To get any further information about tourism in Dooars please call – (M)09832507214

From Surgeon Rennie’s book ‘Bhotan and the story of the Dooar War’ published in London in the year 1866 we come to know that to reach Bhutan from the plains, the Doors came to be known as Duars. The area extended from the river Tista in Bengal to the river Manas in Assam. There is a total of 18 Duars ; 11 in Bengal and 7 in Assam.

A big portion of Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal is known as Duars. It should be mentioned here that on the 11th of November, 1865 at Sinchula hill, the Sinchula Pact ended the 2nd Bhotan War. In the year 1895-96 this area was surveyed by Mr. D.H.E. Sunder. Many importanMnformations are found in this most valuable Survey Report.

As per Rennie’s book ‘Bhotan and the story of the Dooar War 1 the Duars  are as follows:-

1. Dalimkot                                      Now in Darjeeling District,

2. Mainaguri                                  Now in Jalpaiguri District,

3. Chamurchi                                 Now in Jalpaiguri District,

4. Luxmi                                          Now in Jalpaiguri District,

5.  Buxa or Pasakha                       Now in Alipurduar Sub-Disision

6. Bholka                                         Now in alipurduar sub-division

7. Bora                                             Now in Kokrajhar District, Assam

8.  Ripo                                            Now in Kokrajhar District, Assam

9.       Chherang                              Now in Kokrajhar District, Assam

10.     Boorigooma                         Now in Darang District, Assam

11.     Bag or Choto Bijni               Now in Bijni District, Assam

12.     Kaling                                    Now in Darang District, Assam

13.     Shoorkolla                            Now in Kamrup District, Assam

14.     Gumor                                   Now in Kokrajhar District, Assam

15.    Bongska                                  Now in Kamrup District, Assam

16.    Chapaghori                            Now in Kamrup District, Assam

17.    Chapghama                            Now in Kamrup District, Assam

18.    Bijni                                         Now in Kamrup District, Assam

Some Facts about Dooars:

Jalpaiguri District was established on the 1st January 1869. During 1864-68 the Head Quarters of Buxa Tahsil was Alipur and from 1876 it became the administrative centre of Alipurduar Sub-division. In 1957 the municipal board was first formed in this town. In July 2006Alipurduar Sub-division reached 130 years of age.

During the Indo-Bhotan War of 1864 the British Army had Colonel Hedayet Ali with them and this portion of the Bholka Pargana was named after him. Some Facts about Duars: Area:

4750 sq. km. (app.) Forest area 1200 sq. km. (app.)

Average annual rain fall : 3160 mm (app.)

Temperature : Average highest 30.9° cel.

Average lowest 10° cel. Rivers :

Tista, Torsa, Raidak, Sankosh, Jaldhaka, Murti, Kaljani, Gadadhar etc.

Subdivision : Alipurduar, Malbazar, Tufanganj, Kalinpong

TOURIST CENTRES :

Jainti, Rajabhatkhawa, Buxaduar, Hatipota, Bhutanghat, Newlands, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Phanskhawa, Raimatang, Rangamati, Shikiajhora, Chilapata, Mendabari, Gorumara National Park, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Jhalong, Jaldhaka, Bindu, Paren, Malbazar, Meteli, Samsing, Suntalekhola, Nararthalibeel, Kalipur Eco. Village, Gorumara Elephant Camp, Chapramari Wilderness Camp, Khuntimari, Rasomoti Eco-Tourism, Rashik Bill Centre etc.

NOTABLE TREES :

Sal, Simul, Jarul, Champ, Gamar, Lali, Bahera, Katoosh, Maina, Teakj Sonalu, Khair, Panisaj, Chikrassi etc.

NOTABLE ANIMALS :

Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, Gaur, Clouded Leopard, Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer, Chital or Spotted Deer, Sambar, Hog Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Dog (Dhole), Pangolin, Squirrel, Giant Squirrel, Wild Cat, Civet Cat, Peacock, Red Jungle Fowl, Various Birds, Snakes, Butterflies & Insects.

IDEAL TIME TO TOUR :

All Seasons except Rainy Season. Although the Sanctuaries remain closed now, but the beauty of Duars during rainy season, in a word, is heart touching.

DUARS ON WHEELS

Dreamy green trees on the blue hills. In the middle of it, the flowing river reflects the picture of the herd of elephants, deer and rhino in morning and afternoon. The day starts here with the chirping of birds. At the end of the day, dusk drops in suddenly. You are to come to Duars again and again. From New Jalpaiguri to Alipufduar Junction, this 171 km. train travel will give you an enjoyable view of Duars, the moving bounty of Nature.

In a summer morning, I alighted a passenger train of this route. A neat and clean compartment. Started from New Jalpaiguri station. The train is moving idly. After some time it stops at Siliguri. Then we proceed from the bustling market-place to the land of silence. The green empire starts. Look at the sun-bath of two leaves and a bud. Sometimes the tea factories. See the tree-top houses, wherefrom the elephants are watched and driven out to save paddy and other grain fields. We reached the picturesque Gulma railway station. Amid hill, forest and river, this is a magical station. The train passed over the Mahanadi railway bridge. Coming out of a breech of a hill, the river flows accompanying the lonely forest. Now, there is little water in the river, but in rainy season it becomes furious. Now we enter Mahananda Sanctuary. In this 158.04 sq. km. Sanctuary, there is predominance of Champ, Odal, Minjiri and Khair trees. In the deep forest roam elephant, leopard, sambar and spotted deer. See some^ifehtened peacocks. And the speed of the train slows down. Through big trees, our train reaches the nature’s station of Sevok. It is a mind-boggling station. One likes to go down and get lost in the green below but the train moves again and goes over the Tista bridge. The curly waves in Tista river. Hills on both the sides. Many known and unknown trees. White patches of clouds moving hither and thither. In all, it is, as if, a canvass painted by some famous artist.

