Dating Back To 1915, This Is Oldest Wildlife Sanctuary In The Darjeeling Himalayas

by Suchismita Pal
Dating Back To 1915, This Is Oldest Wildlife Sanctuary In The Darjeeling Himalayas

Darjeeling is known for lush green tea estates, charming cafes, stunning monasteries, toy train rides and much more. The hill station offers alluring views of the Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain peak in the world.  But did you know that a lesser-known gem in the hill station dates back to 1915? The Senchel Wildlife Sanctuary is the oldest sanctuary in the Darjeeling Himalayas that can mesmerise with its idyllic beauty.

Take A Stroll Through The Misty Forests At This Wildlife Sanctuary In Darjeeling

The Senchel Wildlife Sanctuary lies in Sittong, which is also known as the orange valley of Darjeeling. Sittong is a quiet hamlet in Darjeeling, inhabited by the Lepcha tribes. In a remote corner of Sittong, lies the mist-wrapped Senchel Wildlife Sanctuary flanked by the mighty Himalayas. Sprawling across an area of 39 square kilometres, the forest features towering oaks, birches, kapusi, dhupi and kawla trees. The pristine Senchel lake also lies within the sanctuary which is nothing short of a visual spectacle.

Wildlife Sanctuary Darjeeling
Picture Credits: Wikimedia Commons

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Keep Your Binoculars Ready, A Himalayan Bear Might Be Hiding Behind The Bush!

The wildlife sanctuary is home to many rare Himalayan species like Himalayan black bears, Himalayan jackals, Himalayan flying squirrels and more. As you keep your binoculars ready, you might also spot majestic Indian leopards and jungle cats. The Senchel Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers too. Expect to spot gorgeous printed pied hornbills, oriental pied hornbills, black-backed pheasants and golden back woodpeckers.

Wildlife Sanctuary Darjeeling
Picture Credits: Wikipedia

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The Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is around two hours’ drive from the centre of Darjeeling. But remember, you need to seek permission to enter the sanctuary from the ranger’s office at Jorebungalow. If you want to spend a night in the forest, the Rambi Forest Rest House inside the sanctuary will come to your rescue. Interestingly, at a short distance from the sanctuary, lies a mountain peak that resembles the face of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Added this place to your Darjeeling bucket list already?

Feature Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons