Dooars – Once is not Enough! Know the places to see in Dooars and plan for your next Dooars tour.
The unknown land where nature has showered all its blessings in bountiful. Dooars doesn’t come to the forefront of favourite places to travel. If you want to explore the hidden beauties of Bengal, then you should and must visit Dooars. But it has so much to offer that one visit will only let you cover the tip of the iceberg. Dooars is the doorway to Bhutan. You will be surprised as to how beautiful the landscapes of this place can be. Ardent nature lovers and adventure seekers will find this place to be a paradise. The wildlife enthusiasts will be left awestruck with the Gorumara National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve and Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. This place has beautiful verdant forests, cascading rivers, a variety of flora and fauna, palace, Tea Gardens and most importantly the Himalayan range. Dooars is divided into three segments: Lataguri or Gorumara National Park Area, Jaldapara and Buxa Jyanti.
|Tour Packages of Dooars||No. of Days||Price|
|6 Days Dooars Tour||6 Days||INR.7500|
|Enchanted Dooars Tour||5 Days||INR.6000|
|Gorumara National Park||3 Days||INR.3000|
There are millions of things to see and do in Dooars. Go on safaris in the forests. Visit the Neora Valley. Look out for animals from the watchtowers. You can also indulge in hiking and trekking. Observe the natural beauty of the place. You can experience the tribal lives from close proximity. Bring out the photographer who was impatiently waiting to come out. Visit the ‘Cooch Behar Rajbari’. Now Dooars has become the second destination for Bengali Honeymoon after Puri.
Lataguri is a small dreamy forest village which is regarded as the entry point to the Gorumara National Park. It is located on the edges of the Gorumara National Park. Thick green forests, tea gardens, beautiful rivers encircle this wonderful place of Lataguri. The beauty of this unadulterated and pristine environ will surely appease your senses. The forest has Sal, Panisaj and Odal trees. This place is imprinted with sheer beauty. The local art form which includes Chor Chunni and Dham Gaan can be enjoyed by the visitors. Be it Elephants, Bison or Cheetahs, Lataguri Forest has an amazing collection of all types of wild animals and birds making it a paradise of all nature lovers. Though there are other places to stay close to Gorumara National Park, Lataguri remains everyone’s favourite. Raj Bangshis, Totos, Ravas, etc. are the native tribes of the region. Lataguri is also rich in history and heritage.
Gorumara National Park is around 15 km from Lataguri and is located on the banks of Murti, Raidak and Jaldhaka rivers. The area covering the forest is only 80 sq km. Gorumara National Park has a large collection of flora and fauna and also reptiles, insects, birds, and mammals. A wide variety of trees such as Sal, Teak, Simul, etc. are found here. Torsha, Murti, and Jaldakha run through this luxuriant forest. The park is also famous for One-Horned Rhinos. Gorumara National Park gives shelter to nearly 200 types of birds namely Indian Pied Hornbill, Minivet, Pheasants, Drongo among others.
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is 32 km from Panchavati and is one of the oldest sanctuaries in India. This Sanctuary is covered with thick greenery which is home to many animals and birds; the famous one being the Elephants. The Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is another major tourist attraction in Lataguri. This wildlife sanctuary lies in the foothills of the Himalayas. In addition to the wide variety of flora and fauna, visitors can also enjoy the view of the Eastern Himalayas and the famous Kanchenjunga Mountain. The Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary opens its gate at 6 am and closes at 6 pm during the summer season and during the winter, the gates open at 6.30 am and closes at 5 pm. The wildlife sanctuary remains closed from June to September due to the rainy season.
