The soothing pine wrapped village of Sillery Gaon is situated at an elevation of 6000 feet. It is only 8 kilometers from Pedong and is termed as New Darjeeling due to its beauty, accessibility and affordability. The name Sillery is derived from a plant which grows aplenty in the region. This hamlet has also has a huge cinchona plantation to boast off. This village is arguably the best upcoming tourist destination in Darjeeling with its wilderness, silver Kanchenjunga peak, diverse flora and fauna. With so much greenery around you and of course the appealing view of the world’s 3rd highest peak Kanchenjunga, Sillery Gaon is a place oozing serenity to calm your raging soul. Even the most hardcore pragmatic person is bound to become a diehard romantic after visiting Sillery Gaon.

Time to go to Sillery Gaon


Visiting Sillery Gaon is permitted throughout the year. However, it is advisable to avoid the rainy season due to landslides and also unclear view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Summer is the best time to visit, however, if you can visit during winter season, the atmosphere is totally different with fog enveloping the village rendering a mystical charm to it.

Activities and Accomodation in Sillery Gaon


You can trek from Pedong to arrive at Sillery Gaon which offers fantastic accommodation facilities to the guests. Being a small village Sillery Gaon offers a number of home stay facilities to the tourists as part of the eco-tourism initiative. It is bound to be a thrilling experience for those who have never stayed in a village. Their unique hospitality, clean rooms with round the clock hot water and home cooked food is going to give you some of the best memories in your life. The village doesn’t have electricity, but the owners of home stays ensure comfort to their guests by operating generators during the day and gas lamps or candles at night.

Attractions in Sillery Gaon


New Darjeeling has loads to offer to the tourists along with its scenic beauty. The fascinating hilltop known as Tin Chuley offers a panoramic view of the formidable Himalayan Range along with Nathu La, Jelep La passes and the town of Sikkim. Trekkers will obviously take this opportunity to explore the place and others can reach by car. After this majestic view, it is time for Ramitey Dara which is another famous vantage point from where the entire course of the mighty Teesta River can be seen along with the Himalayan Range. This appears like the shooting site of romantic films.

Only 4 kilometers from Sillery Gaon is the Damsang Fort constructed by the Lepchas in 1690. Though only the ruins of the fort are visible now, the place has gained importance among tourists because not many spots of historical significance are found in this area. Call it a day by a visit to the Silence Valley in Sillery Gaon. As suggested by the name, this is a thriving green valley with an all pervading silence occasionally broken by the chirping of the birds. If you manage to visit this vast tract of green land during the rains, you will be rewarded with a lovely sight of the lake known as Siyal Pokhri.

Photo Courtesy: http://echeygaon.blogspot.in

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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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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 LavaLoleygaonRishyap 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.

How to reach Changey Falls


Tourists visiting Lava Loleygaon can easily come to Changey Falls. Hire a car to drive you to Changey via Kolakham from Lava. No public or private buses ply through this route. Therefore, you must have a car hired for both reaching and departing from the destination. The route through Kolakham is beautiful and will mesmerize you with its charm. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach Changey on your four wheeler which means it is almost 4.5 kilometers from Kolakham. Once you reach the spot you have to start on a 900 feet walking trail to arrive at the source of the mighty falls. It will cost around 1200 to arrive and depart from Changey on a cab.

Attaractions in Changey Falls


It is quite an awe-inspiring sight. Forest, mountain and waterfall make an excellent spot with natural abundance. The waterfalls against the backdrop of the majestic Kanchenjunga makes for an ideal picture so do not stop your camera from clicking. The heaven like peace is only broken by the chirp of beautiful and colorful Himalayan birds like Verditer Flycatcher, White Capped Water Redstart, Blue Fronted Redstart, Niltava, Indian Robin, Blue Whistling Thrush and Grey Treepie. You can also enjoy the sunrise and sunset at 2 points known as Tiffin Dara and Ghanti Dara if you consider staying at Changey Falls for a day or two.

Accommodation at Changey Falls


Earlier there was no accommodation at Changey Falls. But now the situation has changed and there is a medium resort known as the Changey Falls Resort. It is a beautifully designed wooden resort which offers cottage style rooms with double occupancy along with attached western toilet. The room rate is 1500 INR + 10% service charges. They charge 300+10% service charge for an extra bed. You can book the resort online or call at 9836955186/9830947352/8420424111.

The uniqueness of Changey Falls is that it flows in 3 steps which could be made out clearly from its course downstream. Do not forget to capture this rare beauty in a wild setting.

Photo Courtesy: changeyfalls.wordpress.com

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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.

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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.

