Posts

Tabo

Tabo, Himachal Pradesh – This ‘Himalayan Ajanta’ can be the eighth wonder of the world for the spectacular natural sculptures created by the eroded rocks

[AdSense-A]

About 46 Kms from Kaza, Tabo is an ancient village located beside spiti river on its left bank.  Located at an altitude of 3050km, this small town falls under the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Tabo is famous for its monastery known as the Chogshkhor (doctrinal circle ) .  The place is distinctive for being the largest monastic complex under Spiti. Tabo also houses some exquisite frescoes and stucco sculptures bearing a striking likeliness with the murals and sculpture of the Ajanta caves. It is for this reason that Tabo is also named as the ‘Himalayan Ajanta. These beautiful paintings are the creations of the Kashmiri painters depicting the scenes of the Jataka stories. Tabo is declared a heritage site by the UNESCO.

Places to see in Tabo: Renowned for the Tabo monastery there are a number of sight seeing spots in Tabo. These include:

Tabo Monastery

The Monastery was established by great scholar Richen Zangpo in 996 AD.  This is the most popular attraction in Tabo. Tourists from all parts of India and abroad come make a visit in this sacred spot. The site is highly revered pilgrimage for the Buddhists. Actually the religious centre was founded with the intention of starting an institute of advanced learning. In 11th and 20th centuries the site witnessed a remarkable success in the Tibetan art. This Monastery is among the oldest and working monasteries of the Himalayan Ranges. The monastery’s wall is decorated with beautiful paintings, murals, ancient texts and also some valuable inscriptions.

The Bodhisattva Maitreya Temple

This temple is also named as the Byams-Pa Chen-po Lha-khang. The whole complex is divided into a hall, vestibule and sanctum. The shrine consists of the image of the Bodhisattva Maitreya which has a height of more than six meters high. The countless murals within the temple, showcase the monastery of Tashi-Chunpo and Lhasa’s Potala palace.

The Golden Temple (GSer -Khang)

It is believed that this temple is made using pure gold. The shrine was renovated by Senge Namgyal, ruler of Ladakh in 16th century. The walls and ceiling of the temple are covered with some exquisite murals.

The Temple of Dromton (Brom-ston Lha-khang)

The temple is located on the northern edge of the complex and was founded by Dromton (1008-1064 AD), a devoted disciple of Atisha. The construction has intricately carved doorways with the inner walls covered by murals.

The Mystic Mandala Temple or Initiation Temple (dKyil-hKhor-khang)

The Mystic Mandala Temple also known as the Initiation Temple or the dKyil-hKhor-khang temple is decorated with a massive painting of Vairocana, the spiritual son of Adibuddha surrounded by the eight Bodhisattvas. This place is marked for the initiation of the monk hood.

The Mahakala Vajra-bhairava Temple (Gon-Khang)

The temple houses numerous protective deities of the Geluk-pa sect. Fierce deities crowd the room and the visitors are advised to enter the temple after protective meditation. This temple is also called ‘the temple of horror’ besides the name of Gon-Khang.

The Chamber of Picture Treasures

Also known as Z’al-ma, this art gallery is attached to ‘the temple of enlightened gods’ and embellished by the unique Tibetian style paintings.

The Temple of the Enlightened Gods or Tsug Lha-khang temple

The assembly hall, it forms the core of the complex. A four-fold figure of the Vairocana, one of the five spiritual sons of Adibuddha or the primordial Buddha, is placed at the centre.  The length of the statue is 2 meters rotating the Dharma-chakra (the wheel of law).  The walls are decorated with the life size stucco images known as the Vajradhatu Mandal. Five Bodhisattvas  or enlightenment beings sitting within the sanctum is placed just behind the assembly hall. The artists are hired from Kashmir for making these beautiful temples.

Nearby attractions from Tabo: Lahaul Valley is a sub division of the Lahaul Spiti district. This is quite different from the Spiti. Lahaul is greener and well developed than Spiti. Located at an altitude of 2745m from the sea level,  one can reach Lahaul after crossing the gateway  Rohatang Pass. Lahaul is marked by a huge mass of uniformly high mountains and huge glaciers at the centre. The two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga rising on the either side of the Baralacha La, flow through the narrow Chandra and Bhaga valleys. This is land of fascinating Buddhist art and culture.

Things to do at Tabo: Declared a heritage site, explore the marvellous natural sculptures created by the eroding stones. Do visit the magnificent Tabo monastery, which is the main attraction of Tabo. The other temples located in side the complex is also worth a visit.

Best time to visit Tabo: The best time to visit Tabo Monastery and Spiti is from May to October.

How to go ?

By Air

Flights are the most easy way to travel to the town of Tabo. The nearest airport is Kullu. The airport at Kullu lies at a distance 294 kilometres from Tabo, and travelling from the airport to Tabo will take around nine hours. Taxis will be available from Kullu Airport to Tabo.

By Train

Trains can be taken to the nearest railway station at Kalka, which is located at a distance of 452 kilometres away from Tabo. From here you can hire taxis to reach Tabo.

By Road

It is a 115 km journey from Manali which takes six hours. Another option is to take bus from Shimla via Kinnaur to Kaza. The route from Shimla to Kaza remains open from May to October and is about 412 km long. Buses and taxis are available from Kaza to reach Tabo.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

You will find a number of hotels and nice homestays at Tabo.  Some options are:

Tow Dhey Himalaya Hotel & Restaurant Tabo:  +91-94182-71129, 94185-37574  Website: www.hoteltabo.com
Millenium Monastery:
+91-01906-223315
Dewachen Retreat:
+9101906- 223318, 9459566689  Website: www.dewachenretreats.com

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]

in Kinnaur district

Nako, Himachal Pradesh – This is a fairyland in Kinnaur district named after the picturesque Nako lake

[AdSense-A]

Located along the Tibet border, at an altitude of 2950 m, Nako is a small hamlet in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is an important pilgrimage of the Buddhists. The place shares its name with the lake which is also named as Nako. This picturesque lake forms the boundary of the village. As per the popular belief, the site is the heavenly realm of fairies. You will prominently find the footprints of these fairies in the nearby caves. This picturesque location consists of the green paddy fields and the houses are traditional mud houses.

Places to see at Nako: The sightseeing destinations at Nako mainly include:

Nako Monastery

The monastery stands at the western edge of this little village. The simple outside appearance will surprise you completely with its contrasting intricate sculptures inside. There are total four temples of which the two temples are of prime importance here, the Main temple and the Upper temple. These two temples are considered the oldest of the structures, still preserving their original clay sculptures, murals and ceiling panels. The main and the largest temple temple is also known as the Translator’s Temple. This is the oldest monument in the village too. The third structure in the monastery is the Small White temple, though almost broken, is worth a visit for its wonderful wooden door-frame depicting the different scenes of the Life of the Buddha carved over it. The fourth structure is almost of the equal size of the Upper Temple and is situated beside. The temple is today known as the Temple of Wide Proportions.

Nako lake

An oval shaped lake, Nako lake is encircled with mountains, valley and whitewashed village thus making it a picturesque spot. The tourists can enjoy boating in the summer season here along-with the marvellous scenic beauty. In winter this frozen lake makes an ideal base for ice skating.

Things to do in Nako: Just unwind yourself completely and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Best time to visit Nako: The best time to visit Nako is from April to October, at this time its scenic beauty is at its height.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is at Shimla. Shimla airport is connected to Delhi and Kullu. Taxis are easily available from Shimla to Nako.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is also Shimla and it is around 283 km from Nako. Taxis are available from here to Nako.

By Road

Daily buses and regular taxi services are available from Shimla and Rampur to Nako. You can also reach Nako from Lahaul and Spiti.  Malling Nullah near Nako on the route is landslide prone.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are very few accommodation options at Nako. Some of these are:

Kinner Camps: +91-09805841273  Website: www.kinnercamps.com
Amar Home Stay: +91-094186-23453, 01785-236080
Lake View Home Stay:  094187-59493, 01785-236041

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]

Solophok

Solophok, Sikkim – Offering the spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha

[AdSense-A]

Solophok in Sikkim is one of the upcoming tourist destinations offering the spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. The beautiful temple town of Chardham and the wonderful Tarey Bhir, a 10,000 feet long cliff dropping 3500 feet from the abyss makes the destination a complete tourist spot. Visit some of the most imposing monasteries like Samdruptse and Ngadak monastery, most beautiful waterfalls like Tirikhola Dancing falls and one of the most bio-diversified regions of Tendong Hills. Solophok, located near to Namchi is nearby all attractions yet far from the crowd.

Places to see at Solophok: Chardham in Solophok is believed to be one of the most sacred destinations of Sikkim. The 108 feet statue of Lord Shiva in Chardham is encircled by a girdle of twelve Jyotirlingams and a replica of the Chardham, which is Jagannath, Dwarka, Rameshawaram and Badrinath Dham.

The Ngadak monastery – one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim is also located nearby. Another great attraction is the 135 feet high statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Samdruptse Monastery. The Samdruptse hilltop offers a view of Namchi Town, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kanchenjungha and eastern part of Nepal.

Nearby attractions of Solophok: Solophok is very near to one of the Geological wonders of the world – Taray Bhir. It is a 10,000 feet long ridge with a sheer drop of 3,500 feet with a breathtaking View Point at the edge from where one can behold Sikkim’s beautiful river valleys and forests. One can see the panoramic confluence of the Teesta and Rangeet River from here too. There is also a beautiful Rock Garden situated at the base of the Samdruptse Hills with magnificent views of Kanchenjungha. Temi Tea Garden – the only tea estate in Sikkim is only 21 km from Solophok.

On the way to Temi Tea Garden you can visit the Tendong Biodiversity Park to have an access to the myriads of medical plants conserved beautifully by the State Forest Department. The cascading waters of Tirikhola Dancing Falls located just 40 minutes from Solophok looks like the hair of a maiden from June to September. You can also visit Assangthang just 9 kms from Solophok to visit the beautiful Shiridi Sai Temple. However, the most exciting thing to do while in Solophok is to walk along the Taray Bhir. Other nearby attractions include Ravangla, Rayong Sunrise View Point, Mainam Hill, Ravikhola Cave, Sharchogbeyphog Cave and Phur Tsa Chu hotsprings.

