Jaldapara National Park is situated at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, in a district called Alipurduar in West Bengal. It is one of the best places in the country to spot one-horned rhinos. These elusive beauties are found in few other national parks today; Kaziranga and Pobitara in Assam and in protected areas in the Terai of Nepal Jaldapara has been home to this wonderful species for a long time now – the vast grassland being ideal as the Rhino’s natural habitat.
Today, they’re listed as a vulnerable species, whereas once the large mammal ranged in large numbers through the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic plain. However, excessive hunting has caused them to go down in number. Today, about 3,000 rhinos live in the wild, 2,000 of which are found in the Northeast alone.
A great way to enjoy in Jaldapara National Park is by taking an elephant safari that is organised early morning from Hollong to offer the exquisite beauty of the vast grassland . The elephant ride is also the best possible way to spot rare species such as the Indian rhinos and Asiatic elephants. You can also opt for the jeep safari inside the sanctuary for a complete experience.
The forest is mainly savannah covered with tall elephant grasses, and looks gorgeous with the river Torsa flowing languidly through it. It is home to a great variety of fauna other than the rhino such as Royal Bengal Tigers, wild elephants, deers, swamp deers, hog deers, wild pigs, and bisons. Some rare species like the hispid hare and the hog-badger are also found here.
While taking leisurely strolls through the towering grass here, you can also spot some great varieties of birds. It is one of the very few places in India, where the Bengal Florican is seen. Other birds to be found here are the Crested Eagle, Pallas’s Fishing Eagle, Jungle Fowl, Bengal Florican and the Pied Hornbill.