Chuikhim near kalimpong

Explore the Splendid Natural Beauty of Chuikhim

Kalimpong is a popular hill station in North Bengal well known for its panoramic views, orchid gardens, and Buddhist monasteries. Though it is a delight to visit Kalimpong, the destination often remains overcrowded. If you are searching for an offbeat location with the spectacular beauty of Kalimpong, you can visit Chuikhim, a small village in the Kalimpong district.

Chuikhim entry near kalimpong


This small village was hardly visited by tourists, mainly because it was almost inaccessible. One traveling from the New Jalpaiguri station took 5 hours to reach this place via Kalimpong. In recent years, the road condition has improved, and another alternative way through Bagrakote has become operational, which has renewed the interest of visitors to explore the unbelievable natural beauty of this small village.

What are the top attractions of this village?

This valley is situated on the slopes of the mountain and mist and clouds make it appear like a wonderland. The valley gently rolls down to the Leesh river bed. Another river Ghish flows through this region. Bagratoke, a small tea garden lies between these two rivers.

The place is all about enjoying the mesmerizing beauty of nature rather than hopping around in search of an attractive spot. Each corner of the village offers a magnificent view. Just spend the day lazily walking through the Chel forest, enjoying the stunning sunrise or sunset from atop the hill inside the village, or sitting ideally on the bed of the Leesh River. If you are looking for some adventure, trekking to the Ghish riverbed can be a good option. There are waterfalls, caves, and canyon formations in the river valley, which may give you a rush of adrenaline.

Chuikhim near kalimpong


How is the weather in Chuikhim?

The weather is pleasant around the year. So, this place can be visited anytime. Winters are a bit chilly. The pollution-free serene atmosphere is what is most enjoyable.

Peshok is famous for scenic beauty and tea gardens

Visiting tea gardens and staying at a tea garden are entirely different experiences as you will realize on visiting Peshok, under the Runglee Rungliot CD Block of the Darjeeling district. Peshok is closer to Kalimpong and you have to drive down 27 kilometers from the turn at Jorebungalow when you come from Darjeeling which might take about two and a half hours. Peshok is a typical village at the foothills of the Himalayas with vast stretches of tea gardens all around and tiny village neighborhoods spread across the slope of the hills. You must be at Peshok to experience quietness and serenity as the lush green surrounding and the cold weather seem highly inviting. The cold weather, chirping birds, all-encompassing quietness, and the spectacle of the Kanchenjunga range will leave you in awe.  Peshok will relieve you of all urban stress and make you feel happy.

Peshok – How to reach

Peshok is almost equidistant from the Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway station and Bagdogra airport. It takes almost 3 hours to cover the distance of 65 kilometers. Booking a cab is the best way to travel along the picturesque hillside as you crisscross the hills to reach the destination which is gradually making its mark as a tourist. 

Best time to visit

Peshok welcomes tourists around the year because of its beautiful climate that remains cool throughout the year. However, summer is the best time to visit Peshok as you get ample opportunity to engage in various outdoor activities.  However, the autumn from September to November is the best time when nature spins its magical wand across the hilly landscape that looks marvelous. July and August are the months to avoid because the gloomy monsoon can dampen your spirits as traveling outdoors can be dangerous. The winter weaves magic in the tea gardens as veils of fog and the mist creates an environment of mysterious beauty. With enough woolens, you can venture outside confidently to explore the natural beauty of the place that overlooks the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in the distance.

Nearby attractions

Get a taste of the famous Darjeeling oranges at the Orange Orchards serve freshly prepared orange juice. Pickles and marmalades are also available.  Being in the tea garden is never complete unless you have a round of the gardens at the Peshok and Runglee Rungliot tea estates. A visit to the Tinchuley Monastery is a soulful experience as you walk down the prayer wheels lined against the long stretch of the exterior wall.  Do not miss the glorious view of the Kanchenjunga from the Tinchuley View Point as you witness the magnanimity of mountains. To view the river Rangeet, you have to travel down to Gumbadara, bordering Sikkim.  The crowd of waving prayer flags atop tall posts is an irresistible attraction of the Lamahatta village with its huge expanse of greenery that seems so soothing to the eyes.

To spend the night at Peshok choose a homestay that promises extreme relaxation and comfort with heart-warming hospitality and all modern amenities.

