Jalpaiguri—an important town in the scenic precincts of North Bengal, derives its name from the word “Jalpai” which means “olive”. This exotic fruit is a popular fruit and has been seen growing in abundance in the region—even in the year 1900. The suffix “guri” means “place”.
The name Jalpaiguri can also be attributed to the presiding deity of the region-- Jalpesh, (an incarnation of Lord Shiva). This scenic town shares its international borders with Bhutan in the north and Bangladesh in the west. It also touches the borders of Darjeeling Hills and Assam on the west and east respectively. The topography of Jalpaiguri district is indeed scenic and is crisscrossed by innumerable rivers, rivulets and rolling hills. Here, you can walk along the banks of the River Teesta or feast your eyes on the glory of Mt. Kanchanjungha (on clear days only).
This district boasts of more than 80% of rural population and has a large volume of SC/ST population as well. A relatively large portion of the population lives in the forest villages and tea gardens-- that are quite inaccessible and isolated.
Jalpaiguri is the divisional headquarter for five districts and is the gateway to Bhutan and other north-eastern states of India. The region also has a very high percentage of people who have migrated from different parts of the country and neighboring nations. Here, you will get to see diverse cultural groups -- Ravas, Totos, Ranjbanshi, Metch, Madasia, Santhals and Oraons. Jalpaiguri’s cultural opulence is in perfect harmony with the well known adage, “unity in diversity’ –which is rarely seen in any other parts of West Bengal.