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Neora Valley National Park complete detail – updated

Neora Valley National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Neora Valley National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Neora Valley National Park. How to Reach Neora Valley National Park. 
Total area of the park is 159.89 Km2. Neora Valley National Park was established in the year of 1986. This park falls in the catchment area of the Neora River. Neora Valley National Park is distinct for its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio-diversity.
The park is home to the many species like Himalayan Tahr, Black Bear, Sambar, Barking Deer, Goral, Tiger, Leopard, Chinese Marmorata, Pangolin, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Clouded Leopard etc.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Neora Valley National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal. Neora Valley National Park was established in the year of 1986. Total area of the park is 159.89 Km2.

The entire forest is crisscrossed by mountain streams. The name Neora Valley is given after the river Neora flowing through it.

The park is one of the richest biological zones in the entire Northeast. It is the land of the elegant red panda in the pristine undisturbed natural habitat with rugged inaccessible hilly terrain.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

The park is famous for the virgin forest patch and its unique bio-diversity. The National Park enjoys the distinction of being situated over one of the oldest Reserve Forest in India.

This park falls in the catchment area of the Neora River. The Northern boundary of Neora Valley National Park is contiguous with the forest of Sikkim and Bhutan.

The National park comprises tropical & temperate vegetation. The rich diverse flora and fauna making this park an important wilderness zone.

Neora Valley National Park is distinct for its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio-diversity. The park is home to the many species like Himalayan Tahr, Black Bear, Sambar, Barking Deer, Goral, Tiger, Leopard, Chinese Marmorata Pangolin, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Clouded Leopard etc.

The park is also an ideal place for birds like Redstart, Whistling Thrush, Golden Headed Black Finch, Pheasants, Cuckoos, Minivets, Flycatchers, Maynas, Orioles, Owls, Parakeets, Partridges, Sunbirds, Swallows, Swifts and Woodpeckers etc.

Due to wide range of altitude variation, the climate condition of the park varies from tropical to temperate or even Sub-alpine in Rachilla Danda area.

Its floral diversity is noteworthy with mixed species of rhododendrons, bamboo, sal etc. along with several species of orchids.

The forest in Neora Valley has such a luxurious growth that even sunlight finds it difficult to touch the ground. Much of the park is still inaccessible making it an adventurous place for the nature lovers / trekkers who can take the challenge to explore the still-unknown terrain in the Kalimpong hills.

Neora Valley is particularly well known for wild orchids. A number of orchids hidden in the deepest parts of the valley are yet to find a place in the records.

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The park is one of the last remaining pristine ecosystems of the Eastern Himalayas with its amazing Bio-diversity, and is home to many rare and endangered plants, animals and birds.

It exhibits a rich variety of habitat as the area comprises the catchments and watershed of the Neora River with its tributaries. The Park with its dense forests is located on the tri-junction of Bhutan, Sikkim and West-Bengal, and its boundary extends from 30 m of altitude up to 3200 m.

The Neora Valley National Park has two entry points: one is from Lava and the other from Samsing. The trek route through Lava starts from Zero Point which is about 25 km from Lava. There is no forest safari or forest trail treks inside the National Park.

The popular tourist destination Lava is located quite close to Neora Valley National Park. The entrance to the park at a village named Kolakham is about 10kms from Lava.

Geography

Neora Valley National Park is located in the Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal. Total area of the park is 159.89 Km2.

The park is one of the richest biological zones in the entire Northeast. The National Park enjoys the distinction of being situated over one of the oldest Reserve Forest in India.

This park falls in the catchment area of the Neora River. The Northern boundary of Neora Valley National Park is contiguous with the forest of Sikkim and Bhutan. The National park comprises tropical & temperate vegetation.

Due to wide range of altitude variation, the climate condition of the park varies from tropical to temperate or even Sub-alpine in Rachilla Danda area.

Its floral diversity is noteworthy with mixed species of rhododendrons, bamboo, sal etc. along with several species of orchids.

It stretches in the north upto an altitude of 3,200 m. The highest point of this park is Rachela Pass.

These are small villages close to the highway which has developed tourism infrastructure over the years. On the southern fringe of the forest destinations like Gorubathan, Phapharkheti, Samsing has been gaining in popularity among the travelers. On the western front, Bindu, Jhalong, Rangpo, Todey Tangta area also has become significant tourist destinations.

