Trip to Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary | Mahananda Birding | Wild Voyager

Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary & Birding Tours


Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary is nestled in Himalayan foothills between Teesta and Mahananda rivers. Situated in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, it was initially a game sanctuary in 1955. Subsequently, it was given the status of sanctuary in 1959 to protect Royal Bengal Tiger and Indian bison that were on the verge of extinction.

Spread over 159 sq Km, it has varying altitude ranging from 500 ft to 4300 ft. The sanctuary comprises several forest areas like Kalijhora, Latpanchor, Punding, Sukna, Gulma, Toribari, Sevoke, Seventh Mile and Latlon. The forest type in Mahananda varies from riverain forests like Khayer-Sisoo to dense mixed-wet forest. The sanctuary supports about 330 types of plantations including teak, udal, champ, lali, jarul, gamar, mandane, bamboos, ferns, orchids and sidha.

The lower plains of the forest witness the migration of elephants from Nepal, West Bangal and Assam during monsoon and winter months. The sanctuary shelters about 36 species of mammals including Himalayan black bear, leopards, rare mountain goats (serow), porcupines, golden cats, sambar, spotted & barking deer, Indian bison (gaur), wild boars, monkeys including black capped languor.The sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers. A variety of them including Himalayan pied hornbills, peafowls, peacocks, fouls, egrets, kingfishers, fly catchers, racket tail drongo, Assamese macaque, robins, woodpeckers are found here.

When to go

The best time to visit the sanctuary is from November to April. Regular day safaris are offered both in morning and afternoon. However you have to arrange your own vehicle.


The sanctuary is known for several glades where artificial saltlicks are created .They fulfill the mineral requirements of animals.

Quick facts

Location – Darjeeling, West Bengal
Area – 158.04 sq Km
Nearest Airport – Bagdogra (28 Km)
Nearest Rail Head – New Jalpaiguri
How to reach – Can be reached from SIliguri in 30 minutes
Famous for –  Exotic himalayan birds
Months Open – January to June, October to December
Best Time – November to April

What's there

Mammals – Indian bison, tiger, Himalayan serow, Himalayan porcupine, Himalayan black bear, binturong, clouded leopard, Indian elephants, chital, sambar, fishing cat, jungle cat, barking deer, and leopard
Birds – rufous-necked hornbill, oriental pied hornbill, Great hornbill, long tailed broadbill, swallow, swift, thrush, babbler, warbler, roller, minivet and sunbird

Images made at Mahananda by our team


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