Rishikhola is a unique gift of nature to Kalimpong. It is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination due to its scenic landscape and peaceful environment. Located at the border of West Bengal and Sikkim, it gets tourists from both the parts. Khola in the local language means stream and Rishikhola the place derives its name from the stream itself. Only 13 kilometers from Pedong sitting at an elevation of 1700 feet, Rishikhola offers a blend of fishing and trekking activities for the adventure lovers and lot of opportunity to sit and back, relax and relish the beautiful, tranquil environ with occasional chirp of birds and only constant noise of the stream flowing.

How to reach Rishikhola


Rishikhola is easily accessible to tourists through Pedong or Rongpo in Sikkim. It is a part of the famous Silk Route reaching Gangtok. Board the Kanchakanya Express and arrive at New Mal Junction. Hire a cab or jeep from here which will take you through garubathan, Damdim, Lava, Pedong to reach Rishikhola. If you are travelling from Gangtok, that is Sikkim, then take the route via Tshango Lake, baba Mandir, Kupup Valley, Zuluk, Rangli and reach Rishikhola.

Accomodation in Rishikhola


There are beautiful resorts, farm houses and hotels to stay in Rishikhola. The Prakriti River Retreat is one of the best accommodation facilities here near the Reshi/Rishi stream. The rooms are spacious with modern amenities and the fare is 800 INR including breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. The other option is Rishi River Retreat situated on the right side of the stream. The 2 storied hotel offers breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner along with basic amenities for the tourists at a price of 800 INR. The Rishi Retreat Farmhouse to the left side of the stream is another lovely accommodation unit. Here also the price of the rooms including a square meal is 800 INR. Last is the Rishi Nature Camp wherein you can camp on the camping grounds and rest in the lap of nature.

Attractions in Rishikhola


The major attraction of Rishikhola is bird watching. Numerous species of birds both common and endangered species can be found in the hills and the forests carpeting them. Known as a paradise to bird lovers, Rishikhola is home to migratory and resident Himalayan birds. During the months of April and May you will be able to watch beautiful and colorful birds in various shapes and sizes which include Red tailed Minla, Green Magpie, Fire Tailed Sunbird, Himalayan Bulbul, Verditer Flycatcher, Crimson Sunbird, Scarlet Minivet, beautiful Racket tailed Drongo, the magnificent Red Billed Leothrix, the mighty Crested Serpent Eagle, the Blue throated Barbet, the Great Barbet, the Oriental White Eye.

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TInchuley is a lovely mountain village located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Darjeeling, 25 kilometers from Kalimpong blessed with a lovely weather. Reckoned as an offbeat tourist destination, Tinchuley is a relatively new discovery in the eastern Himalayas.  Located at an elevation of 5,500 feet, the weather in Tinchuley is pleasant most of the year. However, the best time to Tinchuley is during the summers when the temperature remains between 18 and 22 degree Celsius. Tinchuley is promoted as part of the Home Stay Project in eco-tourism initiative. Lot of organic farming is also done in the area.

How to reach TInchuley


Tinchuley can be reached via different routes. If you are coming from Darjeeling, you have to take the Jorbungalow-6th mile bazaar-Takdah route to Tinchuley. If you are looking for adventure, then take the other route through Teesta Bazaar-Chegra basti-Takling village and Kolbang to reach Tinchuley. This route is known one but difficult to drive. There is another route to reach Tinchuley through the Bengal-Sikkim Highway via 27th mile. The journey through this route is beautiful with Teesta Velly-tea estates and Low Dam Project.

Accomodation in TInchuley


Accommodation in Tinchuley is not a problem. Though the best is the Gurung Cottage, there are other home stays available in the village. Gurung Cottage is the first home stay facility in Tinchuley and hence is the most experienced one in terms of hospitality. They provide basic amenities and delicious food.

Attractions in TInchuley


The natural beauty and bounty of Tinchuley is its major attraction. It is a nature lover’s paradise. A stroll through the pine and oak forests, orange orchards, marigolds, colorful Buddhist flags and small cottages will make you feel like you have landed in a dreamland. Tinchuley’s beauty appears to be straight out a fairytale book which will enthrall you and the memory will last for the lifetime.

