Most of the time you hear about the forts, that were built during the medieval times. This fort at Buxa is not a medieval time fort, but a modern time fort, built by the Bhutan King. The fort, although built during the modern times, but is having much history attached to it. Not only for the history but for the heritage beauty of the fort, hundreds of tourists do visit the fort every year.
The fort as being said has been built by the King of Bhutan. The purpose of him was to protect the famous silk route between India and Tibet. This route has been accessed by many of the Indian pilgrims and even the great saints. However, in modern times, even after the independence of India from the British, this path has been used for the journey to Manossarovar of Tibet. This fort was used as a halt station for the King to both India and Tibet, from his journey from Bhutan. Later on, during the British rule, access to the fort was been taken from 1865, and in 1930, it became the second inaccessible and terrible Jail after the Cellular Jail of Andamans. During the wartime of India and China and Tibet turbulence, this fort acted as a residence for the Tibetan Refugees too. Now, it is a visiting spot only, but the access to the fort, being very much tough, is visited by fewer tourists.
What to see
If you are having an adventurous mind, then only visit this fort. Since it is located within the Buxa wildlife sanctuary and is protected by the animals more than that of humans. For the purpose of getting to the spot, Jeep is the only way of transport and it will not take more than an hour or two from the main town of Alipurduar, which is 30 kilometers from the spot. Try to get a guide with you, so that you won’t get lost in the forest routes. The experience of the fort will bring you a great thrill, which you will never forget in your life.
Several trekking routes originate from Buxa Fort. Rover’s point is heaven for bird watchers which is 3 km leading of Buxa fort. Hard trekkers can go advanced another 6 km to reach Roopam valley or Rupang valley bordering Bhutan. Another tiny but beautiful valley called Lepchakha can be reached from Buxa fort by 5 km trekking. Lepchakhawa gives an excellent view of the complete Buxa Tiger Reserve, plains of North Bengal, and adjoining Bhutan. Adventure lovers can take a path which begins from Buxa fort covers 13 km distance through dense forest and reach Jayanti village in Buxa Tiger Reserve forest. But for enjoying the route prior permission is required from the forest department.
When to visit
The most suitable time to visit Buxa is between December to February. The weather remains cool in the morning and cold at night. Wildlife safaris are also pleasant during this time. Between June to September that is monsoon season it rains heavily. Another suitable time to visit is during October and November. The weather remains cool and trek to the Buxa Fort will not be much problem.
You can also visit between March to May but the weather will be hot and humid. The days will be sweltering so trekking can be quite difficult in the climate.
How to reach
The nearest Railway Station to Buxa fort is New Alipurduar, about 15 km from Rajabhatkhawa. Cabs and auto are available from New Alipurduar to Rajabhatkhawa. It will take around 15 minutes to reach from the railway station. Santalabari or Santrabari is about 15 km from the entry gate.
From Santrabari, there is an uphill trek route of about 2.5 km to Buxa Fort. You can reach Lepchakha after another 3 km trek from Buxa Fort.
The nearest airport is at Bagdogra that is 180 km from Rajabhatkhawa. New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is about 176 km from Rajabhatkhawa. You can hire a car from NJP or Bagdogra to reach Rajabhatkhawa.
There is a small railway station at Rajabhatkhawa as well. But no express train stops at this station. A few passenger trains are running from Siliguri to Alipurduar that stops at Rajabhatkhawa.