Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park – Darjeeling – West Bengal

Neora Valley National Park, nestled in West Bengal’s Kalimpong district, stands as a testament to the natural beauty and biodiversity of Eastern India. Established in 1986 and designated as a National Park in 1992, it spans 88 sq. km. The park derives its name from the Neora River that winds through its expanse. Much of the park remains untouched, with dense forest cover rendering many areas inaccessible, creating an ideal destination for adventurous trekkers and nature enthusiasts. Known as the haven of the red panda, Neora Valley National Park boasts a pristine natural habitat nestled in hilly terrain. Its diverse flora and fauna make it a vital wildlife sanctuary in the region. Geographically, the park sits at the junction of West Bengal, Sikkim, and Bhutan. Its altitude ranges from 30 meters to an impressive 3,200 meters, with Rachel Danda peak towering at 10,600 feet. Neora Valley is one of the last remaining ecosystems in the Eastern Himalayas, featuring a blend of temperate and tropical vegetation and hosting rare endemic plant and animal species.

Flora: Neora Valley encompasses a rich variety of vegetation, including tropical, sub-tropical, temperate, and sub-temperate forests. Dominant forest types include Upper Temperate Mixed Broadleaf, Wet Mixed, Lower Temperate Evergreen, Subtropical Mixed Broadleaf, Oak, and Coniferous forests. Notable flora species such as Swertia Chirata, Rhododendron Arboruem, and Berberis Cristata flourish here, with undiscovered orchids adding to its allure.

Fauna: The park is home to over 30 mammal species, including the elusive red panda, Clouded Leopard, Himalayan Black Deer, and Royal Bengal Tiger. Reptiles like the Green Pit Viper and King Cobra, along with diverse insect species, add to the park’s biodiversity. Bird enthusiasts can delight in spotting over 100 bird species, including Wood Owls, Cuckoos, and Eagles.

Best Time to Visit: Neora Valley offers different experiences throughout the year. March and April boast vibrant floral displays, while October to December provides stunning mountain vistas. December to March is ideal for birdwatching.

Nearby Attractions: Visitors can explore the dense forests of Neora Valley, with nearby attractions like Rishop and Lava offering panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and snow-capped peaks. Lava, with its monastery and Nature Interpretation Centre, provides insights into the park’s flora and fauna.

Entry Permits: Entry permits are mandatory and can be obtained from the Forest Range Office in Samsing or Lava. Permits take two to three hours to process, starting from 6:00 A.M. during spring and summer.

How to Reach: Neora Valley is accessible by air via Bagdogra Airport, by road through Siliguri, and by rail via New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri Railway Station. Various bus services are available for convenience.

Neora Valley National Park - Darjeeling - West Bengal

Neora Valley National Park Safari Booking online

Neora Valley National Park, nestled near Lava at the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, is flanked by Sikkim’s forests on one side and Bhutan on the other. Wildlife enthusiasts flock to this biodiverse paradise to witness its rich array of animals and birds. Visitors can delight in sightings of the golden-headed black finch, blind snake, and king cobra in their natural habitats. Additionally, the valley serves as an ideal picnic spot, where both children and adults can revel in the surrounding beauty.

Neora Valley National Park operates from 9 am to 4 pm daily, with an earlier closure at 12 noon on Sundays. To gain entry, travelers must obtain a permit, available in the early morning from both Lava and Samsing. If staying in Kolakham, visitors must return to Lava for the permit before re-entering the park. It’s essential to carry a valid government ID such as Aadhar Card, Passport, or Voter ID.

The entry fee for Indian nationals is approximately 130 rupees, while foreigners are charged 500 rupees. Opting for a Jeep Safari incurs an additional cost of around 1500 rupees per jeep, along with separate fees for vehicle entry and a guide, amounting to 400 and 300 rupees respectively. Please note that these prices are subject to change.

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