Thursday, August 07, 2008

Buxa Duar, (a.k.a Baksa Duar), is one of the oldest towns in Jalpaiguri District of West Bengal. It lies close to India's border with Bhutan.

Buxa Duar Fort is in the eastern Dooars at a height of 867 m (2600 ft), on the Sinchula Range. It guards the Buxa Duar route, the most important of the eleven routes into Bhutan. It is believed that the Buxa Fort was constructed by the king of Bhutan during the 18th century with an intention to protect their country.

The fort was positioned so as to help guard the road connecting Tibet with India via Bhutan, which was famous known as the 'Silk Route'. The British captured this fort at the end of the 18th century and used it a watchtower.

In the 1930's as well as between 1942 to 1946, the fort was used as prison for the freedom fighters of India who was fighting against the British Empire. During this period martyrs like Jiten Gupta, Krishnapada Chakraborty, Major Satya Gupta, Trailokya Maharaj, and Hem Ghosh were kept there.

It has also served as a refugee camp for Tibetans and Bangladeshis.

Because of its historical significance the fort is considered as a place of special importance by the old timers who often visit Buxa fort to recapitulate their memories and to pay their tribute to the martyrs' column. Subash Candra Bose was kept captive at this Fort for sometime. After an exceptionally intense rain, when a landslide occurred taking most of this Fort down with it.

The deciduous forest around the fort now forms part of the Buxa National Park.

Excerpts taken from one article on East-Himalaya dot com and another from India9 dot com

Walking to the Buxa Duar Fort