Complete dooars travel guide
I believe this blog post will work as a complete dooars travel guide. To the north of West Bengal stand the East Himalayas as a natural background. A vast texture of dense forests packed with wildlife, unending tea gardens, babbling Rivers, interspersed with sleepy or busy settlements, constitute an enthralling tourist destination – The Dooars. Not such a lot illustrious to the planet, the Dooars valley stretching from watercourse Teesta on the west to watercourse Sankosh on the east, over a span of 130 kilometer by 40 km, forms a large part of Jalpaiguri district. Derived from the word ‘doors’ (doors to Bhutan), this region additionally forms an entry to the hill stations of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan & the North-Eastern states. The dense natural forests interwoven with abundant green tea gardens are cries-crossed by Teesta. These sanctuaries abound in a mesmerizing diversity of flora and fauna. The vast texture of massive trees sheltering varieties of orchids and resounded with an echo of birds and wild animals make it a real paradise for lovers of nature and Eco-tourism.
Poetry comes in my mind
I open my eyes and see green all around me, mostly trees and algae rotting the bushes.
I hear beautiful sounds of woodpeckers, cuckoos and other mysterious sounds of nature.
I smell fresh air from the blue sky, as it runs through my nose and out.
I can taste water as it drops from leaf to leaf, in to my mouth.
I can feel the nature embracing me, in a big warm welcome.
I am thrilled, yet excited to be here in the forest.
We have reached South Khairbari Nature Park.
WJ Niemand somewhere wrote about The Jungle –
There is a place beyond the tawny grass and the scattered trees
It is a place void of flowers and of bees
A place where the lion and cheetah do not reside
It is a place where those unfit won’t survive
The sun won’t pierce it
and the waters only collide
the brush is too thick
even the trees don’t coincide
Dare to explore this place
you will see
in the heart of darkness
no man can be free
The Dooars belonged to the Kamta Kingdom under the Koch dynasty and taking advantage of the weakness of the Koch kingdom in subsequent times, Bhutan took possession of the Dooars. This region was controlled by the kingdom of Bhutan. British annexed it in 1865 when the Bhutan War under took place under the command of Captain Hedayat Ali. The area was divided into 2 halves: the eastern half was incorporate with Goalpara district in state and also the western part was changed into a brand new district named Western Dooars. Again within the year 1869, the name was modified to Jalpaiguri District. After the end of the British rule in India in 1947, the Dooars acceded into the dominion of India and it merged with the Union of India shortly afterwards in 1949.
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Gorumara national park are habitats of the rare one-horned rhinoceros, bison, leopard, spotted deer, sambar, hog deer, reptiles, huge wild tuskers, wild boars and the rarest kind of animals and birds as well as lots of peacocks. Elephant riding through the Jaldapara forest in search of wild animals, particularly the one-horned rhinos, has become a craze among the tourists to this area nowadays.
South Khairbari Eco Park
South Khairbari Eco Park having an area of twenty-five Hector, was established in the year 2003 in the district of Alipurduar. Elephant riding is accessible from Malangi Lodge and car expedition is accessible from Chilapata range and Kodalbasti range. Nearest Railway Station is Falakata. Falakata is well connected to Siliguri that successively enjoys wonderful connectivity with the rest of the country. Distance is nine Kms from Falakata and fifteen Kms from Madarihat that is accessible by Road. Place of interest is Jaldapara National Park , Coochbehar Palace, Jai Gaon, Buxaduar and Phuntsholing. South Khairbari is especially referred to as “Royal Bengal tiger & Leopard” rescue center. During the ban of animals from various circuses and shows several wild animals were captured by the forest officials which included 11 tigers seized from the Olympic circus in Hooghly district. The tigers that are being shifted to South Khairbari are a part of this group that was kept at Hollong temporarily.
This place is highly attractive to tourists because they can get a close spot to watch animals and birds. River Buri Torsa is flowing through the South Khairbari Nature Park. Boating can be done in the waters of the river in the winter season. A perfect picnic spot for a joy- loving family looking forward to relaxing and have fun. One can have boating in the winter season. The Center is to make conservation education & awareness generation about wild animals & birds among the general public. Average yearly visitors is more than 60, 000. The Centre is under the charge of the Divisional Forest Officer, Cooch Behar Forest Division, who is the Ex-Officio Director. Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiast are sure to find their delights here because of its expressive ambiance and calmness which allows nature to bloom without any unwanted intervention. The zoo is opened from 9.30 am to 5.00pm except for weekly holiday.
