The Dooars or Duars are the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan. Duar means 'door' and the region forms the gateway to Bhutan from India. There are 18 passages or gateways through which the Bhutanese people can communicate with the people living in the plains. This region is divided by the Sankosh River into the Eastern and the Western Dooars. The Western Dooars is known as the Bengal Dooars and the Eastern Dooars as the Assam Dooars. Dooars is synonymous with the term Terai used in Nepal and northern India and form the only nitrate rich plain in India.
The Dooars region politically constitutes the plains of Darjeeling Himalayas, the whole of Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar district. The altitude of Dooars area ranges from 90 to 1,750 m. Innumerable streams and rivers flow through these fertile plains from the mountains of Bhutan. The major river is the Teesta besides many others like the Jaldhaka, Murti, Torsa, Sankosh, Dyna, Karatoya, Raidak, and Kaljani rivers, among others.
The economy of Dooars is based on three "T"s - Tea, Tourism and Timber. The main industry of the Dooars region is the tea industry. Thousands of people are engaged in the tea estates and factories. Several people are also engaged in the cultivation of betel nuts which contributes to the economy. Cultivation of other crops is done mainly for local consumption.
The area is dotted by several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which attract a lot of tourists from all over India and abroad, making it an important contributor to the economy and also employer of a number of people. The timber industry, flourishes in this region. A number of saw mills, plywood industries and other allied business also act as an important contributor to the economy.
Dooars act as a doorway to Bhutan; thus, export-import industry also flourishes in the area. The towns of Jaigaon, Siliguri and Phuntsholing are important hubs of the export-import industry.
Monsoon generally starts from the middle of May and continues till the end of September. Winters are cold with foggy mornings and nights. Summer is mild and constitutes a very short period of the year. Dooars is the ideal place in Bengal for monsoon travelling.
Major Places of Interest
Jaldapara National Park
Jaldapara, the vast grassland with patches of riverine forests was declared a sanctuary in 1941 for protection of the great variety flora and fauna, particularly the one-horned rhinoceros, an animal threatened with extinction. The Jaldapara Sanctuary covers 216 sq Km, is a mosaic of woods, grasslands, perennial streams, sandy river banks and extensive belts of tall grass.It contains a great diversity of flora and fauna of mixed deciduous forest, grasslands and river banks. The Malangi River also flows nearby from east to west. Drained by rivers Torsa, Malangi, Hollong, Chirakhawa, Kalijhora, Sissamara, Bhaluka and Buri Torsa, the Sanctuary provides extensive grassland which is the last refuge to a wide variety of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
- Jaldapara safari
- Chilapata Forest
|Nearest Airport||Bagdogra Airport (137 km)|
|Nearest Railway Station||New Jalpaiguri (128 km), Madarihat (1.7 km), Birpara (15 km), Hasimara (11 km ) Railway station|
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Buxa Tiger Reserve is located at the north eastern corner of West Bengal at the foothill of lower Himalayas where the terrain varies from the landscape of lower plains to rugged hills full of dense forests of sal and simul trees interspersed with bamboo groves and shrubs of many kinds.
This is the largest forest in Dooars region covering an area of 759 square kilometers. In fact the northern part of the reserve extends to Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan and hence the reserve has become part of a corridor for elephants to migrate between Bhutan and Dooars.
In 1983 Buxa was declared as a Tiger Reserve. The number of tigers in Buxa was found to be second highest in West Bengal after Sundarbans. Some of the common wildlife that can be found in Buxa includes elephants (which are plenty in number), bisons (also known as Gaurs), deers of various types including spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, hog deer etc, wild dogs, jackals, hyenas, giant squirrels, porcupine, and of course leopards and several other wild cats like fishing cats, jungle cats etc. There are also land tortoises and venomous snakes such as pythons and cobras. Marble cat, black necked crane and Clouded Himalayan leopards are native to Buxa and North East India.
There are wide varieties of plantations here including flowering Orchids (over 150 types of orchids can be seen here), ferns, sal trees, simul, different types of bamboo, shrubs, grass etc. In fact Buxa reserve comprises of over 1,000 different flowering plantations and 8 different types of forests including Riverine forest, Sal forest, Semi & Evergreen forests, Dry & Wet Mixed forests etc.
There are plethora of birds in Buxa including migratory birds which can be mostly seen in winters. The Narathali Lake which is open to tourists in winter, is visited by numerous types of migratory birds such as Common Teal, Gargani Teal, Large Whistling Teal, White Eyed Poachared etc. You can also find birds like Goosanders, Ibis Bill, Fork-tails, Red-stars, Wag-tails etc by the river banks of Jayanti and Raidak rivers. Sighting of Greater Pied Hornbills are also common here. In monsoons you can find plenty of Minivets and Sultans, and in summer even the rare Ashy minivet.
- Jayanti River
- Buxa Fort
- Buxa Tiger Reserve Safari
|Nearest Airport||Bagdogra Airport (170km)|
|Nearest Railway Station||Alipurdur (11km )/ New Jalpaiguri (160km) to Rajabhatkhawa (Buxa Entry Gate)|
Gorumara National Park
Gorumara National Park is an important national park of North Bengal. It is situated just at the foothills of Eastern Himalaya in Terai region, on the flood plains in Murti, Raidak. Jaldhaka a Tributary of Brahmaputra flows just beside the National Park. Gorumara has mixed vegetation of forest & grassland. It is famous for its good population of One Horned Indian Rhino. Ministry of Environment and Forest has declared Gorumara as the best among the protected areas in India for the year 2009. Gorumara was declared a reserve forest in 1895. In 1949 it was given a status of a wild life sanctuary. Later on Gorumara was declared as National Park in 1994.
Gorumara National Park is spread over an area of approx 80 Sq km. The forest area has come up as a tourist destination during the last decade.
- Gorumara National Park Safari
- Chukchuki Bird watching Point
- Chandrachur watch Tower
- Dooars Valley
|Nearest Airport||Bagdogra Airport (70 km.) to Lataguri, The gateway to park|
|Nearest Railway Station||Madarihat (29 km) , Siliguri (68 km) , Jalpaiguri (56 km) , Alipurduar (127), Cooch Behar (117) Railway Stations to Lataguri, the gateway to the park|
Chapramari is a forest in Dooars area of North Bengal. The forest is a continuation of the Gorumara forests. The two forests are separated by the Murti River which passes through the otherwise continuous forest. Whereas Gorumara is a National Park, Chapramari is only is a wildlife sanctuary only.Sighting of Elephant, Spotted Dear, Barking Dear, Rhino and Gaur (Indian Bison) is the most common. It provides a breathtaking view of forests against the backdrop of the Kanchanjungha and other Himalayan peaks. A huge variety of flora and fauna covers the forests. Chapramari is famous for its elephant population. It is the home to diverse avifauna and mammals like Elephant, Gaur, Leopard etc.
Other Places at Dooars
- Rocky Island