Dooars is one of the most very few places of North Bengal which is close to the Himalayas. It is dotted with number of forests and National Parks with number of different beautiful tourist destinations. Dooars has a great natural beauty and forms a gateway to the hill stations of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan and North-Eastern states. The dense forests are cress crossed by the river Teesta the innumerable tributaries of many other rivers that are floated around the Dooars.
It is well connected by roads and railways from different connection across the North Bengal and also from Kolkata. The main railway station to reach in Dooars is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or NJP is connected with almost all the major cities or regions in India. New Jalpaiguri Railways Station is in Siliguri, which is a gateway to North East India, Nepal and Bhutan. The gateway to Dooars is Bagdogra, which is 25 kms away from Siliguri Eastern Dooars. The main attraction of Eastern dooars is Garumara National Park which is just 80 kms or a two hrs smooth drive. Malbazar is also an important Railway station in Dooars. But the numbers of trains are limited from Malbazar. Apart from Siliguri or Malbazar Dooars can also be enter from Alipurduar, Coochbehar etc.
Face the One-Horned Rhinos
Dooars is the gateway to the hill stations of North Bengal and Bhutan. It is covered with famous tea gardens, river Teesta ,forests and wildlife sanctuaries. This Dooars sightseeing place is covered with herds of deer, one-horned rhinos, elephants, guars, and reptiles. The bird population is an ornithologist’s delight. The attraction is the Tiger reserve, white water rafting, trekking and jungle safaris are must.
The Dooars or Duars in Bengal and in Nepal are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan. Duar means door in Nepali and Bengali languages, and the region forms the gateway to Bhutan from India. The Dooars valley is also call as Duars which is stretching from the rivet Teesta, and on its west and Sankosh on the east. The area is covering roughly 130 km by 40 km, and it forms the major part of Jalpaiguri district. Tourism attraction offers multitude options to visitors like trekking. Adventure sports and natural trails. Gorumara National Park at Dooars (Duars) was declared the “ Best National Park “in 2010.
Some of the Top places for Dooars Sightseeing
Dooars beauty can be described in different vibrant forms with the natural beauty spot that covers the wildlife sanctuaries, forests, tea gardens, the River Teesta and the white water rafting, tracking and jungle safaris are followed by the beautiful places across the different areas of Dooars which are described here by-
1. Gorumara National Park
Gorumara on our trip to Dooars is afford and we cannot miss the chance to miss the trip to Dooars. Gorumara National Park offers a large variety of flora and fauna. The grassland of Gorumara is famous for Asiatic one-horned rhino and in view of its great diversity of plants and animals it was declared a National Park and comprising a total area of 80sq km. Gorumara can be reached from Bagdogra / NJP in just two hours through winding roads and tea gardens.
2. Samsing National Park
Samsing at a distance of 82 km from Siliguri, it takes about 3 hours to reach Samsing from Siliguri. We enter Dooars through the National Highway 31, to cross Malbazar to reach Chalsa. From Chalsa we need to take a left turn and drive on for 15 kms via Mateli to reach Samsing. The last few kilometers drive the eyes as you pass through some of the most tea gardens of Dooars including the Chalsa Tea Garden, Zurantee Tea Garden and Samsing tea Garden. The roads are relatively narrow but there are few vehicles traveling through this route as the roads ends at Samsing.
This is one of the most popular Dooars sightseeing places, is about four kilometres further up the road from Samsing and it is a place where many tourists stay overnight. The road ends close to a small stream named Suntalekhola where Suntaley means- Orange and Khola means- Stream.
Suntalekhola is nearly 5 km from Samsing. The attractive tourist spot is the Rocky island nature resort on the banks of river Murti, and many verities of birds and butterflies. The view of the river and surrounding forests are excellent from Rocky Island. Walking a bit involves the best view around the forests.
4. Jaldapara National Park
Jaldapara National Park, formerly know by Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is also a National park which comes under Dooars situated at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Alipurduar Sub- Division of Jalpaiguri District at an altitudes of 61 m and is spread across 216.51 km of vast grassland. It was declared a sanctuary in 1941 for protection of its great variety of flora and fauna.
The sanctuary holds the highest rhinos population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Riding elephant is the only way to move inside the forests and visiting time is 9am-4pm. The forests is mainly covered with Savannah type covered with tall elephant grasses. The main attraction of the sanctuary is Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros. The other animals found are tigers, elephant, deers, sambhar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild pig and bison. It is also a paradise for bird watchers. It is one of the very few places in India, where the Bengal Florican is sighted. The other birds to b e found here are the crested eagle, Pallas’s fishing eagle and shikra, besides jungle fowl, peafowl, patridges, and lesser pied hornbill. Python, monitor lizards, kraits, cobras, geckos and about 8 species of fresh water turtles have also been found in the sanctuary here.
