North Bengal is a heaven for Travelers with numbers of
destinations and different options.
Let me tell you my fellow travelers, North Bengal means much
more than just Darjeeling and Kalimpong. We are Kolkata based Travel
Company and frequently travel to North Bengal exploring places that
are less infested by tourists. Many new offbeat destinations have
come up in the past years which are indulging every tourist with their serene
beauties. Lofty range of Kanchanjungha, meandering river channels, dense
forests with slender pine and fir, numerous varieties of ferns and humble
hospitable villagers will always welcome you with arms wide open.
Immerse yourself in the local culture of North Bengal, become
familiar with the life style of the people. stay among them, get a home away
from home in the lap of the Himalayas. While the popular tourist spots
like have Darjeeling, Kalimpong have number of Hotels of various
categories, the offbeat destinations and the upcoming ones offer you a chance to
stay in Homestays, lavish Farm stays with
sprawling green organic farms, Heritage Bungalows.
We have combined some well-known destinations with the
lesser known offbeat ones to give our traveler flavor of true North Bengal.
THE SUMMER RESORT OF THE BRITISH RAJ,THE QUEEN OF THE HILLS
Nestled among the rolling
mountains with the glistening Mt Kanchenjunga towering over the azure sky,
Darjeeling fondly called "Queen of the Hills", provides a perfect
gateway for those seeking to be in harmony with nature.
This is the land of the
muscatel flavoured Darjeeling tea revered by connoisseurs
across the globe. This is the land of the world heritage Darjeeling
Himalayan Railway where the century old miniature steam engine still
Darjeeling in the post modern
era comprises of six T’s -Tea, Teak, Tourism, Toy Train, Tiger Hill and
7Point Tour Itinerary
1.Padma Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
2.Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.
4.Tenzing & Gombu Rock
6.Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre
5 Point Sight seeing:
1.Japanese Temple or Peace Pagoda
2.Lalkuthi or Lal Kothi:
5.Bengal Natural History Museum
3 Point sight seeing:
3.Batasia Loop and War Memorial.
While your stay in Darjeeling you can surely choose to visit a
quite hamlet which is 19 km away from Darjeeling main hub but has a world of
its own- LEPCHAJAGAT, the village of the Lepchas
If you are a nature lover or looking for a
romantic stay for couple of days, then Lepchajagat is the place for you.
It is a dense forested area full with pines, oaks
from here you can visit Jorpokhri and Manebhanjan .
Jorpokhri is only about 5kms away and is
well known for its serene beauty and views of Kanchenjunga, a beautiful pond
and the rare Himalayan Salamanders (lizards).
Manebhanjan, which is the base for Sandakphu trek is about
15kms and takes about 45 minutes to reach.
Mirik is a small hill town
and part of Kurseong subdivision and within Darjeeling district. It lies almost halfway between Siliguri/NJP and
Darjeeling on the alternative route that goes to Darjeeling through scenic tea
estates. Its scenic views with the central attraction as the 1.25kms long
lovely lake surrounded by Dhupi trees on it western bank and a vast garden on
the eastern bank. Mirik is a tranquil laid back hill station. There are vantage
points from where one can get lovely sights of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. And of
course the area is surrounded by many rolling tea estates on mountain
a pristine hill station in West Bengal, is located about 50 km east of the
famous tourist destination Darjeeling. This hill
town, overlooking the beautiful Teesta valley, is at an altitude of 1250 m
above the sea level and is vibrant with bustling activities. Kalimpong is
located at the foothills of majestic Shiwalik ranges in Lower Himalayas. It is
believed that until the 19th century the area was ruled by Bhutanese kings and
was a forward post of the Bhutanese Army.
Enshrined with ancient Buddhist
monasteries, centuries old churches and exquisite revered temples, Kalimpong
was earlier a part of Bhutan until it was wrested by British rulers and joined
to Indian territory. The populaces in Kalimpong are mostly of Nepalis origin.