Of course the sunrise and sunset with the color play at the mountain top is one of the major attractions of Tinchuley. The Gumbadara view point offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the mighty Teesta and the entire Eastern Himalayan range with all its beauty. The Takdah and the Rangli-Rangliot Tea gardens are close by. Darjeeling tea is an extremely famous and loved variety of high quality tea with strong taste and flavor. You will find a number of tea gardens in the region like Teesta Valley Tea Garden, Gayle Bhanjan Tea Garden and Namring Tea Garden.

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Paglajhora Waterfalls are one of the major tourist attractions of Darjeeling in West Bengal. Located at Kurseong, which falls en route to Darjeeling from Siliguri this is a wonderful destination indeed. One of the major tourist attractions over here is the Rohini Tourist Complex. In fact, it happens to be one of the latest discoveries in this area as well. The sight here is absolutely magnificent to say the least! Over here you will be treated to the rare sight of the waterfalls making their way through the mountain. At times, you may also be able to see the local river that blows in this part of West Bengal.

There are plenty of other things that you should see when you are staying in the vicinity of the Paglajhora Waterfalls. Here you would be able to see a temple as well as a lake. In addition there is the view point as well. The entire region that falls on the road named Rohini between Siliguri and Darjeeling is a majestic location indeed. In fact people prefer this road while traveling between the two places because it is a very smooth road and the whole journey is very pleasant as a result of that.

This place is very different from what you will get in Darjeeling. Since it is basically a tiny hamlet the accommodation facilities may not be as great. You will get homestay facilities as well that will be inclusive of food cooked by people hosting you. However, the real charm lies in the tranquil surroundings – just imagine sitting in the lap of nature on a calm and cold evening all by yourself or with your near and dear ones. The experience is just awesome, especially for people who may want a break from the din and bustle of Darjeeling.

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Meghma is a mystic village situated at the Singalila Ridge at an elevation of 9,514 feet. Megh means cloud and this mystic village is mostly enveloped by clouds throughout the year. The beauty of the hamlet lies in its scenery and weather. Tourists who have visited Meghma once in their lives love to come back to the land of clouds over and over again. About 9 kilometers from Manebhanjan on the way to the famous peak Sandakphu of Singalila range, Meghma is a pristine beauty. Meghma has a tranquil atmosphere which will make you feel relaxed and sleepy.

How to reach Meghma


It is located on the border area of India and Nepal. The area is quite heavily guarded by the Border Security Force posted all along the route. However, no checking is performed by the forces because it is treated as a freeway by the neighboring countries. There are points where the road intersects the regions of India and Nepal but the friendly relations between the countries have enabled this route to be neutral. As mentioned earlier, Meghma is reached by trekking the route towards Sandakphu from Manebhanjan. The road is steep and hence it will take around 3.5 hours to reach Meghma.

Accomodation in Meghma


There is a small cottage which doubles up as a tea house in the heart of Meghma run by Indra Adhikari. This hut welcomes trekkers and non trekking tourists to stay at night. The interior is made of wood and occupied by low furniture and a large central dining table. It is quite cozy considering the temperature outside the hut. Indra Adhikari serves fantastic tea to the visitors and during winters you can always get inside the kitchen to warm yourself from the earthen oven. You will be accompanied by local people from the village also. The rooms have basic amenities and the toilet is downstairs. The buckets filled with water usually freeze during the winter season. Indra prepares food for the guests himself. There is also Sailung Lodge where the tourists can put up.

Attractions in Meghma


While you halt at Meghma for a day you can visit the local Sangchen Ugagyur Hoshal Dechen Choling Monastery nearby. The villagers will tell you that there is a monk praying inside it for the past 3 years and he never comes out in the open. You can also chat with the security force officers; they are amiable. Start early the next day from Meghma either on foot on the right hand side road or on vehicle on the left hand side road. The left side road leads to Tumling village while the right one leads to Tonglu which is a resting place for the trekkers.

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Kaijlia is a wonderful forest area near Bijanbari which tourists can visit while coming back from Sandakphu. It is 8 kilometers from Bijanbari which is considered as a halt by the trekkers returning from Sandakphu and also by non-trekkers visiting Sandakphu on vehicle. Nature lovers will definitely enjoy a walk through the colorful and enchanting forest full of Mandar, Rhododendron and Chimal trees with thick blossoms. Not only will the flowers fill your senses but also the mountain summits visible through the trail. Various Eastern Himalayan peaks are visible from the trail which will take your breath away. The best part is that very few tourists actually visit this area; so you can have a perfect rendezvous with nature.

