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Kedarnath

Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – This holy Hindu town is the residing place of Lord Shiva, famous for Kedarnath Temple

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A holy Hindu town located in Uttarakhand, Kedarnath is one of the Char Dhams located in the Himalayas. It is resting at an elevation of 3584m above sea level near the head of Mandakini River. This pristine site is a very renowned religious spot for all Hindu pilgrims. The Kedarnath temple enshrining the highly revered Kedareshwar (the name with which Lord Shiva resides here), attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world. The Kedarnath temple lies amidst the incredible snow-covered Himalayan ranges. Due to the extreme weather conditions the temple here remains open from the end of April to the beginning of November. This is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. In Kedarnath alone there are about more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas of Mahabharatha and was later revived by Adi Shankaracharya. Legend has it that Pandavas performed a strong penance here to please Lord Shiva in Kedarnath. After having won the war against the Kauravas, the Pandavas felt guilty and wanted to seek blessings from Lord Shiva for redemption who was hiding from them. It is here in Kedarnath where Lord Shiva took refuge in the form of a bull. The bull hided his face into the ground, and his hump remained behind on the surface. The other four parts of Lord Shiva fell at Tungnath, Rudranath, Madhmaheshwar and Kapleshwar. Kedarnath along with these four are also described as Panch Kedar. The inner walls of the temple are sculpted with various deities. The scenes depict various mythological stories. To reach Kedarnath you have to trek 14km through a paved road from Gaurikund.  You can also take horse or ponies to climb up the steep path. Gaurikund is connected by road from Haridwar, Dehradun, Rishikesh and some other regions of Uttarakhand.

Places to see at Kedarnath: This residing place of Lord Mahadev is dotted with some sacred sight seeing locations. These include:

Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrims of India with Lord Shiva as its residing deity. This holy site is situated perched at an elevation of 3,584mts above sea level in the foot of imposing snow bound Himalayan peaks. Mythology says that Pandavas wanted to wash their sins they committed during the great war of Mahabharata by killing their own brothers, so they wished to meet Lord Shiva. Shiva was angry with them and he didn’t want to bless them with his presence so Lord Shiva converted himself into a big bull and dug himself under the ground. The places where the body parts were founded were named as kedars. The hump of the bull was found here. The temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the early 8th century. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India and the main temple of Panch Kedar.

Chorabari Tal

Chorabari Tal is a beautiful lake situated 3kms ahead of Kedarnath in the mouth of Chorabari Bamak Glacier. Chorabari Tal is a pristine lake which shows the reflections of the gigantic Himalayan peaks. Chorabari Tal is also known as Gandhi sarovar. The trek is easy but be careful while crossing the waterfall in between.

Gaurikund

Gaurikund is the commencement point of the trek of 14kms to the sacred shrine of Kedarnath. The place is named after Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva and a temple Gauri is also situated here. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted to marry Parvati at this place and married her in Trijuginarayan. The place offers vivid greenery with Vasuki Ganga flowing from below. Gaurikund is situated 66kms from Rudraprayag. The place also has natural thermal springs.

Vasuki Tal

Vasuki Tal can be reached by a 7km moderate trek from Kedarnath. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,150mts above sea level surrounded by Himalayan peaks casting their shadows on the crystal clear water of Vasuki Tal.

Shankaracharya Samadhi

Adi Shankaracharya was a great scholar and a saint who established four sacred dhams in India and after that he went to his Samadhi at an early age of 32.

Nearby attractions around Kedarnath: If you are in Kedarnath, there are some must visit location near to it. These include:

Trijuginarayan Temple

It is the holy place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Trijuginarayan is situated 12kms from Sonprayag. The immortal flame is still burning around which the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were solemnised.

Chopta

Chopta is popularly known as Mini Switzerland or the Switzerland of Uttaranchal. The number of tourists visiting Chopta has increased in recent years and the region has become popular vacation spot for adventure lovers and explorers. Tungnath is the highest temple of Lord Shiva situated only 3.5kms away from Chopta which should be covered on foot or by pony. Chopta is situated 70kms from Gaurikund. The region showers tourists with natural beauteousness during winters.

Ukhimath

Ukhimath is an important destination of Rudraprayag district as this place is the home of Lord Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar during winters. Ukhimath is mainly inhabited by the Rawal’s who are the head priests (pundits) of Kedarnath. Ukhimath is situated 42kms from Kedarnath. Snow capped peaks of the majestic Himalayan range can be easily seen from here.

Rudraprayag

The confluence of Alaknanda River and Mandakini River is known as Rudraprayag. The distance from Kedarnath to Rudraprayag is 80kms. Rudraprayag is the only confluence situated on Alaknanda River which is also considered as state district. Rudra is one of the 108names of Lord Shiva. The road to Kedarnath Dham and Badrinath Dham diverts from this point.

Kalimath

Kalimath is a Shaktipeeth having a temple of Goddess Kali. Famous Kali mata temple in Kalimath is visited by devotees all round the year and located near Ukhimath.

Things to do in Kedarnath: After visiting the holy Kedarnath temple, don’t forget to visit the Shankaracharya samadhi (his final resting place) behind the temple. Also take an easy walk to the Bhairav temple nearby.

Best time to visit Kedarnath: Summer i.e from April-May to October, is the ideal time to visit Kedarnath. Try to avoid the monsoon season as the site is prone to heavy rainfall and flood.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 239 km from Kedarnath. Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a domestic airport located at about 20 km away from city center of Dehradun. Taxi cabs are available from Dehradun airport to Kedarnath.

By Train

Nearest railhead at Rishikesh, 189 km away from Kedarnath. One has to travel 207 km by road and the rest 14 km by foot to reach Kedarnath.

By Road

Kedarnath is well connected through road. The National Highway from Delhi to Mana (538 km) is accessible throughout the year. Kedarnath can be accessed by foot from GauriKund. Gaurikund is connected by state buses to Rishikesh, Dehradun, Kotdwara, Haridwar and other hill stations of Kumaon and Garhwal Hills.

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Where to stay ?

After the tremendous flood of 2013, most of the hotels and lodges the destroyed. The few accommodation information available to us include:

Kedarnath Tourist Bungalow (GMVN) : +91-01364-263228
Chardham Camps: +91-1334 -261026,266026 Website: www.chardhamcamps.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.

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Gangotri

Gangotri, Uttarakhand – The most important of the ‘Char Dham Yatra’, this divine location is famous for the Gangotri temple

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The scenic town of Gangotri is located at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level in the Uttarkashi district. With the holy Bhagirathi River flowing across Gangotri is one of the Char Dham of Uttarakhand. The highest and the most important temple of Goddess Ganga is located in this sacred location. The small town derives its name from the Gangotri temple. The present temple of Gangotri was built by Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkha General in the early 18th century. The scenic vistas of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow covered peaks are really captivating. It is a highly esteemed pilgrimage of the Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival. The temple remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.

Places to see at Gangotri: The centre-most attraction of Gangotri is the Gangotri temple. This apart there are also other tourist attractions in Gangotri. These include:

Gangotri Temple

Gangotri is the highest temple of Goddess Ganga and one of the four dhams of Uttarakhand state. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3,048mts above sea level. Gangotri offers scenic splendors of rugged terrains, gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival.

Tapovan

You can proceed to Tapovan and Nandanvan after reaching Gaumukh Glacier. Astounding views of Shivling and other major peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas are distinctly visible from Tapovan.

Bhairon Ghati

Near the confluence of Jat Ganga and Bhagirathi River lies a scenic Bhairon Ghati. It is located 10kms from Gangotri. The temple of Bhairav Nath is surrounded by dense forest. Bhairon Temple can be reached after traveling by road from Lanka to Bhaironghati andby crossing the Jahanvi River on foot.

Submerged Shivling

A natural rock Shivling submerged under water is an attractive tourist spot of Gangotri. It can be easily seen when winters are on their way because the water level decreases during this period. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva was sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.

Nearby attractions around Gangotri: While in Gangotri, you can also make excursions to places like:

Kedartal

Kedar Tal can be reached after a difficult trek of 14kms which starts from Gangotri. Kedar Tal holds crystal clear icy cold water with reflection of snow capped Himalayan peaks. The maximum elevation that you will encounter enroute Kedar Tal is shocking 4,912mts above sea level. The lake is perched at an elevation of 4,225mts above sea level with the majestic Thalaysagar Peak providing captivating scenery.

Gangnani

Situated 47kms before Gangotri, Gangnani is popular for its natural thermal springs. People take a dip in this natural hot water spring before heading towards Gangotri.