One can view the panoramic picture of the
down valley known as Teesta Ranjit Valley from the spot known as 7th Mile View
LOCAL SIGHTSEEING (EAST KALIMPONG) - HALFDAY,
1) Dr Graham's Homes
2) Lord Buddha Statue:
5) Hanuman Temple
6) Deolo Hill:
7) Mangal Dham
8) Thongsa Gompa
LOCAL SIGHTSEEING (WEST KALIMPONG) - HALF DAY,
1) Nature Interpretation
2) Army Golf Course
4) Durpin Monastery
5) Jelepla View Point
6) Pratima Tagore
7) Pine View Nursery
8) Kali Mandir
FULL DAY LOCAL SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF
You can combine the East and
West Kalimpong local tours I have described above to make a full day local
sightseeing tour. In addition to all the places I have mentioned above, you can
also cover the following:
1) Kalimpong's colorful market
(particularly Haat Bazaar which sets up on Wednesday or Saturday
2) Sahid Park
3) Gouripur House
4) Rishi Bankim Park
5) Kalimpong College, Surya
Sadan, Curcuit House etc.
Kurseong is a sub-division of
Darjeeling district. In 1835 it was handed over to the British by the King of
Sikkim. It was a small village then. However it gained importance when the
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train service was extended to Kurseong
in August 1880. It then became the Head Quarter of the subdivision.
Kurseong means 'The place of white orchids'. White orchids grow in abundance in
this area. The area is also full of beautiful tea gardens, forests and year
round vegetation on the hill slopes. From some parts of Kalimpong, you get
magnificent views of Mt. Kanchejunga, Kabru and Jannu, and the meandering
rivers Teesta and Mahananda flowing downwards to the lower plains
toy train track runs on level with the road. The whistling sound of the steam
engine can often be heard from your room and you can come out to see the mini
train negotiating its way through the mountains. The places of interest
Eagle Craig,which has a park,from here the magnificent view of Kanchanjungha on
one side and the southern plain on the other side can be enjoyed.
Dow Hill, a large section of the hill is covered with dense forest and the
locals will vouch on the fact that there are leopards in the forest. While no
lives have been lost, the leopards seem to be targeting the sheeps and goats.
The hill is also famous for its many attractions including forest museum,
excellent views, historic schools, parklands etc.
Giddapahar View Point , one of the other hills in Kurseong is Giddapahar.
The view of the mountains, the snow peaks (including Kanchenjunga) and the
valley is awesome. The area also has a temple known as Giddapahar Seti
Mata Temple and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum.
Those who wants to have a glimpse of Tea Tourism in Kurseong can visit Ambootia
Tea Estate,Makaibari Tea Estate, Castleton Tea Estate.
St.Mary’s Hill,with a church on
top and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum are also nearby tourist attraction.
ADULATE THE SERENE NATURE IN
THE BLISSFUL SILENCE
The meaning of the word Rishyap is ‘mountain peak. It is a small
quaint Himalayan hamlet nested amidst of the hidden hills of Neora valley. Away
from the chaotic city lifestyle it offers a 300 degree picturesque views of
snow-capped mountains. Surrounded by deep, silent pine forest, Rishyap is not
covered by motorable roads. To enjoy the beauty of Rishyap one has to walk down
Places of interest around Rishyap:
Pedong is a
region that is also close to Rishyap and is 20 km from the region of Kalimpong.
The region of Pedong is surrounded by pine forests and lies on the Jelep La
pass, which connects India and Tibet.
nearby areas of Rishyap includes Jhanidi Dara. It is also a popular
tourist destination known for its sunrise view and dense forest. The forest
here has been deemed as a Heritage Forest Site by the forest department due to
the presence of some century old Oak and Cypress trees.
which was earlier known as “Sherpa Dara”, is a popular spot here. The
breathtaking big-sky on the land of Kanchenjungha from Tiffin Dara sunrise
point is what attracts the tourist .
Loleygaon is a quiet and peaceful hamlet located at an
altitude of 5,520ft and surrounded by towering dhupi and cypress forests.
