Dooars refers to the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in East and North-East India. It covers a vast area from Bengal to Assam. It constitutes Jalpaiguri district, plain areas of Darjeeling district, upper Coochbihar in Bengal and several districts of Assam such as Dhubri, Barpeta, Cockrajhore etc. The word ‘duar’ in Bengali means Door and the region of Dooars is the gateway to the land of Bhutan. The western side of Dooars is Bengal Dooars and the eastern side is known as Assam Dooars. The Dooars valley is spread from river Teesta in the west to river Sankosh in the east. The lush green forest, picturesque tea gardens, dotting streams and rivers and the mountains in the background make this region one of the most beautiful destinations in India. The biodiversity, forests and the ethnic people here have created an ideal environment for eco-tourism which has gradually flourished throughout the region.


People and culture

Different cultures and tribes intermingled here in Dooars creating a unique cultural diversity. The area was once a kingdom of the Cooch people. So the presence of Rajbanshi people is prominent. The old inhabitants like Rabha and Mech form part of the population. Even the unique Toto tribe is also seen here. The Bodo community of Assam is also part of Dooars. There are people of Bhutanese origin, a large number of Tribals who migrated as tea garden workers from southern Bengal and Bihar, Nepali migrants from Bhutan and Nepal and the Bengali. The different people create a unique cultural milieu in the Dooars region.

Tourist destinations of Dooars.

Gorumara National Park

One of the most popular forests in Dooars. This National park is situated in the district of Jalpaiguri. Two rivers are flowing on the two sides of the forest. On the western side of the forest is the Neora River and the Eastern side is bound by the Murti River. 

The picturesque setup of the forest in the backdrop of the river and Mountain range makes it more attractive. The forest was declared a sanctuary in 1949 and a National Park in the year 1992. The park is home to a wide variety of Animal populations. The inhabitants of this forest include the Rhinoceros, Leopard, Gaur, Tiger, Sloth Bear, Indian wild dog, hare etc. This is also home to different species of birds such as Indian Hornbill, Woodcatchers, Scarlet Minivet, Asian paradise flycatchers etc. It is also home to a large range of reptiles. The forest has several different watchtowers namely Jatraprasad Watchtower, Chandrachur Watchtower, Medla Watch Tower etc. The rhino observation point in front of Gorumara Forest Bangalow is also a good spot for watching the animals.

The park is 57 km from NJP and 71 km from Bagdogra. Lataguri is one of the main entry points and is just 7km from the forest. Chalsa is 15 km away.

Buxa Tiger Reserve

Buxa Tiger Reserve or BTR was constituted in the year 1983 and it became the 15th Tiger Reserve of the country. BTR also was elevated to the status of National Park in the year of 1992. Buxa Tiger Reserve is situated in the Alipurduar District, in the state of West Bengal. Alipurduar Town is the headquarters of this Tiger Reserve. Buxa is home to a wide range of Animals including Indian tigers, Leopard, Sloth bears, Wild dogs etc including a large number of Elephants, Chital, Sambar, and Barking deer. Buxa also houses more than 240 species of Birds and 73 species of Fish. Buxa Tiger Reserve is also famous for Butterflies.

Connectivity – Buxa is well connected with NJP and Bagdogra and also very close to Alipurduar railway station. Rajabhatkhawa is the main entrance to this forest reserve and it is 170 km from NJP by road and from Bagdogra airport, it is about 190 km. From Alipurduar town this place is half an hour’s drive away.

Rajabhatkhawa – Being the main entrance of the forest this is an ideal spot for wildlife lovers. The Watchtower of Rajabhatkhawa offers a scenic and pleasant view of the surrounding dense forest and is ideal for catching a glimpse of the animals. A major attraction is a nature interpretation centre and a vulture breeding centre.

Jayanti –  A small picturesque village amid the forest. The Jayanti riverbed looks stunningly beautiful and is one of the major attractions here. This serene place surrounded by the Bhutan hills is a nature lover’s paradise.

Buxa Fort – Known as Buxa Duar, this is another prime attraction. The ruins of Buxa Fort are a historical place. From Santalabari, it is a 5 km trek. The trek route is extremely scenic and provides an opportunity to experience nature at its best.

Lepchakha –  Another 2 km short trek from Buxa Fort will take you to Lepchakha. The place offers a magnificent view of the Dooars plains. Here you can view almost the entire Buxa forest and about 7 different rivers that flow from the hills.

Sikiajhora –  There is a watchtower here for bird watching. This beautiful place lies on the bank of a stream which is originated from the Buxa forest. Country boats take you on an interesting journey inside the forest through a winding rivulet.

Jaldapara National Park

Situated in the Alipurduar district of West Bengal on the foothills of the eastern Himalayas and the bank of the Torsa River this is one of the most beautiful national parks in the region. Jaldapara Sanctuary was established in 1941 and was declared a national park in the year 2012. The prime purpose of establishing this park was to protect the rare Asiatic one-horned Rhinoceros. The forest with huge grassland is home to a variety of animals and birds and currently has the largest population of Rhinos in the country after Kaziranga. Apart from Rhinos, the jungle is home to Elephants, spotted deer, barking deer, Sambar, wild pigs, Gaur etc. Jaldapara is also a great location for Bird watching.

Khairbari –  This is barely 15 km from Jaldapara. This scenic forest has got a rescue centre where Tigers and leopards are kept. When India banned the display of animals in Circus, several tigers were brought here.

Totopara – This small village is just 22 km from Madarihat, the entry point to Jaldapara. Totos are unique primitive tribes of Dooars with a total population of about a thousand. This village on the bank of river Torsha is the only habitation of these people in the world.

Bhutan Border – The border town of Bhutan, Phuentsholing is less than 30 km from Jaldapara.  As Phuentsholing does not have any entry formality for Indian visitors, interested tourists can visit this place.

Connectivity –  Madarihat is the entry point to this sanctuary. From Bagdogra, it is 143 km and from NJP is 125 km. The park is only 7 km from the Madarihat railway station.

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

This forest is a continuation of the more famous Gorumara National Park and is located on the western side of Dooars. Gorumara and Chapramari are two forests that are divided by the Murti River. Chapramari is one of the oldest reserve forests in the country. A vast range of flora and fauna are available in this relatively small forest. Chapramari is famous for its Elephant population. The forest is also home to Indian Bison, deer, leopards, Rhinos etc and a wide range of Birds. Chapramari is well connected with NJP (68 km) and Bagdogra which is 82 km. Malbazar and Chalsa are nearby rail stations respectively 7 and 10 km from the forest.

Chilapata forests

Chilapata is a dense forest between Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. River Torsa divides the forests of Jaldapara on the western side from Chilapata which lies in the east. The forest is home to Asian elephants, Rhinoceros, leopards, Barking and hog deer, gaur, sambar, wild boar, monkey etc. 

There is a fort inside the forest which was built by the Nal kings nearly a thousand years ago. The fort is currently in a dilapidated condition but the immense historical and archaeological importance of this place made it an attraction for tourists. Chilapata is approximately 125 km from NJP and 130 km from Bagdogra. Hasimara is the nearest railhead and can be reached in about half an hour.