Wild Life Sanctuary is situated in the Darjeeling
Wild Life division and can be reached from Siliguri
in 30 minutes. Sukna, the gateway to the sanctuary, is only
13 Km from Siliguri and 28 Km from sprawls over 159 Sq. Km
of reserve forest and was started as a game sanctuary in 1955.
In 1959 it got the status of a sanctuary
mainly to protect the Indian Bison and Royal Bengal Tiger,
which were facing the threat of extinction.
The forest type in Mahananda WLS varies
from riverain forests like Khayer-Sisoo to dense mixed-wet
forest in the higher elevation in 'Latpanchar'
area of Kurseong hills.
The variation in altitude and forest types helps the existence
of a large number of species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
The important mammalian species include majestic Royal Bengal
Tiger, gigantic elephants, sturdy Indian bison, timid spotted
and barking deer, many species of lesser cat, Himalayan black
bear, leopard including clouded leopard and many other smaller
animals. The Sanctuary also holds hundreds of feathered species.
The exciting list includes some very endangered species like
fairy blue bird, Himalayan pied hornbill....... etc. Among
the others; swallow, swift, thrush, babbler, warbler, roller,
minivet, sunbird can be found in abundance.
sanctuary is an ideal place for wildlife lovers. Several glades,
hides and watchtowers have been created near natural saltlicks
and streams to invite wild animals. The railway cabin in the
abandoned Gulma Station inside the core area of the sanctuary
has been converted into a watchtower.
The tower is located besides the Gulma River
and is an ideal place for wildlife viewing. There are a number
of rest houses in the sanctuary including two in Sukna and
arguably the best one in . An exciting jungle safari in the
Sanctuary comprising Siliguri- Sukna - Golaghat - Gulma- Laltong
- Siliguri organised by naturebeyond can be a real adventurous
At 4000ft above sea level, Latpanchar is the highest place
in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. It is 44Kms way from Siliguri
and can be reached by a 13km drive from Kalijhora on the Siliguri-Gangtok