Things to do at Solophok: Trek along the steep footpath with about 300 steps through the hamlet of Kholaghari to a long and dark cave adjacent to an old temple. There is also a tranquil spot just 5 km uphill from Namthang Bazaar (29 kms from Solophok) surrounded by virgin forest and at an altitude of 5800 feet called Nagi. Recently, this has turned out to be a perfect spot for meditation. You can also organise a picnic at Rukumtar located at the base of Tendong Hill where 70 species of birds are found singing in and around. You can also visit Tharpu Painting Village just 4 km from Solophok. You can visit the village and get the idea of history, culture and traditions of Sikkim through the beautiful paintings and creations of the local artists.

Best time to visit Solophok: You can visit Solophok any time of the year. The peaks of Kanchenjungha and its allies can be best viewed from March to May and September to January. The flowers in Solophok’s surroundings bloom after the monsoons. Attractions like Chardham, Samdruptse and other monasteries celebrate various festivals throughout the year.

How to go ?

Solofok is 92 kms from Siliguri and just 2 kms from Namchi. The Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) plies regular buses from Siliguri to Namchi and private taxis are also available on regular basis. The nearest rail station is New Jalpaiguri and it takes around 3.5 hours from there. You can also reach Namchi from Bagdogra by hiring private taxis.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The Heritage hotel at Solophok offering majestic views of Mt.Kanchenjungha is managed and run by family members. It is settled on the hill top Solophok just 2 kms from Namchi Bazaar and far from the crowd. Nearly, seven acres of lush green forest surrounds the hotel and a beautiful garden with a gazebo makes it more attractive.  The Holy Chardham Hindu pilgrimage is only a walk from this heritage hotel. There are Standard rooms, Deluxe rooms and Super Deluxe rooms with 24 hrs hot and cold water, satellite TV, balconies with views, western bathrooms, Dining Halls and all other modern facilities. The hotel also arranges bird watching trips, bonfire, forest walks and car rentals. This Heritage hotel serves organic food only.

Another option is the Dungmali Guest House: (+91) 08902232559

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]

Sribadam

Sribadam, Sikkim – A beautiful forest village which is famous for the meditation centre

[AdSense-A]

Sribadam is a beautiful forest village which is famous for the meditation centre and the healing of sick people in the monastery. It is the ultimate destination for enjoying the inner peace of mind and meditation. The place is also well known for the Phurpa Thordo Puja and real Cham Dance at the monastery. Sribadam rests at an altitude of 2100 meters above the sea level and is 82 km away from Gangtok. Laying in the valley this remote village of Sribadam (Sreebadam) is basically a small, but a well maintained forest village and comprises around 300 families, including the population of Bhutia, Subba and Gurung. From the village you can enjoy the views of Samduptse (Namchi) on the opposite hill and the Reshi River flowing through the gorge below. The place is renowned for its natural, cultural and religious aspects. The word Sribadam was originally Siribatam that means open space or flat land in the Limboo (tribe) language. The essence of the Sikkimese culture and tradition can be seen and felt at Sribadam.

Places to see at Sri Badam: The nearby Phuntsok Choeling Monastery famous for its meditation centre all over Sikkim and its neighbouring state as well as in countries like Nepal and Bhutan. The monastery is also well known for healing people from any kind of sickness which is cured by religious ritual and practices. The Nyingmapa Palyul Dechen Gawelling Monastery known for its famous Phurpa Tordo Puja and Cham Dance (Mask Dance) that is performed during the month of December every year. There are three natural lakes and one artificial lake at Sribadam. Lakes like Bhaishi Pokhori, Jhor pokhori are well known. Bhaishi Pokhori is in a sacred location in the forest of Sri Badam. The Bhaishi Pokhri has numerous amount of fishes and is forbidden from fishing. There is a road built by the British for their horses in the middle of Sribadam forest and Ganesh Tok.

You can also visit the Woodwork Industry where designs are carved on the wood plank and tables known as Thockchi, Holy seat for Rimpoches [ABOOT] are made. If you are adventure loving then trekking around the Wildlife Sanctuary at Sribadam will be a different experience. There are two waterfalls near Sri Badam. The Ramay Dham dara known for its varieties of flowers and is a place where Rishi (sadhus) perform pujas of various kinds.  The famous 10 Buddhist praying wheel that is powered by water current is also nearby. The temple of Om Nandha (God Angel) is also famous for its meditation center. The unique 17 stairs leading to Jhandi Dara in the middle of Sribadam forest which was built during the British period is also a place to visit when you are at Sribadam.

Nearby attraction of Sribadam: You can visit the Rishum monastery, which is around 20 minutes by car from Sri Badam. A trek route leads to the famous Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. You can visit the hot spring at Legship and also the famous Daramdin Sai Temple. From Sribadam you can visit Solophok and Samdputse at Namchi. The Singshore Bridge at Uttarey and even Khecheopalri Lake can be visited during a half day sightseeing. The Shrijanga Temple is just 13 km from Sribadam. The Vhir Dara Tourist Point, well known for great views of Kanchenjuga and sunrise can be visited from Sri Badam easily.

You can even visit Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali (home at Rinchenpong). People visiting Sribadam during the month of January can visit Jortehang Maghay Mela which is held for 2 weeks. People interested in adventure sports can visit Chakhung and enjoy Paragliding from Chakung till Jorethang. You can also visit Chakung garden and have a walk on top of hill with front view of Namchi Jortehang Darjeeling and the snowy Himalayas. Rinchenpong monastery is also a famous sightseeing destination to visit from here. You can even go to Darjeeling which is around 2.30 hours from Sribadam.

Things to do at Sribadam: You can visit the monastery and meditate there as the monastery is known for its meditation centre and if required you can also get healed from any kind of the sickness from this monastery. If you want to trek there is a route to the famous Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. During December one can enjoy mask dance or Cham dance at Nyingmapa Palyul Dechen Gaweiling. Mountain cycling in the forest areas as well as in the village areas can be enjoyed. Old Traditional Bhutia, Subba houses can be visited. The Sribadam ground is actually a valley making it favourable for kite fliers, so people can enjoy kite flying. Trout fishing at the two rivers in Sribadam can keep anglers busy. You can even enjoy the traditional Bhutia, Limbu (Chaprung), Nepali, Lepcha, Tamu dances and local instrumental tunes. The forests of Sribadam are well known for bird watching too. Sunrise over the mountains can be seen.  The Old Lenchay monastery can be visited, which is a part of Pemayantse and Enchey monastery.

Best time to visit Sri Badam: Sribadam can be visited any time of the year. You can even visit the place during rainy seasons for enjoying the trout fishing and also for the Meditation which takes place during the monsoon season for 2 weeks. However, if you want views of the mountains then the best time is from the month of October till mid May as the skies are clear. Moreover, guests interested in Cham dance and the Phurpa Tordo Puja which last for 2 weeks must visit the place during December.

How to go ?

From New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri you can reach Sribadam through two routes. One is via Darjeeling – Jorethang – Soreng; the other one via Melli – Jorethang – Soreng . Hired cars are available from NJP to Jorethang and from Jorethang to Sribadam.

[AdSense-B]

Sribadam Guest HouseWhere to stay ?

There is only one guest house at Sribadam. This guest house contains of one single room and 2 double bedrooms and 1 triple bedroom with all standard facilities like television, hot water, attached bathrooms and even internet connections. Both non-veg and veg food are available which are all organic and produced in the guest house’s own farm. Meats, eggs, milk and local drinks are available at the Sribadam guest house. For booking details you may contact:

Sribadam Guest House: (-91) 08902232559

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]

Sajong

Sajong, Sikkim – Enjoy the eye-catching green hills of Sikkim & the snow-covered Himalayas

[AdSense-A]

If you want to enjoy the eye-catching green hills of Sikkim and the snow-covered Eastern Himalayas then you must plan a trip to the village of Sajong this weekend. It is just 24 km from Gangtok. Located in the midst of the paddy fields with a serene environment and the Rumtek Monastery nearby, in the Sajong village you can enjoy the charm of ultimate seclusion.

Places to see at Sajong: This quaint village houses a nationally awarded statue factory, caves and traditional farms. The Sajonglocation offers a spectacular view of Gangtok during night time and far fetched views of the boundaries of Tibet and Bhutan. The two notable monasteries named the Rumtek monastery and Ranka monastery are also located nearby. Rumtek, popularly known as the Dharmachakra Centre is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Sikkim. The monastery was originally built in the 16th century by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje. This religious gumpha is located at a distance of 24 km from Gangtok. If you walk for few minutes downhill from the new monastery, you will reach the old monastery, built in 1730 by the ninth Karmapa.

The view of the Rumtek Monastery decorated with prayer wheels at the entrance is truly a visual treat. The monastery houses gold plated statues of Buddha. The inner side of the Monastery is furnished by several drawings and depictions. The best part of the monastery is that tourists are allowed to explore the most of the interior of this monastery. There are also more than 20 varieties of Bamboo growing in Sajong. Bamboo is a symbol of vitality and flexibility.

SajongNearby attractions of Sajong: The capital city of Gangtok, just 24 kms from Sajong is dotted with a number of tourist attractions, which you can visit by arranging day trips from Sajong. Some of the major nearby attractions are Tibetology Museum, Do-Drul Chorten, Orchid Exhibition, Enchey Monastery, Tsomgo Lake, Phodong Monastery and handicraft and Handloom Industries.

Things to do at Sajong: Enjoy a nature walk while exploring the village of Sajong and Rumtek. You can also rent a Mountain bike to move around the area. Two days guided treks are also arranged to Tinjure Ridge, from where you can savour the majestic view of the third highest Mountain of the world, Kanchenjunga.  Visit the local Buddhist monasteries along with local guides. You can also arrange for picnic at the nearby locations. Many tourists also indulge in swimming at Ray Khola mountain-river.

