Are you finding an idle place to take shelter in the lap of nature while visiting in the fascinating North Bengal?
Well, you will be glad to know that such a place is there in North Bengal named Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
Situated exactly between river banks of Mahananda and Teesta, it is a breath-taking forest spreading over 158 square kilometres.
Nestled in the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya in the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, the forest was first declared as a Sanctuary in 1958, in order to preserve the RoyaL Bengal tiger and Indian Bison.
Both of these wild animals were facing the threat of extinction then and this wildlife Sanctuary somewhat improved the situation.
However, they are not the only wild animals you will see here as the forest is replete with different floras and faunas which makes it an ideal travel destination to spend some quality time alone in the lap of nature.
How to Reach Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is nicely connected by road, air or even by train with Darjeeling, Siliguri, and many other nearby towns.
Sukna is the gateway of the Sanctuary which is just 8 km away. You can hire a taxi or car from Siliguri town which will take less than 30 minutes as it is located at a distance of just 13 km.
If you are thinking about coming by train, NJP Railway Station is the nearby station. So after reaching NJP, you can hire a car to reach the Sanctuary.
The distance between them is just 14 km and it will take approximately 40 minutes to reach.
Bagdogra is the nearest airport. After reaching Bagdogra, have a taxi again to reach there. Located at a driving distance of 28 km, it will take more than 1 hour to reach.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, due to its various altitudes, offers a rich and diverse wildlife.
The elevation of the forest starts from 500 feet at Sukna and goes above 4300 feet at Latpanchar.
Due to its variation in altitude, it is a natural habitat of many wild animals such as Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Bison, spotted deer, elephant, barking deer, Sambar, Himalayan Black bear, leopard, etc.
Moreover, many feathered species can also be seen here such as blue-bird, swallow, swift, thrush, babbler, warbler, roller, minivet and sunbird, kingfisher, etc.
Hence, if you are a bird enthusiast, you will feel like heaven here at Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
Activities and Things to Do
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is undoubtedly nature’s paradise as there are plenty of activities you can do to have a thrilling holiday experience.
There are many hides, watchtower, glades, salt licks, streams in the Sanctuary. You can have a closer look at these wild animals from the watchtowers.
Some of the watchtowers are- Laltong Watch Tower, Gulma Watch Tower, Golaghat Watch Tower, etc.
Furthermore, you can take a Jeep Safari or Jungle Safari to have a thrilling journey through this lush green forest.
The Jungle Safari is going to be a memorable one as you will spot many wild animals here there during your Safari.
Enjoying the Dance of local Village girls, boating and trekking through the dense forest are other activities you can do here.
Besides enjoying these activities, you can also visit many rich heritage sites and museums.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Timings
This Wildlife Sanctuary can be visited at any time of the year. But if you want to know a perfect time, we will say that October to April is the best time to visit Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
During these months, the sky stays quite clear and also the temperature is quite comfortable.
However, it is not advisable to visit this Sanctuary in Monsoon as it stays closed from 15th June to 15th September.
If we talk about its opening time, it opens at 8 am and closes at 4 pm daily. Moreover, as mentioned above, it stays completely closed from mid-June to Mid-September.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket Price
The entry fee to enter this scenic Sanctuary is INR 50 only. If you take a guard and opt for Jungle Safari, its price will be INR 150.
Furthermore, the vehicle fee is INR 100 and the camera fee are also INR 100.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Accommodation
If you are planning about spending nights in the Sanctuary, there is a forest Lodge in Sukna run by West Bengal Forest Department.
However, at Latpanchar there are many homestays, lodges and government resorts available for bookings.
Latpanchar is located in the Northern area from the sanctuary. Due to Latpanchar’s high elevation, its hotels offer a breath-taking view of the Mount Kanchenjunga.
As you can see Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary has plenty of things & attractions to offer to the tourists.
From witnessing many wild animals closely, having a thrilling Jungle Safari experience, boating on the streams, to spending quality time alone while watching the snow-peaked Mountain Kanchenjunga, there are many things to do here at Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
So, instead of just planning a trip to Siliguri, shouldn’t you get ready to visit it as soon as possible?