Several locations in the village offer sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range.
You can also see a range of orchids and other flowering plantations here. It's
also a great place for bird watchers.
Places of Interest:
The Canopy Walk. There is
a 180-meters long hanging wooden tree-top bridge that goes through the dense
jungle. The bridge slowly rises in height and you will find yourself walking
through the tree tops amidst dense forest.
Lolegaon View Point: The Lolegaon
Viewpoint is located high up in the town. The place offers a panoramic view of
the Neora Valley National Park and the stunning snow capped Himalayas,painted
in the background.
Lava is a
qaint hamlet nestled in forest. It is a small sleepy village located at an
altitude of 7000ft. From Loleygaon the distance to Lava is 22kms and takes over
1 hour drive.
is the base and the gateway for the famous Neora Valley National Park and
surrounded by dense forest of coniferous trees. Entrance to the park is about
10kms from Lava.
Places of interest:
Close to the local market
(bazaar) is Lava Monastery (the original name is Lava Jamgyong
Kongtrul Monastery). The ambience in the monastery with typical Tibetan
architecture is serene and wonderful.
At Nature Interpretation Center of Neora
Valley National Park you will understand the nature and the flora and fauna
that you can expect in the Neora Valley National Park.
It is a small village in the Kolbong Forest within the Neora
Valley. The scenic beauty of the road is real visual pleasure as the road
is curved through the dense and lash green tropical and alpine trees.
Places of Interest: Changey
Takdah is situated about 27
kilometers from Darjeeling. It is a popular tourist spot and a major tea making
estate of Darjeeling.
Situated in the Runglee
Rungliot District of Darjeeling, Takdah is placed at an altitude of 5100 feet
at the foothill of the Himalayan Forest vegetation.
The area surrounding the tea
gardens is primary attraction of Takdah where you can find forest of pine and
ceder trees with beautiful gardens of local orchid flowers.
Places of interest:
There is a sacred monastery
named Dechhen Pema Tshoiling Monastery or Gumpha.
The famous tea estates of
Takdah include tea gardens like Runglee Rungliot Tea Estate, Gielle and
Durpin View Point is
another place of interest.
There is also a 100
years old suspension bridge by the name of Barbatey Bridge.
Those who are interested
in getting a feel of the village culture can visit the local village market on
Thursday at Dokan Dara,an epicenter of prime village trade and fair
and also the Chagporti Tibetian Medical Institute.
You can visit the
picturesque villages of Tinchule (about 4 Km away) and Lamahatta
( about 12 km away) which offers some breathtaking views of the
The orange orchards
of Bara Mangwa and Chota Mangwa which
are 12 Km away can also be visited.
The Peshoke Tea Garden just 14
km away offers a nice view point.
FOOTHILL OF THE HIMALAYAS
The DOOARS or DUARS are
the floodplains and foothills of
the eastern Himalayas in North-East
India around Bhutan. Duar means 'door' and the region
forms the gateway to Bhutan from India. There are 18
passages or gateways through which the Bhutanese people can communicate with
the people living in the plains. This region is divided by the Sankosh river into the Eastern and the Western Dooars,
consisting of an area of 8,800 km² (3,400 sq mi). The Western Dooars is
known as the Bengal Dooars and the Eastern Dooars as the Assam Dooars. Dooars
is synonymous with the term Terai used in Nepal and northern
The Dooars region politically
constitutes the plains of Darjeeling District, the whole of Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar district and
the upper region of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal
The altitude of Dooars
area ranges from 90 to 1,750 m. Innumerable streams and rivers flow through
these fertile plains from the mountains of Bhutan. The major river for
West Bengal part of Dooars are the Teesta besides many others like the Jaldhaka,
Murti, Torsha, Sankosh,Dyna, Karatoya, Raidak, and Kaljani rivers, among others.
Doors is a vast stretch of land
with Tea estates, Sanctuary, Reserve and National Parks.
Gorumara National Park and
Jaldapara Wildlife are the most sought after places in Dooars.
A Himalayan wonderland, Sikkim is nestled in the foothills of
the eastern Himalayas and nature has gifted this state with unique beauty.
All the four cardinal directions of Sikkim offer a wide
variety of destinations catering different types of tourists.
We have for you some best destination packages, where you can
relax, laze around, reframe your thoughts, blend your holiday with brew and
enjoy the best of Sikkim.
Ravangla is situated on the ridge
separating the Teesta valley from the Rangit valley.
Nestled at an elevation of 7000 ft, the beautiful hill of
Ravangla offers a splendid and panoramic view of Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount
Pandim, Mount Sinialchu and Mount Kabru.
Places of Interest
What makes Ravangla unique
from other destinations in Sikkim are the Bonn Monastery, Ralang
Monastery, old yet historical market of Kewzing, along with
mysterious small caves.
For a relaxing and
rejuvenating experience Ralong Hot spring is the right
You can also go on a short
excursion to Temi Tea Estate which is acknowledged as the best
tea garden in India and Sikkim.
You can go for an insightful
journey to Khandosangphu and Sharchog Bephug; Kheunpheling Carpet
Centre where one can purchase best carpets, shawls, and handicrafts
made by Tibetan refugees.
You can visit Kewzing,as
a part of the village tourism in Ravangla. It is a Bhutia village which
welcomes every tourist with open arms. Here tourist can enjoy some delicious
food or can see many cardamom and tea plantation.
Visit the Budhha Park which
has statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The park offers an extensive view of the lofty
mountains, serene surroundings and serene ambience.
If you are in love with
your trekking shoes, Ravangla won’t let you down. You can head
towards Borong and Maenam Hill to engage in trekking and
sightseeing. In the forest of Maenam hills, one can see vegetations like oak,
chestnut, magnolia and rhododendron trees. The hill is also a natural habitat
of red pandas, Himalayan black bears and several species of deer.
The Rayong Sunrise
View is also one such place which offers the captivating view of
Namchi means “High Sky” and is completely synonymous as it is
located at an elevation of 5,500 ft.
Namchi is blessed with welcoming monasteries, traditional
temples, lush greenery, flora, and forests. On a tour to Namchi, tourists can
unveil the best kept secrets of the Himalaya.
Place of Interest
An important station associated with Namchi is
the Samdruptse Hill. Folklore says that Samdruptse Hill fulfils the
wishes of every tourist. On Samdruptse Hill, a tourist can see the largest
statue of Lord Padmasambhava in the world.
Chaar Dham in Solophok is just 4
kms from Namchi. Chaardham is a temple complex housing replicas of the 12
jyotirlingas of Hindu religion and four dhams or pilgrimage sites namely,
Rameshwaram, Kedarnath, Dwarka and Puri.
Tarey Bhir is a 10000 feet long
cliff edge with almost 3500 feet abrupt drop. A small pathway above the edge of
the cliff would take you to the middle, from where you can catch a glimpse of
the River Teesta and River Rangeet. The hilltop of Tarey Bhir is covered in
pine forests and you can often spot the rare wild mountain goats – Bharals
grazing on the steep cliff face.
Exhibitions and Fairs:
In the month of February, Namchi
hosts an annual flower show which exhibits rare collection of
orchids. The flower show is considered as the largest in Sikkim. Additionally,
in the month of October, Namchi festival is hosted by the cultural
and food tourism.
Chalamthang literally means “Orange Farm” in Lepcha language.
Still untouched by tourist rush, here you can pick up vegetables from the
While staying at
Chalamthang, you can enjoy a whole lot of activities starting from angling,
vegetable picking to trekking and forest picnics.
You can visit Kaleej
Khola – the local rivulet gurgling through the rocky slopes to get a dip or do
some fishing. You can go trekking to nearby caves and hilltops or enjoy cultural
programs and barbeques in the evening.
EAST AND NORTH
The capital of the state of Sikkim, Gangtok is an attractive
Places of Interest in and around Gangtok
View Point,Ganesh Tok,Do-Drul Chorten, Rumtek monastery, Zoological park,
Flower Show, Handicrafts
From Gangtok one can also visit Nathula Pass. Nathula Pass was
a major corridor of passage between India and Tibet before it was closed in
1962. Located around 56 kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 14450 ft, the road
to Nathula passes through the Tsomgo lake. It is one of the highest motorable
roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine flora. On a clear day you
can even see the road winding down the Chumbi valley. Tourists are allowed to
go close to the international border from where you can see Chinese soldiers on
the other side of the barbed wire.
is open for Indian nationals on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and
Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to visit the place by applying to
the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered and recognised
Travel Agency. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit Nathula. Photography
is strictly prohibited. One can find ATM facility here which is the worlds
highest Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
km from Gangtok ,at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo
lake is a must on every visitors itinerary. A winding road through
rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means
source of the water in Bhutia language. The lake derives its water from the
melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake.
visiting Nathula you can surely give a visit to Baba Mandir to
pay homage to late army Major Harbhajan Singh.
Lachen is a remote village in North Sikkim and
the winter home for Tibetan nomadic tribes against the backdrop of towering
snow peaks, alpine flower valleys, and vast plateau. This is the base for
exploring the high altitude Gurudongmar Lake and trekking to Green Lake
(Depending upon prior permission).
On the way to Gurudongmar Thangu Village
(4100m / 13450ft), a remote high altitude village of Tibetan Nomads
& Chopta Valley can be visited.
Thangu valley occupies a very broad
valley at the junction of Thangu Chu, Chopta Chu, & Lassur Chu. It is
situated at an altitude of 14000ft.
Chopta Valley is situated at a height
of 14,500 ft. This Valley is also known for its flowers. This is the second
valley of flowers in North Sikkim after the more famous one at Yumthang. Both
the valleys erupt in a riot of colours in the month of May, June & July.
Also in the month of Dec & Jan you can play in the snow or even walk across
the meandering frozen Chopta River.
From Chopta Valley drive for another 30kms in
1.5hr to Gurudongmar Lake (5225m / 17143ft) close to Tibet
Border. This lake is the Second highest lake in India after the Tso Lhamu Lake.
If weather permits and permission is availed, proceed for Gurudongmar Lake
Gurudongmar Lake is considered as one of the
sacred lakes of Sikkim both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The lake is named
after Guru Padmasambhava, the Indian tantric Buddhist who conducted rituals
there. The lake remains milky in colour throughout the year and it is believed
that Guru Padmasambhava had touched the lake whilst he visited Tibet from this
area. Hence, a portion of the lake never freezes.
Lachung is yet another remote high
altitude village of Tibetan and Bhutia people in North Sikkim with towering
rocky snow peaks, vibrant rhododendron valley, lush green yak pastures,
perennial waterfalls and hot springs. This place is the base for exploring
alpine valley of Yumthang and Yumesamdong close to the Tibetan plateau.
On the way Chungthang, Bhim
Nala Waterfalls can be visited.
YUMTHANG:or the “Valley of flowers”.
Yumthang is a lush green valley surrounded by
snow peaks on all sides where the tree line ends. While on your way, you would
be driving across the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which has more than 120
species of Rhododendron trees and is also the home to the endemic Rhododendron
Niveum, the State Tree of Sikkim.
In April / May / June the valley erupts in a
riot of colours as Rhododendrons, Primulae and many other Alpine Flowers bloom
In the winter, Yumthang is sombre with snow all
around, and the snow clad mountains add to the ethereal beauty of this place.
MANGAN: An important center of Buddhism in
Sikkim, Mangan is a small hill station located amidst the eastern Himalaya.
Nature lovers and voyagers easily get attracted to this city as they can relax
in the scenic beauty of Mangan.
From Mangan, if
the weather is clear, you may get to see the Khangchendzonga Range. This
location offers a majestic view of Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabru, Mt. Simvo, Mt.
