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Dooars / Duars

About: The 350 kilometers long East to West stretch under the foothill of Bhutan Himalayas and Kalimpong hills is known as ‘Dooars’. This riverine floodplain is spread 34.9 kilometers from North to South (foothills of mountains to the international border of Bangladesh). The word Dooars is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dwar’ that means door (entry point). Before 1865 the entry points from Bhutan (that includes present day Kalimpong) to India was known as Dooars. From the eastern bank of River Teesta (West Bengal) up to western bank of River Dhansniri (Assam) there are 18 such entry points located. Nowadays this entire place falls under two Indian states i.e. Assam and West Bengal. Among which 10 entry points comes under West Bengal, 7 under Assam and 1 common for both West Bengal and Assam (Volga Dooar). Here we will discuss about the West Bengal part of Dooars only. Three districts of West Bengal fully come under Dooars i.e. Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. Southern part of Darjeeling district and few areas of Kalimpong districts also fall within the Dooars area.

 

Why to visit Dooars: Dooars is very rich with its diverse flora and fauna thus became the one of the most interesting places to visit in India. This place became traveler’s choice with its three national parks and several other reserve forests and sanctuaries. Apart from the forests numerous rivers, streams and rivulets enriched the beauty of Dooars and with the Himalaya on the backdrop this picturesque destination never fails to win traveler’s heart.     

 

Activities: Simply spend few days amidst tranquil nature or else you can participate in various activities like jungle safari by cars or riding an elephant, taking a jungle trail (with a proper guide), enjoying the lush green tea gardens, walking along the river beds, experiencing the diverse cultures and heritages of various ethnic communities and spending time by spotting different kind of birds.

 

Flora & fauna: Dooars due to its excellent and unique ecology and climate became home for diverse range of flora that includes tropical, subtropical and temperate variety. Apart from climate various water bodies including rivers and streams are responsible for its varied vegetation. The major rivers in this area are Teesta, Jaldhaka, Raidak, Kaljani, Torsha, Sankosh etc. Grasslands along the rivers are favorite grazing place for various herbivores animals. Tropical and sub-tropical forests are home to numerous fauna available in Dooars area. Dooars area is also home for variety of birds including some endangered species like Bengal Florican. Winter receives a wide variety of migratory birds in this region. Among important mammals are Asiatic Elephant, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, India Gaur, Wild Boar, Samvar, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer and Barking Deer.    

                  

Climate: Dooars area is mostly warmer during major portion of the year while some places experience chilling cold during winters. Monsoon sees heavy rainfall. Many winter days experience dense fog due to higher relative humidity.

Average maximum summer temperature reaches up to 35 degree Celsius during May and June. Minimum temperature hover around 10 degrees during the month of January. Heavy rainfall during monsoon is a key climatic feature of Dooars area. Alipurduar receives the most rainfall in the month of July (946 mm average).

 

How to reach & getting around: The main gateway town for Dooars is Siliguri.

By Air-  Bagdogra International Airport (IXB) located 15 kilometers outskirt of Siliguri is the only airport to reach Dooars. Presently around 7 airlines serve this airport connecting Bagdogra with all important Indian cities (i.e. Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Ahmadabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai) along with international destinations like Bangkok and Paro (Bhutan). Car hiring options are available at the airport to reach any destination within the Dooars area. There are city auto service outside the airport to take you to Siliguri where from you can get private and public vehicles to reach various destinations of Dooars.

Railways-  Indian Railway provides a very good connectivity with Siliguri the gateway city with its vast network. It connects almost all important and major places of India with Siliguri. The main railway station of Siliguri is New Jalpaiguri popularly known as NJP located around 6 kilometers outskirt from the heart of the city. 16 trains terminates at this station daily with more than 150 trains those has stoppages here. It connects important cities of India like Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Ahmadabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. Another important railway station of Siliguri is Siliguri Junction. This station along with NJP is responsible to connect different major places of Dooars i.e. Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar etc. Apart from NJP and Siliguri Junction other important railway stations to reach at various destinations of Dooars are New Mal Junction (for Gorumara National Park), Hasimara (for Jaldapara National Park), Alipurduar Junction (for Buxa Tiger Reserve or BTR), New Alipurduar (for BTR), New Cooch Behar (for Cooch Behar) and Jalpaiguri Road (check if your train stops at this station prior to your journey) railway station (for Jalpaiguri).

Roadways-  National highways connect Siliguri with different part of the country as well as various parts of Dooars. The major 2 bus terminuses for Dooars are within the city in two different places. Tenzing Norgay bus terminus is home for state run as well as privately operated bus services. Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, Falakata and other important places of Dooars are well connected from this terminus. Laxmi Mittal Bust Terminus is located at the other part of the city and provides privately owned bus services to connect the Dooars area especially with Siliguri. There are several garages in Siliguri that operate as share car stands to connect various places of Dooars. Private taxis, self or chauffer driven car hire service, motor bike taxis, motor bike and bike rental services are also available.

To book a ride you may feel free to contact us anytime.        

 

Interesting Places: Dooars has many interesting destinations to choose from. Following are 10 Places you shouldn’t miss while you visit Dooars.

Jhalong:  Jhalong is a small village situated on the banks of river Jaldhaka, near India-Bhutan border in the Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. It is just 99 kilometers from Siliguri, towards Bindu. A Hydro Electricity Project is constructed on the Jaldhaka River and it acts as a bridge for crossing over to Bhutan Jhalongis an first upcoming off beat tourist destination in the state of West Bengal in Dooars.  Jhalong is a quaint village along the riverside of Jaldhaka near the Indo- Bhutan border on the way to the Bindu River. Jhalong has attracted many travelers with its pictorial views and serene ambiance.

Lataguri:  Located at the fringe of the Gorumara National Park home of the Asiatic one-horned Rhino, Lataguri is a quaint village in the Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal. It is one of the villages located at the periphery of Gorumara National Park.Lataguri is the perfect place to set your inner child free to explore the wilderness, located 30km from Jalpaiguri Lataguri is a place to see wildlife in its most pristine and uncultivated form a place full of dense forests and reverie grassland, the region is home to many species of flora and fauna.Scenic beauty is the first and last word for Lataguri. Gorumara jungle is a very precious place for nature and wildlife lovers.Elephant Safari is one of the most thrilling activities you will be going to do here in Lataguri. The view of the jungle and spotting some wild animals while sitting on the elephant's back is undoubtedly a surreal experience. The best time to visit the Lataguri forest is during the months of December to February. Once a quaint village Lataguri now has become the hub for all the tourist and nature lover who want to explore the wilderness.

Jaldhaka:  At an altitude of 1500ft and 99km away from Siliguri a river valley along Jaldhaka River has become a prospective tourist destination of Dooars. Jaldhaka is a river that originates at East Sikkim and passes through Bhutan and partly through Bhutan-Bengal border.  Jaldhaka is known for its scenic beauty and for the astounding nearby places attracting people interested in nature vacation with the activities like trekking and hiking.  Jhallong is one of the lesser known hill stations and offer beautiful landscape and peace. It is known for cardamom plantation. It is situated on the bank of Jaldhaka on the way to Bindu in Kalimpong Sub-division.Jaldhaka is a hidden village away from the rambunctious of city life. There are no big fancy restaurants, hotel or shopping mall out here, at Jaldhaka you can blend with nature and enjoy the weekend free from the hassle of modernized world. Surrounded by the dense forest and nurseries Jaldhaka is the perfect place to see the astounding view of the Bhutan's mountain range.

Madari Hat:  Madarihat- Located 80km from Jalpaiguri, Madarihat is a small town located in the Alipurduar District. Madarihat not only acts as a base for the wilderness exploration in Jaldapara National Park but also for many other places nearby Madarihat like Chilapata forest which acts like an elephant corridor between Jaldapara and Buxa forest. Lying on the National Highway 31C, Madarihat is well connected with the road and the railway line of Madarihat is connected with the New Jalpaiguri making Madarihat easily accessible to all wilderness explorers.

Gajoldoba:  A small village on the western side of the roaring Teesta River, Gajoldoba located 10km from Siliguri close to Baikunthapur forest is famous for its dam in the Teesta basin.  Gajoldoba is still an unknown destination for many tourists and a mega tourism project promise to turn Gajoldoba into a hot tourist destination in the near future.  Gajoldoba is in the western south of the Himalayan foothills, between the Mahananda River to the west and the Teesta River to the east.Gajoldoba is famous for its first reservoir built in the Teesta basin for irrigational purposes.Gajoldoba is a destination less trodden by travelers and described as the unexplored destination of the Dooars region.  

