Mirik is a lovely getaway located at the Himalayan Hills. Tourists visit Mirik for a sojourn or as a one day trip from Darjeeling. Situated on the south western side of Darjeeling it is surrounded by the Singalila Mountains of the Himalayan range. It is a popular destination during the summertime in West Bengal as people want to beat the heat during the humid summer in Bengal. This hill resort is situated at an altitude of 1767 meters and is at a distance of 49 kilometers from Darjeeling. For people who find Darjeeling crowded often prefer Mirik Himalayas as a getaway because of its peaceful atmosphere.
The wild and gushing Changey Falls can be found at a short distance of 14 kilometers from Lava, a famous tourist attraction in Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling District West Bengal. Tourists undertaking the trip to Lava–Loleygaon–Rishyap circuit definitely visit the Changey Falls which is formidable and beautiful at the same time. Rapidly gaining in popularity among the nature and adventure lovers, Changey Falls has added charm to the beautiful hamlets nearby. Continue reading
Jhandi Dara is famous because of the view it offers of the fantastic sunrise over the majestic Kanchenjunga. It is rapidly gaining importance as a weekend getaway for many. Not just due to the majestic view it offers but also because of the supremely beautiful greenery wrapping the entire region. The thick green forest comprises of Sal and Pine trees offering the most soothing scenery to the eyes. You might feel like the place is straight out of a painter’s canvas with its wide spread green forest against the white backdrop of the mighty Kanchenjunga. Easily accessible from Loleygaon, Jhandi Dara is also a bird watcher’s paradise.
How to reach Jhandi Dara
Reaching Jhandi Dara is quite easy from any part of the world. Jhandi Dara is very well connected with roads through Loleygaon which in turn connects with Lava and Kalimpong. The New Jalpaiguri railway station is located at a distance of 71 kilometers from Kalimpong from where you can take a taxi to arrive at Jhandi Dara. Bagdogra airport can be found at a distance of 76 kilometers from Kalimpong from where you can reach Jhandi Dara through Loleygaon. Jhandi Dara’s distance from Lava is only 9 kilometers. For accommodation you have to choose either Jhandi Eco Huts at Jhandi Upper Lungset or the Lava Escort Resort. The resort is a luxurious one with restaurants and all modern amenities for the guests.
When to visit Jhandi Dara
The best time to visit Jhandi Dara is during the month of September through November. The winters are too cold and the rainy season can be a bit unpredictable in terms of weather. Hence, visiting Jhandi Dara during the months mentioned are best. It is also the best time for bird watchers.
Attractions in Jhandi Dara
Apart from admiring the sunrise from Jhandi Dara point located at an elevation of 6205 feet, you can watch birds of various species both migratory and residential ones. Once you have seen the sun rising from this point, you will forget any other sunrise you have ever viewed from any other point. The forest is full of birds and also hiking trails which are quite interesting for the adventure lovers. Other places of interest near Jhandi Dara will be Lava, Charkhole, Rishyap and Kolakham. All these lovely hamlets boast of natural abundance. There is the Samabeong Tea Garden, Lava Buddhist Monastery, Changay Falls, Indira Gandhi National Park all located within short distance from Jhandi Dara.
The tranquil atmosphere broken only by the chirping of birds and the beautiful sunrise of Jhandi Dara will remain fresh in your memory.
