city in Cooch Behar district, West Bengal

Cooch Behar (Bengali: কোচবিহার Kocbihār), also spelt Koch Bihar, is a town in the Northern Plains of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and the remnants of its royal heritage. Being one of the main tourist destinations of West Bengal, housing the Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Temple, it has been declared a heritage town.

Façade of the Cooch Behar Palace


Torsa River, Cooch Behar



Surprisingly enough, Cooch Behar (কোচবিহার KOHCH-bih-hahr) is the only planned town in North Bengal. It was the capital of a princely state under the Koch Dynasty of the Kamata Kingdom. During the British Raj, Cooch Behar was the seat of the Cooch Behar State, ruled by the Koch Kingdom, often described as the Shiva Vansha, tracing their origin from the Koch tribe of North-Eastern India. In 1896, the then King of Koch Bihar Maharaja Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur issued a gazette renaming the town from Koch Bihar to Cooch Behar. Under an agreement between the ruler of Cooch Behar and the Indian Government at the end of British rule, Maharaja Jagaddipendra Narayan transferred full authority, jurisdiction, and power of the state to the Dominion of India, effective 12 September 1949. Eventually, Cooch Behar became part of the state of West Bengal on 19 January 1950.


Cooch Behar
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: Climatological Normals 1981-2010
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Cooch Behar has a moderate climate characterized by heavy rainfall during the monsoons and slight rainfall from October to March. The town does not experience very high temperatures at any time of the year, but the humidity makes it feel hot. The daily maximum temperature is 32.2 °C (90.0 °F) in August, the hottest month and the daily minimum temperature is 9.4 °C (48.9 °F) in January, the coldest month. Due to the action of strong winds from the Bay of Bengal towards North-Eastern India, the town experiences intense thunderstorms occasionally with ice pellets during the months of March and April.


  • The Cooch Behar State and Its History of Modernity (1839-1950) by Joydeep Pal. This book is great for people who are really keen about knowing the history of this town. (ISBN 9789350742778)
  • Thirty-Seven Years of Big Game Shooting in Cooch Behar, the Duars, and Assam by Bhūpa, Nṛipendra Nārāyaṇa. Written by the former king of Cooch Behar, it provides a wide look at the way the royals used to spend their time, especially hunting. (ISBN 9780282103545)
  • Language History Of The Kamta And Cooch Behar Region by Matthew Toulmin. Presents a glimpse of the language spoken in the former state of Koch Bihar. (ISBN 9788175968974)



As in most of West Bengal, Bengali is the main language in Cooch Behar. However, the Bengali language spoken in the region is different from Standard Bengali and is known as Rajbanshi or Kamtapuri. The dialect features different pronouns for "I" (মুঁই muĩ) and "we" (হাম hām).

Get in


By plane

Terminal of Cooch Behar Airport
  • 1 Cooch Behar Airport (COH  IATA). It handles daily flights to and from Kolkata on a 9-seater Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft operated by IndiaOne Air.    

Other airports


Other airports near Cooch Behar include Rupsi Airport (RUP IATA) in Lower Assam and Bagdogra Airport (IXB IATA) in Siliguri.

By train

Entrance of the New Cooch Behar Railway Station Complex
See also: Rail travel in India
  • 2 New Cooch Behar Junction  NFR . Main railway station, on the northeastern outskirts of the town. Handles daily passenger and cargo services to and from all major cities of India.    
  • 3 Cooch Behar  NFR . Also known as the old station, it is centrally located but sees limited traffic. Handles daily passenger services to and from different parts of the region.    

By bus


Cooch Behar is the headquarters of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) and there are numerous government and private bus services that connect Cooch Behar to the neighbouring cities.

By car


Cooch Behar is well connected by national and state highways. NH 17 and NH 27 are the principal highways and are the best ways to get here from Siliguri or Guwahati.