Chilapata:  Located 28km from Alipurduar, Chilapata is a dense jungle near the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary at Jalpaiguri District in the middle of Eastern Dooars. Chilapata jungle is well spread out along the banks of Bania and Torsha rivers that bring in the fresh monsoon alluvial, thus supporting and protecting the grassland ecosystem and the astounding diversity of flora and fauna of the park.Chilapata Forest and its nearby wildlife sanctuaries can be visited with ease with the help of well-planned Dooars Tour Packages. Visitors can go for a Jungle safari in the forest of Chilapata. The thrilling Safari of Chilapata lasts for around 1 hour and 30 minutes.Although Chilapata is a renowned and dense forest, still it is yet to get any honour for National Park or Reserve Forest.

Gorubathan: Gorubathan is a village in the Gorubathan CD block in the Kalimpong Sadar subdivision of the Kalimpong district in the Indian state of West Bengal.Gorubathan was once ruled by Lepcha kings who built Dalim Fort on top of a hill at Dalim Busty.[4] Lepcha king Gaeboo Achyok defeated the King of Bhutan when the Bhutanese had invaded Gorubathan and making it a place of significance for the Lepcha tribe.[5] In 2008, Govt of West Bengal announced the place as a heritage site. Gorubathan is 72 km from district Headquarter Kalimpong and 61 km from Siliguri. It is situated on the east bank of the Neora and Chel River, both the rivers valley are called as picnic spot. The Gorubathan town is renowned for its natural beauty and there are various beautiful sites in and around the place that travellers can actually visit. The town is totally unique comparing to others as the area is half plain and half hill which were quite interesting to see.

Chalsa:  It situated at the foot of the Himalayas in the Duars. This small town is surrounded by hills, tea gardens, rivers and forests.. One part of the town is surrounded by Gorumara National Park and other part with Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary.  It is situated on the way towards Birpara or Alipurduar from Siliguri via Malbazar. Chalsa is very small town in Doars region mostly known as the " Queen of Doors" and one of the most visually attractive destinations of West Bengal.
Surrounded by Gorumara National Park and Chapramari wildlife Sunctuary dense forests,wildlilfe animals, various birds and also the hills are main attraction in Chalsa.

Rocky Island : Rocky Island too is located very near to Samsing (3 kilometers only) but the reason behind mentioning it separately is that we believe Rocky Island deserves at least one night stay. You will enjoy the calmness of the nature here with constant musicals from River Murti that is coming down from hills at this place. The big rocks in and around the river actually painted the picturesque canvas perfectly. You will find few home-stays to spend a night if you love adventure you can spend a night in tents by the river. There is couple of more places available here for your night stay. Knowing your exact requirement Saha Tourism will be much obliged to arrange your stay as well as travel plan.         

Jaldapara National Park:  Jaldapara National Park lies on the bank of river Torsha covering an area of around 217 square kilometers. This national park is famous for its one horn rhinos. Presently highest population in the state. Among other mammals there are Asiatic elephants, leopards, Indian gaur, spotted deers, barking deers, wild boars etc. As for birds the rarest Bengal Florican can be spotted here. This place is also a birders paradise. The nearest railway station is Madarihat but most of the Express trains do not stop here instead Hasimara is the best option to disembark if you are coming by trains. The road distance from Hasimara railway station to Jaldapara national park is around 12 kilometers. Alternatively you can reach here directly by hiring a car from Bagdogra Airport or NJP station. Road distances are around 137 kilometers and 125 kilometers respectively. 

Chilapata forest: Chilapata forest is located on the east bank of River Torsha. Actually this forest is a part of Jaldapara National Park located other side (western bank) of the river. Most of the tourist visit Chilapata as a day trip from Jaldapara National Park. Spending a night around Chilapata is a good idea. You can directly reach here from Hasimara railway station. Like Jaldapara you can spot one horn Rhino, Indian Gaur herd of Asiatic Elephants and different types of Deers here in the forest.  Spotting various types of birds is a favorite activity for many travelers.