Official contact no.03242-250307.
Caretaker Partha-89723 99799.
How to book-All of you can book rooms by clicking below- mentioned link
We reached South Khairbari around 2.30 pm almost very hungry. I and my driver searched all the rooms in the park but can’t able to find caretaker or manager. At last, we found one lady caretaker from a corner. She told us Manager went to the nearby market and he would come within half an hour. She also mentioned that the restaurant is maintained by a third party (contractor). She would call the cook over the phone. The cook came within 20 minutes and told us that he would prepare khichri(a mixture of rice and dal ) and omelet as lunchtime was over. My wife also went to the kitchen after taking bath. We finished our late but delicious lunch around 4.30 pm. In the evening we ordered for egg thali (rice, dal, papad, sabji, egg curry).In the evening the room is full of different known and unknown though not harmful insects. Around 9 pm we had our dinner and went to bed. For more about stay please click below- mentioned the link
I got up from bed around 6 am and went for the morning walk. My son & my father accompanied me. We went to the tiger & leopard rescue center. Then we went to the park and spent some time. We have done our breakfast with roti, sabji and sweet and have our photo session. We started for Mendabari Jungle Camp around 10.30 am by a Maruti van.
Driver –Mintu Mondal,Phone no. 9775874126 .
He charged us Rs. 1500 up to Mendabari Jungle Camp. Caretaker Partha arranged all these. Thanks a lot, Partha.
Near Alipurduar road crossing we stopped for a while to take few snacks. Around 1 pm we reached our destination.
Mendabari Jungle Camp
Sitting inside a Forest Bungalow in a silent night with a sky full of stars, listening to the movement of wild animals moving around the compound, it sounds quite breathtaking. And there is a perfect place where you can find an adventure of a lifetime that is Mendabari Jungle Camp. Mendabari Jungle Camp is a Forest Bungalow located at the surrounding area of Chilapata Forest. For the folk who craves to learn more about tribal lifestyle then they can catch the glance of indigenous culture during their stay in Mendabari Jungle Camp. Mendabari Jungle Camp located 2 km inside Chilapata Forest in Kodalbsti. Mendabari Jungle Camp’s staffs behavior and the food, they serve to let you capture and live like a resident of Kodalbasti. For the food lovers, Mendabari Jungle Camp serves cooking made from organic local products. Fresh air, healthy and tasty food with a great view of raw and beautiful Nature all this can be found in Mendabari Jungle Camp. For detail review of Mendabari Jungle Camp please click below-mentioned a link
Chilapata Jungle Safari
Next morning we awakened at sharp five am. We got prepared and began for jungle safari around 5.45 am. Chilapata Forest is a dense forest located close to Jaldapara park in Dooars. It is placed about twenty kilometer from Alipurduar, and simply a couple of minutes away from Hasimara town. Chilapata Forest lies in the heart of Eastern Dooars at the foothills of Himalaya. Your stay at the Mendabari Jungle camp will be full of spotting different wild animal since the Chilapata Forest serves as a natural corridor between Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve. Chilapata forest is legendary for the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros and Indian elephant. Since Chilapata Forest is the home to twenty three species of herbivores and carnivores and around twenty two species of reptiles and a hundred and eighty species of birds. Some rare orchids and trees and plants are found in the forest as well. If you’re lucky you’ll spot sambar, deer, hog deer, leopard and from Mendabari watchtower throughout the Jungle safari
For more about Chilapata Jungle Safari click below-mentioned a link
We went to Shikari watch tower and spent 15 minutes.
Our jungle safari costs Rs. 2240 all-inclusive.
Around 8.00 am we came back to our jungle camp. We then have our breakfast with boiled egg, cake, fruits and tea. Our driver Mintu Mondal reached sharply at 8.30 am. We started for Buxaduar around 9 am.
