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Jalpaiguri derives its name from the olive fruit, which is locally known as ‘jalpai’ – it literally means a place where olives are found abundantly. Its name is also associated with Lord Shiva who is also known as Jalpesh, the presiding deity of the region. Jalpaiguri shares the northern part of West Bengal and is close to international borders with Bhutan in the north and Bangladesh in the south. It is bounded by the state of Assam and Darjeeling district in the East and West. Jalpaiguri comprises chiefly of a rural population, which is more than 80 per cent of its total population. The topography of the land is cut across by rivers, rivulets and hills, and covered with tea gardens and forests. It is a virtual cauldron of different ethnic races and tribes like the Rajbanshi, Rabha, Toto, Metch, Santhals, Madasia and Oraons.

Major rivers that runs across the district are the Teesta, Torsa, Jaldhaka, Raidak and Sankosh.

Jalpaiguri has great tourism potential which still lies untapped; the wild currents of Teesta, Torsa and Sankosh asserting its way through the gorges; vast stretches of wilderness with the backdrop of the Himalayas; rolling acres of tea estates and colorful tribal peoples makes it an ideal place for holiday makers and adventure lovers.

The little town of Jalpaiguri has more or less survived being bitten by the commercialization bug unlike some cities and towns of North Bengal. Its beauty lies in its serenity, green parks and the relaxed way in which people go about their day-to-day life. The look and feel of the town belies the fact that it is a great seat of learning and education in North Bengal. It boasts of a reputed Law College establishment and Pharmacy Institute; large numbers of people are well educated. Recently, Jalpaiguri Court won the prestigious privilege of hosting the High Court Circuit Bench beating Siliguri Court in the run for the same.

If Siliguri is known for its commercialization and economic development, Jalpaiguri has a unique identity of its own in the cultural, educational and social map of North Bengal.

Tribal culture with its folk dance, drama, songs and folk lore is an integral part of the culture of the region. The tribal communities of Raj Bangshi, Mech, Raba, Toto, Limboo, Lepcha and the Bengali and Nepali community populate the region and provide a rich flavor to the rich cultural diversity of Jalpaiguri

Places of interest

Jalpesh Siva Temple : Located 3 km from Mainaguri and 15 km from Jalpaiguri. A famous shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of North Bengal. Every year in the Hindu calendar month of sawan (15 July-15 August) thousands of devotees throng the Jalpesh Temple and a large fair is organised for a month. Devotees collect water in vessels from the river Teesta after offering puja and walk barefoot towards the temple, which is 15 km from the river.

JalpeshBodaganj Kathambari, Odlabari :
ocation, Approach & Access : All these places are at a distance of 25 km to 90 km from Jalpaiguri town. Bodaganj is 25 km away from Jalpaiguri in Shikarpur forest. Nearest station of Ambari is Ambari-Falakata in NJP - Haldibari route. Kathambari is around 50 km away from Jalpaiguri and is approachable by road. Odlabari is 90 km away from Jalpaiguri by road.
Accommodation : Two roomed forest bungalow is available in all these four places. (Contact - Div. Forest Officer, Baikunthapur Divn., Hospital More, Siliguri. Ph. 0353-2436436 ) .
Prime Attraction : Scenic beauty of Forest and tea gardens, somewhere with a backdrop of hills is the main attraction of these locations. Tista barrage is very close from Ambari.

Murti :

Location, Approach & Access : A place besides river Murti, around 8 km away from Chalsa and 60 km away from Jalpaiguri is famous for its scenic beauty. This place is located in between Gorumara and Chapramari.
Accommodation : 2 double bedded A.C. rooms, 2 double bedded non A.C. rooms and 2 non A.C. rooms with 4 bunks in each is available in the Murti bungalow. The rent of each A.C. room is Rs. 1000/- , rent of each non A.C. room is Rs. 650/-, rent of each bunk is 100/- and rent of a room with 4 bunks is Rs. 350/-. (Contact : W.B.T.D.C, Hill Cart Rd. Siliguri. Ph. - 0353-2511974,2511979 or W.B.T.D.C., 6A, Raja S. C. Mallick Sq., 2nd. Floor, Calcutta-13 . Ph. 033-22370060,61)
Prime Attraction : Excellent scenic beaury is the main attraction of this site. Both Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wild Life Sanctuary are very close to this place. One can get day visit pass from Lataguri Interpretation Centre to enter the National Park and Sanctuary


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