Offbeat Places In Sikkim; 9 Hidden Gems On The Hill

Offbeat Places In Sikkim; 9 Hidden Gems On The Hill

It is quite a pity that still the world knows very little about Sikkim outside Gangtok, Gurudongmar Lake and Few Places in North Sikkim. This tiny north-eastern state of India has a lot more to offer to the weary travellers. If you are one of those who are tired of the daily drudgery of urban life, offbeat places in Sikkim has a lot more to offer to you. 

If you are looking to spend a few days in absolute quietness, away from the mobile phone rings and stress of office here are a few great offbeat places in Sikkim that can let you unwind and come back completely rejuvenated. We list 9 such offbeat places in Sikkim that are an absolute must for people who are looking for offbeat hill destinations. 

#1  Rolep

A tiny picturesque, Virgin village. Ensconced amidst nature, tucked away like a secret. Located at an altitude of 4000ft, and 20 km from Rongli in East Sikkim. It’s a haven on the slopes of rolling Green Himalayan foothills with a view of Rangpo Khola River Valley.

A bird watcher’s paradise, a place to seek solace. One should not come here with an agenda. Try your Angling skills when you aim for the trout in the Shokey Khola River. Brisk village walks. Visit the 45 foot high Buddha waterfalls. Experience the lush greenery, rejuvenate. Hot stone bath is popular among tourists, do try it. Chochen Lake, Dekeling Monastery, are some of the places one should visit.

Rolep is no doubt one of the best offbeat destinations in Sikkim.

How to Reach Rolep:

Air: The nearest airport is. Pakyong. Which is about 76 KM away and it will take around 3.5 hr – 4 Hr to reach. Otherwise, you can always take, Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 143 KM and it will take about 4 hr– 4.5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 135 KM and it will take around 4 hr – 4.5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance:  Rolep is 687 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Rolep Village.

Best time to Visit Rolep:

Best time is Winters.

October- February

September – March is also beautiful.

Rolep General Weather:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in. It was chosen as a sanatorium after all!

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

The place to stay at Rolep

 

# 2 Singtham Village

Located 42 km from Gangtok and 98 kilometres from Siliguri, the village of Singtham is a travelers paradise. Very close to the Temi Tea Garden, this village is sure to attract a traveler’s eye. Surrounded by forests on one side and farmlands on the other, the village of Singtham is perfect for walking and enjoying traditional village life.

 

People often come here to practice fishing as Khalej Khola is just 2 km from this place. Apart from fishing and walking, bird watching is another option in this village. Singtham is also perfect for forest treks. Enjoy trekking to Maenam la and Tendong Hill. Walkthrough the dense forests to reach the Tendong Hill which is an extinct volcano.

How to Reach Sightham:

Air: The nearest airport is Pakyong Airport, which is about 50 KM and it will take about 2 Hr – 2.5 Hrs to reach. Otherwise, you can always take Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 114 KM and it will take about 3.5 hr– 4 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 108 KM and it will take around 3.5 hr– 4 hrs to reach.

Car Distance:  Singtham is 659 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Singtham.

Best time to Visit:

Best time is Winters for clear, beautiful weather. Monsoons are Green but road conditions can be challenging.

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

The place to stay at Singtham

 

 

# 3  Gangtok Offbeat 

The capital of the mountainous northern state of Sikkim. It was established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site, and the Enchey Monastery was constructed in 1840. The city became the capital of an independent monarchy after the British rule ended, but it joined India in 1975. Located at an altitude of 5,410 feet (1650 meters).  Located in the eastern Himalayan range.

It has a population of mainly Nepalese, Lepchas and Bhutias. Gangtok is a centre of Sikkim tourism industry. The city is flanked on east and west by the two streams Roro Chu and Ranikhola. Gangtok is a paradise with an amazing view of Mount Kanchenjunga and abundant and natural beauty.

Completely pollution-free and 100% organic state. One can visit the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint, Enchey Monastery and Ganesh Tok. MG Road is a must for shopping, and trying out restaurants. Gangtok is a bustling, friendly hill station.

How to Reach:

Air: The nearest Airport is Pakyong, which is about 29 KM. It will take about 1.5 HR to 2 Hr to reach. Otherwise, you can always take Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 125 KM and it will take about 4 hr– 4.5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 119 KM and it will take around 4 hr – 4.5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance: Gangtok is 671 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Gangtok.

Offbeat Places to Stay in Gangtok

 

#4 Ravangla 

A small tourist town situated at an elevation of 7000 ft in South Sikkim. It lies between Pelling and Gangtok and acts as a starting point for the Trek to Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, 65 km from Gangtok. A scenic town where you can get clear views of Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt Pandim, and Mt Siniolchu.

Blessed with exotic flora and fauna natural Waterfalls, this is the ideal tourist dream. For inner peace visit the Bonn Monastery and Ralang Monastery. For shopping one can visit the historical Market of Kewzing and for some adventure the mysterious small caves. Borong and Ralang Cha Chu, sulfur springs are popular with tourists. Temi Tea Gardens is a must Visit to know the journey of tea from Gardens to the cup.

How to Reach Ravangla:

Air: The nearest Airport is Pakyong, which is about 75 KM. It will take about 3 Hrs to 3.5 Hrs to reach. Otherwise, you can always take Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 128 KM and it will take about 4.5 hrs – 5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 123 KM and it will take around 4.5 hrs – 5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance:  Ravangla is 675 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Ravangla.

Best time to Visit Ravangla:

Winters are cool and clear skies.

Summers April – May, sees a lot of flowers in a colorful display.

General Weather:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in. It was chosen as a sanatorium after all!

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

The place to stay in Ravangla

# 5 Borong

A charming village ensconced in the southern part of Sikkim. Located at an altitude of 5,800ft, giving its tourists an excellent view of the mighty My Kanchenjunga, Mt Siniolchu Mt Narsing, Mt Pandim. For some adrenaline rush hike up River Rangil.

Places that can visit from here are Ralong Monastery, Bating Monastery. Vyanjan Valley, Bamelli Bridge. Do visit the paper factory to witness the making of paper in an old Japanese way.

How to Reach Borong:

Air: The nearest Airport is Pakyong, which is about 81 KM. It will take about 3 Hrs to 3.5 Hrs to reach. Otherwise, you can always take Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 134 KM and it will take about 4.5 hrs – 5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 141 KM and it will take around 1 hr – 1.5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance: Borong is 692 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Borong.

Best time to Visit Borong:

Winters are cool and clear skies.

Summers April – May, sees a lot of flowers in a colorful display.

General Weather:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in. It was chosen as a sanatorium after all!

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

The place to stay in Borong

# 6 Aritar

Aritar is a region in the East Sikkim at an altitude of 6,000 ft (1,498m), with a 360-degree view of Mighty Mt Kanchenjunga. A town with mesmerizing natural and landscaped beauty located at the edge of the Himalayas.

Characterized by lush forests, mountains, Rivers make up this gem of a place. A 4 hrs drive from Gangtok via either Pakyong or Rangpo. One can go Trekking, Stroll through the village. Have a boating spree at the Lampokhri Lake. A picnic, maybe, at Love Dale. Visit the old British Dak Bungalow, for some nostalgic moments. Aritar Monastery and the Aritar Gumpa is a must-visit.

How to Reach Aritar  :

Air: The nearest Airport is Pakyong, which is about 48 KM. It will take about 2 Hrs to 2.5 Hrs to reach. Otherwise, you can always take Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 115 KM and it will take about 4 hr– 4.5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 108 KM and it will take around 4 hrs – 4.5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance: Aritar is 660 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Rolep Village.

Best time to Visit:

March – May

December – February.

General Weather in Aritar:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in. It was chosen as a sanatorium after all!

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

Cool places to stay in Aritar

# 7 Biksthang

Biksthang is located among acres of pine and fruit trees in a pristine Himalayan hamlet in Sikkim. It is a two-hour drive from Pelling also famous as Mangalbaray and Chuchen.

It is a small, perfect and serene village at a distance of 119 km from Gangtok. Set amidst beautiful nature and majestic mountains. The view of mount Kanchenjunga seems very close from here as if one can almost touch it. Biksthang is one of those lesser-known offbeat places in Sikkim, that you will never forget if you visit once.

How to Reach Biksthang:

Air: The nearest Airport is Pakyong, which is about 86 KM. It will take about 3 Hrs to 3.5 Hr to reach. Otherwise, you can always take Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 116 KM and it will take about 4 hr– 4.5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 110 KM and it will take around 4 hr – 4.5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance: Biksthang is 661 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Biksthang.

Best time to Visit:

October to February

General Weather in Biksthang:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in.

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

The place to stay In Biksthang

# 8 Pelling

A small town in the district of West Sikkim. Nestled at an altitude of 7,200ft (2,150m). Pelling is the base from where trekkers start their journey in West Sikkim.