Suddenly darkness. We enter a tunnel. In railways, these tunnels live a seperate feeling. We come out of the tunnel and again enter pie world of light. The hide and seek c^the jungle-paths, the jhoras, the hills, the tea gardens, beauty is show-cased in every step. The train stops at Damdim, a small slttion. From here, one can go to Lava and Loleygaon via Gorubathan. I crossed tH rivers Leesh, Gheesh and Chel. Somewhere a thin flow of water, somewhere none, only the Sandy Land. On the river-bank, the meditative hills in rows. White patches of clouds there. After a few small stations comes Malbazar, a big station in this line. Being at the centre of many tea gardens and tourist centres, this is a very important station. Keeping Malbazar as the centre, you can see many viewable places of Duars. You can make a day-visit to Gorumara and Chapramari, having necessary permit.

The train is running. Through window, sometimes the front portion and llbietimes the back portion of the train can be seen on this serpentine railway track. Tea gardens on the hill steps touch.our heart, as there are on the banks of Neora and Kurti rivers. You will see the lines of tea workers plucking very fast. The rhythm of the plucking along with that of the moving train will be fused into a single tone. Thus we reach Chalsa station. Very near &is Meteli, a beautiful tourist spot. After Meteli, the cloud-covered Samsing and the beautiful Suntalekhola.

Sipping from the tea cups we see that we are goin|$ along the forest path of Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. In this 9.60 sq. km. sanctuary, there are lot of trees like Jarul, Sal, Lali, Chilauni and Kawla. And different species of wild animals like elephant, Indian Bison or Gaur, Leopard, Deer etc. On the branches of trees, plays a lot of birds like Lesser Adjutant Stork, Blossom headed Parakeet, Hornbill, Kingfisher, Snipe and Wild Fowl. We pass the Khunia morh level crossing. The black smooth asphalt road runs dividing the forest in two parts. At about 4 km. distance, you will reach the heavenly abode of birds, the Chapramari Forest Bungalow. .

From the fellow passengers I heard a pathetic fact of this region. Often the elephants are hit by running trains. Sometime back, an elephant came in front of a running train. The result was disastrous. It was killed. Teak, Gamar and Knachan trees are the witness alone. Now there are guard-walls along both sides of the railway lines. At the order of the High Court, there are corridors for the elephants to cross over the railway lines.

Hill after hill. The river Murti. Exceptional mixing of colours. A place to get oneself lost. Saw Jaldhaka river reflecting the blue sky. Nagrakata, Banarhat. Small stations, small settlements. The tribal women with their children tied on back are working efficiently.

Then the train runs by the side of the Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary. In this 216.51 sq. km. sanctuary there are Toon, Bahera, Sidha and other trees. In the deep forest there are One-horned Rhino, Leopard, Tiger, Gaur, different species of Deer and Wild Dog. Among birds, there are Greater Adjutant Stork, Indian Tree Pie, Hill myna, Blue throated Barbet, Bee Eater, Green Barbet, Harial etc. About 24 km. from Madarihat station, at Totopara, lives one of the world’s smallest tribal sect. – the Totoes.

At a little distance from Madarihat, looking at the gymnastics of the monkies, we reach river Torsa. After Tista, this Torsa from the far hills is something special. Toa-rosha’ is a Bhutani word. The meaning is ‘angry waters’ – Torsa is an abbreviation of the word Toa Rosha. The train now stops at Hasimara. From here, the Bhutan border is only half-an-hour’s journey. The next stop is the small Kalchini station with some tea gardens around it. At at distance of 23 km. from here, lies Raimatang. Hills and Forests. This is an attractive Tourist Centre of eastern Duars. Crossing Dima river we reach Rajabhatkhawa. Surrounded by forests, mere is a Nature Interpretation Centre. Once, in a steam-engined train, one could go to jainti via Buxa Road station. It was a very good journey from Rajabhatkhawa. But that railway service is no more. It has been shut down for the sake of the wild animals. Now lies the roadways only.

Now the train is slowly moving through the Buxa Tiger Reserve. Area 761 sq. km. The sanctuary area is 269 sq. km. and the National Park 117 km. Here you enjoy Nature’s beauty. The mysterious light and shade below the trees. In the two sides of the railway line, there are Teak, Chikrassi, Maina and Chalta trees. Birds like Paradise Flycatcher, Racket Tailed Drongo, Indian Roller, Scarlet Minivet, Wagtail, – more than 250 species of birds are here. Animals : Tiger, Elephant, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Barking Deer, Bear, Pangolin etc. There are varieties of Butterflies and insects. Our train journey ends at Alipurduar Junction. Coming out of the station, I saw the clouds floating over the blue Sinchula Range.

Some informations : Those who are interested in touring Buxa, Jainti, Raimatang, Jaldapara and Bhutan, should get down at Alipurduar Junction, if they by Kanchankanya Express. One has to get down at Malbazar if he likes to go to Chapramari, Gorumara, Murti, Samsing, Suntalekhola or Jhalong. One Inter-city Express and one Passenger Usain run regularly between New Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar Junction.

