The Dooars region politically constitutes the plains of the Darjeeling District, the whole of Jalpaiguri District and the upper region of Cooch Behar District in West Bengal and the districts of Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Goalpara and Bongaigaon in the state of Assam.
The Dooars or Duars (Pron: ˌdu:ˈɑ:z) (Bengali: ডুয়ার্স) are the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan. Duar means ‘door’ in Assamese, Bengali, Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Telugu languages, and the region forms the gateway to Bhutan from India. There are 18 passages or gateways through which the Bhutanese people can communicate with the people living in the plains. This region is divided by the Sankosh river into the Eastern and the Western Dooars, consisting of an area of 8,800 km² (3,400 sq mi). The Western Dooars is known as the Bengal Dooars and the Eastern Dooars as the Assam Dooars. Dooars is synonymous with the term Terai used in Nepal and northern India.
The Dooars belonged to the Kamata 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 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. Again in the year 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.
Dooars tourism offers multitude options to visitors like trekking, adventure sports and nature trails.The Gorumara National Park at Dooars (Duars) was declared the “Best National Park” in 2010.
Good to Know
The average rainfall of the area is about 3,500 mm. Monsoon generally starts from the middle of May and continues till the end of September. Winters are cold with foggy mornings and nights. Summer is mild and constitutes a very short period of the year.
Bengali, Nepali,Hindi, English
The altitude of Dooars area ranges from 90 to 1,750 m
Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorumara National Park, Champamari Wildlife Sanctuary are habitats of the rare one-horned rhinoceros, the mighty bison, leopard, spotted deer, sambar, hog deer, reptiles, huge wild tuskers, wild boars, and the rarest variety of and birds, including peacocks. Elephant – riding through the Jaldapara forest in search of wild animals, particularly the one-horned rhinos, is specially popular among tourists. Other places of attraction in and around the region include Jayanti, (30 km from Alipurduar) is a beautiful spot encircled by the Jayanti river and the hills around. The leopard Rehabilitation Centre and Nature Park at Khayrabari is 11kms from Madarihat.
Bhutanghat (45 km from Alipurduar), famous for scenic beauty, is close to the river Raidak that borders Bhutan. Buxa Fort (30 km from Alipurduar), famous for the ruins of the Detention Camp used by the British Government for detaining freedom fighters of our country. Malbazar (52 km from Siliguri) has tea gardens and scenic spots around. Chalsa (61 km from Siliguri) is famous for scenic beauty. Teesta Barrage (57 km from Siliguri) is emerging and being developed as a tourist attraction.
Phuntsholling (161 km from Siliguri via Jaldapara), on the border of Bhutan, is a major gateway to Bhutan.
HOW TO REACH.
Road: Siliguri is the gateway to the Dooars. Cooch Behar, being the headquarters of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, is well – connected by long distance bus routes to Siliguri as well as Kolkata, Jalpaiguri, etc.
Rail: There is a railway service connecting Cooch Behar with Kolkata via New Jalpaiguri. One can also avail the railway service via Alipurduar.
Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra, connecting Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati.