Alipurduar is the name of the newest district as well as the district headquarter in North Eastern most area of Bengal. The district and the town boarders Indian state of Assam in the East, the neighbouring country Bhutan in the North, Jalpaiguri district in the West and Coochbehar district in the south. The district is within the broad area of Dooars which is famous for its forests.
Situated on the north bank of Kaljani River, Alipurduar is the most important town of the district. The town is a gateway to Bhutan and North Eastern states of India. 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.
Alipurduar is the easternmost important town of West Bengal before you enter Assam. It is a very old trading center and had a trading route popularly known as 'Silk Route' with Bhutan and Tibet. The remains of the traditional route are still visible in Santarabari. There is a big railway colony here with a division headquarter of North-East frontier railway. It is a very important railway junction that connects Kolkata in the south and New Delhi and Guwahati in the north and east respectively.
Tourism in Alipurduar
Alipurduar town and the district is gaining prominence in tourism because of its advantageous location. The town itself does not have much to offer for the tourists. But the surrounding area offers excellent travel attractions within the district. A number of interesting choices are available within a short traveling distance. Dense forests and hills offering beautiful natural landscape surround the town.
Buxa - The most important forest near Alipurduar is Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) , which attained much fame all over India for its enormous natural resources in terms of rare flora and fauna. The forest has got the status of a National Park and houses the maximum number of Royal Bengal Tiger Population in North Bengal. The entry point of BTR, at Rajabhatkhawa, is just 12 Kilometers from Alipurduar.
Within BTR, tourists have the option of visiting Jayanti or go to Buxa fort. If you are a little adventurous, you may go up to Lepchakha (A 4 km trek). There are also great trekking options in the area including trek to Sinchula and Rovers Point. The highest peak of Jalpaiguri the Chota Sinchula is located near Alipurduar. At an altitude of 1733m at about 12 km from Buxa the peak offers beautiful sights of the impermeable forest covers of Buxa hills and Bhutan valley.
Other interesting tourist destinations around Alipurduar include Hatipota, Raimatang and others. Chilapata forests are also not very far. Hasimara is about 35 kilometers from Alipurduar and Chilapata forests starts from Hasimara onwards.
Bhutanghat is another popular tourist destination within the Buxa Tiger reserve near Alipurduar. Situated deep inside the forest Bhutanghat is a popular picnic spot as well as good sight seeing option.
Alipurduar does not deprive the trek lovers. A day trek to Buxa hill through dense forest track reaches Buxa fort and further up to Rovers Point and then leads to Rupam Valley in Bhutan Hill (2 to 3 days).
Jayanti Mahakal trek is another popular route that leads to a stalactite cave near Bhutan boarder. This trek is also very popular among the pilgrims who visit the cave to offer prayer to their deity.