The Alipurduar administration has published a book with comprehensive details for tourists intending to visit the district.
Located at the Bengal-Assam border, Alipurduar has some scenic locales known for its pristine forests and wildlife, rivers, lush green tea estates, historical sites and stretches of hills, with the Bhutan hills as the backdrop.
On Tuesday this week, Surendra Kumar Meena, the district magistrate, formally published the 150-page book that has been named “Alipurduar – Soul of The Dooars".
“We have tried to provide as much information as possible, along with relevant photographs, for tourists so that they can have a clear idea about the attractions across Alipurduar district. The book can help tourists in selecting their destinations, places to stay and modes of transport. It would also enable tourists to draw up their itineraries,” said district magistrate Meena.
According to administrative sources, the book would be circulated across the state.
“The copies of the book will be kept in book stalls at airports, railway stations, bus terminals, major hotels and other prominent locations from where interested people can collect them,” said the source.
The administration, however, is yet to fix the book’s price.
“We are waiting for some more lots to reach us. The price would be fixed then,” an official said.
Since 2011, after Trinamul came to power in Bengal, tourism has been one of the sectors that have always been on the priority list of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata has opened a number of new destinations in north Bengal, for example, Bhorer Alo in Gajoldoba and Lamahata in the hills, and her government has made investments to raise new infrastructure, including accommodations.
“The state is putting impetus on publicity to apprise people across the country and also abroad about the tourist destinations of Bengal. Plans have been drawn up to aggressively campaign for such destinations to increase the footfall of tourists in the state. At such a time, a comprehensive information book on Alipurduar district, which draws a considerable number of tourists, would surely boost tourism in the region,” said Samrat Sanyal, the general secretary of the Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network.
The book says Alipurduar is home to 25 different tribes, including Totos, a primitive tribe that lives in Totopara of Madarihat block.
“The district is also a paradise for ornithologists and birdwatchers. Hundreds of species of butterflies can be sighted. In the forests, different varieties of flowers and rare trees can be seen here,” said a senior tour operator of the district.
The book has information about Jaldapara National Park — the largest rhino habitat of the state, Buxa Tiger Reserve, South Khayerbari Eco Park, the vulture breeding centre at Rajabhatkhawa, and idyllic locations like Bhutanghat, Jayanti, Mahakal and the famous Buxa Fort.
“We have put photos clicked by officials of different state government departments. Also, details of tea plucking and processing, which many visitors want to see, have been elaborated in the book,” said a source.