The Blocks in dooars:

  1. Kalchini, Jalpaiguri District
  2. Madarihat Jalpaiguri District
  3. Matiali Jalpaiguri District
  4. Gurur Bathan, Darjeeling District
  5. Dhupguri Jalpaiguri District
  6. Kalinpong I Jalpaiguri District
  7. Kalinpong II, Jalpaiguri District
  8. Nagrakata, Jalpaiguri District
  9. Kumargram Jalpaiguri District
  10. Alipurduar-I Jalpaiguri District
  11. Alipurudar II Jalpaiguri District
  12. Tufanganj II, Coochbehar District
  13. Falakata, Jalpaiguri District

1. KALCHINI, Jalpaiguri District

Total number of SHG : 1550

1st Grade: 1153

2nd Grade: 730

SGSY Groups: 1278

APL Groups :62

Interested SHGs in the Tourism Industry: 450

Working SHGs in the  Tourism Industry:20

SHGs Requirement: Training & Financial Support

Buxa Tiger Reserve Sanctuaries :

Area-761 sq. km.

Sanctuary – 269 sq. km.

National Park -117 sq. km.

Declared as Tiger Project in the year 1983

Location: In the district of Jalpaiguri,

West Bengal Altitude: 100m. to 1750m. Lat:26°30′ to 26 °55′North Long:89°20′ to 89°55′East Temperature: 070 to 12 °C in winter.

27° to 36 °C in Summer.

Situated at the north corner of West Bengal. This project contains Sal forests, Wet mixed forests, Semi-evergreen forests, Hill forests, Dry mixed forests, Riverine forests and Savannah. Among wild animals are; about 68 species of mammals, 41 species of reptiles, 250 species fo birds, 33 species of fishes, 500 species of insects etc.

Major Flora : Sal, Sissoo, Khair, Gamar, Kanjal, Sidha, Kumbhi, Champ, Simul, Pitali, Bahera, Amloki, Teak etc.. Kanjal, Malagiri, Lampati, Chalta, Jarul, Pipal, Kusum etc.

Major Fauna : The Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Gaur, Leopard, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Pig, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Fishing Cat, Common otter, Large and small Indian Civet, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Indian Pangolin, Indian Porcupine, Hispid Hare, King cobra, Rock Python etc.

Major Birds : Hornbill, Woodpecker, Babbler, Parakeet, Cuckoo, Orioles, Drongo, Thrushes, Green Pigeon, Large & Little Cormorants, Egrets, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Moorhen, White breasted Kingfisher, White breasted Water Hen, about ten kinds of Owls, Crested Serpent Eagle, Pariah Kite, Common Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, Doves, Mynas, Bulbuls, Hoopoe, Shrikes, Bee-eaters, Peacock, Jungle Fowl, Rollers, etc Rivers through this Park: Jaldhaka, Murti, Indong. How to reach: Nearest air port is Bagdogra, about 82 km. from the National Park. The nearest railway station is Chalsa, about 10 km. from the National Park. Malbazar 17 km. One can reach the National Park by Road from New Jalpaiguri, New Alipurduar

Census  

Species

1989

1992

1995

1997

Indian Tiger
33
29
31
32
Leopard
50
61
70
Indian Elephant
70
84
85
Gaur
80
310
Sambhar
50
80
Barking deer
301
920
Hog deer
50
110
Cheetal
75
480
Wild Boar
250
2600
Porcupine
35
Civets
315
Rhesus Macaque
22000
Peacock
2600
Jungle Fowl
5500
Monitor Lizards
120
Mongoose
320

Poaching Cases

Year

Species

No. of animals

1991
Nil
1992
Elephant
1
1993
Elephant
1
1994
Elephant
Pangolin
3
1
1995
Elephant
1
1996
Elephant
Leopard Chital Bison
3
1
3
1
1997
Elephant
1

Offence Cases & Illegal Timber seized

Year

No. of offence cases

Quantity of timber seized (m3)

1993-94
751
760.913
1994-95
818
647.112
1995-96
820
670.153
1996-97
1396
1219.862
1997-98
2402
1973.237
1998-99
April- Sept. 98
1340
921.808

Total

7527
6193.085

 

Special Projects   

New Initiatives

Eco-development

India Eco-development Project funded by World Bank under the Global Environment Facility is on in the Reserve. It contains components for improved P.A. management, village eco-development, extension and education, and research. There are 62 Forest Protection Committee (FPC)/ Eco-Development Committee (EDC) in and around BTR. The management is undertaking village eco-development on the basis of micro-plans prepared by villagers and forest personnel jointly. Currently, ecodeveopment activities as per micro-plan are being carried out by the 6 EDCs. Micro-plans for other villages are under preparation.

Protection Squads / Patrolling

Three mobile squads are currently operating in BTR. Most of the ranges have hired vehicles. All Range HQs are connected through R.T. Most of the important beats have R.T. sets. The management organises special camps on riverside during monsoon to stop theft through rafting. The management has three camps for Forest Protection Force in BTR.

Infrastructure and Facilities

Buxaduar and Rajabhatkhawa are two main centres for ecotourism. Enough dormitory accommodation is available. It is nature education tourism.

Education and Awareness

A Nature Education and Interpretation Centre has been established at Semadoh. Around 50 thousand people visit this centre annually. Two orientation centres at Akot and Harisal, and an interpretation centre at Amravati are also planned.

Tiger Estimate

Year

Adult

Sub-Adult

Cubs

Total

Male

Female

Male

Female

Unsexed

1989
17
16
33
1992
12
12
5
29
1995
5
5
10
8
3
31
1997
2
6
12
12
32

 

Railway Station :  Alipurduar Junction and Coochbehar station:

 

BUXADUAR

 

During the funeral of Tenzing Norgay, an eminent writer of North Bengal told Mr. Edmund Hillary about Buxaduar and its natural beauty. Hearing the description, Hillary told: “If you could tell this during Tenzing’s life-time, then perhaps, it would have been West Bengal and India’s one of the best tourist centres”.

