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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Pe in the Lepcha language means fragrant tree and Pedong means a place to rest. So, tourists on a long tour of North Bengal can seek rest in this beautiful town of Pedong in Darjeeling district. The town falls on the route to Lava from Kalimpong to the east and has an elevation of 1,240 meters. Situated on a ridge Pedong offers an awesome view of the Kanchenjunga, the primary attraction of any tourist making this trip and also other Himalayan mountains. Pedong is divided into 2 parts namely, the Upper and the Lower Pedong. Apart from being one of the most beautiful small towns of Darjeeling, it is also part of the famous Silk Route connecting India to Lhasa through Jelepia Pass.

How to reach Pedong

Pedong can be easily reached from Siliguri via Kalimpong by road in approximately 4 hours. On your way to Pedong you will have to cross Chumarchin which is a lovely hamlet on the same ridge and you will be hypnotized by the captivating splendor of the oaks, pines and birches standing tall and welcoming you. The spring and the autumn are the best seasons to visit Pedong when you will be able to savor the beauty of the town in its full glory.

Attractions in Pedong

Besides the spellbinding scenic beauty, Pedong will reward you in other ways. There are quite a few places of interest which you can explore on your short stay at Pedong. The ruins of historical fort of Damsang Gadi built in the year 1690 can be found close by. This was the seat of the last Lepcha king Gyabo-Achuk and is the singular fort in Darjeeling.

Another highlight of Pedong is the Cross Hill, the cross of which was placed in 1882 by Fr. Augustine Desgodins, a priest in memory of the evangelists who lost their lives on their way to Tibet. It is an ideal sunset point and one can have a panoramic view of Tibet from here.

The famous Sngchen Dorjee Monastery is located in Pedong-Kamilpong zone. It is the oldest monastery in the region constructed during the Bhutanese rule in 1700 AD. A pilgrimage for the Buddhists, it holds immense interest for the tourists who are curious about Kalimpong’s history and culture. The murals inside the monastery depict scenes from Tantric Buddhism and it is also the center of Shabdrung Rimpoche who is the Dharma Raja of Bhutan. The body of the last RImpoche has been preserved inside it and the Gumpha Dance help here annually is extremely popular.

Trekking Routes in Pedong

For the adventurous tourists, the trekking route towards Renke is quite rewarding. Reshi Khola located at an elevation of 1700 feet offers a lovely view of the Himalayan range. Crossing the Reshi River is a wonderful experience. You can also arrive at Monsong by jeep or bus from Pedong which falls on the route to KalimpongLava and enjoy the ethereal sight of this small hamlet.

Accommodation in Pedong

There are various lodges, resorts, hotels in Pedong offering modern amenities to the tourists. Some of them are Damsung DH, Diamond, Chhabi Village Resort, Silk Route Resort, Green Haven Village Resort and Rikkisum Village Resort. The room prices vary between 600-1500 INR.

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Mongpu is a lovely tranquil village in the mountainous Kalimpong sub division in north Bengal. It is about 30kilometers from Darjeeling; 49 kilometers from Kalimpong town and 54 kilometers from Siliguri. Located at an elevation of 3,500-4000 feet, it is famous for cinchona plantation which has lot of medicinal value. Mongpu is also well known as the retreat for the Nobel Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

Attractions of Mongpu

The road taking you to Mongpu from Darjeeling is awesome. Huge tea estates, beautiful scenery punctuated with orchid and cinchona plantations will make the trip worthwhile for you. You will also pass clear streams and flower nurseries which are a common scene in north Bengal. Various species of beautifully fragrant and colorful flowers are grown in these nurseries. The first Quinine factory was established in Mongpu in the year 1864. However, the cultivation has declined in the present times with other alternatives of cinchona.

The biggest highlight of Mongpu is the summer residence of Rabindranath Tagore, the great literary personality. Although Mongpu does not offer a view of the mighty Kanchenjunga, it has its own charm and appeal. It is a peaceful and quiet location where the poet would find inspiration for his compositions. His residence has now been transformed into a museum where objects used by him are on display. Among the exhibits are Tagore’s bed, his mahogany writing desk, poems, verses and exclusive paintings. The poet visited Mongpu 4 times in his lifetime and during his last visit he fell ill and had to be shifted to Kolkata quickly.