Mungpoo:  Mangpoo (also referred to as Mangpu Cinchona Plantation, or rendered Mungpoo) is a village in the Kurseong Vidhan Sabha Rongli Development Block in the Darjeeling Sadar Subdivision of the Darjeeling district in the state of West Bengal, India.Mungpoo is disarmingly quiet. At first glance, the town is a patchwork of undulating tea estates and kaleidoscopic orchid and cinchona plantations. Also known across India's northeastern end for its cinchona plantations, Mungpoo's first quinine factory. Quinine was earlier extracted from barks of the cinchona plants. The town's livelihood was majorly dependent on the cinchona plantations before the arrival of artificial quinine. There is a big Quinine factory also which is very famous in West Bengal. Basically Mungpoo is noticeable for the great poet Rabindra Nath Tagore Museum, the poet used to visit this town for its soothing and quit ambience and of course for its scenic beauty of Cinchona plantation.There are many tourist attraction areas in this place which is famous all over India.The bazaar area and a hillock Buddhist monastery which is known as Dinchhen Sherpa Chhoeling Gumba are also tourist attraction. 

 Murti:  Murti Dooars has got its name from the river of same name which flows through the place. Murti river originates from the Neora Valley National Park in the lower Bhutan Himalayas.Village Murti is located just beside the river. The place is surrounded by two famous forests. They are Gorumara National Park on the right and Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary on the left. . During winter, Murti becomes a favorite picnic spot for the locals.  The hilly river Murti makes the place an awesome one with greenery on its banks. The river has got good current in rainy season. For rest of the year, a bath in the knee deep crystal clear water is a must for the tourists.Tourists can engage themselves doing fishing whenever they like. Camping is another popular activity in Murti along with hiking.

Buxa Tiger Reserve:  Buxa Tiger Reserve or BTR is also a national park located within the Alipurduar district of West Bengal and spread over 760 square kilometer area. This forest is another top attraction for tourists with its diverse flora and fauna. The main entry point of BTR is Raja Bhatkhawa located only 20 kilometers away from the district capital Alipurduar town. As for flora here you will find varieties of bushes, herbs, orchids, grasses, bamboos, medicinal trees and other big trees. Among faunas BTR is the home of several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, turtles and insects. Elephants, Indian Gaurs, Deers and Leopards are some of the major mammals. Although there is a debate about the presence of Royal Bengal Tiger. Alipurduar has two major railway stations i.e. Alipurduar Jn and New Alipurduar. Both these stations connect all the major cities of India. Road connection is also very good with rest of the country. Alipurduar is very easy approachable from NJP or Siliguri both via roads and railways.

Buxa Fort:  Do you love nature? History? Trekking? Then Buxa fort is your ideal destination. The fort is located at an elevation of 2,840ft and to reach there you need to walk for around 2 and half kilometers. First you have to reach Santarabari (also known as Santalabari) after travelling 35 kilometers by hired car or shared car from Alipurduar. From Santarabari you need to walk upwards to reach Buxa fort. During his stay at Kalimpong Nobel laureate poet Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote a letter to the prisoner of Buxa fort (it was used as a prison during British rule). Apart from the fort do not forget to visit the nature interpretation centre also located in Buxa village opposite to the fort.         

Cooch Behar:  Cooch Behar has a very rich history and also famous for its natural beauty. This district is located just south of the Alipurduar district of West Bengal. Once a princely state Cooch Behar is also famous for various temples. Some of the major attractions are Cooch Behar Palace, Rasik Beel (famous for birding), Sagar Dighi (lake), Torsha river bed, North Bengal State Library or Maharaja Library, Gosanimari Rajpat, Victor Palace, Madan Mohan Bari etc. The major railway station is New Cooch Behar that is very well connected with rest of the country. Roadways also connect this place very well. You will find an airport in Cooch Behar but presently that is non-operative. Best time to visit this place is from October to March.        

