Alipurduar is an important town in the Dooars area of North Bengal. It was historically part of the Jalpaiguri district. In 2007 a new district of Alipurduar was curved out from the Jalpaiguri district. Hence Alipurduar now stands for both the town and the district. Alipurduar is also a major rail station in the northeast India-bound rail route. It is the headquarters of the Alipurduar division of railway.
The Alipurduar town is located on the western bank of the Kaljani river that originates from Bhutan. The town is centred around the Buxa Feeder Road or BF Road which is North Southbound. This road is also designated as state highway 12A. Whereas Kaljani river covers the entire western and southern side of the town, towards, its North is the forests of the Bux tiger reserve.
The town is named after Colonel Hedayat Ali Khan of the British army. In 1865 during the Bhutan war, Hedayat Ali khan made the banks of river Kaljani his base from where he fought gallantly against the Bhutanese army. It is believed that the village that developed there which later became a prosperous town is named after this gallant officer.
Alipurduar was part of the Jalpaiguri district since independence. Since Jalpaiguri is a very large district, it was difficult to administer the whole district from Jalpaiguri. In 2007 the Mamata Banerjee government declared the creation of the new district of Alipurduar. The district is bound towards its North by Bhutan, to its east is Assam, to its south is the district of Coochbehar and towards its west is the Jalpaiguri district. There are 6 blocks in the district including Alipurduar 1 and 2, Kumargram, Kalchini, Madarihat and Falakata. Most of the Kalchini and Kumargram blocks are covered by the forests of the Buxa Tiger reserve, whereas Madarihat and part of Falakata are adjacent to the Jaldapara forests. Alipurduar district is home to two of the largest and most important forests of North Bengal.
The town by itself does not have a lot of tourist attractions. However, the overall Alipurduar district is popular for its forest resources and natural attractions.
Within a few km from the town, one can visit several places of tourist interest. The most important is the Buxa Tiger Reserve and its surroundings. The forest of Buxa is almost adjacent to the northern part of the town. Rajabhatkhawa can be reached in about 20 minutes (10 km). Jayanti is a further 15 km inside the forest. Jaldapara National Park, Bhutanghat, Sikiajhora, Hatipota, and other attractions around Buxa are mostly within an hour's drive from here.
Chilapata forests can be reached from Alipurduar via Sonapur More within a driving time of less than an hour.
To the South of Alipurduar is the historic Coochbehar town, which can be reached at a distance of 25 km in about 45 minutes. Drive towards the east of Alipurduar town for about 30 km and you will enter Assam.
The Bhutan border town of Phuentsholing – Jaigaon is about 60 km from Alipurduar.
Alipurduar is a major junction in the rail route to North East India. Almost all major trains travelling to North East, have a stoppage here. Hence Alipurduar is very well connected by train. The nearest major airport is Bagdogra, about 160 km away. National Highway 31 connects Siliguri to Alipurduar and further to Assam.
Map of the area
Where to Stay
Several hotels have come up in Alipurduar during the last couple of decades. Most of them are concentrated in the Sobhaganj area along the main highway. Most of the accommodations are for budget travellers with reasonable amenities.