Saturday, 10 December 2011

How to Reach Siliguri


Siliguri is well connected by air, with its own airport situated only about 15 km from the city center. Apart from being a domestic airport, the Bagdogra Airport of Siliguri is also the only international airport in the region. There are regular flights to Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi from here. Talking about international carriers, the airport has flights to & from Paro (Bhutan) and Bangkok (Thailand). There is also a regular helicopter service that links Siliguri to Gangtok.

Initiated in the year 1961, New Jalpaiguri Station is approximately 6 km away from the Siliguri town. Also known as NJP, it is presently the most important station in the region, as it connects Siliguri to the major cities in the country, through railways. However, Darjeeling Himalayan Toy Train remains the main attraction of this station. 

A gateway to the northeastern belt of India, Siliguri is very well connected by road to Kolkata, Guwahati and Patna, which in turn are linked to the rest of the country. Apart from being connected with the major states of India, Siliguri also serves as the gateway to the beautiful and awe-striking hill towns of Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik, Jorethang and Namchi. Siliguri is also connected with neighboring countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan, by road............

Nabadwip, West Bengal

In Bengali, Nabadwip means 'a collection of nine islands'. Just as its name suggests, Nabadwip is a collection of islands, namely Antardwip (Sri Mayapur), Simantadwip, Rudradwip, Madhyadwip, Godrumdwip, Ritudwip, Jahnudwip, Modadrumdwip, and Koladwip. Situated in the Nadia district of West Bengal, the place is considered to be much sanctified, since it is the birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nabadwip is visited by thousands of pilgrims belonging to Gaudiya Vaishnavism every year, on the occasion of Sri Navadvipa-mandala Parikrama.

The earliest available records of Nabadwip tell us that it was the capital city of Lakshmana Sena of the Hindu Sena Dynasty, around 1179 to 1202 AD. It was then invaded and captured by Baktiyar Khilji, in 1202 AD. The city also serves as a prominent seat of education in India for as long as five centuries. This is the reason that the city was also referred to as the 'Oxford of Bengal'. Nabadwip, as a tourist destination is extremely famous for its religious expeditions. It is visited by a large number of tourists every year, on holidays like Gaura Purnima.

Navadwip was earlier located on the eastern bank of Bhagirathi, along with the rest of the Nadia district. However, as Bhagirathi River changed its course, the city shifted to its western bank. Blessed with numerous old and new temples, the city welcomes people of various sects, like Shaktas, Vaishnavs and Shivaites, with open arms. The month of Agharayan i.e. November (according to Gregorian Calendar) is the best time to visit this place, as during this period, the city gets on into extremely festive and celebration mood with the arrival of the Rash Festival.

Places to See:

Sonar Gouranga Temple

Sonar Gouranga temple is one of the most famous temples in Nawadwip. It is situated besides Sribas Angan and lies opposite to Sri Samajbari Asram. The temple is famous for the Golden Shrine of great social reformer and saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His footwear has been kept here, in a glass case. It is said that Pratap Chandra Goswami, a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, constructed this temple. It is now a seat of Gauria Vaishnav.

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is a holy temple founded by the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This temple was established in 1941, by Om Vishnupad Sri Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj, a disciple of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The headquarters of this temple was established in Nawadwip and after that, many branches of this temple have been opened in other parts of India as well as abroad. 

Dwadas Shib Mandir

Dwadas Shib Mandir is another popular temple in Nawadwip. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. This temple was built in 1835. It is basically famous for its exquisite floral designs. It also attracts a large number of pilgrims, especially during Mahashivratri.


Nabadwip Excursions


Mayapur is one of the most popular tourist destinations of West Bengal, situated near Nabadwip. This place is famous for being the headquarters of the famous Hare Krishna or ISKCON movement. The city houses the famous ISKCON temple, with Radha Madhava deities. The idols of Radha Madhava in this temple are surrounded by eight gopis. The idols of Narasimhadeva and the Panca-tattva are also enshrined in the temple. 