Bijanbari is 30 kilometers from Darjeeling and can be reached by buses and cars from Ghoom. After you reach Bijanbari, you can trek to Kaijlia for another 8 kilometers to relish the view. There are no places to stay at Kaijlia. You have to find accommodation in Bijanbari which is aplenty to visit the forest. The road to Kaijlia is steep and not in a good condition. Hence, it is advised to return from the spot as early as possible.

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Bijanbari is a quite a popular town lying in the eastern part of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. It is a town with rich and varied agricultural produce which is its specialty. This beautiful and scenic town is also popular due to its proximity to Sandakphu. Located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Darjeeling, Bijanbari sits at an elevation of 2,500 feet. The Chota Rangeet flows through Bijanbari making it fertile which also helps the extensive tea plantations in this sleepy town. Bijanbari happens to be the headquarters of the Darjeeling Pulbazar developmental block and is basically full of Nepalis.

How to reach Bijanbari


Bijanbari is around 30 kilometers from Ghoom, the highest railway station in the world located in Darjeeling. There are several routes to arrive at Bijanbari. Both buses and cabs are available to reach Bijanbari from Darjeeling. If you are hiring a taxi, then do it from Gandhi Road or Chowk Bazar. Shared jeep is another alternative. Bijanbari trip for a single day is offered by the GTA tourism department the office of which is in Mall Bazar. If you opt for this trip then you will be charged per person and a mini bus or jeep will be the available conveyance for you. You can either pack your lunch or grab a bite at the stalls near the riverside.

Accommodation in Bijanbari


There are plenty of accommodation facilities in Bijanbari though most of them offer basic amenities to guests. The Inspection Bungalow is available for the tourists which must be booked in advance through the State department. Other hotels have nice rooms with common toilets. Bijanbari is also a halt for the trekkers on their return trip to Darjeeling from Sandakphu. Trekkers will not find it difficult to adjust with the existing facilities.

Attractions in Bijanbari


The route through which tourists reach Bijanbari through Ghoom is full of waterfalls, swiftly flowing mountain streams and tea gardens. The Hima Falls which is a popular picnic spot is nearby. Visitors cross the bridge over the stream and enjoy themselves in the lap of nature. Tea gardens like Chontong, Rishihaat and Marybong will also fall enroute to Bijanbari as will pass a 50 ft high rock known as the Bishwanbhar Rock. The special feature of the rock is that it stands straight at a height of 50 feet. The Chota Rangeet river banks are also interesting picnic spots with some small eateries.

Take out some time to see the vast stretches of farm lands in Bijanbari. They cultivate rice, millets, peas, maize, cabbages, tomatoes, cauliflowers and beans. The fruit orchards are also close by where you will find oranges, plums, pineapples and squash in large quantities. Along with the lands you can also visit Jhepi, Thapagaon, Sumbuck villages. Traveling down 2 kilometers from Bijanbari will bring you to Pulbazar where the famous sericulture farmhouse is located. Other places of interest include Shiv Temple in Pulbazar, Pulbazar Haat (market), hydroelectric power plant in Lodhoma, Som Tea Estate, Relling including points Home Dara and School Dara and Gok and Kainjalia picnic spots.

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Srikhola is a beautiful scenic hamlet in Darjeeling District which falls in the trekking route from Phalut and Sandakphu towards Darjeeling and Siliguri. The small river following its meandering course bears the name of Sri and Khola in the Lepcha language means small river and hence the name Srikhola. This village is an admirable halt for trekkers coming down from Sandakphu or Phalut. It offers lovely natural beauty and peace and quiet for the tired travelers. Stay here overnight and start for Rimbik the next day to catch a conveyance to Darjeeling or Siliguri.

How to reach Srikhola


For trekkers Srikhola can be reached via Gurdum at a distance of a little over 16 kilometers from Sandakphu. If you are coming from Phalut, then follow the route through the forests of chestnuts, magnolia, rhododendrons and oaks of Gorkey and Ramman to arrive at Srikhola covering a distance of 26 kilometers. For non trekkers hiring a jeep or traveling in a shared jeep is the best option. The jeeps departing between 6-7am and 11-12pm will take you through Srikhola to reach Rimbik. Srikhola from Manebhanjan takes 3.5 hours on vehicle. The road is not in good condition so it is advised to hire a jeep or Tavera or trekker.

