Murti is a lovely getaway located on the banks of the meandering river of the same name. It is the perfect weekend destination for people looking to escape the din and bustle of city life. Murti the river originates from the Neora Valley National Park and flows through the main tourist attractions of Dooars before meeting the River Jaldhaka. It is along its bank stretching for 80 kilometers that the famous forests of Dooars have developed and are sustained. All the popular watchtowers of the forests are built overlooking Murti River. Murti, the place was initially a picnic spot but now with the resort it has become of the most popular getaways in North Bengal.

How to reach Murti


Murti can be reached by rail after reaching at the New Mal junction or the New Jalpaiguri junction from where you can hire cars. The nearest airport is Bagdogra and the National Highway 31 connects Murti to other cities and small towns. The distance of Murti from Siliguri is 73 kilometers while from New Mal it is 18 kilometers. From Chalsa it is a distance of only 8 kilometers which hardly takes a half an hour drive.

Accommodation in Murti


Hotels in Murti Dooars

Banani or Prakriti O Poribesh Beekshan Kendra is the nature education and wilderness resort located next to Gorumara National Park on the Nahrakata-Lataguri road. The bungalow is amidst sal forest on the bank of River Murti and is the primary choice of any tourist. It offers 12 rooms including one suite providing the best view of the river and the forest. Another excellent accommodation facility known as the Murti Tourist Lodge run by West Bengal Tourism is located near Gorumara National Park on the river bank. The rooms are tent or cottage style with a view of the river bed and animals. Other facilities include the privately run Prime Murti, Riverwood Forest Retreat, The Ca-Cur-Badi Forest Resort, Dreamland Hotel, Resort Olive Village and Dooars Nest. Food is available at all these accommodation facilities.

Attractions in Murti


Wild Bisons crossing Murti river.

Wild Bisons crossing Murti river

Murti can be visited anytime of the year because it has a pleasant climate. However, it is wise to avoid the monsoons because you will not be able to explore the forests on either side of the river. The Gorumara National Park and the Chapramari Forest are on opposite banks of Murti and are famous for the diverse flora and fauna. There is a small bridge through which you can cross the river and arrive at the jungles on either side. You can explore the jungles either on elephant back or through jeep safari depending on your choice. The beauty of nature in the region is quite a visual treat. However, roaming around the area at night is not advised because wild animals flock on the banks to quench their thirst.

Angling, camping and hiking through the trails are some of the commonest and most adventurous activities in and around Murti. If you are bird enthusiast then this is a paradise for you as you will see various local and migratory birds on the river bed. You can also spot alligators in the river. Other tourist attractions include the Panjhora River picnic spot, Chukchuki, Chalsa, Khunia, Jhalong, Bindu, Samsing and Suntalekhola.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Tamal Majhi, Anirban Banerjee, indiamike.com/ranjankumardey

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Rocky Island is an upcoming tourist destination in the Samsing hills of Dooars region in northern Bengal. The name Rocky Island promises lot of adventure and the place actually fulfills them. The name not only promises adventure but also evokes images of big and small rocks making an interesting trail for the tourists to follow. Well, the place has it all and once you reach there you will know that it has lived up to your expectations. You will spot massive rocks on the island named as Bhimsen, Hansdunga, Pathar Kailas, and Neel Kanta. Rocky Island is about 3 kilometers uphill from Suntalekhola and is an enchanting place away from the crowds amidst the sound of the flowing Murti River.

How to reach Rocky Island


how-to-reach-rocky-island-state-of-west-bengalRocky Island is only 3 kilometers from Suntalekhola and can be travelled on foot only. You can arrive at Suntalekhola by getting down at New Mal junction if you are traveling by train and rent a trekker to reach Samsing which is only 34 kilometers from the junction. Do not forget to bargain the charge with the driver. Suntalekhola is uphill about 3 kilometers from Samsing. The entire route is charming with lush tea gardens, mountains and small brooks. You will see and feel nature bounty in this place and breathe some fresh air. The Bagdogra airport is around 75 kilometers from Suntalekhola.