A beautiful Virgin territory and is lush with greenery. There is plenty to see here, Local Monastery, Waterfalls, Rock Garden, Quaint Singshore Bridge, Changey Waterfall, Khecheopalri Lake, Pemayangtse Monastery. Beautiful and clear views of surrounding mountain ranges including Kokthang, Frey, Rathog, Pandim.

How to Reach Pelling:

Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 142 KM and it will take about 5 hr– 5.5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 136 KM and it will take around 5 hr – 5.5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance: Pelling is 687 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Pelling.

Best time to Visit:

October to February

General Weather:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in. It was chosen as a sanatorium after all!

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter : 1-10 degree centigrade

The place to stay in Pelling:

# 9 Rinchingpong

A small town in West Sikkim 40 km west of Gangtok located at an altitude of 5,576 feet. One gets the most beautiful views of Mount Kanchenjunga which feels physically close and Nature is at its best over here.

offbeat-places-in-sikkim

Kanchenjunga as seen from Rinchenpong

The Kaluk – Rinchenpong area is the buffer zone of the Varsey rhododendron sanctuary. One must Visit the Gurung Monastery or Reshum Monastery which was built during the 18th century and is at an altitude of 6,200 feet. Reshum is also a hilltop, offering excellent views and is locally known as Maggi Dara. Visit the Poison Lake or Bikh Pokhari, Pelling, Rinchenpong Monastery and the Varsey Sanctuary.

Best time to Visit Rinchenpong:

October to December

January to April.

How to Reach Rinchenpong:

Air: The nearest Airport is Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 129 KM and it will take about 4.5 hr– 5 hrs to reach.

Train: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is about 123 KM and it will take around 4.5 hr – 5 hrs to reach.

Car Distance:  Rinchenpong is 674 KM away from Kolkata. You will have to give two halting one in Malda and one in Siliguri. Then on the third day, you can proceed towards Rinchenpong.

General Weather:

General weather is cool, comfortable, windy at times, with ample sunshine, and misty when the fog comes in. It was chosen as a sanatorium after all!

Summer: 5-15 degree centigrade
Winter: 1-10 degree centigrade

 

Offbeat Places in Sikkim; Concluding Thoughts 

Sikkim is one of the cleanest states in India and if you are looking for awesome natural beauty to escape from your stress of life, give it it a shot to these offbeat places in Sikkim. We are pretty sure that you will not only love the place, you will also want to go back again. Here we listed just the top ones for you, but there is a lot more. 

If you want to know anything or have any views on this post, please feel free to reach out through mail or phone. If you want us to come back to you with a free plan and consultancy to plan your trip, you can please click the following page and send us your details. We will be more than happy to plan it all out for you. 

Let us plan Sikkim Offbeat Trip for you !

Put your details and take the opportunity of free consulting on your trip by our super experienced travel planners.

If you are looking for weekend destinations near Kolkata for one night stay, then here are a few more places

Here are a few great options for you, if you are looking for some Awesome  Hill stations in North East 

Rishop: Know Everything to Plan Your Trip and Best Places to Stay

Rishop: Know Everything to Plan Your Trip and Best Places to Stay

The virgin spot with rows of pines and rhododendrons triggers the beauty of Rishop. It is a small village in the districts of Kalimpong in West Bengal is one of the major attractions. There are myths associated with this name. “Ri” stands for mountain peak and “shop” means decade old trees.

The majestic view of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga is viewed from this evergreen village. It is 2591 meters around high from the sea level.

Kanchenjunga-from-Rishop

Rishop : General Information

The only serene location away from the hustle attracts people the most. A long walk around the village is quite relaxing. The rough roads through the region don’t really entertain transportation. Trekking and chirping of birds are way more adventurous here.

The newly found hamlet has a story behind it. Initially, there was a cluster of households with limited farming weather dependent lands. Later this hidden diamond place is found.

This has become a real relaxing abode for tourists. The nearby destinations are Lava, Lolegaon, Pedong, Rishi and the other sightseeing of Rishop etc.

Kanchenjunga-as-seen-from-Rishop

Rishop is a Lepcha village primarily. It’s just 32 kms away from Kalimpong and 9 kms from Lava. For the adventurous troop, there are a 4 kms of a trek from Lava and rest can be availed by roads.

The most amazing view of Kanchenjunga can be witnessed from a magical viewpoint call Tiffindara. Nathula and Jelep La can be viewed partially from Tiffindara in Rishop. This place never fails to amaze you for its desperate viewpoints.

From left to right – Mt Kharg, Mt Kokthang, Mt Rathung, Mt Kabru, Mt Talung, Mt Pandim, Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt Simvo, Mt Narsing and Mt Siniolchu can be witnessed on a clear day. Altogether this awesome places gives you a mixed beauty sight of mountains, forest; chirping birds, clear day and the night sky.

But it lacks fancy stores and restaurants, unlike tourist’s spots. Better to carry essentials. Foods are available from the hotel restaurants.

Weather and Temperature in Rishop

Rishop has versatile climates. It is a place that attracts tourists throughout the year. Summers are pleasant, winters are desperately cold and monsoons are risky sometimes. Landslides obstruct transportation then. For reference climatic variations are mentioned.

Rishop-Weather-Chart

Rishop weather chart throughout the year

 Summer

Summer in plain is quite scorching and painful. To get a sigh of relief flock of tourists are attracted there in summers.

Rishop being a high altitude destination usually remains pleasant. The temperature hangs from 10 degrees to 29 degrees. Tourists can easily wander in and around Rishop at that time.

Kanchenjunga-as-seen-from-Rishop-in-clear-summer-morning

Kanchenjunga as seen from Rishop in clear summer morning

Monsoon

Summer is often followed by the monsoon. Heavy rainfall takes place around May to July(20 degrees approx). Avoid visiting Rishop in monsoons. A severe occurrence of landslides leads to low connectivity of transports.

Winter

Winter in hills is a splendid beauty. Mornings are foggy while noons are enjoyed by the tourists. The temperature is 0 degree to 6 degrees in December and January. There is a thrilling chill in Rishop. Sun hardly peeps in the winters. But a vague snow-capped mountain can be witnessed. Hopping around the nearby tourist’s spot can be soothing.

Rishop-in-foggy-winter-morning

In a foggy winter morning

Spring & Autumn

The perfect time to visit is October and Novembers. The temperature remains pleasant in autumns. The other perfect time to give a peep in here is in the splendid spring around February- March.

Rishop-in-Blooming-Spring-Time

Rishop in Blooming Spring Time

Best Time to Visit Rishop 

The best time to visit Rishop is the months of February, March, June, September, October and November. Adventure lovers also prefer to visit during the winters to experience the snowfall over here.

How to Reach Rishop 

It takes around four hours to reach Rishop from NJP railway station. The journey is around 110 km if you go via Kalimpong and 120 km via Gorubathan. From Bagdogra airport, it takes around an additional 10 km. From Kalimpong, it takes around 32 km via Alagarh to reach.

The road is quite steep to Rishop from Alagarh. It is only 9 km from Lava. The roads to Rishop are bumpy, gravel and steep. It is always advisable to take jeep type vehicle to reach up. On the way, you will see step farming.

There is about a 4 km trek way from Lava. It takes around 3 hours to trek through the pine, fern and orchids. Sometimes tourists can change their vehicle from Kalimpong to reach up. Rates are to be negotiated accordingly. From NJP/ BAGDOGRA/Siliguri pre-paid taxis and shared jeeps are available.

Major Train leaving from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri:

Train No. Train Name Days of departure Station of Departure Arr. Dep. Travel Time
13173,

13175

Kanchenjunga Express Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun;

Mon, Wed, Sat

Sealdaha 06:35 18:20 11:45
12363 KOAA HDB SF Express Tue, Thu, Sat Kolkata 09:05 18:55 09:50
12509,

12513

SBC-GHY Express Fri, Sat, Sun;

Mon

Santragachi Jn. 10:05 21:25 11:20
13141 Teesta Torsha Express Daily Sealdah 13:40 02:40 13:00
12041 HWH-NJP Shatabdi Express Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat Howrah 14:15 22:30 08:15
12345 Saraighat Express Daily Howrah Jn. 15:50 01:40 09:50
15959 Kamrup Express Daily Howrah Jn. 17:35 06:20 12:45
13147 Uttar Banga Express Daily Sealdah 19:35 06:50 11:15
13149 Kanchan Kanya Express Daily Sealdah 20:30 07:30 11:00
12343 Darjeeling Mail Daily Sealdah 22:05 08:00 09:55
12377 Padatik Express Daily Sealdah 23:20 09:15 09:55

Air Tickets Price and Timings

Kolkata-to-Darjeeling-air

Kolkata to Rishop Air ticket options in Cleartrip

Rishop Sightseeings points 

Tiffindara View Point

The trip to Tiffindara takes about two to three hours including travel. The only point and perfect view of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga, Nathu La pass and Jelep La pass can be viewed.