Best time to visit Sajong: You can visit the destination any time of the year. However, to get a clear view of Kanchenjunga, it is best to visit the place between October and March.

How to go ?

The nearest airport of Sajong is the Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. You can reach Sajong from Bagdogra in 4 hours by cars.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The only place to stay in Sajong is the luxurious Himalayan boutique resort The Bamboo Retreat.  The retreat is best suited for those seeking a place away from the hustle of the city, who enjoy a mix of ethnic and global good-quality home-made cuisine, who are interested in meditation, Sikkim’s history, undertaking day-walks and generally as a starting point to explore other parts of Sikkim. The hotel’s architecture is inspired by Sikkim’s monastic architecture that originated from Tibet. Bamboo, an eco-friendly under-valued material has been much used in interior decoration.

For booking details you may contact:

The Bamboo Retreat: (+91)-3592-252516 or (+91)-92325 13090  Website: www.bambooretreat.in

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]

rabangla

Ravangla, Sikkim – A natural tourist retreat, offering majestic snow view

[AdSense-A]

Located at an altitude of 7000 ft., this small town in Sikkim has lately developed as a natural tourist retreat, offering majestic snow view. It rests in South Sikkim District and is ideal for village tourism. The snowy mountains, exotic flora and fauna, scenic tea gardens, age-old monasteries and the welcoming villages, make the place an ideal tourist hotspot. The trekking routes to Maenam Hill and Tendong Hill also originate from Ravangla and nearby areas.

RavanglaPlaces to see at Ravangla: The calm and serene surrounding of Ravangla, the high-forested mountains offer a true romantic escape. The location is dotted with a number of old monasteries, the most notable being the Ralong Monastery and the Ravangla Monatery. The holy cave of Shar Chok Bephu is also worth visiting. You can also trek to the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, admired with lush green forest of magnolia, chestnut oak and rhododendron. The sanctuary is also the refuge of some endangered species like Himalayan Black Bear and Red Panda.

Nearby attractions around Ravangla: There are a number of attractions around Ravangla. Ralong, located 8 km from Ravangla is a popular sunrise point, offering splendid snow view, especially during the sunrise. You can also organize a tour to Sikip, nestled on the riverbank of River Rangeet, renowned as a rafting campsite and a fishing spot, amidst the scenic natural surrounding. There is also a Hot Sulphur Spring, located 34 km from Ravangla, which also features two holy caves, Khandosangphu and Sharchog Begphu. You will be amazed to see the towering heights of the Tendong Hill and the Maenam Hill, famous for trekking.

You can also organize short village tours to the nearby Lepcha and Bhutia villages of Tinkitam, Yangang and Barfung. Temi Tea Garden, Pelling, Richenpong and Pemyangtse are all located nearby.

RavanglaThings to do at Ravangla: Ravangla is an ideal site for trekking and enjoying the splendid views of the eastern Himalayas.  You can trek to Meanam from Ravangla, which takes nearly about 4 hours. The Tedong Hill also offers a nice trek along the forested hilly region. Ravangla is also an ideal destination for the avid bird watchers. Above all, enjoy the panoramic sight of Mt.Kanchenjunga, Mt.Siniolchu, Mt.Pandim and Mt.Kabru from Ravangla.

Best time to visit Ravangla: You can visit Ravangla at any time of the year. However, you can avoid the rainy season, for landslides are frequent at that time. Summer is pleasant and winter though chilly is enjoyable.

How to go ?

Ravangla is accessible from all prime spots of Sikkim, which include Gangtok, Pelling and Namchi.  It can also be reached from Darjeling. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. You would get rented cars from the New Jalpaiguri Station to Ravangla. You can also get rented cars from Siliguri and Bagdogra.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

You can find a number of nice resorts and hotels in Ravangla, offering decent accommodation and dining facilities. Few options are:

Mt Narasing Village Resort: 097 33 084105
Hotel Ravangla Star: (91)9831437566
The Babumoshai Hotel & Resort: 9830855200
Hotel Zumthang: 09733061311

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]

Yuksom

Yuksom, Sikkim – A panoramic village located in a valley with the stunning view of Mt.Kabru

[AdSense-A]

Yuksom, a panoramic village is located in a valley with the stunning view of Mt.Kabru. The place was founded in 1641 AD. Yuksom is the oldest capital of Sikkim where the crowning of the first Dharma King (Chogyal) was held by three wise monks from YuksomTibet. The “mystic old world” charm, is still present in Yuksom where you would find the Norbu Ghang Coronation Throne where the first king was crowned, the Dubdi Monastery built in 1701 AD, some mighty waterfalls, a small lake, some more monasteries and lush forests. The place is quite renowned for trekking to places like Goechala and Dzongri, Yuksom is yet untouched by mass tourism. Thinking of wearing your “walking shoes” again and bringing your hiking days back, then Yuksom is the best option for you where you can take a 45 min hike along the forest to nearby Dubdi Monastery and enjoy some of the best village walks, monastery treks and birdwatching trails.

Places to see at Yuksom: Built in 1701 AD, Dubdi Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim located on a hill top above Yoksum. It takes around 45 minutes by walk through the forests to reach the monastery. This forest walk is one of the finest experiences you can have in Sikkim. The trail overlooking Yuksom passes through a dense forest, which is home to some of the rarest Himalayan birds. The mighty Kanchenjungha and the twin peaks of Mt.Kabru keep peeping through the trees and nearby hills until you reach the monastery.

YuksomThe interior of Dubdi Monastery is lavishly painted with the figures of divinities, saints, demons and other symbols to narrate the religion. A very rare collection of manuscripts have been preserved at the end of the two aisles of the monastery. The two other monasteries in Yuksom are Karthok Monastery located beside the beautiful emerald coloured Karthok Lake and Ngadak Changchub Choeling.

Another prime attraction of Yuksom is the Coronation Throne of the first king of Sikkim. In Yuksom, you can still see, the ruins of Norbu Ghang, which is the throne of the first Dharma King (Chogyal) coronated by the three learned monks in 1641 AD who came from Tibet looking for the rightful person to lead the people of this blessed land and start a new BuddhistKingdom.

Nearby attractions of Yuksom: Just 10 km away from Yuksom on the way to Pelling is the beautiful Kanchendzonga Waterfalls. This waterfall has its source in the famous Rathong-Chu glaciers at the foot of Mt.Kanchenjungha. Another magnificent waterfall is Phamrong Waterfalls located around 7 km from Yuksom on the way to Tashiding.

The tranquil and peaceful Khecheopalri Lake, considered the holiest lake in Sikkim is located 27 km from Yuksom. The lake’s contour resembles a left foot mark, which is believed to be of Guru Padmasambhava. There is a popular belief that if you pray anything from this lake with pious sole, the holy lake will grant your wish. The Rimbi Rock Garden is a beautiful riverside garden located nearby.

A day’s trip around Yuksom would include some great sightseeing options like Tashiding Monastery, Sinon Monastery, Pemyangtse Monastery, Rabdentse ruins and few other spots.

YuksomTahiding, located around 23 km away is considered one of the holiest places on earth by the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tashiding literally means “The Devoted Central Glory.” Nestled on a hilltop between the Rathong Chu and the Rangeet River, the monastery was founded by Ngadak Sempa Chempo Phunshok Rigzing in 1641 AD. He was one of the three wise men who crowned the first King of Sikkim at Yuksom. The annual ‘Bhumchu Ceremony’ is held on the 14th and 15th day of the first month of Tibetan Calendar at Tashiding with great pomp.

The Pemayangtse Monastery founded in 1705 AD and located around 36 kilometers from Yuksom is the prime monastery of the Nyingmapa Sect of Buddhism. The monastery is world famous for its beautiful Sang-Drok-Pal-Ri, which is preserved on the top floor of the monastery. This monastery was erected for the authentic monks or “ta-tshang”, which means “monks of pure Tibetan lineage”.

The ruin of the Rabdentse Palace located on the way to Pemyangtse Monastery is another grand hilltop with a view of the mighty Kanchenjungha, Pelling and its surrounding areas. Rabdentse served as the second capital of the earlier kingdom of Sikkim from 1607 to 1814. However, the Nepalese army invaded the capital city and now only the remnants of the palace can be viewed at the site. You have to walk for 30 mins to reach the ruins through a well paved walkway skirting the jungles.

Things to do at Yuksom: Yuksom is a great place for trekking enthusiasts. It has earned worldwide recognition for the Dzongri-Goechala trek, which makes its way to a base of the world’s third highest mountain – Kanchenjungha. The duration of the trek varies from 5 days to 12 days. Yuksom also offers delight to the avid bird watchers. Yuksom is surrounded by forests and is a haven for varieties of bird species. Monastery treks, Jungle Walks, Bird Watching trails, Waterfall hiking, village walks – Yuksom is a treasure trove for nature lovers and hikers. You can enjoy hiking from Yuksom to Dubdi Monastery to Hungree Monastery to Pokhari Dara and Sinon Monastery.

Best time to visit Yuksom: Owing to its pleasant weather condition round the year, Yuksom welcomes tourist almost in all seasons. However, trek enthusiasts are advised to avoid the rainy season.

How to go ?

The closest railway station of Yuksom is the New Jalpaiguri railway station, around 150 km away. The nearest airport is the Bagdogra airport, which is located around 160 km from Yuksom. The place is also accessible from Geyzing by private or shared jeeps. The popular tourist destination of Pelling is around 34 kilometers from Yuksom.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

At Yuksom, you would find some of the best hotels of Sikkim. Our hotel overlooking Mt.Kabru has 25 grand rooms with elegant wood paneling, spacious modern bathrooms and all modern amenities. The hotel has a private garden, a traditional Meditation Hall set up in traditional Buddhist style at the top floor, Free Car Parking, a la carte restaurant and bar and all other standard facilities like travel desk, shoeshine, overnight laundry, room service and 24-hour electricity. The luxury rooms come with extra large king sized beds and bathrooms with elegant bathtubs. The hotel’s restaurant serves Indian, Chinese and continental food and specializes in traditional Sikkimese dishes. The hotel also has a bar.