Attractions and Trekking route in Rachela Pass


Rachela Pass is a trekking route 12 kilometers from Lava through the Neora Valley Nature Reserve which is entered through Lava. So, you must reach Lava from Kalimpong to trek this beautiful but arduous route. The route however difficult and steep it is, also offers scenic beauty of magnolias, rhododendrons and bamboo trees. It takes about 3-4 hours to arrive at Rachela Pass through the steep road. The scenic beauty along the route mesmerizes the trekkers and makes them forget about their tiredness.

The total trekking trip of which Rechela Pass is a part is completed in 4 days. Rachela Pass is virtually considered as a junction between Sikkim, Bhutan and Bengal. It used to be a trade route in the past. One of the most significant trade routes in the history of India, one could witness mules carrying merchandize within countries. The tracks are still noticeable. You can also spot the 4 chief ridges dividing the valleys known as Neora, Rishi, Rangli and Jaldhaka. From Rachela Pass, other passes of Jelep La and Nathu La are visible. Also visible are the Sigalila Range with its proud peak Kanchenjunga, world’s 3rd highest and also the entire Chola Range.

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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.

Covering an area of 89 square kilometers this park is of the richest biosphere reserve in India. Often referred to as the land of the endangered Red Panda, it offers a staggering variety of vegetation and also birds. The nature lovers will be overwhelmed by the abundance of rhododendrons, bamboo groves and mountain streams. The highest point of Neora Valley National park is 10,500 feet which is the Rachela Pass.

How to reach Neora Valley National Park


Both buses and cars can take you to North East India’s biggest biodiversity zone, Neora Valley National Park. Buses plying from Siliguri will take you to Kalimpong from where Lava is 32 kilometers. The entry point of Neora Valley National Park is through Lava. There is an alternative route through Samsing for which you have to reach Chalsa from Siliguri which is 65 kilometers. From Chalsa Samsing is about 18 kilometers from where you can enter the biological zone. Accommodation is obviously in Lava or Samsing depending on whichever route you are taking.

Attaractions in Neora Valley National Park


The geography of the Neora Valley National Park is unique. The heavy growth in the forest sometimes even restricts the sunlight from entering the forest. It is also known as the Virgin Forest and quite true to its name much of the forest land is yet to be discovered pushing the adventure lovers to explore those inaccessible parts. The Neora River is the primary water resource of Kalimpong.

The flora of the region is diverse and the virgin wilderness supports tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and sub-temperate vegetation inside it. Mixed species of bamboo, sal, oak, ferns, rhododendrons and various types of orchids can be found in the park. The fauna supported by the forest environment is even more diverse. Red panda, sloth bear, Himalayan Flying Squirrel, wild boar, leopard cat, goral, serow, civet are some of the mammal species living in the forest. Others include lizards, king cobra, green pit viper, moths, bugs, wasps, cicadas.

Neora Valley National Park is also known as the bird watchers’ paradise. Some of the most sought after birds can be spotted here within areas of 1600m-2700 meters. Birds like Jerdon’s Baza, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Tragopan, Golden-throated Barbet, White-browed Bush Robin, White-tailed Robin can be seen.

Trek to Neora Valley National Park


This is also a trekkers’ paradise because he/she can explore the diversity while climbing up to the highest point of the park which is the Rachela Pass. Jaributi is a particular point inside the park which is full of medicinal plants. Other interesting points include the Tiffin Dara and the Red Panda Camp.

You must obtain the permit to enter the park from forest range offices in Lava and Samsing and nobody is allowed in the park after sunset.

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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.

How to reach Lava


If you are traveling from Kalimpong, then you will arrive in Lava through Algara and the journey will take around 2 hours. Buses ply regularly to Lava from Kalimpong at 6:30 and 10 in the morning. While traveling from Siliguri covering a distance of 105 kilometers you will reach Lava via Gorubathan by Damdim road. Besides, jeep can always be hired both from Siliguri and from Kalimpong to reach Lava. The journey by road is wonderful with tall trees and colorfully fragrant flowers of Chanp, Chimol, Cryptomoria. During the months of April-May which is considered to the best time to visit Lava, the route is filled with different types of orchids as well.

