Dooars

Introduction:-

The Dooars or Duars are the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan. Duar means ‘door’ and the region forms the gateway to Bhutan from India. There are 18 passages or gateways through which the Bhutanese people can communicate with the people living in the plains. This region is divided by the Sankosh River into the Eastern and the Western Dooars. The Western Dooars is known as the Bengal Dooars and the Eastern Dooars as the Assam Dooars. Dooars is synonymous with the term Terai used in Nepal and northern India and form the only nitrate rich plain in India.

The Dooars region politically constitutes the plains of Darjeeling Himalayas, the whole of Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar district. The altitude of Dooars area ranges from 90 to 1,750 m. Innumerable streams and rivers flow through these fertile plains from the mountains of Bhutan. The major river is the Teesta besides many others like the Jaldhaka, Murti, Torsa, Sankosh, Dyna, Karatoya, Raidak, and Kaljani rivers, among others. Monsoon generally starts from the middle of May and continues till the end of September. Winters are cold with foggy mornings and nights. Summer is mild and constitutes a very short period of the year. Dooars is the ideal place in Bengal for monsoon travelling.

The economy of Dooars is based on three “T”s – Tea, Tourism and Timber. The main industry of the Dooars region is the tea industry. Thousands of people are engaged in the tea estates and factories. Several people are also engaged in the cultivation of betel nuts which contributes to the economy. Cultivation of other crops is done mainly for local consumption.

The area is dotted by several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which attract a lot of tourists from all over India and abroad, making it an important contributor to the economy and also employer of a number of people. The timber industry, flourishes in this region. A number of saw mills, plywood industries and other allied business also act as an important contributor to the economy.

Dooars act as a doorway to Bhutan; thus, export-import industry also flourishes in the area. The towns of Jaigaon, Siliguri and Phuntsholing are important hubs of the export-import industry.

A journey through the rolling hill slopes, widespread lush green tea gardens separated by meandering silvery mountain streams, high Sal forests, small quiet ethnic villages, vast meadows with a blue outline of the great Himalayan ranges in the horizon, endless sky….. you are in Dooars!

Laying in the Himalayan foothills, Dooars has great natural beauty. The wildlife-rich tropical forests, innumerable hill streams cutting across the green carpet of tea gardens and undulating plains, low hills rising up from the rivers. A drive through the Dooars plains, the gateway of Bhutan and the entire North East of India, can be the experience of a lifetime.

How to reach:-

Board the Kanchenjungha Express / Padatik Express / Darjeeling Mail from Sealdah Station and reach New Jalpaiguri Station or New Mal Junction.

Hire a car or board on a pre booked car or board on the car provided by your Tour Operator. Start your journey for Lataguri via sevok road. On the way you can offer Puja to Sevok Kali Temple. Cross the Coronation Bridge and your downwards journey start towards Lataguri via Damdim Tea estate, Mall, chalsa and metli. The beauty on the way is awesome as you will be passing through lush green tea gardens with Himalayan Mountain on the backdrop. After reaching lataguri, get into your pre booked hotel / resort and freshen up.

Same day in the afternoon you can start your Jeep Safari. You can book Open Jeep Jungle Safari in Dooars through your resort manager in advance or you can book it your own. If you want to book the Jeep Safari your own, you have to stand in the queue to get a ticket for jeep safari in Gorumara National Park bearing the photocopy of your identity proof. At a time only 6 persons can accommodated in a jeep excluding the guide and the driver. Make sure you get the ticket of “Yatra Prasad Watch Tower” which offers the best view of wild elephants, bison, deer, rhino, monkeys and different species of birds specially Peacock, Hornbill, Hoope etc.

Next day, after breakfast you can start for sightscenes of hill area of Dooars – Jhalong, Bindu, Samsing, Suntalekhola.

Bindu is gradually gaining popularity as a hill station and offer beautiful landscape and peace among nature lovers, bird watchers, trekkers. This small village is situated in the Hills on the Himalayan foothills near India Bhutan border. This place is known for cardamom plantation. It is very popular among the tourist. One can visit this places staying at Gorumara or Chalsa or Chapramari Forest area. Staying in Bindu is altogether an experience difficult to explain.

Samsing is nearly 90 kilometers drive from Siliguri via Chalsa and is situated beside Jaldhaka River. This is a nice tranquil pollution free place to refresh our soul and recently included in North Bengal Tourism map of West Bengal Tourism. The main attractions are for scenic beauty, orange plantation, orchid flower, and forest resort.

Suntalekhola is another blessing of nature and situated at an altitude of 750 metres. A trail leads through thick broadleaved tropical and semi-tropical forests via Mouchouki, Rechila Top, Alubari and Pankhasari Ridge give a breathtaking view of lush green tea garden and forest that definitely will rejuvenate soul and mind.

In the evening you can arrange for a campfire with Bar-B-Q or Roasted Chicken in the resort garden to make your tour memorable.

Next day, after breakfast start your forward journey to Jaldapara National Park (Lataguri to Jaldapara is almost 2 hours drive and 105km distance). Try to stay at Hollong Tourist Lodge or Forest Bungalow as it is located at the centre of Jaldapara forest and offers the best view and forest beauty with its own charm. If your luck favours, you can see rhinos, bisons and elephants just beneath your bunglow courtyard, right under your window. After reaching Jaldapara tourist lodge, immediately book for an afternoon jeep safari in Chilapata Forest which is a dense forest in dooars region and offers spectacular wild life of the region and more importantly some great shot of several awards winning Bengali film “Moner Manush” was shot in Chilapata Forest during continuous 14 days.

Next morning start your pre booked elephant safari from the resort itself. Always try to avail the day’s first Elephant Ride at 6am in the morning. At this time the mystic jungle can gift you the spectacular view of wild animals crossing the roads. After elephant safari have your breakfast and proceed for south Khayerbari which is a tiger rehabilitation centre. There you can see leopard and tiger rescured from different parts of the dooars jungle. There is a 3D theatre, which offers 30 minutes 3D movie show that is quite enjoyable. From there start your journey towards NJP rail station to catch your train and back to Kolkata

Itinary:-

. Covering Dooars in a single tour is not easy because the area is vast and places to visit are many. However if you are visiting Dooars for the first time then you can follow the day-wise tour plan below. There 6 nights/ 7 days for the tour and a dedicated car starting from Bagdogra airport all through till it dropped back at the airport.

Season:-
Winter:

Winter in Dooars starts from early of November and continues till the end of February. January is considered as the coolest month of the Dooars region and minimum temperature can come down to 5 to 8 degree Celsius. However travelling Dooars in winter is pleasing and can offer a variety of migratory birds to view.

Summer:

March to early October is considered as summer in Dooars and June to July is the hottest. Though at this time temperature varies between 20 Degree to 31 Degree, it never so scorching or intolerable.

Monsoon:

In Dooars monsoon has its own charm. Monsoon in Dooars starts from end of July and can continue till end of September. During monsoon all sanctuaries in Dooars region remain close from 15th June to 14th September.

Best time September to March is considered as best time to travel Dooars due to its pleasant weather. Dooars traveller can have spectacular view of migratory birds during this period as well as wild elephants, bison, leopard, barking deer, rhino etc.

However March and April, when new grass is growing can experience a large influx of tourist in Dooars.

Off season on 15th June to 14th September all sanctuaries and national park in dooars region (Gorumara, chilapata, jaldapara, buxa) is closed due to rainy season (monsoon) and breeding period of wild animals.

Spots:-
  1. Gorumara National Park Tour in Dooars
  2. Jatraprasad Watch Tower
  3. Rhino Observation Tower
  4. Chandrachur Watch Tower / Khunia Watch Tower
  5. Chukchuki Watch Tower
  6. Medhla Watch Tower
  7. Buxa Tiger Reserve
  8. Jaldapara Wild Life Santuary
  9. Jayanti
  10. Chapramari Forest
  11. Murti
  12. Rajabhatkhawa
  13. Teesta Barrage
  14. Bhutanghat
  15. Khayerbari
  16. Malbazar
  17. Chalsa
  18. Batabari tea easte
  19. Chilapata Forest
  20. Rocky Island
  21. Phuentsling Border
  22. Latpanchore
  23. Bindu
  24. Santaleykhola
    Etc.
1. Gorumara National Park Tour in Dooars:-

 This is undoubtedly one of the most sought after forests for wildlife lovers who visit Dooars. Not long ago I remember that you could even take your own vehicle inside the National Park. In fact on one occasion I simply walked through the main entry of Gorumara National Park on NH 717 and hiked all the way up to the core area with a guard and a forest office staff. There was no check post at the entry or requirement of any permit. Well those days are gone and perhaps rightly so. It’s not at all wise to walk on the road through the forest as there are good chances of encountering wild animals along the way… there are large number of elephants, bison and even rhinos in the forests here that often stray around and can be dangerous.These days you need to purchase safari tickets to enter Gorumara National Park. Only open ‘Gypsy’ vehicles operated by the forest department are allowed to ply inside and that too in limited number.

Since 1895 Gorumara remained a forest reserve followed by a wildlife sanctuary for 100 years. With increasing wildlife diversity in the forest, it has been accorded the status of a national park in 1994 and now covers an area of 80 square kms. In 2009 the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests had declared Gorumara as the best out of all the 180 national parks in India, earmarked it as a model for ideal national park and recommended that others also follow similar practices and standards of forest development and eco tourism… amazing development!

Flora & Wild sanctuary:-

Gorumara National Park is mostly full with Sal forests with teak, shimul and rain trees like shirish, as well as grasslands and bamboo groves. Vast stretches of the forest is a dense jungle through which forest routes have been carved out for vehicles to reach out to different sections of the park. You can find abundant tropical Orchids in the forests here. Gorumara is also home to numerous types of snakes including pythons and king cobra. A census carried out in 2010 showed that there were 60 leopards, 36 rhinos, over 2,000 bisons and around 50 resident elephants in Gorumara National Park. Elephants from other forests also visit the jungles here.

Reach:-

Airways -

Bagdogra airport (IXB) is the nearest and major airport. Gorumara National Park & Chapramari Sanctuary is approximately 3 hours drive from Bagdogra Airport (IXB) and is 80 kilometers and 100 kilometers from the airport. Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is served by regular Indian, Go Air, Kingfisher, Spice Jet and Jet Airways flights from Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and Delhi.

Railways –

Nearest Major railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) and is 80 kilometers and 100 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP). The other station nearby are Chalsa and Malbazar. Chalsa, Malbazar are small stoppages nearby but the frequency of train is less and there is limited number of private vehicles hence tourist prefers to drive from Siliguri.

Roadways -

National highway number 31 connects Siliguri and Guwahati. This highway passes through Lataguri nearly 85 kilometers from Siliguri. Chalsa and Nagrakata are two more places near the park. Vehicles are available from Siliguri to Gorumara, Chapramari and all other places of interest nearby. There are two main routes to this region Siliguri – Jalpaiguri via New Teesta Bridge or Mainaguri – Dhupguri – Gairkata – Birpara – Madarihat nearly 230 kilometers.

Attraction of Watch tower:-

The entire Gorumara National Park has been divided into several sections and there are separate jeep trips (on Maruti Gypsy vehicles) to visit watchtowers located in different sections. You need to purchase separate tickets to visit different watchtowers. The watchtowers are located in the core areas of the forest at vantage locations from where you get good chances of spotting wildlife. Each visit lasts for about 2 hours. There will be a guide along with the driver. a) Jatraprasad, b) Medla, c) Chandrachur, d) Chukchuki, e) Chapramari etc.

Jeep Safari:-

Apart from watchtower visits, there is also a separate Jeep Safari which you can avail. It takes you around various parts of the forest to spot wildlife. However no watchtower is covered in this safari. Jeep safari takes place for a total of 2 hours including transfers and is accompanied by a guide along with the driver. There are both early morning as well as afternoon Jeep Safaris. The entry to the forest for jeep safari is at Lataguri and from the main road itself. Having driven for 10 minutes and before it takes a left turn into the dense jungle, on your right you can see the impressive 3-storied Hotel Dreamland with rooms & private balconies overlooking the dense forest.

If you get a good guide and a driver as we did and if you are unable to spot enough wildlife, you can request them to take you little off the designated route. They can oblige. In fact our guide and driver took extra efforts to take us to areas which were practically non-motorable. At one point the guide got off, walked deeper into the forest trying to spot wild animals for us. We were able to spot several wildlife including bison, wild boars and many peacocks and other beautiful birds.

Visit:-

Mid-September to October is the period just after monsoon has ended. While the forest looks green and serene, the trees and grasslands have grown over the monsoon and the jungle is denser than ever. So animal sighting during this period may not be easy unless they come out in the open or you encounter them on a route through the jungle. There can also be occasional showers. But in winter the trees shed leaves, grasslands get thinner and weather is cool & perfect for jungle visits.

Where to stay:-

Most tourists stay either at Murti area or at Lataguri. This is because of proximity to the ticket counters as well as forest entry gates to visit watchtowers or take safaris.

One of the most popular lodges and in high demand is Banani Lodge run by the state forest department (WBFDC) which is located at a picturesque site at the bank of Murti river. A great advantage for guests staying here is that one can book all watchtower visits and safaris right from the lodge including pickup and drop. There are several rooms in the main building as well as cottages here.

2. Jatraprasad Watch Tower:-

 Jatraprasad located in Gorumara National Park. This watchtower trip by Gypsy vehicle is the most coveted safari and has the highest tourist demand because you get to visit two watch towers on the same trip, and possibility of

wildlife sightseeing is the highest here. The entry gate of Jatraprasad Watchtower is about 10kms from Lataguri on the highway leads to Chalsa and on the right hand side. Here all the jeeps for the shift line up for the entry gate to open. The guide records entry permit details at the entry gate. You too need to sign a register kept at the check post guard room here. And then the journey through the jungle starts.The trip describing here had an entry time of 3:30pm. The month was October and it was the last trip of the day. Although I made several trips to Gorumara before, the reason for choosing this trip was to experience an added attraction with the last trip – traditional tribal folk dance at the end. Jatrapasad was a female elephant which was trained by the Forest Department. The elephant had provided exceptionally diligent service to the department working routinely and helping the rangers and staff to survey the forests. When it died, the forest department made a huge sculpture of the elephant near the present watchtower. However the concrete structure was damaged and destroyed by wild elephants. Later the Jatraprasad Watchtower was built and named after the diligent elephant.

This is a two-tier watchtower. There are only few short steps to the first level which opens up into a large balcony like platform. From here you can get a panoramic view of the forest with Murti river flowing right below. Further away flows the Jaldhaka river which too can be

seen. And beyond that is Bamondanga Tea Estate.

Trival dance:-

Once the seats were filled up with returning tourists, the troupe entered – a bunch of girls and lads belonging to the local tribal community. It would be a traditional tribal folk dance performance with music. The men will play the traditional drums, a group of ladies will sing and the rest of the ladies were lined up to dance. Soon the drumbeats started and the dancing troupe started performing the ethnic dance in traditional rhythmic style holding each other.

3.Rhino Observation Tower:-

Reach:-

Gorumara Rhino Camp can be reached by hiring a car from Bagdogra / NJP. It is a two hours journey to reach Ramsai Rhino Camp through winding roads and tea gardens. Although this is the most convenient way to reach Gorumara Rhino Camp for most tourists, there are a few other options for tourists travelling by rail or road. There are a number of smaller rail stations around Gorumara but the nearest station with stoppage of important trains is Malbazar about 20 kms away. If you are travelling by road you can reach here either through the National Highway 31 which passes through Malbazar and turns right at Chalsa before reaching Gorumara. There is another highway through Jalpaiguri and Mainaguri. A third road that is less travelled passes through Gajoldoba barrage over Tista and passes through the Kranti before reaching Lataguri on the outskirts of the Gorumara National Park.The Rhino Observation Point is nearby, in front of the forest bungalow.