How to reach Mongpu

Reaching Mongpu is easy from Darjeeling via Peshok Road from Ghoom taking east towards Takdah. Alternatively, it can also be reached through the National Highway 31A by taking a diversion from Rambhi Bazaar. The journey through Peshok Road takes around 1.5 hours. The nearest railway station from Mongpu is New Jalpaiguri and the airport closest to the region is Bagdogra Airport.

Accommodation in Mongpu

Accommodation in Mongpu is sparse. Since it is not a typical tourist destination, not many accommodation units are available. However, for tourists wishing to stay here can avail of the home stay facilities provided by the residents of the village. The amenities are basic. Some new accommodation units have been set up near Riangkhola River at a distance of 8 kilometers from Mongpu.

When to Visit in Mongpu

 The best time to visit Mongpu is during mid June and again in October through December when you will be able to see the cinchona plantations clearly and enjoy the dip in the temperature.

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Kalimpong sits at an altitude of 1,250-1600 meters and is seamlessly connected to other parts of Darjeeling district. Kalimpong, known for its scenic beauty, hospitable people, fantastic climate and central location is a popular destination of the tourists who love hill stations. For those who prefer oceans will also fall in love with this town which has a glorious history and an equally captivating present. The wonderfully snow capped peaks of the Himalayan mid ranges are most beautiful in this town and it perfectly connected to the railway station and airport being within a range of 80 kilometers. Tourists find Kalimpong to be an easily accessible hill station whose charm can mesmerize even the non-romantic treading this earth.

Kalimpong bazaar is a bustling area with a wide array of objects like hand beaten silver, Lepcha daggers, Buddhist thankas, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, being sold here. The town also boasts of religious unity where churches, temples of Hindus and Buddhists, monasteries all coexist peacefully. Gardens and alleys full of orchids, other exotic flowers and cactus nursery make it a picture perfect location for photography and painting and also movies.

The magnificent view of Kanchenjunga and other peaks like Pandim, Simbhu, Janu, Siniyolchu and Chomio Mo renders it an ethereal beauty. The peaks changing colors throughout the day from scarlet to copperish and finally white is a rare phenomenon in other parts of the world. Not only peaks you will also be astounded with Kalimpong’s natural variety in the form of forest, the valley above the Railey River and the Sinchal range covered with trees.

How to Reach Kalimpong

Kalimpong is easily accessible from Siliguri, New Jalpiaiguri Station (NJP), Gangtok and Darjeeling.

Air– Bagdogra, 60 kms away is the nearest airport. It is possible to get a pre paid taxi from the airport to Kalimpong.

Railways– You can also avail the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway facility to reach Kalimpong.

Road– Direct buses from Kolkata ply to Kalimpong at regular intervals from 6.15 in the morning to 4.15 in the evening which arrives at Teesta Bazaar. If you are traveling from Darjeeling, hire a jeep or landrover to reach Kalimpong which will take around 2.5 hours. Alternatively, buses of DGHC also ply to Kalimpong via Mongpu taking almost 3.5 hours. The route through Mongpu is enjoyable with cardamom plantations on one side and the eco tourism center called Teenchula.

Attractions & Activities in Kalimpong

Wandering around the city and trekking in the nearby mountains is an excellent activity that most tourists indulge in. Apart from the spectacular scenic beauty, Kalimpong is also famous for its places of religious interests namely, churches and monasteries.

Deolo Hill and Garden – This is a picnic spot that offers a morning view of the Kanchenjunga range. It is close to a tourist lodge, run by the Department of Tourism. Entry fee of Rs. 10 per person.

Preparation of paragliding at Deolo Hill-KalimpongParagliding in Kalimpong– Paragliding in Kalimpongstarts from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm depending on wind conditions. Take off point is Dello hill. There are two types of flights, Medium and Cross Country. The medium flight’s lands on Homes Ground near Dr. Grahams Homes School and the Cross Country flight’s lands on Relli River ground near Relli resort distance about 10 km. Continue Reading →

Rafting over the teesta river

Rafting over the teesta river

White Water Rafting – Teesta River at Kalimpong has become one of the most popular hotspots of River Rafting in eastern India. It starts from Beni, the confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet provides the major base of rafting. Continue Reading →

Kalimpong Golf Course – A beautiful, mountainous golf course which enjoys tourists from all over the world.