Get around


Getting around Cooch Behar can be quite hectic. There are rickshaws, public transport like buses and rental cars. Operators of electric rickshaws, locally known as totos, can charge huge fares on seeing a tourist. Usually, toto rides are short and cost ₹15-20 per person (as of 2024). It is recommended to use totos instead of public transport to get around in the town as public transport vehicles are packed with people, at least most of the time. Walkarounds are usually safe and can be done easily. Cycling is a good option but it's not at all like Copenhagen.

Madan Mohan Temple
Rail Museum, Cooch Behar
Madhupur Satra
  • 1 Cooch Behar Palace (কোচবিহার রাজবাড়ি Kocbihār Rājbāṛi), Bus Terminus, Kesab Rd, +91 89020 14983, toll-free: +91 358 222 7348, . Sa-Th 10AM-5PM (closed Friday). The main attraction of Cooch Behar and the "Buckingham of West Bengal". The palace shows the acceptance of European idealism of the Koch kings and the fact that they had embraced European culture without renouncing their Indian heritage. The palace houses over 50 rooms including bedrooms, dressing rooms, billiard room, kitchen, dining hall, dancing hall, library, Tosha khana and the ladies gallery. Tickets can be booked at Archaeological Survey of India. No food items are allowed inside the palace premises. There are provisions for clean drinking water for visitors. Photography is not allowed inside the museum. ₹20 if ticket purchased online or else ₹25.    
  • 2 Rail Museum (next to Cooch Behar  NFR ). 1PM-5PM (closed Tu). A minuscule version of the National Rail Museum in New Delhi. The museum is based on the theme "Role of Railways in Development of Dooars region". The building resembles the architecture of Madan Mohan Temple. It has a gallery showing the technological and socio-cultural perspective of rail travel in India. It displays old exhibits dating back to the 1890s of the Cooch Behar State Railways. Photography is not allowed inside the museum. ₹20.  
  • 3 Sagardighi, Sagardighi Rd. 24 hours daily. Large rectangular pond surrounded by government offices and seasonally populated by migratory birds. The walkway around it is favourable for morning and evening walks.    
  • 4 Sal Bagan, Sal Bagan Rd (turn right from the Cancer Centre Road). 24 hours daily. A park full of Sal trees. Great place for walking and relaxing. Has a view of the airport and a railway line.  


  • 5 Baneswar Shiva Temple, Baneswar. According to a popular belief, the legendary Raja Banasura, an ardent devotee of Shiva had made the latter agree to come down to earth. When Shiva was following Raja Banasura, the latter suddenly stopped at Baneswar, which was a breach of the agreement. Shiva instantly disappeared and later established a Shivalinga on the banks of the Bangti River. The present structure is squarish with a dome and a slightly curved cornish. It has two entrances, one on the west and the other on the east. There are some decorated narrow strips on the walls. It has a raised platform in the front. There is a bull made of cement on the right. There is a big pond called Shivpukur, which is a habitat of many black softshell turtles, which are locally known as Mohan (মোহন) and are sacred.    
  • 6 Baradebi Bari. One of the few temples in West Bengal constructed in European architecture instead of the usual Bengal architecture. It is a Durga temple and it hosts a big fair during Durga Puja.
  • 7 Madan Mohan Temple, MJN Rd, toll-free: +91 358 222 2225. 9AM-8PM daily. A holy Hindu temple which hosts the Ras Purnima event. A Ras Chakra is also built each year.    
  • 8 Madhupur Satra (মধুপুর সত্র), Matikata, Madhupur. Daily 9AM-5PM. Built by Nara Narayan of Cooch Behar in honour of the Assamese preacher Sankardeva. It has a very peaceful environment. Great place to look at Assamese culture.    
  • 9 Siddheswari Temple, Siddheswari. A brick-built structure with an unusual octagonal shape and a dome on top of it, the temple is an example of British architectural influence. There is a raised platform in front of the temple. The four-handed goddess Siddheswari is worshipped as a form of the goddess Kali.  
  • 1 Narendra Narayan Park, Nripendra Narayan Rd, Morapora. Daily 9AM-5PM. A great park to go to with family and kids. It has a child-playing area and features a toy train. It has lush green gardens and also has some animals in an enclosure. There are 2 water bodies in the park hosting water sports like boating and bubble swimming.    
  • 2 Bhavani Cinema Hall, Raj Rajendra Narayan Rd. Daily 9PM-9PM. Good place for movies in a busy street. Mostly Bengali movies are aired. ₹50-100.
  • 3 Jaya Cinemas, City Mall, East Khagrabari Rd. Daily 9AM-9PM. One of the best places to watch movies in the town. Refreshment facilities are available too. English and Hindi movies are mostly aired here. ₹110-260.
  • 4 New Cinema Hall, Bangchatra Rd, New Town. Daily 9AM-9PM. Great place to watch movies with friends and family. Mostly Bengali and occasionally Hindi movies are aired. ₹50-100.
  • 5 SVF Cinemas, PRM Market City. Daily 9AM-9PM. A multiplex in the town airing Hindi and Bengali movies. Refreshment facilities are also available. ₹70-180.



