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  • The people of North Bengal are also a varied lot. The tea gardens brought in Tribals from Bengal and Bihar. The hill stations attracted people from neighboring Nepal, and the partition of 1947 brought in Hordes of Bengalis from Bangladesh.
  • The Hills, the jungles and the serene beauty of undulating tea gardens spread to the horizon.

Jördis Barran
— 16th Sep 2014 at 1:25 PM

we wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip. We took so many magnificent impressions home. The whole... [+]

Jayne Cunningham
— 22nd Jun 2014 at 11:56 AM

My husband and I, both in our 50’s chose Nature Beyond as our tour operator in Sikkim primarily because... [+]

Seethpathi Vijay
— 15th Feb 2014 at 4:24 PM

Thanks a lot for the arrangements. The trip was wonderful. The Hotel in Pelling was good. The car service... [+]

Mr.Peter P.Kaspersen
— 11th Feb 2014 at 12:58 AM

The guide knew everything about places we visited. Very Proffesional. It would be nice, if you could... [+]

Mr.Grafahrend Ferdinand - Germany
— 11th Feb 2014 at 12:54 AM

I appreciate all support. This tourism is very signigicant for me and I am very satisfied. I have no... [+]

Dooars

Roads of Dooars

The Himalayan Foothills of North Bengal is known as Dooars. The forests, tea gardens, undulating plains, people of different culture and ethnicity; all create a heady brew that has made Dooars one of the most fascinating tourist destination of Eastern India.

Etymology

The name Dooars is said to have been derived from the word Door in English or ‘Dwar’ in local languages. There are 18 entry points or Doors to Bhutan from Dooars area. The most famous is the main connecting road of Bhutan with India through Phuentsholing – Jaigaon boarder.

Geography

The Dooars area of North Bengal is bound in the East by Assam, on its West is the Plains of Darjeeling district of North Bengal. To its North is Bhutan and to the South is Bangladesh. The Dooars region is mostly in the plains but includes some hilly areas of lower altitude. The area is crisscrossed by a large number of rivers that flow mostly from Bhutan in the North to Bangladesh in the South. Most of the rivers orginate at lower altitude and are fed by monsoon rain. This gives a unique characteristic to the rivers with very low level of water in dry season and sudden high water and even flash floods during monsoon or sudden rain. There are however a few glacier fade large rivers in Dooars. The river Teesta that roughly forms the western boundary of Dooars is the largest river in the region, Torsha and Sankosh are also quite large.

Forests of Dooars

The region used to be part of a continuous stretch of dense forest. The forests were used by the elephants traditionally to migrate from Assam upto the Nepal border. Human habitation has decreased the overall forest cover but even then, Dooars remains home of some of the best forests of the region including several National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Forest Reserves.

A pair of Rhino in Jaldapara forest

The most important and the largest forests of Dooars in terms of tourist importance are Gorumara National Park, Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. There are other forest areas including parts of Baikunthapur forest division (Kathambari and Apalchand), Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, Neora valley National Park, Khuttimari forest, Titi forest and many others.

The forests of Dooars are home to some of the largest mammals. Asiatic Elephants, Rhinos and Gaur, the Indian Bison. Their numbers are also quite impressive in the forests and are increasing steadily. Sighting is also relatively common for tourists. Other wildlife variety includes a wide array of Birds, reptiles and deer.

Tourism

Traditionally Jaldapara was the favourite destination of Dooars for many decades with its Holong forest bungalow and Madarihat Tourist lodge. Today Gorumara forests have surpassed Jaldapara in terms of tourist visit and tourism infrastructure. Buxa being the furthest destination, witnesses least tourist movement among the big three, though the forest area of Buxa is by far the largest and the tourist movement is steadily increasing here as well.

An elephant chasing Tourist of Jeep safari

Best Time to Visit

October to March is traditionally considered the high season for tourists visiting Dooars. Rains are relatively rare during these months and temperature is mostly pleasant. During winter months of December and January, the temperature may dip to below 10 degree Celsius though.

June 15th to September 15th the tourist movement is the least as the forests remain closed for safari. This being the rainy season as well as the breeding season for much of wildlife. However if you want to avoid the tourist rush and enjoy nature at its pristine best, Monsoon months are ideal. The sprouting new green leafs all around and the incessant  rain makes it the most spectacular and romantic season to visit Dooars. To top it all, resorts offer special offseason discounts during these months. If you are not much into sightseeing tours and want to relax amongst nature, we would strongly recommend visit during this period.

April and May are summer months in Dooars and temperature normally remains well below 30 degree Celsius. This being the summer vacation large number of tourists flock the neighbouring Darjeeling – Sikkim as well as Bhutan area. Many of them also include a couple of nights stay in Dooars in their itinerary.

Getting There

Bagdogra is the nearest Airport and NJP is the major railhead. Both are in the outskirts of Siliguri town which is the transit hub for the entire region. However there are a number of train stations within Dooars including Alipurduar, Coochbehar, Hasimara and Malbazar. All trains travelling to North East of India has to pass through Dooars and stops at one or the other of these stations.

Elephant Safari in Gorumara

People and Culture

Tribal culture with its folk dance, drama, songs and folk lore is an integral part of the culture of the region. The tribal communities of Raj Bangshi, Mech, Rava, Toto, Limboo, Lepcha and the Bengali and Nepali community populate the region and provide a rich flavour to the rich cultural diversity of Dooars.

Dooars was covered with thick forests and the tribal people lived an isolated existence until the British invaded their space, followed by the Bangladeshis; the British cleared the land for tea estates while the Bengali people after the partition of Bangladesh came here and were actively involved in agriculture. The British were also responsible for bringing another set of tribes called the Madeshia, Uraons, Munda and Nageshia from Chotanagpur to work in the plantations; these tribes since have lived in harmony with the other communities of North Bengal.

The majority of people in Dooars belong to the Bengali community followed by the Rajbangshi tribe. Many festivals among the Bengali community and Rajbangshi are similar like the Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Manosha Puja etc. On the occasion of Manosha Puja – worship of the serpent Goddess – village fairs, dramas and festivals are held and villagers pray for good crops.

Folk drama of Dooars includes the ‘chor chunni’ and ‘dham gaan’ is a popular folk song. Rajbangshi’s most popular songs are the ‘Bhawaiya Gaan’ – devotional and love songs – which is very famous in Bengal.


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