The Pine View Nursery – Also known as the famous Cactus nursery, this nursery has almost 1500 varieties of cacti ranging and other plants from the mountainous region from just Rs. 20. Entry fee: Rs. 10 per person. 

Durpin Dara – This is the highest point of Kalimpong that offers a breathtaking view of the city and the fast flowing Teesta River.

Pedong Monastery -This is a Buddhist monastery of Bhutanese origin.

dr.-Grahams-home-at-kalimpong-entry-gateDr. Graham’s Homes – A self sufficient educational institution, located on 500 acres of land, 50 cottages with its own farmhouse, poultry, bakery, hospital and garments department. This missionary school was set up by Dr. J A Graham in 1900 as an orphanage cum school for the destitute Anglo Indian children. It is located on the way to Deolo Hills.

Mangal Dham – Mangal Dham is situated about a kilometre away from Kalimpong and spreads over an area of 2 acres. On the ground floor of this temple lies the “Samadhi” of Guruji Shri Mangaldasji. The prayer hall is on the 1st floor and the walls have of the GuruJi’s with Lodr Krishna and other scenes from Krishna Leele.

Reshi Retreat & Farmhouse – It is a retreat about 37 kms from Kalimpong. It lies on the historical Silk Route and offers excellent trekking, fishing and adventurous activities.

buddha statue at kalimpongLord Buddha Statue – Near about Deolo Hill there is a small rock garden in which you will get this wonderful statue of Lord Buddha sitting in a lotus position.



Mac Farlen Church in Kalimpong

Mac Farlen Church in Kalimpong

Mac Farlen Church – Mac Farlen Church was constructed in the year 1890 – 91, this magnificent building has been the landmark of Kalimpong. This church was built on 1 Nov 1891 by the Scottish Missionaries. . In the early days the sermons were in 10 different languages for the purpose of spreading Christianity.

Tsonga Gumba – This is the oldest monsatery in Kalimpong which was built in 1692. It’s also known as the Bhutan Monastery and located near to Mangal Dham. 

Nature Interpretation Center – Visitors must visit at this museum for getting a good idea about the wildlife of the hills. Samples and photos of fauna like the beetles, butterflies and animals are explaining the nature and environment of Kalimpong area.

Lepcha Museum – The museum is situated about a kilometer away from the town. This museum has various articles of interest for those who want to know about the Lepcha culture and heritage. The entire are of the darjeeling and Sikkim is known as The land of the Lepchas. Various articles of worship, original lepcha musical instruments and many other articles can be seen here.

Morgan House – It is located opposite to the Golf Course. This used to be an old British property with a typical colonial architecture with a garden and views of Kanchenjunga. Now it has been converted into a hotel and run by West Bengal Tourism Department. We can enter the premises and walk around, but cannot go upstairs in the building.

Hanuman Tok – Hanuman Tok has a large statue of Lord Hanuman approximately 25 to 30 ft in height located on a hill top near to the Science City. There are fantastic views of the both sides of the hill and a nice view of Testa River can be seen along with the Himalayan range. A small temple of Goddess Durga is found right side of the statue.

Hanuman Tok kalimpongtemple-of-goddess-durga-at-kalimpong-beside-hanuman-tok-


The confluence of the Teesta and Rangit rivers

The confluence of the Teesta and Rangit rivers

Beni-the lovers point – Beni is the confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet provides the major base of white water rafting. Teesta River at Kalimpong has become one of the most popular hotspots of River Rafting in eastern India.


RC Mintri Road – There are a line of shops which have been there since the trade days and provides for one of the most delightful shopping experiences in Kalimpong You can get Buddhist thankas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, Lepcha daggers, masks and a lot more stuff.

