Jalpaiguri district is the largest district of North Bengal. The city has an elevation of 75 m and lies in the middle of the boundless fertile plains at the south of the Himalayas, providing a glimpse of Mount Kanchenjunga. this narrow stretch of land lying between the Sikkim – Darjeeling Himalayas and Gangetic West Bengal has more than often evoked a sense of both eerie and romanticism in many a heart since the early British Rule. Veined by mighty rivers like the Teesta,Torsa, Jaldhaka, Dyna, Neora, Sankosh etc. this piece of land has been aptly named as the land of ‘Tea, Timber & Tourism’. A major stretch of area is bordered in the north by Bhutan and hence the name – DOOARS/DUARS which mean – Door of Bhutan. The town has been the capital of the Raikats of Baikunthapur. It has also been part of the Duars area of old Kamarupa, which later went into the hands of the Bhutanese. The Bhutanese divided the area into two parts, combining the eastern half with the Goalpara District. The western half was later formed into a new district, Western Duars, which in 1869 was recognised by the name Jalpaiguri. The town is famous for its tea cultivation, which became its main profession during the late 19th and early 20th century, after the Britishers in the northeast region founded the town. The main attraction in Jalpaiguri lay in the large number of important forests. Gormara National Park, Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary present rich biodiversity with some exquisite and rare species of floral and faunal life form.
Gorumara National Park :
Gorumara National Park is located in the Dooars region of Jalpaiguri district. It is a medium-sized park covered with forests and grasslands. Cradled on the bank of Murti River, Gorumara National Park has a variety of flora and fauna. The forest of Garumara is famous for the Asian one-horned rhino. There is a watchtower beside the Forest Rest House offering a view of the Murti Valley and the entire park. Tourists climb up the tower to observe wild animals especially elephant, rhino, deer and bison as they frequently visit the salt reservoir below the tower.
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary :
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected wildlife park, nestled at the foothills of eastern Himalayas. It is located in Alipurduar Sub-Division of Jalpaiguri District in West Bengal on the bank of River Torsa. Jaldapara is primarily known for Royal Bengal Tigers and One-horned Rhinos. It also offers shelter to migratory birds during winter. It is a heaven for bird watchers. The other wildlife inhabited in the consist’s of deer, hog deer, barking deer, elephants, wild pig and bisons. Elephant safaris are organised by Hollong to tour the entire sanctuary. Jeep safaris are also available inside the sanctuary.
Buxa Tiger Reserve :
180 km from Siliguri is the Buxa National Park . The main attractions of BTR are Tiger, Leopard (Black Panther also), Elephant, Clouded Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer, Gaur, Pangolin and Python. Buxa Duar is famous for its prison fort. Rajabhatkhawa , 15 km from Alipurduar, on the Buxa – Alipurduar road one can spend a night at Rajabhatkhawa. Surrounded by the deep natural forest it is noted for the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary :
64 km from Siliguri and about 30 km from Chalsa and Lataguri, The Chapramari forest is located near the NH31 connecting north-east with the rest of India. As you cross river Tista on your way into Dooars, you reach the famous Chapramari sanctuary. A huge variety of flora and fauna covers the forests. Chapramari is famous for its elephant population.
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