Elephant safari at Jaldhapara rhino sanctuary
pictures of rhinoceros, map, train to Jalpaiguri, elephant safaris, accommodation, food, costs
Jaldhapara (also spelled Jaldapara) is a little known Indian wildlife reserve that is rarely visited by
travellers. However, the presence of around 50 highly endangered Indian one-horned rhinoceroses make this sanctuary very worthy of a visit. Situated close to Bhutan, Jaldhapara contains habitats of lush tropical river-rain forests and tracts of tall elephant grass along the banks of the river Torsa. As well as rhinos, Jaldhapara shelters tigers, wild elephants,
deer, bison, wild boars and a variety of birds and other animals. Jaldhapara was established in 1941 and covers an area of about 120 sq km.
Corbett national park
Kanha national park
Ranthambore national park
Jaisalmer and Thar desert
There is a good chance of seeing the Indian rhino at Jaldhapara. If you are visiting Calcutta or Darjeeling then a detour here is worthwhile.
Photos of rhinos at Jaldhapara, click to enlarge.
All photos © Imtiaz Dharssi
Travel tips for visits to Jaldhapara rhino sanctuary
- Location of Jaldhapara:
- Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal state, India.
- About 125 km east of Jalpaiguri (Siliguri), the nearest major town and railway
- About 7 km from the town of Madarihat where food and accommodation are available.
Madarihat also has a train station.
- About 220 km south-east of Darjeeling.
- North of Calcutta.
- Map: Jalpaiguri district (local copy) 
- Getting to Jaldhapara: Jalpaiguri is well connected by trains with Calcutta
and the rest of India. From Jalpaiguri it is an uncomfortable, four hour, bus journey to Madarihat. Slow passenger trains also connect Madarihat with Jalpaiguri.
- Access to Jaldhapara:
A mini-bus and jeeps are available to transport visitors between Madarihat and Hollong.
- Only open from mid-September to mid-June, March is the best month to view wildlife.
- Elephant safari is organized once a day in the early morning, starting from inside the park at Hollong.
Unless you pre-book the only available accommodation is likely to be in dormitories. Bookings for both lodges can be made at West Bengal tourist offices at Jalpaiguri and Calcutta.
- The Madarihat tourist lodge is within walking distance of
Madarihat train station.
- The Hollong forest lodge is located inside the wildlife reserve.
- Food: Basic thali style food at the tourist lodges.
- Currency rates:
to Indian Rupees.
- Travel insurance advice from the British government
Good Points about Jaldhapara
- Good chance of seeing an Indian Rhino.
- Elephant safari is a good way of exploring the jungle and viewing wildlife.
Bad Points about Jaldhapara
- Difficult journey to reach Jaldhapara.
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