Kalimpong Market – If you want to know the Kalimpong culture, then a visit to the market is a must! This market is held only Wednesdays and Saturdays from early morning.  From agricultural and farming items, homemade items, vegetables, clothes, bags, umbrellas, spices, shoes, you can get them all at the best bargain prices. One side is for clothes and likes and the opposite is full of spices, vegetables and fruits. Behind one particular side, lies a segment hidden from the regular eye. You will see few groups of people playing carom board and various card-games. With these games they enjoy the freshly made Momos, Phambi, Alu Thukpa (with soup), all of the local street delicacies.


Dharmodyar Vihar/Krukuti house

Science City – There are various examples of science-magic as we would like to call it are displayed and also has a hilltop garden with various outdoor activities like tyre ring-swings, climbing ropes , see-saws, along with models of dinosaurs like Jurassic Park.

Relli Khola River – There are so many beautiful picnic spots along the river, the most beautiful one is on the Relli bazaar. During the spring and winter many picnic groups enjoy here. You can enjoy swim or simply enjoy the river banks and the nearby forest. There is a beautiful public swimming pool at Relli bazaar by the river side.


Accommodation in Kalimpong

There are numerous hotels, suiting every budget, in Kalimpong. It is also possible to stay in retreats or guest houses located away from the city.

Morgan House, You can book online directly through the WBTDC (West Bengal Tourist Development Corporations) website.

Hotel Elgin Silver Oaks, Rinking Pong Road
Phone: +91-3552-255296, +91-3552-255767

Hotel Garden Reach, Upper Cart Road, Below Bankim Chandra Park
Phone: 03552-255091, 09832040822, 09331107996
E-mail: info@hotelgardenreach.com

Himalayan Hotel,Upper Cart Road
Phone: +(91) 3552-255248/258602
Email: himalayanhotel@gmail.com

Sood’s Garden Retreat, 8.5 Miles Mr. Siddhant Sood
Phone: 9733123113
Fax: 91-03552-260321/260322
E-mail: query@soodsgardenretreat.com, soodsretreat@sify.com
Web: www.soodsgardenretreat.com

Deki Lodge, 10th Mile, (Near Power House), Tripai Road
Manager: C.D. Bhutia / Kamal Pradhan (Asstt. Manager)
Phone: +91-3552-255095, 9434329695
E-mail: dekilodge@hotmail.com, dekilodge@gmail.com
Web: www.dekilodge.yolasite.com

The Orchid Retreat,Ganesh Villa, (P.B. No. 7)
Phone: +91-3552-274517/274275
Fax: +91-3552-274489
Email: toretreat@sify.com, nagdhara@sify.com
Web: www.theorchidretreat.com

Bethlehem Lodge, David Gas Building, 10th Mile, Reshi Road
Phone: +91- 3552- 255185/255847/258798/255847/255185, +91- 9434735225, +91- 98320-96611
Email: nereusm@yahoo.com

RANGEET LODGE, Dr. B. L. Dixit Road, Near Jubilee High School
Phone: 03552-257447/259039, 9832076147
Email: rangeetlodge7@yahoo.co.in

Alkananda Resort, Upper Cart RoadSanjogita Subba
Phone: (03552) 256251, 98320 33410
Email: alkananda07@gmail.com
Web: kalimpong-resort-alkananda.com

Dew Drop Villa, Galanka Road, Hill Top
(A Himalaya Home Stay at Kalimpong)
Phone: 03552-259883, 98324 59067,97330 51821, 98325 49009
Email: spradhan@kalimponghoteldewdrop.com
Web: www.kalimponghoteldewdrop.com

Hotel Mountain View, Kalimandir Phatak, Besides Tashi Petrol Pump, 8 1/2 Mile
Phone: +91 3552 255123/ 255440, +91 9832039412 – 8016218762 – 9434048370
Email: hotelmview@gmail.com
Web: www.hotelmountainview.in

Deolo Tourist Lodge, You can book from GTA tourism office. Check out Tourist Centers to know location and contacts of GTA tourism offices and how to book.

