(Last Updated on : 18/07/2014)
Birpara, situated in the centre of the Dooars
region in Alipurduar district
of the Indian state West Bengal
, is a small commercial town recognized for being the hub of trade and transportation for the tea garden region located in this area. The town has derived its name from the combination of two Bengali
words 'Bir' which means brave and 'para' which refers to place. Previously Birpara was a part of Dalgaon village. The place was once notorious and secluded as it was frequented by outlaws. Gradually tea garden employees began settling in this region. For their courage of living in such a notorious place they were known as 'Bir' or brave people. This rendered name to the place which gradually emerged as a separate town.
Demography of Birpara
Numerous ethnic groups dwell in Birpara including Bengalis, Biharis, Adivasis, Marwaris, Gorkhas and Muslims. Small ethnic groups also inhabit the place such as Anglo-Indians, Mizos and Sikhs. The people of Birpara follow several languages like Bengali, English
, Marwari, Sadri
and Gorkhali or Nepali. The people are greatly interested in sports activities and actively partake in the annual football competition organized at Jubilee Club between neighbouring towns. Buddhist and Bodo
people also reside here.
Economy of Birpara
Birpara is enclosed by many tea gardens which emerged as a good economy during 1990s. But after the tea gardens failed to support the economy, the town experienced a severe financial set back.
Presently the economy of Birpara is more dependent on trade with Bhutan. However frequent strikes and racial clashes in the region also affect its economy adversely. Youths of the region have stepped into entrepreneurship and have established a few factories which have generated employment opportunities for local people. Ethelbari is situated near Birpara which is known to be a bricks manufacturing centre and a hub of several pipe manufacturers and stone crushers. The place has an easy availability of raw materials.
Tourism in Birpara
Birpara hosts a number of picnic spots. One of them, called Titi, is situated at the border of Lankapara, located nearby, and Bhutan. Majestic Himalayas
surround the town in an exquisite manner. Snow capped peak of Mt. Kanchenjunga
can be witnessed from the town. Shopping at Birpara is also fun. The town also houses a famous sweet shop which is known for serving sweets to the whole of Dooars region since a long time. There is also a park in Birpara which during specific occasions gather huge crowd. About 25 kilometres away from Birpara, Gomtu is situated which is enclosed with magnificent hills and virgin forest sketching a beautiful picture. Lush greenery surrounds the road from Birpara to Gomtu. The place also has a temple of Goddess Kali
which is visited by a number of Hindu devotees.
Birpara has well developed roadways and National Highway
NH-31 passes through the town. The town is thus connected to the major cities of India. Dalgaon is the main railway station of the town which hosts frequent trains between Birpara and Siliguri
is the nearest airport to reach Birpara.