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Dooars, sprawled in the outer foothills of Eastern Himalayas is a nature bound destination in the West Bengal of East India. The origin of name Dooars is said to be from native word called “Duars” which means “Doors”. The verdant land of Dooars is situated along the Indo- Bhutan Dooars and it often acts as gateway towards Bhutan. The prime attraction of Dooars is the dense forest like Gorumara National Park and Jaldapara National Park. The protected area of Dooars is home of exquisite wildlife species and Toto tribe. Exploring the jungle in the back of an elephant and staying in forest cottages of Kalipur and Dhupjhora has become the famous things to do in Dooars. The lush subtropical forests in Dooars are dotted with meandering river streams, historical fort, astounding trekking routes and quaint forest hamlets. There are many places to visit in Dooars which showcases the amazing vista and abundance of nature.
Founded in 1895, Gorumara National Park is one of the prime tourist attractions of Dooars. Gorumara National Park is midsized park which is famous for its population of one horned Rhinoceros. Elephant safari and jeep safari is the main attraction of Gorumara National Park, While exploring the dense forest of Gorumara visitors will come across many watch tower which offers an amazing view of serene river stream meandering through the emerald green forest. The most popular watch tower of Gorumara National Park is Jatraprasad Watch Tower.
Lataguri situated in the vicinity of Gorumara National Park acts as the gateway towards this verdant forest. It is a quaint settlement located at a distance of 46km from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and 70km from Bagdogra Airport. With its unique location Lataguri acts as a base for many travelers to explore the wild side of Dooars. Apart from offering accommodation facility at the vicinity of Gorumara visitors in Lataguri will also come across a Nature Interpretation Centre. In the Nature Interpretation Center of Lataguri visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of Gorumara National Park. This serene town with its accommodation facility and unique location has become a must visit destination of Dooars.
Flanked along the river bank of Torsha is Jaldapara National Park another favored destination of Dooars. It was declared as a national park in 2012. Jaldapara National Park is reckoned for housing the largest population of Asiatic one horned rhino in India after Kaziranga National Park of Assam. Jaldapara National Park is located at a distance of 72km from Gorumara National Park. Apart from being the home of magnificent yet shy one horned rhinoceros Jaldapara is famous for its vast collection of exotic avifauna. The marshy land of Jaldapara creates an ideal environment for being the host of many migratory birds making it a birding paradise for avid birdwatchers. Jaldapara is also one of the few places in India where Bengal Florican can be spotted.
Sprawled in the foothills of Bhutan hill is another protected area of Dooars called Buxa. In 1983 Buxa was declared as the 15th Tiger Reserve of India. Buxa Tiger Reserve is famous for being the home of the many endangered species like Indian Elephant, Indian leopard, Bengal Florican and Royal Bengal Tiger. The dry deciduous forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve is dotted with astounding trekking route leading towards some pictorial and historical significant destination. Visitors can reach Mahal Cave a sacred cave dedicated to Lord Shiva and ancient Buxa Fort where freedom fighter were imprisoned for a short time with an easy trek in Buxa Tiger Reserve. The most favored and longest trek of Buxa Tiger Reserve is towards Lepchakha Village. Located atop the hill overlooking the Dooars forest, Lepchakha is a serene Drukpa village in Buxa Tiger Reserve. The trekking routes and historically significant destination of Buxa Tiger Reserve has made it a favored destination of Dooars for the adventure lovers.
South Khayerbari located at a distance of 10km from Madarihat is the first animal rescue centre of its kind in North Bengal. Famously known as “Royal Bengal Tiger & Leopard Rescue centre”, the South Khayerbari rescue centre also acts as a rehabilitation centre for the rescued animals. At the present time there are 18 leopards in South Khayerbari which were rescued from nearby tea garden and smugglers. Visitors can take a tour of South Khayerbari in battery operated cars and observe the rescued animals in their semi natural habitat. There is also serene river stream near South Khayerbari where visitors can indulge in boating.
Murti situated along the banks meandering river Murti is a scenically blessed river valley of Dooars region. It is located at a distance of 18km from Chalsa. Murti with its unique location has emerged as a popular adventurer’s hub of Dooars. Here, in Murti visitors can indulge in adventure activities like river side camping, trekking and angling. If visitors are looking to spend some lone time in the serenity of Mother Nature, the pictorial river valley of Murti is the perfect getaway destination in Dooars.
Chilapata Forest situated in the periphery of Jaldapara National Park is another luxuriant forest reserve of Dooars. Chilapata forest is located at a distance of 20km from Alipurduar town. Home of the Rabha Tribe, this verdant forest reserve is an important migration corridor in Dooars for the large herbivores animals like Indian Elephant and One horned Rhinoceros. Chilapata Forest is also famous for housing the ruins of Nalraja Garh or the fort of Nal King. Built in 5th the ruins of Nalraja Garh in Chilapata Forest still holds the remnants of Gupta Era. Chilapata forest with its ancient fort and migration corridor attracts archeologist and nature lovers from far and wide.
Enclosed with the luxuriant tea gardens is Samsing an offbeat destination of Dooars. Located at a distance of 80km from Siliguri Samsing is located at the vicinity of Neora Valley National Park. The unique location of Samsing has made it a base for exploring the virgin forest of Neora Valley National Park. Showcasing the impeccable blend of plain region and hilly terrain Samsing has captivated the mind of many travelers. At an elevation of 3000ft Samsing with surreal view and rustic style has become the perfect destination to find solace in Dooars.
Suntaleykhola located at a distance of 4 km from Samsing is another offbeat of Dooars. It is a quaint hamlet perched at an altitude of 930mt. The name of Suntaleykhola is derived from the Nepali language were the word “Suntaley” stands for “Orange” and “Khola” stands for “stream”. Surrounded by semi-tropical forest Suntaleykhola is dotted with astounding trekking routes. The Neora Valley Trek from Suntaleykhola has attracted many trekkers towards this serene hamlet. The trail leading towards Neora Valley is also famous for butterflying and bird watching. The view of sprawling tea garden and daunting hills is an added charm of visiting Suntaleykhola of Dooars.
Enclosed by meandering river stream of Murti River is Rocky Island an eco tourism hub in Dooars. It is located at a distance of 2km from Samsing. This pictorial island of Dooars is byproduct of gigantic rocks clustered in one place. With its unique landscape Rocky Island has emerged as an adventurer’s hub in Dooars. Here in Rocky Island visitors will find tent accommodation and they can also indulge in activities like rock climbing, river-side camping and trekking. Whether to experience the thrill of camping on the river banks of River Murti or to relish the surreal beauty of emerald green forest, Rocky Island of Dooars never ceases to amaze the travelers.
Best time to visit Dooars: Each season has its own charm to relish in Dooars. But October to March is the best time to visit Dooars. During this season the weather of Dooars is cool and pleasant. It is also an ideal time to spot the exotic migratory birding flocking from Central Asia and Ladakh. Every year from 15th June to 15th September the forested area of Dooars like Gorumara and Jaldapara remains close for the outsider so it is best to avoid traveling during this time.
How to reach Dooars: Located at a distance of 98km from Siliguri, Dooars is one of the easily accessible destinations. Visitors can either board a flight for Bagdogra from any major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai to reach Dooars. The distance between Bagdogra to Dooars is 15km. If visitors are traveling through railway route they can board a train for NJP. The distance between NJP to Dooars is 13km. But the most convenient way to reach Dooars is by taking a direct state bus from Kolkata to Jaldapara National Park. The distance between Kolkata to Jaldapara is 678km.