Dooars

Why To Go

The name Dooars (also Duars) refers to the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya, just to the south of Bhutan. Dooar means the door, can be seen as a gateway to a paradisaical location of Bhutan on earth. Located in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, in the northern part of the state of West Bengal, this region is known for the gorgeous scenic beauty and breathtaking views it presents to the visitors. Here, there are 18 passages in all which forms a door between India and Bhutan. The Dooars Valley rises to a height of around 90 m – 1750 m above sea level. With 30 km wide and 350 km in length, the region extends from the Teesta river in West Bengal to Dhansiri river in Assam.  Separated by Sankosh river, it comprises an area of around 880 sq.km.the Eastern Dooars, known as Assaml Dooars; the Western Dooars or better known as Bengal Dooars and Terrai region in Nepal. The region is also known for having the only nitrate-rich soil covering in India.

Besides beautiful and lush green tea gardens, Dooars is abundant with dense jungles. Diverse national parks for instances, Manas, Jaldapara, Buxa, Gorumara etc. fall within Assam range and Mahananda wildlife in West Bengal falls in this region. With rich flora and fauna, the Dooars region boasts of different types of mammals and repltiles including Bengal tiger, rhino, sambar, leopards, Himalayan black bear, Indian elephants, wild boars, hispid hares, wolves, Asian golden cat, Indian python, reticulated python, Red panda etc. Mugger crocs and gharials along with varied species of birds are also found in abundance.

To travelers, the Dooars offer treks through thick forests and over low-lying hills, stays in lush tea gardens, bird watching, and more.

Travel Tips

If you are planning to visit Dooars, the best time to go there is between September and May, as the temperature is cool and moderate and you can witness the myriad colours of the forest. It is better to avoid the monsoon season as most of the sanctuaries are closed down during that period. You can go for an exciting Elephant or jeep safari to witness the beautiful animals at close quarters. Do carry binocular and camera, but avoid using flashlights. Wear clothes of earthy and green shades; avoid flashy colours. Don’t throw garbages within jungle premises. Avoid using loudspeakers or don’t create noises. Carry emergency medicines and lotions. Avoid going to restricted areas; and always take a proper guide to explore the forest area.

Things To Do

If you are planning to make a trip to Dooars, prepare to view some of the most amazing natural sites you can think. Starting from the vast Himalayas with its snowcapped peaks to the windy paths that curve up the mountain, the coniferous trees that line the roads, to the misty valleys, Dooars is a place which you can visit once have the view etched in your memory for all your life. Also, the area is known for the number of wildlife sanctuaries which can be found in the region. Jaldapara National Park, Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Wildlife Reserve, Buxa National Park, and the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary are all located in this region. The sanctuaries are known for the various species of animals which are preserved there. While Gorumara National Park and Jaldapara National Park are both well known for their reserve of rhinoceros, Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary has several Bengal Tigers and Indian Elephants among numerous other species. Other animals that can be spotted in Dooars are Gaur, Asian Elephant, Giant Squirrels, Sloth bear, Chital, Pygmy Hog, Indian Wild Dogs, Indian Wolf, Hispid Hare, Barking deer, Sambhar Deer, Hog deer, and Wild boar. There are many tea plantations that dot the landscape here, and are well worth visiting. While the wildlife is one of the major attractions of the place, the local fauna also exerts a charm of its own. There are several trees of various species that are typical to the hilly terrain of the Dooars. A large variety of flowering plants also can be seen all over the place. In all, Dooars is truely, the one place where nature has thrown open the doors to her palace of bounty in full bloom.

Getting Around

Your best bet is to hire a car from a car rental service. There are just too many places to visit to manage without having a car at your disposal. There are plenty of buses, also. The bus service is relatively excellent and reliable. You would also like to explore the mountain slopes by taking long walks. However, you can try walking also to explore and feel the aroma of the forest.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The nearest airport to Dooars is located at Bagdogra, which is situated at a distance of 70 km. From the airport, it is less than 2 hours journey to Dooars. You can complete the remainder of the trip by car. Cabs can be hired from outside the airport. There are also car rental services from where you can rent cars for the duration of your trip. Another way you can travel by flight to Dooars is taking a stop at Guwahati airport, but that is quite far off, almost 370 km.

TRAIN

The nearest major railway station is at New Jalpaiguri, which is just few kilometers away. New Jalpaiguri station is connected to other stations in West Bengal as well as in Assam. From the station, you can either take a bus or rent a car to take you to Dooars; this will be about an hours journey. Another station is at Madarihat, just 7 km away, from where you can travel to Dooars.

ROAD

You can go to Dooars by travelling along the National Highway 31. The road is quite developed and connected to the other parts of the country. You can hire a car from any car service facility and drive there. Alternatively, you can take a bus also. There are many buses that leave at regular intervals for Dooars from nearby towns like Darjeeling, Siliguri, etc. The buses are state-owned, as well as privately run. Buses can be boarded from any of the cities or towns in West Bengal.

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Surrounding Attractions

The entire area is packed full of places where you can go to during your visit to Dooars. Apart from the numerous wildlife sanctuaries, you can go to Lava-Lolaygaon. It is one of the nearby hill stations and quite a popular destination amongst the tourists. Jaldhaka: The drive to Jaldhaka is enchanting. All around is the Chapramari forest so deep and green; it radiates a fairytale-like energy. It is impossible to take your eyes off the wood. The beautiful forest road makes its way through a little village called Sipchu, with little huts on stilts, some spice and jackfruit plantations, and another tiny small town by a dancing hill river. Samsing, close to Dooars is a serene village with orange orchards, green vegetation, long stretches of tea gardens stands at an elevation of 3000 feet. While, Suntalekhola, another hamlet 4 km away from Samsing is also set amid lush greenery. As these two places are at the top and bottom of Kitap Singh Hill, tthey are ideal for camping and trekking activities. One can also visit the Rocky Island Adventure Camp and eco-tourism endeavour by the side of the gushing river Murti.
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