A mirror of magnificent natural beauty covered with forests and Cinchona Plantation, that’s Latpanchar. This place is the highest point in the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary with excellent views of Teesta River, deep gorges and greenery all around. The place is not troubled by pollution and damaged by human activities. The dark, deep forest makes the place more mysterious. The fragrance of the flowers fills the air all the time. The major attractions here are treks through Mahananda WLS, visit to sunrise point just 3 kms away and discovering the natural habitat of the endangered Himalayan Salamander.
Places to see at Latpanchar: Among the many villages covered with lush and luxurious greenery Latkothi, Namthing Pokhri, Mana Hills, Ahal View Point is worth a visit. Latkothi that was once a British residence is now a Forest Department bungalow. The house is surrounded by the vast stretch of Cinchona plantation that the British set up in 1920. The old bungalow is no more and it has been replaced by a new bungalow.
Places to see at Latpanchar: Among the many villages covered with lush and luxurious greenery Latkothi, Namthing Pokhri, Mana Hills, Ahal View Point is worth a visit. Latkothi which is now a Forest Department bungalow is surrounded by the vast stretch of Cinchona plantation that the British set up in 1920. The old bungalow is no more and it has been replaced by a new bungalow.
The way to the cinchona field is lined with sal, pine and teak trees. The way is suitable for a gentle morning walk. The surrounding remains sonorous with the chirp of birds at daybreak. Namthing Pokhri, which is a small lake, is one of the last natural habitats of the famous Himalayan Salamanders and if you are lucky enough you can catch a glimpse of this endangered animal. There is a 150-year old Buddhist monastery near this Pokhri and a view point which has excellent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha.
There is a Lord Shiva temple at the peak of Raja Rani Hill. Locals visit the temple to offer flowers at the obedience of the Lord. Ahal View Point that is locally called Sansaridara View Point is an obsession of Latpanchar with tourists. On a sunny day, from Ahal you can drink to the gripping glimpse of Mt.Kanchenjunga, Dooars, Terai plains and the Teesta River.
Nearby Attractions of Latpanchar: At Mongpoo, you would find the famous house of Rabindranath Tagore just 35 kms via Sitong and 45 kms via Rambhi. Sitong is another nearby village of Latpanchar, which is famous for its orange orchards and natural extravaganza. You can continue further to Chatakpur near Sonada and further to Kurseong. After coming down to Sevoke, you can visit another nice destination called Mongpo.
Things to do at Latpanchar: A track through pine forests and Cinchona Plantation leads to a lake, Namthing Pokhri that is the natural abode of Himalayan Salamanders. Guests can take an early morning car ride to this lake just 3 kms away and visit the view point to catch a stunning sunrise and Mt.Kanchenjungha. Bird watching and jungle trekking is the most favourite activity at Latpanchar and nearby Mana Hills is a favourite retreat of the bird lovers. The entire region teems with swallow, swift, thrush, sunbird and babbler. Mahaldiram Tea Estate is a fascination with adventure-loving tourists. As Latpanchar is within the Mahananda WLS, so wildlife is also abundant – squirrels, deer and even elephants can be viewed occasionally around Latpanchar.
Best time to visit Latpanchor: The suitable time to visit Latpanchor is between October and April. During this time, Latpanchar remains free from bad weather.
How to go ?
Latpanchar is 41 kilometers from the heart of Siliguri. It is located at the height of 4,500 ft from sea level. It is at a distance of 13 kilometers from Kalijhora. There is no bus service on the route to Latpanchar. However, car service to the place is available in Siliguri. The nearest railhead of Latpanchar is New Jalpaiguri. You have to take NH 31A and reach Sevoke just 22 km away. From Sevoke, you have to reach Kalijhora 5 km away and then take left turn by leaving NH 31A. After driving for next 13 km you will reach Latpanchar.
Where to stay ?
The forest rest house has two nice rooms with basic amenities. It is located where the road ends and surrounded by dense forest. You can make the bookings through West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC, 6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th – Floor, Kolkata-700013; Phone: 033-2237 0060/ 2237 0061/ 2225-8549). Website: www.wbfdc.com Another option is Cinchonest Home Stay run by Padam Gurung. The two storey building has three basic rooms upstairs. No TV or other luxury amenities but the attached toilets are of European style. They provide hot water in the bathrooms. The view of sunrise from the balcony is something to be cherished. The ladies run the kitchen and prepare nice & simple food (both veggie and non veg … a typical meal would be rice, daal, sabji, papad and chicken / fish or eggs). They take personal care and will chat with you as you dine and make you feel at home. They also offer all help and information about the area including birding and animal life. Phone no: +91-9475959974
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know. [AdSense-C]