Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu

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`Another winter morning in Dooars, the coldness and freshness added a new zeal to my body. Standing on my resort balcony, the chill & crisp smell of winter morning welcomed me gladly. I stood watching the Murti river flowing at a distance as the mist poured over it. The chirping sound of the birds from the distance tree and the cold breeze added more flavour to my hot cup of tea. It was a beautiful misty morning; everything around me was raw & at its best. I stood pretty long, gazing at the beauty of the place. I did not realise it was breakfast time till I heard my mom’s voice. I rushed down to the garden before I was bestowed with a scolding.  

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu
Morning Murti River

After breakfast, I took a quick bath & got dressed to explore Jaldhaka, Jhalong, Paren & Bindu. Dooars is beyond wildlife. It also offers a view of beautiful villages & valleys that adds fantastic variation to the tour. With my stomach filled to the fullest, I reached the iconic Murti Bridge and made a customary halt. My driver had been waiting near the bridge for the past 15min, which was a little dramatic.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu
Murti Bridge

Driving through the green Gorumara National Park, with our eyes glued to the window, hoping to see a Gaur or Elephant herd, we reached “Khunia More”.We took a left turn from the “Khunia More”, which goes to Gairibas, and then onwards to Jhalong, Paren & Bindu, another world of Dooars.

Drive through Gorumara National Park

On the way, we passed by Naxal Murray Forest Village – known for its rubber plantations. I could see rubber plantations along the road for a long stretch. Tall rubber trees with plastic bags hung on the bark to collect rubber. Rubber plantation is another source in Dooars that add to the economy.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu
Rubber plantation

Further ahead is the viewpoint known as the Gairibas viewpoint. Due to the low concrete barrier on the side of the road, I could see the deep gorge down to the valley where the Jaldhaka river flowed. Across the valley rises the hills of Bhutan, and many tiny settlements of Jhalong by the river bank could be seen. A picturesque sight to be captured in the lens.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu
Gairibas viewpoint

Jahlong is 2kms from Gairibas’s viewpoint. Hence we decided to spend time at the Jaldhaka river bed. Jaldhaka originates from the Kupup, known as Bitang Lake in southeastern Sikkim and flows through Bhutan & Darjeeling. Jaldhaka is a beautiful valley filled with the pictorial landscape- from the old coronation bridge above the roaring Teesta river to the dense forest area.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu

I walked around the river bank. I saw the little pink, blue, and yellow cottages dotting the hill slopes, the houses having vibrant flower gardens and prayer flags blowing in the wind.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu
Jaldhaka River

Jhalkdhaka is famous for the hydel project on the river that also serves as a bridge between India & Bhutan. What mesmerised me was the mountain range we shared with Bhutan, and beneath the mountains is the Jhaldhaka river.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu
Jaldhaka Hydel power

We drove further to Jhalong, a quaint hamlet nestled on the riverbank of Jaldhaka, famously known for the cardamom plantation. Lately, it got famous for its serene ambience & serene beauty, where travellers find solitude amidst nature. Located close to the Bhutan border, this place is endowed with rich avifauna, flora, and migratory birds.

Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu

Jhalog is also the melting pot for different cultural backgrounds, & this I witnessed at the Jhalong market. A mesmerising harmony of Indo –Bhutan. I did some shopping with the locals & took a walk.

Jhalong Market

Later we headed towards Paren, a further 2km away and the last village at the Indo-Bhutan border. Set amidst the picturesque location of lofty green hills with alpine forests, rolling meadows and meandering river-Paren has become a dream destination for nature lovers & trekkers.

Way to Paren

This small village is spread over three levels –Lower Paren, Paren compound and Upper Paren. Paren is endowed with an abundance of natural beauty – gorgeous green forest, rocky mountain terrain, hilly rivers, and agricultural lands that captivate the minds of travellers. The quintessential villages are blessed with a fascinating landscape that changes from deciduous rainforests to lush tea gardens.