Kanchenjunga-as-seen-from-Tiffindara-View-Point

Kanchenjunga as seen from Tiffindara View Point

The panoramic view of the passes is visible on a clear day. It is located at an altitude of 2360 meters. Tourists can trek to this point through deep woods of 45 minutes each way. The spot remains open from 6 am to 5 pm. It is always accessible to trek from Rishop.

Changey Waterfall

Book a cab to reach Changey waterfall. The silent walk through the woods and birds are bound to mesmerize you. Then the crystal clear snow melted water flowing from the heights will take your mind away. Changey waterfall takes about one hour from Lava. The cars are parked at a little distant. From there you need to trek 900 meters to reach the falls.

Changey-Waterfall

Changey Waterfall

It is located near Kolakham in the district of Kalimpong. Kolakham is 4kms from Lava. The spot is open from 6 am to 5 pm. Himalayan birds like Blue Whistling Thrush, Indian Robbin, Grey Treepie etc are found.

Shiva Buddha Temple

This is quite an amazing place. Gradually you climb the red stairs you find Shiva and Buddha idols side by side.

Shri-Shiva-Buddha-Temple-Rishop

Shri Shiva Buddha Temple Rishop

Jorepokhri

This is an amazing hilltop of twin lake.  It is bordered by Kanchenjunga on one side and Darjeeling, Kurseong view on the other side. The word “Jore” means two and “pokhri” stands for pond. By car, it takes around four hours. The drive is by the Rishi road and NH10.

Jorpokhri-Darjeeling

Jorpokhri Darjeeling

A Suggestion of Itineraries to Visit Rishop. You can modify it as per conveniences.

Day 1 – Bagdogra/ NJP to Rishop

There are many flights till Bagdogra. Book the seats in advance for availability. Trains till NJP are available too. Reach Rishop by rented cars from the terminals in four hours.

Day 2 – Rishop sightseeing’s

Tiffindara viewpoint and Shiva Buddha temple and Changey waterfalls may be covered.

Day 3 – Trip to Jorpokhri

Visit Jorepokhri and Pedong and get back to your hotel.

Day 4 – Rishop to Lava

LAVA – The distance between Rishop and Lava is only 5 km. It is located 32 km east of Kalimpong district. Lava is a small town with natural vegetations and scenic beauty. Apart from the motorable road, tourists treks to Rishop from Lava.

The early morning view of the Lava monastery is a must visit. The monastery is also known as Ratnarishi Bihar Buddhist Gumpa. Karma Lodro Chokyi Senge, the third Kongtrul Rimpoche has established it.

Day 5 – Rishop to Lolegaon

The distance between Rishop to Lolegaon is 2 hours and 30 mins by car via Rishi road. Reaching Lolegaon, canopy walk through the beautiful forest is a must. Canopy walk is through the hanging bridge. The bridges are tucked from one tree to the other. You bet to see this greenery ever in your life. The next stop must be Neora Valley National park. The unique view of green forest and abode of red pandas are a must visit. The tourist may reside at Lolegaon for a night.

If you want us to Plan your Rishop Trip for free. Click Here.

Rishop Hotels, Homestays and Best Places to Stay

If you want complete privacy, away from the conundrum, there are provisions of cottages for you too.

We at Nomadic Weekends provide you with customised itineraries and tour plans according to your needs and requirements.  We are travellers just like you and therefore our shortlists or tour plans are not too extravagant and hectic- just like you want it.

 

You can click on the links below to know the places in much greater details. 

Rishop Valley Retreat

This is one of the best resorts around Rishop. The warm hospitality, deep woods of pine and fir attracts the most. The scenic view of the mountains can be enchanting from here.

The check in and out times are 11 am and 10 am respectively. They charge 1650 INR + 5% GST per head per day with meals.

Fairy Tale Retreat 

We perhaps chose the best for you. In the midst of hundreds of colourful birds and mystic view of the passes chases your heart. They charge 1450 INR per day per head with meals. Check in and out times are the same.

Sleeping Buddha Resort 

One of the best resorts in the area serves you at its best. The accommodation ranges from INR 5500 INR to & INR 7200 INR respectively. You can pay other taxes and GST at the resort separately.

Their check-ins and outs are 12 pm and 11 am respectively.

 

If you want us to Plan your Rishop Trip. Click Here.

 

Here are a few other articles that you may like reading

Lava Lolegaon: All Info You Need to Plan Your Trip and Best Places to Stay

15 Tourist Places Near Darjeeling that You Must Include in Your Darjeeling Tour

Here are a Few Great Options to Stay at DarjeelingYou will not find these anywhere else.

Darjeeling Offers some great offbeat Places Nearby. Know about 25 Such Awesome Unknown and Offbeat Destinations Near Kolkata and Darjeeling.

Pointers on Us: Nomadic Weekends
  1. We are retired, corporate people. So, we have taken a lot of stress and we understand what a holiday means to you
  2. We have a team that is travelling on the streets of Darjeeling to find out great stay options
  3. We have ourselves experienced these places and we can guarantee a great stay for you
  4. Unlike others, we are never about dhobi list of options. We are the shortlist by the travellers just like you.

 

Check out Nomadic Weekends site here.

Nathula Pass: Ultimate Guide to Plan Your Trip

Nathula Pass: Ultimate Guide to Plan Your Trip

Located at an altitude of 14450ft and 58kms from Gangtok, the Nathula Pass is not only a popular tourist spot because of its surreal natural beauty, but also because it is enriched in history. The Pass is an offshoot of the Old Silk Route, connecting Sikkim to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

This pass holds its importance as the crossroad between India and China. It passes through the Tsomgo Lake and until 1962 it served as an important trade route between Tibet and India. Tourists are allowed as far as the International Border where one can see both Chinese and Indian soldiers facing one another, on either side of the barbed wire.

Nathula-Pass

Apart from its significance in the political front, the Nathula is nothing less than paradise with its gorgeous alpine flora. With a mighty height of 4310mts, this pass makes one of the most sought after place to visit for adventure lovers. The convoluted roads of the Nathula Pass, run down to the beautiful Chumbi Valley up to Yathung which was once an important trade town.

If you face the Eastern side of the pass, on a clear day, the magnificent view of the Chomolhari peak of Bhutan won’t be amiss.

 

Nathula Pass: Weather Temperature and Best Time to Visit

Winter:

The Pass, which is at a height of 4310m above sea level, experience extremely cold weather conditions. The temperatures here may drop to Minus 25 degrees Celsius during winter. Here, winters usually last from November to February with temperatures dropping the most from December.

Nathu-La-in-Winters

NathuLa in Winters

The snow-covered Nathula is a wonderful sight during the winters, but survival in the cold can be quite tricky. Motorable roads might be closed for travelling due to heavy snowfall.

Summers:

The summers are cold too. However, during this time, temperatures range from 12 degrees Celsius to a maximum of 20 degrees Celsius.

Nathu-La-Pass-in-Summers

Nathu La Pass in Summers

Carrying woollen clothes even during summers is advisable as mountainous winds in higher altitudes, make the area chilly throughout the year.

Monsoons:

Monsoons provide bad road conditions due to heavy rains during this time. Landslides are a quite common threat during monsoons even though the routes are open for visitors.

On-the-way-to-Nathula-During-Monsoon

On the way to Nathu La  During Monsoon

The best time to visit Nathula would be during the summers (April-mid June) and autumn (October-November). You will find the best weather conditions in the month of September with no snow in the region and the greenery surrounding the area is at its best. You can see the snow till the third week of April. It is during May that the snow starts melting.

Visiting Days

The Pass is a protected area, is open for visitors for five days a week- Wednesday to Sunday. Mondays and Tuesdays it remains closed. However, visiting this Himalayan Pass requires a special permit while foreigners aren’t allowed and photography is strictly banned.

How To Get Nathula Pass Permit:

Receiving special permit is not very difficult for the nationals of the country, as it might sound. It is produced by the Sikkim Tourism Department in Gangtok. You can also request a registered tour agency or the hotel to help you through the procedure and get the permit.

All you need to do is to submit a photo ID proof along with two passport-sized photographs. The charges are INR 200 per person and a minimum of 24 hours is required to get the permit.  Children below 4 years will not receive official permission. However, you can take them at your own risk.

Sightseeing In and Around Nathula:

The Himalaya here is breathtakingly beautiful. The alpine forests, the snow-clad mountains, the winding roads and the history surrounding it will give you sheer chills-literally too! However, apart from the natural beauty, there are a few places in and around the Pass which one must visit for a proper exploration of the region.

Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir

The Baba Mandir or Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir is a place of great importance in terms of tourism and is strategically located on the Indo-China border. Harbhajan Singh was an Indian Army workforce and this temple was built in his memory after his strange disappearance near Nathula in 1968.