We reached Rajabhatkhawa around 11.30 am and visited the museum. Rajabhatkhawa is a settlement located simply outside the Buxa Tiger Reserve within the Alipurduar district of West Bengal, India. It is best-known for its natural surroundings and is encircled by forest. All the permits for the entry to the Buxa Tiger reserve is taken from here. We made our Buxa-Jayanti permit in forest office simply adjacent to the museum. It costs Rs. 490. The name of the place virtually suggests that “(the place) wherever the king had a meal”.There is a story behind the name of the village. It is said that in 1800, the king of Cooch Behar vowed to never eat rice if he failed to manage to dethrone the ruler of Bhutan from the area where the village thrives now. After a while, the monarch of Bhutan himself in agreement to go away and as a gesture of amity, the kings met and had a feast of rice in the dense forest.
We then arrived at our hotel Jayanti Hills Jungle Camp Resort, P.O-Damanpur, Dist-Alipurduar, West Bengal, Rajabhat Khawa, 736123 in Buxa around 12.30 pm. Rooms of Jayanti Hills Camp Resort are slightly small. It is a great place to spot birds and go for safaris to the Buxa reserve. If you have patience you would spot the Golden Orioles, rufous babbler, Hill Mainas and Blue-throated barbet. It also falls in the path of the reserve elephants which enter the compound as and when. For detail review of Jayanti, Hills Jungle Camp Resort click below-mentioned link-
Sharp at 8.30 am the driver
PK ( 085098 89252 / 073190 68171 )
Reached our resort. We reached the main gate of Buxa Tiger Reserve.
First, we went to Santalabari. The 17 km road is through the dense forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve.
Buxa Tiger Reserve (B.T.R.) is situated in Alipurduar District, West Bengal. It comprises of the entire erstwhile Buxa Forest Division , and a part of Cooch- Behar Forest Division .The park holds maximum number of elephant, Indian bison, leopard, many species of deer and many smaller mammals, numerous species of birds and reptiles. Buxa is rich with bio-diversity and has a great collection of rare orchids and medicinal plants. Because of unapproachable topography, some parts of Buxa hills in the Sinchula range are still unexplored. Buxa is one of the oldest settlements in North Bengal. It is 24kms from Alipurduar and 180 km from Siliguri, well connected by both motor able road and railways. Several trek routes initiate here.
The main trees here are sal, champa, gamar, simul and chikrasi. About 230 species of birds and innumerable butterflies add color to the forest. The Raidak and Jayanti rivers which flow through the forest and Narathali Lake are home to migratory and common birds. Permits are issued from Rajabhatkhawa Forest Check post. Per person entry fee Rs. 60 and SUV charge Rs. 250.
We reached Santalabari around 10 am.Santalabari, a village inside the Buxa National Park, has a serene agreement with the forest surrounding it. Located in close proximity to Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR).Santalabari , small beautiful village in the deep of Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) core area having around fifty families, and a wonderful scenery of the golden-yellow mustard field. This village is one of the most popular area and considered as the best inside the Reserve Forest especially for nature lovers. We roamed for 15 minutes and then went to a small all-in-one shop. A lady selling momo there. My wife ordered 1 plate Veg Momo first .The taste was so good that we ordered for another 3 plates.
You can start your trek to the ruins of the historic Buxa Fort which is located on top of the Buxa Hill, at a height of 2600 feet. During the time of British India, this fort used to be a prison for freedom fighters. After that, it became the spot for refugee camps for Bangladeshis and Tibetans.As we have shortage in time we left the plan to visit Buxa fort.
Joy at Jayanti
Next, we went to Jayanti. We reached Jayanti at 11 am. Jayanti is one of the last destinations in Dooars still unhurt by mass tourism. Often termed as the “Queen of Dooars,” this heavily forested area is close up to the famous Buxa Tiger Reserve. Although the Jayanti River is mostly dry throughout the year, its shores of white pebbles add to the eternal beauty of the place. With the gentle sound of the Jayanti River combination with the chirping of birds, your trip to Jayanti is sure to revitalize your tired soul. The way to Buxa Tiger Reserve offers spectacular views where the herd of elephants or spotted deer or peacocks are a common sight. Jayanti is located in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. It is a forest village forming a natural boundary with the Bhutan Hills, some 30 kms from Alipurduar.
There had a steel made railway bridge over Jayanti river, which was built by the “East India Company” on 1915 for Dolomite transportation from the nearby hills to the other parts of India. But now you can see just a ruin of some concrete pillar. In 1993 it was affected very much by a flood and almost broken down. At the time of construction, the bridge had maintained a height of 52 feet but now it is just with the land level. The river is near about filled with stone and soil here. Except that, flowers gardens in the bank of the river give you a romantic feeling, here and there some little boys catch fish from the river – altogether it will gives you a journey to your dream land.