Accommodation in Rocky Island


rocky-island-state_of_west_bengal3Visitors can stay overnight at Rocky Island. The Rocky Island Adventure Camp is the perfect place for adventure enthusiasts. The best part about the eco resort is that the owners haven’t fallen prey to commercialization of the place. It still holds its natural charm which enthralls and allures tourists. Accommodation is available in the form of tents to provide the real feel of camping. The double and single bed rooms with attached baths cost between 800 and 1200 INR while the ones with unattached facility costs 800 INR. The dome rent facility is available at 400 INR and for food you have to spend 250 INR which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Attractions in Rocky Island


The camp provides a great opportunity to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the lower Neora Valley Valley Park. There are caves adjacent to the massive rocks which can be explored by the adventure lovers. Since a number of trekking trails originate from this zone, you can take them to reach different points like Bhalukope, Mouchuki, Jhandidara and Sherpagaon. You can also indulge in rappelling in Rocky Island which is generally not facilitated on hills in India. If you are visiting during summer season, enjoy a bath in the river.

Photo Courtesy: northbengaltourism.com, virtualtourist.com and indiamike.com

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Samsing is a small hamlet located on the border of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the foothills. Enjoying an elevation of 3,000 feet, Samsing is beautiful in its natural glory. The vast landscape, forests, hills, tea gardens add to the charm of this hamlet which is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. The village is divided into two sections- the tea garden area and the basti that is the settlement zone which is inhabited by around 2500 people. Samsing is 8 kilometers from Meteli, 15 kilometers from Chalsa, 19 kilometers from Malbazar, 50 kilometers from Mongpong, 80 kilometers from Siliguri and 26 kilometers from Gorumara. The land experiences mild weather throughout the year which is another reason for its popularity as a tourist destination.

How to reach Samsing


Reaching Samsing is easy because it’s accessible by road. It’s a 3 hour drive from Siliguri and the route is most rewarding. It has visually stunning and picturesque landscape which seems like the backdrop of a romantic film. On the National Highway-31 you have to cross Malbazar to reach Chalsa from where its 15 minutes drive to Meteli by taking the left turn. These 8 kilometers is the most rewarding because the road is flanked by sprawling tea gardens- the Samsing and Zurantee tea gardens making the route enchanting. However, the road leading to Samsing is quite narrow so one must drive carefully.

Accommodation facilities in Samsing


Samsing provides plenty of accommodation facilities to the tourists. Suntalekhola is the ideal place to stay and most of the tourists put up at the cottages here. Suntalekhola is about 4 kilometers uphill from Samsing and has well facilitated cottages and bungalows maintained by West Bengal Forest Department. Cross a small hanging bridge to arrive at the government resort at Suntalekhola. Alternatively, you can stay at the Rocky Island Nature Resort which is located on the banks of Murti River. You will be provided tents for overnight stay to enjoy the beautiful and mysterious atmosphere of the region. If you wish to see the lifestyle of the local people, then Faribasti homestay will be the best option for you. Experience their hospitality and also their love for nature.

Attractions in Samsing


Staying at any of these places will be a treat for your eyes because of the pristine nature and of course the meandering Murti River. The river turbulently flows from Neora Valley National Park through Samsing to reach Jaldhaka near Gorumara National Park. You can also hear the sound of the water splashing against the rocks. At Suntalekhola you will notice a beautiful orange stream flowing through the land and making it picturesque. Suntalekhola and Rocky Island also serve as picnic spots for local people along with Laliguras which is again a beautiful place with lush greenery amidst mountains.

For adventure take the trek routes originating from Suntalekhola leading to Neora Valley national Park. But you must seek permission from the forest department to enter the park. Other trekking routes lead to Tree Fern Point and Mo or Mo Chaki from where the Himalayan Mountains are visible on one side. The snow covered Jalep La pass is also visible from here.

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