The Yuksum Residency: (+91) 3595 241277,  (+91) 99331 33330 / (+91) 8016099977
Hotel Red Palace : (+91)9593668773

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]

Tashiding

Tashiding, Sikkim – The serene hamlet at the Eastern Himalayas

[AdSense-A]

The serene hamlet of Tashding is perching amidst the Eastern Himalayas. The village derives its name from the deity – Tashiding and is most famous for its monastery founded in 1641 AD, which is highly esteemed by people of the Buddhist faith. It has been a legend that even a casual glimpse of this monastery can cleanse a person of all his sins and shortcomings. The annual Bumchu Tashiding-monastryfestival is celebrated here with people coming from all parts of the world. It is a place where the travellers longing for a spiritual connection would feel at home. Trekking to the placid lake of Pokhri Dara or the Sinon Monastery and the surrounding caves is really a wonderful experience of silence, nature and the mighty Himalayas.

Places to see at Tashiding: Tashiding monastery is undoubtedly the biggest tourist draw in the region. Venerated for being the spiritual centre of the region, the monastery is situated at a height of 1465 meters. Being the epicentre of Tibetan Buddhism in North East India, the Tashiding monastery is surrounded by the Eastern Himalayas.

The approach from the market to Tashiding monastery is dotted with several prayer wheels, where devotees can offer prayers. The consecrated Chorten area comprises 41 chortens. They are categorized under “Chortens of Enlightenment”, “Chortens of Great Miracle” and “Chortens of Reconciliation”. The faithful can spend time in prayer and meditation here. Amongst the most sacrosanct chortens native to the monastery is the ‘Thong-Wa-rang-Dol’, which is said to bring about an instant catharsis of the soul for anyone who beholds it.

Other nearby monasteries are Hungree, Dubdi and Sinon. To reach Hungree and Dubdi Monastery, you have to take a short trek through the jungles but you would be rewarded with magnificent views of snow capped peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. However, the 18th century monastery of Sinon guarded by the Siniolchu Mountains can be reached by car.

Nearby Attractions of Tashiding: You can visit Pokhri Dara to discover a sacred lake guarded by a Manghim and a natural cave. Tashiding is steeped in religiosity and has four divine caves, where saintly Buddhist monks are believed to have meditated. Tashiding-villageThe caves are located in all four cardinal directions of Tashiding and include Lhari Nyingphug in the north, Khandozhangphu in the south, Sharchog Bephug in the east and Dechenpug in the west. The major touristic areas near Tashiding are Pelling, Yuksom and Rinchenpong. After visiting these tourist regions of West Sikkim, if you want to spend some days in tranquillity, then keep Tashiding in your itinerary.

Things to do at Tashiding: The whole region of Tashiding is covered in forests and short treks around this region would lead you to numerous caves, monasteries, waterfalls and natural wonders like huge beehives tucked in rock faces. If you are fond of collecting authentic Tibetan trinkets, handicrafts, paintings and other artisan products then visit the Sinek market, situated aloft the ridge overlooking the Rangeet and Rathong Chu rivers. Tashiding is surrounded by monasteries tucked within the forests perched on hilltops so most tourists in Tashiding like to take up Monastery Treks. The trails of these treks pass through forests filled with flora and fauna, rarely found in other parts of India. These forests are often termed as “birdwatcher’s paradise.”

Another interesting activity would be participating in the annual Bhumchu festival, which is held on the night before the first full moon day during the first month of the Tibetan calendar. Water from the Rathong Chu River is stored in a sacred vase and opened every year by the monks at the time of the auspicious event. In the months leading up to the festival, the water stored in the vase is periodically inspected and evaluated for quality and quantity to ensure its purity. Any alteration in the aforementioned specifications would in turn forecast the collective fortune of the people of Sikkim. This festival stems from an ancient Buddhist legend concerning Guru Padmasambhava and is celebrated to predict the future.

Best time to visit Tashiding: Tashiding can be visited any time of the year. The Bumchu festival is celebrated on the night before the first full moon day during the first month of the Tibetan calendar (generally falls during February). The festive mood spreads all over Tashiding during Bumchu, so it would be a nice time to visit Tashiding during this time of the year.

How to go ?

The closest airport to Tashiding is at Bagdogra in West Bengal and the closest railhead is New Jalpaiguri Station located around 140 km away. The nearest main tourist town to Tashiding is Yuksom, which is around 10 km away. Another important tourist destination nearby is Pelling, which is 43 km from Tashiding. Other popular destinations are Rinchenpong (35 kms), Uttarey (43 kms).

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The Government guest house is the most preferred place to stay in Tashiding. With nice extra-spacious bedrooms, modern bathrooms, reception, lawn and dining hall, the Government guest house is a comfortable place to put up in Tashiding. Guides and transport are also arranged by the guest house authorities for local treks and sightseeing trips. Food is essentially Indian cuisine and served hot and fresh. For booking details you may contact:

Yatri Niwas: +91 – 9832623654

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]

lachung_valley

Lachung, Sikkim – A charming mountain village at an altitude of around 9000 ft

[AdSense-A]

Want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the urban life for some days and rest in the lap of enchanting Himalayas, then you must come to Lachung, a charming mountain village nestling at an altitude of around 9000 feet in the North Sikkim district. It Lachunglies close to the Tibet border. Lying at the confluence of Lachung River and Lachen River, both being the tributaries of River Teesta the location of the place justifies its name. The literal meaning of the word Lachung is “small pass”. The spectacular waterfalls, snow covered mountain peaks, cascading streams and apple orchards, Lachung will honestly soothe your eye. This place is famous for peaches, apples and apricots. Lachung was a trading post between Tibet and Sikkim. The tourism is raising the economy of the town considerably. Lachung is mainly inhabited by Tibet and Lepcha descent, who all mainly interact in Lepcha, Nepali and Bhutia language. British writer and explorer Joseph Dalton has described Lachung in the book ‘The Himalayan Journal’ as the “most picturesque village of Sikkim”.

LachungPlaces to see at Lachung, North Sikkim

The crowning attraction of Lachung is the beautiful Lachung Monastery, which is locally called Lachung Gompa. It is an age-old monastery, erected in the year 1880. Set amidst beautiful apple orchards, the monastery truly offers a visual pleasure. The monastery also houses a number of murals, and it also flaunts two wheels. Many tourists also visit the handicraft centre, where exquisite blankets and rugs are woven beautifully. You will fall under the spell of the picturesque Yumthang Valley, nestled at an altitude of about 11800 feet. This place is also renowned for the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, through which flows the winding Yumthang Chu. The sanctuary nurtures more than 24 species of Rhododendron trees, the State Flower.

Nearby attractions of Lachung, North Sikkim

Mount Katao is a beautiful destination near Lachung that is located at a distance of 30 km. However, this tourist site only welcomes visitors from India. Lachung is located at a distance of 100 kms from Gangtok. So, trips are also made from Lachung to Gangtok, which takes around 5 – 6 hours and this journey is truly fascinating.

Things to do at Lachung, North Sikkim

Take a stroll along this beautiful village and savour its scenic natural beauty. Skiing is also conducted in Phuni near this town. Lachung is also the base camp for Rhododendron valley trek, which embarks from Yumthang Valley and ends at Lachen Valley. However, Lachung sightseeing while enjoying nature and the Himalayan Mountains is the best thing you can do at Lachung.

Best time to visit Lachung, North Sikkim

The ideal time to visit Lachung is from March to June. The climate during this time remains mild and pleasant. However, if you are visiting Lachung in winter, carry adequate warm clothes, as winter temperature dips down as low as –5 degree Celsius.

How to go ?

Lachung can be reached by availing buses and cabs from locations within the state of Sikkim. The nearest railhead of Lachung is the New Jalpaiguri Rail station in West Bengal, located 139 km away from Lachung. The nearest airport of Lachung is the Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, connected to different cities of the country. However, visit to Lachung is done in Package Tours from Gangtok as special permits are required to visit Lachung village.

[AdSense-B]

LachungWhere to stay ?

Lachung hosts a good variety of budget hotels and resorts, offering decent lodging and dining facilities. Lachung hotels have comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms, hot water geysers, room heaters. Budget family rooms and deluxe category rooms are available at Lachung for comfortable stay. Hotels have restaurants and server mainly local Indian cuisine. However, to easily visit Lachung it is best to opt for Lachung Lachen package tour that are operated from Gangtok.


Yarlam Resort:
  (+91) 94343 30033 / 35
Hotel Seasons’ House: (+91) 9434449042
The Fortuna: (+91) 94340 24070, +91 98320 87334, +91 94341 84448

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]

Biksthang Resort

Biksthang, Sikkim – Rests amidst scenic landscapes and is margined with lofty mountains

[AdSense-A]

Biksthang, also known as Chuchen and Mangalbaray is situated at a distance of 119 km from Gangtok in West Sikkim. It rests amidst scenic landscapes and is margined with lofty mountains. Enjoy a breathtaking view of Mt.Kanchenjungha from here. The rush of the tourist is limited in this tranquil destination of Sikkim but recently Biksthang, is experiencing a rise in tourist footfalls.

Places to see at Biksthang : The prime attraction of Biksthang is the majestic view of Kanchenjunga. The place is located close Biksthangto Pelling and the tourists can visit the regular sightseeing options of Pelling from Biksthang. Apart from offering majestic views of Kanchenjungha, Pelling has a number of monasteries like Dubdi Monastery, Sanga Choeling Monastery, Tashiding Monastery and Pemayangste Monastery. The spectacular sight of the Khecheopalri Lake is also admirable. Biksthang is also near to the splendid Khangchendzonga Falls and the Shinshore Bridge and Temi Tea Garden.

Nearby attractions of Biksthang : Two major sightseeing locations around Biksthang are Pelling and Rinchenpong. Rinchenpong is one of the latest additions in the list of nearby attractions around Sikkim. While making tour to Rinchenpong, a visit to the Poison Pokhri or Poison Lake is a “must” for all travellers. Just opposite to the pond, you will find a stony staircase leading towards the forest trail that will lead you to Rinchenpong Monastery, built in 1717. The monastery houses an idol of Ati Buddha in the position of Yub-Yum. Some other notable nearby attractions are Lhentse monastery, Rahu Ney (Caves) and Phursachu (Hot Spring).