Krishnanagar is another popular excursion near Nabadwip. Renowned as the center for clay modeling and pottery in West Bengal, this city is also the birth place of noted Bengali poet, composer and playwright Shri Dwijendra Lal Roy. Krishna Nagar had also once been the center of activities of the Christian missionaries. Popular tourist spots in the city are Krishnanagar Palace and the Roman Catholic Church. 


Bethuadahri is a popular wildlife sanctuary situated near Nabadwip. This sanctuary houses a wide variety of wild animals, like spotted deer, jackal, Bengal fox, porcupine, and common langur. It also houses birds like parakeets, Indian cuckoo, barbets and other smaller birds. Bethuadahri Sanctuary has a significant population of snakes and pythons as well.


Shantipur was a popular centre of Sanskrit learning and literature in past. The city is also famous for the Topkhana Mosque, built by Fauzder Gazi Mohammad Yaar Khan, during the reign of Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb. Another famous place in the city is the Shayam Chand Temple, built in conventional 'Aatchala' style. Jaleshwar Temple and Adwaita Prabhu Temple are other temples in Shantipur that you should visit............

How to Reach Nabadwip

There is no direct air route to Nabadwip. The nearest airport to the city is the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport of Kolkata, which is about 114 km away. From Kollkata, there is a direct bus service to the place.

The railhead of the city is known as Nabadwip Ghat station. Many local and express trains pass through the station. After you reach the Nabadwip Ghat station, you will have to cross over to Nabadwip by boat.

There is direct road connectivity to Nabadwip from Kolkata. Direct buses, private cabs and reserved taxis are available from the city. Special buses from Kolkata also take tourists directly to the Mayapur ISCKON in Nabadwip............

Malda, West Bengal

Malda city of West Bengal is situated on the banks of the River Mahananda. It is one of the biggest cities in West Bengal and famous for the production of mango and silk. The city was earlier named 'English Bazaar', as it came into prominence when an English factory established here, in the year 1771. The city basically serves as the tourism base to the two historic cities of Pandua and Gaur. People interested in historical and archaeological expeditions must head towards this particular region in West Bengal.

Malda, once the capital city of Bengal, lies between Pandua and Gaur, two other prominent cities of ancient and medieval India. The city however is comparatively very new in origin. It also once acted as the river port for Pandua. Today, Malda is the one of the important rail link of West Bengal, where all trains bound for north Bengal and northeastern states of India halt. Apart from being known for its silk and mango production, the city is also renowned for its surplus rice, jute, wheat and cotton productions. 

Malda offers visitors the tourism prospect of Gaur and Pandua. Gaur, being the capital city of three dynasties of ancient Bengal - the Buddhist Palas, the Hindu Senas and the Muslim Nawabs, is a city with glorious past. On the other hand, Pandua, the alternate tourism spot near Malda, is one of the prominent centers of Muslim monuments in Bengal. Malda also houses the Malda Museum, which has a vast collection of the regional architectural and anthropological specimen. A trip to Malda will be extremely beneficial for understanding the historical and cultural emergence of Bengal.

Places To See:

Malda Museum

Malda Museum is the preservatory of local architectural and anthropological samples. Situated on the Bandh Road of the city, the museum runs under the directions of the West Bengal Directorate of Archaeology. It houses ancient sculptures, porcelains, calligraphic inscriptions and terracotta items. All these items belong to the nearby regions of Pandura and Gaur and are estimated to be about 1500 year old. The museum is an important place of survey and research on the historic existence of these two very important cities of West Bengal. 


Pandua is known for its ancient existence and glorious past. The city was the seat of power in Bengal for a long time. It has also undergone three different eras of glory, under the reign of Buddhist Palas, Hindu Senas and Muslim Nawabs. However, the ruins of its leftover architecture can only be traced back to the era of Muslim Nawabs. A place in the city that is worth visiting is the Jami Mosque or the Adina Mosque, built by Sikandar Shah in 1369. It was described to be the finest example of existing Pathan architecture. Other places worth a trip are Eklakhi Mausoleum, Qutb Shahi Masjid and Masjid Bari Darga.


