Siliguri’s Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Has Over 300 Birds Species. Bird Watchers, Assemble!

by Shreya Rathod
Siliguri’s Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Has Over 300 Birds Species. Bird Watchers, Assemble!

India is one of the places where you will find abundant wildlife sanctuaries. And they are home to several rare species of birds, animals and other living organisms. Among the most popular wildlife sanctuaries, the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the prominent ones. In fact, the Incredible India Twitter account featured it in a video dedicated to Siliguri and Darjeeling. Here’s why it is deemed to be an important wildlife sanctuary.

Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated in the district of Darjeeling and at the foothills of the Himalayas, this sanctuary was established in 1976 to protect the Bengal Tiger and Indian Bison — both indigenous species near extinction. But initially, the place was started as a game sanctuary where children could enjoy animal rides. The place is just 30 minutes away from Siliguri and a must visit place if you are a nature lover.

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The sanctuary spans over 159 sq. kilometres and it includes a dense mixed forest with different types of vegetation. The village called Sukna is the Gateway to the sanctuary. It includes other forest villages like Gulma, Sevoke, Saat Mile, Latlong, Kalijhora, etc. Besides being the protected area for Bengal Tiger and Indian Bison, the area is declared an ‘important bird area’ as it is home to several species of birds.

Flora & Fauna Of The Sanctuary

The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich wildlife habitat that includes several species of flora and fauna. Since it is declared as a bird safe house, the place harbours more than 300 species of birds that include swallow, swift, babbler, sunbird, kingfisher, Himalayan pied hornbill, etc. In addition to local birds, it is home to migratory birds too.

As for animals, this place houses Bengal Tigers and thirty six other types of mammals. They include Himalayan black bears, clouded leopards, porcupines, rare mountain goats and barking deer.

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If you decide to visit this sanctuary, there is a forest lodge in Sukna run by the state forest department where you can stay overnight. Besides this, Latpanchar also has forest rest houses and lodges for you to stay. However, you will have to make arrangements for food.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia