Map of Alipurduar


This place had been a very old trading centre. The region was connected with the famous trading route called Silk Route with Bhutan and Tibet. The remains of the traditional route are still visible in Santalabari, near Alipurduar. Alipurduar derives its name from the late Col. Hedayat Ali Khan who did admirable service in the Bhutan war and was stationed here as first Extra-Assistant Commissioner. The suffix “duar” (means door or gateway) has been added to the original name Alipur to differentiate it from the more well known Alipore in Kolkata and also because it is located in the Duars region. Alipurduar, the 2nd largest Sub-Division during British rule was created on 7 July 1876. In independent India, Alipurduar earned reputation as one of the largest sub divisions of the country. Alipurduar was an outlying sub division of Jalpaiguri district. The Sub division became the first independent posting of many bright IAS officers of West Bengal Cadre. The fact that Alipurduar sub division was as large as the other 2 sub divisions of Jalpaiguri district (both in geographical area & population) added fuel to the demand for separation of Alipurduar sub division from Jalpaiguri district. Finally, Alipurduar was bifurcated from Jalpaiguri district and made a separate district on 25 June 2014.

Although Alipurduar town is not a popular tourist destination by itself, but a number of interesting choices are available within a short traveling distance from the town. Dense forests and hills offering beautiful natural landscape surround the town. Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jayanti Hills, Buxa Fort, Jaldapara National Park, Chilapata Forest, Jaigaon, Rajabhatkhawa,  Rai matang, Santrabari, Rovers point, Roopam valley, Lepchakha etc

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Buxa Tiger Reserve

The main carnivores of Buxa Tiger Reserve are Indian Tiger (Panthera tigris), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Hog badger (Arctonyx collaris), Jungle Cat (Felis chaus), Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), Sloth Bear (Melursus unsinus), Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverina), Civet Cat (Viverricula indica), Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena), Jackal (Canis aureus), Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi), Fox (Vulpes bengalensis), Wild dog (Cuon alpinus) etc. Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) and Golden Cat (Catopuma temmincki) were reported earlier but in recent years they have not been sighted.

Among the herbivores of Buxa Tiger Reserve, the pre-dominants are Elephant (Elephus maximus), Gaur (Bos gaurus), Sambar (Cervus unicolor), Chital (Axis axis), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), Hog deer (Axis porcinus), wild pig (Sus scrofa cristatus), Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus), etc. Wild Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) was reported in Buxa but in recent years it has not been sighted. The last record of wild buffalo is from South Rydak area during 1969. The great Indian one horned Rhinoceros (Rhinocerous unicornis) was reported in South Bholka and Panbari blocks of Buxa Tiger Reserve up to 1968 which might have migrated from Assam from the other side of Sankosh River. However, regular occurrence of rhino was reported till the 1950s in these areas.

Many other animals like porcupines (Hystrix indica), Rhesus macaquc (Macaca mulatla), Squirrels, Common Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) are also frequently seen in these forests (See Annexure-11A). During 2006 and 2007 in three occasions, Gangetic dolphins(Plataniesta gangetica) entered the Kaljani river by moving upstream from the confluence.

Numerous rivers and streams in the forests of this Reserve contain a variety of fish of which Mahseer is the biggest and most sought after in Rydak river near Bhutanghat. Fishes of several species like Boal, Kalbaus, Mrigel, Chital, Sole are found. There are innumerable small fishes in the rivers and streams. Most common are chela, Chanda, Hum, Puti, Boroli, etc. After more than seventy years of the first survey of fishes, recently a comprehensive survey of fish species was undertaken during 2006-08 where occurrence of 73 species has been recorded, the highest number among all the PAs of North Bengal, including few species endemic to BTR.

Among reptiles, tortoise, lizards, various kinds of Snakes such as King Cobra, Russel’s viper, Black Krait, Banded Krait, Indian Python (Python molurus) and Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus), Chinese pangolin are found in this region.

The Forest is also rich in avifauna and the important ones are Indian Jungle Maina, Hornbills, Bengal Floricon, The Indian woodpecker, Nightjar,  Dhanesh and various kinds of Teals & Ducks Peacocks are also seen quite frequently.

There are wetlands within the Buxa Tiger Reserve. Special mention may be made of Narathali wetland where 3 big shallow lakes harbour a good number of migratory ducks including Schedule-I species like whistling Teal as well as common Teal, Pintail, white eyed pocherd, shoveller, etc. The swift streams of Jainti & Rydak harbours Mergansers. The migratory birds appear during the end of Monsoon and fly away before summer. The migratory birds include the beautiful Ibis bill, Pretty Minivets, yellow crested sultan Tits, streaked spider hunter which suck nectar from simul flowers, Snipes, Wagtails, Leaf warblers, Sandpipers. Two endangered birds, viz. Indian pied Hornbill & Greater pied Hornbill starts nesting in pukhuri area in Phaskhawa block of Jainti during spring season.

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Toto tribes and Mech Tribes (Bodos) used to stay in this area before 1800. At that time this place was known as “Totapara”. Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1941 for the purpose of protecting the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. In May 2012 it was declared a National Park.

The forest is mainly savannah covered with tall elephant grasses. The main attraction of the park is the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. The park holds the largest Rhino population in India after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Other animals in the park include Indian Leopard, Indian Elephants, Sambar, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Pigs, & Bison.

Jaldapara is a paradise for bird watchers. It is one of the very few places in India, where the Bengal Florican is sighted. The other birds to be found here are the Crested Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Shikra, Finn’s Weaver, Jungle Fowl, Peafowl (Peacock), Partridge, and Lesser Pied Hornbill. Pythons, Monitor Lizards, Kraits, Cobras, Geckos, and about eight species of fresh water turtles can also be found here.

Many of the animals in the park are endangered, like the Indian one-horned rhino and elephants.


The Chilapata Forest is a dense forest near Jaldapara National Park in Dooars, Alipurduar district, West Bengal, India. It is about 20 km from Alipurduar, and just a few minutes away from Hasimara town. The forest forms an elephant corridor between Jaldapara National Park and the Buxa Tiger Reserve. One of the main attractions is the ruined “Nalraja Garh”, or fort of the Nal kings, built in the Gupta period in the fifth century C.E., the Golden Age of India. 

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