Gaur is another place for which the city of Malda plays a tourism base. the city has practically been reduced to ruins now; however there is still a possibility for you to roam around and have a look at the chronological journey of this historical city, once a prominent center of politics and state affairs of the entire Bengal. The notable monuments of Gaur include Bara Darwaza, Small Golden or Mosque, Tantipar Mosque, Dakhil Darwaza, Kadam Rasut Mosque, Firoz Minar and the Tomb of Saint Makhdum Shaikh Akhi Siraj............

How to Reach Malda

The nearest airport to Malda is the Bagdodra Airport. It is about 250 km from the city. From here, you can take the private buses or hire cabs to reach Malda. The journey may also be undertaken by a public transport bus, which would be extremely cheap.

The nearest rail head is the Malda station itself. It is the one of the prominent railway stations of West Bengal and also serves as the divisional headquarters of the Eastern Railway. All the trains bound for north of Bengal and the northeastern states of India halt at this city.

NH 34 is the national highway that connects Malda with all the other important cities in the country. Malda can be reached through buses from Kolkata, Murshidabad and Siliguri. Kolkata is located about 410 km and Siliguri is located 260 km away from the city............

History of Malda

Malda district has always been an important seat of power in West Bengal. The existence of this historic location can be traced back to long back, at least to the existence of Mauryan Empire. Though the cities of Gaur and Pandura had always kept the district in the list of prominent locations of Bengal, due to the concentration of power at these two blocks, Malda city came into existence only after the arrival of British troops in this area, in 18th century. The chronological evidences of last 1500 years of this area are preserved in the museum of Malda city. Let us explore the history and origin of Malda in detail.

Malda District

The history of Malda district basically tells the tales associated with the ruined city of Gaur and Pandua. The ancient city of Gaur is said to be in existence since an untraceable period. The first ever record of the city is found in the Hindu Puranic texts. The historical records of the city are however available from 500 BC, from the phase of Mauryan reign. Archeological findings also figure out that that the entire region of Pandua, then known as Pundrabardhana, and Gaur had also been a part of Gupta Empire. 

The Guptas were succeeded by the king of Karnasubarna in 700 A.D. His rule here lasted for almost thirty years. The reign of ended with that of the Palas, who extensively promoted Buddhism in the region. Palas were followed by the Hindu Sena dynasty. The Sena Dynasty ruled over Bengal till 1204 AD. The rule of Senas ended here after the Mughals and Afghans invaded and captured Bengal. The traces of this Muslim dynasty rule of Mughals and Afghans can be observed in the ruins and remains of their great architectures. 

After the Mughals came to power, they shifted their headquarters to Pandua and they left a scene of ransack in Gaur. However, they again came back to Gaur in 1453, after deserting Pandua. This was basically due to the change of the course of the nearby river. In 1575, under the rule of Akbar, the city suffered a severe plague and was completely abandoned. These two cities, since then, lie in a heap of ruins. However, the surroundings, like Malda and other cities, gradually developed with the arrival of British in the area. 

Malda City

The current city of Malda is situated between the historical cities of Gaur and Pandua. However, this city actually came in existence in the middle of 18th century, when the British established a factory here. The place was then known as Engelzavad i.e. established by the British rulers. The proper organization of this city began with the early 19th century. In 1813, a Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector were appointed to the city and in 1832, an official treasury was opened under the British rule. The city later came to be known as English Bazar and then was renamed as Malda............