Chunabati road on the way from Lava to Loleyaon

Chunabati road on the way from Lava to Loleyaon

Road distances from Lava (approx)

Lava to Bagdogra Airport – 112 km
Lava to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station – 105 km
Lava to Changey Waterfall – 14 km
Lava to Tiffin Dara view point – 9 km
Lava to Loleyaon (Kaffer village) – 22 km
Lava to Charkhole Loleygaon-  34 km
Lava to Neora Valley National Park – 10 km
Lava to Rishyap – 11 km
Lava to Rache La Pass – 12 km
Lava to Kalimpong – 34 km
Lava to Gumabadara Village – 12 km

Attractions in lava


The biggest highlight of Lava is the Neora Valley National Park (Open from 8am to 12noon, 1pm – 4pm. It is closed on Thursdays) which is a wildlife reserve located around 10 kilometers from the center of the village. This area is popularly known as the Virgin Forest area and is a visual treat with mountains, dense green forest, a rivulet and a wide species of animals and birds. Entry fee to this awesome reserve is INR 20 and the area is divided into Upper Neora Valley which is in Lava and Lower Neora Valley near Samsin. For wildlife lovers, the concerned authorities are beginning a project on eco camps where they can stay and enjoy the wild atmosphere. Some of the and animals spotted here include Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, tiger, leopard, deer. There is ample scope of bird watching in these forests and you can spot birds like Scarlet Finch, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Blue-fronted Robin, Broad-billed Warbler, Yellow-throated Fulvetta and many more.

Trekking at lava


Trekking can be done through the forest trail but with permission from the forest authority. You can also trek to Lava peak once you have reached Rache La pass located at an elevation of 3152 meters. Jalep La is also nearby. The Chhangey falls is another specialty of this region located at a distance of only 14 kilometers. Other attractions include Buddhist Monastery Kaju Thekcheling Institute, plant nursery, glass house.

Accommodation in Lava


Lava has plenty of accommodation units. You can either put up at the forest Bungalow in Gorubathan or at the hotels in the village. The hotels are actually partial homes of the locals with basic amenities and reasonably priced rooms. However, you will not suffer from any kind of problem there. In fact, it will provide the opportunity to know the local people from the village.

Lava Nature Resort by WBFDC
Authorized Agent by WBFDC
43 Sarat Bose Road , Hakimpara Siliguri – 734 001, Dist.-Darjeeling,WB, India

Orchid Hotel, Lava
Tariff Rs. 1,000/1,200

Yankee Resorts, Lava Bazaar
Tariff Rs. 1,000/2,000

Himalaya Inn, Lava Bazar
Tariff Rs. 859

Hotel Choice, Lava
Tariff Rs. 550/600

Safari Hotel, Lava
Tariff Rs. 700/1,600

The Sana Homestay, Lava Road
Tariff Rs. 1855

Hotel Paradise, Lava

Parker Hotel, Lava Bazaar
Tariff Rs. 700/1,200

Neora Velley Eco Huts, Lava
Tariff Rs. 1,200/2,200

Hotel Devika, Lava
Tariff Rs. 1,200/2,200

The Lava Escape, Lava
Tariff Rs. 1,200/2,000

P P Resort, Lava
Tariff Rs. 600/900

Hotel Himalaya, Lava

The Pinewood Resort, Lava

Hotel Lava View Point, Lava

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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.

How to reach Ponbu village


Reach Ponbu by trekking from Samthar and put up at the home stays due to be scarcity of hotels or other accommodation units. Take some time out to enjoy a typical village life at the home stays with the residents at their farmlands and poultry. Ponbu is home to around 100 families.

Attractions  at Ponbu


The trekking route to Ponbu is actually a bird watching trip. You can explore the Nezeok Reserve Forest which is home to around 250 species of birds. Some of them include White Browed Shrike Babbler, Greater Yellownaped, Blue Throated Barbet, Blue Winged Minla, Ashy Bulbul, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher (female), Paddy Field Pipit, Streaked Spiderhunter, Longtail Broadbill, Orange Bellied Flowerpecker, Blue Whistling Thrush. This trek is actually a bird watcher’s paradise and one that you will never forget.

Trekking at Ponbu


You can walk down to the Teesta Valley through this route if you are interested. Explore the river banks of Teesta and Rilli. While exploring you will find an exciting way to cross the river practiced by the local people. The hand pulled ropeway is one of the most thrilling ways to cross the Teesta River. Though not for the faint hearted, it is generally an attraction of this place. After you have explored enough, drive down to Kalimpong Gurudongma House for overnight stay.

The trekking trip to Ponbu is generally divided into Upper and Lower Ponbu and it is on the lower Ponbu trip you can admire the course of Teesta and its valley.

Accommodation in Ponbu


Generally, tourists do not stay overnight in Ponbu because that is outside the trekking itinerary. However, if you wish to stay there, then home stays will be available with food. Sometimes, the trekking team sets up camps at Ponbu to explore the variety of birds in the region.

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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.

How to reach  Samthar Village


Visitors can reach Samthar village from NJP railway station or Bagdogra airport through Kalijhora and Pongbu in about 2 and a half hours. If you are traveling from Kalimpong it will take the same time through Rili and Sinji valleys. If you are visiting Samthar from Lava, then your vehicle will travel around 24 kilometers enroute to Loleygaon to arrive at Samthar. The road in most parts is rough but is equally beautiful with forest views full of oaks, pines, juniper.