It seems there is nothing much to do for visitors unless it's the festive season. The festive season is from October-January and there is a lot of fun around the town. Visitors would surely enjoy the festive season, especially the Ras Mela and Durga Puja.

  • Trade fairs are organised alternatively every month by the state government.
  • Cooch Behar Yearly Book Fair – hosted by the state government every year. It hosts a wide range of books of all genres. So, book lovers are also welcome.



Cooch Behar has the Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University which provides many courses related to science, arts and commerce. There are numerous colleges, the most popular being the A.B.N. Seal College which also provides distance education services for IGNOU.



Cooch Behar has experienced massive economic development. There are always vacancies in jobs. There are not many work opportunities for foreign travellers but both international and domestic visitors can help out NGOs and educational institutions.

There are almost all kinds of stores in the town. There are multinational stores like Reliance Trends, Max, Adidas and many more. For authentic Bengali outfits in the town, Laxmi Narayan Bastralaya is suggested. Here are some stores where you can buy some quality stuff. There are many automated teller machines (ATMs) in and around the town on every corner. All ATMs accept foreign cards as well. There is only one foreign exchange in the town.


  • 1 Laxmi Narayan Bastralaya, Raj Rajendra Narayan Rd, +91 358 222 8563. Daily 10AM-10PM. A century-old store with a wide range of collection of garments. Known for women's garments.


  • 3 Samabayika General Store, Sunity Rd, +91 99335 68804. M-Sa 10AM-7PM (closed Sunday). Great shop stocked with all kind of snacks and other necessities.
  • 4 Reliance Smart, Nripendra Narayan Road, opposite ACDC CLUB, Gowala Patti, toll-free: 1800 102 7382, . Daily 7AM-10PM. A one-stop destination for all groceries.

Shopping malls

  • 5 PRM Market City, Nripendra Narayan Road, Gowala Patti, . Daily 9AM-11PM. Largest shopping mall in the town. Includes many clothing stores, food courts and a movie theatre.
  • 6 City Mall, East Khagrabari, New Cooch Behar Road. Daily 10AM-10PM. Located in the outskirts of the town. Has a play area, movie theatre, food courts and clothing stores.

Street markets


If you're not afraid to haggle and bump elbows in bazaars, street markets are for you. You can find everything at a cheaper price than in the malls. Like in other cities, scams and touts exist in Cooch Behar, and so caution is advised. As single-use plastic bags are banned in the town, bring your own bag.

  • 7 Bara Bazaar (বড় বাজার), Biswasingha Road and Rup Narayan Road. Daily 9AM-11PM. The biggest street market in the town. Includes clothing stores, cosmetic stores, food courts, street food vendors, hotels, jewellery stores, restaurants and many more. ₹200.
  • 8 Cooch Behar Bazaar, Nripendra Narayan Road. Daily 7AM-10PM. One out of the two main street markets. You can find everything like vegetable stores, fish and meat stores, hardware stores, ATMs etc ₹100.
  • 9 Baburhat Bazaar, Baburhat. Daily 9AM-2PM. Known for its quality vegetables and wide variety of fish. ₹200.

Foreign exchange

  • 10 HDFC Bank, Opposite Rash Mela Ground,Silver Jubilee Road, +91 75739 19585. 9AM-5PM (closed 2nd and 4th Saturday each month). The only foreign exchange in the town.

Many restaurants are scattered throughout the town. The food, mainly a mixed Bengali cuisine though North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, etc. can also be found. Prices are quite affordable though may have minor variations.


  • 1 Mitali Restaurant, Rup Narayan Road. Daily 10AM-10:30PM. Great Indian food. Famous for its Mughlai Parantha
  • 2 Samrat Sweets, Rup Narayan Road. Daily 7AM-9:30PM. One of the best sweet shops in the town. Usually crowded. Known for its Samosa
  • 3 Food Trucks area, Sagardighi, MJN Rd (Near Shahid Bagh). Daily 5PM-9PM. A crowded place full of food trucks offering many types of food in the evening.


  • 4 Golpo, PRM Market City. Daily 10AM-9:30PM. Huge range of quality food. You can get almost anything you want. Ranging from burgers to full meals; from authentic food to international meals; from drinks to bakery
  • 5 Mio Amore, Nripendra Narayan Road. Daily 10AM-9PM. Reasonably priced bakery. Great food and is known for its fresh breads, wraps, hot dogs, and cakes.
  • 6 The Aromas of Punjab, Nripendra Narayan Road. Daily noon-10PM. Great Punjabi food and also offers other Indian delicacies
  • 7 KFC, PRM Market City, +91 80427 54444. Daily 11AM-11PM. Restaurant chain known for its buckets of fried chicken, wings & sides.
  • 8 Domino's Pizza, Biswa Singha Rd, toll-free: 1800 208 1234, . Daily 11AM-11PM. A restaurant chain offering a wide range of pizzas & a variety of other dishes & sides.


  • 9 Restaurant Monarch, Biswa Singha Road. Daily 9AM-11PM. Part of Hotel Yubraj, Great restaurant and great food
  • 10 Restaurant Tara, Biswa Singha Road. Daily 9AM-11PM. Part of Hotel Ellora. Great food and services. It is a bit pricey.
  • 11 Royal Palace Restaurant, Sunity Road. Daily 9AM-11PM. Great food. It can handle a large number of guests



You can have some beer and other drinks at most of the bars. Note that drinking in public is normally frowned upon. For refreshments, a cup of tea is the best. You can visit cafés for some espresso and soft drinks are available almost everywhere.

  • 1 The Table Talk Cafe & Bistro, Biswa Singha Rd, North. Daily 11AM-10:30PM. A well-designed café and a bistro known to be cosy. Great for a quick coffee break.
  • 2 The Hot Box, B.S Road, behind Swad restaurant, +91 79082 87790. Daily 11AM-10PM. Laid-back, neon-lit hookah lounge dishing up unpretentious snacks, plus mocktails.


  Note: To avoid the unsavoury, corrupt, and thoroughly untrustworthy local booking services based in Kolkata or Siliguri, it is best to book hotels online or get a place to stay on arrival without advance reservation.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget ₹1000
Mid-range ₹1000 to ₹3000
Splurge ₹3000

There are many hotels to stay in Cooch Behar. They aren't that pricey and provide great services. Most of the hotels are within the town but you can also find smaller hotels on the outskirts. Booking the hotels online is a good option as booking in person might be hectic.







Stay safe


Cooch Behar Police


The Cooch Behar Police is the police force serving the Cooch Behar district and they will always help you. In case of emergency, dial 100. Otherwise, there are police outposts spread everywhere. Civic Volunteers are present on almost every street and can be asked for help.

