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Bhutanghat is a village situated in the Jalpaiguri district within the state of West Bengal. It is about 45 km from Alipuruar and lies near the Bhutan border, from where it derives its name. Bhutanghat has become a popular tourist destination in the Dooars region owing to its mesmerizing scenic beauty. Located in a mountainous terrain, Bhutanghat is also blessed by its proximity to the River Raidak.
Climate in Bhutanghat
The temperatures in Bhutanghat are mild throughout the year except for a few days in the peak of summer when the temperature goes beyond 30 degrees Celsius. Summers are short and gentle as reported earlier. Winters are chilly with foggy mornings as well as nights. The Monsoon season is prone to severe rainfall and continues from July to September. Thus the place is quite conducive to be visited by tourists round the year.
Close to the tri-junction of Bhutan-Bengal and Assam borders, Bhutanghat offers great avenues for nature and adventure tourism. Situated amidst evergreen dense forest cover and the rushing sound of the river Raidak, it is also a prospective wildlife destination. Cool green hills and evergreen forests greet and temper your eyes as you reach the forest interiors.
A beautiful forest bungalow constructed way back in 1903 overlooks the Raidak River in Bhutanghat. However booking for the bungalow is not a great option as the amenities here are limited. Most tourists resort to Bhutanghat sightseeing during the day and return in the evening to Alipurduar, Rajabhatkhawa, or Jayanti. A veritable picnic spot, this place has many attractions enroute. Thus, the road which travels to Bhutanghat is lined by dense tropical forests and the rolling tea gardens.
An extension or part of the Buxa Tiger Reserve, Bhutanghat is also an elephant country and thus a much sought after place for wildlife lovers. Many endangered species like the royal Bengal tiger, rhinoceros, different types of deer, reptiles, elephants, bison and birds have been found to have built their habitat here. The Buxa Tiger Reserve also has endangered species like dhole, civets, giant squirrels, bears, clouded leopard, chital, snakes like the royal python and antelopes. The nearby Narathali lake is the habitat of many endemic and migratory birds. Birding is a favorite activity here and some of the interesting bir species include trans Himalayan migratory goosanders, pied hornbill, red stars, ibis bill, black stork, minivets, migratory common teal and many others.
Traveling to Bhutanghat
The town of Alipurduar, at a short distance from Bhutanghat is well connected by an extensive road network with the rest of the country. The National Highway 31 is the main highway around Bhutanghat. The Alipurduar-Bhutanghat road passes through Hatipota and Phaskhowa. There may also be alternative routes which may be accessed only under the supervision of a local travel guide or driver.
The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, and the distance from the airport to the Dooars by road is about 133 km. The New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) which is a major railway junction is 117 km away from the Dooars. There is also another scenic route which covers New Jalpaiguri and Alipuduar Junction through Malbazaar.
Accommodation in Bhutanghat
Bhutanghat is an ideal sightseeing tour for day. As mentioned earlier, the forest bungalow within Bhutanghat has low amenities and limited tourist capacity. The best place to stay overnight would be in nearby Alipurduar town which has a number of decent hotels and lodges. Some of the prominent ones are: