Echhey Gaon is a picturesque village in the lap of Himalayas surrounded by dense forest of Juniper, pine and birch where you will feel detached from human civilization. With loads of greenery and peace and quiet, this old-world village has not been spoilt with materialistic pleasure of the city life. This is an ideal place for the nature lovers at an altitude of 5,800 feet none of the machines can disturb you from relishing the natural abundance of this village. Only 12 kilometers away from Kalimpong and cab fare is around 800 INR, this incredibly pristine hamlet is home to approximately 30 families living in peace and happiness. If you wish to share their happiness then definitely visit Echhey Gaon or the Wishing Village.

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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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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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