Dooars and Kalimpong ? Two Scenic Valley of West Bengal
When you come across a jolly ride through the hill slopes, pervasive lush green tea gardens separated by anfractuous silvery mountain streams, high Sal forests, small hushed ethnic villages, humongous meadows with a blue outline of the great Himalayan ranges in the horizon, endless sky….. you are for sure in Dooars!
Dooars are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan and the valley stretches from River Teesta on the west to River Sankosh on the east. Duar means door in Assamese, Nepali, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Bengali, and is known so as the region forms the gateway to Bhutan from India.
The rivers Raidak, Torsha, Jaldhaka and Kaljani with their innumerable tributaries trotting and rolling down from the hills creates a mesmerizing effect.
History: After the devastation of the kingdom of Kamatapur by Alauddin Husain Shah of Gaur in 1494, the Koch kingdom emerged again in the Dooars under the leadership of Vishwa Singha.
Hingulavas near Mahakalguri in the Dooars was the earliest capital of the Koch kingdom.
Due to the weakness of the Koch kingdom in subsequent times, Bhutan took possession of the Dooars. This region was controlled by the kingdom of Bhutan when the British annexed it in 1865 after the Bhutan War under the command of Captain Hedayat Ali.
The area was divided into two parts: the eastern part was merged with Goalpara district in Assam and the western part was turned into a new district named Western Dooars.
In 1869, the name was changed 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.
Places to Visit:
Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary
Flora and fauna of Jaldapara
Khayer Bari (Animal rescue centre)
Gorumara National Park
Flora and fauna of Gorumara
Jhalong andk Bindu Tour
Samsing- Suntalekhola Tour
Jayanti and Buxa Tiger Reserve
Kalimpong is a hill station nestling in the lush green mid ranges of the Himalayas.
It is situated at an altitude of 1800 metre on the Bhutan-Tibet-Sikkim border on the eastern part of the Himalayas. As per the Lepcha sources, ‘Kalenpung’ means “Ridges Where We Play”. In Tibetan translation it means “The Stockade of Kings Ministers”, and the hill people also call “Kalimpong” as “Kalibong” meaning “Black Spurs”. However the Lepcha translation has found acceptance as the tribesman organized field sports.
Kalimpomg has an incredible stunning backdrop of towering snow-capped peaks. It is a one of the most visited tourist destination owing to its temperate climate, serene beauty and is a silent paradise with proximity to popular tourist locations in the region. The old churches, the Graham’s home, the Morgan House, golf course revive the memory of the British Raj. Kalimpong is known as the ecological hotspot. The climate of Kalimpong is favorable for the production of orchid, cactus and ornamental plants. Known for its horticulture, a huge quantity of orchids and gladiolus are produced in the numerous nurseries and are exported to different countries.
Kalimpong is a major center for traditional handicrafts. The wood curving, thanka paintings, metal crafts, Tibetian and Leptcha jewelries, wooden mask attract a large number of tourists throughout the year. The quaint bustling bazar, is a wanderers delight, and a Pandora’s box of surprises containing Buddhist thankas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, Lepcha daggers, masks and a lot more. Kalimpong offers Buddhist Monasteries, Hindu Temples, Christian Churches, Flowers, Orchids and exotic flora, old colonial bungalows, scenic view points and above all the panorama of snows.
River Rafting is the favorite sport done in Teesta and Rangeet rivers. The Samco Ropeway Excursion is an adventurous sport and it spans over the Teesta and Relli rivers over 1.5 km. Trekking is also the main highlight on the pine covered hills.
Places to Visit:
Dr. Graham’s House
Lolaygaon / Lolegaon
It is recommended that you consider booking long distance bus tickets on “Air Conditioned Volvo buses” operated by all operators as the quality of the other buses vary significantly. Bus tickets are easily available online. One can plan trip and do bus booking online in advance. Online bus tickets booking is an easy process which can save your time and price.