From Santalabari or Santrabari, one has to trek about 5km. to reach 2600′ high Buxaduar. You can trek on the silent forest route to Katloong, Chunabhati, Lepchakha, Dasigaon, Tashidinka, Osloom, Omchupani, Rupong and Topgaon (5600′), the highest peak in Jalpaiguri District.

Here is the Buxa Fort. It has immense historical value. A duet of history and natural beauty. The Bhot word ‘Pashakha’ gave birth to Buxa as the door of entrance in Bhutan. Captain Samuel Turner said that the word Buxa came from the Hindi word ‘Bakshish’. From the time of East India Company the most important route to reach Bhutan’s, then capital Punakha and to the border of Tibet. In ancient times trade relations grew up between Bhutan & Tibet and Coochbehar & Rangpur. In 1772 Bhutan attacked Coochbehar and Coochbehar sought help of East India Company. Captain Jones won over and acquired Dalimkot, Chechakhata and Buxa Fort. Tibet came as a mediator and on the 25th April 1774 a pact was signed to end the first Bhutan War.

But due to continuous attacks and plunderings by the Bhutanese, Second Bhutan War started in 1864 and on the 1st of December that year col. Watson captured Buxa Fort. To keep vigilance on the Bhutan soldiers the British Govt, reconrstructed the old Fort to use it as their permanent army barrack and around three sides of it they constructed three Watch Towers: (1) North-West Picket (2) Mc. Dala Hill Picket and (3) Concealed Hill Picket. On the 11th of November  1865 Sinchula Pact ended the long standing second Bhutan War.

In 1930 the barrack was remodeled and transformed into a Detenue camp. About 150 political prisoners, leaders of Jugantar and Anushilon Party were detained here without trial. The ruins of this old Fort is still there. In the year 1931 the prisoners observed poet Rabindranath’s birthday and sent a letter to the Poet, who was then resting in Darjeeling. The Poet was greatly moved, wrote a poem and sent it to them. In October 1931 J.M. Sengupta came to Buxa with a message from Gandhiji. Troilakya Maharaj wrote a portion of his book ‘Swaraj in Geeta’ in this camp. The first phase of the camp was up to the year 1937. The second phase started in 1941 during the Quit India movement. From 1941 to 1946 there was a large number of bold and fire-brand freedom fighters.

JAINTI

The road goes north through deep forest. Very often you may find Elephant, Leopard, Pangolin and the flying birds, – Hoopoe, Blue Rockthursh, Hill Myna and many others. The Jainti river flowing below and beyond the river, rise rows of hills with clouds floating slowly. In the Mahakal cave you can see the unforgettable sight of stalactite & stalacmite.

At about 1100′ high Pukhri Hill there is a small lake of transparent water. You will hear the sound of cricket and see the flight of multicoloured butterflies.

RAJABHATKHAWA

It is said that after getting release from the hands of Bhutan Raj, Maharaja Dhoirjendra Narayan of Coochbehar first ate rice here. So the name Rajabhatkhawa. A small settlement surrounded by forests. About 15 km. north of Aliupurduar Town, it has a wild animal rescue and treatment centre, an Orchidarium and a Nature Interpretation Centre. You must come to this centre to know many unknown facts of the forests. You will like to roam at your will through its tree – shaded forest road.

RAIMATANG

This tourist centre is amid hills, forests and tea gardens. To stay in forest Rest House means taking shelter in ‘Nature’s lap. Alongside flowing the river raimatang. Sitting on the vernadh or on the lawn’s grass-carpet, you look at the blue hills which call you and you get lost within  yourself. Raimatang is about 47 K.m. from Alipuraduar via Kalchini.

LEPCHAKHA

Lepchakha is a small Drukpa village on a hilltop inside the Buxa Tiger reserve. The village is located close to Bhutan, the areal distance not being more than 2 to 3 kms. There is a boarder outpost of the security agencies here. The village has a very small population of about a hundred people.

The main attraction of Lepchakha is the view from the hilltop. There is a large ground where you can seat on a bench and be mesmerised by the view of Dooars in front. Almost the entire Buxa forest area is visible from here including every nook and corner. As many as seven rivers flowing through the Buxa forest can be seen from here. To your extreme left you can see river Sankosh followed by River Raidak, Jayanti, Bala and others. You can see Alipurduar town, Jayanti riverbed, Santalabari and the entire green cover in front of you. Turn around and behind you are the hills of Mahakal, Chuna bhatti and Rovers point which together makes for a great trek.

People of the village are also very unique. The Drukpa people are the original inhabitant of the place. These people are Bhutanese in origin and have unique culture different from the Nepalese who dominate lower part of the hills. The architecture of the Drukpa house is also unique.

2. MADARIHAT, Jalpaiguri District

Total number of SHG: 1314

1st Grade:1260

2nd Grade:815

SGSY groups: 999

APL Groups: 315

Interested groups in the  Tourism Industry:85

SHGs involved in the Tourism industry:04

SHGs Requirement: Training & Financial Support

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary:

Area: 216.51 sq. km.

Declared as sanctuary in the year 1941

Location: In the district of Jalpaiguri,

West Bengal Lat.:25°58 to 27°45′North Long.: 89°08′ to 89°55′East Temperature: 9° to 14°C in Winter

31° to 37°C in Summer.

This sanctuary is situated at the base of the Eastern Himalayas. There is Terai grassland. Northerr dry deciduous forest, moist mixed forests and reverine forests. More than 30 percent is grassland. In mis sanctuary, there are 33 species of mammals, 24C species of birds, 16 species of reptiles, 8 species oJ turtles, 60 species of fishes etc.