This temple is located right at the crossroads of Kupup Gnathang Road and Menmecho Lake.

Baba-Harbhajan-Singh-Mandir-Nathula-Pass

Harbhajan Singh Mandir

The guards and the locals believe that Baba Harbhajan Singh drowned in one of the nearby streams in Nathula and a few days later had appeared in the dreams of another fellow personnel, asking him to build a shrine in his name. And that is when the Mandir was built.

Legends say that the soldiers posted here still believe that Baba Harbhajan Singh’s spirit is still alive and protects them in this difficult territory while guarding the India China border.

Mera Bharat Mahan Hill

On your way to Baba Mandir, you will find a hill which has the words “Mera Bharat Mahan” words carved on it. The sudden emergence of these three words on rugged terrain, almost at the end of the world, will leave you with a patriotic chill through you.

Mera-Bharat-Mahan-Hill-Nathula-Pass

Mera Bharat Mahan Hill

It’s a vast area which will amaze you with the history surrounding it. You can visit this spot on the way to Nathula.

Staircase to Indo-China Border

The staircase along the steep mountain roads of Nathula leads to the International Indo-China border. The stairway is quite steep, but there are provisions for travellers to take rest.

Staircase-to-Indo-China-Border-Nathula-Pass

Staircase to Indo-China Border

The panoramic view of the entire Himalayan range from the stairs as you go uphill is breathtakingly beautiful.

Tsomgo Lake

The Tsomgo Lake also known as the Changu Lake is a popular tourist site in Gangtok- located on the Eastern side of the Sikkim District of Bengal. This lake is formed by the meltdown of the glaciers of the Himalayan Range.

The Tsomgo Lake is situated at an elevation of 12,400ft above sea level and its distance from Gangtok is about 38kms.

Tsongmo-Lake-Nathula-Pass

Tsongmo Lake

The turquoise blue water, and the floating Brahminy Ducks, of this glacial lake, look ethereally beautiful and it remains frozen during the winters. You will also find a Lord Shiva Temple next to the lake, as the Tsomgo Lake is considered to be one of the holy lakes of this region. However, visiting the Tsomgo Lake also requires a special permit.

Mandakini Waterfalls

The Mandakini Waterfalls is another must-visit tourist spot in the Nathula. This will fall on your way to the Pass.

Mandakini-Waterfalls-Nathula-Pass

Mandakini Waterfalls

The gushing down of the clear green waters from a majestic heightened elevation will leave you smitten by its beauty. It will remind you how magical nature is and that there’s no beauty like natures.

Jelepla Pass

The Jelepla Pass is another most popular and important spot for tourist visit in Gangtok. This is a high mountain pass with an elevation of 13999ft. This Pass is of great significance as it forms the connectivity between Sikkim of India and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The Jelepla Pass falls on the route which connects Lhasa to India.

The Jelepla Pass nestles the beautiful flowing Menmecho Lake below it. The route to Jelpla is beautiful, adorned with vibrant rhododendrons and small quaint hamlets along with the panoramic surrounding.

Jelepla-Pass-Nathula-Pass

Jelepla Pass

Visiting this special place and also visiting the surrounding tourist’s spots will be an experience of a lifetime. The abundance of nature’s beauty along with historical significance will mesmerise you. The surreal and ethereal charm of the region will fill your heart and soul and leave you with a sense of fulfilment. So if you are looking to escape the regularities of daily life go ahead and plan an adventurous trip to Nathula!

Every bit of the experience is worth it.

How to Reach Nathula Pass?

Once you are in Gangtok, from there you can book a round trip tour package with a local authorized tour operator. You could ask for some guidance from the hotel you are staying in, regarding this. Nathula is located at a distance of 56kms from Gangtok and is situated on Jawaharlal Nehru Road.

A trip to Nathula from Gangtok usually takes a full day. Which includes sightseeing in and around Nathula-mainly the Tsomgo Lake and the Baba Mandir. However, make sure the vehicle you are travelling in is from an authorized tour operator and approved by the Sikkim Government. Vehicles which are not approved are not allowed in Nathula.

Road-to-Nathula-Pass

The road to Nathula

During the high tourist season, i.e. between May to September, tour operators usually operate in groups and the rate is calculated on the basis of each person. This comes down to a reasonable expense. During the off-season, the availability of vehicles is less due to lack of demand. If you are visiting Nathula during the offseason, then sharing a vehicle might be a difficult option.

Travelling to Nathula during the winters is anyway a not wise choice. Due to the poor road conditions and frequent occurrence of landslides due to snowfall. All of this can lead to road blockage.

Vehicle Fare 

As mentioned earlier, make sure that the vehicle you are travelling in from Gangtok to Nathula Pass is authorized by the Sikkim Government. Saying that the vehicle fare depends on which season you are travelling to Nathula. The rates are higher during the peak tourist season and lesser during the offseason.

The cost for each person in a shared vehicle is usually INR 900/- to INR 1000/-. This rate includes your visit to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir and also the cost for your permit. If you wish to reserve and travel by yourself and with your group only, then the fare is usually INR 8000/- for big cars like Jeeps and SUV’s. If you choose to reserve vehicles like Sumo or Xylo, the fare is usually INR 6500/-. These rates too, are inclusive of all the permits required.

Nathula Pass Suggested Tour Plans:

Visiting Nathula and sightseeing the tourist spots in and around it, is usually done in a day’s excursion. There aren’t many hotels to stay in here. However, there are places near Nathula where you can stay a night.

Tour Plan 1: 4 Day Tour Plan

Day 1

Reach Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri Station. From there book a sharing cab or an exclusive ride to Gangtok – which is about 120kms with a travel time of four hours. Check into the hotel. After a few hours rest you can do some local sightseeing in Gangtok along with visiting some local market places and eateries- as per your choice. Stay the night in Gangtok. Also, get in touch with your hotel staff and authorized tour operators for seeking the permit to visit Nathula Pass.

Day 2

After breakfast, leave for Nathula Pass. From Gangtok, the distance to Nathula is about 56kms and should take a travel time of 2 hours. Spend the entire day at Nathula and visit the popular tourist spots in and around it – the Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir, Jelpla Pass etc. Come back to hotel and rest of the day is free. Stroll around in Gangtok and have a good restful time.

Tsongmo-Lake-in-Summer-Nathula-Pass

Tsongmo Lake in Summer

Day 3

On the third day leave for a local city tour. Go for sightseeing spots in and around Gangtok. You can also choose to have a peaceful day in Gangtok visiting local quaint cafes and restaurants- enjoying some quiet time with yourself and your loved ones.

Day 4

Leave for Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri Station as per your train or plane schedule.

Tour Plan 2: 3 Day Tour Plan

If you are in a little hurry for a quick weekend adventure, you can also cover Nathula Pass in 3 days. However, this tour plan can be a little hectic. But, a once in a lifetime experience like this, is all worth it. Here we have a tour plan ready for you if you have only three days in your hand.

Day 1

On your arrival at Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri Station, immediately leave for Gangtok. Book a car on sharing-basis or an exclusive ride. Time taken to reach Gangtok is about 4 hours to try and reach before sundown. Once you reach Gangtok, check-into your hotel. The rest of the day you are free to roam around Gangtok at leisure. Look around for permits to Nathula Pass- get in touch with authorized tour operators to Nathula. Stay the night in Gangtok.

On-the-way-to-Nathula-Pass-from-Gangtok

On the way from Gangtok

Day 2

Leave for Nathula Pass soon after breakfast. It usually takes 2 hours to reach Nathula from Gangtok. Enjoy your day at Nathula and do the important sightseeing in and around the area. Leave for Gangtok, so that you reach the hotel again before sundown. You can also choose to stay the night in Nathula in a hotel near the area.

Day 3

This might be a long journey if you are staying the night in Nathula. Check-out from the hotel and come to Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri Station with enough time in your hand. This might be a 6-hour long journey.

If you are staying the night in Gangtok then there is nothing to worry. Check out from your hotel as per your train or plane schedule.

Hotels and Homestays in Nathula Pass:

As mentioned earlier, there are no provisions for tourists to stay at Nathula. The nearest resorts, hotels and homestays are available in Gangtok. So set your base in Gangtok and experience the wonders of Gangtok, Sikkim. Gangtok is approximately 56 km and hence Nathula Pass and sightseeing spots around it are usually done in a day.

There are a number of budget accommodations in Gangtok providing guests with all basic amenities and good food.

If you want a luxurious stay in Gangtok, such accommodations are available too. You can choose to stay in the central part of the city where cars and cabs are easily available for local sightseeing. There are also quaint accommodations in the nooks and corners of the mountain where you will get all the peace and privacy you are looking for – amidst the serene and tranquil nature.

So whatever your choices and requirements are, ample of options are available for you.