This is no doubt one of the most peaceful places to soak up the exuberance of the natural surroundings. It lies at a distance of 9km away from the main township of Jalpaiguri. One can often notice wild animals like Deer, Elephants, and Rhinos among others who come to the river bank to quench their thirst. The Murti River is flowing from the Kalimpong hills. It is one of the most beautiful rivers in Dooars and there is not much water except for the rainy season. However, its beauty remains unhindered during other times. A forest bungalow named as Murti River Lodge is built by West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) exactly on the river bank. The calm Murti River running on the pebbles and boulders create a tranquil atmosphere, in the midst of the woods. The beauty of the place is best experienced at Sunset. Gorumara Lies on the right bank while Chapramari on the left of the Murti river.
Batabari derived its name from the Batabari Tea Estate which is situated in this region. This hamlet lies in the Matiali Block. The houses in this area are built with a specific type of Bamboos called Bata. The popularity of this place lies in its slightly wet deciduous forests, the tea gardens and not to forget the scenic beauty of Mother Nature & the mighty Kanchenjungha.
This is a little village near to Malbazaar. Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary are both near to Chalsa. This hilltop destination with curvy lanes is an ideal retreat or for one and all. Lying on the foothills of the Himalayan range, this tourist spot takes pride in verdant Tea Gardens, huge forests, meandering streams, and the luxuriant natural environment. Sinclairs group of hotels got an eminent resort in Chalsa.
Kumai sits atop a hill that overlooks the Jaldakha River Valley. This offbeat destination is wrapped by dense forests, gurgling rivers, and beautiful mountains. Kumai offers various places to visit such as Gudaray viewpoint, Halley viewpoint, organic tea gardens, Laliguras viewpoint, a Buddhist stupa, etc. You can also go trekking and fishing in this area. It is very near to Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, one can walk up to Chapramari Entry Gate from Kumai.
First and foremost the journey to Jaldakha is absolutely mind-blowing. The scenic beauty that you get to see while traveling to Jaldakha is second to none. Jaldakha is a picturesque place. You will find the thrill of adventure as well as the romanticism of the surroundings. Jaldakha is situated very near to the Indo-Bhutan border.
Jhalong lies in the middle of the beautiful hills, ever flowing rivers and the thick forests of Dooars. It is close to the Bhutan border. Jhalong is exquisitely a very pretty spot. A major attraction of this area is the Jaldhaka Hydro Electricity Project on the Jaldhaka River. The thunderous river flowing down the bridge and the Hydel Project will captivate your senses to the fullest. Jhalong has a tiny community where people live in peace and harmony. It’s a surreal feeling to see Bhutan on the opposite side.
Bindu is the penultimate village in West Bengal which is about 30 minutes ride from Jhalong. Bindu Khola, Dudh Pokhri and Jaldhaka merge together at Bindu to form the Jaldakha River. Bindu provides spectacular views of the Himalayan Range and the scenic villages. The effervescent Bindu is famous for Cardamom Cultivation. Spend a couple of days in this lap of nature and realize what you would have missed if you have not come here.
When you visit Samsing; have some homemade Momos from the roadside eateries. It is situated at an altitude of 3000 ft above sea level in the foothills of Himalayas. Apart from being a nature lover’s paradise, there is a certain aura of peacefulness and quietness that surrounds Samsing. This cool and shady place hosts the rich tea gardens on one side. This is an ideal place for birding too.
Suntaleykhola is about four kilometers further up the road from Samsing. It is also a place for birding. The hills with green all around will make you feel alive in this divine landscape. The wobbly bridge in Suntaleykhola under which the stream flows softly is an epitome of beauty.
This is a rain forest sanctuary with an area of nearly 140 sq.km. It rests at the base of Eastern Himalayas. River Torsha runs relentlessly through this rain forest sanctuary which is mainly covered in high grasses. The Sanctuary is an amalgamation of rich vegetation and a wide variety of wildlife. This popular forest of Dooars hosts amphibians, mammals, birds, and reptiles. It provides safe shelter for one horned rhinoceros which has the 2nd highest population of rhinoceros in the world. Explore the sanctuary in Jeep and Elephant Safaris.
