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Dooars: Hidden Gem of West Bengal

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Derived from the Bengali word “duar” which means door or gateway, the mystic Dooars is the gateway to relax in the arms of nature. Surrounded by long stretch of forests, tea gardens, gushing river, and an array of flora and fauna, everything about this place is captivating.

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Did you know this entire area of Dooars was once controlled by Kingdom of Bhutan?  But after the Bhutan war of 1865, the British took over the control and split the area into two parts, Western Dooars (which eventually became part of West Bengal) and Eastern Dooars which is now a part of Assam.

It is a region full of diversity, rich in several wildlife forests and sanctuaries. With its huge area, the landscape, weather and beauty changes frequently. Winter temperature falls rapidly here, and the summer is soothing.

Its forests are perfect for you if you like to explore the wildlife. It’s home to one-horned rhinos, wild elephant, leopard, bison, seven types of deer, snakes, wild boars and different types of birds along with peacock at the dense forest.

How to reach?

Bagdogra airport is the nearest to Dooars. It is a small domestic airport well connected to the major cities of the country. Just 12kms from the town, taxies and buses are available from Bagdogra to Madarihat/ Dooars.

The New Jalpaiguri Railway station is just few kilometres away from the town, it is one of the biggest railway stations in the city and is well connected to nearby cities as well as key cities of the country. Another station, Madarihat is just 7km away from the Dooars.

Best time to visit

Known for having pleasant weather throughout the year, Dooars is best when visited in the winter season or early summer, i.e. between September and May. There are no rains, skies remain crystal clear and weather is perfect for visiting the sanctuaries and enjoying the beauty of nature. A tourism festival called ‘Teesta Tea and Tourism fest’ is celebrated with much fervour in winter.

Best time to visit doaars
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Do visit the Gorumara National Park, located in the lap of Himalayas, as it is one of the best protected area in India. It is famous for the population of one-horned Indian rhinoceros. The mixed vegetation of grassland and forest add beauty to the park’s scenery.

You can see Indian bison, rock python, leopard, wild boar, Deer, Malayan giant squirrel, and of course one-horned rhino. Different kinds of birds are there including peacock. Jangle safari is available here.

Gorumara National Park
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An extension of Gorumara on the north-eastern side of river Murti is Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary which is also popular among tourists for jungle safaris and wildlife spotting.

Then there’s Jaldapara National Park which is situated on the Alipurduar district, on the bank of Torsa River. Travellers from far and wide travel towards Jaldapara for its exquisite collection of birds. You might even spot some rare birds like Bengal Florican and Rufous Necked Hornbill here. Do not miss the elephant safari as well.

Apart from being home to many exotic birds, Jaldapara is also the only place where people of Toto tribe are found. Since 14th century the dense forest of Jaldapara is the home to the people of Toto tribe.

Visit the Buxa Tiger Reserve, which has the second-highest numbers of tigers after Sundarbans. Although there hasn’t been an official tiger sighting since 2002, you will be graced by the occasional presence of clouded leopard and wild bison.

For the more adventurous ones, there are various trekking routes through the thick wooded forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve. One such trail lead towards the ruins of Buxa Fort. You can also trek towards Lepchakha Village, which is the highest point in Buxa National Park. After a tedious uphill trek through the mixed forest of Buxa, you will reach this scenic hamlet. Also known as the “Queen of Dooars”, here you can witness the panoramic vista of the 12 rivers flowing through Dooars, which is a stunning sight.

Lepchakha Village
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Located along the bank of River Murti, is the Rocky Island of Dooars. As the name suggest it an island made up of gigantic rocks and is an ideal place for camping beside the river. Ah, just imagine camping under the starry night in the mystical hills of Dooars!

Rocky Island
Source: pix_roy

When in Dooars, you should also visit Bindu, the last village of Darjeeling district. It is a beautiful valley surrounded by the hills of India and Bhutan. While traveling towards Bindu, the green vegetation, tea gardens on both sides of the road and the sight of wildlife in some places make it a lifetime experience.

Lastly, you can visit Jhalong which is located on the bank of river Jaldhaka and is one of the most picturesque tourist destinations in Dooars. To enjoy the heavenly beauty of Jhalong’s forests, wildlife, and beautiful birds, one can stay in the forest bungalows beside Jaldhaka river. A popular spot for adventurers, bird watchers, and nature enthusiasts.

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Click here to check out five best places in West Bengal!

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