There are in fact, quite a number of places to see at Jayanti other than the Jayanti River. There is also a Pokhri (pond) located on the nearby Pokhri Hill, which is considered holy by the locals. It is some 4 km from Jayanti. This place has great religious importance for the Bhutanese and to reach both Pokhri and Buxa Fort, you need to trek through the forests.
Mahakal is another popular sightseeing destination and popular pilgrimage site. It is located very close to the Bhutan border and is a cave devoted to Lord Shiva. The hike through the forest towards the Mahakal cave is famous for bird watching. You can also trek to the nearby Bala Riverbed (another river near Jayanti), which is a great place for bird watching, mainly for peacocks but don’t stay back till late evenings because it is a leopard prone zone. Another great destination for elephant viewing is Bhutia Basti just 1.5 km from Jayanti.
We decided to go to Pokhari Lake. We fixed a guide (compulsory) for Rs. 250. The Pokhari Lake located at a 4 kilometers distance from Jayanta it is a great place of interest to the tourists traveling to Jayanti in Dooars. Pokhari Lake, more of a pond is a holy pond to local people. They perform rituals on Buddha Purnima and even they remain away from putting their feet in the water of the pond. Pokhari Lake is popular to Dooars tourists because of its huge population of cat fishes (Magur) and turtles. The lake is surrounded with greenery all around and there is complete peace one can enjoy. Travelers love feeding the fishes and turtles in the lake with puffed rice.
We came back at 12.30 pm and visited Jayanti River first. The Jayanti River is a winding river flowing through the Buxa Tiger Reserve. The river has its origin in Bhutan and flows all the way down to India. The River usually remains dry throughout the year but during monsoons, it gushes with cool sparkling water. The sound of the river simply refreshed and soothed our mind. During the night, the river bed shimmers under the radiant moonlight. Even the distant areas overlooking the river are plainly visible. Jayanti village is isolated and does not have many establishments in order to maintain harmony and tranquility of the area.
The surrounding areas is covered with green forest and hills which serves as a home to a wide variety of wildlife such as elephants, rhinos, bison, barking deer. While traveling through the river bed, one can see herds of elephant that come there in search of water. Besides this, the place is a heaven for bird watchers as different types of birds such as crested goshawk, red jungle fowl, and Asian fairy blue bird can be found here. One can also see countless butterflies which add to the beauty of the place. Wildlife safari and trekking are the two major things that can be done at Jayanti. It provides the peacefulness and serenity that is missing in the busy city life. The gentle rippling sound of the unspoiled Jayanti River along with its natural scenic environment sure to leave anyone spell bound.
Now we are really feeling hungry .I asked PK about one good restaurant in Jayanti. He took us to Banante Resort Restaurant.I have not stayed there. But the food is really awesome. Behavior of staffs is good and the hotel is also in an excellent location. Open garden restaurant with small bamboo huts for seating. You can walk the riverbed anytime you want.
I really love my lunch in Banante Resort Restaurant. They charged Rs.150 for fish meal which includes fine rice,salad,ghee,kochur loti curry (taro curry ),mocha ghonto (banana flower curry ),dal ,crispy potato ,steam katla and chatni.For full review of Banante Resort Resturant click below mentioned link-
Next day our plan is to reach Sinclair’s Retreat, Chalsa .I asked PK whether he can take us at Chalsa drop or not? He told that he is ready with that and the deal fixed up at Rs.3000.We came back to our resort at 3 pm.
On day 5 we started early around 8.30 am as per the suggestion of PK because, if we do lunch on road then we will reach Chalsa around 12 noon. On the way we stopped to take photographs of green paddy field, tea garden, kash (wild sugarcane) flower and rivers etc.
Now I asked my driver the secrecy of his name PK. He told his full name is Prankrishna. His wife told him on the first night of their marriage that she will not allow any lady calling him Prankrishna (Heartthrob). Now I got why his name is PK. We have taken our lunch at roadside Abira’s Resturant near Malbazar entry point. It is a small, clean and well decorated family restaurant providing Bengali and Chinese cuisine. The behaviors of owners were very cordial. We have ordered fish meals. Within 20 minutes they prepare fresh and delicious dishes for us. Our plate consists of fine rice, salad, dal, fry, gourd with fish head, big sorshe parshe and chatni .The price is little bit higher here that is Rs.240 per meal.
We reached Hotel Sinclair’s Retreat around 1 pm. They greeted us with welcome drinks. This property is located at Chalsa Hill overlooking the Dooars Valley. Sinclair’s Retreat offers the perfect break from the stresses of a fast-paced urban life. You may enjoy it as a relaxing retreat or a base for exploring the natural attractions of the Dooars or a convenient access point for adventurous treks, climbs and water-sports; or a venue for the many healing nature-based therapies available there.
Spread over a vast stretch of land 130 km by 40 km and consisting of velvety green tea gardens and virgin forests crisscrossed by the river Teesta and its tributaries are the Dooars. An ideal destination for nature lovers who desire to learn, be grateful for and discover the reward of nature. Spread over 20 acres of greenery, Sinclair’s Retreat Dooars offers well-appointed cottage-style air-conditioned rooms, prepared with modern facilities and amenities.
For more details about Sinclairs Retreat Dooars , please click below mentioned link-
We got up early in the morning and went for the morning walk. We have taken few photographs also. Around 9.30 we went to the restaurant of the hotel “The Banyan Tree” for our complementary breakfast. Then I discussed our drop down to Panchabati Resort, Lataguri with Bijendra ,the in charge of reception of Sinclairs.He told the sumo will take Rs. 1700.
Then I called Sharbani Madam (7908929583),proprietor of Panchabati Resort.
She gave me the cell no. of the resort Ananta (9932594989), Manager of Panchabati.
Ananta arranged a sumo for Rs.600, which will pick up us from Sinclairs and drop down to Panchabati . It was a great deal . On the way we got down at Mahakal Temple to offer our prayer to Lord Shiva.
Lets highlight about Lataguri. Lataguri is located in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. The village is located outside the Gorumara National Park on National Highway No. 31. Lataguri is bounded on the North and East by Gorumara forests, in the South Moulani more and in the West by Neora River. Full of dense forests and grassland, the region is home to many species of flora and fauna. Scenic beauty is the first and last word for Lataguri.
There are two high schools, one is Lataguri High School (Co-ed) and other one is Lataguri Girl’s High School. Lataguri was a small village till a few years back. Tourism around Gorumara started in Lataguri and its surrounding area although today large number of tourist accommodation has come up all around the forest including in Murti, Ramsai and other areas.
There is a Nature Interpretation centre at Lataguri which issues ticket for day visitors inside forest, known as forest safari. Cultural programs such as tribal dance etc. are organised at the centre in the evening. Most of the population in Lataguri is Bengali or Rajbanshis. Main economic activity till the 90’s was Saw mill, Timber merchant and goods transport. Today the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on tourism.
We reached Panchavati Resort around 1 pm.Manager Ananta gave us a warm welcome. Panchavati Forest Resort is one of the better accommodations in Lataguri. Situated adjacent to Gorumara National Park having a large ground and a restaurant. The bracing greens all over, clean air and the tranquil environment gave a real feel of nature. They have few conventionally decorated cottages and four and eight bedded family rooms with latest modern amenities of living.
There is an open-air restaurant, a lawn with a well-maintained garden and children’s park at the resort. An ideal place to explore the wilderness of Gorumara, Chapramari and Jaldapara. Panchavati Forest Resort situated in Lataguri provides a 24 hour front desk facility. Some of the other facilities offered by the resort are laundry service, safari and security guard. Panchavati Forest Resort provides a parking area to the customers. It is situated at a distance of 71 km from Siliguri and 72 km from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. This nature resort located in Lataguri and a minute away from Gorumara ticket counter.
For more detail of Panchabati Resort click below mentioned link-
After reaching there, as per advice of Ananta I rushed to Jungle Safari ticket counter. Ananta told me only first 15 jeeps will be allotted permits. I took one Toto driver-
and rushed to ticket counter. I became 12th number when I reached there. You have to stand personally in the queue for entire jeep booking with valid photo ID card. If you are going to the forest just so that you must see animals, then don’t go. You might be disappointed when you will not see any animal. Go there with an open mind to enjoy the serenity, peace and beauty of the forest. My Gorumara Jungle jeep safari costs Rs. 1520 which consists of
Entry fee = 200
Guide = 180
Jeep = 1140
For details about Gorumara Jungle Safari click below mentioned link-
Dooars Travel Guide , Dooars Tour Guide , Rajabhatkwhawa , Jayanti , Buxa , Garumara
Early morning we woke up by the call of Lataguri toto driver,Nikhil (9932825684). He insisted us to stroll around Lataguri in his toto & guaranteed us his “toto tour” will be better than Garumara Jungle Safari .As I was also from North Bengal (Maynaguri) I was reluctant to do this activity. My wife already refused to go with us and went to bed to finish her early morning nap. But after all seeing toto driver’s expectation & hope we became ready to go with him. First of all he took us to the tribal village.
Then we went to Nowera nuddy tea estate. The word “Nowera Nuddy” derives its name from the River Neora which originates from the Bhutan hills flows close to the garden on the eastern side & joins the River Teesta down south. The estate’s railway station & post office are also named after the Neora River. It is situated in the ‘doab’ or the tract of land between the two rivers, Chel on the west & Neora in the east.
The origin of Nowera Nuddy Tea Estate dates back to the early 20th century, when James Finlay from Scotland began cultivating tea plantations in the North-East of the country. The estate was erstwhile owned by the Consolidated Tea & Lands Company (India) Ltd. In the year 1977, Tata & Finlay joined forces to form Tata Finley and Nowera Nuddy was taken under its wing. Subsequently, Finley divested their share to Tata cluster and thereby in 1983 Nowera Nuddy became a section of Tata Tea & remained so until april, 2008. The estate was finally confiscate by Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd. in May 2008.
The tea estate has the capacity to produce 6 lakh kilograms of CTC, Green & Orthodox (whole leaf) tea. The plucking season here begins in March, runs through the rest of the year and ends in December. The tea estate provides labour quarters to accommodate its workforce. A 25 bedded centrally located hospital has been built close to the labour colonies to take care of their medical needs. A Govt. Sub Centre situated within the premises of the hospital, undertakes maternity and primary healthcare requirements of the working people. The tea estate has a government-run primary school and crèche located near the Office.
Then we went to the bank of Neora River. We saw Neora Valley Resort. We went to the rail bridge & reached close to the river. We saw few peacocks & peahen there.Then we went to Lataguri bazaar & newly built Lataguri Rail station. We reached resort around 9.30 am .Nikhil charged Rs. 300 for it but it is a worth spending. Nikhil was so elaborative regarding describing each and every spot that made the things more beautiful. Rest of the day I spent in my cottage writing blogs. In the evening one of my friends, Kallol came to meet us. We spent few hours remembering our schooldays.
In the morning we got up late. Today we were moving to Murti. We went for our breakfast around 10 am. Ananta asked whether we will have our lunch there or not. I asked him about the lunch menu. Ananta unfolds the menu. It is fine rice, dal, brinjal fry, steam Katla, mutton curry, and chutney. My son insisted on lunch with Ananta at Panchavati. After breakfast, we had our bath and photo session.
We fix up one Tata Indigo at Rs.500 which will take us at Murti. Around 2 pm after finishing our lunch we started for Murti. Within 25 minutes we reached our last destination Garumara Tent.This property belongs to WBSFDA(West Bengal State Forest Development Agency ). It can be booked online by clicking below mentioned link
Here room rent includes fooding also which was unknown to me.For detail review of Gorumara Tent click below mentioned link-
Murti is a picturesque tourist spot set on the banks of the Murti river within the Dooars region of Northern Bengal. Spending a few peaceful days, especially for those who are looking for some serenity and tranquility Murti is the perfect place for them. Murti is a great spot for nature lovers and bird watchers. Murti village is found by the banks of Murti river and it’s very near to Chapramari forest and Gorumara national park. In fact, Murti River is one of the main rivers dodging right through the middle of Gorumara National Park. The entire Dooars range of forests can be reached from Murti. Forests like Gorumara, Chapramari, Chukchukia, Khunia and, Chalsa are all close. You can also visit nearby hill destinations like Jhalong, Bindu, Paren, Samsing, Suntaleykhola and few other spots like Mouchuki , jungles like Neora Valley N.P are also located nearby. Camping, angling, and hiking are the two most well-liked activities in Murti. One can reach Murti from New Mall Junction or New Maynaguri Railway Station. If you’re traveling by air, then the closest airport is at Bagdogra from wherever you’ll be able to rent cars to reach Murti. Murti can also be reached from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri Station by hiring cars. Murti can be visited any time of the year. However, if you’re planning for jungle safari then avoid the monsoons because the jungles remain closed throughout the rains. Now you can find many hotels in Murti. There are several budget hotels and a couple of very nice, well maintained private hotels with all modern facilities. You can arrange homestay also. Food is served within the hotels that mainly comprises Bengali cooking. There is also Government run accommodation in Murti.
