A district with an abundance of natural beauty, mainly tea plantations and deep forests teeming with wildlife, is situated in the foothills of the lower Himalayas in North Bengal bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the North Eastern States of India. The larger part of the Dooars valley comes under the Jalpaiguri district of the state. Innumerable rivers and their tributaries enhance the scenic beauty of the place. The undulating slopes covered with lush green tea gardens and forests separated by meandering streams and small ethnic villages have brought Jalpaiguri into the list of the most favoured tourist places in North Bengal.
The main attraction in Jalpaiguri lay in a large number of important forests. Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary present rich biodiversity with some exquisite and rare species of floral and faunal life forms.
Jalpaiguri has a total area of 3386 sq km. Besides wildlife safari, Jalpaiguri has a good scope for tea tourism and ethnic tourism. A good place for peace, natural beauty, and religious harmony - Jalpaiguri is one of the most important tourist destinations in North East India.
Jalpaiguri is well connected by road and rail. Siliguri, the most important city in the region is 45km from Jalpaiguri.
The nearest railhead Jalpaiguri Station is in the town itself and New Jalpaiguri Station is 40Kms from the District headquarters.
Jalpaiguri derives its name from the olive fruit, which is locally known as ‘Jalpai’ – it means a place where olives are found abundantly. Its name is also associated with Lord Shiva who is also known as Jalpesh, the presiding deity of the region. Jalpaiguri shares the northern part of West Bengal and is close to international borders with Bhutan in the north and Bangladesh in the south. It is bounded by the state of Assam and Darjeeling districts in the East and West. Jalpaiguri comprises chiefly a rural population, which is more than 80 per cent of its total population. The topography of the land is cut across by rivers, rivulets, and hills, and covered with tea gardens and forests. It is a virtual cauldron of different ethnic races and tribes like the Rajbanshi, Rabha, Toto, Metch, Santhals, Oraons, and others.
Major rivers that run across the district are the Teesta, Torsa, and Jaldhaka.
Jalpaiguri has great tourism potential which still lies untapped; the wild currents of these rivers asserting their way through the gorges; vast stretches of wilderness with the backdrop of the Himalayas; rolling acres of tea estates and colourful tribal peoples make it an ideal place for holidaymakers and adventure lovers.
The little town of Jalpaiguri has more or less survived being bitten by the commercialization bug unlike some cities and towns of North Bengal. Its beauty lies in its serenity, green parks, and the relaxed way in which people go about their day-to-day life. The look and feel of the town belie the fact that it is a great seat of learning and education in North Bengal. It boasts of a reputed Law College establishment and Pharmacy Institute; large numbers of people are well educated. Recently, Jalpaiguri Court won the prestigious privilege of hosting the High Court Circuit Bench beating Siliguri Court in the run for the same.
If Siliguri is known for its commercialization and economic development, Jalpaiguri has a unique identity of its own in the cultural, educational, and social map of North Bengal.
Places of interest
Jalpesh Siva Temple – Located 3 km from Mainaguri and 15 km from Jalpaiguri. A famous shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of North Bengal. Every year in the Hindu calendar month of Sawan (15 July-15 August) thousands of devotees throng the Jalpesh Temple and a large fair is organized for a month. Devotees collect water in vessels from the river Teesta after offering puja and walk barefoot towards the temple, which is 15 km from the river.