The Dooars or Duars are the alluvial floodplains in northeastern India that lie south of the outer foothills of the Himalayas and north of the Brahmaputra River basin. This region is about 30 km wide and stretches over about 350 km from the Teesta River in West Bengal to the Dhanshiri River in Assam. The region forms the gateway to Bhutan. It is part of the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion.
Dooars means doors in Assamese, Bengali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, and Magahi languages. There are 18 passages or gateways between the hills in Bhutan and the plains in India. This region is divided by the Sankosh River into Eastern and Western Dooars, consisting of an area of 880 km2 . The Western Dooars are also known as the Bengal Dooars, and the Eastern Dooars also as the Assam Dooars. Dooars is analogous with the Terai in northern India and southern Nepal.
The Dooars is a large region and comprises of many towns and cities. The largest city in the whole region stretching from the Darjeeling foothills to the Arunachal Pradesh foothills is Siliguri. This northern Bengal city is well connected with the rest of country by road, air and railway and is the business hub of the region. The other major cities are Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Goalpara, Barpeta and Dhubri in Assam. Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Malbazar, Mainaguri and Birpara are the major cities of the Dooars in West Bengal, and Kishanganj in Bihar. Also, the commercial capital of Bhutan, Phuentsholing, near Jaigaon, can be considered a part of this region.
The Dooars belonged to the Kamata Kingdom under the Koch dynasty; and taking advantage of the weakness of the Koch kingdom in subsequent times, Bhutan took possession of the Dooars. This region was controlled by the kingdom of Bhutan when the British annexed it in 1865 after the Bhutan War under the command of Captain Hedayat Ali. The area was divided into two parts: the eastern part was merged with Goalpara district in Assam and the western part was turned into a new district named Western Dooars. Again in the year 1869, the name was changed to Jalpaiguri District. After the end of the British rule in India in 1947, the Dooars acceded into the dominion of India and it merged with the Union of India shortly afterwards in 1949.
The climate of the Dooars plains is similar to that of the remaining districts of North Bengal. But, it has a longer winter and heavier rainfall, due to its proximity to the hills.The summer temperature varies between 21.3°C (Min) to 31.6 °C (Max) . This season witnesses a rise in the temperature. from March onwards and the summer season lasts until June. However, this season is not considered as the best time to visit by tourists.The winter temperature ranges between 10.7 °C (Min) to 23.6 °C (Max). Temperature starts falling from October and winters hit Dooars. In this season, rainfall becomes scanty and weather remains pleasant. The rainy season in this area sets in from the month of June with the arrival of south-west monsoon. The region receives highest rainfall during the months of July – August. Monsoon begins in July and lasts till September. In this season, most of the sanctuaries remain closed. But, if you wish to avoid the crowd and wish to view lush green forests, these months are the best. The greenery and constant rain make it the idyllic season to visit. Dooars can be visited throughout the year, although the best time considered to visit Dooars is between mid-September to May.
Doars has a variety of eating places and multi cuisines to offer to tourists who mostly come from West Bengal, or other parts of India and also from overseas countries. There are a lot of mutlicusine and specialized restaurants to cater different types of foods. Besides typical Bengali foods are also available. Fish, rice, potatoes are the most staple food in the region
Site seeing in Dooars
is a small forest village within Buxa Tiger Reserve in Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. It is located along the Jayanti River, forming a natural border with the Bhutan hills. It is popular with hikers for its beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and wild fountains.The 13 km trek from Buxaduar to Jayanti is especially popular, passing through the dense forest of the Buxa Tiger Reserve.
Jayanti also features a stalactite cave known as the Mahakal cave. The caves are hundreds of years old and have a lot of unknown history attached to them.If you do not have a fear of closed spaces, then after navigating many tunnels and ladders, you will land in the middle of the cave. A small Shiv temple if present there. Needless to say, it is very popular among devotees. The temple has a fantastic view of the nearby hills.
