) is a town in the state of West Bengal
. It is the headquarters of Jalpaiguri district
, and the divisional headquarters of the North Bengal
Jalpaiguri was initially founded as a trading centre, as the origins of its name suggests. The name Jalpaiguri
may come from the Bhutanese term je-le-pe-go-ri
, which means 'a place where warm clothes are bought and sold'. Others attribute the name to the more common Bengali term jôlpai
"olive" and thus the name meaning "town of olives".
For some time, the town was capital of the Raikats
. The town was part of the Duars area of the old Kamarupa and later the Bhutanese kingdoms, which was later annexed by the British in 1864. They divided the captured area into two parts and merged the eastern half into the Goalpara district
(now in Assam
) and converted the western half into a new district of Western Duars and then in 1869, it was reorganised and renamed to Jalpaiguri, with Jalpaiguri town becoming the district headquarters.
The town saw its main boom period during the late 19th and early 20th century, when the British found the region north-east of the town (called the Dooars
region), near the foothills of the Bhutan hills very suitable for tea cultivation. Within a very small period the area was dotted with thousands of tea gardens, with Jalpaiguri town becoming the port-of-call for all going to those gardens. People flocked to the town to lay their... Read More