Major Flora : Sal, Shissoo, Khair, Simul, Siris, Sidha, Gamar, Kaola, Odal, Toon, Chilouni, Panisaj, Bahera, Pitali, Jarul, Chikrassi, Lali, Mandane, Bot, Dumur, Gokul etc.

 

Major Fauna : The Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Spotted Deer, Hispid Hare, Wild Pig, Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat, Leopard Cat, Large & Small Indian Civet, Indian Pangolin, Indian Porcupine, Indian Rock Python etc. Notable Birds : Hornbills, Parakeets, Barbets, Orioles, Drongos, Babblers, Woodpeckers, Cuckoos, Thrushes, Crested Serpent Eagle, Pied Harrier,  Thrushes, Crested Serpent Eagle, Pied Harrier, Fishing Eagle, Pariah kite, Red vented Bulbul, Military Bulbul, Hoopoe, Hill Myna, Small Bee-eaters, Chestunt headed Bee-eatrts, Large & Little Cifthorant, Lapwing, Moorhen, Egrets, White breasted Water Hen, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Greater Aijutant Stork, Peacock, Red Jungle Fowl, Owls, Nightjars, Sunbirds etc. Lesser Whistling Teal, Ruddy Shelduck etc. are the Winter visitors.

Rivers through this sanctuary : Hollong, Torsa, Malangi, Chira-khawa, Sissamara, Buri Torsa etc.

How to reach: Nearest Airport is Bagdogra, 155 km. from Jaldapara by Road. Nearest railway station Hasimara, Alipurduar Junction and New Alipurduar. From any station you can hire a car and straight to the sanctuary. It is situated beside the National Highway 31C. It is 140 km. by road from Siliguri, 50 km. from Alipurduar and 75 km. from Cooch Behar via Alipurduar.

TOTOPARA
Toto Para, 22 km from Jaldapara and 65 kms from Alipurduar, a small village on the bank of River Torsha near Bhutan border, famous for the Dooars aboriginals – the Totos. Totos are one of the most primitive tribe in the world. Totopara is the only place, where the Totos live.

3. MATIALI, Jalpaiguri District

Total number of SHG:499

1st Grade: 481

2nd Grade:218

Interested Groups in the Tourism Industry: 93

SHGs involved in the Tourism Industry:01

SHGs Requirement: Training & Financial Support

GORUMARA NATIONAL PARK

Area: 79.99sq.km.

Declared as National Park in the year 1994 Location: In the district of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal Altitude: 130 to 150 meters, Average Rain fall: 5650 mm. (app.)

Lat: 26° 4712.5″ to 26° 43′ 25.6″ North

Long.: 88° 52′ 4.2″ to 88°47 7.3″East

Temperature:    10 to 15 cm winter.

32° to 37 C in Summer. Situated in between rivers Jaldhaka and Murti. This National Park contains terai grassland, reverine forests , dry mixed forests, wet mixed forests and Sal forests. About 20 percent of this forest area is grassland and Savannah woodland. Among wild animals are : about 48 species of carnivores and herbivores, 193 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 27 species of fishes, 7 species of tortoises etc.

Major Flora: Odal, Katus, Lali, Simul, Siris, Khair. Kadam, Mandane, Latore, Sidha, Chickrassi, Neem

This is a notable tourist centre in the tourism map of India. It is about 10 km. from Chalsa. No problem if you cannot collect permit for night stay. You can collect pass for day-visit from Lataguri. There are wild animals like Elephant, The Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Gaur, Leopard etc. The Bungalow is amid green forest. Very often comes elephant, gaur and rhino in the river Indong. If you spend a night here, the night becomes wild. Often you awake at the shrill call of nightjar.

You must stay in the Forest Bungalow to get the sensation of wildlife. From the Bungalow, the Chance of seeing wild animals is very great. There is a watch Tower, named Jatraprasad, about one and half kilometer from the Bungalow. It you go to this Watch Tower and to Rhino Point, the mind becomes nostalgic. Green and green. As if, the sky is also green.

GORUMARA TENTS (NATURE STUDY CAMP)

This tent has been established recently by the side of Gorumara National Park on the bank of Murti river. This camp, near’Banani’- the famous tourist lodge of West Bengal Forest Development Corporation, is very useful. Many unknown facts will be revealed if this attractive opportunity is taken to know Nature, living within it.

There are experienced guides in this camp who bestow the necessary lessons. Bird watching and to know them, lessons on environment, the nature trails inside the National Park, befriending the tame elephants, to know them and other subjects. After the end of the day there is documentary film show on wildlife and arrangement of folk dance show. During various package of this camp, many species of birds and animals like elephant, deer, rhino and Gaur (Indian Bison) may be seen. Distance from Chalsa is about 10 km. and from Siliguri 72 km. Here is arrangement for 60 students and girl students to stay. The camp is open throughout the year.

GORUMARA ELEPHANT CAMP (DHOOP JHORA)

Deep forest in one side and in another side, the green carpet of tea gardens. Here, in this world of green, there are four cottages. A few steps away, on the tree top, there is tree-house. Everything for the staying of the tourists. To be free from the monotony of daily life and to fly free like the birds, the ideal place is Dhoopjhora or Gorumara Elephant Camp. On elephant back towards Kanjel Watch Tower, the path in the deep forest is very beautiful. The family outing of the elephants, the trots of the gaurs, the appearance of a rhino,- if luck favours, you may see all these. There are varieties of birds. Even you cannot see all of them, you can hear their sweet calls. Murti river is flowing by the Tower. Wishing to go on looking.