Birds-Eye-view-of-Gangtok-City-from-Ganeshtok

Bird’s Eye view of Gangtok City from Ganeshtok

We at Nomadic Weekends help you to chalk out your tour in a very personalized and customized way. We provide you with all the itineraries and how you should plan your tour as per your schedule.

Our client requirements are our priority and we do not compromise on how you want your tour planned. We are travellers and adventurers just like you. Get in touch with us and we will help you out with the most memorable and priceless experience ever!

 

You can check these stay options in Gangtok to complete your Nathula Pass visit

 

 

Gangtok Farm Stay

Retreat Hotels and Spa – Gangtok

Alpine Crest Retreat Gangtok

 

We at Nomadic specialize on trips in the North-Eastern parts of India. We send thousands of people to Noth Sikkim Trp every year. You can get a quotation and free consultancy from us.

In case you love hills, see these great hill stations for an offbeat getaway

In case you want to know about North Sikkim: North Sikkim Tour Plan

If you want us to Plan your Sikkim Trip. Click Here

Few Pointers on Us: Nomadic Weekends
  1. We are retired, corporate people. So, we have taken a lot of stress and we understand what a holiday means to you
  2. We have a team that is travelling on the streets of Darjeeling to find out great stay options
  3. We have ourselves experienced these places and we can guarantee a great stay for you
  4. Unlike others, we are never about dhobi list of options. We are the shortlist by the travellers just like you.
Why Go Nomadic? 
  • Away from super congested tourist places
  • Close to nature
  • Mindblowing locations
  • All modern amenities
  • Perfect Chillout. Guaranteed.

Check out Nomadic Weekends site here for more.

Lava Lolegaon: All Info You Need to Plan Your Trip and Best Places to Stay

Lava Lolegaon: All Info You Need to Plan Your Trip and Best Places to Stay

Lava Lolegaon: The Ethereal Beauty of North Bengal

Lava Lolegaon as a destination fast becoming a preferred choice of the North Bengal bound tourists. Located at an altitude of 2350 metres, Lava is a quaint little hamlet which is located in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal. This sleepy and calm village falls on the trade route of Bhutan and is adorned with pine forests and coniferous trees.

Lava Lolegaon is a piece of heaven surrounded by the cold misty clouds of the mountains. The exotic and rustic Lepcha village folded in the mountains of the Himalayas will leave you smitten by its beauty and charm.

Lava-Loleygaon

Lolegaon is another quaint village which is only 24kms away from Lava. Located at an altitude of 1675 metres, this Lepcha village is known for its scenic beauty. The glorious view of the majestic Kanchenjunga through the misty clouds makes it the perfect place for relaxing and planning your next vacation.

And if you are one of the few lucky ones and the weather permits, then you can even view the snow-clad peak of the Mt. Everest.

Lava Lolegaon Weather Temperature and Best Time to Visit

Lava and Lolegaon, both these villages share a similar kind of climatic conditions. Since both these villages are located at a higher altitude, they experience cool and pleasant temperatures all-round the year. However, the evenings can be chilly and quite cold.

The distinct seasons they experience are summers, monsoons and winter. Though they experience a brief period of the autumn season, it mostly flows into winter and hence this season is not specifically distinct.

The daytime temperatures in Lava and Lolegaon do not show massive variations. It is pleasant during the summer season, cold in winter and experience heavy amount of rainfall during the monsoons.

Lava Lolegaon in Summers

The summers in Lava and Lolegaon last from March to June- the maximum temperature being 25 degrees Celsius and minimum almost ranging from 12-15 degrees Celsius. The sky is crisp and clear during these months and hence this the best time to view the snow-clad peaks of the mighty Himalayan Range.

Tourist visits are the highest during this time of the year. The weather is mild and pleasant and vacationing here during these months will help you escape the scorching summers of the plains.

Lava-Lolegaon-During-Summer

Lava Lolegaon During Summer

Lava Lolegaon in Monsoons

The months of July to August are the time for the monsoon season in this region of West Bengal. Both Lava and Lolegaon experience heavy rainfall during these months which increase the chances of landslides and poor road conditions. The average rainfall recorded here is 2030mm (80 inches).

The temperature during the monsoons varies from 22 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius with an immense amount of moisture in the air. Also, the misty clouds hovering around the mountains will not give you the beautiful view of the snow-clad peaks you are looking for.

Therefore, if you are planning your next trip to Lava and Lolegaon then visiting it during these months is not a very good idea.

Lava Lolegaon in Autumn and Winter

This is the best time to visit Lava and Lolegaon for travellers and adventurers who wish to soak in the abundance of nature. The usual months for this particular season last from September to February. The temperatures during this time can rise up to a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius and drop down to 7 degrees Celsius- sometimes even to sub-zero degrees.

Therefore, it is quite cold and chilly but the skies are clear for a mind-blowing view of the snow-covered peaks, especially the Kanchenjunga and even Mt. Everest.

Autumn is not a distinct season in this part of West Bengal. It usually heterogeneously mixes with the winter season. However, they do experience it for a short span of time which mark the falls.

Kanchenjunga-as-seen-from-Lava-Lolegaon-in-winters

Kanchenjunga as seen from Lava Lolegaon in winters

In conclusion, the best months to visit Lava and Lolegaon are from September to June depending on what you want to experience. The ethereal beauty of the mountains is highest during this time of the year. People who want to beat the hits of the plain prefer the summers.

Tourists who love to see nature at it truest from prefer autumn and winter season. Tourists generally tag in another small city in the region, Rishop during these best times to visit Lava, Lolegaon and Rishop.

Lava Lolegaon: Places to see | Sightseeing Options 

Lava: Places to see

If you are travelling by train, Lava is at a distance of about 105kms from New Jalpaiguri Station and takes around 3 hours by car via Kalimpong district. By air, Lava takes a travel time of about 4 hours from Bagdogra.

Neora Valley National Park

Lava is known as the gateway to the worldwide famous Neora Valley National Park. The main gate or the entrance to the National Park lays only 10kms from the heart of Lava. If you are a nature or a bird lover, then visit the National Park is a must. This park is popular for being home to an exotic variety of flora, fauna and avian-fauna. It is also the home to very rare species Red Pandas.

Kanchenjunga as seen from Lava Lolegaon in winters

Red Panda in Neora Valley National Park

Samthar Plateau

If you are looking to satiate your adventurous mind, then trekking to Samthar Plateau should be on top of your list. The trek starts here from a place called Gompa Dara which is situated very near to Lava. Apart from this particular one, you will find a number of trekking trails through the mighty mountains and dense coniferous forests.

Lava Monastery

The Lava Monastery, originally known as the Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery is situated near the local market. It is one of the oldest monasteries and is adorned with beautiful Tibetan architecture. Once you are inside the monastery, you can feel the serenity and the peace in your bones.

The Lava Monastery is also considered to be a great viewpoint to see the entire village settlement against the vivacious mountains.

Lava-Monastery-Lava-Loleygaon

Lava Monastery

Nature Interpretation Centre of Neora Valley National Park

The Nature Interpretation Centre of the Neora Valley National Park, located in Lava is just a sneak-peak to what you can expect to see inside the National Park. The centre is right at the end of a pathway surrounded by beautiful mountainous vegetation and plantations.

The centre remains open for visitors and tourists on all days, except Thursdays.

Changey Waterfalls

12 km from Lava is the famous Changey Waterfalls. Cut across the narrow boulder roads and reach the base of the waterfall. Take in the ethereal view of the water gushing down from the high mountains and disappearing into the lush green coniferous foliage.

The quiet surrounding with the rushing sound of the water will be no less than melody to your ears. It will calm your soul.

Changey-Falls-Lava-Lolegaon

Changey Falls

Lolegaon: Places to See

Lolegaon, originally known as Kaffer, takes about 4 hours if you are driving down from New Jalpaiguri Station and is about 125kms- the easier route being via Gorubathan. If you are travelling from Lava, it takes only an hour to reach Lolegaon.

Way-to-Lolegaon-through-the-Misty-Pine-Trees-Lava-Lolegaon

Way to Lolegaon through the Misty Pine Trees

Lolegaon Eco-Park

In the heart of the village is flat land which is opposite to the Eco-Park. Surrounding it are few local shops and food stalls where you can do some souvenir shopping or taste the local food of the village. This is a place to be for all nature-lovers.

Heritage Forest

The immense greenery will soothe your eyes and calm your soul. Walking below the canopy of Oak and Cypress trees will be refreshing and rejuvenating.

Heritage-Forest-Lolegaon-Lava-Lolegaon

Heritage Forest Lolegaon

Ralli Valley

The Ralli Valley is a flat land of abundant flora and is the most scenic and beautiful part of Lolegaon.

Lolegaon Canopy Walk

The Canopy Walk is the most popular attraction of Lolegaon. It is a 180 metres long hanging bridge which takes you through the dense forest of the mountains. As you walk down the bridge, you will realize it elevates higher and soon you’ll see yourself walking through tree-tops amidst the dense forest.

The experience of walking through the hanging bridge, amidst the deep forest- the experience is nothing but heavenly.

Canopy-Walk-in-Lolegaon-Lava-Lolegaon

Canopy Walk in Lolegaon

Jhandi Dara Viewpoint

This is a popular viewpoint in Lolegaon from where you can see a panoramic view of the Himalayan Range. On a clear day, you can see the snow-covered peaks of the Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest from here.

Kanchenjunga-as-seen-from-Jhandi-Dara-View-Point-Lava-Lolegaon

Kanchenjunga as seen from Jhandi Dara View Point

Lava Lolegaon Suggested Tour Plans:

If you are planning to visit Lava and Lolegaon for a quick and short vacation, then we have a few tour plans perfectly chalked out for you. We help you with exclusive and detailed attention to how you want your tour to be. We in Nomadic specialize in the location and we can assure you the best tour plans according to your need and budget options.

More about us in the last section of this article.

Tour Plan 1: 3N4D Covering Kalimpong, Lava and Lolegaon 

Day 1: Kalimpong 

Travel to Kalimpong from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri Station. The travel time should take about 4 hours. Keep yourself free for personal activities. You can sightsee around Kalimpong or take rest in your chosen hotel. You can even visit the local market area and interact with the village inhabitants- just to feel the essence of rustic village life. Stay at Kalimpong for the night.

Day 2: Lava 

Leave for Lava after breakfast. From Kalimpong, it takes a couple of hours cutting through the winding mountainous road. A big car like Jeep will be preferable for travelling through these boulder roads. On arrival at Lava, you can visit the Lava Monastery, Changey Waterfalls and the Neora Valley National Park.

You can even take a safari through the National Park and have a great scope of bird and fauna watching. Stay overnight at Lava for a less hectic tour.

Day 3: Lolegaon

Leave for Lolegaon from Lava post breakfast. From Lava, it takes about an hour to reach Lolegaon. Enjoy the adventure through the Canopy Walk, the Heritage Forest and get a breath-taking view of the Kanchenjunga. Laze around for the rest of the day and stay that night in Lolegaon.

Day 4: Back

You can visit the sunrise point early in the morning and then leave from Lolegaon as per your train or flight schedules. Travelling back from Lolegaon takes about 3.5 hours.

Tour Plan 2: 4N5D Covering Lava, Lolegaon and Rishop 

Day 1: Lava 

Travel directly to Lava from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri Station which takes about 4 hours. Once you reach Lava, visit the Lava Monastery and the Changey Waterfalls. Rest of the day you can do local exploration and stay the night in Lava. You can visit the local markets and collect some souvenirs to take back with you.

Day 2: Lava Sightseeing 

Book a jungle safari and explore the Neora Valley, National Park. The jungle safari will be time-consuming, so you can

Lava-Lolegaon-Rishop

Lava-Lolegaon-Rishop

stay back the night at Lava and relax for the rest of the day.

Day 3: Lolegaon 

Leave for Lolegaon, which takes about an hour to reach. Enjoy the thrills of the Eco-Forest, the Canopy Walk and the view of the glistening Mt. Kanchenjunga. Stay back at Lolegaon for the night.

Day 5: Rishop 

Travel to Rishop from Lolegaon by car. It will take you around 2.5 hours. Rishop is famous for its great weather and Kanchenjangha View. Savour your stay in Rishiop in lazy strolls through the beautiful streets of Rishop.

Day 5: Back to NJP or Bagdogra 

After Breakfast in Rishop Hotel, drive back to Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri to catch your flight or train back home. This downhill journey will take you around 3.5 hours.

 

Lava Lolegaon Hotels:

You will find a number of pocket-friendly as well as luxury stays in both Lava, Lolegaon. You can choose to stay in homestays as well in case you want a rustic and local feel of the village region. However, they provide you with all basic amenities since both Lava and Lolegaon have now become two popular tourist spots of North Bengal.

Most of these stays (whether homestays or hotels) are located in beautiful surroundings, close to nature. There are certain resorts which do provide well internet connectivity as well. However, access to internet connectivity in those higher altitudes can be an issue.

There are usually not many options for food in budget-friendly hotels. Chines and Indian cuisine is what you’ll get access to easily.  Nonetheless, some grandeur resorts do serve a variety of cuisines as per your choice.

You will also find hotels and stays in the central parts of these villages. In case you want to stay in the heart of these villages. Such stays usually have a wonderful view from the rooms which are on the backside of the establishment. In case, you are travelling in large groups, and wish to stay together, there are provisions for dormitories as well.

No matter wherever you choose to stay- near to the locality or away from it- there are a number of options available for you.

Nomadic Chosen Accommodations in Lava Lolegaon

If you want complete privacy, away from the conundrum, there are provisions of cottages for you too.

We at Nomadic Weekends provide you with customised itineraries and tour plans according to your needs and requirements.  We are travellers just like you and therefore our shortlists or tour plans are not too extravagant and hectic- just like you want it.

 

You can click on the links below to know the places in much greater details. 

 

Lolegaon Nature Resort

Probably the most luxury accommodation at a value price in Lolegaon. Great reviews.

Lolegaon-Nomadic

Lolegaon Valley Retreat

Best Homestay in Lolegaon. Not to be missed.

Lava Tea Estate

Lavish tea estate stay in Lava, Once in a lifetime experience.

Lava-Lolegaon

Tea Estate Lava

Click Here to Customize Your Lava and Lolegaon Trip with us for Free
Few Pointers on Us: Nomadic Weekends
  1. We are retired, corporate people. So, we have taken a lot of stress and we understand what a holiday means to you
  2. We have a team that is travelling on the streets of Darjeeling to find out great stay options
  3. We have ourselves experienced these places and we can guarantee a great stay for you
  4. Unlike others, we are never about dhobi list of options. We are the shortlist by the travellers just like you.
Why Go Nomadic? 
  • Away from super congested tourist places
  • Close to nature
  • Mindblowing locations
  • All modern amenities
  • Perfect Chillout. Guaranteed.

Check out Nomadic Weekends site here for more.

In case you love hills, see these great Hill Stations Near Kolkata for An Offbeat Getaway
Dooars: All Info, Suggested Tour Itineraries and Best Places to Stay

Dooars: All Info, Suggested Tour Itineraries and Best Places to Stay

Dooars as A Tourism Destination

The Dooars is situated at the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya mountain range. It is a magnificent region full of green hills and valley, jungle, rivers and tea plantations. The origin of the name comes from the Bengali word “Duar” which means door or gateway.

This vast region acts as a doorway to major Himalayan Wildlife habitats. It also functions as the gateway to the hills in India and Bhutan. It is the home of many exotic species and rich in the exquisite natural beauty. Major rivers like Teesta, Jaldhaka, Murti, Torsa etc. flow through this nitrate-rich valley.

The three “T”- Tourism, Tea and Timber plays the role of most important economic factors in this area. The winter is chilly and the summer weather is pleasing. When the weather is clear, blue sky and green jungle welcome you to this piece of paradise in North Bengal.

Dooars

Different Parts and Places of Dooars:

Dooars is a region full of diversity. With its huge area, the landscape, weather and beauty changes frequently from one place to the other. Tourists flock to this region to enjoy the beauty of the hills, rivers and forests. Winter temperature falls rapidly here, and the summer is soothing.

The rain is abundant; the trees grow to their full potential and length, forming a canopy. The good condition of the roads makes it one of the best monsoon destination in the state too. The ecstatic beauty of the eye-soothing verdure forest and the sweet song of the birds will provide you with the inner peace and calmness you seek after a tiring urban life.

Dooars tourism highlights and takes pride in the majestic mountains, various flora and fauna, tea gardens, perennial and lively springs, sandy river shores and the wide patches of grassland. There are several colonial-era heritage buildings in this area, especially near the tea-gardens.

Located in the prime spots, they provide an enchanting view over the surrounding area of gardens, hills and river bed. If you are driven by wanderlust, Dooars is a must-visit place for you.

After a day of visiting the major sightseeing points, relax under the starry sky in front of a bonfire, or watch the sunrise from the balcony of your room with a cup of tea in your hand- Dooars offers you numerous choices.

You can go to the tourist-favourite places, or explore the less-crowded options, which are unspoilt and nature is in their full glory.

Dooars-Map

Dooars Map

Dooars Wildlife

If your passion is to explore wildlife and take the pictures in their natural habitat, Dooars forests are the perfect place for you. There are many places of interest in Dooars to visit for enjoying the wild beauty. The major forest areas in this region are Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park, and Buxa tiger reserve.

These places are rich in wildlife.

You can easily find the mighty rhino and elephants in here when you take part in the salaries. The jeep safaris are faster, and the elephant safari can take you close to the wild animals. The other common animal and birds include deer, python, turtle, peacocks, Drongo, Indian pied hornbill, etc.

