For tourists with a penchant for nature, Alipurduar in the eastern Dooars is an interesting destination. The district is in the vicinity of the Indo-Bhutan border.
The place that was once famed as a biodiversity hotspot is gradually emerging as a tourist destination.In an effort to woo a large chunk of tourists and students from across the country, Alipurduar District Tourism has come up with a slew of forward-looking initiatives.
Abhiroop Bose, officer-incharge, Alipurdur District Tourism, said, “We intend to launch a district resource book focusing on tourism with the help of a survey and to mobilise resources. Plans are on to introduce a userfriendly website, to set a certain benchmark for tourists looking for a trip to Alipurduar.
There will be road signage with display boards providing authentic information for tourists visiting the destination. We are looking ahead to organising a photo contest through our website and set up a travel desk at the new District Administration Building for the purpose of sharing vital information.”
ADT also has grand plans up its sleeve. Bose said, “We are teaming up with the backward class welfare department to introduce a Blue Home Stay scheme for the underprivileged that will not only offer a much-needed boost to tourism but also help in maintaining their livelihoods.”
ADT is eager to tap tourists from both domestic and global markets. Bose said, “We are also eager to get researchers keen to pursue ethnographical excursion trips and students taking up research in anthropology and sociology streams since there are scores of ethnic groups residing in Alipurduar.
“Nearly 100,000 to 125,000 people travel to Alipurduar round the year but we are looking ahead to bring a rapid surge in tourism figures.” Most travellers visiting Alipurduar are from West Bengal although there are tourists from other metros of India as well. ADT is making itself known by attending popular travel marts and is going places. It was for the first time that the district tourism made its presence felt at the Travel and Tourism Fair in Kolkata this year.
As of now, it is gearing up to receive a chunk of puja tourists from Kolkata as the best time to visit is from September to March. The district is replete with national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that boast of a rich faunal population. The hot-selling tourist places in the district of Alipurduar are Jayanti, Jaldapara National Park, Raimatang, Buxa Tiger Reserve and Chilapata National Park.
Buxa Fort is also quite well-known.
Bose said, “Some of the new-found tourist attractions include Lepachakha, Chunabhati, Tuturikhand, Kumargram- Newland and Shikiyajhora.” So those planning to go to Dooars can rework their travel plans and make a trip to Alipurduar as well.