Last week we, a group of four nature enthusiasts, planned for a trip to Dooars. This time we wanted to explore the Chilapata Reserve forest area. We booked the Mendabari Nature Camp for two nights. This camp was at a pleasant 40 minutes drive from Hasimara railway station through a dense elephant infested forest. We did not book for the third night and planned for homestay in tribal village. I had been to Chilapata few times before and each time it mesmerized me with a different beauty.
We boarded Kanchankanya Express and it departed on time. Next morning we woke up and found the train was running few hours late. Now if someone does not know, the Kanchankanya Express is the only train to reach Hasimara, Malbazar and Alipurduar. The train passes through a forest and through couple of tunnels after it crosses Siliguri junction.
Our driver and old friend Rabi was waiting for us at Hasimara. We quickly started off for Chilapata. When we reached Mendabari, we met a family there who who sighted a couple of rhino in the adjacent grassland.