By the side of the Cottages there is the home of the tame elephants. You can feed them yourself. You will know many unknown facts about elephant, their likes and dislikes.

There is arrangement of buying various articles made by the local people. There is a workshop inside the camp compound. You can see them working. There is arrangement of tribal dance. If you spend a moon-lit night on the tree-top house, you will remember it for many a days.

CHALSA

The Queen of Dooras or Chalsa is filled with natural beauty. The forests in Chalsa have variety of wildlife. Chalsa has several forests, hills, and rivers that are good tourist attractions. The village is also popular for its beautiful tea estates

 

SANTALEYKHOLA / SUNTALEKHOLA

Mainly written as Suntalekhola / Suntaley Khola / Suntaleykhola is situated at an elevation ranging from 650 meters to 950 meters. A small valley on the in the side of the settlemnt is home to many varities of birds, butterflies. Like Bindu this is also an ideal place for overnight stay. The place is about four kilometers further up the road from Samsing. The road terminates here close to a small stream named Suntaley Khola (`Suntaley` means Orange and `Khola` means Stream). Jhalong, Suntaley Khola, Samsing, Chapramari, Today, Tangtey, Parren are some of the places worth visiting from Bindu and it’s also same when you stay at Parren and visit the rest of the places.  Nearly 4 kilometers from samsing forest bungalow, West Bengal Forest Development Coporation has a guest house with an option of tent accommodation. A small town called Jhalong is nearly 90 kilometers from Siliguri. Guiest can visit the hydro electric power station constructed on the river Jaldhaka. It is also a place for birding with birds like Pheasants, Cuckoos, Minivets, Flycatchers, Mynas, Orioles, Owls, Parakeets, Partridges, Sunbirds, Swallows, Swifts and Woodpeckers are the easiest to spot. Pond Heron, Black Eagle, Hill Partridge, Red-vented Bulbul, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Bronzed Drongo, White – throated Fantail, Blue Rock Thrush, Scarlet Minivet are rare but can also be spotted.

SAMSING

Bindu is a small settlement or a village situated at an altitude of nearly 700 meters on the India Bhutan border. These are lesser known hill stations and offer beautiful landscape and peace It is known for cardamom plantation and the journey through Chapramari Sanctuary is a pleasant experience. Gairibus a small settlement is on your way, Diascorrea – a medicine plant is grown and is also a beautiful place to stop for a while. It is very popular among the tourist. One can visit this places staying at Gorumara or Chalsa or Chapramari Forest area.

NEORA VALLEY

This Park stretches from Kalimpong or Lava to be precise till Dooars nearly 87 square kilometers.The beauty of the region especially the Neora Valley national Park lies in its tea gardens, hills and in the dense jungles that make up the countryside. Neora Valley is a part of Kalimpong forest division and stretches to the north of Dooars including few beautiful places and trek routes. It is famous for the Red Panda, Himalayan Tahr, goral, Clouded Leopard, Siberian Weasel, Himalayan Black Bear, Asiatic black bear, barking deer, gaur and pangolin. Avi fauna of the region includes the Monal pheasant, Hornbills, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Sparrow hawks and the Kalij Pheasant and is one of the hot spot for birding. Orchids and birds is the beauty of the park. Neora Valley is includes dense bamboo groves, Rhododendron trees, lush green valley, meandering rivers and streams with snowcapped mountains in the backdrop upto an elevation of 10600 feet The highest point is at Rechela Danda of Neora Valley National park and can be reached by trekking. Neora Valley has a few approach road main are the one through Lava via Kalimpong nearly 132 kilometers other route is from Siliguri Samsing via Chalsa nearly 100 kilometers. Please note that these places namely Rajabhatkhawa, Jayanti, Buxa, Chilapata, Rashikbill are remote places situated in the middle of forest hence the facilities available are very basic. One can trek to Mouchaki beat of Neora valley national park for a bird eye view of the plains of Dooars or else guest can simply take a quite stroll in the local Faribasti – a picturesque small hill village even to SuntaleyKhola.

KALIPUR ECO VILLAGE

The confluence of rivers Murti, Jaldhaka and Diana. A vastly open sandy land. A few quick turnings. The madding wind. Rows of blue mountains. Varieties of bird-calls as back-ground music. This is one side. On the other, lonely and peaceful forests of Gorumara National Park, full of various birds and animals. And here is a beautiful Watch Tower-Medhla.

From this Tower you can see mountains, rivers, forests, sandy lands and the playful clouds. You may see rhino, gaur, deer and lesser adjutant stork. Sitting here day after day, you will not get bore. The problem is that, you will not like to get down, if you once go up the tower.

For night stay, there is arrangement at Kalipur Eco Village. Literally adjacent to the forests, there are four brand-new cottages. Excellent dining. Loud shrill of cricket. After safari on elephant back, return to the tower. The road may block by elephants, the curious look of the rhinoceros, the folk dance and music of the local people. The opportunity of seeing their daily rituals. Discover yourself a bit different in the light of the fireflies at night. You may collect dolls, elephant, rhino etc. made of bamboo or wood, by the local artisans. You can roam in the village, if you like -example of an ideal’Village Tourism’, is this Kalipur.

4. GORUR BATHAN in Kalimpong Sub-Division, Darjeeling District

JALDHAKA

Under the deep blue sky, there are hills and hills and on one of it, lies the picturesque Forest Bungalow. Below the Bungalow the hilly river is flowing. You hear the sound of water smashing against the boulders and at the end of the day you would go to the land of sleep. Form the Bungalow balcony, you can see the green forest on the hills, the morning walk of mist. At the end of the morning walk it disappears and in a smiling face, the white chain of clouds bid you ‘good morning’. Think you to be a fairy tale ? Not at all. If you spend a night at Jaldhaka Forest Bungalow, the night will become a Nature’s poem. And in daytime, the Nature’s blue and green dream will keep pace with that poem’s rhythm.