BiksthangThings to do at Biksthang : The surrounding area of Rahu Ney caves and Lhentse monastery is ideal for horse riding. You can also enjoy some boating and river rafting at the nearby dam. Village tours are also organized by the resort at Biksthang around the amazing surrounding of West Sikkim.

Best time to visit Biksthang : You can visit Biksthang any time of the year. However, to savour the best views of Kanchenjungha, the ideal time of visiting the place is from October to February.


How to go ?

Biksthang nestled between Jorethang and Legship, is located at a distance of 124 km from Bagdogra airport and 120 km from the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. Arrangements can be made on prior request by the resorts at Biksthang to provide pick up service from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra.  Biksthang is also well connected by motorable roads. You can drive from Siliguri through Teesta to reach Melli. Then take a turn towards Jorethang and instead of turning toward Darjeeling, drive further to reach Biksthang. You can also reach the destination via Gangtok, located at a distance of 119 km.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are some accommodation facilities in Biksthang. Some options are:

Biksthang Heritage Farmhouse : 91 7602733183 / +91 9593978750 / +91 9593779077 /  +91 8170015329
Website :www.biksthang.com
Bliss Resorts : 9474576615

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]

Rajgir

Rajgir, Bihar – A 3000 year-old city still holding its tradition strongly

[AdSense-A]

Rajgir is a 3000 year-old city still holding its tradition strongly. It is emboldened by hills from all sides. It seems after visiting the place as if history is still making its presence feel. It is here where Lord Buddha stayed and preached and even encouraged the Rajgirmighty king Bimbisara. Lord Mahavira also spent fourteen years of his life preaching in Rajgir. World famous travellers like Hiuen Tsang (650 BC) and Fa-Hein (400 BC) also made their visit in Rajgir and thoroughly recorded the daily life of the place along with its people. Rajgir is older than history even, the believers visit a dilapidated wrestling ring where the Pandava prince Bheema, is said to have fought and killed Jarasandha. The strange marks on the rock are found which are believed to be the chariot wheel marks of Lord Krishna. There is un-deciphered script on a rock face that is the code to open the store of gold of a mythical king as believed by the followers. The lakes hidden within hills, ropeways leading to peace pagodas on the hill tops, hot springs and horse cart rides make Rajgir a bag full of surprise gifts.

Places to see in Rajgir: The caves of Gridhakuta was the home to Lord Buddha for long three months and from this hilltop he preached some of the most precious sermons to his disciples. The Venuvan garden marks the site which King Bimbisara offered RajgirLord Buddha to reside. A ropeway leads to the Vishwa  Shanti  Stupa, built by the Japanese on a hilltop to spread Buddha’s message of peace. The Ghora Katora lake just 7 kms on the outskirts of Rajgir within the hills and forests is another great place to do some boating and wind up. Rajgir finds a very important place in the life of Lord Buddha and Mahavira. Here, you can still locate the dispensary of the royal physician Jivak where Lord Buddha was once brought to have his wounds treated. Then, there is the Jarasandh Ka Akhara where it is said that the Pandava prince fought against Jarasandh. The sulphur hot springs of Bramhakund, the mythical chariot wheel marks of Lord Krishna and the 40 kilometer long pre Mauryan Cyclopean Wall whose remains in few areas can still be traced supposed to have encircled ancient Rajgir. Various caves, temples and remains of ancient jails and fort walls dot Rajgir.

Nearby attractions from Rajgir: The most popular nearby destinations of Rajgir are Nalanda, Pawapuri and Bodhgaya.

Ruins of Nalanda University:

The remains of the 2500 year old university where Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) and others stayed as a student and developed his knowledge on Buddhism can still be found today. At its height, this residential university attracted 2000 teachers and 10000 students from Persia, Tibet, Greece, China and other countries. However, everything came to an end, when the invader Bakhtiyar Khilji beheaded thousands of monks and burnt the royal library for six months in 1193 AD. Today, you can take a tour of the ruins of this massive university complex and view the remains of the granaries, students’ quarters, classrooms, monasteries, teachers’ quarters, gardens, libraries and stupas. The newly built Xuanzang Memorial Hall is also a beautiful building.

Holy town of Pawapuri:

Located just 38 kilometers from Rajgir, Pawapuri is the holy site for Jains where Lord Mahavira, the last of the 24 Tirthankaras was cremated. It is said that the frenzy to collect his ashes by his followers resulted in the removal of so much soil that a lake was created. Presently, a beautiful Jalmandir (water temple) built in white marble stands hear within the lotus lake. There is another nearby site called Samosharan, where Lord Mahavira delivered his last teachings.

The peace pilgrimage of Bodhgaya:

This is the holiest place on earth for Buddhists from all over the world because it is here Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in 500 BC. After three days of meditation, Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became Buddha under the Bodhi tree. The seat where he meditated under the Bodhi tree, the Bodhi tree itself (this is the 5th generation of the original tree), and all the spots where he meditated during the seven days after his enlightenment are marked within the Mahabodhi Temple Complex. The primary attraction of Bodhgaya is the Mahabodhi Temple Complex probably built by King Ashoka in 250 BC. The temple is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

RajgirThings to do in Rajgir: While going to Nalanda from Rajgir, you can stop at Silao to enjoy some local snack called Khaja. You can take the local sightseeing trip in a horse cart too. You can also do boating at Ghora Katora Lake, take the chair lift ropeway to the Peace Pagoda and enjoy a hot bath at Bramhakund Hot springs. As Rajgir is surrounded by hills on all sides so a short trek to any temple located on a hilltop is really enjoyable.

Best time to visit Rajgir: You can visit Rajgir anytime of the year but the summer months of May and June are a bit scorching. Winters and monsoons are great for visiting Rajgir.

How to go ?

Rajgir rail is well connected from all parts of the country. You can also get down at Bakhtiyarpur Station and then take a car to Rajgir (55 kilometers). The buses are available from Patna(110 km), Gaya(28km), Pawanpuri(38 km), Bihar Sheriff(25km), Nalanda(12km) to Rajgir. Rajgir is also well connected from Gaya Airport (78 kms) and Patna Airport (109 kilometers).

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Private accommodation facilities in every budget are available in Rajgir. The hotels are well facilitated and hotel menu comprises veg and non-veg items. There are hotels suitable for every budget. Here are some of them:

Siddharth Hotel :  +91-9199017971  Website: www.siddharthrajgir.com
Hotel Vijay Niketan: +91 9031 507 047, +91 9835 620 220  Website: www.hotelvijayniketan.com

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]

Bodh_gaya

Bodhgaya, Bihar – Where early morning Buddhist prayers give a feeling of ultimate serenity

[AdSense-A]

Unlike the other temple towns of India, Bodh Gaya is very clean, free from hustle and bustle, safe and beautiful place. Here the early morning Buddhist prayers give a feeling of ultimate serenity. Visiting the 2200 year-old Mahabodhi Temple with the Bodhi tree adjacent to it and watching the flickering flames of thousands of Butter lamps really gives a devotional feeling that you will always cherish. This is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Buddhists throughout the world. This little town is always crowded with believers of peace and harmony. This is the place where were Gautama Buddha achieved the supreme Enlightenment under the Mahabodhi. Walking on the place where one of the greatest human beings to ever walk on the face of the earth and attained enlightenment gives a unique feeling. It is located beside the Phalgu River.  Another very-different but renowned pilgrimage town – Gaya (famous for the Vishnupada Temple) is nearby it.

Places to see at Bodhgaya: The main attractions of Bodhgaya are the Mahabodhi Temple and the Mahabodhi tree. In 2002, the temple was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is believed that the original Mahabodhi temple was founded by BodhgayaEmperor Ashoka. Various stupas and remains of earlier temples are spread throughout the temple complex. The temple with its ‘Chhatravali’ and an elongated spire crowned by a miniature stupa has a very different appearance. Buddha images are contained in the moldings on the spire, in niches. With the decline of Buddhism in India, the temple almost got lost amidst soil and sand. In late 19th century, it was excavated and restored by Sir Alexander Cunningham, who tried to restore it to its former glory.

The temple also houses the holy Bodhi tree and the Diamond Throne. The present Bodhi tree is possibly the fifth succession of the original Bodhi tree, under which Buddha attained enlightenment. The stone platform below the Bodhi tree is known as Vajrasana and is supposedly the seat of meditation of Buddha. A small structure just beside the entrance of the main temple marks the point of ‘Animesh Lochan Chaitya,’ which is the place where Buddha supposedly spent one week looking towards the Bodhi tree. Another sacred area is the walkway called ‘Chankramana’ which is believed to be the place where lotus flowers sprang up, wherever Buddha placed his feet. The Mahabodhi temple Complex also houses the Muchalinda Sarovar (tank) where the snake king saved Buddha during a thunderstorm. Other sacred sites within the temple complex are Ajapala Nigrodha Tree, Ratanaghara and Rajayatna Tree.

Bodhgaya is also home to various other monasteries representing different countries like Burma, China, Japan, Thailand and Bhutan. There is also an Archaeological Museum and an 80 feet high statue of Buddha.

Nearby attractions of Bodhgaya: You can visit a number of places from Bodhgaya like the Vishnupad Temple located on the banks of Falgu River in Gaya, just 12 kilometers away comprising a 30 meter high octagonal tower. The ‘Pind Daan Pretshila’ Hill houses the Brahma Kund and the Ahilya Bai Temple. The Barabar Caves is considered an important archaeological site and the rocks are engraved with details of Buddha’s life. You can also opt for excursions to nearby places like:

Rajgir ( 75 kms from Bodhgaya )

Guarded by the hills from all sides Rajgir is closely associated with the lives of Buddha and Mahavira. The former capital of the kingdom of Magadha (5th Century BC), Buddha stayed and meditated here. Lord Mahavira spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda too. Rajgir is also holy to Hindus due to the hot springs (Bramhakund). The major attractions of Rajgir are the Griddhakuta Hills where Lord Buddha spent many years of his life delivering his teachings. Then there is the peace pagoda, Vishwa Shanti Stupa, the beautiful GhoraKatoraLake amidst the mountains, Bimbisar’s Jail, the Ajatshatru’s Fort, Jarasandh’s Akhara, Cyclopean Wall, Jivak’s Hospital and venuvana.

