Murti is a wonderful tourist destination to enjoy a nice vacation amongst serenity and nature. Murti is actually the name of a river and the surrounding area near the Gorumara and Chapramari Forests gets its name from it. The town of Murti is under Jalpaiguri district.
If you ever wanted to experience the beauty of the Dooars forest along with a sparkling Himalayan river, come to Murti. And with that if you also want delicious food and awesome hospitality, without any doubt pick WBFDC’s Murti Banani bungalow.
WBFDC (West Bengal Development Corporation Limited) has more than 20 resorts and bungalows nestled among nature in the various districts of West Bengal. Among all those, till date WBFDC Murti Banani remains as one of the best rated and loved.
Why Murti Banani?
#1 Location – WBFDC Murti Banani is situated on a spot in the midpoint of the forest area and from here the Chapramari and Gorumara sanctuaries are very close. In fact, if you cross the Murti River you can see the edge of the Chapramari Forest and it is common for smaller wild animals like fox and wolves to wander out to give you a glimpse.
#2 Murti River – The Murti Banani bungalow lays just beside the flowing Murti River, hence the name. From the balcony of the rooms you can get a beautiful view of the river. The Murti River is visited by many wild animals for drinking fresh water. Many tourists have heard or spotted wild elephants from the bungalow. The Murti River is also a wonderful photography spot and from Banani there is a small gate that leads you straight to the river bed.
#3 Safari Tickets – You do not have to go anywhere else to get safari tickets as those can be bought from the reception. When you check-in just tell the manager to book the Safari slots you want.
#4 Food – Food served is delicious Bengali dish. The food is very nicely prepared; most of the vegetables are brought fresh from the market and served in hotpots in the dining area. Food service is run by a canteen and its service starts at 6 am till 10 pm. Enjoy hot luchi and alur dom for breakfast and deshi murgir jhol and polau for dinner. Breakfast is complimentary.
#5 Rooms – WBFDC Murti Banani has different kinds of rooms which are given below in detail and in pictures. Each room has its own charm.
#6 Organic products – From the reception you can buy genuine and organic forest produce like 100% Sunderban honey, tulsi and neem oil, trifala, ginger, amla powder and many other products at quite reasonable rates.
#7 Total peace – There is a total absence of noise and pollution. Experience the call of numerous birds. Every morning you will be woken by the call of peacocks roosting around the Murti River. The ambience inside the bungalow is equally memorable with beautiful lawns and well maintained gardens. And if you want, you can just get out of the gate and take a walk beside the Murti River. Staying at WBFDC Murti Banani will be more like rejuvenation for your tired nerves.
How to go
The nearest airport is Bagdogra. From there take a prepaid or rented car till Banani.
The nearest railway station is New Mal junction. From there you can take a car (should cost around Rs. 500) or a local van to WBFDC Murti Banani. You can also ask the manager at the bungalow to arrange for a pick-up. It takes about 30 minutes at the most.
You can also go from New Jalpaiguri. From the station itself, get a prepaid taxi which should cost you around Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1700. You can also rent a car (Rs. 1800- Rs. 2000) or go on a sharing basis. Note that it may cost more (around Rs. 2500) during the peak seasons like Durga Puja holidays. On the way, you can stop at Teesta Barrage for tea and snacks.
The ride from NJP to Banani is majestic with a canal of Teesta on the left and forest on the right. The water is a beautiful shade of light green special to the Teesta. A ride on this road will make you speechless.
How to book
Booking for Banani has to be done beforehand from Kolkata or through online reservation. For online booking, go to this link – http://www.wbfdc.com/availability.html and choose Murti. Put in the date and check the status of the room availability. Check the rooms that you want to stay and see the rates.
Then in the same page http://www.wbfdc.com/availability.html click BOOK ONLINE. It will take you to this page where you have to register – https://wbfdc.net/onlineguestlogin.aspx
Choose the rooms and pay the amount in full including tax for lodging. Details of all rooms and pictures are given below.
Here you can find all the WBFDC resorts and the Kolkata address for booking – https://wbfdc.net/
Dining rate is not included and has to be paid separately while check out. Safari rate is extra depending on the safari you take.
Important things to note
~ All members should carry ID card in original. Photocopy of those have to be submitted during check in. For each safari also, one photocopy of ID card has to be submitted. So if you want to have 2 safaris, carry at least 3 photocopies. Also carry a printout of your booking if done online.
~ After booking you will be given the number of the dining and the manager. Definitely call the dining before you check-in. Call at least a few hours before and let them know your order so that they can keep it arranged. There are hardly any food shops around and you have to depend on the dining service for your meals.
~ Always plan ahead and book beforehand. Avoid last minute plans.
~ In the safari do not wear bright clothes like red or yellow. Best is to wear light or dull tones of green, olive, brown or camouflage printed clothes.
Related: What not to do on a safari
~ In the jungle and during safari, stay absolutely quiet. That will increase your chance to spot animals. Even at the watchtower, do not talk.
~ Listen to your guide and ask him about the jungle. He will surely tell you many thrilling stories.
Rooms of WBFDC Murti Banani bungalow
WBFDC Murti Banani has various kinds of rooms varying from stand alone cottages to bunk beds. All rooms have attached bathrooms and geyser. Except for Lees, all rooms have double occupancy and AC (subject to change). One more can be accommodated with extra charge, consult manager before booking.
During check in, a welcome kit is provided by WBFDC. In a handmade jute bag are toiletries (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste etc) and a small bottle of all natural honey.