Rachela Pass is the trade route between India (Sikkim) and Bhutan located at an elevation of 3152 meters. This scenic beauty of a pass is an oft visited tourist attraction and experiences footfall round the year. Especially tourists loving adventure visit this pass and feel like they have achieved something. Part of the Chola Range bordering Sikkim and Bhutan the ridge is 4700 meters also happens to be the source of other passes like the Jelep La and Nathu La; both these are extremely popular and of course in use passes. Rachela Pass lies in the southern end of the ridge. Continue reading
Established in 1986 Neora Valley National Park is located near Lava in Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling District. Covering an area of 89 square kilometers this park is of the richest biosphere reserve in India. Open from 8 am to 12 noon, 1pm – 4pm. It is closed on Thursdays. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and is growing rapidly in importance due to the number of tourists and also due to the diverse flora and fauna of North Eastern Himalayas. Located at a distance of 32 kilometers from both Lava and Samsing which is the border area, Neora Valley National Park has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Entry fee to this awesome reserve is INR 20. Continue reading
Lava is a small beautiful hamlet in Darjeeling district located 34 kilometers east of Kalimpong. One of the popular destinations Lava means the land with the presence of God. True to the meaning of its name, Lava is paradise on earth. With an elevation of 7,016feet, it is one of those few places in West Bengal to experience snowfall which is one of the major attractions to his charming village. The heavy forests covering the land mostly consist of wet alpine trees of birch, pine and fir and the forest here is a deciduous one. However, during the rainy season the forest is infested with leeches for which tourists are advised to carry salt, stick and occasionally knives with them. Continue reading
Ponbu is a small almost insignificant village of Eastern Himalayas. It is situated on the trek route from Samthar village to Purbikhola. Ponbu is part of adventure tourism on the eastern Himalayan range and is 8 kilometers from Samthar village. Located atop the ridge overlooking the vast Teesta River Valley and the surrounding plain lands of Terai, Ponbu is a refreshing break from the busy life in lower Kalimpong hills. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the view from Ponbu. There are numerous waterfalls cascading downstream to meet the Ponbu Khola which further flows into the mighty Teesta River. All these streams form isolated valleys which are all individual trekking spots. Continue reading
The Samthar village located about 80 kilometers from Kalimpong is a peaceful destination far from the din and bustle of city life. Located in one of the remotest part of Kalimpong, the Samthar Plateau provides the best possible view of Kancehnjunga– the third highest peak in the world. The scenic beauty of Samthar can only be compared to the creation of a painter with undulating slopes, terraced agricultural lands, lush green forests covering the valley, thatched cottages, small and medium brooks enhancing the beauty of the magnificent landscape. One of the most tranquil natural resorts of India, Samthar sits at an elevation of 1400-1600 meters. Continue reading
Pe in the Lepcha language means fragrant tree and Pedong means a place to rest. So, tourists on a long tour of North Bengal can seek rest in this beautiful town of Pedong in Darjeeling district. The town falls on the route to Lava from Kalimpong to the east and has an elevation of 1,240 meters. Situated on a ridge Pedong offers an awesome view of the Kanchenjunga, the primary attraction of any tourist making this trip and also other Himalayan mountains. Pedong is divided into 2 parts namely, the Upper and the Lower Pedong. Apart from being one of the most beautiful small towns of Darjeeling, it is also part of the famous Silk Route connecting India to Lhasa through Jelepia Pass. Continue reading
Mongpu is a lovely tranquil village in the mountainous Kalimpong sub division in north Bengal. It is about 30kilometers from Darjeeling; 49 kilometers from Kalimpong town and 54 kilometers from Siliguri. Located at an elevation of 3,500-4000 feet, it is famous for cinchona plantation which has lot of medicinal value. Mongpu is also well known as the retreat for the Nobel Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
Attractions of Mongpu
The road taking you to Mongpu from Darjeeling is awesome. Huge tea estates, beautiful scenery punctuated with orchid and cinchona plantations will make the trip worthwhile for you. You will also pass clear streams and flower nurseries which are a common scene in north Bengal. Various species of beautifully fragrant and colorful flowers are grown in these nurseries. The first Quinine factory was established in Mongpu in the year 1864. However, the cultivation has declined in the present times with other alternatives of cinchona.
The biggest highlight of Mongpu is the summer residence of Rabindranath Tagore, the great literary personality. Although Mongpu does not offer a view of the mighty Kanchenjunga, it has its own charm and appeal. It is a peaceful and quiet location where the poet would find inspiration for his compositions. His residence has now been transformed into a museum where objects used by him are on display. Among the exhibits are Tagore’s bed, his mahogany writing desk, poems, verses and exclusive paintings. The poet visited Mongpu 4 times in his lifetime and during his last visit he fell ill and had to be shifted to Kolkata quickly.
How to reach Mongpu
Reaching Mongpu is easy from Darjeeling via Peshok Road from Ghoom taking east towards Takdah. Alternatively, it can also be reached through the National Highway 31A by taking a diversion from Rambhi Bazaar. The journey through Peshok Road takes around 1.5 hours. The nearest railway station from Mongpu is New Jalpaiguri and the airport closest to the region is Bagdogra Airport.
Accommodation in Mongpu
Accommodation in Mongpu is sparse. Since it is not a typical tourist destination, not many accommodation units are available. However, for tourists wishing to stay here can avail of the home stay facilities provided by the residents of the village. The amenities are basic. Some new accommodation units have been set up near Riangkhola River at a distance of 8 kilometers from Mongpu.