There are several watch-towers placed inside the forest core area. You can watch wildlife without disturbing them from there. You would need prior permission from the forest department for this experience though. Coupled with the salt pits, these places offer a great chance to see the herds of the majestic animals.

If you prefer seclusion and beauty, tourism in Jayanti forest and hill area will be the perfect choice for you. Part of Buxa tiger reserve, the place with the view of Bhutan hills and the beautiful stream, is famous as the “Queen of the Dooars.”

Sight-seeing options in Dooars:

There are many beautiful places to visit in Dooars, and it would take over a month if you plan to hit all the tourist spots of Dooars in a stretch. We are listing the major places for sightseeing in Dooars below and attaching a map for a better idea of the place:

Lataguri and Gorumara

It is one of the major and most crowded tourist-spot. Lataguri is the gateway into Gorumara National park, famous for the rhino and elephant population. Another entry point in the national park is Murti, which is less crowded but rich in natural beauty.

Gorumara-National-Park-Lataguri

Gorumara National Park, Lataguri

Jaldapara and Madarihat

Jaldapara is another national park in this area with a vast grassland and riverside forests. Besides the Rhino and Elephant, it is famous for several threatened faunal species. You can find birds like Bengal Florican, Crested Eagle, Fishing Eagle, Pied hornbill etc. in here. Madarihat is a small town and the entry point to this national park.

Elephant-Safari-at-Jaldapara-National-Park

Elephant Safari at Jaldapara National Park

You can also visit the nearby Chilapata forest. Here, the major attraction includes the ruin of an ancient castle, famous as “NalrajaGarh”. If you are lucky, you will see Indian Bisons and leopards in this region.

Samsing:

Samsing is a small hilly village on the way to Suntale Khola. Both these places are ideal for nature lovers, with a slow uphill ride, and picturesque tea gardens on both sides of the way.

Samsing-Tea-Garden-Dooars

Samsing Tea Garden Dooars

Buxa Tiger Reserve and National Park

This place is at the north-east corner of West Bengal, at the Indo-Bhutan Border. Buxa was declared a tiger reserve in 1983, and national park in 1992. It has the second highest tiger population in West Bengal after Sundarbans. The place is also famous for the endangered flora and fauna, and the medicinal plants.

Buxa-Tiger-Reserve

Buxa Tiger Reserve

Sisamara

On the bank of river Shisamara, it is a tranquil place in the Jaldapara National park area. It is perfect for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The place is away from the noise and pollution of city life, and it offers a chance to see rhinos from close proximity too.

Sisamara-River-Right-beside-Jaldapara-National-Park

Sisamara River, Right beside Jaldapara National Park

Chapramari

It is an extension of Gorumara National park, separated by Murti River. It is one of the oldest reserve areas in this region due to the floral and faunal diversity. You can go for Jeep Safari here, that takes you to the watchtower

Chapramari-Wildlife-Sanctuary-Entrance

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary Entrance

Jayanti

It is one of the major destinations in the Dooars area. Here, river Jayanti creates a border between Bhutan hills and West Bengal. There are several amazing trekking trails with a quaint view. It is crowned as the “Queen of Dooars for its beautiful hill and river view.

Jayanti-River-in-Monsoon

Jayanti River in Monsoon

Gajaldoba

This is a new and upcoming destination in Dooars area. On the west side of the Teesta River, the place and the dam was already a destination for the migratory birds. The barrage and the surrounding area is home to many birds and animals. In the near future, the area is expected to become one of the high-end tourist destinations of North Bengal, with the development of infrastructure.

Teesta-Barrage-Gajoldoba

Teesta Barrage, Gajoldoba

 

Dooars Weather and Temperature

Weather and temperature across the year in Dooars:

The weather in Dooars is pleasant throughout the year. In summer the temperature does not go above 26°C, which is relatively less than the surrounding areas. In winter, it goes down to 2-3°C but does not touch the freezing point in general.

As the place is at the mountain foothills, it experiences longer monsoon though.  For these favourable weather condition, the forest canopy grows very fast and the hills often stay green.

In the table below, we can get a basic idea of the temperature throughout the year

Dooars-weather-and-temperature

Dooars Weather and Temperature Chart

Winter

From the month of October to February, it is winter in the Dooars. The temperature goes down gradually and when the sun comes out- the weather becomes pleasant.

Chapramari-Wildlife-Sanctuary-Dooars-in-Foggy-Winter-Morning

Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary Dooars in Foggy Winter Morning

With the progress of winter, the mercury may drop near the freezing point, but snow is very uncommon in this area. Generally, the temperature hovers around 5 – 20°C. This pleasant weather is the perfect time for local festivals like the Teesta Tea and Tourism Festival between November and December.

Monsoon

The season begins in June with sporadic rains, but July is the true beginning of the monsoon season in here. It lasts till September, sometimes early October.

Samsing-Dooars-in-Monsoon

Samsing Dooars in Monsoon

The average rainfall here varies between 35 – 50 cm. Between July and August, it rains cats and dogs in this region. The rivers run beyond capacity and the barrages often overload. This time of the year is the breeding season of the animals, so most of the sanctuaries remain closed between mid-June and mid-September.

Summer

The season begins in March and continues until early June. The temperature ranges from 20 to 35°C. The morning and evening are very pleasant, but the noon and early afternoon hours face scorching heat, especially near the sandy riverbeds.

Tea-Garden-in-Dooars-in-Summer-Morning

Tea Garden in Dooars in Summer Morning

The grassland withers, the rise in the heat and humidity level become uncomfortable for the tourists. This season has a relatively better chance of wildlife sighting owing to a less amount of greenery.

Best Time to Visit Dooars

The best time to visit Dooars is in the winter seasons. This time the weather is pleasant and perfect for enjoying the jungle safaris. As monsoon just ends, the rain transforms the forest into a green paradise and the rivers run full to the brim. The weather remains pleasantly cool during the day and cold in the night. Therefore travellers consider winter to be the best time to explore the sanctuaries and enjoy the jungle safaris.

Dooars-in-Misty-Winter

Dooars in Misty Winter

How to Reach Dooars

The monsoon is not the most favourite time for general tourists. However, for the romantic, off-beat travellers and the adrenaline-freaks, it is a great time to come and experience the rain-soaked forest life. The roads are in comparatively good condition which makes it a major monsoon travel destination in West Bengal.

Except for the peak season, summer is a good time to visit and enjoy the beauty too, if you are ready to brave the heat and humidity in the noon.

Railway-through-Dooars-Region

Railway through Dooars Region

Dooars is basically a vast spread of forest and greenery at the foothill of the mountain, with major points of interest like Gorumara and Jaldapara National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Samsing, Jayanti etc. Kolkata, the city of joy, the queen of hills, is well connected to Dooars by road and railways.

The major routes are as follows:

Kolkata to Dooars Via Train

The biggest and well-connected rail station in this area is New Jalpaiguri Jn. You can hire cars to reach almost all the major points from here. However, there are other rail stations for specific destinations i.e. New Mal Jn. (For Gorumara, Malbazar, Murti), Hasimara (Jaldapara) etc.

Kolkata-to-Dooars-Train-Table

Kolkata to Dooars Train Table

Kolkata to Dooars through Road:

You can easily board a bus from Esplanade bus depot in Kolkata to reach Siliguri. From there you can book a car or share a taxi to reach Dooars.

There is a bus service between NJP station and Coochbehar that goes through various locations in Dooars.

The bus leaves NJP at 8:30 am, takes Sevoke road to go through Mongpong forest area reaching Malbazar at 10:30 am, Gorumara Jungle Camp near Murti area at 11:15 am, Lataguri at 11:40 am, Jaldapara at 2:20 pm, Hasimara at 3.05pm and Rajabhatkhawa (near Buxa) at 4 pm.

On-the-way-to-Gorumara-National-Park-Dooars

On the way to Gorumara National Park Dooars

If you want to drive from Kolkata in your own car and want to enjoy the amazing road journey, you may go by three major routes, by NH-12 or NH-19.

The 1st Route has less traffic as it runs through the Gajaldoba forest area and it is quite scenic. You can get a glimpse of wildlife in the early morning and late afternoon. The second road is through Sevoke road, and it meets the 1st route near Odlabari, passing through Malbazar and Chalsa after that.

The 3rd route passes through Jalpaiguri to Gorumara National Park at Lataguri, then goes north to Murti. This road is not quite popular but there are some bus services on this route.

Kolkata to Dooars through Air:

There is no airport in proper Dooars. The nearest airport is in Bagdogra (Airport code: IXB). From there it takes around 3 hours to reach Jaldapara (134 km) and 2 hours to reach Gorumara (75km), by prepaid reserve taxi.

There are a number of flights in this airport, with the average fare ranges between INR 2,665 to INR 3,515 per person.