The main building has reception, dining room, lounge, kitchen and 4 rooms in the ground floor. Kurti and Indong are adjacent and on the opposite side of the lounge is Garati. Near the reception is the Lees room which is a family bunk room with 4 beds. Just a few steps away from the lounge flows the Murti River.
There are five first floor rooms and are most premium. The decoration of this floor is classy. Teesta is a deluxe room and is most expensive. It has a big balcony that faces the lawn and garden and has a separate dining area and table.
On the left are the rooms Sukti and Murti and on the right Jaldhaka and Torsha. Each has its own balcony. Jaldhaka and Murti are nearer to the Murti River and from the balcony you can listen to its gurgling waters.
These four rooms Jaldhaka, Torsha, Sukti and Murti share one big dining area and lounge with first class furniture. There is a common balcony that faces the length of the river. You can sit in the balcony with a cup of tea and listen to the music of birds overhead. It is flanked by a huge shimul tree on the right which is more than 100 years old and is home to hundreds of birds. A small spiral staircase leads a shortcut for you to go down.
Moyna Munia Koyel Doyel
This is a cottage with two floors. Moyna and Munia are in the first floor. The rooms Koyel and Doyel are in the ground floor. Dining is served in the main building or upon request of service if available, in the rooms.
Bhairabi and Godhuli
These are the newest cottages made. Godhuli and Bhairabi are twin cottages situated at the far end of the lawn. Dining is served in the main building or upon request of service if available, in the rooms.
Diana and Rethi
If you want privacy and the place to yourself, go for Diana or Rethi. Both are standalone cottages. Each cottage is on a raised platform with beautiful surrounding balconies. Situated at the end of the garden areas it is secluded. From the balcony, you can get the view of the river and listen to the music of the trees and leaves. Get woken up by peacock calls and enjoy the morning sun sipping on to a cup of hot tea.
Hotels at Murti
Other than Banani there are some hotels in Murti where you can stay. As it is fast becoming a popular destination for tourists, new hotels in Murti are coming up. Usually the first choice is to stay at Banani and when people do not get reservations here then they go for the hotels in the Murti area.
When you choose a hotel in Murti, try to keep few things in mind. Try to select a hotel that is surrounded by nature and preferably near to the forest area. That way you could also get a good feeling of the area. If the hotel also gives a view of the Murti River, that is even better. Secondly, go for that hotel that will help you get booking tickets for jeep and elephant safari, otherwise you would have to get the tickets yourself. Although that is much of not a hassle but it makes things easier for the tourist.
Most hotels in Murti serve basic amenities but you may not find any five star hotels. Food served is usually standard Bengali food and they are no restaurants apart from the one in the hotels in Murti. Try to make your booking ahead. The hotels in Murti also arrange pickups from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri but it will probably cost you a little more than usual.
When people search for Banani they also look for Resort Murti. Resort Murti is run by WBTDC (West Bengal Tourist Development Corporation and it is different from the WBFDC Banani. However the Resort Murti is also a pleasant place to spend your holiday.
Resort Murti is also situated near the Murti River and just beside the WBFDC Banani. The rooms are mostly cottages. The Resort Murti area is beautifully decorated with a lawn and garden with children’s play area and with statues of the animals found in Dooars. Resort Murti offers a more sophisticated charm than Banani which is more into the lap of nature. The facilities given by the WBFDC Banani for touring the forest area are of course better than WBTDC Resort Murti. Resort Murti scores more points in cleanliness and ambience but Banani scores more in location and service. The cost of staying in both is almost the same.
There are also more resorts in Murti with good facilities and service. Most of these resorts around Murti are private so be sure to know about the facilities for car booking, safari tickets and sightseeing. All resorts in Murti have their own dine in service and no outside restaurants or eateries are available.
Why pick Murti in Dooars
One of the best locations for a tourist in Doords is Murti. Getting a safari is easy for not one but two forests – Gorumara and Chapramari. No such area in Dooars other than Murti is so close to two forest gates. When you stay in Banani, it is the Murti river that stands between you and the forest. As soon as you cross Murti, Dooars forest starts.
This area has very good staying facilities like Banani, Resort Murti and many good hotels and resorts. If you want to enjoy the thrill of the forest of Dooars by staying in Murti, go for the Dhupjhora elephant camp. Dhupjhora is actually an elephant stable and tourist camp. It is for those who want to love the elephants of Dooars and enjoy eco-tourism. You can stay at one of the tree cottages and experience the thrill of a forest. Go for an elephant ride into the Dooars forest. And if you want more, you can go and bathe the elephants every morning!
No other place in Dooars other than Murti will give you this experience. There are only seven cottages there, so make sure to book beforehand at Dhupjhora Elephant Camp.
What to do
Go to Gorumara and Chapramari safaris and more. A list of all safaris and their cost is provided at the reception.
Enjoy the beautiful river. The water level is low most of the year and it is safe to go and frolic in the river.
You can also plan a trip to Paren, Bindu and Jhalong.
If you want to buy souvenirs, there is only one shop there. They make beautiful handicrafts out of wood and jute. You can buy key rings worth Rs. 10, coasters made of tree branch, bamboo home décor and even grab a khukri. You can also get beautifully crafted wooden sculptures of animals to adorn your drawing room. The souvenir shop is about 2 minutes walk from Banani, ask any local and he will show you the gift shop.
If you have any questions, please post below. We will try to answer and guide you.