Visit:-

September to March is considered as best time to travel Dooars due to its pleasant weather. Dooars traveller can have spectacular view of migratory birds during this period as well as wild elephants, bison, leopard, barking deer, rhino etc.However March and April, when new grass is growing can experience a large influx of tourist in Dooars.

4.Chandrachur Watch Tower / Khunia Watch Tower:-

 Chandrachur watch Tower is located in the Gorumara National Park. It is also known as Khunia Watch Tower which offers the panoramic view of wild-lands and untamed beauty of certain typical wild sections of the Gorumara National Park including forest trees, shrubs, grasslands carved by rivers and rivulets and the animals found out there in Park. This Watch Tower is mainly built for watching wild elephants and Indian Bisons. If the visitors want to see dense forest with wilderness looks they can straight go this Chandrachur Tower without any confusion.

There is a Khunia forest Located within the surrounding area of the Gorumara Forest Bunglow is a vast stretch of grassland with a huge watch tower standing almost in the middle of it. It is also a part of the jungle covering the banks of Murti River from Lataguri- Chalsa- Murti and Neora river bed to many more lies on the way to chapramari from Gorumara. The watch tower inside the forest is known as Chandrachur watchtower which was formerly known as

Khunia watch tower. So this watch tower is now famous for offering the entire forest and animals like bisons and elephant. Tourist can also travel through jeep safari from gorumara park to Chandrachur watch tower. Khunia forest is basically a vast stretch of grassland with a huge watchtower standing almost in the middle of it. It is a part of the vast expanse of jungle covering the banks of Murti River from Latagur-Chalsa-Murti-Dhupjhora-Batabri-Ramsai-Kalipur and Neora river bed. Khunia lies on the way to Chapramari from Gorumara. The distance of Chapramari from Khunia is only 1 kilometer. The watchtower inside the forest is known as the Chandrachur watchtower which was formerly known as Khunia watchtower. This watchtower is famous for offering views of the entire expanse of the forest and also animals like bisons and elephants.

5.Chukchuki Watch Tower:-

 Chukchuki Watch Tower also called Chukchuki Birding Point is located inside the Gorumara National Park. It is an ideal destination for bird watches where different spices of birds seen here. The Chuckchuki Watch Tower is situated towards the end of the park which provides perfect view of birds. It is one of the famous among many others watch tower in the park from where tourist can spot different animals like rhinos, bisons, gaur, Asian elephant, sloth bear, chital, and sambar deer for which the park is famous.

The park is also home to a large number of snakes, venomous and non-venomous, including the Indian python, one of the largest snakes in the world, and the king cobra – the world’s largest venomous snake. One staying at Gorumara park can full enjoy all the nearby activities and scenic beauty of park through this popular Chuchuk Watch Tower.

You will be taken to the Chukchuki watchtower on the back of an elephant which is the most exciting activity in the forest or you can also opt for the four wheeler safari in which case you will ride a jeep. You will watch birds like Indian Hornbill, Spangled Drongo, Scarelet Minivet, Peafowls, Peacocks, woodpeckers, pheasants, Asian paradise suncatcher.These are all submontane forest birds and the place is also famous for migratory birds among which the rare Brahminy duck can also be spotted.

Reach:-

Chukchuki can be reached only after you have arrived at Gorumara National Park. Gorumara can be reached by air, rail or by road depending on the place you are coming from. The park is only 10 kilometers from Chalsa and 1 kilometer from Lataguri. Bagdogra is the nearest airport if you are traveling by flight and New Jalpaiguri or Maalbazar are the stations where you have to reach to arrive at Gorumara. Alternatively, you can take your car and opt for a long drive also. In that case, Highway NH-31 will be the route.

6.Medhla Watch Tower:-

 Medla Watchtower is in Gorumara National Park and you need to book a separate safari to visit the watchtower just like the other ones like Jatraprasad, Chukchui, Chandrachur etc. You can book the watchtower visit (which includes entry permit, guide, Jeep etc) at Lataguri counter. If you take the last visit, you can also watch a tribal dance at the end of the safari . Medla visit to Shortly on the way towards Chalsa from Lataguri ,the entry gate to the forest on the right. The gate opens after

the permits are checked and entry is recorded. And then starts the forested route through dense jungle. About 6kms from the entry gate the forested route bifurcates.

About 2kms from the bifurcation we reached Budhuram village. There is an ethnic dance area here where the tribal dance program takes place during the last safari. Shortly ahead towards right the route leads to the Ramsai forest village about 4kms away.

You took a route and reached Ramsai village. This is one of the three villages in Gorumara where Eco Cottages have been set up for tourists… the other two villages are Kalipur and Dhupjhoa. Guests staying at one of these eco camps can avail elephant safaris which is otherwise not available anywhere else in Gorumara National Park. Plus you get to stay right in the jungle.

At Ramsai we took a left turn. The sight of vast stretches of Jadavpur Tea Gardens here is wonderful. In about 4kms drive from Ramsai we reached Kalipur village. The eco cottages at both Ramsai and Kalipur are wonderful to watch at… nestled in the forest with greenery all around. There is a tribal dance area at Kalipur village as well. The dance program at the end of the last watchtower trip is held 3 days in Budhuram village and 3 days at Kalipur.

Kalipur village is the last point up to which the car would go. From here there is a unique option to ride bullock carts up to a point close to Medla Watchtower. You can choose this option at an additional cost while buying the tickets at Lataguri counter.

There is a grassy land and a saltlick at the other side of Murti river. The river is usually quite lean and narrow . Animals like elephants and bisons easily crossover the river. If you are lucky you can also see a one-horned rhino on the grassy land or near the saltlick. You can also see plenty of deers from Medla tower. On a clear day you get a wonderful view of the snow peaks of Kanchenjunga from the

watchtower. Watchtower visits take place daily both in the morning and in the afternoon. Note that

while Gorumra National Park remains closed in the monsoon between 16th June to 15th September, the only exception is the forest of Ramsai village which remains open throughout the year.

If you are staying at WBFDC Banani Lodge in Murti you can get the bookings done right at the lodge itself and the Jeep would pick up and drop you at the lodge. However others would need to queue up at the counter at Lataguri well in advance as the number of jeeps allowed per time-slot is limited.

Go through the relevant sections of Gorumara National Park to know all details about how to book the watchtower visits, ticket cost, best time to visit, stay options and more.

7. Buxa Tiger Reserve:-

The location is with rivers and mountains sharing the borders with Bhutan in the north and east and with the state of West Bengal in all other direction. Rasik Bill a water body is an extension of Buxa and is also a place to visit. It is situated at an altitude of 850 meters on the Sinchula Range. Wild life includes Leopard, spotted deer, sambar, hog deer, reptiles, huge wild tuskers, wild boars and the rarest variety of animals and birds including plenty of peacocks. Jeep safari is one of the most exciting features of this region. This Reserve is much more attractive for its natural beauties with its thick vegetation and rather than animals. The forest of the region remains closed for tourists from 1st July to 15th September each year due to heavy rains. Dooars is vast stretch of forest with texture of massive trees sheltering varieties of orchids and wild animals make it is a paradise for lovers of nature, adventurer, academicians and tourism. Buxa tiger reserve stretches to Rasikbill in Alipurduar and stretches to Bhutan. It has rich bio – diversity and has a great collection of rare orchids and plants including medicinal plants. The reserve is one of the most diversified wildlife in the region. There are a number of rare and endangered species of animals like leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, make their habitats and other animals includes different types of deer, bison, birds and reptiles. One can even come across Tortoise of various species in the lakes nearby. There are many religious and historical sites nearby. Even a few short treks can be organized from here and one such one day outing is to Mahakal.

Reach:-

Airways -

Bagdogra airport (IXB) is the nearest and major airport. Buxar Tiger Reserve, Jayanti is approximately 4 hours drive from Bagdogra Airport (IXB) and is approximately 210 kilometers by road. Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is served by regular Indian, Go Air, Kingfisher, Spice Jet and Jet Airways flights from Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and Delhi.