Nalanda ( 100 kms from Bodhgaya and 25 kms from Rajgir )

Nalanda University was founded in the 5th century AD during the reign of the Gupta rulers and supported by later Buddhist emperors like Harshavardhana. At its height, this residential university attracted 2000 teachers and 10000 students from Tibet, Persia, China, Greece and other countries. The Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) left detailed accounts of the university in the 7th century. Nalanda was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193 AD. The great library of Nalanda University was burnt down and monks were murdered in thousands.

Pawapuri ( 94 kms from Bodhgaya and 16 kms from Nalanda )

In 468 BC, Mahavira, the last of the twenty-four Tirthankaras achieved Moksha at Pawapuri and was cremated here. It is said that the great rush to collect his ashes resulted in so much soil being removed from the place of his cremation that a pond was created. Presently, a beautiful marble temple – the Jalmandir stands in the middle of a lotus pond on a rectangular island.

Things to do at Bodhgaya: You can visit the MahabodhiTemple complex and explore the divinity and history of the place in Bodhgaya’s museums and monasteries. If you have few days in hand, then try to visit Rajgir, Nalanda and Pawapuri to witness the other places associated with the life of Buddha and Mahavira.

Best time to visit Bodhgaya: Bodhgaya can be visited throughout the year.

How to go ?

From Kolkata, you can avail a train to Gaya, the nearest railway station to Bodh Gaya. The journey takes around 8 hours. Taxis and buses can be availed to reach Bodh Gaya from Gaya.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Private lodging facilities in every budget are available in Bodhgaya. As Bodhgaya experiences a regular footfall of international tourists, so its hotels are well facilitated and hotel menu comprises veg and non-veg items. There are guest houses, resorts and hotels suitable for ever pocket. Here are some of them:

Bodhgaya Regency hotel:  +91-9199192534,  +0631-2200415

Hotel Lumbini International:
0631-2200351(24*7 service)
Mob.: +91-7870964380 , 9386740184
Tel: +91-631-2200351

Hotel Delta International : Phone:0631 220 0854

Niranjana Resort
Mob : +91-8434025499, 92334456434,8434025501-05
Tel No : +91-631-2200007, 9234455187

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]

Taptapani

Taptapani, Odisha – Lush green hills and jungles washed by rains

[AdSense-A]

Taptapani located amidst the forests of Ganjam District of Orissa, is just 50 kilometres from Berhampur. The place is admired by the lush green hills and jungles washed by rains. Savour the magnificent sight of the distant hills tucked in clouds. Taptapani Taptapaniis mainly known for its natural hot sulphur springs whose water is considered to have medicinal properties and is capable of curing aches, pains and skin ailments like eczema and scabies. The place is surrounded by beautiful hills of the Eastern Ghats, inhabited by the ancient tribes of Orissa. Nearby it are a majestic Buddhist Monastery, a deer park and a Shiva Temple. This place is idyllic as a weekend destination, that can be visited with another great beach destination of Orissa – Gopalpur on Sea.

Places to see at Taptapani: In Taptapani, you can visit the Deer Park maintained by the Forest Department located nearby and visit temples like Sri Nilakantheswar Temple, and Kandimata Mandir. There are numerous small waterfalls, nameless rivulets, lakes and tribal villages all around. The other interesting place to visit is the Tibetan settlement and monastery.

However, most tourists visit Taptapani to take a dip into the Sulphur rich Hot Springs, which rejuvenates them with a renewed life-force. You can take long walks along the forest trails and highlands of Taptapani or just sit back in your hotel’s terrace and enjoy the views of the distant hills and greenery.

Nearby Attractions of Taptapaani: Gopalpur on Sea – the famous beach destination with a famous light house is very near to Taptapaani. The light house at Gopalpur offers an amazing view of the sea and a part of the Chilika Lake. The other beaches of tourist attraction near Taptapaani are the Pati Sonepur beach located near the mouth of River Bahuda and the beach at Aryapalli. You can also visit the nearby temple of Taratarini surrounded by Rushikulya River and dedicated to the twin Goddess, Tara and Tarini. You can also visit Taptapani from Lake Chilka. The temple of Mahuri Kalua just 20 kms from Taptapani located on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys is breathtaking.

Things to do at Taptapani: You can take a long nature-walk along the picturesque landscape of the surrounding areas of Taptapani. A visit to the villages of tribal communities such as Kutia Kondh, Bonda, Dingara Kondh and Mali tribes can be interesting as you can also learn about the lifestyles of these tribal people. You can also visit Tampara, which is a large brackish lake with a water sport complex offering various water sports such as paddle boats, water scooter and more.

Best time to visit Taptapani: Taptapani is an all season destination and you can visit this place all round the year. However, to enjoy the dip in the hot water spring and to visit the nearby places, the most preferred time to visit Taptapani is between October and March.

How to go ?

From Kolkata, you can avail a train to Berhampur, the nearest rail station to Taptapani. From there, you can avail the option of taxis. Since Taptapani is situated on the State Highway connecting Berhampur with western Orissa, you can also avail the option of buses plying on the State Highway.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The Govt. accommodation at Taptapani is the only accommodation available which is facilitated with Dining Hall, AC and Non-AC suites and bathrooms with bathtubs filled with water direct from the hot springs. For booking details you may contact:

Accommodation in Taptapani

Accommodation in Taptapani

OTDC Central Reservation Counter
Ph: 0674 – 2430764, 1800 208 1414 (Toll free).
Official website: www.panthanivas.com

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]

Tinchuley

Tinchuley, North Bengal – A village amidst the wilderness

[AdSense-A]

Tinchuley, the hidden treasures of Darjeeling region is a village amidst the wilderness. Tinchuley means three chullas or three ovens. The localites of Tinchuley with their initiative converted their rural village into self-sustained eco-urban village. The organizations like WWF (World Wildlife Federation) with their effort led to the development of floriculture projects, forest nursery, and by-compost and vermin-compost manure projects. There are innumerable viewpoints in Tinchuley like the Gumbadara View point, which gives extraordinary views of River Teesta. The Tinchuley View point gives nearly a 180 degree view of the entire range of Eastern Himalayas with the majestic Mt.Kanchenjungha ruling the sky. The towns like Gangtok,  Kalimpong and Darjeeling are also visible from these view points.

Places to see at Tinchuley: Tinchuley has several attractions in store for its tourists. Among them Tinchuley Monastery, Tinchuley Sunrise Point, Durpin Dara, the Teesta River, the Rangit River and Gombu Dara View Point deserve to be mentioned. A local youth club provides tourists with trails, treks, transports and tours.

tinchuleyGumpha Dara Rocks in Tinchuley have emerged from the deep of underground. A long fern-covered trail through the dark and deep forest leads to these rocks. The rocks stand amidst picturesque and panoramic landscape. Gumpha Dara rocks feature the magnificence of Indian art and culture during the British Raj. Several caves lie hidden beneath the rocks. The interior of the caves is an impenetrable mystery. These rocks are historically important as it recalls a 200-year-old legend. A group of lamas with their geylings and jhamtas ran from the dead hand of their enemies and took shelter there. The British army would train its soldiers on the Gumpha Dara rocks.

The breathtaking and awe-inspiring voyage to the Teesta River is an obsession with the tourists. Especially the Lovers’ Meet point where the Rangit meets the Tista is an irresistible attraction of Tinchuley. It is a good chance to have a look of Sikkim standing on the bank of the Tista. The forbidding mountain peaks Everest and Kanchenjuaga loom at a distance from the Teesta.

Nearby Attractions at Tinchuley:

From here you can have a glance of the magnificent Kalimpong.  The meandering Teesta River will also cause an oscillation in your heart. The towering peak of mighty Mt.Kanchenjunga and numerous walks through winding paths across villages and forests are also its other attractions. You can also visit a local monastery. Darjeeling is nearby and so are the numerous Tea Estates like Runglee Rungliot and others.

Things to do at Teenchuley: Nature walk, trekking, birdwatching and cave hunting.

Best time to visit Tinchuley: The best time to visit Tinchuley ranges from the month of September to the month of April.

How to go ?

The small village of Tinchuley is located above the old cantonment area of Takdah in Kurseong. In the district of Darjeeling, West Bengal, Tinchuley is a luring call to rock climbers. It is within your reach from Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Darjeeling distances 32 kilometers and Kalimpong distances 43 kilometers from Tinchuley.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are two accommodation options in Tinchuley – a heritage guesthouse and a village homestay. Both the accommodation options provide the necessary facilities for a comfortable stay with a touch of local culture. For booking details you may contact:

Tinchuley Retreat
9836955186, 9830947352, 9830788403

Gurung Guest House
9163755845, 9830947352, 9830788403

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]

Delo

Delo, North Bengal – The beautiful nature park, 5556 ft high on the edge of a reef

[AdSense-A]

Located at an altitude of 5556 ft on the edge of a reef Delo or Deolo connects the Delo Hills (from which the name originated) and Durpin Hills. This beautiful nature park offers one of the best views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and River Teesta. Delo has been converted into a nature park by the Government. There are Government accommodation options within the park as well as luxurious private accommodation options outside the park. The main town of Kalimpong is only 6 kms from Delo Hill. A weekend must be spent here enjoying the views of the Himalayas and roaming around the gardens. The adventurous can enjoy paragliding in Delo

Places to see in Delo: Delo Hill is an extended nature park. The gardens here are very well maintained with fountains. You can delo-teesta-viewalso have a spectacular view of Kanchenjungha and River Teesta. There is a huge statue of Lord Hanuman near Delo. You would also find a very nice statue of Lord Buddha on the way while returning from Delo to Kalimpong. Monasteries or Buddhist gumphas form a very important feature of the surrounding and there are three important gumphas  – Tharpa Choling Monastery, Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery and Tongsa Gompa that are witnesses to the journey of Buddhism in India. There is also the Lepcha Museum & Monastery situated in nearby Big Dhara which exhibits everything about the Lepcha community and culture.

