Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Eastern Himalayas, Chalsa is an incredibly beautiful destination known for its abundant natural beauty. It is located in the Duars region, also called Dooars, which too is a popular destination and a gateway to Assam. Comprising of thick forests, verdant valleys, sprawling tea gardens, rivers and streams, Chalsa is an ideal place to be the home to two important wildlife sanctuaries, namely Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary.
These forests are home to exotic wildlife, including a large number of elephants and rhinos. Especially, Gorumara National Park, which is primarily known for its huge population of the Indian rhinoceros. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949, and located on the floodplains of Murti and Raidak rivers, the region of this sanctuary is blessed with thick forests, rich grasslands, and thriving flora and fauna.
The park is home to several species of resident and migratory birds, along with animals like the sloth bear, deer, Indian pythons, king cobra and the endangered pygmy hogs, amongst the others. It’s approximately 14km away from the heart of Chalse; and the drive upto the park is an experience in itself. Those who’re looking to experience offbeat places in West Bengal, Chalsa can prove to be the base while you explore surrounding regions such as Bindu, Dooars, Jhalong, and Jaldhaka among others. The hamlet of Chalsa is quite famed for its weekly market at Mangalbari Haat – a major stopover for buses plying to other regions in Dooars.
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The best times to visit Chalsa are post-monsoon and during winter months. The weather turns pleasant from September; temperature starts to drop from October but January is the coldest month when the temperature ranges between 10-1 degree Celsius.
Chalsa is located about 60km from Siliguri, and the nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport, about 2 hours away. Bagdogra has regular flights to cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Chennai. One can hail a cab from the airport or board a state transport bus from Siliguri to reach Chalsa.