From Khunia Morh to Chapramari Forest Bungalow road. Keeping forest Bungalow road to the left side and after Gpuribas of Kumai beat, lies Jhalong valley. Because of the Jaldhaka Hydro­electric Project, the whole is now known as Jaldhaka. From the top of the hill, the beauty of the blue Jaldhaka river is heart-touching. Small match-box like quarters, as if a picture postcard. On the hill above Rongbu river lies, below the Forest, Rest House where you must spend a night. Groups of cloud’s roam about, sometimes in Bhutan and sometimes in Indian sky. They need no passport.

BINDU

Bindu is about 12 km. from Jhalong. The first part of the Hydro-electric Project. On one side is India, on the other ‘Bakbake1 of Bhutan. The water is, as if, boiling here. Frothy waves. Water particles are flying like cotton-flakes. In sunlight you see rainbow colours in it. If you go up the Dam, you will not like to come down. Two more rivers have met here with Jaldhaka. Beauty is spread on every step. From the other bank of the river, the scene of India is extra-ordinary.

PAREN

A small hilly settlement. In between Jhalong valley and Bindu, a fantastic Tourist centre. If Suntalekhola is Nature’s last station, then Paren is the waiting-room of that station. At a considerable height from Paren, at the end of the forest and inside the Pine trees, there are two cottages at this moment and two more are about to be complete. No body is there. Only we want to get ourselves lost.

5. DHUPGURI

Total number of SHG: 3439

1st Grade:3439

2nd Grade: 1947

SGSY Groups:3389

APL Groups: 50

SHGs interested in Tourism Industry: 64

SHGs involved in Tourism Industry:01

SHGs Requirements: Training & Financial Support

KHUNTIMARI

Silent nature. Only forest and forest. Pierching the forest flow Madhubani, Amba and a number of    rivers & jhoras which contain water for the whole year. So, a very favourite area for the elepharifc. Sometimes Gaur (Indian Bison) is also found. There is a good number of Hornbill, Peacock and other birds. Amid the environ there is the Forest Bungalow. At a little distance is Gossaihat Eco Park. In the picturesque clear water there is arrangement for boating. At the end of the water-body, is the Watch Tower, wherefrom you can enjoy nature’s touching beauty. In winter comes the migratory birds, – Ruddy Shelduck, Lesser Whistling Teal, Cotton Teal etc. And always you will hear the calls of different birds.

 

6. KALIMPONG I in Darjeeling District

 

LOLEYGAON

 

Where the clouds will talk with you. Rows of deep blue hills. Hill roads are always beautiful. More beautiful when the hills are covered by green apron. The hilly forest road from Lava to Loleygaon, shaded by Dhoopi and other trees will at once attract the travel-lovers’ mind. Sometimes the clouds enter the vehicle through its windows. At about 5520″ elevation, Loleygaon is gold – mine of beauty.

 

 

 

The Jhandidara sun-rise point is not easy to forget. From ‘Canopy Walk’ you get a bit separate type of feeling. For night-saty, there Forest Department’s Nature Education & Wilderness Resort’s cottage. At night, the clouds will touch the window-panes and go to the forests and hills. When at dawn, the first ray of the sun will enter your room through the window-panes and awake you, then on looking outside, you cannot understand, what is more beautiful, – the past dreamy night or this morning of reality ?

7. KALIMPONG II in Darjeeling District

LAVA

Here you will talk with clouds. Rows of deep blue hills. On the hills, the serpentine road vanishes in the dreamy green Pine forest. Here, the Dhoopi trees (Criptomaria japonica) seem to touch the sky. Fog roams in this mysterious forest. The play of cloud fill the mind. You can see sun-rise from Tifindarah. For the whole year you can enjoy the supreme beauty of Chhange Falls. From the gorgeous Lava Monastery, you can see the 7200′ high Lava’s moving live picture. The Forest Rest House under big Dhoopi trees is really mind-touching.

 

NAGRAKATA:

 

Total number of SHG : 772

1st Grade: 772

2nd Grade:521

Interested SHGs in the Tourism Industry: 64

SHGs involved in Tourism Industry:01

SHGs Requirement: Training & Financial Support

CHAPRAMARI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

From Chalsa via Khunia Morh, through beautiful forest, you reach Chapramari Forest Bungalow. The Watch Tower is nearby. Sipping tea or Coffee you may see wild animals who come at the pond in front to drink water or to lick salt. If you stay at night, you will awake at the call of the birds, You will see Parakeet, Kingfisher, Indian Roller, Green Pigeon, Red Breasted Parakeet and many other birds. We all should love animals, birds and insects.

From Chalsa, the Chapramari Forest Bungalow is at a distance of about 15 km. On this road you will often see elephants. The first time I went to Chapramari, I saw two Gaurs standing near the salt­lick, with their in opposite direction. As if they were annoyed with each other. With a 300 mm. lense in my camera, I caught that amusing scene.

CHAPRAMARI WILDRNESS CAMP (PANJHORA)

Chapramari Wilderness Camp has been formed at  Panjhora with Chapramari Sanctuary as the centre. At the hilly area there are 4 cottages on the bank of the river Murti, Amon, Kaveri, Kironraj and Jonardon. A good dining place. In front is a green lawn, wherefrom the scene of the river, hill and tea garden is enjoyable. Just by the cottages there is a hillock, over which there is enchanting forest. But one should never go there except on a car. One cannot say, when the elephants will arrive! So, it is better not to go on foot. The whole area is surrounded by electric wire.