Accommodation in Srikhola


Accommodation in Srikhola is a plenty but there is a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration hut situated close to the river. Advance reservation is required to stay in the hut. Book the rooms or a dormitory from the GTA offices. The other lodging facilities include Goparma Lodge run by Tshering Sherpa and Hotel Shovraj. The Goparma Lodge is a budget accommodation with 7 bedrooms with attached bath and hot water provided in buckets. Hotel Shovraj offers a number of rooms for guests. Whether you are traveling alone, in a group or with your spouse only, this hotel provides clean accommodation facilities. The toilets are common however; there is a restaurant inside the hotel offering delicious food for the guests.

Attractions in Srikhola


Enjoy the scenic beauty of Srikhola while you are staying there on your way to return from Sandakphu or Phalut. You can laze around the bank of the meandering Srikhola River or take a stroll on the hanging wooden bridge. Sit outside the cottages savoring the view and fragrance of the flowers in the garden or visit the Singalila National Park to see Red Panda, Barking Deer, and Himalayan Black Bear. Take a walk through the rhododendron, magnolia and orchid forests or fish in the river. The hotel provides angling gears with which you can capture trout which is the most common variety in the river.

Once you are done with fishing, you can concentrate on bird watching. The hills are the best place to watch rare species of birds which are never found on the plains. Blue magpie is very common in this region. Ask the hotel manager for the route to the corn, pea and cardamom plantation. It is a visual treat. You can also trek to nearby villages of Timburey and Gurdum and Jareo Pokhri, the sacred lake.

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Kolakham, a beautiful land in the clouds facing the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga is home to 62 Nepali families from the Rai community. Bird watchers and adventurous souls regard Kolakham as paradise on earth because the land is replete with natural abundance. Perched at an altitude of 6200 feet, the hamlet lies on the fringes of the famous Neora Valley National Park in the Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling district. The mountainous village of Lava is located just 8 kilometers from Kolakham. Mt. Kanchenjunga can be viewed from here in its full glory along with other peaks of Eastern Himalaya which include Pandim, Kabru, Siniolchu. Kolakham is 108 kilometers from Siliguri, the gateway to North Bengal.

How to reach Kolakham


Board New Jalpaiguri bound train and get off at the NJP junction then hire car from there to arrive at Kolakham which will take 123 kilometers around 5 hours to reach. The car can also follow the Gorubathan route which takes 117 kilometers marginally less than that of Siliguri. Bagdogra is the closest airport from which you can rent cars.

Accommodation in Kolakham


Kolakham offers well facilitated accommodation units to tourists. The units are Kolakham Eco Hut whose room tariff starts from INR 1600; Pinewood Retreat whose room rent starts from INR 1800; Neora Valley Jungle Camp whose room tariff starts from INR 5000; Silent Valley whose room rent is INR 1200 and Red Panda Eco Hut whose room tariff starts from INR 1800. The rooms have attached bathrooms with hot water facilities and electricity. Most of the rooms offer an enchanting view of the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga. The rooms have clean beds and comfortable furniture. There are duplex accommodations as well with a garden area which makes for a peaceful retreat.

Attractions in Kolakham


The natural beauty of Kolakham is mesmerizing and taking a leisurely stroll will make you happy and rejuvenate your mind and body. Of course the Neora Valley Park is the major highlight of the region. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the largest biodiversity covering an area of 89 square kilometers. Full of rhododendrons and mountains streams in every nook and cranny, the park is home to the endangered Red Panda. Apart from this rare animal, you will also notice others including wild boar, leopard, sloth bear, Himalayan Flying Squirrel and many more. The King Cobra among the reptiles has also been spotted here. It is also a bird watcher’s paradise.

Nearby attractions in Kolakham


Apart from the park, you can spend time exploring Lava, the small village which also serves as the entry point to Neora Valley National Park. The park offers several trekking trails which leads to Rachela Pass, Tiffin Dara and Jhandi Dara. Another interesting spot is the Changey Waterfall which is 6 kilometers from the village. Water gushing from 400feet above is a rare sight and you can enjoy the sound and also the view after you have reached the spot by trekking 900 feet. If you still have time, then visit the nearby villages of Lolegaon, Rishop, Charcole, Pedong all on the same route.

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Manebhanjan is a tiny hamlet that is located at a distance of approximately 26 km from Darjeeling. From Siliguri it is almost 92 kms away. It is located on the border shared by India with Nepal and it is nestled at a height of 7054 feet. It is also well known as the starting point for the well-known trek to Sandakphu as well as Singalila National Park. The major source of income for people in this small and cozy village is tourism. In fact, Manebhanjan is one place where you will still get to see the Land Rovers in use. The vehicles were in use during the British period and are ideal when it comes to climbing the gravel-filled roads that dot the trail to Sandakphu. There are only a few of them remaining now. You will be amazed when you see how wonderfully the owners treat these cars – it is as if their own brother or sister.

