Jhalong and Bindu with Jaldhaka water project
If one thinks that Dooars is all about jungles and wildlife then they are highly mistaken. The Dooars tourism also provides us with the option to visit beautiful river valleys, villages and hills and enjoy the fresh air and view from there. A Dooars tour including Jhalong and Bindu with the Jaldhaka water project is such an experience.
Situated near the Indo-Bhutan border, Jhalong is a beautiful hill station in the banks of the river Jaldhaka. One can feel like they are back to the time when there were no tall concrete buildings and clouds of smoke around them. The fresh air and the scenic beauty of the place are mesmerising. Jhalong is where the Jhalong River meets the Jaldhaka River. Also, the Jaldhaka water project (Jaldhaka Hydel Project) has also been established here and thus Jhalong is also called Jaldhaka sometimes.
How to reach
If one wants to visit this beautiful place then they can take an one day trip to Jhalong from Lataguri during their Dooars tour. All they need to do is take the morning safari from Lataguri and enjoy the ride in a jeep to the beautiful Jhalong. One can expect sightings of elephants in the road. Rubber plantations can also be seen on the way near Khunia forest. There is also the option to stay in resorts or hotels, in case one doesn’t want to go back to the same concrete surrounded life. In case one wishes to solely enjoy the hilly Dooars, they also have the option to take a bus from Siliguri straight to Jhalong.
Attractions in Jhalong
- Gairibas view point: On the way, the Jeep Safari stops at the Gairibas view point from where the Jaldhaka River is clearly visible. The Bhutan hills rises beyond the river and right below on the Indian side of the river, one can see the little settlement of Jhalong sitting there. 15-20 minutes are allotted to spend there watching the beautiful valley from above. Beside the view point, one can find a restaurant that offers to take various snacks for the rest of the journey. One can also try a full course Nepali meal in the restaurant around lunch time. Other than this, the restaurant also has a small garden area with chairs where one can sit and enjoy a wonderful view of the river and the beautiful Bhutan hills.
- Jhalong River Camp: If you are an adventurous person then the Jalong River Camp may help you enjoy your Dooars tour better. The Jhalong River camp is situated in the banks of the Jhalong River. This camp is established by the WBFDC (West Bengal Forest Development Corporation) where tents like camps are provided with amenities including hot water in attached bathrooms and food. A common dining area is built with wooden gazebos under shades of trees to give a better camping vibe.
- Jhalong Market: How can a holiday be complete without shopping? If one takes a bridge and cross the Jhalong river from one side to the other, they reach a village which leads to the Jhalong Market. Bhutanese villagers that live across the Jaldhaka river come here for weekly provisions. Not only one can come here for shopping but they can also witness the harmony between the Indians and the Bhutanese. Other than this there is also another market in the Bhutan Hills known as “Gol Market” where the Indians are allowed to visit.
- Jaldhaka Hydel Project Site: The Jaldhaka Hydel Project was one of the foremost hydro electric projects in India and is one of the best tourist attractions in Jhalong or Jaldhaka for the wide variety of migratory birds that fly down here The dam also serve as a bridge to go across to Bhutan. One requires a special permit from the WBSEB (West Bengal State Electricity Board) to visit the dam. Bird watchers may have a great time because of the sighting if migratory water fowls from Central Asia and Ladakh.
Also situated in the Indo-Bhutan border, Bindu is a small village known for the landscape of the Jaldhaka river, hills and forests. It is the conjunction three streams originating from the Kupup Lake (a glacier lake in Sikkim) which later form the Jaldhaka river. Bindu is where the second oldest dam in India (the dam over the Jaldhaka river) was built known as the Bindu dam used to control the water supply in the Jaldhaka Hydel Project. One can use this dam to cross the river and reach Bhutan on the other side though vehicles cannot pass over it. One is free to sit on the huge rocs sitting in the river bed though they should mind their steps as they are slippery and the water current might be strong. One can see cardamom plantations and orange orchids all around. The scene of the hills, plantations and the river with the dam and the water gushing down is just spectacular.
Hope you enjoy your Dooars tour package including Jhalong and Bindu with the Jaldhaka water project.