Sepahijala sanctuary – biodiversity hot spot of north-east

Sepahijala, one of the most widely visited wildlife sanctuary of not only Tripura but of the entire north-eastern India is acclaimed for its uniqueness. This hot spot of bio-diversity with abundant variety of flora, fauna, and birds attract tourists from around the world. The well maintained sanctuary having charming woodland, an artificial lake and natural botanical and zoological gardens is one of the most visited tourist spot of Tripura. In a country like India where there are a number of sanctuaries Sepahijala stands apart both because of its in-situ and ex-situ conservation of flora and fauna.

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Herd of Deer at Sepahijala Sanctuary

Where is Sepahijala?

Sepahijala sanctuary is in the West Tripura district of Tripura at a distance of 35 Km from the state capital Agartala.

About Sepahijala

Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary spreading over an area of 18.53sq Km came up officially in1972 with the setting up of one Deer Park so as to protect the land from encroachment. The sanctuary has a rich collection of wildlife particularly of birds and primates.
The picturesque landscape of the sanctuary with the undulated setting of deep green plants and the murmuring of transparent lake water in between and the rare species of wildlife has an enchanting appeal to the tourists.
The sanctuary has 456 plant species of monocotyledon and dicotyledonous along with abundant Rauwalfia serpentina and home to other endangered and endemic species.

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Pigtail Macques at Sepahijala Sanctuary

There are 5 species of primates in this sanctuary. The crab eating Mongoose which was last sighted about 72 years ago in India has been discovered again in this sanctuary. The sanctuary has been designed as both a wildlife sanctuary and as an academic with research centre.
Presbytis, or spectacled langur, an endemic species is abundant here. Also different species of primates like Rhesus macaque, Pigtailed macaque, Capped langur, slow lories and a lot of many other wild animals are found here.
There are about 150 species of birds in this sanctuary. During winter lots of migratory birds visit the sanctuary. It is an absolute thrilling experience to watch them. Unique habitat of Sepahijala attracts lot of migratory birds including lesser whistling teal, white ibis, open billed stork and many others.

Sightseeing in and around Sepahijala

Sepahijala Zoological Park – It consists of five distinct sections : (i) Carnivores section (ii) Primate Section (iii) Ungulate section (iv) Reptile section (v) Aviary section. This zoological park now largely caters the need of ex-situ Conservation of wild animals. Animals have been kept both in open mooted enclosures and in conventional enclosures.
Botanical Garden – Various species of plants and trees, some of which are endangered are found here. Medicinal plants with more than seventy species are of prime attraction of this Garden.

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Boating at Sepahijala Lake

Sepahijala Lake – Presence of quite a good number of lakes in the sanctuary ideally quenches thirst of wild animals. Amrit sagar lake and forest rest house (Abasarika) lake has boating facilities for the tourists. The lake is completely surrounded by natural forests and inhabits a variety of seasonal migratory and resident birds. The lakes thus provide a unique opportunity to have a close look at this avifauna from close quarters and study its behavior.
Toy Train – This is another major attraction for visitors in the sanctuary. 15 minutes ride on the toy train is worthwhile to have experience on passing through different type of habitat.
There are arrangements available for a joy ride on an elephant’s which will take you to the remote areas of the sanctuary offering an opportunity to come close to the inhabitants of the sanctuary.

How to reach Sepahijala?

By Air – Agartala is the nearest airport which is well connected by flights with Calcutta, Guwahati, and Delhi.
By Rail – The two nearest railway stations are Kumarghat (160 Km) and Dharama Nagar (200 Km). Both this stations are on the North-East Frontier Railway, and are connected with Lumding & Guwahati.
By Road – Good motorable roads connect Agartala with Silchar (288 Km), Guwahati (599 Km), Shillong (499 Km), Dharmanagar (200 Km).

Where to stay at Sepahijala?

In the midst of the sanctuary, a forest rest house (Dak bungalow) called Abasarika with 5 cottages offers accommodation for tourists. The solitude and the nearness to nature are by themselves a source of serene pleasure. Booking details can be availed at 0381 – 220773.
Staying at Agartala is a good option as there are a number of good hotels and rest houses that are available here.
Hotel Welcome Palace at Agartala (Booking contact number – 0381-2384940/0219)
Hotel Radha International at Agartala (Booking contact number – 0381-2224530/2615)
Hotel Rajdhani at Agartala (Booking contact number – 0381-2223387/6312)
Hotel Amber at Agartala (Booking contact number – 0381-2223587)

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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