It is a small area of forest which is worth a visit. Khayerbari is renowned for its Royal Bengal Tiger and Leopard rescue rehab. When the animals were banned from Circuses, they were brought here by the forest officials. This place which is 10kms from Madarihat provides a close spot for the tourists to watch these beauties. The South portion of the Khayerbari National Park is a Tiger rescue center. The main objective of the park is to treat and rehabilitate the Leopards and Tigers. They are kept in a natural environment. This is also a favourite tourist destination.
It is hardly 25 km away from Jaldapara. Phuentsholing is the gateway to the land of dragons. Phuentsholing is a crowded border town of India and Bhutan. This is where the arrangements of permits are carried out. This place has major tourist attractions which include the Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, the Crocodile Farm, Torsa Tea Gardens, Karbandi Gompa, etc.
It is also the entry point to Bhutan. Though it’s not much of a tourist place, it is frequented by tourists on their way to Bhutan. Jaigaon is not as picturesque as Phuentsholing. Jaigaon is the adjoining town to Phuentsholing. It is also a thriving shopping hub.
This place is full of greenery and is known for its wilderness. The scenic beauty of the place is a surefire way to relax and unwind. It is apt for people who want to spend a couple of nights in the calmness of natural beauty. The most famous Hollong Tourist Lodge is located here inside this jungle of Jaldapara National Park.
Totopara is a Tribal community on the Northern edges of Jaldapara National Park. Toto tribes are one of the ancient tribes still existing in the world. Totos believe in a joint family system. They are very orthodox yet not rigid. Though love marriage is acceptable, divorce is not. A conventional Toto house is built with clay, bamboos, and straws.
This is another segment of Dooars which should not be missed at any cost. This large expansive jungle with thick Sal trees is the best refuge for Tigers. Buxa Tiger Reserve is situated at the lower foothills of Himalayas. The biggest forest in Dooars covers an area of about 759 sq km. Buxa Tiger Reserve has its main entrance from Rajabhatkhwa. Rava, Garo, Mechia, Santhal, Rajbanshi, Nepali, Bhutia, etc. are the main tribes in the Buxa region.
A right turn from Buxa will lead us towards Jayanti, which is at a distance of 5 km. This village lies along the river banks of Jayanti. Jayanti River is very picturesque. This river is mostly fed by the Monsoon rain, otherwise, it’s nearly dry. During the dry seasons, SUVs easily cross this riverbed. Amusing, isn’t it? The hills of Bhutan on one side, the curvy stream, and the Buxa Forest makes this place looks heavenly. Take a Jeep Safari and explore the winged friends who reside in this area, the feisty felines that roam in this wilderness and the wide range of plantations.
It is hardly 5 km from the bottom of the Jayanti River. There are hilly caves made of Limestone. There is a Shiv Mandir in this place. You have to take a hike to visit this place.
It is a slow moving river that makes its own path through the Buxa Tiger Reserve. There is a small dam constructed by the forest department just a few years back. Embark on a boat safari through Shikhijhora to discover the lesser trodden trails of the Buxa Forest. You will find a good amount of butterflies and birds in here. The boggy area of Shikhijhora is susceptible to the growth of flora and fauna. Catch a glimpse of the animals from the watchtower.
Rajabhatkhawa is another fascinating place in Dooars. The unmatched beauty of this place lies in its green surroundings and dense forests. The Nature Interpretation Centre inspires visitors with all insights. A look from the Watchtower makes you realize the amount of beauty that is there in the nook and corners of our very own West Bengal.
The dilapidated Buxa Fort is an exclusive slice of history. It was once used by the Bhutan King to protect the portions of the Silk Route.
Bhutanghat lies on the spiraling river banks of Raidak. This is a beautiful hamlet with a hilly terrain. It provides many avenues for adventure tourism. The picturesque sights, the pleasant weather, and the quiet ambiance make this place a must visit for all. You can also visit Raimatang from here.