How to reach Manebhanjan


You can go to Manebhanjan from Darjeeling. The route passes through Ghoom, which happens to be the highest railway station in India as well as Sukhiapokhri. A shared jeep can be availed from Chowk Bazaar of Darjeeling or the Club Stand at MG Road. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to reach this place. Other than this, you can avail buses to Sukhiapokhri for getting to Manebhanjan. Sukhiapokhri is about an hour from Darjeeling and once you reach this destination you can get to Manebhanjan with a new jeep or bus.

Accommodation in Manebhanjan


Since Manebhanjan is a small village it would be unrealistic to expect Darjeeling-like accommodation over here. Keshav Gurung, a very friendly and well-behaved man, is known to offer the best homestay facility over here. He lives in a double storied house that is at a nice location – in the vicinity of the jeep stand. Mrs Gurung cooks really awesome food and you shall also get fantastic hospitality and commendable cleanliness. There are some other options such as Hotel Exotica, Hotel Kanchendzonga and Hotel Chimal. Jeevan Chetri or Masterji as he is also known, runs Hotel Exotica, is known to be a helpful and knowledgeable person. So you can talk to him as well in case you need to know something or are staying at that hotel.

Attractions in Manebhanjan


The main point for which any tourist will be attracted to this hill station is its status as the starting point for the Sandakphu trek. However, the Singalila National Park and the synonymous range can also be visited from here. There is a market area that you may visit. The village also has a small playground where football tournaments are organized in case of special occasions. So, in case you are around at that time don’t miss out on the games and all the excitement. There is also a rather colorful monastery that is located slightly higher up and is located in a scenic setting – among pine trees.  When you are coming to Manebhanjan from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri you will pass through Mirik. Be sure to get down over there and visit the wonderful lake.

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Rimbik is a small town that is located in the Singalila National Park. This small town can be described as a major attraction for people who are trekking from Darjeeling or a nearby area to the national park – a road that also includes the famous trek to Sandpakphu. In the recent years, tourists who wish to explore new destinations in addition to the established areas such as Darjeeling, Lava, Lolegao etc. have been visiting Rimbik as well. The hamlet is basically situated atop a mountain that overlooks the River Ramman that flows from Sikkim into Bengal. It could be described as the last major habitation on the Bengal side of the border. It is located in close proximity with both Nepal and Sikkim.

Rimbik has a big market that serves as a source of supplies that are needed by the nearby villages on a consistent basis. This is also one of the reasons why the local villages depend on Rimbik to a certain extent.

Attractions and accommodation facilities in Rimbik


As such there are not too many tourist attractions that one may be able to see in this small hill hamlet. However, as has been said already this place is a paradise for the trekkers. There are two routes that one can take from Rimbik en route to Sandakphu. There is a straight forest trail that emanates from Bikebhanjan to Rimbik. The other route connects Sandakphu to Rimbik and passes through Srikhola and Gurdung. This particular route is longer but this one is highly preferred by the trekkers over the first one.

There is an uneven road from Rimbik that you can take to reach Srikhola. The length of this road is about 7 km. It is from Srikhola that you can start your trek to Sandakphu. If you are not a hardcore trekker as such and wish to just partake in the experience just for the heck of it you could walk till Gurdung.

The small village named Timbure is located in between Gurdung and Srikhola. This is one area where you are sure to receive some basic accommodation facilities. It can also be assumed that since Rimbik is a trekkers’ destination you will get a number of trekking huts that will offer some decent facilities. Rimbik also offers you a fantastic view of Kanchenjunga.

Destinations near Rimbik


As has been stated already Rimbik is located on the route to Sandakphu. It is at a distance of 24 kilometers. Manebhanjan is at a distance of 55 km and it can be traversed in a car in around 2 and a half hours. Darjeeling, which is the place to be in this part of the world, is around 80 km and it takes approximately 4 hours to get to Darjeeling from Rimbik.

How to reach Rimbik


Siliguri lies at a distance of 130 km from Rimbik and it takes almost 5 hours to complete the tour. You can get down at the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and then take a car on hire or board a bus that goes to Darjeeling via Ghoom.

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