A direct flight takes around 1 hour 25 minutes to reach. For an approximate idea of the fare and timing, the important flight details are given below, after 3 months from the date of booking.

Kolkata-to-Dooars-Flight-Timings

Kolkata to Dooars Flight Timings

Hotels in Dooars

Dooars is one of the most popular and diverse tourist destinations in West Bengal and North-East India. In all the major tourist spots, there are several staying options which vary as per the budget and choice of the traveller.

However, owing to the crowd rush in the tourist season, most of them stay full months in advance.

Some properties are well-placed near the jungle or tea-estate, with a good view over the nearby forest or tea estates. There are various other options in the nearby towns. These properties do not offer a good view, but they are inside the budget segment.

Often these hotels are in the regions near the ticket booking area for the jungle safari.

So, when you are selecting a Dooars hotel, you need to fix your goals and search for the perfect location that matches your criteria.

The Best Dooars Hotel and Resorts Options with Nomadic Weekends:

We have been operating and searching for the best properties in the Dooars region for a long time. For the past few years, we have carefully selected the resorts and hotels in Dooars, in all the budget segments.

All of our properties are in nice and calm locations with a good view, or in great locations from where the major attractions are nearby.

Our locations match the exact criteria of the travellers coming to Dooars, from all the sectors.

If you love the river, our luxurious resort near South Dhoopjora is perfect for you. With all the modern facilities, big rooms and a balcony with a great view of the surrounding area, this place is great for relaxing. If you aim for the jungle safari in Gorumara, you will like our Lataguri hotel.

River Retreat Dooars

 

It is well-connected to all the nearby regions and located near the ticket booking counter of the jeep safari area.

The luxurious ambience, swimming pool and room availability throughout the year make this one a good stay option. There is another property in Lataguri, a resort in the midst of deep forest and paddy field. The wooden rooms and the watchtower are major attractions here.

Our Jaldapara hotel is located in Madarihaat, at the outer rim of the national park. The wooden rooms, delicious food, well-maintained garden and swimming pool are the major plus points, also this is at a walking distance from the national park entry gate.

We have selected some options which are not too mainstream also. There is a cosy property located near the Murti River. You can take part in activities like fishing, visiting a tribal village, camping, trekking etc.

Appu Tea Estate, Near Gorumara

If you prefer a rustic environment, you will love the stay in the Appu Tea Estate. Here, you will find the beautiful Himalayan range with the Dooars forest background.

On the bank of the river Sisamara in the Jaldapara forest range, you can stay in the log hut in a tranquil environment. Here, you can see the animals coming to drink water in the early morning or late afternoon, from your room.

Sisamara Wild Hut, Dooars

Thus, when you are travelling with Nomadic, you will get a huge variety of options tailored to your preference. We choose the best place that will suit your plan and make the memory of the trip last for a lifetime.

 

Other Staying Options in Dooars

Retreat Lataguri

Reserve Gorumara

Hotel Dreamland Lataguri

Fagu Tea Estate

Jaldapara Forest Resort

Dooars Tour Plan: Suggested Itineraries 

The Different Ways to See Dooars:

Dooars is a diverse region, full of various natural attractions. The verdure forest, green hills and valley, snow-capped mountains and mighty rivers- all are the major components of the natural beauty in here. Depending on the goal of the visitor, the tour plans and itineraries change accordingly.

There are several routes to enter the Dooars. If you plan to visit the National parks like Gorumara, Jaldapara or Buxa Tiger reserve, you will need to take a specific route.

If you plan to visit the Teesta River and all the other river valleys, you will need a different kind of tour plan.

You can go by the major rail station New Jalpaiguri, or New Mal Jn. or Hasimara as per the major destination. Gajaldoba is a newly opened, protected forest area in Dooars.

It lies very close to New Jalpaiguri Junction. The Samsing hills are enchanting. The path to this location lies through majestic tea plantation areas.

If you plan on visiting the beautiful Bhutan hills bordered by Jayanti River, you will need to get down at Alipurduar. For those who are interested in history and archaeology, you can see the remains of a broken fort, the “Nal Raja Garh” in the Chilapata Forest. So, we can conclude that Dooars is a vast area, and we need different tour plans to cover the major spots in here.

A Suggestion of Itineraries to Visit Dooars:

Here, we are going to discuss a number of suggested itineraries for visiting the Dooars, depending on the major destination, which is as follows:

Dooars Tour Plan 1: Real Taste of Dooars


Covering Murti, Gorumara, Chapramari, Samsing, Sonthalikhola, Jhalong, Bindu

Day 1:

Reach Bagdogra by flight. Transfer from Bagdogra to Murti by Gajaldoba. Night stay at Murti (Gorumara National Park). Book the morning safari for the next day here. Go and see Rangamati Tea Garden which is 30 minutes from here, in the late afternoon.

Day 2:

Take the early morning safari in the Gorumara National Park. After lunch, start for Jhalong and Bindu, on Jaldhaka river. See the hydro-electric power project on the river, and return. Book the jeep safari in Chapramari the next morning. Rest for the night.

Day 3:

Enjoy the early morning jeep safari in Chapramari. Travel to Lataguri by car and book the safari to Rhino point and Jatraprasad watchtower. Enjoy the afternoon safari.

Day 4:

Start for Samsing and Suntalekhola after breakfast. Visit these two places and have lunch on the way. Come to New Mal Jn. to take a train to return home.

You can stay in these Hotels if you go along with this itinerary

Click Here to Customize Your Dooars Tour with us for Free

 

Click on the Image or Link below to explore More.

Murti Forest Resort

Best Place to stay in the banks of the beautiful Murti river in Dooars.

Jaldhaka Farm Stay – Rongo

Quaint hilly village staying like the locals.

Dooars Tour Plan 2: Dooars Wildlife Tour

Covering Jaldapara, Gorumara, Sisamara, Lataguri

Day 1:

Reach New Jalpaiguri, and take a car to reach Lataguri. Stay for the night and book the elephant safari at Gorumara National Park for the morning.

Day 2:

Enjoy the early morning elephant safari. Book and enjoy the jeep safari in the afternoon.

Day 3:

After breakfast, avail the jeep safari to Chapramari forest area and by afternoon reach Sisamara.

Day 4:

Take an early morning safari in the Jaldapara National Park. After breakfast, start for New Alipurduar or New Mal Junction. to take the train to return.

You can stay in these Hotels if you go along with this itinerary

 

Click Here to Customize Your Dooars Tour with us for Free

Click on the Image or Link below to explore More.

Wildlife Resort Dooars

One of the best place to base yourself to see Dooars wildlife.

Sisamara Wild Hut

Only watch tower lodging in Dooars. Frequent wildlife spotting happens from this watch tower hotel.

Dooars Tour Plan 3: Untrodden Dooars 

Covering Rasikbil, Jayanti, Buxa, Chilapata

Day 1

Arrive at New Jalpaiguri Jn. or Bagdogra airport or Alipurduar Jn. Take a car to get to Rajabhatkhawa/Jayanti and stay for the night. On the way, visit Rasikbill if you can manage time.

Day 2

Take the early morning safari in Buxa tiger reserve. After it, visit Pukhuri Hills by trekking. Visit the Bhutan border town, Phuentsholling, 30 km away from here.

Day 3

After breakfast, proceed to Chilapata Jungle Camp and stay for the night.

Day 4

After breakfast, set out to New Jalpaiguri Jn. / Bagdogra airport. On the way, visit Chilapata forest.

You can stay in these Hotels if you go along with this itinerary

Click Here to Customize Your Dooars Tour with us for Free

Jayanti Jungle View Home Stay

Without a doubt the best accommodation in Jayanti.

Chilapata Jungle Camp

A homely place to stay in Chilapata.

Chilapata-Jungle-Camp

Chilapata Jungle Camp

All of the above-mentioned plans are basic suggestions for covering as much place as possible in a few days. We can customise the packages according to the need of the travellers i.e. if you need to relax, we can add days to the list, or change it as per your wish if the vacancy is available.

Dooars travelling is a magical experience, and travelling with us makes it completely hassle-free. So, what are you waiting for? Start packing, the beautiful Dooars is calling you.

Click Here to Customize Your Dooars Tour with us for Free

Few Pointers on Us: Nomadic Weekends
  1. We are retired, corporate people. So, we have taken a lot of stress and we understand what a holiday means to you
  2. We have a team that is travelling on the streets of Darjeeling to find out great stay options
  3. We have ourselves experienced these places and we can guarantee a great stay for you
  4. Unlike others, we are never about dhobi list of options. We are the shortlist by the travellers just like you.
Why Go Nomadic? 
  • Away from super congested tourist places
  • Close to nature
  • Mindblowing locations
  • All modern amenities
  • Perfect Chillout. Guaranteed.

Check out Nomadic Weekends site here for more.

In case you love hills, see these great Hill Stations Near Kolkata for An Offbeat Getaway