Situated in the Jalpaiguri and Siliguri districts of West Bengal, Siliguri is a city known as the Gateway to North-East India. Located 560 kms from Kolkata to the north, Siliguri is the twin city of Jalpaiguri and the third largest in West Bengal. Siliguri has its own international airport which serves mainly as a base for tourists to camp in before moving out to explore nearby tourist attractions such as Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Gangtok and Bhutan. However, Siliguri itself is a perfectly good holiday destination, with sufficient things to see and do. Over the years, Siliguri has become famous for its products such as tea and timber and also an important commercial and connecting hub.
The Jaldapara National Park, situated on the banks of the Torsa river, is a prime attraction of Siliguri. Earlier known as the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, the park is spread over an area of around 215 kilometres, and is comprised of riverine forests as well as grasslands. The park is famous for its impressive population of Royal Bengal Tigers, elephants, one-horned rhinoceros, and various other species of deer. To get the best out of the park, you can go for an elephant ride, which will give you a chance to catch a glimpse of the animals up close.
Another wildlife park that nature lovers should consider visiting is the North Bengal Wild Animals Park. This park is an integral part of the Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and spread out over an area of 300 hectares; this park contains a wide variety of flora and fauna. However, unlike other wildlife parks and sanctuaries, the Mahanadi Wildlife Sanctuary strictly forbids visitors from feeding the animals at the park.
When visiting Siliguri, a close-by tourist attraction that most people visit is Mirik. Around 50 kilometres from Siliguri, Mirik is famed for its picturesque beauty, its pristine Sumendu Lake, and its monastery. Sumendu Lake offers fishing activities, and boat rides for tourists, which is a beautiful way to relish the breathtaking view of the hills bordering the lake on all sides.
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