The Indian state of West Bengal is a medley of rich culture, history, and other gifts of nature. From snow-tipped mountains to pristine sea beaches and dense forests, you will find them all in this eastern state. The state also boasts several tribal communities, the holy river Ganges, and many other important water bodies. To ensure that the rich biodiversity of the state is preserved well, the Indian Government has set up many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. There is little wonder that the state is a paradise for different types of flora, reptiles, mammals, and varied species of birds among others in these sanctuaries. If you wish to explore the wildlife in the state, check out these best wildlife sanctuaries in West Bengal.
1. Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is a small forest and is actually an add-on to North Bengal’s famous Gorumara National Forest. A river called the Murti separates these two forests. The name of this wildlife sanctuary has been derived from a fish called ‘Chapra’, which is found here in plenty. Located around 30 km (18.64 mi) from Lataguri, the sanctuary boasts a wide variety of animals including bison, elephant, and deer among others. Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport from Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary (77.2 km/47.96 mi). The sanctuary remains closed from June to September for heavy rains and winters are the best time to come here.
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Upper Tendu Forest M, West Bengal 735223
Website: Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary
2. Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the district of Burdwan, West Bengal, Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for spotted deers or chital. Today, the sanctuary has emerged as one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions for ecologists and wildlife enthusiasts. It also houses different types of reptiles, birds, leopards, and more. Reaching here is easy from Burdwan, which is well-connected to the rest of the state. The nearest railway station is in Burdwan and is only 4 km (2.48 mi) from Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Golapbag, Mouza, Baburbag, Bardhaman, West Bengal 713104
Website: Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
3. Sundarban National Park
Sundarban National Park is undoubtedly one of the top national parks in the country. It comprises as many as 56 tiny islands. The national park is also famous for being the world’s biggest mangrove forest. It boasts an incredible collection of Royal Bengal Tiger, crocodiles, monkeys, etc., and has an impressive variety of migratory birds. You can reach here easily from Kolkata, the state capital and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Ganges while exploring this stunning forest. Evenings are delightful too as you can enjoy tribal dances and relax with your dear ones. This world-famous tiger reserve located in the district of 24 Parganas. It is a part of the largest delta of the world and has been formed by three rivers. Apart from the Ganges, the other two rivers are Meghna and Brahmaputra.
Sundarban National Park
Address: West Bengal 743370
Website: Sundarban National Park
4. Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary
The locals call it Parmadan Sanctuary and the park is only a few hours’ drive from the state capital of Kolkata (101.7 km/63.19 mi). Famous for different types of birds, deer, and reptiles such as snakes, Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary is perched near Ichamati River. Enjoy a relaxed boat ride to explore this forest or you can simply take a leisurely stroll and admire the rich wildlife on your way. It was set up in 1980 and was named after a famous local author called Bibhutibhusan Bandhyopadhay. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata is the nearest airport from this beautiful wildlife sanctuary.
Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Parmadan, West Bengal 741238
Website: Bibhutibhushan Wildlife Sanctuary
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
5. Jaldapara National Park
Jaldapara National Park is another fabulous national park in the state, which is synonymous with the one-horned rhinoceros. Also home to elephants, the park is situated in proximity to the Torsa River. If you are a bird watcher, a visit to this national park should definitely feature on your bucket list. You may also spot reptiles such as cobras and pythons here, as well as animals such as deer and bison among others. Madarihat is the nearest train station but a majority of trains do not halt here. So, it is recommended to get down at Hasimara, which is about 10.5 km (6.52 mi) from the park. Take a cab from the station to reach here. The Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri is the nearest airport from Jaldapara National Park.
Jaldapara National Park
Address: Jaldapara, Uttar Madarihat, West Bengal 735220
Website: Jaldapara National Park
6. Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
You can spot plenty of deer, porcupine, fox, and other wild animals at Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary. Located in the state’s Nadia district, the sanctuary was set up way back in 1980. The main attraction of this forest is the rock python snake and it is a popular destination for different types of tourists including wildlife photographers. This sanctuary is an excellent place for a day’s tour with your family or friends. Netaji Subhas Bose International Airport is the nearest airport from this sanctuary and is connected to several important Indian and foreign cities. People who wish to travel on a train can get down at the Krishnanagar railway station. The sanctuary is an hour’s drive from this station.
Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Segun Bagan Rd, Bethuadahari Rajendranagar, Bethuadahari, West Bengal 741138
Website: Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
Opening hours: Thu - Tue: 10am - 3pm (closed on Wed)
7. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled in the Himalayan foothills in the Darjeeling district. The sanctuary offers convenient day safaris, which is an excellent way to explore the entire area. However, you should visit here in your own vehicles and also take the help of a guide to visit the sanctuary properly. Its main entrance is situated in proximity to a toy train station called Sukna, which is about 9 km (5.6 mi) from the bustling town of Siliguri. Situated close to the Mahanadi River and River Teesta, the sanctuary is home to numerous elephants and the mighty Royal Bengal Tigers.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Sevoke Road, NH 31C, Sevoke, West Bengal 734005
Website: Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
8. Narendrapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Also referred to as Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, Narendrapur Wildlife Sanctuary is set in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Located in proximity to Ramkrishna Mission, Narendrapur, it is home to different types of butterflies and birds apart from a variety of ferns. An excellent sanctuary for butterfly watching, the sanctuary is a retreat for wild and nature photographers, as well as, other tourists. It was established in 1982 but got the current name in the year 2004. The sanctuary can be easily reached from various parts of Kolkata and attracts thousands of local and faraway tourists. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport is about 36 km (21.12 mi) from this wildlife sanctuary.
Narendrapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Hogulkuria Rajpur Road, Ramchandrapur, Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal 700103
Website: Narendrapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Opening hours: 6am - 5pm (daily)
9. Buxa Tiger Reserve
A beautiful tiger reserve located in North Bengal, Buxa Tiger Reserve is set in proximity to Bhutan and the northeastern Indian state of Assam. The reserve was created in the year 1983 and is one of India’s finest tiger reserves. Buxa Tiger Reserve was recognized as a national park a few years later. It is interesting to note that it is home to the largest population of elephants along with plenty of other wild animals, reptiles, as well as different types of birds. Just about 20.2 km (12.55 mi) from Alipurduar in North Bengal, Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport from here.
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Address: Buxa Forest, Buxa, West Bengal 735226
Website: Buxa Tiger Reserve
10. Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary
You will come across this wildlife sanctuary in the famous Darjeeling district of the state. Situated at a high-altitude, it is home to animals that love heights such as the Himalayan Salamander. However, tourists can also spot other animals like tiger and rhinoceros in this wonderful wildlife sanctuary. Ideally, we recommend you to visit the sanctuary during the months of June to August. People who wish to travel by air can get down at Bagdogra Airport while the New Jalpaiguri railway station is the nearest train station from Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary.
Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Dalkajhar Forest, West Bengal 734431
Website: Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
Explore these top sanctuaries in West Bengal
If you are fond of forests, wildlife, and wish to be in the midst of nature to relax for some time, you must explore some of the top sanctuaries in the state of West Bengal. We have made your job easier by compiling these best wildlife sanctuaries in West Bengal, India.
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