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Jalpaiguri

Jalpaiguri is the district town, a municipality and the civil division in North Bengal with a population of more than 150,000 against a total population of 3,800,000 in the entire district. Situated on the right bank of the Tista River Jalpaiguri said to be derived its name from olive (Jalpai) tree, which were last seen growing here in late 1900. The Karala River divides the town into two parts and connected with few small beautifully laid bridges.

Jalpaiguri is a picturesque town having several avenue shaded by huge trees. A glimpse of snow-clad peaks of Kanchanjangha Mountains can be viewed from the town. A big well-maintained park by the side of Karala River is a nice place to spend some leisure hours among the fresh environment. Boating in the gentle Karala River upto the confluence of Tista can be a nice experience.

History

The land and people of Jalpaiguri have a long history, which includes part of Assam, Coochbehar and the Rangpur District of present Bangladesh. Jalpaiguri has a presence in Mahabharata, which goes back to 10th century BC. There is mention of a king named Bhagadutta, a ruler of Pragjyotish or western Assam, who joined the great battle of Kurukhsetra on the side of Kourav. It appears from Mahabharata that he ruled over an area that extends from Bramhaputra River in Assam to Eastern Nepal along the foothills of Himalayas. The modern district of Jalpaiguri falls within this tract. Several rock inscriptions excavated from Jalpaiguri district refer the presence of some great ruler of ancient India. Bhaskarbarmana, the best known King of Gupta Dynasty, Sasanka are among the few of them.

During the medieval period there was a long chain of dense forest tract moving from east bank of Tista to the west bank of Bagmati River in Bangladesh Rangpur. These jungles were the territory of three Mongoloid tribes - Koch, Mech and Tharu. The Raikats - ruler of Baikunthapur had an important role in uniting Jalpaiguri. The evidences of their kingdom and palaces are still visible in Raikatpara in Jalpaiguri town.

Jalpaiguri as an administrative unit came into being in 1869, by amalgamating western Dooars with Jalpaiguri subdivision of Rangpur (Bangladesh). The most significant historical development after the formation of Jalpaiguri district was the growth of tea industry. It not only changed the landscape but also the socio-economic pattern of the district. The vast tract of forestlands becomes dotted with tea gardens, villages and markets.

Tourism in Jalpaiguri:

Jalpaiguri district has become a popular tourist destination over the years. Dense forests teeming with wildlife, lush green tea gardens intercepted by numerous meandering streams, small undulating hills, meadows and plateaus, historical structures, old temples, unknown-unspoiled destinations have made the region an important tourist destination in the foothills Himalayas popularly known as Dooars.

Attractions in and around Jalpaiguri town: 
There are a number of temples, churches and historical monuments in the town. In 1885 the British tea planters opened the most prestigious Planters' Club in the town. Among the temples the Maskalaibari Kali temple, Yogmaya Kalibari, Bhadrakali, Brahmo Samaj temple were established in the town during the 1900s.

The temple at Jalpesh 23kms east of Jalpaiguri town is the most important one. The temple built in the year 1665 has a combination of Hindu and Muslim structure. It is said that Prannarayana, the king of Koch Bihar, built the temple with help of some Muslim architects he brought from Delhi. The temple houses one of the biggest Sivaling (the icon of lord Shiva), which is 3.05m in height. A very big and popular fair is organised here each year in February during the Sivaratri.

 

Map of Jalpaiguri

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