The nearest railway station is Rajabhatkhawa on the New Jalpaiguri-Alipurduar-Samuktala Road Line.
is a village in the Alipurduar district.It is 45 km away from Alipurduar in West Bengal and is located near the Bhutan border. The name Bhutanghat is known for its scenic beauty and the swift flowing River Raidak. Basically it is located in a mountainous landscape, fringed by hills and covered with elegant green forest. It is best to stay here during monsoon or just after the rains. Most of the tourist visit here only during the day time and before nightfall they return towards their base in Alipurduar, Jayanti, Rajabhatkhawa buxa and other places in the evening. It is an ideal tourist destination for adventurous nature lover tourist and is often serves as an elephant corridor. It is also known to be an extension of the Buxa Tiger Reserve. It is popular for endangered species of animals like tiger, rhinoceros, elephant and other animals include different types of deer, bison, birds and reptiles. The river Raidak itself is the main way for exciting bird watching where tourist can see different species of birds else their melodious note. Bhutanghat road is well connected by roads to rest of India and NH31 is the main high way of the area known for its scenic beauty and pleasing environs. The trekking towards Bhutanghat from Raimatang is quite interesting as there is more chance to see lots of environmental activities.
Buxa Fort is located at an altitude of 867 metres (2,844 ft) in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, Alipurduar district, West Bengal. It is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Alipurduar, the nearest town. The Bhutan King used the fort to protect the portion of famous Silk Route connecting Tibet with India, via Bhutan. Still later during unrest in Occupation of Tibet, hundreds of refugees arrived at the place and used the then abandoned fort as refuge.
Its origin is uncertain. Before the occupation of the fort by the British, it was a point of contention between the King of Bhutan and the Cooch Kings. The British on invitation of the Cooch King intervened and captured the fort which was formally handed over to the British on November 11, 1865 as part of Treaty of Sinchula. The British reconstructed the fort from its bamboo wood structure to stone structure. The fort was to later be used as a high security prison and detention camp in the 1930s; it was the most notorious and unreachable prison in India after the Cellular Jail in Andaman. Nationalist revolutionaries belonging to the Anushilan Samiti and Yugantar group such as Krishnapada Chakraborty were imprisoned there in the 1930s. Forward Bloc leader and ex-Law Minister of West Bengal, Amar Prasad Chakraborty, was also imprisoned at Buxa Fort in 1943. Besides, some communist revolutionaries and intellectuals like the poet Subhash Mukhopadhyay were captivated here in the 1950s.
Buxa tiger reserve is a 760-square-kilometre tiger reserve located inside the Buxa National Park in the Buxa Hills of the southern hilly area of Bhutan. Animals found in the park include, the tiger, civet, elephant, gaur (Indian bison), Indian boar and red jungle fowl.
Buxa Tiger Reserve was created in 1983 as the 15th tiger reserve in India. In 1986, Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary was constituted over 314.52 km2 of the reserve forests. In 1991, 54.47 km2 was added to Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary. A year later, in 1992, the Government of West Bengal declared its intentions to constitute a national park over 117.10 km2 of the Buxa Wildlife Sanctuary. State government finally declared national park .More than 450 species of trees, 250 species of shrubs, 400 species of herbs, 9 species of cane, 10 species of bamboo, 150 species of orchids, 100 species of grass and 130 species of aquatic flora including more than 70 sedges have been identified so far. There are more than 160 species of other monocotyledons and ferns. The main trees are sal, champa, gamar, simul and chikrasi.
There are more than 284 species of birds, 73 species of mammals, 76 species of snakes and 5 species of amphibians have been identified so far. In a recent survey (2006) it was found that Buxa Tiger Reserve has the highest number of fish species in the North Bengal region. Tiger, bear, giant squirrel, gaur, chital, clouded leopard, wild buffalo, antelope and snakes including the regal python are found here.