Today, it has the largest population of the Indian one-horned Rhinoceros in the state, an animal threatened with extinction, and it is also a Habitat Management area. It holds the largest Rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
It is a small village by the side of the Murti river. It is an ideal picnic spot where one can enjoy the scenic beauty or Murti Dooars sightseeing . Sometime lucky ones can catch a glimpse of elephant and some other animals by the side of the Murti river when they come to drink water.
Jhalong is situated on the bank of the river Jaldhaka on the Indo-Bhutan border. It lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, on the way to Bindu in Kalimpong Sub-Division. Bird lovers photographer can enjoy a varied collection of hill birds as well as migratory water fowls here at Jhalong. Jaldhaka river is a major attraction of Jaldhaka Hydro Electricity Project which is famous in this area.
7. Chilapata Forests Dooars
Chilapata Forest and Nolrajar Ghor is a place for excursion. It is a dense forest close to Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary in Dooars, West Bengal, India.
Chilapata forests is 22 kilometers from Alipurduar and just few minutes away from Hasimara town. The forest is used by the Elephants as a corridor to migrate from between Jaldapara and the Buxa Tiger Reserve and ultimately to Bhutan.
It is a small village on the road connecting Dooars with Kalimpong hills, Gorubathan literally means a home for Cows. When you are travelling to Lava/Lolegaon area from Dooars, you have to pass through Gorubathan. The place is famous for its market where people from neighbouring villages and tea gardens gather every Monday. The Place most locally is know by “Sombarey” as the weekly market is organized on Sombar or Monday. The small town is situated on the Eastern side bank of river Chel. At present the only accommodation available at Gorubathan is the forest department bungalow.
Alipurduar the name itself has three parts. The first part Ali is derived from the name of Col Hedayat Ali Khan who had leaved here and fought war with Bhutan. The word Pur meaning residence and the word Duar has its origin in the name of the Dooars region. Originally the name was Alipur meaning the place where Ali leaved, to distinguish it from the Alipore of Calcutta the Duar was added. The subdivision is located at the extreme east of West Bengal bordering the State of Assam.
Lataguri is a small village few year back near Gorumara Forests. It a place in the fringe of Gorumara National Park forests. Today it is a hub of tourism in Dooars with high concentration of tourist accommodations. The base of the tour is Gorumara National Park. Tourist around Gorumara and its surrounding started in Lataguri area although today it has large number of accommodation.
It is one of the Easternmost towns of Dooars and a town with great historical significance. Coochbehar got its name from Cooch Dynasty which made this town its capital for more than 400 years. It became part of India at the time of India’s Independence. Coochbehar is now a district of West Bengal.
Jalpaiguri is the name of a town as well as a district in West Bengal. The major forests of the region including Jaldapara, Gorumara, Chapramari ect, falls under the Jalpaiguri district.Number of large and small rivers pass through the district including Teesta, Jaldakha, Diana, Torsha, Neora, Murti etc. There are large number of tea gardens producing the famous “Dooars Tea”, that is why the district is also famous for its tea gardens. Danguajhar is the nearest tea estate tea garden in the town. Beautiful Catholic Roman Church is setup by Italian priests which is spread over in a huge campus which is also a tourist destination. The river is where you will find the time worth spending.
Mongpong divides into several channels and flows through the lower marshy land of the sanctuary, providing an ideal place for breeding for the migratory birds. Tourist accommodation at Mongpong is the forest rest house of West Bengal Tourist Development corporation. It is very comfortable for accommodation and one of the best area to stay. Mongpong forest rest House offers a great panoramic view of Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary and the wide spread Teesta valley. A leopard roars nearby, the sudden chorus of crickets and beetles animates the surrounding forests. The colour of the river changes as the Sun slowly hides behind the hills.
14. Bindu Dooars
Bindu, a popular Dooars local sightseeing place, is only 107 km from Siliguri. It is a valley encircled with hills of Bhutan and India on the banks of river Jaldhaka. The last hamlet of West Bengal, Bindu is a valley, and it a feast for the eyes and a stimulating experience for the mind. The Dooars area starts immediately after you cross the Teesta River at Coronation Bridge. The roads that leads to Bindu is in itself an unforgettable experience, as the whole region is extremely beautiful with green vegetation all around. Most of the time you will be travelling through the plain with the hills on the left side of just few hundred meters away.
Bindu is a conglomeration of different aborigines. Peace loving people of Bindu are engaged either in Elaichi (Cardamom) or Suntala (Orange) cultivation. Terrace cultivation is quite common cultivation, and it is just few kilometers away from Bindu and Paren on an accentuated height is Godak village.
