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The land of “tea, timber and tourism”, Jalpaiguri is a beautiful district and town with the same name (the latter is the headquarters of the entire district) in the state of West Bengal. Much of its colonial character attained during British rule through extensive tea plantations remains unchanged. Topographically the district is cut by dense forests and its wildlife, rolling tea estates, sweeping turbulent rivers and the beauty of surrounding hills.
Jalpaiguri is situated in the Terai region, or the vast fertile plains in the Himalayan foothills. Being in such proximity to the mountain ranges, the district is home to many rivers and rivulets which enrich the region and make the river banks popular tourist attractions for boating and picnicking. Some of the rivers which traverse the district include Teesta, Torsa, Dyna, Jaldhaka, Neora, Karala and Sankosh.
Thames of Jalpaiguri
The Karala River in Jalpaiguri has been aptly titled “Thames of Jalpaiguri” as it veins and bisects the town in two halves. The two parts of the Karala River is well connected by beautifully built bridges.
Reputed for its scintillating beauty, the Karala River is the perfect place where the tourist to Jalpaiguri can sit and relax. Enjoy the manifold beauty of nature found along its banks. If you are looking forward to spending time with your family and friends in Jalpaiguri, nothing beats the splendour of the Karala River banks.
Boating and Fishing Facilities at Karala River
Tourists can also enjoy facilities like boating. This boat ride up the enchanting Karala River would take you till its confluence with Teesta River, another lifeline of the district flowing from Sikkim Himalaya. This serene and long winding boat ride is one of the reasons for tourists flocking to the river banks. Giving you glimpses of the entire Jalpaiguri town as you float downstream, it is the experience of a lifetime. Make sure to photograph these wonderful places as high points of your tour.
The Karala River is also well known as fishing and angling spot with its abundance of fishes. Some of the common fishes found are River Stone Carp, Ghor Poia, Natwa, lathi Fish and others. Enjoy these leisure activities as you picnic in this verdant locale. You will need to get a fishing permit from the Jalpaiguri fisheries department before you can fish in the Karala River.
As boat rides are open air, some of the important things you are advised to carry along with you are sunglasses, umbrella or hat and drinking water. Tipping the boat helper is also beneficial as boating is their sole means of income.
The Karala River bank is also beautified by a well maintained park where you can soak in the beauty of natural surroundings and spend your leisure hours as you indulge in a nature walk in this verdant locale.
Best Time to Visit Karala River in Jalpaiguri
The best time to plan your visit to the banks of the River Karala is right after the monsoon season from October to December. Walking along the river banks is especially pleasant at this time of the year when you would not be prickled by the heat of the summer. Dawn and dusk are the best time when you can enjoy a boat ride.
Source : Flickr
How to reach Karala River in Jalpaiguri
The Karala River flows through the entire city and thus is at a walking distance from all places and hotels within the town. The tourist can take both state run buses and rickshaws as local transport from all main traffic junctions.
Accommodation near Karala River
There are several decent midsized hotels and lodges near Karala River located around the Jalpaiguri Railway Station. Some of them are Hotel del’ Pretom, Prince Lodge and Holydon Hotel.