Dooars - Land of green forests with wildlife
The place where nature has kept its doors open. Derived from the word 'doors' (doors to Bhutan), this region, located in the district of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, forms a gateway to the hill stations of North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan & North-Eastern states. The dense natural forests, interwoven with lush green tea gardens, criss-crossed by Teesta, Raidak, Torsha, Jaldhaka, Kaljani and other rivers & their innumerable tributaries rolling down the hills fill up your senses with sublimity. And the Damsel of Dooars is KALCHINI. The name Kalchini is emblematic with different hearsay stories & significances, the name Kalchini is derived from the river Kal-Jani, which is tagged after the rare herbal plant.
Kalchini Block lies between 26016' & 2700' north latitude and 8404' & 89053' east longitude Covering an area of 892.57 Sq. Km. Kalchini ranged from Tarai of Dooars, foothills at Raimatang & Buxa Fort, and beneath the hills ridges & deep valleys of the lower Himalayan belt along the Lepchakha, Chunabhatti & Adma. The tarai portion of Kalchini is low-lying belt, traversed by numerous river & streams rushing down from the hills of Bhutan and by the upland ridges which mark its courses . Kalchini Block bordered by Bhutan in the North, Alipurduar –II & Kumargram Block bordering the East, Southern portion is bordered by Alipurduar Municipality & Alipurduar –I Block in the West, Madarihat Block & Toorsa River. With diverse ethnic culture of different communities like Mech, Garo, Rava, Dukpas, Adivasi, Bengali and Nepali. Kalchini is northeast part of Jalpaiguri District with landscape of luxuriant green tea gardens, beautiful hills, ridges, valleys, foot hills, subterranean forest ( Some reserved for Tigers) with variety of species of flora and fauna, rivers & rivulets and lots of beautiful tourist spots in unexplored wilderness. This is really the Utopia of a colourful mind.
Raimatang is 109km.away from Jalpaiguri &45 km away from Alipurduar town, surrounded by rivers and hills, Raimatang is a nice place to enjoy the beauty of nature in virtue of its flora & fauna. Exposer
Scenic beauty is the point of attraction of these places. A beautiful trekking route to Adma hill lies deep in the forest and hills. It has lots of opportunity to become a full fledged destination for the peace and nature loving people who seek absolute leisure amidst the daily hustle bustle of life. But in true words the facilities for the touring people are below the average as the resources lie in vein because it is yet to be decorated with its own essence.
Buxa National Park, in the subdivision of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri district, was set up in the year of 1982-83 at the north eastern corner of West Bengal bordering Bhutan and Assam. The Sinchula hill range lies all along the northern side of BTR and the Eastern boundary touches that of the Assam State. National Highway No.31 C roughly runs along its southern boundary.
It is the eastern most extension of extreme bio-diverse North-East India & represents highly endemic Indo-Malayan region. The fragile "Terai Eco-System" constitutes a part of this Reserve. The Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan is contiguous to North of BTR. Manas National Park lies on east of BTR. BTR, thus, serves as international corridor for Asian Elephant migration between India and Bhutan. To the south-west, the Chilapata Forests form an elephant corridor to the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. The reserve encompasses as many as eight forest types. The Divisional Head Quarter is located at Alipurduar. The Forest is divided into two division, i.e. East & West. The Himalayan Griffon, Beautiful Nutuch, four different varieties of Hornbill & the Red B rested Himalayan Partridge are the important Birds in this Reserve. Among the wild animals, Clouded Leopard, Tiger, Wild Dog, Pangolin, Himalayan Black Bear are rare. More than 400 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) have been identified so far. There are more than 160 species of other monocotyledons and ferns. The main species constitutes trees like Sal, Champa, Gamar, Simul, Chikrasi. In the Reserve more than 284 species of birds, 73 species of mammals, 76 species of snakes, 5 species of amphibians have been identified so far. In a recent survey (2006) it has been found that Buxa Tiger Reserve has the highest number of fish species in the North Bengal region. Apart from tigers animals like Elephants, bears, civets, giant squirrel, Gaur, Chital, clouded leopard, wild Buffalo, antelope and snakes including the Regal Python are found here. About 230 species of birds and innumerable butterflies add colour to the forest. The rivers of Raidak and Jayanti which flow through the forest and the Narathali lake are home to migratory birds as well as endemic ones which abound the place. The Hornbills including Greater Pied Hornbill, Ibisbill, Migratory Goosander, Red-stars, Wagtails, the rare black necked crane, migratory common teal, black stork, Large Whistling Teal, Minivets, White Eyed Poachared are some of the bird species sighted here. Two new species of frog have been discovered in the park in the year 2006
Buxa Fort (2,600 feet or 790 metres above m.s.l.) is an important landmark for this Reserve. This fort was captured by the British-India in 1865 after the Dooars War from Bhutan.
