Dooars or Duars

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DOOARS or DUARS in West Bengal

The Dooars or Duars region politically constitutes the plains of Darjeeling District, whole of Jalpaiguri District and upper region of Cooch Behar District in West Bengal and the districts of Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Goalpara and Bongaigaon in the Indian state of Assam.

The altitude of Dooars area ranges from 90 M to 1750 M. There are innumerable streams and rivers flowing through these fertile plains from the mountains of Bhutan. In northern West Bengal the major river is the Teesta besides many others like the Jaldhaka, Murti,  Torsha,  Sankosh,  Dyna,  Karatowa,  Raidak,  Kaljani among others. In Assam the major rivers are Brahmaputra and Manas,

The history of the Dooars is very old. According to current historical research carried out by Dr. Sailen Debnath, an eminent scholar of the region, the Dooars was the seat of the ancient kingdom of Kamatapur. Kamatapur emerged as a sovereign state right from the middle of the seventh century. Most probably, Nalrajar Garh in Chilapata Forest was the earliest capital of Kamatapur; and subsequently through different ups and downs the capital was shifted to Maynaguri and then to Prithu Rajar Garh before its final shifting to Gosanimari, an ancient port-town since the seventh century. The kingdom of Kamatapur as was devastated by Hussain Shah of Gaur in 1494, there emerged the Koch kingdom again in the Dooars under the leadership of Vishwa Singha. Hingulavas near Mahakalguri in the Dooars was the earliest capital of the Koch kingdom. It was long after that the Koch capital was shifted to Atharakota and then ultimately to present Cooch Behar town.

The native people of this region generally have East Asian features. They are composed of numerous tribes, including the Bodo people in Assam, the Rabha, the Mech, the Toto, the Tamang/murmi, the Koch, Limbus, Lepcha and the Rajbongshis in Bengal. Apart from the tribal population, a large Bengali population (mostly displaced from then East Pakistan by the Partition of Bengal) also populate the Dooars.

The Dooars are famous for the tea gardens, which were planted by the British. For working in the gardens, they imported labour from Nepal and the Chota Nagpur and Santhal Parganas, the Oraons and the Mundas. Kharia, Mahali, Lohara, Chik Baraik are also populated, Before settlement of other communities, these people developed the jungle into tea villages and busties (agriculture village). These people have been granted scheduled tribe status in the state of West Bengal. The remnants of these people also form a very large part of the population surrounding the tea gardens.

The area is dotted by several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which attract a lot of tourists from all over India and abroad making an important contributor to the economy and also employs a lot of people in this sector.

The beauty of the region lies not only in its tea gardens but also in the dense jungles that make up the countryside. Famous wildlife sanctuaries and national park like Manas National Park in Assam; the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary; Buxa National Park; Gorumara National Park; Chapramari Wildlife Reserve; and the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal are located in this re gion.

Number of rare, endangered species of animals like tiger, rhinoceros, elephant, make their habitats in the forests of the Dooars. Other animals includes different types of deer, bison, birds and reptiles.

The principal towns in Dooars (Duars) areas in respect of tourist importance are Jalpaiguri, Lataguri, Murti, Jaldapara, Buxaduar, Jayanti, Raja Bhatkhawa, etc.

duars map

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 15:36