Deputy Director of Tourism, GTA Silver Fir Building, Bhanu Sarani

Phone: (0354) 2254879 / 2255351
Fax: (0354) 2254214

Indradhanush Madhuri Mintri
Phone: +91 9932893350, +3552 255697
Email: mintrikpg@gmail.com

Gompu’s Hotel, Damber Chowk
Phone: + 91 (3552) 255818, 9832435448 Fax: +91 (3552) 257062 / 256758
Web: www.kalimpong-hotel.com
Email: gompuskpg@gmail.com, kpgompus@gmail.com

Himalayan Hotel, Upper Cart Road
Phone: +91-3552-255248
Fax: +91-3552-255122
Email: himalayanhotel@gmail.com

Contact person: Mr. R. S. Prasad, Mr. Ravi Gupta and Sashi Gupta
(Member of HORAK & Listed in Lonely Planet)
Phone: +91-3552-257457 (O) / 260186 (PP), +91-9932332017
Email: info@jplodge.com,jplodge@sancharnet.in, jplodgekpg@yahoo.co.in
Web: www.jplodge.com

Kalimpong Park Hotel, Rinkingpong Road
Mr. Amode Yonzone
Email: info@kalimpongparkhotel.com, kparkhotel@gmail.com
Phone: +91 3552 255304/256656, +91 80164 80665
Fax: +91 3552 255982

Hotel Oasis, Sheela Building, D.S.Gurung Road
Mr. Sudesh / Yogesh Phone: (03552) 256385 / 260030
Email: yogeshkapg@rediffmail.com

Pineview Resort, Atisha Road
Phone: +91-3552-255843
Web: http://www.pineviewcactus.com
Email: pineview_resort@rediffmail.com

Hotel Tres, Primtam Road, Kalimpong – 734 301
Phone: +91 92335 55456, +91 92335 55457
Web: http://telihotels.com
E-mail: treshotelkalimpong@gmail.com

Web: http://www.elginhotels.com/thesilveroaks.html

Parijat Lodge
Phone:  91-03552-256698
Email: cratos_xyz@yahoo.com
Web: www.hotelparijat.com

Phone: (03552)255074/259654
Fax: 91 3552 255290
E-mail: hotelkalash@yahoo.com

Chimal Hotel
Phone: +91-3552-255776
Email: chimalsc@sancharnet.in

When to Visit

Kalimpong receives tourists all through the year on account of its pleasant climate. However, it will be wise to avoid the monsoon months of July-Sept due to frequent landslides which may cause roadblocks.

Photo Courtesy: Kalyan Mohan Paul, Flickr/Sharat Kolke and Asim Shah 2008

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Rimbik falls on the southern part of Darjeeling towards the Singalila National Park. It appears to be perched on the top of the Himalayan range like a roof. Rimbik sitting at an altitude of 2,286 meters is a little village in the shadow of the Kachenjunga overlooking the River Ramman. It is close to the Skim and Nepal border area. The village is naturally endowed with scenic beauty and offers a captivating halt to the trekkers enroute to Sandakphu. Arguably the best view of the Kanchenjunga is achieved from Rimbik. Along with the mighty Kanchenjunga, other snow capped peaks can also be seen from Rimbik village. The play of colors on the top of the peaks is incredible.

Attractions in Rimbik

Rimbik is like a fresh breath of air for people who have landed in crowded Darjeeling and Kalimpong. This path is often treaded and thus you can have a peaceful sojourn in Rimbik. Nowlekh and Darjeeling can be viewed from Rimbik in the morning and during the night you will be spellbound by the sky full of stars shining like little diamonds. Standing under the vast canopy of star-studded sky is an enriching and fulfilling experience. Once you reach Rimbik, you will be one with nature. Take a stroll on the hilly trails flanked with pine, birch and oak trees and listen to the beautiful music of the birds. A steady urge to capture every scene and moment might overwhelm you.

After you have admired the natural bounty of Rimbik, it is time to start early next morning to trek to Srikhola with the morning air filled with the fragrance of rhododendron. From Srikhola trekkers generally take the trekking trail to Sandakphu and Phalut. Rimbik is normally a halt point for the trekkers during moving up and returning as well. This place is paradise for the adventurous souls. Apart from Sandakphu and Phalut other trekking trails leading to Darjeeling via Lodoma, Jhepi, Bijanbari is also popular. You will cross the lovely Rangeet River on your way marveling at its course.

