Shikara Sails Its Way To West Bengal

Travellers will soon be able to enjoy shikara rides in the scenic and quaint hamlet of Gajoldoba in West Bengal
Gajoldoba, in West Bengal, is a birdwatcher's paradise
Gajoldoba, in West Bengal, is a birdwatcher's paradise
Sitting peacefully in the Dooars region, with river Mahananda to the West and river Teesta to the East, the scenic hamlet of Gajoldoba boasts boundless beauty. Though its picture-perfect scenery has lured many tourists from nearby towns and cities in West Bengal, there's another reason why Gajoldoba is set to become a favourite destination for a genuinely off-beat experience. Soon, tourists would be able to enjoy shikara rides, native to the Kashmir valley, in Gajoldoba as well. 
Although Gajoldoba's charisma owes itself to the fact that it's been scantily explored by travellers from other parts of the country, the initiative aims to turn that around. Even though it's not yet been announced when the shikaras will be operational, there's a lot you can still experience in this secluded and quaint village 
Soak In Serenity At Jalpesh Temple 
Situated approximately 6 km from Maynaguri, Jalpesh Temple is rich in fascinating tales and architectural beauty. Records suggest that its history can be traced back to 800 AD, when king Baghdatta's successor, Jalpesh, first built it. However, as it stands today, the temple has resulted from many destructions and consequent renovations&ndashmost recently by the Cooch Behar Dynasty in the 17th century. Yet, the serene aura remains palpable. 
Go Birding In Baikunthapur Forest 
Situated in the Terai region and an hour's drive from Jalpaiguri, Baikunthapur forest welcomes migratory birds every winter from as far as Central Asia and Ladakh. From September onwards, tourists with a keen eye can spot birds like the bar-headed goose, lesser whistling duck, cotton teal, tufted duck, Eurasian wigeon, purple heron, little ringed plover and many more. The best way to spot them would be on a boat safari across Teesta and Mahananda, running along the forest. 
But there's more to this forest than a long list of exciting aerial species. The forest also has found its place in folklore&ndashit is believed that Lord Krishna went into hiding here with queen Rukmini. Therefore, the nearest city of Siliguri was chosen as a site for the largest Krishna Centre in the North East. 
Take In Majestic Views Of The Kanchenjunga
Gajoldoba offers many opportunities for tourists to bask in nature's beauty and enjoy a quiet moment. The barrage created over the gushing Teesta is a perfect spot from where you can enjoy Kanchenjunga's snow-capped and sunlit peaks. You can also choose to enjoy a boat ride downstream with the local fishermen. 
The Information
Nearest airport Bagdogra Airport, located approx 41.5 km away 
Nearest railway station New Jalpaiguri Station, located approx 30 km away 
By road Since buses don't ply till Gajoldoba, the best option is to rent a taxi from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri 
Best time to visit November to March

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