Gorumara National Park
It was declared as a National Park in the year 1992. Earlier in the year 1949 it was known as a wildlife sanctuary, river Murti, Jaldhaka and Ingdong drains this park forming a water body known for birding. This national park is famous for the breeding of the rare one - horned rhinoceros. Elephant ride and Jeep safari can help you spot the mighty bison, leopard or spotted deer and peacocks. The other mammals found here are, sambar, hog deer, reptiles, huge wild tuskers, wild boars and the rarest variety of animals and birds. It is a paradise for lovers of nature and adventurer. Nearby there are many a spot to visit. Watchtowers at Chuk chuki, and Jatra Prasad, Toto Para, Jaldapara, Dhupi Jhora, Bindu, Samsing, Rocky Island, Suntaley Khola, Buxar Tiger reserve, Cooch Behar etc are some of the places of Interest. Chapramari amidst of forests, rivers and wildlife will definitely instill new life and inspiration in a tourist for ever. Bison and Elephant herds roam around freely as this is one of the major elephant corridors. Its fascinating diversity of flora and fauna and the vast texture of huge trees sheltering varieties of orchids will impress tourist and academician equally.
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the most diversified wildlife Sanctuary situated between the co ordinates 26° 40′ 0″ North, 89° 20′ 0″ East. With summer temperature is 20° C to 38° C and winters are mild with 10° C to 24° C. This is one of the most visited sites of Dooars and preferable time to visit is from September end to mid May. This is a bird watcher’s paradise. The rare Bengal Florican can be spotted here along with hornbill, racket - tailed drongo and paradise flycatcher. One can also find the rarest variety of animals and birds including peacocks. The Sanctuary remains closed during May 15th to September 15th. It is one of the oldest sanctuaries, established in 1941. It is similar to the savannah of South America with elephant grasses, interspersed with trees and bamboo. One - horned rhinoceros, an animal threatened with extinction ca be found here in abundance along with leopards, elephants, sambhar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, and herds of wild boars and bison. Elephant safaris is one of the most sort after entertainment and even Jeep safaris are sometime missed by traveler. One can run wild in the various Sanctuaries, National Parks & Tiger Reserves that are on offer in this region. Visit to Toto Para, a small village, which is home to the primitive Toto tribe, who number just a couple of hundreds can be arranged.
This tiger reserve forest abounds in a fascinating diversity of flora and fauna. The surrounding region is home to the tribes like Mech, Rava, Oraon, Munda, Kora and even the smallest surviving tribe, the Toto. It is one of the reserve forests stretching to Bhutan as Phipsu reserve and to Rasikbill near Cooch Behar and is drained by rivers like Sankosh, Raidak, Jayanti, Churnia, Turturi, Phashkhawa, Dima and Nonani. Elephants and leopard can be spotted very frequently. A small pond, locally known as pokhri on hilltop with innumerable numbers of tortoise is a treat to watch. Declared as National Park in January 1992 and is well maintained with an orchid house and leopard rehabilitation centre.
Dooars in the South, Bhutan and Sikkim in the north and Kalimpong in the west is the luxuriant forest of Neora Valley known for birding and its diversity. It is known for its dense forests, bamboo groves, brilliant canopy of rhododendron trees, lush green valley, rivers & streams, gushing and gurgling down the hills meet you at every mile or two and scenic trek route. Its vicinity is home to some of the tourist spots of the region. It is extraordinarily rich in avian-fauna or the feathered animals. Due to its altitudinal variation ranging from 600 feet to 10600 feet and its location, the forest is diversified.
Chapramari forests is essentially a continuation of the Gorumara National Park. The two forests are divided by the Murti River. The North East side of the river is Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary whereas the South West side is where Gorumara is located.
If you are travelling through Dooars via National Highway 31, the forests you see on both sides of the road between Chalsa and Nagrakata is part of Chapramari WLS. The forest is relatively small in size but is one of the oldest in India. It was declared a reserve forest back in 1895. The West side of the river is bounded by River Murti and on the Eastern side by river Jaldhaka. The total area of the forest is about 10 square km.
In the recent past, the area has come up as an important tourist destination in Western Dooars.
Alipurduar is the name of town as well as district in Dooars area of West Bengal. This is the north east corner of the state boarding Assam on the East, Bhutan on the North and Bangladesh on the south. In 2014 Alipurduar town and its surrounding area was became the 20th district of West Bengal.
Alipurduar is a major railway junction of the area, it is the headquarter of alipurduar division of North East Frontier Railway.
The area has tremendous tourism potential. Two major forests Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara Jaldapara National Park are in the district. The district is bestowed with innumerable rivers, forests and rich diversity of cultural heritage as well.
Bindu is only 107 km from Siliguri. The last hamlet of West Bengal, Bindu is a valley encircled with hills of Bhutan and India on the banks of river Jaldhaka. It is a feast for the eyes and a stimulating experience for the mind.
The road that leads to Bindu is in itself an unforgettable experience. The Dooars area starts immediately after you cross the Tista River at Coronation Bridge. The whole region is extremely beautiful with green vegetation all around. Most of the time you will be traveling through the plain with the hills on your left just a few hundred meters away. There is also the possibility of sighting wild life on the way.
Bindu is a conglomeration of different aborigines. The peace loving people of Bindu are engaged either in Elaichi (Cardamom) or Suntala (Orange) cultivation. Terrace cultivation is quite common here.
Just a few kilometers away from Bindu and paren on an accentuated height is Godak village. On either side of the road, you will find Cardamom and Orange plantation. From here, you can have a view of the few villages of Bhutan, Paren and Bindu. On the way to Godak Government has set up a Cardamom Curing Centre for the farmers.
Coochbehar is one of the Easternmost towns of Dooars and a town with great historical significance. The place got its name from the Cooch dynasty which made this town its capital for more than 400 years. It became part of India at the time of India's Independence. Coochbehar is now a district of West Bengal.
The centre of tourist attraction in the town is the Raj Palace. It was established by King Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur in 1887. The huge palace is built in Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture combining British architectural style with Mughal style. The place is made of red bricks and is said to be inspired by Buckinghum palace. King Nripendra Narayan got his education at London. The palace is inspired by Italian renaissance. The original palace was 3 storied high but the third floor was destroyed during the great earthquake of 1897 measuring 8.7 in Richter scale. The building covers an area of 4,700 square meters. The Length of the palace is 120 meters North to South and the width East to West is 90 meters.
Throughout its journey Jaldhaka has created several tourist destinations in Dooars. Most important among them from tourism perspective is the Jaldhaka Valley which roughly covers the area between Bindu where the Jaldhaka river enters India and.
The valley of Jaldhaka, at 1500ft above sea level is a old tourist destination that has gained in prominance in recent past. Situated on the hill section of Gorubathan under Kalimpong Sub-division it is cut off from the rest of the district by a mountain ridge descending south-west from Reche-la and is separated from Bhutan by the De-chu or Jaldhaka River.
Jalpaiguri is the name of a town as well as a district in West Bengal. The district treasures some of the best natural forests in the region. It is spread over 6,200 square kilometer out of which about 30 per cent is forest land.
The major forests of the region including Jaldapara, Gorumara, Chapramari etc. falls under the Jalpaiguri district. A number of large and small rivers pass through the district including Teesta, Jaldakha, Diana, Torsha, Neora, Murti etc. The district is also famous for its tea gardens. There are a large number of tea gardens producing the famous 'Dooars Tea'.
The Jalpaiguri town is approximately 45 km. from Siliguri. It is the district headquarter and is located on the confluence of rivers Karala and Teesta. A wide spread of river Teesta and the garden alongside the river is where you will find your time worth spending.
Jalpaiguri is famous for its tea gardens. Danguajhar tea estate is the nearest tea garden to the town. A beautiful roman catholic church setup by Italian priests spread over a huge campus also is a tourist destination.
At a distance of 82 km from Siliguri, it takes about 3 hours to reach Samsing from Siliguri through the most picturesque landscape. As you enter Dooars through the National Highway 31, you will cross Malbazar to reach Chalsa. From Chalsa take a left turn and drive on for 15 kms via Meteli to reach Samsing. The last few kilometres drive is a feast for the eyes as you pass through some of the most picturesque tea gardens of Dooars including the Chalsa Tea Garden, Zurantee Tea Garden and Samsing Tea Garden. The road is relatively narrow but there are few vehicles traveling through this route as the road ends at Samsing.
At a distance of 55 kms from Siliguri and 65 km from Jalpaiguri, Malbazar is one of the most important towns in Dooars. The town is strategically located on the NH31 providing close access to major tourist attractions around. The town itself does not have much to offer to the tourists except for the beautiful Mal Park.
If you are planning to visit Eastern Dooars. Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary, Gorubathan, Jhalong, Bindu, Samsing, Suntalekhola; Malbazar can easily be your base. Kumlai is a famous picnic spot of Malbazar.
The Siliguri - Alipurduar broadgauge inter city express passes through Malbazar. This is one of the most beautiful train rides anywhere. The train passes through some of the best forests of the region. Unfortunately accidents on this line is not uncommon leading to death of wildlife, mainly elephants.
Rasibil is a birding paradise. The bird variety includes cormorants, different varieties of storks, ibis, spoonbill, kingfisher, parrots, owl and many others. You can enjoy a leisurely day simply by boating in the lake and watching the variety of birds. There is a large aquarium, a dear Park and a crocodile rehabilitation center at Rasikbil.
From Rasikbil, you can go on a day visit to the famous Buxa Tiger Reserve (About 40 kms). There is a forest at Rasikbil that is part of the buffer area of the tiger reserve. The historically significant town of Coochbehar can also be visited on a day outing. Coochbehar town through Tufanganj is about 45 kms away.
There are other forests in the nearby area. Khttimari forests is about an hours drive from Rasikbil. Raidak forest is also about an hours drive. The Raidak river passes through the East side of the forest and can be reached through Bochamari Bakla bazar area in a short time.
Accommodation at Rasik bil can be arranged at the WBFDC bungalow. There are large dormitories in the main bungalow apart from a couple of cottages.