It exhibits a rich variety of habitat as the area comprises the catchments and watershed of the Neora River with its tributaries. The Park with its dense forests is located on the tri-junction of Bhutan, Sikkim and West-Bengal, and its boundary extends from 30 m of altitude up to 3200 m.

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Major forest types

  • Subtropical Mixed Broadleaf Forest,
  • Lower Temperate Evergreen Forest
  • Upper Temperate Mixed Broadleaf Forest
  • Rhododendron Forest

The vegetation includes Dry Mixed Forest, Wet Mixed Forest, Lauraceous Forest, Bak-Oak Forest, and High level oak Forest, Coniferous Forest, Himalayas Moist Temperate Forest and Rhododendron forest. It is home to several endemic orchids.

Dominant flora

Rhododendron arboruem, R. barbatum, R.falconeri, R. dalhousiae, Swertia chirata, Lycopodium spp., Aconitum spp., Aristolochia spp., Berberis cristata, Costus speciosa, Didymocarpus pedicellate, Rouwolfia serpentine etc.

Balanophora neorensis, Balanophora polyandra, Betula utilis, Swertia chirata, Swertia bimaculata, Rananculus tricuspes, Digitalis purpuria, Geranium nepalense, Taxus baccata, and Ilex hookeri etc.

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

Dominant fauna

Mammals Red panda, Tiger, Black Asiatic Bear, Barking Deer, Goral Deer, Leopards, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Thar, Flying Squirrel, Clouded Leopard, Musk deer, Civet, Sloth bear, Golden cat, Wild boar, Goral, Serow, Sambar, Himalayan flying squirrel etc.

Birds Rufous-throated Partridge, Satyr Tragopan, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Golden-throated Barbet, Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo, Brown Wood Owl, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Jerdon’s Baza, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Dark-throated Thrush, White-browed Bush Robin, White-tailed Robin, Yellow-browed Tit, Striated Bulbul, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-faced Warbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Rufous-fronted Babbler, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Maroon-backed Accentor etc.

ReptilesKing Cobra, Viper, Lizards, Indian cobra, Common krait, Green pit viper, Blind snake etc.

Other Attractions

Halt at Lava

Nature Interpretation Center – The center is open from 8am – 12noon, 1pm – 4pm (closed on Thursdays).

Zero Point

Lava Buddhist Monastery

Trekking

Library

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Best time to visit

The best time of the year to visit the Neora Valley National Park is between the months of October to April.

The park is open to tourists from 16th September to 15th June. The park remains closed for 3 months during monsoon.

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Bagdogra airport, about 100 Km from the Neora Valley National Park. Bagdogra airport is well connected by road network to Neora Valley National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Darjeeling railway station, about 30 Km from the Neora Valley National Park. Darjeeling railway station is well connected by road network to Neora Valley National Park.

By Road Neora Valley National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Neora Valley National Park at frequent intervals.  Nearest town is Lava and nearest city is Kalimpong.

Accommodations

Neora Valley Jungle Camps is a nice resort in Kolakham, run by Help Tourism and offers nice accommodations. There are 5 fully furnished wooden cottages.

Neora Valley Jungle Camps, Kolakham Village, Lingesykha Gram Panchatyat, P.O. Lava, Kalimpong, Phone (Help Tourism, Siliguri):  +91-353-2433683 / 2535896

Phone (Help Tourism, Kolkata): +91-33-24550917 / 24549719

The Red Panda Eco Huts is a budget accommodation located in Kolakham. There are 4 wooden cottages with twin or double beds.

The Red Panda Eco Huts, Kolakham-Neora Valley National Park (Near Lava)

Email: redpanda.ecotourism@gmail.com, Phone: (+91) 9830077180 / 8420394747 / 8420434545

Other National Parks in West Bengal. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows……..
S. No.  Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area (Km2)
1 Gorumara National Park West Bengal 1992 79.45
2 Buxa National Park West Bengal 1992 117.10
3 Singalila National Park West Bengal 1986 78.60
4 Sundarbans National Park West Bengal 1984 1330.10
5 Jaldapara National Park West Bengal 2014 216.51

About Vijay Choudhary

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