Attractions and Trekking at Samthar


Home stays are excellent opportunities to know the village community. The hosts will make sure to take you around the village to meet different local families and inform you their lifestyle. You can also take a look around their agricultural lands and visit the Awake & Shine School where kids and adults of the community learn to make different bamboo products and cook various local dishes. If you are staying for a long time, then you will have time to visit the following:

Trekking Routes

Trekking from Kalimpong to Samthar / Samthar to Kalimpong

One of the most popular treks from Samtahar to Kalimpong takes about 6 hours. The first phase of trek descends to virgin Relli Khola (stream) Valley and then again a steep trek route climbs to Kalimpong after crossing the Relli stream. One can also reach Samthar from Kalimpong by the same way.

Trek to Samthar Top or Upper Lish River Valley

A forested ridgeline overlooking the valley, the highest spot in Samthar. The hilltop provides good view of the Samthar village and surrounding forests and Jhoras or small stream tribute to the Lish River far below. There is no human habitation in that hill and is ideal for bird watching and trekking. Dense forest cover makes the place a good birding area. To get better collection of birds it is advisable to camp overnight or start from the village one hour before sunrise.

Trek to Pongbu

A small village on the top of a ridge overlooking the Teesta River Valley and the vast plain lands of Terai Ponbu is nice refreshing trek in the lower Kalimpong hills. On the Western slopes there are a number of Jhoras running down to the Ponbu Khola and then farther down to Tista. These streams form small isolated valleys. It is a day trek and accommodation is arranged in privet village huts or in treks.

Trek to Dong Khola Valley, Solag and Nazeok village

In the remote areas of Kalimpong hills these places are some of the new areas for exploration and becoming vastly popular for the nature trekkers.

Trekking for Samthar Culture 

In the  early morning with the chirping of birds and the cry of the rooster to walk to the top of the terraced nature garden. Sit atop a rock and sip your tea, whilst you take in the breathtaking view, as the sun rises, and the first rays touch the snows. Weather permitting, you see the entire panorama of snows – Khangchenganga group of peaks, Simvo, Siniolchu, Lama Anden, Chomoyomo, and Paunhari, and then in an easterly arc the passes of Chola, Natula, and Jalepla, leading into Tibet. After the breakfast, trek around the Samthar plateau for 03 hrs Return to Samther for lunch. After lunch another 02 hrs trek to nearby hamlets. Meet people in their homes and fields to get a glimpse of rural lifestyles.  In the evening sample local Millet beer “Chang” served in traditional bamboo containers, in lamp lit atmosphere.

Trek to  Lepcha Valley

Another chance to view the sunrise. After breakfast take a full days trek to remote Lepcha valley. See flora, birds, traditional Lepcha houses, and a 100 years old Lepcha temple. Meet people in their homes and fields. After picnic lunch return by a different route.

Trek to Teesta Valley (Sepkhola and 27 miles) through Samco Ropeway

A 5 to 6 hours downward trek through rolling hill slopes descends to the confluence of Tista and Riang River at Tista Valley. It is around 12km from Samthar. You will get Ralei Khola (Relli Khola) river beside most of the trekking rout. Take a break for a picnic lunch. After lunch cross the  Teesta River over a  suspension bridge or take the Samco Ropeway for 27 miles to access the Sikkim national highway. The hand pulled ropeway spans across a distance of 1.5 kms over both the Teesta and Rellia River. The ropeway is built 120 feet over both the rivers. Take busses or Jeep for Siliguri which is 38 km form 27miles or drive to next destination.

Accommodation in Samthar Village


Staying in Samtahr is fun because you receive an opportunity to experience the hospitality of the Samthar community. The community comprises of Lepchas, Nepalis and Bhutias offering home stay facility to the tourists. The community home stay facility has been developed under the Project Awake & Shine which creates awareness among tourists for responsible tourism. This sort of accommodation facility is designed to provide all sorts of comfort to the tourists in a rural atmosphere at an affordable price. They provide spacious rooms with linen and attached toilet. Room heaters in winter and hot water in summer are available. Additional beds can be arranged for children. You can also put up at the Samthar Farm House set up by General Jimmy Singh.

Dining is available at these home stays with delicious food along with high quality cutlery, crockery and table linen. You can also choose the traditional floor arrangement. Food is cooked on wood fire and you will be served with western style breakfast, local vegetarian lunch and non vegetarian dinner. You can either order for pork or chicken cooked in Lepcha/Nepali/Bhutia style depending on whose home you are staying.

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