Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park lies in the Kalimpong Hills of Darjeeling District, covering an area of 88 sq.km and reaching an altitude of 3230 m (10,600 ft) at its highest point. The area was declared a National Park in 1986, and since then has been one of primary destinations for tourists and hikers. Its floral diversity is noteworthy with mixed species of rhododendrons, bamboo, sal etc. along with several species of orchids. The faunal diversity is also rich with species like common leopard, clouded leopard, Himalayan Thar, black bear, civet and red panda to name a few, but it is most famous for its rich diversity of birds and is a major attraction for bird-watchers. Changey Falls, located towards the lower part of the valley is also developing as a major tourist spot. The forests of the national park continue into the Reserve Forests and Corporation Forests that surround the park. There are a few villages located in the corporation forest while others are revenue villages and khasmals. Kolakham, a revenue village and Kolbung-3, a forest village are the two villages in which ATREE has started its work in the area. The dependency of the villagers on forest resources like fodder, fuelwood, NTFPs etc. is considerably higher and so attempt is being made to provide them with alternate and sustainable livelihood options to decrease their dependency on forest as the only source for all of their needs.