This offbeat destination is quite a popular region now which acts as a doorway to major Himalayan Wildlife habitats. It also acts as the gateway to the hills in India and Bhutan. It is the home of many exotic species and rich in the exquisite natural beauty. Major rivers like Teesta, Jaldhaka, Murti, Torsa etc. flow through this nitrate-rich valley. Dooars is a region full of diversity. With its huge area, the landscape, weather and beauty changes frequently from one place to the other. Tourists flock to this region to enjoy the beauty of the hills, rivers and forests. Winter temperature falls rapidly here, and the summer is soothing.
Dooars, 632 km north of Kolkata is connected by air, rail and road from Kolkata. A broad gauge railway service connects Siliguri and Cooch Behar via Alipurduar. Siliguri is the gateway to the Dooars. The journey time is approximately 10+ hours by rail or 45 minute by air followed by 1 hr by road. For the adventurous and those who really want to experience the beauty of nature and the changing landscape as you approach the Dooars, there is nothing like taking a road trip. The entire region is served with a network of motorable roads running through the deep forests and tea gardens. The place is well connected by long distance bus routes to Siliguri as well as to Kolkata, Jalpaiguri and other areas of the state.
The route to be followed from Kolkata is as follows
NH34 to Dalkola via Barasat, Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Plassey, Berhampur, Morgram, Farakka, Malda, Raiganj, Karandighi.
From Dalkola take the NH31 to Sevoke via Kishanganj, Islampur, Bagdogra, Siliguri.
Cuisines to Relish !!
While here you can savor to some of the lovely delicacies and It will not be a good idea to look for North or South Indian food around here though they might be available in the tourist lodge restaurants. Enjoy local food wherever you go. Be it momo, fresh fish pickle made of dry fish or fermented bamboo shoots, "Dak Bungalow" chicken or Chinese food. Roadside eateries in addition to serving local food also give you a choice of general food like puri bhaji or Bengali culinary fare. Most importantly, do not forget to experience the world famous tea here.
Places Must Visit
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Gorumara National Park
These are habitats of the rare one-horned Rhinoceros, the mighty Bison, Leopard, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Hog Deer, reptiles, huge wild Tuskers, Wild Boars and the rarest variety of animals and birds including plenty of Peacocks. Elephant safaris through the Jaldapara forest in search of wild animals, is a memorable experience. Numerous watch towers here allow you to take a real close look at wildlife. Moreover the scintillating light and sound show at Jaldapara guest house adds a wild thrill to your trip.
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Buxa National Park, in the subdivision of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri district, was set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. With an area of 759 sq km this picturesque reserve with its prodigious Terai, Bhabar as well as Hilly landscape, crisscrossed by numerous rivers and their tributaries, presents a breathtaking landscape. Buxa is rich with bio-diversity and has a great collection of rare orchids and medicinal plants. Because of inaccessible terrain some parts of Buxa hills in the Sinchula range are still unexplored. The veritable flora and fauna of these wet forests attracts tourists and nature lovers every year.
Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary
This place simply belongs to the winged beauties, the birds. The constant activity of these colorful creatures and the signature tunes of them make this waterbody a paradise for bird watchers. Boating in Rasikbil under the blue sky with birds flying everywhere or graciously swimming nearby is something beyond imagination. The bird variety includes cormorants, different varieties of storks, ibis, spoonbill, kingfisher, parrots and many others. There is also a large aquarium, a deer park and a crocodile rehabilitation centre at Rasikbil.
Raas Mela (November - December)
Raas Mela is the most ancient and traditional of all fairs. The celebrations commence from the auspicious day of Purnima in the month of Kartik according to Bengali calendar. This traditional fair goes on for 15 days.
The journey starts from Coronation Bridge. The first stop on the Dooars express, Mongpong, is a destination in its own right. Trek through the virgin forests or let the serpentine mud tracks vanishing into the deep woods beckon you on a voyage of discovery. And while you are at it let the moisture laden cool breeze with the fragrance of the forest uplift you.
At a distance of 40 km from Siliguri and 65 km from Jalpaiguri, Malbazar is one of the most important towns in Dooars. It is famous for its tea gardens and scenic spots and as a base of starting package tours to the hills and other places around. The Siliguri-Alipurduar broad gauge intercity express passes through Malbazar. This is one of the most beautiful train rides anywhere.
One can find here rare one-horned rhinoceros, the mighty bison, leopard, spotted deer, sambar, hog deer, reptiles, huge wild tuskers, wild boars and the rarest variety of animals and birds including plenty of peacocks. Elephant safaris through the Jaldapara forest in search of wild animals, is a memorable experience. Numerous watch towers here allow you to take a real close look at wildlife. Moreover the scintillating light and sound show at Jaldapara guest house adds a wild thrill to your trip.
Located beside the Murti river, this place has a lovely forest resort. With the nature's generosity at its best, the small village of Murti, by the side of the rivulet Murti, is a desired winter picnic spot for local residents.
The Chapramari forest, also a wildlife sanctuary, is located near the NH31 connecting the north-east with the rest of India. Chapramari is famous for its Elephant population. It is quite close to the Gorumara National Park.
At a distance of 82 km from Siliguri, it takes about 3 hours to reach Samsing from Siliguri through the most picturesque landscape. Beside Jaldhaka river, it is famous for it's scenic beauty, orange plantations and forest resort.
All around is a forest so deep and so green, it radiates an ethereal energy. Some of the roads here are so quiet that you can hear the crickets and birds distinctly even at 10 in the morning. Walking around here is a great experience as there is beauty hidden around in every corner.