If you night-stay here, there is arrangement of going near the Watch Tower, in front of which there is a water body where at dawn many wild animals may be seen who come to drink water or to lick salt. At dawn and in the afternoon, various kinds of birds are seen. You can hear their various calls. And there is arrangement of tribal dance, the music and dance of some local people attiring gorgeous dress. The exchange of culture. Sometime ago I saw the bathing scene of the wild elephants from the Watch Tower. Saw peacock, Kingfisher, Cormorant, White Eye Buzzard and other birds. At the approach of dusk, I heard a bird calling from a distance and I thought to go near it at once and on its wings. But that is not possible. So I returned to Panjhora with that sweet call in mind.

  1. KUMARGRAM

 

Total number of SHG : 2079

1st Grade: 2079

2nd Grade:1861

SGSY :1986

APL:93

Interested groups in Tourism Industry: 300

Working SHG in the field of Tourism Industry: 01 ( Place=Raidak)

SHGs Requirement: Training & Financial Support

RAIDAK

Flowing throough deep dforest, rivers Shuknajhora, Thandajhora, Baghora and dhawlajhora. In the forest rest house can feel the beauty fo the sleeping forests. You can see the Chhipra forest and Nararthalibeel. On the watch tower the mind goes back to the goldern childhood days. In winter you will see mayny forest birds.

HATIPOTA

This Tourist Centre is about 15 km. from Raidak. Blue hills covered by green forests. There, on this canvass, play various colour of clouds. Throughout the day this change of colours continue from hill to hill. The mind is filled up with a sublime joy.

PHANSKHAWA

In one side, the tea garden extended upto the horizon, and in another, the rows of hills and in the middle, the picturesque Bungalow surrounded by tall Pine Trees. The river Phanskhawa flowing below. Sitting on some big boulder in the river, you look at the hills and Nature comes inside your mind.

BHUTAN GHAT

Bhutanghat, 45 km from Alipurduar, is famous for scenic beauty is beside River Raidak bordering Bhutan. From the rest house set amidst the natural landscape, one can enjoy the sight of wild animals crossing the river or grazing in the forest glade near the bungalow. Raimatang: A 45kms drive through the forest and teagardens via Kalckhini near Hasimara will take you to Raimatang, a picturesque little forest bungalow surrounded by small hills and streams.

  1. Alipurduar-I

Total number SHG: 1891

1st Grade: 1878

2nd Grade: 983

SGSY  Groups:1684

APL Groups: 207

SHGs interested in the field of Tourism Industry: 65

SHG engaged in the Tourism Industry: 01

SHGs Requirement: Training & Financial Support

CHILAPATA

Chilapata is a dense forest on the way to Cooch Behar and is located around 20 km from the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. While visiting this forest, tourists can find the ruins of thousand year old fort built by Nal King. This fort is situated deep inside the forest and has historical and archaeological importance. The fort was built in the 5th century, during the Gupta Empire and the ruins depict the heritage of the Golden Age of India.

This dip and dark Chilapata forest is home to elephants and leopards. At any given time, less than three vehicles are allowed in this forest for security concerns.

Another major attraction at Chilapata is the “Nalrajar 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 archaeological importance and reminds one of the golden age in the history of India. The site is not maintained very well at present and wildlife sighting at this place is not unusual.

Forest Safaries:

There are forest safaris available inside forest which you can avail. The safari would take you inside the forest and wild life sighting is most common. There are forest villages inside such as Kodalbasty where forest cover is thinner and Elephant sighting is regular. The CC Line is located close to Torsa river bed. The wide river bed offers view of a stretch of several kms and sighting of Gaur (Indian Bison), Elephant and Rhino is common apart from smaller animals such as Deers, Birds of wide variety and others. You can also visit Mendabari village where there is a watchtower for animal sighting.

 

Places Around : Hasimara is the town adjacent to the forests of Chilapata and has a Indian Air force base.

The Bhutan boarder town of Jaigaon / Phuentsholing

Bhutan boarder town of Jaigaon / phuentsholing is about half an hours drive from Hasimara. Many tourists visiting Bhutan by road prefer to stay at Chilapata overnight before entering Bhutan.

Buxa Tiger Reserve is also nearby. Rajabhatkhawa is about 30 kms away.

Alipurduar is the most important town in the area and a major railhead is about 45 minutes drive.

 

To reach Chilapata:

By Flight
As for rest of Dooars, the forests of Chilapata can be reached from Bagdogra Airport about 160 kms away (3.5 hours drive). There is another airport at Coochbehar (about an hours drive), but regular flights from Coochbehar are not available.

Rail
Hasimara is the nearest rail station about 10 kms away from Chilapata. Alipurduar is a major rail junction (20 kms). Most trains traveling to North East pass through and stops at Alipurduar. New Jalpaiguri is the most important rail station located at a distance of 155 kms (3.5 hours)

Road

The National Highway criss-crosses Dooars. Hasimara town is located on the highway. From here the road towards the south passes through Chilapata forests.

There is another route passing through the southern part of Dooars and going to Coochbehar and Alipurduar from Jalpaiguri via Falakata. On this road there is a place called Sonapur crossing. From here the road going towards North reaches Chilapata forests through Mathura Tea Garden.

 

*** Sources -

1. ‘Enchanting Duars’ by  Apurba Ghosh, Alipurduar

2. www. projecttiger.nic.in

3. www.dooarstourism.com