Rishikhola is a unique gift of nature to Kalimpong. It is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination due to its scenic landscape and peaceful environment. Located at the border of West Bengal and Sikkim, it gets tourists from both the parts. Khola in the local language means stream and Rishikhola the place derives its name from the stream itself. Only 13 kilometers from Pedong sitting at an elevation of 1700 feet, Rishikhola offers a blend of fishing and trekking activities for the adventure lovers and lot of opportunity to sit and back, relax and relish the beautiful, tranquil environ with occasional chirp of birds and only constant noise of the stream flowing.
How to reach Rishikhola
Rishikhola is easily accessible to tourists through Pedong or Rongpo in Sikkim. It is a part of the famous Silk Route reaching Gangtok. Board the Kanchakanya Express and arrive at New Mal Junction. Hire a cab or jeep from here which will take you through garubathan, Damdim, Lava, Pedong to reach Rishikhola. If you are travelling from Gangtok, that is Sikkim, then take the route via Tshango Lake, baba Mandir, Kupup Valley, Zuluk, Rangli and reach Rishikhola.
Accomodation in Rishikhola
There are beautiful resorts, farm houses and hotels to stay in Rishikhola. The Prakriti River Retreat is one of the best accommodation facilities here near the Reshi/Rishi stream. The rooms are spacious with modern amenities and the fare is 800 INR including breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. The other option is Rishi River Retreat situated on the right side of the stream. The 2 storied hotel offers breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner along with basic amenities for the tourists at a price of 800 INR. The Rishi Retreat Farmhouse to the left side of the stream is another lovely accommodation unit. Here also the price of the rooms including a square meal is 800 INR. Last is the Rishi Nature Camp wherein you can camp on the camping grounds and rest in the lap of nature.
Attractions in Rishikhola
The major attraction of Rishikhola is bird watching. Numerous species of birds both common and endangered species can be found in the hills and the forests carpeting them. Known as a paradise to bird lovers, Rishikhola is home to migratory and resident Himalayan birds. During the months of April and May you will be able to watch beautiful and colorful birds in various shapes and sizes which include Red tailed Minla, Green Magpie, Fire Tailed Sunbird, Himalayan Bulbul, Verditer Flycatcher, Crimson Sunbird, Scarlet Minivet, beautiful Racket tailed Drongo, the magnificent Red Billed Leothrix, the mighty Crested Serpent Eagle, the Blue throated Barbet, the Great Barbet, the Oriental White Eye.