The Dooars range typically refers to foothills and floodplains to the south of Eastern Himalayas. The area covers some part of Northeast India around Bhutan, including lower altitude of Darjeeling district, entire districts of Jalpaiguri and Aliporeduar, some parts of Coochbehar district in West Bengal, and Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Goalpara district of Assam. The name is derived from the word ‘duar’, which in local areas and some other parts of India means ‘door’. Dooars truly serves as a gateway to Northeast and Bhutan, with 18 Indo-Bhutan passages. Being under tropical climate zone, the region has a rain forest with mixed vegetation and various species of animals, birds, reptiles etc.

Places to visit around Dooars

Jaldapara National Park

With an average altitude of 61 m and area of 216 sq km, it is considered to be among the forests with largest number of Indian one-horned rhinoceros in the country. Other noteworthy animals here are the Indian elephants, Indian leopard, spotted deer, wild pigs, sambar etc. Birds like Bengal florican, crested eagle, jungle fowl, peafowl etc and reptiles like cobras, kraits, pythons, monitor lizards are found here.

Gorumara National Park

On 2009, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has declared this park as the best one amongst all the protected areas in India. The park mainly has the tropical and sub-tropical grasslands and broadleaf forests. It also is a home to 50 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, 194 species of birds, 27 species of fish, 7 species of turtles etc.

Manas National Park

This national park in Assam is named after Manas River that flows through this park. The park is a national park, wildlife sanctuary, tiger reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reason behind this is the conservation of animals like 55 species of mammals Bengal tiger, golden langur, hispid hare, water buffalo, pygmy hog etc, 50 species of reptiles including Assam roofed turtle, 3 species of amphibians and 380 species of birds.

Buxa Tiger Reserve

Buxa forest covers 760 sq km of area and famous for the breeding and conservation area of Indian tigers and other endangered species like Asian elephant, hispid hare, Bengal florican, leopard cat, Chinese pangolin, gaur (Indian bison) etc. There are a fort and a Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, inside the forest, which are of historical and religious importance respectively.

Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

Typically falls under the Darjeeling wildlife division, the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is around 13 km from Siliguri town. The vegetation of the sanctuary includes mixed-wet forest and riverain forests under Himalayan sub-tropical climate. Birds like Great Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, swift, warbler, thrush, minivet etc are special attraction here, along with animals like Himalayan serow, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan porcupine, rhesus monkey etc.

Royal Palace of Coochbehar

The Royal Palace or Rajbari in Coochbehar is another great attraction for random tourists, as well as historians. Also known as Victor Jubilee Palace, it started to be built in the year of 1887 under the reign of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan. The double-storied building was constructed in classical western style. The 124 Durbar Hall is built following the Renaissance architecture.

Jalpesh Mandir

Jalpesh Mandir is situated in Mainaguri sub-division of Jalpaiguri district and considered to be one of the most important in Dooars region from religious point of view. This 350 years old temple is dedicated to mighty Lord Shiva, whose ‘lingam’ here is worshipped with utmost belief. Every year during ‘Shravana’ month of Bengali calendar, huge gathering of religious people can be observed here.