‘Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary’ popularly known as ‘Kulik Bird Sanctuary’ is situated near Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur (North Dinajpur) district in of West Bengal, India. It was established in 1985 under the name “Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary”. The development of the area began in 1970, as the part of the social forestry programme of the Government of West Bengal.
It came to be known as Kulik Bird Sanctuary as the river ‘Kulik’ flows beside it. The river which flows around the sanctuary acts as a boundary of its eastern and southern parts. The sanctuary covers an area of 1.30 sq km. The core is 0.14 sq km and the rest is buffer area. It is claimed as the ‘Second largest Bird Sanctuary’ in Asia. It is home to 164 species of birds, and some 70,000 to 80,000 migratory birds visit this sanctuary every year.
Most important birds found here include:
- Asian Open bill Stork
- Little Egret.
- Little Cormorant.
- Night Heron.
- Pond Heron.
Weather around the year:
The weather is warm and humid weather and so it attracts birds from colder countries. Temperature in summer varies from max. 38 degree to min. 21 degree celsius. The winters are cold where the maximum and minimum temperature are ranges between 23 degree celsius to 6 degree celsius respectively. Rainfall is observed around 1,550 mm. (July to September).
Best time to visit:
Tourism here is at its peak during the winter months from December to March.
How to reach:
Kulik Bird Sanctuary is located in Raiganj, which is well connected by NH34. You can reach your destination by train or by roadways according to your preference.
Railway: There are direct trains to Raiganj from Sealdah which will drop you at Raiganj station. From there you can take a rickshaw to reach the sanctuary.
Roadway: You can drive to Raiganj from Kolkata, located at a distance of 425 Km via the National highway (NH 34).
Places of Interest:
The Primary attraction is the Bird Sanctuary for which tourists pay their visit at Raiganj.
You can also visit the ‘Raiganj Kulik Park’ constructed by the District administration which is very close to the sanctuary, with the objective of enhancing the beauty of the area.
Must See Nearby places:
You can visit ‘Sap Nikla Forest’ which has a beautiful lake and a forest worth visiting. It is near Islampur and it will take you about 1 hr to reach the forest from Raiganj by car.
You can visit the ‘Karnajora Museum and Park’ at Karnajora. The place got its name from Karna, the mythological character of Mahabharata.
You can also visit some popular tourist spots nearby Raiganj, such as – ‘Boira Kali Temple’ at Kaliaganj, ‘Bhairabi Temple’ at Bindole, ‘Terracotta Pottery Village’ at Kunor, ‘Village of Gomira – Wooden Mask’ at Mahisbathan (Kushmandi).
From Raiganj, tourists can further move to other major tourist destinations like Gour (81 Km.), Adina (58 Km.) & Pandua (55 Km.).
Must Try Dishes:
Dining facilities are excellent here, which mainly comprises ethnic Bengali cuisine. There are few hotels available near market place, around Gitanjali cinema hall.
Where to Stay:
The WBTDC managed Raiganj Tourist Lodge adjacent to Kulik Bird Sanctuary is the most popular and well-equipped accommodation in Kulik. You can take long walks along the bird sanctuary from your lodge or even keep watching the birds from the roof of your lodge. You can book the WBTDC managed Raiganj Tourist Lodge directly from Kolkata.