Gorumara National Park:  Situated on the banks of rivers Murti and Raidak in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, the Gorumara National Park is a site that you cannot miss to afford on your next trip. Spread over an area of 80 sq.km. it sits prettily at the foothills of Great Himalayan mountains and has a large variety of flora and fauna. Full of riverine grasslands and moist deciduous forests, the place is especially famous for its Asiatic one-horned rhino, and also houses many other mammals, reptiles, insects and birds, including the majestic Asian elephants, the royal Bengal tigers and the Great Indian Hornbill. Owing to its magnificent beauty and richness in flora and fauna, Gorumara National Park has come up as an emerging popular tourist destination in the last decade or so. Today, the area in the vicinity of the forest has the largest concentration of tourist accommodation in Dooars, which bears testimony to the increase in travel that the national park has witnessed. 

Chapramari Sanctuary:  The forests that you see after crossing Murti river on both sides of the road (for a stretch of about 7kms till Jaldhaka river) is Chapramari. Most tourists who visit Gorumara National Park, also visit Chapramari Watchtower. Access to Chapramari is easier if you are staying at Murti village area or at Lataguri.Chapramari is essentially an extension of Gorumara National Park - the two are actually divided by the Murti river.  this is a relatively small forest (about 10 square kms in an area), it's one of the oldest in Dooars. In 1895 it was first recognized as a forest reserve due to its diversity in flora & fauna. Apart from the wildlife and avifauna found in Chapramari the visitors are lured towards it by the different variety of orchid found here.The beautiful rain forest ecosystem with the awe-inspiring beauty of Chapramari is attracting many nature lovers and is making its place among the most favored places to visit in Dooars for the nature lovers.

Jayanti:  Jayanti is a small picturesque forest village at the fringe of the Buxa forest. Located along the Jayanti River, which forms a natural border with the Bhutan hills, the hills on the Eastern Side of the river and the small village on the western side are also named after the river as Jayanti Hills and Jayanti village respectively. With its serene ambience and pictorial view, Jayanti is often referred to as the "Queen of Dooars". This forest village is about 30 Km from Alipurduar. A tour of Jayanti, away from the monotonousness of city life is an ideal leisure holiday destination where time seems to have slowed down its fast pace. Music of the swift-flowing Jayanti River, the chirping of unknown birds, sweet fragrance of nature and refreshingly cool breeze at Jayanti will make you feel completely rejuvenated. 

Sunteleykhola:  Suntalekhola (Samsing) is a perfect place for a great time with your dear ones. Samsing is a hill village and a renowned tourist spot within the Malbazat subdivision in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. Samsing is a great natural beauty with its extensive tea gardens, meandering streams, hilly slopes and the tranquil life lived by its local rural community.  Brace the pure, unadulterated natural serenity of Samsing tea gardens as you drive through the last kilometres to reach this secluded beauty. View the Murti River in all its glory. For bird lovers, Samsing provides a haven with numerous species of rare birds in its vicinity. Samsing is an offbeat destination of Dooars. Here, visitors can learn about the traditional method of cardamom and orange plantation. With the rumbling sound of the flowing river with the backdrop view of lofty Mountain dotted with verdant forest Suntalekhola (Samsing) Nature Resort has enthralled the minds of many travelers visiting Dooars.

Mongpong:  Mongpong is an ideal birding spot, since its strategically located rimming on the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary which houses a wide variety of bird life like the Pintail duck, Bar-headed goose, Poachard, Brahminy duck, Mallard and others, and since here Teesta divides into several channels and flow through the lower marshy land of sanctuary, providing an ideal breeding place for the migratory bird that comes here from Central Asia and Ladakh making it a paradise for bird watchers. There are many places in Mongpong which has spiked the attention of the visitors like Washabari an old and reputed tea estate of Dooars which is nearby Mongpong, Leesh River an ideal place for a laid back evening to spend quality time with your loved ones, trek in the virgin Sal forest of Mongpong which over look the magnificent Teesta Basin. Mongpong provides an astounding view of the East Himalayas and taking a walk along the bank of roaring river Teesta is a great way to rejuvenate since the tranquil atmosphere of the Teesta River offers a splendid peace of mind and body..

 

  

 

Feel free to contact us to design a tailor made tour package for places around North Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan.

 

Saha Tourism is always there to make your travel experience beautiful. 

 

Tags: Dooars, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorumara National Park , Chapramari Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger reserve,Neora valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Jayanti, Rajabhatkhawa, Bindu, Suntaleykhola, Neora Valley, Rasikbill, Cooch Behar
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