In the evening we enjoyed a tribal dance with coffee and onion pakora. It is really awesome. In this context, I must discuss Dooars 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 flavor to the rich cultural diversity of Dooars. Dooars was covered with dense forests and the tribal people lived an isolated existence until the British invaded their space. 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 snake 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.
Activities at Murti-Shopping and Deep in River Murti
Early morning I woke up and went for morning walk along with my father. We roamed around our hotel and adjacent areas. I have taken few photographs of Garumara Tent .
After coming back to our hotel we have taken our breakfast and went to nearby handicraft shop. We purchased few wooden & bamboo items to gift our near and dear ones. The shopkeeper is a very friendly person. He also gave us few items as gifts.
Then I went to river Murti to take a deep. The Gorumara National Park, which is home to Indian Rhinos, Wild Elephants and various bird species is just a stone’s throw from Murti. Beside this knee deep snaking Murti River is a perfect break. You can also take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Murti River or do some fishing whatever you like. Camping is the most popular activity in Murti along with hiking.
Today we are going back to Kolkata after a long stay at dooars. Our train is 12344 down Darjeeling Mail. We will board from NJP and departure time is 8 pm. We woke up late morning and finished our breakfast. Then we strolled here and there in Murti. I contact one local driver who will take us up to NJP rail station. After a short bargain, we negotiated at Rs. 1600 for this drop.
The driver name is Brajen and contact number is 7076910130.
We finished our lunch around 3 pm and asked our manager for final bill. We started from Garumara Tent, Murti around 4.30 pm. At the time of departure the manager gifted us four handmade jute door mats as a token gift. We crossed Lataguri once again and turned right towards Gajoldaba.
The Gajoldoba Mega Eco-Tourism Hub, named ‘Bhorer Alo’ by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, has run into trouble with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Eastern Zone Bench, directing the state government to obtain necessary environmental clearances before proceeding further with the project. The 208-acre project has been planned by the West Bengal Tourism Department between the Teesta Barrage and the Baikunthapur Forest.
The project, located 25 km from Siliguri, is to be developed through private participation. The plans include a lake plaza, ayurvedic spa village, a high-end eco lake resort, star category eco resorts, budget eco resorts, a cultural area, camping area, amusement park, and a golf course and academy.
Then we crossed Teesta Barrage. Teesta Barrage Project is one of the largest irrigation projects not only in West Bengal but also in the entire eastern region. It will create a huge irrigation potential in six northern districts of West Bengal and 67.50 MW of hydropower from canal falls. The Project has three different phases and the Project envisages utilization of the potential of the Teesta River in the field of irrigation hydropower generation, navigation, and flood moderation.
Dooars travel tips
Before ending my story I have some tips about dooars.
1) Relax your idle time, get engrossed with the beauty.
2) Dooars region experiences light rain due to extreme humidity in summer.
3) Few places in Dooars experience cold weather throughout the year.
4) The temperature rises up to 38 degree Celsius in summer.
5) Sanctuaries are closed in monsoon.
6) Lucrative off-season discounts on resorts.
7) Monsoon is the breeding season of the animals in sanctuaries.
8) Dooars is the most preferred destination in winter.
9) Traveling is easy during winter in Dooars.
10) The temperature in winter drops down to 5 degree Celsius.
Few famous personalities from dooars –
Famous music composer Bappi Lahiri born at dooars (Jalpaiguri).Other famous personalities like actress Mimi Chakraborty , a former badminton player from Madhumita Bisht, well-known contemporary Bengali writer Samaresh Majumadar are also from Jalpaiguri Dooars.