Railways -

Nearest Major railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) and is 210 kilometers. The other railway station is Rajabhatkhawa and Alipurduar. There is some regular train from Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) to Rajabhatkhawa and Alipurduar. The other station nearby are Cooch Behar but the frequency of train is less and there is limited number of private vehicles hence tourist prefers to drive from Siliguri.

Roadways -

National highway number 31 connects Siliguri and Guwahati. Buxar is 200 kilometers from Siliguri on this route. This highway passes through Chalsa, Malbazar, Hashimara, Rajabhatkhawa and finally to Alipurduar. Buxar is just on the outskirt of Alipurduar. There are two main routes to this region Siliguri – Jalpaiguri via New Teesta Bridge or Mainaguri – Dhupguri – Gairkata – Birpara – Madarihat nearly 230 kilometers.

8.Jaldapara Wild Life Santuary:-

 Jaldapara is one of the most luxuriant forests of the region and is surrounded by tea estates. Each year some of the leopard’s pubs are found in this tea estate abandoned by their mother and is raised by the forest department. Herds of bison or elephants breaking down villages of the area are a normal incident. Other animals that can be spotted are one horned rhinoceros, Gaur, Asian Elephant, Sloth bear, Chital, Bengal Tigers, Indian Wild Dogs, Indian Wolf, Pygmy Hog, Giant Squirrels, Hispid Hare and Sambar Deer, Barking deer, Hog deer, Wild boar, etc. Dooars is vast stretch of dense forests teeming with wildlife, unending tea gardens, fast flowing rivers, interspersed with sleepy or busy settlements. The resorts and hotels here are few but are worth enjoying. Tribes of the regions are colorful and hospitable. Elephant, Indian Bison and deer can be spotted easily as they regularly come to the salt reservoir just below the tower. Some of the adventure one can enjoy are Elephants safaris, hiking, birding tour, Jungle safari, angling, etc. Jaldapara is one such spot in this region where Bengal Florican can be spotted and other birds that can be spotted are Crested Eagle, Pallas’s Fishing Eagle, Jungle fowl, peafowl, partridges, lesser Pied Hornbills, etc. One more historical site which is gaining popularity among tourist is Chilapata forests. There are the ruins of old fort of Nal King.

Reach:-

Airways -

Bagdogra airport (IXB) is the nearest and major airport. Jaldapara wildlife Sanctuary is approximately 3 hours drive from Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is served by regular Indian, Go Air, Kingfisher, Spice Jet and Jet Airways flights from Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai and Delhi.

Railways -

The most important railway Junction is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and is situated 135 kilometers away from Jaldapara. NJP is directly connected with all major stations in India and the Dooars. Chalsa, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar and Rajabhatkhawa are the other railway station in the region. The frequency of trains is less hence tourist prefers to use Siliguri as the entry and exit point to Dooars. Indian Railways is contemplating to run a special train named the between Siliguri and Cooch Behar like the palace on wheels.

Roadways -

Jaldapara is connected by National Highway Number 31 with Siliguri which is 130 kilometers away and can be reached by car within 3 – 4 hours. Jaldapara / Hollong / Buxa Tiger Reserve are all very close on the National Highway number 31.

9.Jayanti:-

 This is a beautiful spot encircled by Jayanti river and hills. Which forms a natural border with the Bhutan hills, this beautiful place offers all the peace and tranquility that is so missing in a busy city life. A tour of Jayanti, away from the humdrum 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, chirping of unknown birds, sweet fragrance of nature and refreshingly cool breeze at Jayanti will make you feel completely rejuvenated. Though the river remains dry for most of the year but its white beds with pebbles all around imparts an unmatched beauty to the place.

10.Chapramari Forest:-

 This Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Nagrakata Block of Jalpaiguri District, just at the foothills of Kalimpong Sub-division and on the banks of Murti River. Teesta, Murti and Neora rivers keep watering the area. This Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its mega-herbivores such as the Elephant and the Gaur. Along with these, Royal Bengal Tiger, deer, boar, Cheetal, Sambar and leopard are commonly found in this reserve. This Sanctuary is a paradise for bird watcher. Several parrots, Green Magpie, Indian Treepie, Thrush, Scarlet Minivet, Hill Mayna, Kingfisher, Hornbill, Large Grey Headed Fishing Eagle and many other birds can find in this wildlife sanctuary.

11.Murti:-

Murti is the name of a river flowing down from the Neora Valley National Park. Murti as a place is situated besides the same river between the Chapramari forest and Gorumara National Park. Murti is famous in Dooars for its mesmerizing scenic beauty. You can visit the interior of Gorumara Park while staying at Murti. On the other side of river at a short walking distance is Panjhora River of Dooars. During winter season the river banks of Murti and Panjhora becomes a favored picnicking site in Dooars. Murti situated in the woodlands of Dooars region is an extremely beautiful place. The shimmering stream of Murti River makes this place even more attractive for the tourists traveling in Dooars region. The scenic landscape of Murti has made it one of the must visit tourist places in North Bengal.

Places such as Bindu, Jhalong, Jaldhaka, Samsing etc. are close to Murti River Valley and make for excellent visiting places. Also, due to the relative closeness with the Gorumara National Park, it is extremely recommended for the tourists to visit this verdant National Park of Dooars during their stay at Murti. While staying in Murti visitors can also visit nearby offbeat destinations of Dooars like Jhalong, Bindu and Paren. Samsing, Suntaleykhola and few other places like Mouchuki marking the fringes of other jungles like Neora Valley N.P. are the famous sightseeing places of Murti. The banks of the Murti River are also a peaceful and tranquil place where the tourist can attain peace of mind.

Visit:-

The ideal time for visiting Murti starts from the mid of October and extends up to the mid of March. During winter season the river banks of Murti becomes a favored play ground for the migratory water fowls of Central Asia and Ladakh. All the reserve forest in Dooars remains closed during the rainy season (15th June–15th September) and reopens around the mid of September.

Where to stay:-

There are many accommodation facilities for the tourist traveling in Murti of Dooars. Tourists can stay in the Government Resort or private resorts and enjoy the scenic beauty of Murti and the surrounding areas. Here in Murti visitors can find lodges and bungalows maintained by both WBFDC and WBTDC. Banani Murti Resort being one of the most preferred place to stay. All of these resorts, forest lodges and forest bungalows come with the basic amenities such as room service, hot waters etc.

Reach:-

Situated at a distance of just 80 km is the North Bengal’s most important railway station, the New Jalpaiguri Railway station in Siliguri. On the other hand the tourist may come to the Chalsa railway station directly and take a bus from Chalsa to Murti. However, trains arriving to Chalsa are pretty scarce and so coming to New Jalpaiguri Station is recommended. Visitors can easily reach Murti by hiring a car from the respective junctions.

12. Rajabhatkhawa :-

 Rajabhatkhawa in Dooars is the gateway to Buxa Tiger Reserve. Surrounded by dense forests Rajabhatkhawa is a pictorial forest village located adjacent to Buxa Tiger Reserve. It is an ideal place to visit for the wilderness lovers in Dooars. Within the premises of Rajabhatkhawa there is a watchtower. The watchtower is enclosed by dense forest which gives the best opportunity to the visitors to spot elephant, bison and even tiger. There is a story behind the name of the village. It is said that in 1800, the king of Cooch Behar vowed to never eat rice if he did not manage to dethrone the ruler of Bhutan from the area where the village thrives now. After some time, the monarch of Bhutan himself agreed to leave and as a gesture of amity, the kings met and had a feast of rice in the dense forest. That gave the village its name. The Nature Interpretation Center at Rajabhatkhawa is a major attraction. This centre provides the visitor with an insight of what the Buxa Tiger Reserve has to offer in terms of flora, fauna, and ecological diversity.

The Animal Rescue Centre is where the injured leopards and tigers are treated till they are normal before they are released back in the forests. Here visitors may watch Tiger, Leopard, Bison and sum other animals. The Orchidarium of Rajabhatkhawa is another tourist destination of this serene forest village. This Orchidarium houses more than 1500 species of delicate orchids. Rajabhatkhawa is also a must visit destination for the avid bird watchers. There are number of bird species along with migratory species are seen here. Fork tails, Goosanders, Ibis Bill are few among them. Wildlife safaris, bird watching and trekking are the prime attractions for tourists visiting Rajabhatkhawa. According to officials of the forest department, 32 types of creepers and herbs, 112 breeds of orchids and more than 150 species of trees are found in the emerald greenwoods enclosing this quaint hamlet. Places of attraction nearby include Chilapata, Jayanti and the Buxa fort. Winter is the best time to visit Rajabhatkhawa. It is better to avoid the monsoon if visitors want to indulge in activities like trekking. The forests remain closed from June 15 to September 15 every year.

Where to stay:-

There are few homestays in Rajabhatkhawa but Rajabhatkhawa Forest Bungalow is the most preferred place to stay. Rajabhatkhawa Forest Bungalow is a Nature Resort maintained by the West Bengal Forest Department Corporation Ltd . It is also known as Buxa Jungle Lodge.

There are many hotels and lodges at Rajabhatkhawa. Leo House, Tiger Lodge and the Buxa Tiger Reserve guest house are the best bets.

Reach:-

Taxis and cars are available from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway station to Rajabhatkhawa. You can also take a train from NJP to the Siliguri-Hasimara section and get down at Rajabhatkhawa Railway Station. Another way is to get down at the Alipurduar junction and reach Rajabhatkhawa by road via Damanpur.

Sight seen:-

Buxa tiger reserve, Mahakal caves, Park safary, Buxa fort, Buxa tiger reserve etc.

Visit:-

The best time to visit Rajabhatkhawa is during the winter season, from October-June. Since there is heavy rainfall during the rainy season, it is advisable not to venture during that time. In addition, the forests are closed every year for tourists from 15th June to 15th September.

13.Teesta Barrage:-

Gajoldoba is a small village in the Oodlabari in Jalpaiguri district of Dooars region. Gajoldoba is in the western south of the Himalayan foothills, between the Mahananda River to the west and Teesta River to the east. It is famous for the first reservoir formed by the Teesta Barrage which was built for an irrigational purpose. Gajoldoba is surrounded by the Baikunthapur forest which has a myth about that Lord Krishna with his principal wife and queen Rukmani choose Baikunthapur Forest for hiding due to which ISKCON chose nearby Siliguri as the site for the biggest Krishna Centre in the Northeast. A Mega Tourism Project is on the anvil at Gajoldoba with a promise of making Gajoldoba a hot tourist destination in near future. Spend some leisurely hours on the spur with a binocular and watch Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Bar-headed Goose, Greylag Goose, Lesser Whistling Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Cotton Teal, Tufted Duck, Common Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Spot-billed Duck, Mallard, Great Cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Little Cormorant, Indian Pond Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Northern Lapwing, River Lapwing, Grey-headed Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, etc. You can enjoy the sound of chirping bird while taking a slow boat ride with the local fishermen along the River Teesta and be spell bound by the alluring sound of flowing river along with the spotting some migratory birds. Gajoldoba is the paradise for all bird watchers and for the folks who enjoy a laid back weekend.

Where to stay:-

The Hawa Mahal building of the irrigation department has 4 rooms that is occasionally let out on request. There is no regular commercially available tourist accommodation in the area at the time of writing. A few budget tourist accommodations have started sprouting here and there, and in the near future as Gajoldoba mega tourism hub takes shape, there may not be any dearth of tourist accommodation here. Meanwhile tourists may visit Gajoldoba while being based in Siliguri, Jalpaiguri or Gorumara.

Sight seen:-

The area around Gajoldoba is full of interesting sightseeing places. The Gajoaldoba barrage in itself is worth spending some time. You may also take a ride in the local fisherman’s boat in the downstream Teesta, during monsoon months avoid the ride as the water volume increased substantially. Also do not venture in the upstream river as it can prove to be dangerous. Across the river is the Apalchand forest famous for its population of pachyderm. The Baikunthapur forests on the western side of the river is also home to a number of wildlife variety.

Visit:-

Some side you can visit, there are- Banarhat, Batabari, Bindu, Binnaguri, Buxa, Chalsa, Coochbehar, Dhupjhora, Gajoldoba, Gorubathan, Hasimara, Jaldapara etc.

Reach:-

By air – It is 14 km away from Bagdogra.

By train – Both Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri junction are 4.5 km away from the place.

By road – The place is 3.5 km away from Siliguri town.

14. Bhutanghat :-

The journey towards the elephant country, Bhutanghat is in itself an astounding experience. The road leading towards Bhutanghat are full of pictorial view of changing landscape. Throughout the journey the view of paddy field and lush tea garden accompanies the travelers. The view of emerald blue river teesta cascading through the lofty mountainous valley dotted with alpine forest seen while crossing Coronation Bridge is a visual treat for the tourist during the blissful journey towards Bhutanghat. After reaching the periphery of Buxa Tiger Reserve the landscape changes to tropical forest and the paved roads to the gravel path making the trip an adventurous voyage. Along the meandering river bank of Raidak in Bhutanghat there is a decades old forest bungalow which can be used by the tourist to spend some lone time in the verdant but due the limited amenities most of the tourist don’t opt for that option. Built in 1906 the quaint forest bunglow of Bhutanghat offers an astounding view of river Raidak cascading through the mountainous hill of Bhutan, a sight which has ensnared the heart of many travelers. Along with being a scenically blessed hamlet Bhutanghat also serves as an elephant corridor hence the nick name elephant country. There is no such interest point in Bhutanghat which may dishearten some tourist but for the nature lover Bhutanghat with its surreal natural beauty is a paradise for them. The bank of river Raidak has become a famous picnic spot where tourist can spend some quality time while overlooking the daunting hill of Bhutan. At a short walking distance from the forest bunglow of Bhutanghat is a quaint lake called Narathali. The marshy land surrounding the quaint Narathali Lake create an ideal environment for housing a large species of birds like trans Himalayan migratory goosanders, pied hornbill, red star, ibis bills, black stork, minivets, migratory common teal and many other birds making the scenically blessed Bhutanghat a birding paradise for the avid birdwatcher. Angling in the serene river Raidak is another option for the visitors of Raidak. Servicing as an important elephant corridor sighting of wild elephant is a common occurrence in Bhutanghat and if the tourists are lucky they might even spot a famous Asiatic One-horned Rhino. The proximity of Bhutanghat with Buxa Tiger Reserve lets the tourist enjoy the famous trekking route through the verdant forest towards Lepchakha Village. Sited at the hilltop of Buxa Tiger Reserve, Lepchakha is a serene Drukpa village which is famous for its panoramic vista of 12 river stream flowing through the Dooars plain. From spotting some migratory bird to spending a night in a decade old forest bungalow, a visit to Bhutanghat of Dooars lets you experience it all.

Listening to the chirping of exotic birds along with the alluring sound of flowing river while taking a stroll on the bank of River Raidak and feasting your eyes with the astounding view of Bhutan hills and Dooars plain can be spell bounding experience. Words cannot express the surreal beauty which Bhutanghat is bestowed with but it can only be felt by visiting the scenically blessed hamlet. Far from the maddening crowd Bhutanghat has become the sojourn f travelers who want to enjoy the untrained natural beauty while traveling Dooars region.

Visit:-

One of the best seasons to relish the beauty of Bhutanghat is considered to be the post monsoon season from October to May when the forest area is bursting with vibrant colors and weather is pleasant.

15.Khayerbari:-

Khayerbari is largely known as “Royal Bengal Tiger & Leopard” rescue centre. During the execution of the ban of animal show in circus, several wild animals were captured by the forest officials which included 11 tigers. The tigers that are being shifted to the Khyerbari are part of this group. Many leopard and cubs recovered from the tea gardens and illicit animal smugglers are also kept here for various reasons, like rehabilitation etc. According to forest officials this is a distinctive attempt unparalleled in the entire North East India. Khayerbari is located almost 10km. away from Madarihat.

South Khayerbari rescue centre or commonly known as Royal Bengal Tiger & Leopard Rescue Centre got its name after the law was passed against the ban of animals in circus, the forest official rescued several animals which included 11 tigers from the Olympic circus in Hoogly District. Many leopard and cubs recovered from the tea gardens and illicit animal smugglers are also kept in South Khayerbari for various reasons like rehabilitation.

Battery operated cars are used to conduct safari tours in this nature park. River Buri Torsa is flowing through the South Khayerbari Nature Park. Boating can be done in the waters of the river. The nearest railway station is Hasimara. Hasimara is well connected to Kolkata which in turn enjoys excellent connectivity with the rest of the country. Madarihat is 12 km from Hasimara station. South Khayerbari Nature Park is 15 km from Madarihat. A perfect picnic spot for a joy- loving family looking forward to relax and have fun amidst boating, car safari in the kingdom of Leopards, a children Park and a soothing environment.

A place amidst the nature for the once free willed animals which were forcefully tamed for the mere entertainment purpose, South Khayerbari is the safe haven for rescued animal and it’s a place where you can observe this royal animal and learn more about their natural habitat whilst basking in the beauty of mother nature or just spending you time with your loved ones in the bank of River Buri Torsa.

Where to stay:-

The forest official has built Forest Cottages in South Khayerbari. The cottages in South Khayerbari are maintained by the West Bengal Forest Department Corporation (WBFDC). There are three forest cottages in South Khayerbari. The govt. cottages of South Khayerbari are situated along the banks of Buri Torsha River. Located near the premises of South Khayerbari Nature Park, staying in the WBFDC Cottages of South Khayerbari is the best way to get an insight in the lives of rescued felines. There are many things to do while lodging in South Khayerbari.

Visit:-

South Khayerbari is one of the few places in Dooars region which can be visited throughout the year. Unlike other forested area of Dooars like Gorumara National Park, and Jaldapara National Park, South Khayerbari does not remain closed during monsoon season.

Reach:-

The closest railway station from South Khayerbari is located in Hasimara. The distance between Hasimara Railway Station and South Khayerbari is 12km. The closest airport to South Khayerbari is in Bagdogra and the distance between South Khayerbari and Bagdogra is 160km. Visitors can easily hire a car from Bagdogra or rent a car from NJP to reach South Khayerbari.

16.Malbazar:-

Malbazar also known as Mal is a Sub-Divisional town of Jalpaiguri District. At a distance of 55km from Siliguri and 65kms from Jalpaiguri, Malbazar is one of the most important towns in Dooars. If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Dooars at its best, then you must travel to Malbazar from Siliguri by rail or by road. The town itself does not have much to offer to the tourists except for the Mal Park but due to its location on the national highway, one can stay at Malbazar and visit the important tourist destination of Eastern Dooars.

On your way to Malbazar, beautiful Teesta River which has a peculiar feature of changing colors every season will stay beside you. The town of Malbazar has a beautiful tea garden of Raja Tea Estate and a nice Mal Park. Malbazar can also be used as a base to visit nearby forests like Gorumara home of the famous one-horned Asiatic Rhino, Chapramari, Chukchukia is an ideal vantage point for watching myriad birds and many others places. You can also make day trips to Jhalong, Bindu, Paren and other nearby destinations from here. On your way to Malbazar, you will cross a few forests and come across the famous Sevokeshwari temple and Coronation Bridge the view over here of blue rive Teesta whilst the soothing wind is blowing in your face along with the backdrop view of the loft mountain can leave you mesmerized. Tea is the backbone of the of the Dooars region so is for Malbazar but due it location town is depending on the tourism sector

Where to stay:-

Stay at Malbazar and visit the important tourist destination of Eastern Dooars. Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, Bindu, Gorubathan, Jhalong, Murti, Samsing, Suntalekhola are the famous tourist spots, which are easy to access from the Malbazar. Kumlai is a famous picnic spot near by Malbazar. the government tourist lodge there are some private hotels and lodges with various fare ranges.

Visit:-

The best time to visit Malbazar and enjoy the astounding beauty of the Doors region is during the months of September to March, when the monsoon gets over and the weather is soothing for travelers.

Base of all the adventure like trekking through the dense forest of Dooars, spotting the wild animals during jungle safari and a get way towards the paradise for the nature lovers, Malbazar is surely an important town providing the travelers with the base for the travelling the less known part of the Dooars Region with a great picnic spot in the foothills of Himalayas. Malbazar is the get way towards the exploring and experiencing the raw beauty of nature.

Reach:-

Visitors are traveling from Kolkata, they need to board the Kanchankanya Express from Sealdah and reach New Mal Junction station. This train leaves Sealdah station four times in a week. Tourists can also reach New Jalpaiguri station from where, visitors can board a car or a bus to reach Malbazar.

By Road : You can also reach New Jalpaiguri station from where, you can board a car or a bus to reach Malbazar.

By Train : If you are traveling from Kolkata, you need to board the Kanchankanya Express from Sealdah and reach New Mal Junction station. This train leaves Sealdah station four times in a week.

By Air : Nearest airport is at Bagdogra.

17.Chalsa:-

Chalsa, a small town situated on the foothills of the Himalayas in Dooars lies in Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. It is a small town that is surrounded all around by hills, tea gardens, rivers, and forests. This town has two parts; the town is surrounded by Gorumara National Park and the other part with Chapramari Wildlife sanctuary. It is usually accessible from Siliguri through Malbazar. From Siliguri, the distance is about 1.5 hours by a drive and approx 40 minutes train. The distance covered from Bagdogra airport is 60 km.

Chalsa owns a wide range of tourist’s lodges and hotels, as well Chalsa PWD Bungalow. Restaurants offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian Bengali cuisine and North Indian food.

Chalsa is also famous for a large number of canvas like tea gardens surrounding here and there. From the balcony of a room you can enjoy the scenic beauty of hills and tea gardens. The Kurti river flows down the small hillock and tea gardens. Chalsa is quite popular to tourists, because various tourist destinations of the dooars region are quick accessible from there. So, you can travel all nearby tourist destination after halt or night stay at Chalsa.

Where to stay:-

Being a pictorial town, visitors while traveling Chalsa can select from a vast range of accommodation facility. Here visitors will find various resorts and lodges in and around Chalsa. There are also many cottages, and hotels in Chalsa.

Visit:-

The weather of Chalsa is identical to the state of West Bengal. Besides monsoons, the climatic conditions remain pleasant throughout the year, which makes Chalsa a year round destination. The best time to visit Chalsa is from November to April. During this time visitors can enjoy the soothing weather of Dooars region and partake in activities like trekking while visiting Chalsa.

Reach:-

The best starting point for Chalsa is Siliguri which is connected by Air (Bagdogra) from Guwahati, Chennai, New Delhi and Kolkata. By rail, it is (New Jalpaiguri) from Kolkata, New Delhi, Guwahati. The approx time taken by road is about 10 hours from Kolkata.

Chapramari Sanctuary and Gorumara National Park is located at Just 1.5 hours from Siliguri. Chalsa is surrounded by these two forests. Tourists can opt for the road and rail transport. Driving is comfortable in National Highway as the roads are in good condition for a perfect drive. Chalsa is an en route to New Jalpaiguri- Alipurduar- Samuktala Road Line.

18.Batabari tea easte:-

Batabari is a Village in Matiali Block in Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal State, India. It belongs to Jalpaiguri Division. It is located 53 KM towards North from District head quarters Jalpaiguri and 570 KM from State capital Kolkata. Batabari got its name from the popular Batabari Tea Estate which is located in this region. Here the structure of the houses is made of a particular bamboo species known as – ‘Bata’. It’s a small village with little population located near Khunia more and it is also a part of Gorumara national Park. The main attractions of this place are Landscapes and Tea gardens. This Place is in the border of the Jalpaiguri District and Darjeeling District. Darjeeling District Gorubathan is west towards Batabari.

There is provision of electricity at all labour quarters with separate committees looking into the same. The multi-metering system that was introduced has helped in keeping the process of electricity provision in the area seamless and hassle-free. The bungalows and staff quarters are provided with electricity. The electricity in these places is provided by the estate factory.

Soil analysis is done on a yearly basis at the R&D section of Teok Tea Estate. Manures applied in the plantation are as per their recommendations. The application of bio fertilizers has been implemented to reduce the application of inorganic fertilizers which cause environmental hazards.

Where to stay:-

synonyms of comfortable, calm & luxurious stay in the lap of nature! The resort offers one of the most spectacular accommodations at Lataguri, Jalpaiguri (West Bengal). The environment of the resortis full of encouraging and refreshing. Clean air, chirping of birdsand greenery across our accommodation gives travellers the opportunity to lead a positive lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of a city.

Visit:-

However, the Forest stays closed to visitors during the monsoons but this is the time when the undisturbed nature is visible with its lush greenary and livelihood.

Reach:-

One can easily reach this destination via taking pleasant train rides till NJP Railway Station which is 70 km away adjoining railway station new mal junction or board the flight which would take no time to reach the Bagdogra Airport is 80 km away from the resort.

19.Chilapata Forest:-

The Dooars are an extraordinary choice for the nature lovers and general visitors.Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Eastern Dooars at the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya and perched between Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, lies Chilapata Wildlife Sanctuary, the most important migration corridor of large herbivores such as One Horned Rhinos and Asiatic Elephants and an upcoming eco-tourism destination in Bengal.

The Chilapata Forest is a dense forest near Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary in Dooars. Chilapata has become a favourite Tourist destination for many in the recent past. You can go for a visit with permission of the forest department and accompanied by approved guide. Chilapata can easily be visited from Jaldapara as part of day sightseeing tour as the distance is barely 15 kms. The chief attraction at Chilapata is the “Nalraja Garh” or the fort of the Nal kings. The fort was built during the Gupta period in the fifth century, although the fort itself is in ruins now, it has tremendous archeological importance and reminds one of the golden age in the history of India. Among the wildlife, one horned rhinos, large number of elephants, bison, deer, and leopard, lesser cats, cheetah, sambar, barking deer, wild boar etc. are available here. Chilapata forest near Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) is the main corridor between the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) and Jaldapara WLS for the Elephants. It is very dense forest and a small car drive/biking through the forest is just wonderful experience. One can have a 24 Km drive from Sonapur chowpathi to Gurudwara at Hasimara through the dense forest Chilapata. There are daily bus/other vehicle service too. You may come across wild animals at the forest roadside if you are lucky. One of the main attractions of Chilapata Forest is the Nal Rajar Garh or Fort of Nal Kings which was believed to be built during Gupta dynasty (The Golden age of India). Though the place is poorly maintained by the archeological department, the ruins are still found here. 18 species of amphibians including the recently-discovered Assam Painted Fog and Chilapata Forg(Minervarya chilapata sp.)have been recorded from Chilapata.

The Jungle Camp, with its rustic look and idyllic setting, is an abode for those who appreciate an authentic, intimate, educative and inspiring experience with the local nature and culture.While the Elephant Cottages on concrete stilts are made with brick, cement and wood in local style, the Bamboo Cottages are constructed with eco-friendly materials and have respectfully replicated the traditional architecture and design of the indigenous tribal houses.Food, served in a beautiful thatched dining with its four sides open to allow the guests to have an unobtrusive view of the surrounding nature, mainly consists of authentic local recipes, and prepared with fully organic ingredients sourced completely locally.

Where to stay:-

Chilapata Forest, West Bengal Forest Department Corporation Ltd (WBFDC) has built a forest rest house. It is a Forest Bungalow sited midst dense forest of Sal Tree. Visitors can also opt for lodging in Chilapata Jungle Camp.

Visit:-

visiting Chilapata Forest you may also go for a guided safari inside the Chilapata forest towards Mendabari watch tower and KodalBasti forest. The jeep safari in Chilapata Forest is one of one of the prominent tourist attraction of Dooars. The CC line is the key place where one horned rhinoceros are more likely to be found at the afternoon every day. One can enjoy the smooth walking of rhinoceros standing at the CC line watch tower. You can have a tea garden tour to the nearby Mathura Tea Estate and can have a cultural experience by the Rabha Tribal Community as well. Leopards, one horned rhinoceros, wild pigs, peacock, elephant, monkeys more than 20 species of carnivores and herbivores, more than 175 types of birds, 22 species of reptiles, etc are found here.

Reach:-

Alipurduar visitors can easily reach Chilapata Forest by boarding a train for Alipurduar Railway Station.

Safary:-

visiting Chilapata Forest you may also go for a guided safari inside the Chilapata forest towards Mendabari watch tower and KodalBasti forest. The jeep safari in Chilapata Forest is one of one of the prominent tourist attraction of Dooars. The CC line is the key place where one horned rhinoceros are more likely to be found at the afternoon every day.

20.Rocky Island:-

 Rocky Island is a small village settlement located 3kms from Samsing. The Murti river flows through this place. In fact this is the place where the river comes down the hills and meets the plains. The place is beautiful and the village settlement has developed along the river bank. Altitude here is about 2,000ft.

However during tourist season you can see a lot of people along the banks who turn it into a picnic spot. There are small eateries and shops along the main road that goes through Rocky Island all the way to Samsing. There are a few basic home stays and a camping facility at Rocky Island.

Where to stay:-

 Accommodation is arranged in small Tents for overnight visitors. The Rocky Island Nature Resort which is located on the banks of Murti River. will be carried tents for overnight stay to enjoy the beautiful and mysterious atmosphere of the region. wish to see the lifestyle of the local people, then Faribasti homestay will be the best option for you. Experience their hospitality and also their love for nature.

Visit:-

The beauty of Rocky Island can be relished throughout the year due to its pleasant weather but if the tourists want to indulge in activities like camping and trekking the best time to visit Rocky Island is during winter season from mid October to December when the sky remains clear and tourist can enjoy the grand vista of Himalayan range.

Reach:-

Siliguri is well connected with other parts of the state as well as all over India by road, rail, and air. From Siliguri, you will drive through the NH 10 till you reach Sevoke. Take a right turn and cross the Coronation Bridge to enter the Dooars, then drive through NH 17 via Malbazar to reach Chalsa.

21.Phuentsling Border:-

Dooars with its vast stretch of rolling meadow, lush tea garden and dense
forest has attracted nature lovers from far and wide. Dooars Tour will take you to a thrilling journey where you get to explore the thick wooded forest and shimmering river stream. Beckon the beauty of indigenous culture of Bhutanese Kingdom in Phuentsholing and get an insight in rescued animals’ life in South Khayerbari.

Thimphu or Paro or Punakha or Bumthang, Phuentsholing cannot be called as a major tourist destination of Bhutan. However, it remains thickly populated with tourists for a simple reason…. it offers a very easy route of entry and exit by road from Bhutan.

Phuentsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan. It is the administrative seat of Chukha District. The town occupies parts of both Phuentsholing Gewog and Sampheling Gewog. Phuentsholing lies close to the Indian border town of Jaigaon. Phuentsholling is a main commercial hub in southwest Bhutan. It is popularly known as the Gateway to Bhutan. Phuentsholling is a typical border town, which is also called Jaigaon in the Indian side in West Bengal state.

Where to stay:-

Phuentsholing isn’t a town that demands extensive stays for tourism puposes… most people who stay here for more than a day are here on business or official work. Phuentsholing doesn’t have the kind of experiential living options that Thimphu, Paro or even Punakha offers.

Visit:-

Situated in city centre, this small temple represents the heaven of Guru Rinpoche. On ground floor there are statues of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche and paintings on Buddha’s life while the next floor contains eight Bodhisattavas and statues of Avalokiteshvara and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. On top floor, there is a main statue of Amitabha. Kharbandi Goemba this beautiful monastery contains paintings on the life of Buddha, statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rinpoche. From the monastery garden there is a fascinating view of Phuentsholing town and surrounding plains. The Gate of Bhutan at the Phuentsholing border has beautiful craftsmanship and represents the dazzling show of wood painting that you will get to see once you are leaving Bhutan (Phuentsholing) and crossing over the Indo-Bhutan border towards Jaigaon. Karbandi monastery from the Phuentsholing town (take a cab) and it is situated at the altitude of 400 meters on a small hillock. The Norgay Crocodile Breeding Farm has developed into a major tourist attraction. Phuentsholing is a bustling city and has a slightly hurried pace of life. The Zanglo Peri Park containing the Zangdok Palri Temple stands right at the heart of Phuentsholing just a few hundred meters away from the border. The park contains a huge ball fountain, a smallish pond, prayer wheels and a lovely ambience of serenity that will soothe your soul.

Reach:-

The drive from Phuentsholing to Darjeeling(184kms/6-7hrs) goes through the Himalayan foothills across the plains of Duars. The drive passes through small road side villages and towns along several tea estates until Teesta river. After crossing the Teesta over the Coronation bridge, the road goes west across Siliguri town and begins a gradual climb until Kurseong. From Kurseong it is almost gradual with twists and turns to Ghoom, from here it is about an hour’s drive to Darjeeling.

22.Latpanchore:-

he beauty of the region lies not only in its tea gardens but also in the dense jungles that make up the countryside. A number of rare endangered species of animals like tiger, rhinoceros and elephant make their habitat in the forests of the Dooars. Other animals include different types of deer, bison, birds and reptiles.Perched at an elevation of 4500ft Latpanchar overlooking the roaring river Teesta is a picturesque forest village of Dooars. Nestled on the highest point of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Latpanchar is endowed with abundance of flora and fauna making it a paradise for nature lover. Located 41km from Siliguri, Latpanchar is a hidden jewel of Dooars region which tourists making it’s a crowd free zone.There is a temple of the Lord Shiva at the peak of the Raja Rani Hills where the locals offer their prayers. The trails also lead to few astounding sightseeing destination in Latpanchar. Located at a distance of 3km is the famous sunrise point of Latpanchar.

Latpanchar is also known for its vast collection of birds. In the dense forest enclosing Latpanchar more than 240 species of birds like Burn Swallow, and Ashy Backed Shrike, and Spotted Eagles has been spotted. But that’s not all the thick wooded forest of Latpanchar is the home to the most elegant, colorful, and endangered species the Rufous Necked Hornbill. Rufous Necked Hornbill migrated to Latpanchar from Nepal hills due to its climatic condition making Latpanchar the birding paradise for avid bird watchers. The beauty of Latpanchar can be enjoyed through slow jungle walk where tourist can breathe in the musky fragrance wooded forest while being lulled by the alluring chirping of birds.

Where to stay:-

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.This is a home stay and no way a luxury accommodation. There are only three triple bedded rooms upstairs, which are basic but reasonably clean and most importantly having attached western style toilets. There is no TV in the rooms neither a geyser in the bathrooms. But they do provide simple immersion rods for heating up water. 

Rooms are however quite large and spacious. Room is the one at the end of common balcony… being a corner room, it has extra windows and nice views. While all rooms are quite clean, there is a problem of damping on the walls.

Visit:-

Every season has its own charm to relish in Latpanchar but to make most of the Latpanchar trip the best time to visit Latpanchar is between October and April. Between these times the weather in Latpanchar is pleasant and sky remains clear. It is also an ideal time for bird watching and trekking in Latpanchar.

Reach:-

Road: Siliguri is the gateway to the Dooars. Cooch Behar, being the headquarters of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, is well – connected by long distance bus routes to Siliguri as well as Kolkata, Jalpaiguri, etc.

Rail: There is a railway service connecting Cooch Behar with Kolkata via New Jalpaiguri. One can also avail the railway service via Alipurduar.

Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra, connecting Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati.

23.Bindu:-

Bindu is only 107 km from Siliguri. The last hamlet of West Bengal, Bindu is a valley encircled with hills of Bhutan and India on the banks of river Jaldhaka. It is a feast for the eyes and a stimulating experience for the mind. The road that leads to Bindu is in itself an unforgettable experience.

The Dooars area starts immediately after you cross the Tista River at Coronation Bridge. Bindu is where the Jaldhaka Dam is located, it is one of the oldest Hydro-electric projects between India and Bhutan. Tourists are not allowed to visit the Dam site but can see it from a distance. Three streams namely Dudh khola, Bindu Khola and Jaldhaka has met at the dam site. The dam used to create substantial electricity but due to heavy silting over the years, the project is said to have become sick now. However the site remains a major attraction for tourists.

Where to stay:-

Accommodation in Bindu is available at a few budget hotels that offer basic but homely atmosphere. Humro Home Paren is arguably the best place to stay in Bindu – Jhalong – Paren area. The small eco-resort is about 6 kms from Bindu Dam and about 3 kms from Jhalong market.

Visit:-

Every season has its own charm in Bindu but to catch the rare glimpse of snow capped mountains from the dam of Bindu, winter season from November to mid January when the sky remains clear is the best time visit Bindu. It is also the time when the migratory birds reside near Bindu.

Reach:-

By Road: Bindu is 106 kilometer away from Siliguri and easily excisable by road. NBSTC Buses, Bhutan Govt. Buses, Mini Buses, ATC Buses, Private Buses and Taxi are available from Siliguri to Bindu. Journey time may be 2 hours 30 minutes. Best option to visit Bindu from Siliguri is Taxi.

By Air: Nearest airport of Bindu is at Bagdogra, which is located 16 kilometer away from Siliguri. All major air services are available from all over India, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Kolkata.. You can find out various vehicles to come in Siliguri, and then follow the above road journey.

By Rail: New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Railway Station are main railway station in this area that connects Bindu with Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi. After you arrive at New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri, you can follow the road journey to reach at Bindu.

24.Santaleykhola:-

Suntalekhola is a small hamlet surrounded by dense forest. The forest lodge here with few cottages is very popular among nature lovers who want to spend a couple of days in complete silence in nature’s lap, enjoying the forests and watching different kinds of birds that are seen here. For other tourists who come here as part of a day visit, the main attraction is the suspension bridge over river Suntalekhola. You need to walk over that bridge to reach up to the gate of the WBFDC lodge.

The word ‘Suntale’ means orange and ‘khola’ is a stream. So this place gets its prominence from the many orange orchards around it and the stream flowing through it.

Where to stay:-

Suntalekhola Forest Resort run by WBFDC is located across the hanging bridge at Suntalekhola. The cottages here nestled in a lush garden setting surrounded by dense forest are very dear to nature lovers. Samsing Sunlaekhola Homestay is another nice homestay located at a scenic area in Suntalekhola with few rooms in a nice country house.

Visit:-

Samsing at a distance of 4km is the most famous tourist destination of Suntalekhola. Enclosed by lush tea gardens Samsing is another famous offbeat destination of Dooars.
Rocky Island is famous for its riverside camping in Dooars. Visitor can either partake in rock climbing and angling or they can simply enjoy the cool water of Murti.

Sited beside River Neora, Mouchuki with its astounding view of lofty hill is a favored picnic spots of Dooars. Samsing at a distance of 3km is another favored sightseeing destination for the tourist lodging in Suntalekhola (Samsing) Nature Resort. Enclosed by thick wooded forest, 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 backdrop view of lofty Mountain dotted with verdant forest Suntalekhola (Samsing) Nature Resort has enthralled the minds of many travelers visiting Dooars.

Reach:-

Suntalekhola Forest Bungalow is located at a distance of 80km from Siliguri. Suntalekhola (Samsing) Nature Education and Wilderness Resort, is easily assessable through New Mal Station. Located at a distance of 35km New Mal Junction is the closest railhead from Suntalekhola (Samsing) Nature Resort. Visitors can reach Suntalekhola (Samsing) Nature Resort by hiring a car or renting a car from the respective junction.

Dooars

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