Since Paren is hilly with a thickly wooded forest of alpine trees, hence has an astounding trekking route like the Rachella Pass -famous for harbouring many natural lakes. It is an adventurous trek into the dense untouched Neora valley forest area that borders Bengal, Sikkim & Bhutan. If not trek, one can relish the jungle walk in Paren, leading towards Dalgaon, Gairibis, and Rongo, which flourishes with medicinal plants. I just inflated my lungs with the fresh mountain air lulled by the fragrance of wooded alpine trees. It is the best place to find solitude and rejuvenate tired souls, minds & bodies. 

Ways to the trekking point

We drove back to the lower Paren and moved towards Bindu, a further 6km. Nestled at an elevation of 2000 ft along the river Jhaldhaka and scenically blessed with the view of daunting lofty hills is Bindu. Famous for its cardamom and tranquil beauty, Bindu has off-late become the favoured offbeat destination. Bindu is a lesser-known hill station that forms a natural barrier between India & Bhutan. However, Bindu is known for the Bindu dam constructed to control the water supply from the Jaldhaka hydel project. 

Paren village

We stopped at Applestone Restaurant for lunch. The name came from the huge rock shaped like an apple, called “apple stone”, with a waterfall passing through the famous rock. It’s the only restaurant on the route that serves lunch.

Hotel Apple Stone

Later we drove up to a point where the car could be parked & then walked down towards the Bindu dam. The walk was serene, with a green valley on one side, the rocky river bed of the Jaldhaka river & the mountain ranges of Bhutan on the other side. The dam’s location is superb as the valley of India & Bhutan surrounds it. Walking up to the dam is not allowed, but I could see a lot of cardamom & orange plantation around the area. Basking in the glorious sight of lush green forest with the spiralling river stream from the Bindu dam and the chirping sound of birds fills my mind & soul with happiness. 

Bindu Barrage

Immersing myself in the serene ambience of Jaldhaka, Jhalong, Paren & Bindu, it was time to say goodbye to the place. I captured the beauty of this place in my camera & soul, so I relive them when I m tired. But before returning to our resort, we have our final destination: visiting the Dalgaon viewpoint.

Natural View

A 4km uphill drive from Gairibas leads to Dalgaon village, famous for the Cinchona plantation(which produces quinine). The outlook viewpoint has a manicured garden and a circular watchtower, and the view is excellent. I could see the Jaldhaka river flowing through the valley and the Bhutan hills standing tall as guards on the other side. I clicked a few pictures & drove back to Malbazar.


It was dark when we reached Malbazar, but I wanted to visit this tea cafe called tea moments. A beautifully decorated tea parlour that offers snacks too. I ordered tea for my Mom, Masi, Nani & myself, with some cakes & snacks.

Tea moments cafe

The Oolong tea is a famous variety of Dooars tea estate; we relished our tea. Later we bought some tea bags & loose leaves for home. 

View of the Cafe

The day was long & tiring. I had dinner & went to bed early. Tomorrow we were driving to Jaldapada, a long journey ahead.

How to Reach.

By Air: 

The nearest airport is Bagdogra; from the airport, hire taxis to reach Lataguri, Murti or Jaldapada.

By Rail:

The Alipurduar is the nearest railway station to Dooars. You can get off at New Mal Junction, closest to Gorumara National forest. Murti & Lataguri is 17km from the station. If travelling to Jaldapada, better to get off at Hasimara station as the distance is just 11km. And for Buxa Tiger Reserve Alipur Daur, Rajabhakhawa, the entry point to the forest is only 11kms. Another alternative is NJP since it’s well connected with major railway heads. You need to hire private cabs or take a shared taxi from the station to reach these destinations.

By Road:

Dooars is well-connected via road with NJP station & CoochBehar. Buses, private cabs, and shared taxis ply to Lataguri, Murti, Jaldapada, Hasimara, Mal Bazaar & Rajabhakhawa from these places. You can also take a private cab or a shared taxi.


One thought on “Dooars:Cynosure of Jaldhaka, Jahlong, Paren & Bindu

  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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