Jalpaiguri, West Bengal: Jalpaiguri is the headquarters of Jalpaiguri District with 26 wards and the divisional headquarters of the North Bengal region and lies on the banks of River Teesta at 26.5223N 88.7173E at an elevation of 250 feet above sea level in West Bengal State of India.
Jalpaiguri town is located on fertile lands at the foothills of the Himalayas and receives water perennially from River Teesta which originates from Sikkim; flows next to Jalpaiguri and proceeds to Bangladesh. Referred to as the 'Thames of Jalpaiguri' is the River Karala which spines through the town dividing the town exactly into two. River Torsa, Jaldhaka, Raidak, Sankosh, Dharala and River Panga also flow through Jalpaiguri. Multiple rivers perennially flowing through Jalpaiguri explains the fertility of its land.
Jalpaiguri town which is the headquarters of the Jalpaiguri District is bounded by the Darjeeling District on the northwest and by the Assam State on the east. And further up, Nepal falls on the west of Jalpaiguri; Bhutan is on the northeast and Bangladesh is on the south.
The proximity of the Jalpaiguri town to the Himalayas allows views of the world's third highest mountain - the Kanchenjunga from the town on a clear day when the skies are not laden with clouds or the air with fog. The town experiences cool and pleasant weather even in summers, and makes it conducive for tourism all through the year.
Jalpaiguri derives its name from three sources:
- Lord Jalpesh - one of the many names of Lord Shiva who is the presiding deity of the Jalpaiguri region.
- From the fact that Jalpaiguri is richly abundant with olives, in other words - 'Jalpai'.
- The Bhutanese gave the name 'je-le-pe-go-ri' meaning - a place where warm clothing is bought and sold as Jalpaiguri was a big trading place then.
Jalpaiguri is a beautiful and picturesque riverine grassland town which is in the foothills of the Himalayas; is surrounded by dense forests of wildlife as well as tea gardens; constitutes extremely fertile land as four rivers run through it throughout the year and sports lush green verdant landscape and cool and breezy atmosphere. It makes for a tourist hot-spot anytime of the year.
Jalpaiguri's economy is dominated by Timber, Tea and Tourism which explains why the locals' lives and lifestyles predominantly revolve around the three. Education is what brings scores of people from Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal to Jalpaiguri as it has a strong foothold on education with Christian Missionary and Catholic Institutions apart from the West Bengal Council of Higher Education providing ICSE (Indian School Certificate Examinations) certified education. The 330-acre University of North Bengal is about 40 kilometres northwest of Jalpaiguri town apart from the Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College and other private colleges.
Jalpaiguri Town is sports-centric which is evident in the presence of the Town Club Stadium; the Jalpaiguri Sports Complex; and Sports Clubs such as FUC, JYMA, JYCC Olympia and the Spootnic Club among others.
Siliguri (40 kms), Darjeeling (110 kms), Kolkata (690 kms) are nearest big towns.