In our quest to explore known places in a new way, we decided to go for Jayanti River Trail.
Breathtaking backdrops and surreal silhouettes define our Trail along Jayanti River. Birds sing, chirp and flutter all day. A thriving population of Butterflies, myriad species thrive in this motley landscape to make Jayanti the perfect habitat for nature and wildlife lovers.
The trail starts from our base-point at Jayanti to our final destination “Boro-Mahkal Dham”. So we started off around 8.00 am in a group of 7.
In winters Jayanti River is almost dry, at first glance it looks like a desert with dead trees standing tall. As we carefully put our steps and navigate through hilly and rough terrain, we keep our eyes around, with the hope to see some action.
Well, we don’t have to wait for long. As we gazed at the trees, a Crested Kingfisher was perched on a branch, ready to pounce on its prey. It is a large Kingfisher and largest Kingfisher found in Asia. Generally found in mountain streams. The population shows a decreasing trend due to loss of habitat.
As we move uphill, dry river bed paved the way to rugged terrain with mountain stream burbles as it travels along its bed, bubbling over rocks.
It takes toil, to move along but good things always come with a cost. The temperature suddenly dropped and lighting conditions changed. We find ourselves amidst a plain land, crystal clear water of the river and stiff cliffs hovering over us.
Jayanti has a good population of mountain birds. At the far end on a rock was a – White-Capped Redstart.
Slaty-Backed Forktail, Little Forktail can be found along the trail. The Slaty-backed forktail/little forktail is found near fast-flowing water bodies in tropical and sub-tropical montane broadleaf forests.
From the riverbed, we took a different trail and went up-hill for about half a kilometre. We were mesmerized to see a group of Black Crested Bulbul. As the name suggests, the head of this bulbul is black while the rest of its body has yellow plumage. Both the male and female are similar in plumage.
Jayanti is known for its rich variety of butterfly population. Butterflies spotted in our trail are – Common Yeoman, Spotted Sawtooth, East Himalayan Yellow Orange Tip, Common Jay.
We had a good learning experience and explored a new trail. By this time we were really hungry and decided to return back to Jayanti.
Birds of Jayanti:
Crested Kingfisher, Slaty-Backed Forktail, Little Forktail, Black Crested Bulbul.
Butterflies of Jayanti:
Common Yeoman, Spotted Sawtooth, East Himalayan Yellow Orange Tip, Common Jay.
Railhead/Airport: The nearest rail station is Alipurduar which is 1 hr drive. Alternatively, Bagdogra Airport is 4 hrs drive.
No of Jeep Safaris per day at Jayanti: Four jeeps are allowed in the core area in each shift (morning and afternoon).
Accommodation: There are home-stays at Jayanti, Santhalabari.
Best Time to Visit: Sept – June
Things to Carry: Hiking wear, shoes (crocs), first-aid, water bottles and essential medicines.