Endangered species found in the reserve are Indian tiger, Asian elephant, leopard cat, Bengal florican, regal python, Chinese pangolin, hispid hare, hog deer, white-rumped vulture , slender-billed vulture , chestnut-breasted partridge , rufous necked hornbill , ferruginous pochard and great hornbill
From Buxa, one can also take the 13 km trek route for Jayanti via Mahakal Cave through the dense jungle (subjected to get permission from BTR). An expert guide and entry permit are must for trekking in Buxa hills. One may visit the very beautiful village of Dukpas called Lapchakha (1.5 hour trek) from Buxa Fort. The tribe Dukpas (Indo-Bhutanese) lived in eleven hamlets of Buxa Hills which mostly located in hilly jungles of Buxa Tiger Reserve at altitude ranging from 2400–6200 feet. Another entry point Rajabhatkhawa (17 km from Alipurduar) has an orchidarium, and a nature interpretation centre. One can go for a circular trek from Buxaduar via Chunabhati-Adma to Raimatang. This is actually 8 hours tough trek with an expert guide but usually trekkers prefer to make it as a 3-day comfortable trek to understand nature and the ethnic culture of this region.
The following trekking routes are popular among tourists and nature lovers –
•Santalabari to Buxa Fort 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
•Buxa Fort to Rovers point 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)
•Santalabari to Roopang valley 14 kilometres (8.7 mi)
•Buxa Fort to Lepchakha 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)
•Buxa Fort to Chunabhati 4 kilometres (2.5 mi)
is a sub-divisional town, a municipality in Jalpaiguri district, in West Bengal, India. It lies about 65 km from Jalpaiguri and 55 km from Siliguri. Before 1947 Malbazar was a very small place, mainly known for its tea gardens mostly owned by British people. Those tea gardens had a few Bengali white collar employees and the work force consisted of tribal people.
After independence of India as well as partition of Bengal refugees from the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) started to settle here by cutting down forests. By that time, Dr. Narayan Chandra Bannerjee, Dr Amalendu Biswas (came from Pabna), Dr Tarak Mukherjee, Shri Nripendra nath Choudhary who came there from Dacca established this city. Bannerjee had earned a lot of respect for his effective medical treatments and social services. He took initiatives to get the refugees settled there in an organised way. As a result, some colonies came up.Places of tourist interest includes the following:
•Mal and Neora river
is a 309 km (192 mi) long river flowing through the Indian states of West Bengal and Sikkim through Bangladesh before emptying to the Bay of Bengal. It carves out from the verdant Himalayas and Singalila in temperate and tropical river Valleys and forms the border between Sikkim and West Bengal. It flows through the cities of Rangpo, Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong and joins the Jamuna (Brahmaputra) in Bangladesh.It drains an area of 12,540 km2 (4,840 sq mi).
is a Small Village in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal state, India near the border with Bhutan. It is located at 26° 45' 0N latitude and 89° 20' 60E longitude at an altitude of 109 metres above sea level and has a population of about 40,000 (2001 census).
also known as the Sevoke Bridge, in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, spans across the Teesta River, connecting the districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. National Highway 31 runs across it.
It was named to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937 and was completed in 1941 at a cost of Rs 4 lakhs. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by John Anderson, the-then Governor of Bengal in 1937.
Locals call the bridge Baghpool, meaning tiger bridge, because of the two lion statues (bagh actually means tiger) at one entrance of the bridge. John Chambers, the last British executive Engineer of the Darjeeling Division Public Works Department (PWD), carried out the design, drawing and planning of the bridge. Messrs J.C. Gammon, from Bombay, was the contractor. The bridge was built on the Reinforced Concrete system. Since it was not possible to obtain support from the Teesta river bed due to the depth and current of water, the entire bridge was supported by a fixed arch, which had its two ends fixed on rock layers on either side of the river.
is a border town in southern Bhutan and is the administrative seat of Chukha District. The town occupies parts of both Phuentsholing Gewog and Sampheling Gewog.
Phuentsholing adjoins the Indian town of Jaigaon, and cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy. The town has the headquarters of the Bank of Bhutan previously but shifted to Thimphu.
is a small town situated just on the foot of the Himalayas in the Duars in Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. 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. Nearby forests are residence of a good collection of elephants and rhinos. It is situated on the way towards Birpara or Alipurduar from Siliguri via Malbazar. It takes around 1.5 hours from Siliguri both on road and railways. It is 60 km from Bagdogra airport.