A lot of places can be visited from Rasikbill such as Museum, Deer Park, Madan Mohan Temple, and the opulent Cooch Behar Palace. Rasikbill has a large water body that is visited by many migratory birds during the winter. The avifauna surrounding this place is a sight to behold.
This historical city of Cooch Behar was once the dynasty of the Koch. The splendiferous Cooch Behar palace was established by King Nripendra Narayan in the year 1885. It is also known as the Victor Jubilee Palace. Modeled on the Buckingham Palace, this elegant looking structure has manicured gardens in the front. Do watch the Light & Sound show which takes place between 6 pm to 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The lush green national park of Bengal is located at the foot of the Eastern side of the Himalayas. This region is called the ‘Terai’ region which lies on the alluvial plains in Murti. Jaldakha which is a headwater of the Bharmaputra River runs at the side of the park. Gorumara National Park has a combination of verdant pastures and forests. The park has an area covering 80 square kilometers. This deciduous forest is famous for one-horned rhino among other exotic species of animals. Gorumara National Park is also the abode of Royal Bengal Tigers, Great Indian Hornbill, Giant Squirrels, etc. The plant and animal kingdom has many varieties in this park. Gorumara National Park has an estimated 48 species of plant-eating and meat-eating animals.
Embark on a jungle safari inside the Gorumara Jungle. There are vehicles/jeeps solely for jungle safari purpose. You can catch a glimpse of animals like deers, bisons, peacocks, etc. There are two types of safaris available: Jeep Safari and Elephant safari. Being silent is a virtue and this is where you should practice it. Jeep safari doesn’t include any watchtower visits.
This is a very scenic watchtower situated in the Kalipur Eco Village, beside the Murti River. This place is close to Ramsai on the edges of Gorumara National Park. After entering the Medla Watchtower premises, you will be taken near the watchtower by a well-decorated bullock cart. This short journey is also very pleasant. Then you have to walk for a minute and up the Medla Watchtower. You will get a 360-degree view of the surroundings. Stay calm and patient and watch the animals come out of the jungle, drink water from a narrow stream or take a leisurely stroll.
Welcome to the bird watcher’s paradise. This beautiful watchtower lies between Ramsai village within the boundaries of Lataguri and Gorumara. You will get to watch some feral animals like rhinos and lots of birds. This watchtower provides an ideal vantage point for bird watchers. Peacocks, Indian Hornbill, Scarlet Minivet, Peafowls, and many other colourful and beautiful birds can be seen here. Many migratory birds are also seen from here. The forest department has built a Chukchuki Birding Tower because of the numerous birds that are found here. An elephant ride will bring you to the Chukchuki Watchtower or else you can also take a jeep. Look out for the Brahminy duck!
This watchtower is also called the Khunia Watch Tower. Chandrachur Watchtower lies on an expansive green meadow. A salty stream passes through the meadow which allures a lot of animals. This picturesque watchtower is located very close to the Murti Forest Bungalow. Feast your eyes on the wild animals from this watchtower. The probability of sighting Indian Bisons and Elephants are high from Chandrachur Watchtower. Chandrachur Watchtower stands nearly at the center of the forest providing a panoramic view of all sides.
This is one of the most sought after watchtowers as it’s one of the best watchtowers to catch a glimpse of the majestic animals. This watchtower was named in the loving memory of a female elephant for its hard work for the forest department. You have to enter the watchtower by the National Highway. There is a river beside the watchtower which allures a lot of feral animals mainly during very early mornings or at late afternoons. There is another watchtower called rhino point which is covered along with this trip. Jatraprasad Watchtower is a charming watchtower which offers great views of the Gorumara topography. It’s also the oldest watchtower. This place is a nature aficionado’s and photographer’s delight.
Chapramari Watchtower is in close proximity to the forest bungalow. This watchtower is situated on the northern fringes of Gorumara National Park. The Murti River runs along the boundary of the Chapramari forest. This verdant thick forest provides shelters to a variety of animals and birds. There is a forest bungalow inside the Chapramari Forest. Many animals and rare birds come to a salty stream near the bungalow to satiate their thirst.
