I have not stayed at the PHE guest house personally. You may contact them directly and confirm whether they still provide accommodation. Sometimes they remain closed for booking.
      PHE guest house (03561-230659/03561-225535/033-22482130) kolkata office - New Secretariat Bldg - fax-033-22489843

      Some other lodging options -

      Rovers Inn (03564-256567/9434754349/9434110245)- right on riverbed - resort type

      Bonante - resort type (9932229686 / 9775802984)

      Jayanti Bala - home stay type (9800602717)

      Will keep you updated if I get some more info.

      Thanks,
      Deep.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Deep. Much appreciated :)

      Regards,
      Sudipta

      Delete
  31. very nice blog. More informative. Thanks for sharingGuest House in New Alipore

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi, this is Raktim Mukherjee. Your blog was really helpful for us. Me and 3 of my friends are planning to visit Buxa in the month of April (last week). Our itinerary is something like this

    Itinerary – Alipurduar / New Jalpaiguri RailwayStation (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB) / Siliguri - Raimatang (01 Night) – Aadma (01 Night) – Oumchpani (02 Nights) – Lepchakha (01 Night) – Mahakaal Gumpha (01 Night) - Jayanti – Rajabhatkhawa (01 Night) - Alipurduar / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB) / Siliguri

    Day - 01 - Arrival and Transfer to Raimatang - Alipurduar to Raimatang is 53 kilometers - Siliguri to Raimatang is 155 kilometers and takes 3 hours – Stay in Trekkers hut, cottages or tent - Night stay at Raimatang

    Day - 02 - Trek start from Raimatang (10 Kilometers) – Early morning breakfast – Start trek from Raimatang - Trek to Aadma through core area of Tiger reserve – Packed lunch on the way – Stay in Trekkers hut, cottages or tent - Night stay at Aadma

    Day – 03 - Trek to Tashigang from Aadma (11 Kilometers) – Early morning breakfast – Start trek from Aadma Trek is bit difficult terrain and - Visit Finnish Church and age old Gumpha Kagyud – Stay in tent - Night at Oumchpani

    Day - 04 - Visit Pamtsey La and Rupang Valley (08 Kilometers) – Early morning breakfast and visit Pamtsey La and Rupang Valley – Return to Oumchpani – Stay in tent - Night at Oumchpani

    Day - 05 - Trek to Lepchakha (09 Kilometers) – Early morning breakfast – Start trek from Oumchpani via Buxa Fort to Lepchakha - Visit Pagsamkha Dzong or Buxa Fort – Stay in Trekkers hut, cottages or tent - Night stay at Lepchakha

    Day - 06 - Trek to Gumpha (09 Kilometers) – Early morning breakfast – Start trek from Oumchpani via Buxa Fort to Lepchakha – Trek to Mahakaal Cave via Katlumng River – Sanchi Phu - Stay in Gumpha or tent - Night stay at Gumpha

    Day - 07 - Trek - Trek and drive to Rajabhatkhawa (09 Kilometers) – Early morning breakfast - Start trek from Gumpha to Jayanti – Lepchakha to Jayanti is 12 kilometers – Jayanti to Rajabhatkhwa is 8 kilometers by vehicle – Camp fire – Stay in Trekkers hut, cottages or tent - Night stay at Rajabhatkhawa

    Day - 08 - Departure (09 Kilometers) – Start from Gumpha - Alipurduar / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB) / Siliguri – Early morning breakfast – Start trek from Lepchakha to Jayanti – It is bit difficult trek - Lepchakha

    Frankly speaking we got this plan from a travel agency but no details were there. we contacted them but their rate is very much unrealistic. So we want to execute this by ourselves. can tell me what are the stay options at these places and how to book them? what are the approximate costing?

    waiting for your quick reply

    Raktim
    9748714956

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raktim,

      You can visit the WB tourism page.
      http://www.westbengaltourism.gov.in/web/guest/jalpaiguri

      There are some phone numbers for accommodation -

      Buxa Tiger Reserve & Buxa Duar & Rajabhatkhawa
      033-22437260, 22488271,22370060/61, 03564-255129, 256005

      Bhutan Ghat/Raimatan/Hathipo
      03564-255129, 256005

      Thanks,
      Deep.

      Delete
  33. hi deep,middle of feb jayanti jete chai jayanti 1 book korte gele kothay kivabe jogajog korbo?please help me.




    /

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mitra,

      I heard sometime back that the bungalow was burnt down. Not sure if it has been resurrected.
      You may contact DFO office. Booking is also done from here. For booking you have to communicate over phone and fax.

      Deputy Field Director
      Buxa Tiger Reserve, East Division
      Alipurduar Court, Pin - 736122
      Phone - 03564 256005

      For other accommodations, please go through the earlier comments. Some of the alternatives are mentioned here.

      Delete
  34. Hi deep. Great blog! Please advice me about trekking to Roopam Valley from Jayanti. Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  35. hi deep,
    this is sayak.really some usefull info is there in ur blog .i have planned for jayanti trip for 2 days in coming october . but th problem i m facing in accommodation . as forst bunglow jayanti1 is of no news .cesc bunglow is nt able to book. PHE guest house also filled up .and private resorts like banante also filled up and rovers inn is under renovation.. soo i got only 'bonolata resort' . and some homestay on net{ dnt knw abut th quality and demography} . soo can u suggest me anything for staying and if u have any contact of the local guide there..

    thankx
    sayak

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Sayak, all the hotel information that I could gather is already mentioned in the post. I had stayed at FRH Jayanti 1, so do not know about the quality of other accommodations.

      Delete
  36. Wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing your trip experience. A splendid town in the Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal, Dooars (daaors) act as the doorway to the entire north-eastern region of India being located in the Indo-Bhutan border. The valley is covered in lush greenery offering a rejuvenating sight for the eyes of a tired city dweller. Drained by mountain rivers like the Teesta, Torsa, Jaldhaka, Raidak and their tributaries, the aura of the valley refreshes the body and soul of visitors. Most parts of the valley are covered in thick verdant forests. Explore all best hotels in Dooars also.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete