Dooars is a region full of diversity. With its huge area, the landscape, weather and beauty changes frequently from one place to the other. Tourists flock to this region to enjoy the beauty of the hills, rivers and forests. Winter temperature falls rapidly here, and the summer is soothing.
The rain is abundant; the trees grow to their full potential and length, forming a canopy. The good condition of the roads makes it one of the best monsoon destination in the state too. The ecstatic beauty of the eye-soothing verdure forest and the sweet song of the birds will provide you with the inner peace and calmness you seek after a tiring urban life.
Dooars tourism highlights and takes pride in the majestic mountains, various flora and fauna, tea gardens, perennial and lively springs, sandy river shores and the wide patches of grassland. There are several colonial-era heritage buildings in this area, especially near the tea-gardens.
Located in the prime spots, they provide an enchanting view over the surrounding area of gardens, hills and river bed. If you are driven by wanderlust, Dooars is a must-visit place for you.
After a day of visiting the major sightseeing points, relax under the starry sky in front of a bonfire, or watch the sunrise from the balcony of your room with a cup of tea in your hand- Dooars offers you numerous choices.
You can go to the tourist-favourite places, or explore the less-crowded options, which are unspoilt and nature is in their full glory.
Dooars Wildlife :
If your passion is to explore wildlife and take the pictures in their natural habitat, Dooars forests are the perfect place for you. There are many places of interest in Dooars to visit for enjoying the wild beauty. The major forest areas in this region are Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park, and Buxa tiger reserve.
These places are rich in wildlife.
You can easily find the mighty rhino and elephants in here when you take part in the salaries. The jeep safaris are faster, and the elephant safari can take you close to the wild animals. The other common animal and birds include deer, python, turtle, peacocks, Drongo, Indian pied hornbill, etc.
There are several watch-towers placed inside the forest core area. You can watch wildlife without disturbing them from there. You would need prior permission from the forest department for this experience though. Coupled with the salt pits, these places offer a great chance to see the herds of the majestic animals.
If you prefer seclusion and beauty, tourism in Jayanti forest and hill area will be the perfect choice for you. Part of Buxa tiger reserve, the place with the view of Bhutan hills and the beautiful stream, is famous as the “Queen of the Dooars.”
Sight-seeing options in Dooars:
There are many beautiful places to visit in Dooars, and it would take over a month if you plan to hit all the tourist spots of Dooars in a stretch. We are listing the major places for sightseeing in Dooars below and attaching a map for a better idea of the place:
Samsing is a small hilly village on the way to Suntale Khola. Both these places are ideal for nature lovers, with a slow uphill ride, and picturesque tea gardens on both sides of the way.
Lataguri and Gorumara :
It is one of the major and most crowded tourist-spot. Lataguri is the gateway into Gorumara National park, famous for the rhino and elephant population. Another entry point in the national park is Murti, which is less crowded but rich in natural beauty.
With an unspoilt terrain and the mighty Himalayas forming a stunning backdrop, Dooars is a paradise for nature lovers. Many may not be aware of the fact that there are many places to visit in Dooars. Duar means door in Bengali and this region has been aptly named Dooars or Duars as it is the door to Bhutan and North East India. Veined by mighty rivers like Teesta, Torsa, Murti, Jaldhaka, Dyna and Sankosh, the region is blessed with dense forests and exotic wildlife. Nature lovers would have an unforgettable time in this region exploring its rich flora and fauna as well as beautiful landscape.
From the rippling rivulets of Jhalong and the picturesque valleys of Buxa with forests marked by walking trails to the riverbeds at Jaldapara and the lush greenery of Gorumara National Park, these places are a treat for the eyes. These parks, however, remain close during the monsoon season. Travellers coming to this stunning place around November-December can be a part of Raas Mela which is one of the ancient fairs held here. As per the Bengali calendar, the day of full moon (Purnima) in the month of Kartik marks the beginning of the fair. So plan your trip to this lesser-known gem to create memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.
Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary :
Not too far from Gorumara National Park lies Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, another hidden treasure of Dooars. A drive through some of the verdant tea gardens in the undulating plains of Dooars will take you to Chapramari. The area derives its name from two words—chapra (referring to a variety of fish found in north Bengal) and mari (meaning plenty). Covering an area of 9.6 sq km, the sanctuary boasts of a diverse range of flora and fauna that delights nature lovers.
Chapramari was declared a national reserve forest in 1895 and later, renamed as a wildlife reserve in 1939. After a few decades, in 1998, it was designated a wildlife sanctuary. The region is famous for its elephants that can be spotted easily. In addition, gaur is commonly found here. The sanctuary is also inhabited by Royal Bengal tiger, boars, deer, leopard, reptiles and various other animals. If you love birdwatching, do remember to carry a pair of binoculars to catch a glimpse of colourful birds like parrot, kingfisher and green pigeon, among many others. For accommodation, there are just a few options available in the area. Hence, whenever you visit Dooars, spend some time in this peaceful retreat in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas.
Buxa Tiger Reserve:
A beautiful location in the lap of nature interspersed with the River Jayanti, mountains and dense forests—that’s Buxa for you. The area is however more popular for Buxa Tiger Reserve, which is one of its kind in eastern Himalayas. Situated in Alipurduar, the reserve actually consists of the former Buxa Forest Division and a part of the Cooch Behar Forest Division. It was set up in the year 1983 and was given the status of a national park in 1992.
The reserve’s rich biodiversity has been attracting tourists for years now and has become a popular escape for tired souls who love to relax in the lap of nature. The area, approximately 760 sq km, encompasses a mix of different types of forests—riverine, savannah, evergreen, sal and others. The topography and climate not only supports a rich variety of plant species but also animals. Visitors can spot mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fishes, such as tigers, civets, red jungle fowls, leopards, elephants, gaurs, porcupines, rhesus macaque, mahseer, tortoise and butterflies. Buxa is also an absolute delight for birdwatchers. Birds like red stars, wagtails, fork-tails, ibisbill, great pied hornbills, and the trans-Himalayan migratory goosander can be spotted here. A number of migratory birds too make Buxa their temporary home, such as gargani teal, common teal, white-eyed pochard and the large whistling teal at the Narathali Lake. The black-necked crane, which is a rarity in India, can be spotted in Buxa during winters. Besides, visitors can also explore other attractions of the region, such as Buxa Fort, Jayanti and Rajabhatkhawa. For accommodation, homestays and resorts are available in the region. Buxa Tiger Reserve, a peaceful retreat, is definitely a not-to-miss attraction during a visit to Dooars.
It is one of the major destinations in the Dooars area. Here, river Jayanti creates a border between Bhutan hills and West Bengal. There are several amazing trekking trails with a quaint view. It is crowned as the “Queen of Dooars for its beautiful hill and river view.
Gorumara National Park :
Situated along the banks of the River Murti and Raidak, Gorumara National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Dooars. The area of the park, which is around 80 sq km, encompasses grasslands and forests. Since 1895 it was a reserve forest but years later, it was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary in 1949. Furthermore, in 1994, the park was declared a national park which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It is specially known for being home to the great Indian rhinoceros. Other prominent animals that can be spotted here are elephant, leopard, hornbill, king cobra, Indian python and gaur, to name a few. Travellers can choose between elephant safari and jeep safari to explore the park. They can even climb atop the watchtowers (Methla, Chukchuki, Chandrachur and Jatraprasad) to spot the inhabitants of the park with the help of binoculars.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Dooars, Gorumara National Park attracts a lot of tourists round the year. The park’s green forests, tall elephant grasses, streams and beautiful landscape provide shelter to several mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians. Gorumara National Park is also a birders’ paradise. If you are a birder, you will have a great time spotting and photographing birds like hornbill, woodpecker, ibis, drongo, minivet, and pheasants. The ruddy shelduck, also known as the Brahminy duck, migrates to the park during winters. Beautiful butterflies can also be spotted in the jungle, along with night hunters like owls and nightjars.
Preferably visit the park during winters as it is considered the best time for coming here. While you can choose from a number of forest rest houses at Gorumara for accommodation, Lataguri, the nearest town offers several accommodation facilities. The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri and the nearest airport is Bagdogra. Gorumara National Park can also be reached by road from Siliguri, which is around 72 km away.
Jaldapara National Park :
Situated on the banks of the River Torsa, Jaldapara National Park is one of the popular places to visit in Dooars. Before 1800, when the place was inhabited by Toto and Mech tribes, it was known as Totopara. The sanctuary was established in 1941 with an aim to protect Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros, and was eventually declared a national park in the year 2012.
Spanning over an area of 216.5 sq km, the park boasts of verdant grassland with patches of riverine forest and belts of tall grass. At an altitude of 61 m in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, this park is mainly savannah forest and is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Along with one-horned rhinoceros, various mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds dwell here, such as elephant, leopard, Bengal florican, peacock, python, cobra and around eight species of fresh water turtles.
A fun way to witness the wilderness of Jaldapara National Park is by elephant safari. Another way to explore the flora and fauna of the region is to opt for jeep safari. For a close encounter, you can climb any of the many watchtowers in the park. There are various tourist lodges and guests houses available in the region for accommodation of tourists coming to visit Jaldapara National Park.
Dooars Weather and Temperature :
Weather and temperature across the year in Dooars:
The weather in Dooars is pleasant throughout the year. In summer the temperature does not go above 26°C, which is relatively less than the surrounding areas. In winter, it goes down to 2-3°C but does not touch the freezing point in general.
As the place is at the mountain foothills, it experiences longer monsoon though. For these favourable weather condition, the forest canopy grows very fast and the hills often stay green.
In the table below, we can get a basic idea of the temperature throughout the year
From the month of October to February, it is winter in the Dooars. The temperature goes down gradually and when the sun comes out- the weather becomes pleasant. With the progress of winter, the mercury may drop near the freezing point, but snow is very uncommon in this area. Generally, the temperature hovers around 5 – 20°C. This pleasant weather is the perfect time for local festivals like the Teesta Tea and Tourism Festival between November and December.
The season begins in June with sporadic rains, but July is the true beginning of the monsoon season in here. It lasts till September, sometimes early October.
The average rainfall here varies between 35 – 50 cm. Between July and August, it rains cats and dogs in this region. The rivers run beyond capacity and the barrages often overload. This time of the year is the breeding season of the animals, so most of the sanctuaries remain closed between mid-June and mid-September.
The season begins in March and continues until early June. The temperature ranges from 20 to 35°C. The morning and evening are very pleasant, but the noon and early afternoon hours face scorching heat, especially near the sandy riverbeds.
The grassland withers, the rise in the heat and humidity level become uncomfortable for the tourists. This season has a relatively better chance of wildlife sighting owing to a less amount of greenery.
Best Time to Visit Dooars :
The best time to visit Dooars is in the winter seasons. This time the weather is pleasant and perfect for enjoying the jungle safaris. As monsoon just ends, the rain transforms the forest into a green paradise and the rivers run full to the brim. The weather remains pleasantly cool during the day and cold in the night. Therefore travellers consider winter to be the best time to explore the sanctuaries and enjoy the jungle safaris.
How to Reach Dooars :
The monsoon is not the most favourite time for general tourists. However, for the romantic, off-beat travellers and the adrenaline-freaks, it is a great time to come and experience the rain-soaked forest life. The roads are in comparatively good condition which makes it a major monsoon travel destination in West Bengal.
Except for the peak season, summer is a good time to visit and enjoy the beauty too, if you are ready to brave the heat and humidity in the noon.
Dooars is basically a vast spread of forest and greenery at the foothill of the mountain, with major points of interest like Gorumara and Jaldapara National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Samsing, Jayanti etc. Kolkata, the city of joy, the queen of hills, is well connected to Dooars by road and railways.
The major routes are as follows:
Kolkata to Dooars Via Train :
The biggest and well-connected rail station in this area is New Jalpaiguri Jn. You can hire cars to reach almost all the major points from here. However, there are other rail stations for specific destinations i.e. New Mal Jn. (For Gorumara, Malbazar, Murti), Hasimara (Jaldapara) etc.