Sitting on elephants back and meeting on lazy mornings, the organizers decided that they would stick to the old British spelling ‘DUARS’. The Central Duars ECO-FEST, as the organizers have said will be organized on the same date every year, starting with 14th to 19th November in 2013. The major aim goal of the festival will be to highlight the natural and cultural diversity of Central Dooars and confirm community participation in conservation. Hospitality owners, eco-guides, taxi drivers and NGOs are the direct stakeholders in this festival, who seek the support of participation of visitors in this festival. Other than the regular forest based nature activities, there will be cultural shows with tribal dances, music and local food. Adventure programs like river walks, treks, bicycle trails and rock climbing will rock the show. Seminars and training programs for better networking in conservation and livelihood will be the highlights of the festival.
Mujnai Tea Estate, the 1807 tea garden, which had almost died, has been brought back to life by the young and energetic manager Kaushik Das. One of the oldest and best Tea Estate of Central Dooars, once owned by the Nawabs of Jalpaiguri, Majnai’s landscape is extraordinary. Kaushik is preparing his tea garden to be a part of the festival in a big way. Watchtower, sunset point, tea processing and wildlife tracking will be his strengths. He showed the tracks of wild elephants criss-crossing his tea estate almost every night. He is planning to do a night safari in his tea garden, early morning peacock trail and a nighthalt for the adventurous at the watch tower.
Several new experiential hospitality organizations are creating new units, whereas the old ones are renovating their infrastructure. New and interesting local food menus are being planned. Several of the ACT members are busy in creating new activities for the well meaning travellers. The festival will see local football matches, whose finals will be played during the festival days. There will be interesting film shows and presentations. Traditional lifestyle of the people of Dooars will be part of the hospitality during the festival, with the options of staying with local people. Cultural exchanges and cooking classes are part of the activities