West Bengal is a unique Indian state which offers everything from the sea to the mountains, plains to the forests, heritage to modernity. The most popular tourist destination is, of course, the Darjeeling hills. But, very close to Darjeeling is another beautiful location, the forests of the Dooars.
The word ‘Dooar’ literally means ‘door’. It is indeed the door to many things, to the mountains up north, to the north-eastern part of India, to Bhutan even. Personally, I like to think of it as the door to the Himalayas.
My Dooars trip happened in 2009 thanks to a cancelled Kashmir tour. When the organizers called off the trip at the eleventh hour, we hardly had the time to make any alternative plans. But instead of sulking, we booked Tatkal tickets and left for the Dooars. And, the lovely Himalayan foothills gave us no reason to regret the decision.