In the lap of Mother Nature
On the easternmost edge of Bengal, at the doorstep of a wildlife sanctuary, is the town of Lataguri. Situated in the hilly region of the Dooars, it is filled with lush green forests, bubbling streams, chirping birds and scores of animals. Lataguri is the perfect spot to unleash the nature-loving wild child within you. Where Gorumara National Park, a sanctuary for elephants and rhinoceros is a must, viistors should also visit the Buxa tiger reserve and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary. The breezy and sparkling Murti river is a a dazzling point for a picnic. All tours in India are incomplete without a heritage site and so the visitors must go to see the grand Buxa Fort, which was built by the British colonials to protect the gateway there to trade - the silk route from Bhutan. Additionally, visitors can also enjoy the local customs and traditions followed such as Chor Chunni and Dhaam gaan. Tourists must ensure that they do not miss out on the beautiful tea gardens in Lataguri, a notable feature of most cities located in the eastern part of India. When you step into this magnificent yet humble town, it feels nothing less than paradise on earth.
In the medivial period, Lataguri was under the kingdom of Kamrupa. This kingdom had it's borders on River Karotaya. Furthermore, it also included the dooars, which were earlier a part of Bhutan and Coocha Behar. With the advent into the British era, in teh year 1864, British gained control of the region under the command of Hedayet Ali. It gained independence and joined the union of India in the year 1947 itself.
The main local residents of the area include the Raj Bangshis. Other migrated cultures include the Ravas, Mech, Totos, Limbus, Bengalis and Lepchas. Furthermore, the British forced people from the Chhotanagpur plateau in the modern era to work as tea farmers. Thus, cultures such as Uraons, Nageshias and Mundas were also introduced.
Some of the numerous festivals and auspicious ceremonies observed and celebrated here are Durga Puja, Kaali Puja, Teesta Burir Puja and the Manoshi Puja. There is also a lot of staging for drama and plays. Chor Chunni and Daam gam are the popular folk arts of the region. These tell stories of the rise and fall of kings, emporers, gods and mythological creatures.
How to reach
Lataguri, being a small town, is not very well connected from cities across the country. However, Lataguri has good transport services at a regional level and frequent buses and trains run to and fro nearby towns and cities. The West Bengal Transport Corporation is the authority responsible for transport in the region.
How to Reach by Flight
Lataguri does not have an airport. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri (69 km).However this airport caters to only domestic flights to and fro the region. Followimg are flights from a few major cities:
How to Reach by Train
Lataguri does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Station which is at a distance of 23 km. New Jalpaiguri is connected through a very limited number of trains.
How to Reach by Bus
Buses are operated and run by North Bengal State Transport Corporation. Lataguri is well connected by bus to nearby cities and towns. It is recommended that tourists travel by bus for a view of the true essence of nature.
How to Reach by Road
Lataguri lies enroute the National Highway 31. The road is mediocre but the driver must be experienced in driving in hilly areas as there are patches of road that go over and around hills. The view while going by road is beautiful.
How to travel within
Lataguri has auto rickshaws and an average number of taxis available for tourists to move from one point of interest to another. Walking and cycling are not reccomended.
Owing to the large number of visitors in Gorumara National Park, Lataguri has a wide variety of hotel options to choose from. From extravagantly themed jungle resorts to bijou hotels - Lataguri offers it all!
- If you're looking for a resort to kick back and relax, then Lataguri has just the accommodations for you! Have the cottage experience with resorts like Aranya Resort, Banyan Tree Resort and Camping De Dooars that offer nothing less than the real forest experience!
-If you're interested in a small, elegant hotel, away from all the hustle bustle, then go for an OYO room or Hotel Prime Murti
Lataguri has a plethora of dhabas and roadside bhandaars. The lip-smacking delicacies served here are impossible to resist. There are even a a few small restaurants that offer the Bengai chaska through buffet options! The Dreamland Restaurant and the Dooars Hotel and Restaurant are two such places!
While in Bengal, a must try is the ever-famous roshugolla and mishti dohi! Bengali cuisine has a unique variety of desserts and sweets that are often not found in the other parts of our country.
Day 1 (previous evening arrival):
- Full day tour at Gorumara National Park with meals inclusive (return to hotel)
- Visit the Buxa Fort (stop for lunch)
- Visit the Buxa Tiger Reserve (return to hotel for dinner)
- Visit the Chaprami Wildlife Sanctuary (stop for lunch and relax)
- Visit Murti River and explore riverside (have riverside picnic)
(return to hotel for relaxation and dinner)