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The Jaldapara Wildlfe Sanctuary is spread over an area of 217 sq kms. The Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, elephants, Hog deer, spotted deer, barking deer and sambar have made it their home and can be easily spotted. It is also the habitat of the Indian Bison and if one is lucky one can spot an isolated tiger or leopard. There are also a few rare species of animals here like the hispid hare and hog badger.
There are also wild boars and sloth bears here. The birds to be found here are the Crested Eagle, Pallas's Fishing Eagle and shikra, besides Jungle fowl, peafowl, patridges, Bengal Florican and lesser Pied Hornbill. Python, monitor lizards, krates, cobras, geckos and about 8 species of fresh water turtles have also found sanctuary here.
Places to see
It is a small village near the sanctuary which is home to the Toto tribe. This tribe is of great anthropological interest as it shies away from modern developments.
The ruins of an old fort and a big lake can be seen here.
The best time to visit West Bengal is October to March
October-March is relatively less humid and is the time of the 10 day Durga puja festival. Sunderbans is also opened at this time for visitors. In summers the temp goes to 38 degrees, and the humidity levels are very high. In winters the temperatures may fall to 10 degrees. Teesta Tea and Tourism Festival is held in November.
The hilly areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong is best visited from March to June. June to August is the rainy season here.