Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is in Assam and is famous for the Golden Langur and the second protected habitat of Golden Langur in the country. It's one of the 16 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Assam state. The sanctuary is stretch across the two districts of Assam, Kokrajhar and Dhubri.
The Golden Langur is also the Official Mascot of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) government. Kokrajhar district comes under the jurisdiction of BTC.
Chakrashila hill was previously a reserve forest in 1966. But, on 14 July 1994, it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary to secure the endangered species (such as golden langur) and to protect their natural habitat. Nature Bekon, an environmental activist group, first discovered the golden langur in the late 1980s at Chakrashila and later played a crucial role in raising the status of Chakrashila to that of the Wildlife Sanctuary by the Government of Assam.
The Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is of area 45.568 km2 (4556.8 hectares) as per wikipedia.org. It falls under two districts of lower Assam, and they are Kokrajhar and Dhubri. The BTC government runs the Kokrajhar district.
As per Google map, it's 9.4 km from Kokrajhar town (railway station as the starting point), and 19 mins drive away by car/bike. And 75 km from Dhubri town (Almost 2 hr drive by car/bike).
There are two famous lakes - Dheer Beel and Diplai Beel on either side of the wildlife Sanctuary, and it's an integral part of the sanctuary eco-system. Both the Beels attracts lots of local & migratory birds.
Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary Google Map/Direction
3. Animals at the Sanctuary
The sanctuary is a safe shelter for large species of animals, many of which are on the verge of extinction. But it's popularly known as the home of the golden langurs. Golden Langur is an endangered species mainly found in India (Western Assam region) and the neighboring part of the Indo-Bhutan border. Chakrashila is the only protected habitat for the golden langur in India and the highest in population.
Residents of Assam generally refer to golden langur by the name Sonali Bandar(Sona = gold, Bander = Monkey).
Apart from the langur, different species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds are also sighted.
Forty (40) species of butterflies are also sighted here.
And One hundred nineteen (119) species of birds like black francolin, jungle bush quail, lesser whistling duct, cinnamon bittern, Indian pond heron, cattle egret, purple heron, red-necked falcon, red-headed vulture, greater spotted eagle, and Bronze-winged jacana are also found here.
Few mammals are like Indian short-tailed mole, Indian flying fox, Bengal fox, Indian pipistrelle and Asiatic jackal, etc.
Twenty-three (23) species of reptiles are like snakes, lizards, and turtles.
4. Why Visit Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary?
Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary comes under wildlife tourism. Among the various types of tourism in kokrajhar has to offer, wildlife tourism is one of them. Many people are fond of watching wild animals in their natural habitat, and if you are one of those, then you should visit once.
The apparent reason is to watch the golden langurs, and others are the opportunities for trekking, bird watching, and wildlife photography.
Best time to Visit
You can visit the sanctuary anytime in the year. Still, it's best to avoid traveling during the monsoon season in Assam (July-Oct) because of heavy rainfall, which often results in landslides also.
Since I have not visited yet, I can't say for sure. But as per the info available on the Internet. There are basic accommodation (or Forest Rest House) available in Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary. You may need to contact the D.F.O. Wildlife Division, Kokrajhar, for the same.
There is also a canteen for tourists and officers in the sanctuary near the entrance. But it would be best to carry your food and drinks when visiting.
But since it's only just 9.4 km from Kokrajhar town, I would suggest you stay at hotels in the Kokrajhar town itself. There are many of them.
6. How to Reach Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary?
- From Guwahati city - The nearest airport Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (or known as Guwahati International Airport), is in Guwahati city, and the road distance from Guwahati to Chakrashila is 207 km.
- From Dubri town - It's 75 km.
- From Bongaigaon town - It's 45 km.
- From Kokrajhar town - Kokrajhar town is the nearest one with a 9.4 km distance. If you are in Kokrajhar town or anywhere in a district, it's just a few minute's rides.
7. Whom to contact for visiting Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary
The D.F.O. Wildlife Division, Kokrajhar.
My Goal - I would soon try to take out some time and would visit, and will share my experience with you all. If you have visited Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary, then share your experience in the below comment box. It would be helpful to a lot of our readers who are seeking the information.