Chapramari Wildlife sanctuary
located at a distance of about 20 km from the Gorumara National Park, this Wildlife Sanctuary is another spectacle of nature's magnificence. With Kanchanjungha and other Himalayan peaks painted across its backdrop, tourists can see a wide diversity of animals like elephants, gaur, leopards in their natural habitat.
Do not visit the Sanctuary in the rainy season as it stays closed to visitors from June to September. Overnight accommodations are also available in the Rest House
is a small town situated just outside the Buxa Tiger Reserve in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. It is known for its natural environment, and is surrounded by forest. All the permits for the entry to the Buxa Tiger reserve can be taken from here. The name of the place literally means the place where the king had a meal. The folklore is that the kings of the princely state Cooch Bihar used to come here for having picnic in the forests.
Jaldapara National park
formerly Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a national park situated at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Alipurduar District of northern West Bengal and on the banks of the Torsa River. Jaldapara is situated at an altitude of 61 m and is spread across 216.51 km2 (83.59 sq mi) of vast grassland with patches of riverine forests. It was declared a sanctuary in 1941 for protection of its great variety flora and fauna. Today, it has the largest population of the Indian one horned rhinoceros in the state, an animal threatened with extinction, and is a Habitat management area (Category IV). The nearby Chilapata Forests is an elephant corridor between Jaldapara and the Buxa Tiger Reserve . Near by is the Gorumara National Park, known for its population of Indian rhinoceros. The forest is mainly savannah covered with tall elephant grasses. The main attraction of the park is the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. The park holds the largest rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Other animals in the park include Indian leopard, Indian elephants, sambar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild boars, and gaur.
Jaldapara is 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 be found here are the crested eagle, shikra, jungle fowl, peafowl (peacock), partridge, and lesser pied hornbill. Pythons, monitor lizards, kraits, cobras, geckos, and about eight species of fresh water turtles can also be found here.
Many of the animals in the park are endangered, like the Indian one-horned rhino and elephants.
the river is best known as Jaldhaka river, in earlier times, is a trans-boundary river with a length of 192 kilometres that originates from the Kupup or Bitang Lake in southeastern Sikkim in the eastern Himalayas and flows through Bhutan and the Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts of West Bengal, India. At that point the river enters Bangladesh through the Lalmonirhat District and then joins with the Dharla River until the Dharla debouches into the Brahmaputra Rivernear the Kurigram District. Due to the wandering of the river over several international borders, only a small length of the river lies within Bangladesh.
Sumsing & Suntalekhola
81km from Siliguri, this place is considered heaven for Nature lovers, two forest bungalows in the middle of a forest, with hills in the backdrop and the constant splashing noise of the numerous streams as they flow, step out of the bungalow and listen to early morning chirping of birds and whispers of the forest as it tells something to the noisily moving river water.
Gorumara National Park is 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 to Dooars. Spread over an area of 80 square kilometres, this medium sized forest is situated in the foothills of the Great Himalayas and has a large variety of flora and fauna on display for the curious visitors, nature lovers and wildlife photographers, who visit the place to catch a glimpse of the miraculous workings of nature. Full of riverine grasslands and moist deciduous forests, the place is especially famous for its Asiatic one-horned rhino, but also houses many other mammals, reptiles, insects and birds, including the majestic Asian elephants, the royal Bengal tigers and the Great Indian Hornbill.
Indian Wild Dogs, Giant Squirrels, Wild boars, deer, cobra, python, woodpeckers and a variety of other species can also be easily spotted here. 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.
Declared as the best-protected area in India by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2009, the national park also offers a myriad of safari options, wherein spotting of animal is not uncommon. The place is a beautiful one to spend a few hours in peace and solitude, to live in harmony with Mother Earth, and to appreciate the glorious bounties that it bestows upon humankind so generously.