It is a tiny town in Jalpaiguri district is a small commercially significant destination. Birpara, people of eighteen tea gardens in and around are dependent on this town for their essentials. It is a population of about 30000 but, it is spread over a large geographical area. It is a town far from 118 km from Siliguri.
Dooars is the melting pot of different cultures and Birpara is no exception, the tea garden workers, Marwaris, Asamese, Bengalis from both side of the border and Nepalese leave together in harmony.It is surrounded by tea gardens and basties (villages). Tea garden around has ensured that people in this area have a relatively better standard of leaving. However, during the decade there has been a decline in the tea industry which has influenced the local economy. The major occupation of people is service.
Lepchakha is a small Drukpa village on a hilltop inside the Buxa Tiger reserve. The village has a very small population of about a hundred people. The village is located close to Bhutan, the distance not being more than 2 to 3 kms. As many as seven rivers flowing through the Buxa forest can be seen, from where we can seat on a beach and be mesmerized by the view of Dooars in front. To the extreme left the river Sankosh followed by River Raidak, Jayanti, Bala and others. You can see Alipurduar town, Jayanti riverbed, Santalabari and the entire green cover in front of. People of village are also very unique. These people are Bhutanese in origin and have unique culture different from the Nepalese who dominate lower part of the hills.
Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary is situa ted in the Darjeeling Wild Life division and can be reached from Siliguri in 30 minutes. Sukna is the gateway to the sanctuary, is only 13 km away from Siliguri and 28 km from sprawls over 159 sq km of reserve forest and it was started as a game sanctuary in the year 1995. The variation of altitude and the forest types helps the existence of a large number of species of mammals, birds and reptiles. The forest type in Mahananda varies from riverain forests like Khayer-Sisoo to dense mixed-wet forest in the higher elevation in the area of Kurseong hills which is “Latpanchar”. The important mammalian species including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger, Gigantic elephants, sturdy Indian Bison and many other species of lesser cat, Himalayan black Dear, leopard including clouded leopard and many other smaller animals.
The sanctuary is an ideal place for wildlife lovers. Several glades, hides and watchtowers have been created near natural saltlicks and streams to invite wild animals. An exciting jungle safari in the Sanctuary comprising Siliguri- Sukna-Golaghat-Gulma-Laltong Siliguri organized by can be a real adventurous experience.
It is also a small village on the Indo Bhuta boarder in the Dooars area of West Bengal. Totopara is the village located on the banks of river Torsa and can be reached through Madarihat near Jaldapara. Totopara village is famous throughout the world for the unique Toto tribe who leave here. Toto tribe are one of the primitive tribes of the world. Totos were facing extinction as their number had dwindled. At the time of Independences, only 300 Totos existed. But, now Toto stands above thousand and they leave in the Toto para village.
Chalsa is a small town in Western Dooars is remembered by most tourist as a stopover on their way between different tourist destination. As it is a tourist destination place the only prominence was due to the location of the Sinclairs Retreat in its vicinity. The Dooars of Chalsa has gained the prominence due to its proximity to Gorumara National Park , with an increasing tourist flo w in Dooars during the last two decades. In the recent past several tourist accommodations have come up and the place has now become part of the Gorumara tourist circuit.
Best time to visit Dooars
Dooars is known for having a pleasant weather throughout the year. During November and December, exclusive tourism festival called Teesta Tea and Tourism fest are celebrated. Some of the visitors prefer visiting the town during the festive season, as the enthusiasm, excitement and unity of the town are worth seeing. Festivals are real fun to be a part of there multiple activities, water sports, cultural events happening. During this time, with the collaboration of Indian Railway the West Bengal government, run special trains connecting Dooars to Coochbehar and Siliguri.
Summer (March – June) The temperature in Dooars starts rising from March onwards and the summer season lasts until June. As the weather is not so harsh, Dooars does not witness extreme summers. However, this season is not considered as the best time to visit by tourists as the temperature ranges from 21 to 31 degree celcius in Dooars.
Monsoon (July – September) July marks the beginning of monsoon season which lasts till September. Resorts provide off season discounts as in this season most of the sanctuaries remain closed. Dooars witnesses average rainfall during these three months. Most of the sanctuaries remain closed during this season. This is also the breeding season for animals for which to avoid the crowd and to view lush green forests these months are the best.
Winter (October – February) This is the best time considered to visit the place since rainfall becomes rare and weather remains pleasantly cool. Mercury starts dipping from October and winters hit Dooars, and may come down to ten degrees Celcius. It is the best time to enjoy safaris and visiting sanctuaries.