Latpanchar (Northeast)

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An up and coming tourist spot, Latpanchar is a pristine village in the Dooars region. Hidden from the raucous city life at the highest point of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, this forest town overlooks the roaring river of Teesta and is a perfect spot for some winding down amidst nature. The panoramic views, stunning flora and fauna, hills and valleys surrounding the elevated area have made it a popular offbeat destination. However, crowds are yet to gather in Latpanchar, allowing the beautiful village to retain its untouched charms. The prime location, tall trees and rushing rivers have transformed the area into a spectacular Bird Watching spot.

Good To Know

West Bengal
Nearest Airport
Bagdogra Airport
Wildlife Sighting Index
8/10 for Rufous Necked Hornbill sighting
Beauty of Forest Index
8/10 Beauty of Forest
Standard of Infrastructure Index
5/10 Stay & Amenities
Bookings Open
60 Days in Advance
Consider Securing
30 Days in Advance
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Flora of Latpanchar

The range of altitudes, hilly areas, valleys, terai to the south and mountains to the north are all factors that contribute to the rich flora and fauna of Latpanchar. The circling riverain and dense mixed-wet forests and the sparsely trodden area of Latpanchar is a clear mirror of nature’s beauty. The village is dominated by deciduous forests and Cinchona plantation, which is used to make medicines for malaria. Towards the eastern Himalayas, broadleaf forests like oak, maple and magnolia cover the higher altitudes.

Towards the lower altitudes, subtropical broadleaf forests like Dodonaea shrubs and Sal trees are present. Moist- mixed deciduous forests, subtropical broadleaf wet-hill forests and northern tropical evergreen and wet evergreen forests are also abundant in the surrounding area. Subtropical pine forests with large coniferous drought-resistant trees are also a speciality of the area. The thin woodland has a thick grass cover, with usual fires stunting any shrubby undergrowth.

  • khairu
  • sisoo
  • sal
  • simul
  • teak
  • fern
  • champ
  • lali
  • jarul
  • bamboo
  • orchid
  • oak
  • maple
  • rhododendron
  • pine

Fauna of Latpanchar

The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 36 species of mammals and more than 240 species of birds. The wildlife trickles into the elevated plains of Latpanchar and clear views of interesting animals and birds are easily enjoyed from here. The Rufous Necked Hornbill is the jewel of Latpanchar, threatened and glorious, only a handful of these species thrive in the forests but they can be easily spotted from the openings and optimum bird watching vantage points in Latpanchar. Apart from the Hornbill other rarities like Black Baza, Collared Scops Owl, Grey-headed Parrot Bell are just some of the other vibrant birds that can be viewed from this quaint village.

The proximity to the core area of the sanctuary means that wandering animals like Malayan Giant Squirrel and Barking Deer are also frequently spotted from Latpanchar. Namthing Pokhari, an enthralling seasonal lake located a few kilometres from Latpanchar is the breeding ground for the increasingly rare species of Himalayan Salamander.

  • Asian Emerald Cuckoo
  • Black Baza
  • Collared Scops Owl
  • Hodgson’s Frogmouth
  • Red-headed Trogon
  • Green Cochoa
  • Grey-headed Parrotbill
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill
  • Oriental Pied Hornbill
  • Great Hornbill
  • swallow
  • swift
  • thrush
  • babbler
  • warbler
  • roller
  • sunbird
  • Malayan Giant Squirrel
  • barking deer
  • Himalayan serow
  • Himalayan porcupine
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Binturong
  • Clouded Leopard
  • elephants
  • Indian bison
  • chital
  • sambar
  • rhesus monkey
  • fishing cat
  • jungle cat
  • leopard
  • minivet

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Explore The Known and Unknown of Latpanchar

The sleepy village of Latpanchar is a saturated hub of nature’s greatest gifts. A trip to this hilly town will offer you some stunning views of panoramic vistas, mountains, rivers, birds and mammals. Travellers usually enjoy a retreat to this secluded town to witness unadulterated beauty while enjoying the natural attractions of the area. Most tourists arrive at Latpanchar with their binoculars and cameras, to have an amazing bird watching experience. However, bird watching isn’t the only activity available on this site. You can enjoy nature walks amidst the meandering forests of sal, teak, pine and Cinchona. The forests surrounding the area are wonderful and offer a very pleasant ambience. The Ahal Dara viewpoint can also be reached via a car or jeep ride up to its base.

From there, you can trek up the boulder path to observe the stunning view of Kanchenjunga peaks ahead. Below you can witness the lower fringes of the forests perched on steep mountains and the Teesta river flowing past. On clear days, the towns of Gangtok and Kalimpong are also visible. One may even be able to spot the famous Silk Route through which India and Tibet traded historically. The base of Ahal Dara has a diverging road that can take you to Namthing Lake. This magnificent Lake is located amongst Cinchona and pine forests.

A myriad of birds and Himalayan salamanders seek refuge in this tranquil beauty. Sarsari Dara is another viewpoint, almost 1.5 kilometres from Latpanchar, that offers similar spectacular views. You can also take a bumpy jeep ride to the Sitong Orange Orchards in Sitong. Although the road to these orange orchards may be a bit uncomfortable, the beautiful orchards are worth a visit.

How to reach Latpanchar

Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri has connecting flights from all major international airports like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. The Bagdogra Airport is the maiden airport of North Bengal and the only airport nearby. From here, rented cars are the only available transport to reach Latpanchar which is at a distance of 52 kilometres from Bagdogra.

New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the closest major railway station in the area. It is a busy railway station, connected to all the other major railway stations of Bengal and train tickets can easily be bought for a train ride to NJP. Once in NJP, you can rent cars or taxis to traverse the remaining 43 kilometres till Latpanchar. For those preferring long drives on the road, you will be pleased to know that the journey to Latpanchar is easily traversed through private cars that can be hired from NJP, Bagdogra and even Siliguri.

Resorts at Latpanchar

As an untouched jewel, Latpanchar has a distinct lack of fancy resorts and hotels. However, you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by the comfortable lodges and homestays offered by the locals. The native people run hospitable lodgings and provide basic amenities, western rooms with attached baths and scrumptious local foods for travellers. Enjoy an intimate and local experience with the warm villagers and quaint lifestyle at Latpanchar. One of the best options for accommodation is Hornbill Nest run by Padam Gurung. The cottage offers clean and spacious rooms, balconies with beautiful views, kitchen and dining space and more. You can also opt for Latpanchar Forest Rest House and WBFDC Forest Rest House which are located at a close distance to Latpanchar. The quaint well-maintained cottages are surrounded by dense forests and are perfect for a cozy stay with nature.

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