Durpin Dara Hill is a must visit as it offers magnificient views of the Chola Range of Sikkim. Other places of attraction in nearby Kalimpong include the flower nurseries; Dr Graham’s Home and the Neora Valley National Park which covers a total of 88 square kilometer and is an abode to wide range of wild animals like tiger, black bear, goral and Himalayan wild dog as well as bird and species of reptiles.

Nearby attractions of Delo: The most popular nearby attraction is Lava. Located some 30 km from Kalimpong, Lava is popular for its closeness to Neora Valley National Park. Then there is Pedong, some 20 km from Kalimpong which is a beautiful Delo-resorttiny settlement situated amid the pine trees,Lolegaon, (54 km from Kalimpong) which offers some eye-catching views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and off course Darjeeling just 56 km from Kalimpong, is often called ‘Queen of Hills’ and is the most popular tourist destination in northeastern India. You can also make a visit to the nearby  destinations, namely Icchey Gaon, Ramdhura, Sangsey and Sillery Gaon. Most of these offbeat destinations offer homestays where you can have delicious home cooked food. Mingle with local culture and enjoy great views of Kanchenjungha. If you are moving towards Lava, then you can also cover Rishop Kolakham and Charkhole.

Things to do at Delo: If you are longing for refreshment then enjoy the gardens, the mesmeric views, hot coffee at the bungalow and take short treks and hikes around Deolo. It is the best place to unwind yourself. If you are adventure lover, then you have opportunities to paragliding from Delo.

Best time to visit Delo Kalimpong: You can visit Kalimpong during any time of the year as the place experiences mild summers and pleasant winters. The best time to visit this place is from March to May and from September to January.

 How to go ?

Bagdogra airport, located close to Siliguri is the nearest airport and is some 79 km from Kalimpong. From the airport, you can take a taxi to reach Kalimpong. By rail, New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station is the nearest to Kalimpong and you can easily reach Delo by hiring a taxi from the station. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach Delo from New Jalpaiguri.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There is a guesthouse operated by Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) previously known as DGHC in Delo. Very, recently a luxury private resort has come up in Delo just beside the DGHC (GTA) guesthouse with great views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and River Teesta.

The DGHC (presently GTA) Bungalow:
DGHC-guesthouseThe DGHC guesthouse at Delo is within the Delo park savouring great views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and River Teesta. There are rooms on the ground floor as well as first floor. With a huge open park space and extensive lush lawns and gardens, this Delo Guesthouse is always a busy place for tourists and park visitors. The guesthouse has its own restaurant and offers all basic modern amenities to its guests for a comfortable stay. For booking details you may contact 91 3552 274101/253341/255320.

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]

 

bagora

Bagora, North Bengal – A quaint village 7100 feet above sea level

[AdSense-A]

Bagora is a quaint village, located at a height of 7100 feet above sea level, in the Darjeeling district, still remains unexplored and unexploited. It is situated between the pine forests and rhododendron trees with majestic views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and the River Teesta. This romantic getaway is ideal for weekend trips. Bagora has a base camp of the Indian Air Force with a helipad, also known as Zero Point. If you are fond of low altitude jungle treks and bird watching then Bagora can be the right place for you.

Places to see at Bagora: You can take a short stroll from Bagora to the Kurseong Air Force base that is located beside the Tea bagora-forest-bungalowGardens. There the spectacular sight of the vast stretch of River Teesta and breathtaking views of Mt.Kanchenjungha will make your day. You can also visit the Forest Rest House to enjoy the view of the exotic variety of Himalayan flora. The sight of the nicely maintained flower garden, adorned with terraced greenhouses is a treasure trove. Bagora is renowned for its herbal and medicinal plants. In the months of November-December, you will also find the trees bearing oranges. The dense pine forests surrounding this little village, a viewpoint and a dilapidated British-built chimney in a nearby village are few other things to be discovered here.

Nearby attractions of Bagora: Kurseong is just 8 kms from Bagora. Most of the sightseeing options of Kurseong are located nearby like Eagle’s Craig view point, Ambootia Temple, Bhangzang Salamander Lake and Giddapahar Seti Mata Temple. The little village of Chimeni is just a few kilometers away. It is surrounded by valleys. The other attractions are the war memorial at Ghoom, the Batasia Loop and the Ghoom Monastery.

Things to do at Bagora:  A nature walk along the scenic landscape of the region is worth enjoying. There is also a nice trekking route from Bagora to Zero point. The place is also a heaven for the avid bird watchers, as Bagora is the home to a wide variety of birds. You can also walk down the shadowy forest trail to Tiger Hill, to to enjoy the breathtaking view of the sunrise or plan for a trek of 12-km to Mongpu. If you are planning for more than a weekend in Bagora, enjoy a three-day forest trek from Kurseong to Kalijhora via Bagora, Namthing Pokhri and Latpanchar. The place is ideal for the shutterbugs.

Best time to visit Bagora: You can visit Bagora any time of the year. In March and April, you would find the Rhododendrons in full bloom in the surrounding forests.

How to go ?

Regular bus and car services are available between Siliguri and Darjeeling via Kurseong and Ghoom. While driving take a right   turn from Kurseong to reach the village of Bagora via Down Hill Road. You can also hire a car from Kurseong.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The accommodation options offered in Bagora is limited and exclusive. There is only one private homestay in Bagora named bagora-forest-bungalowDikki House: 9830132103. The home stay has Double Bed rooms and Four-Bedded rooms in their main building and annexe cottage. All the rooms and cottages of the homestay have western bathrooms, comfy beds, running water in bathrooms and views of Kanchenjungha, surrounding forests and the deep valleys. The home stay can also arrange for local treks, birdwatching tours ad campfire in the evenings. The homestay has a lovely terrace where guests can bask in sunny mornings and lush lawn for the children to run around. The food served is home-cooked and essentially Indian cuisine.

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]

icche-gaon

Icchey Gaon, North Bengal – The Wishing Village

[AdSense-A]

Icchey Gaon also known as “Wishing Village” is a place where all your wishes to stay amidst pristine nature will be fulfilled. At Icchey Gaon, enjoy a scenic view of Mt.Kanchenjungha, wake up to the call of unknown birds, take a stroll amidst the pine forests and stay in a village still unexplored by tourists. It is located at an altitude of 5800 feet, and is close to Pedong. At night, you can relish the twinkling lights of Darjeeling, Namchi and Ravangla from your homestay and the morning sky is ruled by the majestic Kanchenjungha.

Places to see at Icchey Gaon:  The best viewpoints of the Kalimpong Hills are located close to Icchey Gaon. Ramitey Dara viewpoint, offers a marvellous view of the winding TeestaRiver, flaunting its 14 turns with the Kanchenjunga guarding it, is truly breathtaking. The hilltop of Tinchuley near Icchey Gaon also offers a great view of Kanchenjungha and the Eastern Himalayas.

You can get a spectacular view of Nathula and Jeep La from Tinchuley. Make a tour to the Damsang fort, located at a distance of 6 km from Icchey Gaon. However, the fort is almost in the verge of extinction. Conclude you day trip by admiring the fascinating beauty of the Silence Valley, a small forestland. Many tourists also visit the Jalsa viewpoint, a great place nestled within the Cinchona plantation with a magnificent view of Kanchenjungha, River Teesta and lush forests surrounding it. There is an old British Bungalow at Jalsa, which gives the place a completely different feeling reminding one about the Sahibs and their trips to the Himalayas. You can trek to these destinations or hire a car for the whole day to go around these places too.

Nearby attractions around Icchey Gaon: This little village of Icchey Gaon is near to Reshi, Pedong, Sillery Gaon and Mankhim. A prime tourist attraction near Icchey Gaon is the age-old Sangchen Dorjee Monastery, located close to Pedong. This monastery is a 300-old structure, constructed during the domination of Bhutanese in Pedong. The old section of the monastery showcases an array of beautiful wall paintings, depicting Tantrik Buddhism. The center of attraction of the new section of the monastery is a mummified body of a Bhutanese priest. During April-May, the annual “Chyam” dance is also celebrated at this place with great pomp.

The Cross Hill near Pedong built in 1882 by Augstine Desdgodins is another popular destination, located nearby. The place is acknowledged as a site of pilgrimage by the Local Christian Community. Another wonderful location is the Shahid Park, which nestles 2 km away from Pedong Bazar. The park guards a stone, which has been laid to honor the memory of a local young soldier of Indian Army, Late Palender Raj who gave up his life at Thangdhar J & K sector (Kargil War).

Another popular viewpoint called Rikisum, which you will pass on the way from Algarah to Lava can also be visited in daytrips. The Kashyone village, located 8 km from Pedong Bazar offers a great view of the insection of Teesta River and Rongpo Khola. The village is adorned with beautiful Cinchona plantation. Explore a little ahead top visit Ranibon – a preserved forest. The place also has a 300-year old Lepcha house, which exhibits the exquisite Lepcha craft works.

Reshi Bridge and Reshi Khola are also worth visiting, located at a distance of 15 km from Pedong Bazaar. Rishi and Mudum Khola combined together to form Rishi Khola just before the bridge. The place has a charming romantic ambience. The Aritar Lake or Lampokhri Lake is a wonderful eco-tourism spot, which nestles 16 km from Rishi Bridge in East Sikkim. The highest point, famously called Mankhim above Lampokhari offers a breathtaking view of Mt.Kanchenjungha on the south west and Nathu La and Jelep La at the northeast. Another highlight of Aritar is Love Dara. Exciting day trips are also arranged regularly at Dello Hanuman Park, Rishap, Lava, Loleygaon and Sillery Gaon from Icchey Gaon.