The Singalila National Park is another place of interest for the tourists visiting Rimbik.

How to reach Rimbik Falls

Reaching Rimbik is easy via Kurseong through Hill Cart Road. You can also avail cabs, buses and jeeps from Ghoom station to arrive at Rimbik. Alternatively, the Mirik-Sukhia-Pokhri-Manbhanjan route can also be taken to Rimbik. The fruitful journey will take approximately 5 hours. Do stop over at Lepcha Jagat on your way and then continue the enjoyable journey.

Accommodation in Rimbik

Rimbik along with offering cool comfort to the tourists also offers a wide variety of accommodation units. From the luxurious to the basic; all are available at Rimbik. The hotels at Rimbik will charge between 800 and 200 INR per night. Some of the popular hotels are Sherpa Hotel, Shivapradhan Hotel, Green Hotel and Sherpa Tenzing Hotel. Alternatively, you can choose to stay at the forest bungalow which has an excellent ambiance and facilities. For enjoying a stay at the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Trekker’s Hut you have to make an advance reservation.

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Chimney Village of Kurseong is a lovely place amidst the mountains of Himalaya. There is an interesting anecdote regarding the queer name of the village. There is a 23 feet high chimney in the village which was constructed during the World War I under which the British soldiers and officials used to take rest. Hence, the name Chimney village. It is also sometimes spelled as Chimeni. This village is actually located in a valley overlooking the two swift rivers of the mountains- River Mahananda and River Teesta. The beautiful snow capped peak of Mt. Kanchenjunga can be seen from the pine covered valley.

Location of Chimney Village

Chimney village is at a distance of only 53 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) from where it can be easily reached.

How to reach Chimney Village

From NJP you can hire a local cab or a private car and arrive at Kurseong from where Chimney is easily accessible as it is only 8 kilometers from Kurseong, the town. Buses are available from the Tenzing Norgay bus terminus at Siliguri to reach Kurseong.

Accommodation in Chimney Village

Accommodation in Chimney is easy. There are hotels and guest houses here which offer all the facilities for tourists. Some of the residents provide guest house facilities at Chimney where they also serve home cooked food which is delicious at reasonable rates. However, Kurseong nearby is dotted with boarding and dining facilities.

Photographer’s paradise

The pine and cedar trees cover the valley of Chimney which makes it appear like a scene from a painter’s canvas. However, the biggest attraction is the 23 feet high 100 year old Chimney built by the British. Moreover, you can have a panoramic view of the valley and also of Kalimpong and Nathu-La from here.

Not to miss tourist hotspots

Makabari, Ambotia, Goomtee, Castleton tea garden: Apart from the chimney and the breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga and Kalimpong there is certain other tourist attractions located close by. The famous Makabari, Ambotia, Goomtee, Castleton tea gardens are located nearby.

Toy train ride and zoo: Enjoy a ride on the toy train which appeals to people of all ages and visit the satellite zoo at Dow Hill. Kurseong is a place of religious unity and thus beautiful temples like Jagdish Mandir, Ambhotia Shiva Temple, Giddapahar Durga Mata Mandir; Buddhist Compa in Montieviot; Juma Masjid in Hat Bazaar; St. Paulseak Church are all found at short distances. The Downhill Park, NSC Bose Institute of Asiatic Studies, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Museum are located on the Downhill Road. Also do not miss the Zero Point which is the highest point in Kurseong and the Eagle’s Craig viewpoint from where you can savor the fantastic view of the surrounding region.

The Bhangzang Salamander Lake: The Bhangzang Salamander Lake situated 14 kilometers away from Kurseong is home to the rarest species of salamanders. Visit this lake along with the cave housing a figure of Virgin Mary.

For adventurous tourists the trekking trail from Chimney to Mahananda waterfall will be an interesting experience. While the others can explore the forests and be busy bird watching all along. Do not forget to watch sunrise and sunset over Kanchenjunga.

Chimney can be visited any time of the year although the rainy season can be avoided.

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