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Bindu: Jhalong, Hydel power station, Jaldhaka River and Dam

Bindu Jhalong Dam and Hydel Project

OVERVIEW

Bindu is a beautiful valley on the banks of river Jaldhaka enclosed by the lush green hills of Bhutan on one side and India on another. Perched at an altitude of 2000 ft, Bindu is the last hamlet of West Bengal and a much-loved tourist attraction. This offbeat destination is blessed with the serene natural beauty of the Jaldhaka river gushing over the rocks, forests rich in wildlife, and the lofty green hills on all sides. The river of Jaldhaka, along which Bindu is situated, is the conjunction of 3 smaller rivers of rivulets named Bindu Khola, Dudh Pokhri, and Jaldhaka itself which originated from the small glacial Kupup lake in Sikkim.

The journey to Bindu itself is filled with mesmerizing sights that are bound to make the trip adventurous and memorable. The route to Bindu crosses the bluish-green Jaldhaka river with hills on all sides and passes through the dense forest of Chapramari, which is the oldest forest reserve of West Bengal. Sights of wild animals like monkeys, bisons, elephants, and even rhinos can be seen on the way. The picturesque landscapes of Bindu are quite famous for cardamom plantations and the cultivation of medicinal plants like diascorrea. 

Bindu Village beside Jaldhaka
Bindu Village beside Jaldhaka

HOW TO REACH

Transport TypeNearby OptionDistance
Railway stationAlipurduar Junction
New Alipurduar
Hashimara
New Mal Junction
New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
137 km
140 km
100 km
50 km
103 km
AirportsBagdogra113 km

By Road: Plenty of cars are available from both Siliguri and Alipurduar to reach Bindu. The journey to Bindu is amazing and adventurous with the roads going through forests, mountains, tea gardens, villages, and elephant corridors.

Bus timings

There is a bus to Bindu (via Jhalong) available from PC Mittal Bus Stand in Siliguri but the timings can be irregular at times. The bus also takes you to the Bindu Dam which is the last stop and returns from there.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

All seasons, except monsoon when the forests are closed for tourists, give you an amazing experience and view at Bindu. But for a view of the snow-capped mountains, November to mid January is the best time as the sky is clear and it is also the breeding and migratory season for birds in the area.

WILDLIFE AT BINDU

Bindu is a paradise for bird lovers with over 100 different species of birds inhabiting the dense forests. This is because the water brings in a wide range of migratory birds (from Central Asia and Ladakh) and waterfowls and acts as their perfect breeding ground. Some of the birds spotted are Eurasian Wryneck, Crested Kingfisher, Brown Dipper, Hodgson’s Redstart, Salty-backed Forktail, Little Forktail and Rufous-necked laughingthrush. The dense forests surrounding the river is rich in wildlife and home to a wide range of animals including leopards, Red Pandas, Indian boars, and deer.

Birding at Bindu
Birding at Bindu

BINDU SIGHTSEEING

Bindu Dam and Hydel Project on Jaldahaka

BINDU DAM:

At an altitude of 2000 ft, the Bindu Dam (or Jaldhaka dam) is located which serves the water for the Hydel power plant in Jhalong. The vehicles will only go to a certain point after which you have to walk around 200 m to reach the dam. It is a wonderful view with the river acting as a border with Bhutan on the other bank. Though the work has stopped due to heavy silting over the years, the main purpose of this dam is to supply water to the hydel power project at Jaldhaka.

BINDU HYDEL POWER STATION:

The Jaldhaka Hydro Electricity Project is another major attraction near Bindu. In 1967, the first unit of the dam was commissioned in 1967 and the last was in 1983. The dam has a total production capacity of 36.9 MW. For the neighboring kingdom of Bhutan, the dam acts as a bridge for the people.

GODAK VILLAGE:

The tiny hilly village is just 15 km from Bindu. The tribal people in the village worship a rock, Debi sthan, from which a never-drying river stream flows. There is an Orange Orchard near the village which is a major attraction especially in the season of oranges. Also, the Cardamom Curing Centre in the area is known to be the best supplier of cardamom in the country. 

GAIRIBAS VIEWPOINT:

Tourists can visit this site while they are traveling to Bindu too. It is situated at an altitude where there is a low concrete barrier that dives into a gorge. The view of Bhutan hills across the valley will leave you spellbound. On the Indian side, the tiny settlement of Jhalong can be seen along with the twisted turns of the Jaldhaka river. 

View of Jaldhaka river from Gairibas viewpoint
View of Jaldhaka river from Gairibas viewpoint

DALGAON VIEWPOINT:

Dalgaon Viewpoint
Dalgaon Viewpoint

Another place which the tourists can visit on their way to Bindu or while returning from there. There is a well-maintained garden with a watchtower here. The view is similar to the view from Gairibas viewpoint with the beautiful valley of Indo-Bhutan border and mountains rising along the Jaldhaka river.

TSHI SANG:

The scenic beauty of this beautiful spot in the lap of the Himalayan range has made it a must-visit. People can trek for an hour from here to spot wild animals like Red Panda and Deer herd in the forests. 

PLACES NEARBY BINDU

Places Distance
Jhalong10 km
Samsing28 km
Paren9 km
Chapramari34 km
Lataguri60 km
Murti43 km

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