Location: Terai region, Himalayan foothills
Established in: 1949
Spread over: 80 sq km
Located in the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills, Gorumara National Park offers its tourists exquisite splendor and the scenic beauty of the unperturbed nature in the region. Deemed as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949, this medium-sized park, with grasslands and forests, rose to become a national park in the January of 1994. The national park is exactly sited in the Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, in the state of West Bengal and is primarily known for its population of Indian Rhinoceros.
Sprawling to about 80 square kilometers of land, Gorumara is known for its rolling forests and riverrine grasslands. The sanctuary experience hot and sultry summers, coupled with cool winters. The temperature of the place normally ranges from 27 to 37 degrees C in summers and 10 to 21 degrees C during winters. The average annual rainfall is about 382 cm. Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary can be visited at any of time of the year, except during monsoons. The dense forest against the backdrop of Kanchenjungha and other Himalayan peaks offers a charismatic view, augmenting the scintillating beauty of the sanctuary.
Talking about the ecology of Gorumara National Park, the primary biomes corresponding to the ecozone are the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands of the Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome and the Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests of the Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome. Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to an assortment of fauna. While sal forests with common teak, rain tree and silk cotton tree are common, bamboo groves, Terai grassland vegetation and tropical riverine reeds are the other types that are found in the region.
Gorumara National Park serves as the homeland for various species of wildife. It has about 50 species of mammals, 193 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 7 species of turtles, 27 species of fishes and other macro and micro fauna. Out of this mammoth reserve of fauna, Indian Rhinoceros, Gaur, Asian Elephant, Sloth bear, Chital and Sambar Deer are the prime attractions. The park is also the habitat of numerous colorful brids, such as Scarlet Minivet, Sunbird, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Spangled Drongo and Great Indian Hornbill. Apart from this, venomous and non venomous snakes, including Indian Python and King Cobra, also inhabit the sanctuary.
Gorumara National Park has several watchtowers, constructed to assist tourist in having a glimpse of the natural beauty and wildlife movements. These watchtowers offer the best place to watch animals and birds moving naturally in their habitat. While the khunia watchtower is a great place to watch elephants and Gaur, jatraprasad watchtower, named after death of an elephant, extends panoramic view of the sanctuary in general. It also provides the view of a large number of wildlife. The rhino observation point, on the other hand, is a great place for leisurely watching rhino and elephant, as they come to the salt reservoir located just below the tower. For birdwatchers, chukchukia watchtower is nothing less than a paradise. Situated at the border of the park, it is a great place to watch the colorful birds flying past.