Jaldapara is situated on the alluvial plains of river Torsha and lies at the foot of eastern Himalayas. The Jaldapara National Park spans an area of over 215 square kilometers. This beautiful verdant park is one of the biggest national parks in the entire Dooars. While the jeep drives through the jungle, you absorb the beautiful jungle atmosphere. There are Sal, Khair, etc. trees in this forest. The forest also has marshes and muddy grasslands. You will cross the Hollong River on your way. The highest population of one-horned rhinos is found here. Jeep safaris are not conducted by the forest department, privately owned operators run this. There are two safari trips in the morning and one in the afternoon. Jeep Safaris take place on all the days and the time span is for 1 hour 30 minutes. A guide will accompany you and the car will also stop when you spot any animals or it will also slow down on your request.
Unlike the jeep safaris, the elephant safari is conducted by the forest department and takes place regularly. The safari commences from the Hollong lodge of West Bengal Forest Development Corporation. The trained elephants are used for the safari. Normally, Priyadarshini, Lakhsmi, Madhumala, and Minakshi are the elephants who will take you on this safari. Four persons can ride on each elephant. Remember to hold on tightly to the railings. The cuddly elephants will make their way across the swamps in the riverine jungle. This is one ride that you will remember for the rest of your lives. Enjoy the ride and simultaneously look out for the majestic beings of the forest. You can see a variety of wildlife.
Buxa Tiger Reserve is huddled in the Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal. The forest here is superlatively beautiful. Set against the hilly mountainous boundary of Bhutan and India, the Buxa Tiger Reserve is truly mesmerising. Though it doesn’t have many tigers, there are other wild carnivores in this forest. See if you spot Himalayan Black Bear, wild pigs, deers, leopards, etc. in your jungle safari. There is plenty of flora and fauna in the Buxa Jungle. Buxa Jungle Safari is a must for nature lovers, photographers, and explorers.
Jungle safaris are charismatic, enigmatic and magical. The Rajabhatkhawa Gypsy Safari includes a 17 kms of Gypsy Safari through the mystical jungle paths. The entry to this magical kingdom is near the range office which is at the Jayanti Bazaar neighbourhood. Towering Sal Trees will welcome you once you enter the jungle. Be alert and calm while you spot deers, elephants, bisons, etc. Rajabhatkhawa Gypsy Safari can be availed in the morning and afternoon. The timings are 6am-11am and 2pm-6pm. Please keep in mind that the Buxa Tiger Reserve stays closed between 15th June to 15th September.
This is a different and unique kind of a Safari. Sikia Jhora is a tiny rivulet in the Buxa region. It is a thin creek in the prolific forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve Forest. You need to hire country boats which will sail through the stream passing the verdant forest on both sides. Beautiful birds can be seen here. This distinctive concept of a boat gliding through the jungles of Buxa is a very favourite tourist activity.
Dooars from Kolkata can be reached in multiple ways:
One can reach NJP Railway Station and hire a cab from Siliguri Taxi Stand, reach Lataguri/ Gorumara National Park, Jaldapara National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve within a few hours.
Nearest Railway Station of Chalsa, Chapramari, Batabari, Samsing, Suntaleykhola, Lataguri & Gorumara National Park is New Mal Junction (NMZ). So one can book till New Mal Junction from Kolkata and directly reach the abovementioned destinations.
For Jaldapara National Park, Madarihat & Chilapata, the nearest Railway Station is Hasimara (HSA) Railway Station. One can directly book to Hasimara and reach those destinations. Also, this station is the gateway for Bhutan also from Dooars.
If someone is planning to go to Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jayanti, Rajabhatkhawa or Sikiajhora then they must book the nearest station at New Alipurduar Junction (APDJ) Railway Station.
One can also reach Siliguri from Kolkata on a direct flight to Bagdogra (IXB) and take a cab ride to the required destinations in Dooars.