Things to do at Icchey Gaon: Apart from enjoying the view of Kanchenjungha and its changing colours during sunrise, Icchey Gaon is ideal to enjoy a nature trail along the beautiful landscape. You can enjoy a short trek of about 2.5 kms from Icchey Gaon to Sillery, via Ramitey Dara through alpine forest. The place is also a delight for the bird watchers. You can also plan a riverside picnic at the bank of ReshiRiver visit the local monastery.

Best time to visit Icchey Gaon: Icchey Gaon welcomes tourist round the year. Winter is the best time for viewing Kanchenjungha. The monsoons fill up the rivers to the brim and boundless water, lush forests and wild flowers all around make Icchey Gaon a small paradise tucked along the slope of Himalayas.

How to go ?

The closest railway station from the destination is the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway Station and the Siliguri Railway Station. The nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport. Hired cars are available from both airport and railway stations to Kalimpong via Teesta Bazar. From Kalimpong you can take a pick to Icchey Gaon.

[AdSense-B]

Khawas Home StayWhere to stay ?

There are few home stays in Icchey Gaon which provides furnished rooms with attached western bathrooms. Necessities like hot water, electricity, transport facilities and guides for local trek are also provided.  One option is;

Khawas Home Stay
Ph no. : 8670242128, 8116760140

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]

Itanagar-Arunachal-Pradesh

Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh – A city of natural beauty and also is the state Capital

[AdSense-A]

Itanagar, a city of natural beauty and also is a capital city since 1974. It has everything that one seeks while being on a tour. It is India’s the most alluring locations where a huge number of travelers love to come in time. The location of Itanagar is highly attractive. Located in the foothills, it makes tourists fan of its beauty. One cannot forget the ultimate time spent in Itanagar.

ItanagarTo reach Itanagar, you have to reach Guwahati first either by air or by road. From Guwahati cars are available for Itanagar.  It takes around 6hrs to reach Itanagar.  The journey is a fascinating experience as nature has whole heartedly bestowed all its beauty to this place. The early morning experience is surprising, the clouds enter inside the houses. One moment you can see a table or a chair and the next these are vanished behind a white screen. This is a common phenomenon for anyone living in Itanagar, but for the tourists it’s really astonishing beyond words.

After breakfast, head towards GangaLake (Gyakar Sinyi) which is surrounded by mountains and is a major attraction for those visiting Itanagar.

The first thing that is striking is the silence. The place is so tranquil that you have to speak in hushed voices! Notice the lake’s colour which is green. The water appears to have changed its hue to complement the sylvan surroundings. It is a beautiful picnic spot. Boating facilities are also available on the lake. Leaving the lake behind, head for a Buddhist gompha. Situated on the top of a mountain, the white monastery with yellow roof is picturesque and welcoming.

The next spot is the Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum. The museum houses wood carvings, musical instruments, textiles, handicrafts and archaeological finds, which give a glimpse into life in Arunachal. Ganga market, the most popular area in Itanagar is also a must visit spot. It’s a favourite haunt of the locals and tourists.

Head for Naharlagun – the twin town of the capital of Arunachal Pradesh the next day.

The mountain roads are itself a pleasure to walk though it’s a bit tiresome but the placidity and lack of traffic there is really an unusual experience for any urbanite. So do keep some time just to take a stroll in this winding narrow road. You never know you may discover a stream nearby and enjoy is gurgling sound.

 This trip is ideal for rejuvenating yourself completely.

How to go ?

By Air: Lilabari in Assam is the nearest airport at a distance of 67 km. There are connecting flights to Guwahati from Lilabari. Flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Ahmadabad, etc. operate to Guwahati. Taxis and buses are available from Guwahati to reach Itanagar. Pawan Hans operates helicopter services from Guwahati to Itanagar thrice a week.

Kolkata is the nearest international airport at a distance of 760 km.

By Rail: Harmuti is the nearest railway station at a distance of 33 km. Harmuti is a narrow guage line. A convenient option to reach Itanagar would be North Lakhimpur (60 km). Trains from North Lakhimpur connect to Guwahati which is well connected to Kolkata and most major parts of the country.

By Road: Itanagar is well connected to most neighbouring regions of Arunachal Pradesh. Daily overnight buses from Guwahati ply to Itanagar. AST buses also connect Itanagar to Shillong, Ziro, Guwahati, Balijan, Poma, Lilabari, Jote, Raga, Sagalee, Pasighat, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, Bombdila, etc.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay?

There are two government guest houses in Itanagar.
Contact Details:
Circuit House: 0360-212010
Banquet Hall: 0360-212613.
There are also various private hotels.
For details visit:  http://arunachalipr.gov.in/Accommodation.htm

[AdSense-C]

Rinchenpong – The Silent Valley

[AdSense-A]

If watching the Kanchenjunga from crowded Darjeeling or Pelling seems to be dull and boring, then Rinchenpong is an ideal place. Far away from the bustle of noisy tourist spots, Rinchenpong was, till recently, a small village in the hills of West Sikkim, 6,000 ft above sea level.

None other than Rabindranath Tagore had spent a couple of days in this getaway in the 1920s. Rabindranath Smriti Van, the house where the poet stayed and enjoyed the scenic view of the Himalayas, is just 2 km from Rinchenpong bazaar. It is a major tourist draw and has been maintained well.

rinchenpong-sikkim-3Rinchenpong, which is more popularly known as Silent Valley, is particularly attractive for those who like short hill treks. Jungles, orchids, a variety of birds and treasures of ancient Sikkim are the draws along the trail.

About 3 km from Rinchenpong bazaar is the Resum monastery. Located at the junction of three hills, this place of worship was built almost two centuries ago by a local lepcha and is still under private supervision. The place offers an excellent view of the mountains, especially of the sunrise from behind the Kanchenjunga.

A 30-minute walk through the jungle will take us to a popular tourist attraction of Rinchenpong — The Heritage House. The stone and wood construction, which came up in 1860, was used to host the British governor, a regular visitor. In the semi-darkness, the interiors reveal multi-cultural influences, including wall paintings and wood carvings of the traditional Tibetan school.

rinchenpong-sikkim-2One of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim, the Gey-Sanga-Yangtze Gumpha, is also a walk away from the main bazaar. It houses a statue of Ati Buddha with a lady embracing him. This unique religious icon of the Nyingma sect of tantrik Buddhism symbolises the power of lust.

Rinchenpong is about 122 km from Siliguri. It takes about four hours to get there from Jorethang. There is a regular jeep service. The road has been extended 3 km to Kaluk, a small town that can also be reached through a memorable jungle trail. The vast openness of Kaluk and the panoramic view of the Himalayas can be a special treat.

Thursday is the local market day. People from neighbouring areas gather to buy and sell everything from bangles to baskets, turning the occasion to a festival. During the day, hundreds of Sikkimese crowd the shanty eateries and enjoy hot momos and chhang, the local drink.

Both Rinchenpong and Kaluk have a number of luxury resorts as well as budget hotels.

How to go?

New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest railway station. Buses and jeeps are available from Siliguri to Jorethang. Rinchenpong is a two-hour journey from there. Walking is the only way of travelling within the town.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay?

There are several budget as well as luxury hotels in Rinchenpong and Kaluk. Rinchenpong Nest, Hotel Narola, Hotel Mount View, HotelKanchenValley can be booked from Kolkata Office. Contact no.: 9831095234.

Mandarin Village Resort is another option.
Address: Risham Associates, E-1/8,
Sudakhshina Estate (B)96,
Raja S.C. Mullick Road,
Kolkata-700 047
Tel: (0) 9830271064, 9433119535, (033) 24302005.

For more information we have to visit http://rinchenpongvillageresort.com/
Most of the hotels have restaurants.
Momo and thukpa are available in the local eateries.

[AdSense-C]

Lava, North Bengal – The heavenly abode of God

[AdSense-A]

The hills of north Bengal provide some of the best weekend destinations for Kolkatans exhausted and strained by the summer sun and concrete chaos. Lava, with a handful of houses, an old monastery, and winding roads is one of them. The roads seem to be bordered with rows of pine, rhododendron and oak. The queen of the hills, the majestic Kanchenjungha, is visible too from the hill town.

Lava-VillageThe name Lava means “heavenly abode of God” in the local language. The woods are green and dark. The mist-wrapped trees stand tall on both sides of the road that leads to the marketplace. The Kanchenjungha looms over the landscape of Lava like a silent sentinel.

It is a small settlement that houses a Buddhist monastery, a small nursery maintained by the state forest department, a nature interpretation centre and a glass house.

A trip to Lava would be incomplete if you do not visit the Neora Valley National Park. Just 10 km from the Lava market on top of Rachela hill, this reserve forest was created in 1992. The 88sq km park is not only a tourist attraction but an important destination for students of forestry and nature. Every year the rich treasure of flora and fauna in the national park draws a good number of students.

The jungle is home to the Himalayan red panda. Permission for entry to the park is available from the forest range offices at Lava and Samsing.

The Kagyu Thekchen Ling Monastery, a place of learning for followers of Vajrayana Budhhism, is a big red building on the outskirts of Lava. It is also known as the Ratnarishi Bihar Buddhist Gumpa.

Karma Lodro Chokyi Senge, the third Kongtrul Rimpoche, set up the monastery, which is decked out with Tibetan artefacts. The walls, painted in bright natural colours, depict scenes from the Jataka tales.

The prayer hall is huge. One should not miss the excellent carving on the prayer wheels inside the monastery.

You can get the best view of Kanchenjungha, from a place called Tiffindera that is 3 km from Lava. The place is 7,700 metre above the sea level. A 2-hour drive from Lava will take us to the Changgery falls.

How to go ?

Lava is 100 km from Siliguri in North Bengal. Cars are available for hire from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway station. The drive takes about four hours. Entry permit to the Neora Valley National Park is available from the range offices in Lava and Samsing.

[AdSense-B]

Where to Stay ?

There are several hotels with in-house dining facilities in Lava. The state forest development corporation (WBFDC) runs a resort. For booking details you may contact:

West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited
6A, Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th – Floor, Kolkata-700013
Ph No. : 033-2237-0060/ 2237-0061/ 2225-8549
Website: www.wbfdc.com

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]