Kalimpong Excursions

Teesta Bazaar

For adventure freaks, Kalimpong is just the ideal place to be in. Apart from the lovely flower nurseries and mesmerizing landscape, the hill station also offers its tourists excellent adventure opportunities. About 16 km away from the town is the Teesta Bazaar - a perfect destination for white water rafting enthusiasts. Starting from mid-November, the rafting season continues till mid of February and presents enthusiasts the experience of a lifetime. 


Perched at an altitude of 6410 feet, Rissisum is the other name for 'Paradise On Earth'. It is about 20 km from Kalimpong, en route to Lava and offers tourists captivating view of the glorious mountains. A perfect place to open the picnic bags and indulge in recreation, Rissisum extends tourists a mesmerizing and hypnotic view of the valley below.


Just about an hour’s drive from Kalimpong, Lava extends tourists an enthralling landscape, which city-goers can only awe at. Nestled at an altitude of 6500 feet, this small town is extremely rich in flora and fauna. The place provides tourists umpteen opportunities for indulging in natural excursions, bird watching and wildlife. The department of forest has also provided log huts and rest houses for the comfort of tourist and travelers.

Lolay Goan/ Kaffer

Lolay Goan offers tourists an enticing view of the Kanchanjunga Range. Snuggled at an altitude of 5200 feet, 56 km from Kalimpong, the place is nothing less than spellbinding and magnetic. Lolay Goan not just provides tourists an enthralling view of the Kalimpong town, but also a complete view of the mighty Kanchanjunga Range. It also boasts of rich flora and fauna and has dense virgin forest.

Chitray Falls

Enticing, exhilarating and invigorating - Chitray Falls is the perfect place for honeymooners and couples. Offering a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, the place is purely romantic and blissful. Located 9 km down the Tests Road, with shortcuts through rice fields, it is a haven for those looking forward to spending romantic moments with their loved ones.


It is said that a visit to Kalimpong cannot be complete without visiting Rishyap. Deemed as the ultimate site in the region, Rishyap is situated at an altitude of 8250 feet, about 28 km away from Kalimpong, it is by far the best place in the area, with a touch of medieval old world charm. To reach Rishyap, one has to travel the last few km on his/her own, as jeeps stop four km away from the place. Till date, there is no electricity in the area. With a few small cottage-type accommodations, Rishyap presents tourist a magnificent view of Himalayas, along with a peek at the Nathula Pass, Tin Simana, Gangtok and Tibet Hills............

How to Reach Kalimpong

Bagdogra Airport, situated near Siliguri, is the closest airdrome, about 80 km from Kalimpong. The airport is well connected with Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati and its major carriers are Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Deccan. It takes about 3 hours to reach Kalimpong, from Bagdogra Airport. 

The closest railhead for reaching Kalimpong is at New Jalpaiguri, which is around 77 km away. Located on the outskirts of Siliguri, the station is connected with almost all major cities of the country. Many important trains network between New Jalpaiguri, Kolkata (Howrah and Sealdah) and Delhi

Siliguri serves as the gateway to the northeastern regions in India. There are regular bus services to Kalimpong from Siliguri. Silguri is, in turn, well connected by road to Kolkata, Guwahati, and Patna. Apart from this, there are internal bus services that connect Kalimpong to Gangtok and Darjeeling............

Jalpaiguri, West Bengal

Situated in the Terai region of Himalayas, Jalpaiguri is one of the most important districts in West Bengal. The name of the place has been under contention for quite some time now. Some believe that the name Jalpaiguri came from the amalgamation of two words - jalpai meaning ‘olive’ and guri standing for ‘place’, thus meaning 'place of olives'. There are others, who think that the place was named after Jalpesh, the presiding deity (Shiva) of the entire region. Yet others are of the opinion that the name Jalpaiguri comes from the Bhutanese term je-le-pe-go-ri, which means 'a place where warm clothes are bought and sold'.

Talking about the geographical location of Jalpaiguri, the district is situated in the northern part of West Bengal, sharing international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh in the north and south and with Assam and Darjeeling hills in the east, west and northwest, respectively. The district was once a part of the Duars area of the old Kamarupa and later, the Bhutanese kingdoms. In 1864, with the British annexation, Jalpaiguri came under the British rule, who divided the area into two parts. While the eastern half was known as the Goalpara district (now, in Assam), the western half became recognized as Western Duars. 

In 1869, the district was reorganized and renamed as Jalpaiguri, with Jalpaiguri town becoming the district headquarters. The topography of the place is such that it is crisscrossed with rivulets, rivers and hills. Situated at an elevation of 75 meters above sea level, Jalpaiguri lies in the middle of the vast fertile plains (Terai), to the south of the Himalayas. Teesta River, the second largest river in West Bengal after the Ganges, flows through the town. The district extends a panoramic vista to the tourists, what with the magnificent hills and the roaring rivers enthralling the area. 

Jalpaiguri serves as the gateway to the Northeastern region of India. Due to its strategic location and inviting climate, the district has been home to various cultural groups, including Ranjbanshi, Ravas, Totos, Metch, Santhals, Madasia and Oraons, which have created a unique cultural harmony. While cultivation of tea is its main industry, small scale industries like making woolen garments and wooden furniture also thrive herein. Jalpaiguri forwards tourists a plethora of attractions, such as Rajbari, Jubilee Park, Jogmaya Kali Mata Temple, Kali Temple at Paharpur and Jalpesh Temple. With so much to see, Jalpaiguri surely makes way to be one of the favored destinations in West Bengal.

Places To See:

Rajbari Palace

A reminiscence of the yesteryears, Rajbari Palace marks excellence in architecture and designing. The palace comprises of a large palace building, portico, bushy garden and two temples. The palace gate at Rajbari is assumed to be the world's largest un-reinforced concrete arch structure. The palace once served as the residence of the Raikats, the kings of Baikunthapur estate. The garden of the palace boasts of a beautiful pond, Rajbari Dighi. Surrounded by the pond is a lovely garden filled with flowers and shrubs, making it place a worth watching. 

Jogomaya Kalibari

On the temple street of Jalpaiguri stands tall the famous Jogomaya Kalibari - a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple is believed to be the abode of Maa Kali. The temple complex also houses a shrine of Baba Loknath. The deity is believed to be extremely powerful and divine. People flock to the temple in great numbers, especially during the Kali Puja time. 

Sarojendra Deb Raikat Kala Kendra

One of the popular tourist places in the district, Sarojendra Deb Raikat Kala Kendra is a haven for people with an artistic bent of mind. This art gallery showcases the age-old art of the region. One can also get glimpses of the place’s history, the conventional era that has faded and given way to the contemporary or modern times. Located opposite the Town Club Stadium, the gallery is easily accessible. 

River Karaya

With its scintillating beauty, Karaya River qualifies as the perfect place to unwind and relax. The river slices the township into two halves, thus earning the sobriquet of being the 'Thames of Jalpaiguri'. The two parts of the river are well connected by a few small beautifully laid bridges. Tourists can either indulge in boat ride up the gentle Karala River or enjoy the splendor in the park, at the side of the river. 

Jubilee Park

Sited on the banks of River Teesta is the picturesque and the beautiful Jubilee Park. The park is one of the must-visits places in Jalpaiguri, as it forwards a compelling and striking charm to the visitors. For those looking forward for a picnic spot by the river side, adorned with the pleasant beauty of nature, Jubilee Park is the best bet. The park is a popular option not only amongst tourists, but also with localites.

Home to a large number of wildlife and plants species, Buxa National Park is one of the most interesting places in Jalpaiguri, for travelers with an adventurous mindset. Sprawling over acres of land in the Alipurduar sub-division of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal, Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) is located inside the national park and spreads over 760 square kilometers.

Located in the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills, Gorumara National Park offers its tourists exquisite splendor and the scenic beauty of the unperturbed nature in the region. Deemed as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949, this medium-sized park, with grasslands and forests, rose to become a national park in the January of 1994.


Jalpaiguri Excursions

Jalpaiguri is the one of the important districts in West Bengal. The district has a town with the same name. Jalpaiguri town is not only the headquarters of Jalpaiguri district, but also the divisional headquarters of the North Bengal region. Talking from the tourist point of view, Jalpaiguri has a lot to offer to the travelers. Right from the beautiful sightseeing places that are within the town premises to the ones that are located a little away, on the outskirts, one gets the opportunity to unravel the beauty of nature. For explorers who are in quest of adventure and thrill, Jalpaiguri is the place to be. There are numerous wildlife sanctuaries that are located at a reasonable distance from the town. The place also extends various religious institutions and picnic spots. To get detailed information on the tourist places near Jalpaiguri, read through the following lines.


Located about 57 km from Jalpaiguri, Chalsa is one of the popular excursion destinations from Jalpaiguri. Boasting of a scenic beauty, the place extends mesmerizing view of the beautiful hills and the lush tea gardens. In addition to this, the Kurti River, flowing down the small hillock and tea gardens, makes the place completely blissful and fascinating. Tourists not only have the opportunity to enjoy the hypnotic beauty of the place, but also the journey. The road to Chalsa passes through a deep forest and tea gardens of Duars, which makes the journey extremely enjoyable and pleasant.

Tea Gardens

For an ardent nature lover, Jalpaiguri extends acres of lush green land. There are several tea gardens that are located on the outskirts of the city. One can enjoy the lovely sight of the tea gardens that are sure to revitalize the spirit. Tourists can not only savor watching the charming site, but also get a taste of what it is like to work in a tea garden. In a number of gardens, you have the opportunity to dress up like the localites and pluck leaves. Watching the tea making process is another activity that the tourists can indulge in. 

Jalpesh Temple

Located about 15 km on the outskirts of the Jalpaiguri city is the Jalpesh Temple - a holy place dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the most popular destinations for both tourists and locals. While the temple witnesses heavy rush of people on all the days of the year, Mondays particularly observes a significant footfall. Maha Shivratri is the prime festival of the temple and is celebrated with much fanfare and gusto. 

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

Snuggled at the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, in the district of Jalpaiguri, Chaprmari Wildlife Sanctuary is the ideal place to be in. The reserve is about 70 km from the district and extends an imposing and arresting sight. It has just the right combination of the rustic, unruffled wildlife and the gorgeous, stunning natural world. With the backdrop of the mighty Kanchanjungha and other Himalayan peaks, Chapramari National Park boasts of an assortment of flora and fauna. Elephants, gaurs and leopards are the prime attractions of the sanctuary............

Gorumara National Park

Located in the Terai region of the Himalayan foothills, Gorumara National Park offers its tourists exquisite splendor and the scenic beauty of the unperturbed nature in the region. Deemed as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1949, this medium-sized park, with grasslands and forests, rose to become a national park in the January of 1994. The national park is exactly sited in the Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, in the state of West Bengal and is primarily known for its population of Indian Rhinoceros.

Sprawling to about 80 square kilometers of land, Gorumara is known for its rolling forests and riverrine grasslands. The sanctuary experience hot and sultry summers, coupled with cool winters. The temperature of the place normally ranges from 27 to 37 degrees C in summers and 10 to 21 degrees C during winters. The average annual rainfall is about 382 cm. Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary can be visited at any of time of the year, except during monsoons. The dense forest against the backdrop of Kanchenjungha and other Himalayan peaks offers a charismatic view, augmenting the scintillating beauty of the sanctuary. 


Talking about the ecology of Gorumara National Park, the primary biomes corresponding to the ecozone are the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands of the Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome and the Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests of the Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome. Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to an assortment of fauna. While sal forests with common teak, rain tree and silk cotton tree are common, bamboo groves, Terai grassland vegetation and tropical riverine reeds are the other types that are found in the region. 


Gorumara National Park serves as the homeland for various species of wildife. It has about 50 species of mammals, 193 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 7 species of turtles, 27 species of fishes and other macro and micro fauna. Out of this mammoth reserve of fauna, Indian Rhinoceros, Gaur, Asian Elephant, Sloth bear, Chital and Sambar Deer are the prime attractions. The park is also the habitat of numerous colorful brids, such as Scarlet Minivet, Sunbird, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Spangled Drongo and Great Indian Hornbill. Apart from this, venomous and non venomous snakes, including Indian Python and King Cobra, also inhabit the sanctuary.


Gorumara National Park has several watchtowers, constructed to assist tourist in having a glimpse of the natural beauty and wildlife movements. These watchtowers offer the best place to watch animals and birds moving naturally in their habitat. While the khunia watchtower is a great place to watch elephants and Gaur, jatraprasad watchtower, named after death of an elephant, extends panoramic view of the sanctuary in general. It also provides the view of a large number of wildlife. The rhino observation point, on the other hand, is a great place for leisurely watching rhino and elephant, as they come to the salt reservoir located just below the tower. For birdwatchers, chukchukia watchtower is nothing less than a paradise. Situated at the border of the park, it is a great place to watch the colorful birds flying past............

Buxa Tiger Reserve

Home to a large number of wildlife and plants species, Buxa Tiger Reserve is one of the most interesting places in Jalpaiguri, for travelers with an adventurous mindset. Sprawling over acres of land in the Alipurduar sub-division of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal, Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) is located inside the national park and spreads over 760 square kilometers. While the place shares its northern boundary with the international border of Bhutan, the Sinchula hill range lies all along the northern side of BTR and the eastern boundary touches the state of Assam. 

With Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan lying on its north and the Manas National Park on the east, Buxa Tiger Reserve serves as international corridor for elephant migration between India and Bhutan. The reserve encompasses as many as eight forest types, including Northern Dry Deciduous, Eastern Bhabar and Terai Sal, East Himalayan Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest, Sub-Himalayan Secondary Wet Mixed Forest, Eastern Sub-Montane Semi-evergreen Forest, Northern Tropical Evergreen Forest, East Himalayan Subtropical Wet Hill Forest, Moist Sal Savannah, Low alluvium and Savannah Woodland. 


Buxa National Park is extremely rich in flora and boasts of being home to various species of plants. There are about more than 300 species of trees, 250 species of shrubs, 400 species of herbs, 9 species of cane, 10 species of bamboo, 150 species of orchids, 100 species of grass and 130 species of aquatic flora, including more than 70 sedges (Cyperaceae), in the park. Apart from this, there are more than 160 species of other monocotyledons and ferns. The main species constitutes trees like Sal, Champ, Gamar, Simul, Chikrasi.


The rich flora of Buxa National Park sets the stage for a flamboyant variety of fauna. The reserve boasts of 390 species of birds, 73 species of mammals, 76 species of snakes and 5 species of amphibians. As per a survey conducted in the year 2006, it is believed that Buxa Tiger Reserve has the highest number of fish species in the entire North Bengal region. While tigers are the prime attraction of the reserve, animals like elephants, bears, civets, giant squirrel, gaur, chital, clouded leopard, wild buffaloes, antelope and snakes, including the regal python, are also found here............

How to Reach Jalpaiguri

Bagdogra airport is the nearest airdrome that connects Jalpaiguri district with the rest of India. Located 20 minutes away from Siliguri city, the airport is a major stop in the region, with flights connecting Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai and Guwahati. Apart from this, the airport also extends helicopter services that connect it to the hilly terrains of Gangtok. Buses and hired taxis connect the place with the Jalpaiguri Township. 

New Jalpaiguri Railway Station is the major railhead of the district, which links it to all the major cities in India. Famous as North Bengal's largest railway junction, it is located about 4 km from Jalpaiguri. The railhead comes under the administrative control of North East Frontier Railways. Apart from the regular rail services, the route also connects Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, the legendary British hill station, by the world famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railways.

Jalpaiguri is easily accessible through roadways. All the State Transport Undertakings operational in West Bengal, including North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) and Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC), have regular buses that ply from the various regions of the state, connecting them to Jalpaiguri. There are private bus services available as well that link the district to the other areas............

Hooghly, West Bengal

Hooghly, situated on the west bank of Hooghly River, is hardly 40 km from the state capital of Kolkata. The district houses several cities that have a great tourism value. It is also a place of great significance for Bengalis, as it is the birthplace of the eternal Bengali novelist, Sarat Chadra Chatterjee. The place is also given extreme regard as it is the sacred place where Sri Ramakrisna Paramhamsa and his consort, Sarada Devi spent a major part of their life. The rich past, historical legacy and myriad attractions of the district make it important from travel and tourism point of view.

Hooghly is also famous for its liaisons with the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese. The individualistic marks of these foreign cultures still reflect in the culture as well as the architecture of the district. A river port in the fifteenth century, the district was first approached by Portuguese. Gradually, the Dutch, Danish, British, French, Belgians and Germans also came to this place. Dutch traders centered their activities in Chuchura, which is just south to Hooghly, while Chandannagar became the base of the French. On the other hand, the Danish settlers made Srirampur their base.

There are several cities in Hooghly district worth a trip. The city of Chandannagar is famous for its strand and the French architectural style buildings. The city of Tarakeshwar and Bhadreswar are known as sacred pilgrimage spots. Dhaniakhali is famous for its typical Bengali sari, while Dhanekhali. Joyrambati and Kamarpukur cities are known for their liaisons with Sri Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi. While in Hooghly, you must also visit the oldest church of Bengal and Muslim Imambada in Bandel, Sandeswar Temple, Hansweswari Temple and Brindavan Jew temple in Chinsura.

Places To See:


The main source of attraction in Hooghly is Tarakeshwar, a municipality that houses the Taraknath temple. It attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it has the Kali and Laksmi Narayan shrines situated nearby. People visit the temple in huge numbers every Monday. But, it is the occasion of 'Shivaratri', in the month of Falgun (Feb-March), which sees the most footfalls of devotees. There is a Buddhist temple just 6 km away from Tarakeshwar, which is also the only Buddhist shrine in Tarakeshwar.

Bandel Church

Bandel was the port of Hooghly at the time of Moguls and Portuguese. Its name comes from the Bengali word for port i.e. 'bander.' Today, the port is known for its church. However, the present cathedral is a replacement of an earlier edifice, which was razed to the ground during the sacking of Hooghly, by the Moors, in 1632. The present Basilica was built in 1660, by Gomez de Soto, who had the keystone of the old church (now seen on the eastern gate). 


The famous Imambara of Hooghly is situated at the bank of the river Ganges and is very close to the Hooghly railway station. The Imambara was built in 1861, by Haji Mohammad Mahasin, whose grave is present therein. The building is two storied and has a mosque and a graveyard near it. The walls of this mosque are decorated with the texts from the Holy Koran.


Kamarpukar, situated in the Arambag subdivision of the Hooghly District, is birthplace of Sri Ramakrisna Paramhans. A temple was built here in 1951 and attracts many tourists today. Apart from that, there are a number of old buildings and temples here, which attract a large number of visitors. For instance, there is the ancestral home of Swami Ramkrishna. Amongst the nearby temples, Yogi’s Siva temple and Raghubir Temple are the most visited.

Chandannagore Strand

Chandannagore Strand is a beautiful tourist spot along the banks of the river Ganges. It is about 1 km in length and 7 m in width, and many buildings with historical importance surround the spot. This is a place where people love to take a walk and gaze at the sailing boats in far waters. This is the best decorated bank of the river, along its entire stretch. A meditation centre has been also erected here............
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