The Historical Buxa Fort was coming under the British India after the 2nd Dooars War (1865) between the Bhutan and the British, the subsidiary alliance of Princely state Cooch Behar. This was used as a Detention Camp by the British, because of its remoteness during the Indian Freedom Movement. Many freedom fighters were imprisoned here. After independence, it served as a refugee camp for Tibetans and Bangladeshis. The historic Buxa Fort, people have sentimental attachment with the fort on accounts of its association with the struggle for freedom. Once Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was confined inside the fort. An inscription by Rabindranath Thakur through his immortal art of poetry still can be found at the gate of the fort. Buxa (2,600 ft) is a One hour fifteen minutes (3.9 km) trek through picturesque surroundings from Santrabari, the starting point. There is a 4 km further trek to Rovers' Point (the land of beautiful birds at 4,500 ft or 1,400 m) or a 14 km trek to Rupang Valley bordering Bhutan. From Buxa, one can also take the 13 km trek to Jainti through the dense jungle preferably with an Expert Guide (subjected to get permission from B.T.R.). There is a stalactite cave, popularly known as the Mahakal cave at Jainti. Another entry point Rajabhatkhawa (17 km from Alipurduar) has an orchidarium, and a Nature Interpretation Center. One can go for a Circular Trekking from Buxaduar via Chunabhati-Adma to Raimatang. This is actually 8 hours tough trek with an expert guide but usually trekkers prefer to make it as 3days comfortable Trek to understand Nature & the Ethnic Culture of this region. Local tour Operators at Alipurduar provides tent & other materials to the Trekkers. One can trek to "Pukri Mai", a small sacred pond (Karts Lake) situated inside the park where fishes like Magur and Singi and Turtles are kept. Festivals are held at certain time of the year by both Buddhist and Hindus and local ethnic groups like Dukpas. 'Dukpa: the Word probably comes from Drukpa, the people from the land of Thunder storm. They are the ancient Ethnic group among the other inhabitants of Buxa Tiger Reserve. Dukpas used to live in the different Hamlets of Buxa Hills from east to west. The seasonal migratory Dukpas are divided mainly into 30 different sects. They originally were the followers of (Drukpa Kagyud) Mahayani Buddhism. Some of them are converted into Christianity. A Finnish Church is still exists along with the age old Buddhist Gumba at Chunabhati. A Grave yard with Tomb stone at Sadar Bazar bears the testimony of Britishers. Jayanti
Jayanti is 125km.away from Jalpaiguri & 30 km away from Alipurduar town. This place is connected both by road and train from Alipurduar.A picturesque spot along the meandering Jayanti River forming a natural border with beautiful Bhutan hills Jayanti is a place to stretch your weary legs as the cool breeze brushes away all the exhaustions. Buxaduar to Jayanti is another popular trek in the region. This 13 kms trek passes through the dense forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve.
The music of wilderness, the chirping of unknown birds, the song of wild streams, and fragrance of nature will never allow you to feel the least stress of a long journey. The journey ends with a warm reception of an old staggering priest at the stalactite cave of Jayanti, popularly known as the Mahakal cave. A sacred temple – Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga - lies in BTR. Around 10,000 devotees of Lord Shiva congregate here on "Shiva Chouturdoshi". It is difficult to enter into the narrow, dark, damp cave but trying the same may be another precious adventure
Prospect of Eco-tourism at Kalchini
Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990)
Offering market-linked long-term solutions, ecotourism provides effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful planet.
By increasing local capacity building and employment opportunities, ecotourism is an effective vehicle for empowering local communities around the world to fight against poverty and to achieve sustainable development.
With an emphasis on enriching personal experiences and environmental awareness through interpretation, ecotourism promotes greater understanding and appreciation for nature, local society, and culture. Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:
Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate.
is distinctively marked for its unique and diversified ecotourism resources which has a tremendous potentiality for further development. The main objectives of this booklet are to point out the prospects of eco-tourism in Kalchin; to prepare suitable guidelines for future development of the ecotourism industry of Kalchini which is being a eco-friendly as well as economically sustainable. The Kalchini has tremendous prospects for enriching ecotourism industry in different ways. Kalchini offers spectacular natural resources for the sustainable development of the tourism industry. In a nutshell, achieving the state of complete social enlightenment
in all spheres of life amidst all the odds, irregularities and diversities is our future goal which we shall achieve surely.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."– Mark Twain