Dawaipani means ‘Medicated water’ & best view Kangchenjunga

Several locations close to Darjeeling are rapidly drawing the attraction of tourists who want to spend some time amid the tranquil villages of the hill that are in stark contrast to the hum-drum of city life. Tucked in the laps of the hilly terrains of North Bengal, Dawaipani is like a hidden gem that delights tourists with its astonishing natural beauty and serene and meditative environment. 

The nearby river ‘Kola’ flowing past the village is like a beautiful ribbon that adds a splash of liveliness to the otherwise sleepy village. The discrete village, which does not yet figure any tourist map is a wonderful hamlet and a perfect destination for those who love to soak in tranquillity while getting a touch and feel of nature. The river is a great source of sustenance, as evident from the naming of the place, which means Medicated Water.  

Dawaipani – a splendid location

Situated at an altitude of 6,500 feet, Dawaipani is like a big window that allows you to view the entire stretch of the enchanting Kanchenjunga mountain range. The magnificent view of the Himalayas will leave you speechless as you feel the amazing attraction of the mountain holding you in a tight embrace. The snow-capped mountain peaks far away, and the thick foliage of the surrounding land will give a feeling like rocking in nature’s cradle. The experience of the time spent at the nondescript village will leave a lasting impression and becomes one of the most memorable memories you would treasure throughout your lifetime. The crisp cool air you breathe, the sparkling water from the flowing river, and the naturally formed pathways all seem to inspire you to spend much longer time in the place. 

How to reach Dawaipani

 A day trip from Darjeeling by road is perhaps the best option to reach Dawaipani as it takes about an hour to reach. From The railway stations of Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri, it’s approximately a 3-hour drive to cover the distance of 72 km and 76 km respectively. Air travelers can take a cab from the Bagdogra airport to cover 75 km in approximately 3 hours to reach Dawaipani. 

The best time to visit

As winters can be cold in higher altitudes, which also receive a good amount of rain during July and August, the best time to visit Dawaipani is almost around the year, except for the monsoon months. The climate is pleasant during the summer months – March to June, when the air is comfortably cool. To enjoy the chilly winter in the hills, you can plan your travel between December and February. 

Where to stay and what to do

 There are only a few resorts in Dawaipani, and some wooden buildings might remind you of tree houses. Unless you are an avid nature lover and want to spend some time in solitude, staying overnight in Dawaipani might not be worthwhile. During the stay, you can go trekking, do some bird watching and even visit some local farms while exploring the local culture.  

Kurseong Eco village, Bara Mangwa Nature Cottage, and Maldiram, the tea garden Retreat are some other places you can visit. 

There are several homestays in and around Dawaipani that provide comfortable and affordable accommodation for visitors.

Nearby places

There are several nearby places that you can visit during your stay in Dawaipani. Here are a few options:

  1. Darjeeling is a located just 10 kilometers.
  2. Tiger Hill is a famous viewpoint located about 20 kilometers.
  3. Ghum Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located about 15 kilometers.
  4. Batasia Loop is a railway loop located about 12 kilometers.
  5. Kalimpong is a charming hill town located about 50 kilometers.
  6. Kurseong is a charming town located about 35 kilometers.
  7. Takdah is a small village located about 25 kilometers.
  8. Lepchajagat is a peaceful village located about 25 kilometers.

Takdah is surrounded by tea gardens, forest & old bungalows

Takdah, a little-known mountainous terrain near Darjeeling was once a British cantonment. The place remains covered most of the time by mist and fog that creates an envelope that the Lepchas, the local inhabitants, lovingly called Tukdah, meaning fog and mist. 

The idyllic destination where the sun plays hide and seek and loads of mist descend upon the mountains covered with vast tracts of greenery creates sheer magic with its serene beauty. The amazing beauty of the meandering roads, nature trails passing through the deep forests, the chirping birds among the tall trees, and the vast tea gardens along the hill slopes make Takdah an irresistible tourist attraction.  

The British legacy is still very much visible across this area, which has many houses and bungalows in the colonial area. Many of these houses have local ownership or converted into schools and other establishments.

Takdah – The location

Takdah is located at an altitude of 4,000 feet and is reachable from Darjeeling, about 28 kilometers away. Despite its proximity to Darjeeling, Takdah is a sparsely crowded village where you can enjoy nature at its best. The quiet and peaceful environment among the laps of nature allows busy souls to refresh and rejuvenate for a few days filling the heart with happiness. 

The temperature is lower than in the surrounding areas, mainly Darjeeling. The destination is ideal for those who want to escape from the tiring city life and take a deep breath of fresh air while soaking in the beauty of the rich flora and fauna that gives a sense of endless joy. 

Reaching Takdah

Takdah is about 60 kilometers drive from the Bagdogra airport and New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). The average travel time varies between 2.5 and 3 hours. The distance from Siliguri town is 52 kilometers, and to reach Takdah from Darjeeling, you have to drive 28 kilometers which take about an hour and a half. From Kalimpong, it takes about 2 hours to cover 40 kilometers to reach Takdah. Regardless of where you approach Takdah, you have to reserve a cab for an exclusive ride or go for a ride-share if you want to save some money. 

Where to stay

Options for staying in here are limited because there aren’t many hotels. A few guest houses and homestays that were once British bungalows are excellent for spending a day or two in the heritage buildings while enjoying all the modern amenities. 

It can be a wonderful experience to spend time in the bungalows with sprawling lawns while getting a flavor of the grand Victorian architecture. Unless you are an avid nature lover keen to explore the locales, a day trip is considered most suitable for tourists. 

There are several homestay options available in Takdah that offer a more authentic and immersive experience of the local culture and lifestyle.

Places to see

 Since this is a small village, a day is enough to go around and visit some of the landmarks dotted by the picturesque tea garden. Takdah is home to the world-famous tea brand RungleeRungliot, and you can see the tea gardens of the company. 

The Orchid Center is one of the main attractions besides the Takdah monastery and the adjoining Tinchuley and Lamahatta villages. 

Chatakpur is famous for eco-tourism near Darjeeling

A sparsely populated village atop a hill located at a height of 7,887 feet, Chatakpur is 7 kilometers from Sonada inside the Senchal Reserve forest. This nondescript village is gradually gaining popularity as a tourist attraction mainly because of the earthly appeal of simple living. The government’s initiative to popularize newly discovered tourist spots helped Chatakpur gain prominence on the tourism map of West Bengal. 

To attract tourists, the forest department has built cottages in Chatakpur and the local forest protection committee members are responsible for managing and maintaining the cottages. The quaint village now sees a regular stream of visitors who want to relax and rewind amid nature. Natural beauty is sure to refresh their body and mind. Interacting with nature is a great experience in humility, as Mother Nature teaches us how inconsequential humans can be.

Chatakpur – the location

The Kanchenjunga mountain range is to the North of Chatakpur and the river gorge RellyKhola is to the South. Located at a distance of 64 kilometers from Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri (NJP), it takes close to three hours to reach Chatakpur by car. The village is close to Jorebungalow, Ghoom (14 kilometers), and Darjeeling, which is 25 kilometers.

The imposing Kanchenjunga seems to be holding Chatakpur in its lap as the lush green surroundings and hilly landscape with its quiet ambiance seems to wield a magical spell on the visitors who seem to get lost in time. Nature lovers would find Chatakpur the perfect destination for rendezvous With Nature.

How to reach Chatakpur?

From Bagdogra airport, it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Chatakpur by car. From Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri railway station, you must head for Sonada and then travel for another 6 kilometers along the forest road to reach the eco-village. Travelers from Darjeeling must follow a similar route from Sonada.

Where to stay

Cottages built by the West Bengal Forest Department are the only places to spend the night at Chatakpur. The cottages ensure comfortable living for the guests and have all the modern amenities to encourage guests to spend more time in the village, which is a showpiece of the government. The cottages have carpet-laid rooms with balconies in the front and back to enjoy the splendor of Kanchenjunga and the widespread greenery all around. To encourage tourism and provide the villagers with an alternative source of income, the government allows villagers to open homestays. These are more genial places that assure heartwarming hospitality despite lacking in amenities. The local delicacies prepared from farm-fresh ingredients make your stay even more pleasurable.

Best option to night stay here is Homestays to feel the local culture.

 Best time to visit Chatakpur

Chatakpur maintains an equitable climate throughout the year, and its opulence of natural beauty remains the same throughout. You can visit here at any time of the year. Mist and haze prevail during the rainy season (late June to September), and in winter to have a clear view of the Kanchenjunga, it is advisable to plan your visit between October and December when the sky remains more or less clear.

Viewing the Rhododendron and pine forests from the viewpoint and spotting a wised variety of birds is a delightful experience.

Sittong, orange garden of West Bengal

Sittong is a cluster of villages covering an extensive area, unlike other newly discovered tourist spots, and are like self-contained villages and tea gardens of the Darjeeling district’s Kurseong sub-division. Depending on the places you would like to visit in the region, you must travel between upper and lower Sittong

The area is famous for its orange orchards and gradually becoming a tourist attraction as people are eager to discover North Bengal in a new light by looking beyond Darjeeling. Tucked within vast stretches of pine forests, Sittong is a quaint hamlet dominated by Lepchas. 

Like many other places in the region, Sittong has an abundance of greenery lined with flowing streams that weave a magical appeal. The serene beauty of the surroundings and the surreal view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range makes a delightful treat for tourists in search of some peaceful place to de-stress and relax. 

How to reach Sittong?

All journeys to the hilly regions of Darjeeling start from Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri (NJP), and Bagdogra airport depending on whether you travel by air or rail. However, Siliguri is the starting point for traveling to Sittong, and you have three options of routes to choose from. 

The most preferred route is Siliguri to Sittong via Sevoke and Latpanchar because it’s the shortest distance – only 55 kilometers by road. Travel time is a little over 2 hours.

The second option is to reach Sittong from Siliguri via Rambi and Mongpoo, but it’s the longest distance (78 kilometers) and travel time is around 4 hours. You have to travel for the same time if you choose the third option of traveling from Siliguri via Kurseong, Dilaram, Bagora, and Ghareytar to cover a distance of 75 kilometers.

 Best time to visit Sittong

As happens with other tourist spots in the Darjeeling belt, the best times to travel to Sittong are more or less the same as that of other destinations in the region, like Takdah, Dawaipani, and Peshok. Although you can visit Sittong any time of the year except the monsoon (July to September), November, and December, despite being quite cold is the time for enjoying the splendid view of the orange orchards with the trees overloaded with oranges. Visiting Sittong during the orange season is truly an experience of a lifetime. Birds of various types crowd the place throughout the year, and Sittong is an attractive destination for bird watchers. 

Where to stay

The renovated church guest house is the most popular retreat for travelers who have the option of choosing some homestays that promise to play the perfect host. Regardless of where you stay, you get a feel of the local culture of the hill people who are highly hospitable and treat guests as their most revered patrons. You can taste the local cuisine prepared from fresh organic vegetables. 

Sightseeing in Sittong

From monasteries to tea gardens and from waterfalls to orange orchards, there is a lot to see in Sittong. There are a few viewpoints to enjoy the grand sight of the Himalayas, and visiting the cinchona plantation is an exciting experience.  

Going for treks and nature trails is an exciting option for adventure lovers. Must visit points at Sittong are below:

  • Ahaldara Viewpoint
  • Namthing Pokhri (Lake)
  • Jogighat Bridge
  • Orange Garden
  • Sittong Monastery
  • Kiwi Garden and Chinchona Plantations
  • Government Cinchona Factory
  • Rabindra Museum at Mungpoo
  • Mungpoo viewpoint
  • Kalijhora Waterfall

Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary

Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Darjeeling in West Bengal. It is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of India. It was set up as a sanctuary in 1915. This sanctuary covers an area of 38.6 square km. Altitude of Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary varies from 4900 ft to 8,500 ft. Two lakes situated inside the sanctuary supply drinking water Darjeeling district. This is a popular picnic spot too. Continue reading

Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is located in between the Teesta and Mahananda rivers. This Sanctuary is situated in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary can reached from NJP in 30 minutes. Sukna, the gateway to the sanctuary, is only 14 km from Siliguri , 8kms from Siliguri and 28 km from Bagdogra airport.

This sanctuary covers over 159 squer kms. In 1959, it got the status of a sanctuary to protect the bison and Royal Bengal Tiger. It is considered as the most important sanctuary of North Bengal.

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Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary

Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the way to Sandakphu in Darjeeling District in West Bengal. It is the habitat of some high-altitude animals like Himalayan Salamander (Tylototriton verrucosus), locally known as ‘Gora’. It also houses many other local animals such as the rhino, tiger, and many different birds.

Best time to visit

Best time to visit Jore Pokhri Wildlife Sanctuary is June to August.

Mirik, a lovely getaway at Himalayan Hills

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.

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