Emergency numbers

  • Emergency Number, 112.
  • Police, 100.
  • Fire, 101.
  • Ambulance, 102. or dial the nearest local hospital
  • Women's Helpline, 1091.
  • Child distress Helpline, 1098.

Stay healthy

  Note: Eating street food from street vendors can be fun, however, do not eat unhygienic or open food. There are plenty of restaurants offering street food in a potentially more hygienic environment.

Summer starts in late April and continues till early July. It is very sunny here, meaning that proper hydration is of the utmost importance. Keep yourself covered in summer to avoid a heat stroke. Drink a lot of water — around 3 litres a day — particularly in the summer. The temperature usually exceeds 40 °C (104 °F). Don't forget sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Drink only bottled water or packaged water to avoid water-related illness and eat well-cooked food.



Cell phone coverage in the town is excellent. There are three major service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are Airtel, VI (formerly Vodafone) and Jio. Airtel is the preferable one as it provides high-quality calls and great internet speed all across the town.

To call Cooch Behar from abroad you will need to dial the international prefix for your country, followed by India's country code +91. If you want to dial a landline no. from a mobile, then you have to add the area code of Cooch Behar, 03582 before the number.

Internet services are unreliable in some parts of the town. Most stores have broadband connections. Both the railway stations have high-speed Wi-Fi services but you need an Indian mobile number to register and receive the One-time password.

Postal services

The Cooch Behar Head Post Office in a sunny afternoon.

India Post has wide coverage in Cooch Behar, providing both domestic and international services. Apart from this, private courier services are also available which also offer fast domestic and international services. Some of the popular ones are DTDC and Blue Dart (part of DHL). Services of FedEx can also be availed at a slightly higher cost, as its nearest hub is located in Siliguri.



Power outages are common in the town, mostly in the summer. For power-related issues, you can contact the power department through their helpline 19121 and +91 35822 27011. or docket your complaint at their website. Most of the hotels and stays have power backup facilities, so you won't stay in the dark. Google Maps is a reliable source for navigating around the town.



Local newspapers can be handy and reliable sources for day-to-day updates about the town. The town has a number of newspapers and other publications that list local happenings. There are different options for newspapers including daily, weekly and bi-weekly. Some of the popular newspapers are Uttarbanga Sambad, Bartaman, Anandabazar Patrika and The Statesman.

Animal hospital


Diagnostic centre



Rasikbil Bird Sanctuary
  • 1 Rasikbil, Tufanganj. M-Sa 11AM-4PM (closed Sunday). A bird sanctuary with many other animals like tigers, monkeys, deer, crocodiles and snakes. Mostly known for its lake where during the migrating season, many birds get attracted and live here for the entire season. Some birds are storks, ibis, spoonbill, kingfisher, parrots, owl and many others. You can book resorts to stay after reaching the sanctuary or you can book resorts online from the website of West Bengal Forest Development department.    

Go next

  • Jaldapara National Park — a great place to view wildlife. It has the second-largest population of one-horned rhinoceros after Kaziranga National Park.
  • Gorumara National Park — in the Dooars region of the Himalayan foothills, it is a medium-sized park with grasslands and forests. It is primarily known for its population of Indian rhinoceros.
  • Alipurduar — on the east bank of Kaljani River on the foothills of the Himalayas, the town is a gateway to Bhutan and the northeastern states of India.
  • Jalpaiguri — famous for its traditional handicrafts especially cane and bamboo crafts.
  • Phuentsholing — a border town in southern Bhutan and is the main entrance point to the Himalayan nation.
  • Siliguri — in the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by tea gardens. There are many large shopping malls and restaurants offering international cuisine.
Routes through Cooch Behar (National Highway routes)
SiliguriMalbazar  W   E  GuwahatiEnds at  
SiliguriJalpaiguri  W   E  BongaigaonGuwahati

Routes through Cooch Behar (State Highway routes)
SiliguriJalpaiguri  W   E  AlipurduarJaigaon

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