Jopuno, Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu.
Anden is a heaven located high
in the hills surrounded by forests overlooking the snow-cappped mountains.
Places of Interest
It is the base from where you
can take the famous Hilley-Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Trek. Other
nearby attractions include Jureli View Point, Gathang
Waterfalls, Dodak Helipad, Devi Falls, Daramdin Sai Mandir, a Manghim and
the market at Sombaria.
Kaluk-Rinchenpong and Hee
Bermiok are considered as the offbeat destination sector in West Sikkim.
located amidst the mountains of West Sikkim, at an altitude of 5600 feet. It is
basically the buffer zone area of the renowned Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary.
The area thrives in natural resources. Kaluk is surrounded by the villages of
Lepchas who are successful in preserving their tradition, culture and
life-style. The other communities also live peacefully in the area such as
Rais, Gurungs and more. The village of Kaluk is considered important
culturally, historically, religiously and naturally.
Places of Interest
Monastery,The Lepha Heritage House.
Rinchenpong is at
an altitude of about 5576 ft and is the latest addition to the tourist map of
West Sikkim. The place is famous for the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga
range of mountains.
Places of Interest
Nighdoh pond, Tato pani- the
hot spring,Rishum Monastery,Srijanga Temple.
Hee Bermiok village is
located in West Sikkim and is bounded by Hee River in the West, Kalez River in
the North, Rangeet River in the East and Samdong Reserve Forest in the South.
Other than being the perfect place for some good collection of plant life, the
place is also the home to over 65 species of birds. Hee and Bermiok are two
Places of Interest
Sirijunga Falls and
Sirijunga Cave located at the point of meeting of Reshi Khola and Kalej.
Chaaya Taal lake located at
The height of Uttarey is about
It is famous for its tranquility and natural beauty. The place provides
beautiful view to the Himalayan mountains and is yet relatively less traveled
by tourists. This allows a more serene atmosphere to be enjoyed. During winter
the mountains around here are covered with snow allowing heavenly views.
Place of Interest:
The Kagju Gumpha (Gumpha is the local for monastery) in Uttarey is a highly
revered place of worship for the locals and a good place for sight seeing. The
monastery is set amidst dense forests. The wall paintings in the monastery
might be of interest to you. The Dentam peak and the river is also visible from
Other important tourist spots around Uttare include the Mainbus
Waterfall and the Chewyabhang Pass. This pass is about 10
km of Uttarey and is the gateway to Nepal. Singshore Bridge (2nd Highest
Suspension Bridge in Asia)
You can also visit the Trout
fish rearing centre at Simphok.
You can visit Uttarey in the
month of October-November to see Cherry Blossom and
during March-April-May for Rhododendron Blossom.
is a scenic village at an elevation of around 1500 metres It is located in a
very unique topography. Dentam commands a constant view of the
Mt.Khangchendzonga. The entire area is surrounded by forest of rhododendrons.
The village is an ideal spot for bird watchers and nature lovers. Trekking and
mountaineering are arranged here. It is famous for the Alpine Gouda Cheese
factory a product of Indo - Swiss collaboration. Cheese Plant at Dentam, West
Sikkim, manufactures Gouda Cheese (naturally ripened cheese) and is one of the
tourist attractions. Quality cow's milk is used under hygienic environment to
produce Cheese and Paneer (Frozen Diced Paneer).
placid town is located at an altitude of 6,800 ft. Most visitors gets attracted
to the place as it offers good view of the entire Kanchenjunga mountain range
including Koktang,Kumbhakaran (Jannu0, Rathong, Kabru, Kabru Dome,
Kanchenjunga, Pandim,Siniolchu and others.
Places of Interest
Pemayangste monastery ,Sanga Choling monastery,Khecheopalri
Lake,Rabdenste Ruins,Sangey Waterfall.
DESTINATIONS COVERED IN NORTH BENGAL
ORGANIC FARM STAY
COVERED IN SIKKIM
ORGANIC FARM STAY