Harsil

It is one of the hidden jewels of Uttarakhand offering ample scope for nature and adventure lovers. Harsil is situated on the banks of Bhagirathi River at an elevation of 2,620mts above sea level. The distance from Gangotri to Harsil is 21kms. You can plan a short and easy trek to Sattal from Harsil.

Gaumukh Glacier

Gaumukh glacier is the source of Bhagirathi River which is also known as Ganga River before the confluence of Devprayag. Gaumukh Glacier is situated 18kms from Gangotri. ‘Gau‘ means Cow and ‘Mukh‘ means face hence the combined meaning of Gaumukh is cow’s face. If you carefully observe the glacier it will resemble as a cow’s face. Gaumukh is the second largest glacier of India, first one is Siachen.

Gaumukh is 30kms in length and approximately 3 to 4km in width. It is a source of the Bhagirathi River which is one of the most important tributary of the sacred Ganga River. One can reach Gaumukh by a trek of 18km. The trek to Gaumukh glacier is easy but it goes through a rocky surface. The trek goes through Bhojbasa offering splendors of nature throughout.

Submerged Shivling: There is a natural rock Shivling in Gangotri submerged under water which can be easily seen when winters are on their way as the water level decreases during that time. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.

There is a Tourist Bungalow at Bhojbasa, 14kms from Gangotri where lodging and other facilities are available. Gaumukh glacier is situated at an elevation of 3,892mts above sea level. You can encounter several majestic Himalayan peaks like Shivling, Thalay Sagar, Meru, Bhagirathi III etc., while trekking owards Gaumukh.

In recent times, the retreat of the glacier has quickened significantly. Major steps have been taken by the government of Uttarakhand towards this severe problem. Now only 100 persons can trek to Gaumukh each day.

Things to do in Gangotri: The trek lovers can organize trekking upto Tapovan via Gaumukh. Pay homage to Mata Ganga in the Gangotri temple. Go for an itinerary to the nearby locations in and around. Apart from this if you are just doing nothing take a stroll around this beautiful town.

Best time to visit Gangotri: The best time to visit the holy city of Gangotri is from April to June and September to November.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is a domestic airport located at about 260 km away from city center. Taxi cabs are available from airport to Gangotri city. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 452 km away.

By Train

Rishikesh is the nearest railway station, which is about 250 km away. The station is well connected to many major cities in India. The cabs are available from Rishikesh to Gangotri.

By Road

Gangotri is well connected by state owned bus services. Many buses are available from Gangotri to Uttarakashi (97 km), Yamunotri (232 km), Mussoorie (250 km) and Tehri (167 km).

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Where to stay ?

You will find plenty of accommodation facilities in Gangotri. Some options are:

Tourist Rest House (GMVN): +91-013772-22221
Shivlinga Tourist Complex: +91-01374-223518, 222418, 222118  Website: www.shivlingauttarkashi.com
Motel Bhagirathi: +91-01377-2222233

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.

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Munshiyari

Munshiyari, Uttarakhand – Also known as ‘Little Kashmir’, this is a heaven of the nature lovers and adventurous ones

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Located at a height of 3853 Metres ( 12634 Feet) above the Sea Level, Munshiyari is known as the “Queen of Kumaon” hill range. The place is also nick-named as “Little Kashmir”. The region is the heaven of the nature lovers and adventurous ones. Catch a glance of the mesmerizing Himalayan peak, Panchchuli from here. Munsiyari is a very newly discovered tourist place in Uttarakhand. Until recently Munsiyari remained a restricted area in Himalayan inner line wedged in between borders of India, China & Nepal. Visiting the place is an unique experience and gives a completely different feeeling.

Places to see in Munshiyari: Munshiyari forms a good base for a number of scenic tourist location. These include:

Majestic Peak of Panchchuli 

Though easily visible from all view points in the Pithoragarh district, a close and vivid view of this most prominent cluster of five peaks we can have from Munsiyari situated in the Johar valley. The imperial beauty of this traditional home of Shauka tribe blended with the hospitality of the KMVN is what has given Munshiyari, the status of being one of the most inviting tourist destination in the recent years.

Birthi Falls

This wonderful cascade is combined with profuse greenery of nature. Falling from a height of 126 mts, this is an ideal spot for tea and lunch breaks and is located at a span of 35kms before Munsiyari.

Maheshwari Kund (Mehsar Kund)

This is also named as Mehsar Kund by the locales. This Kund is just a few kilometers walk from Munsiyari and the spot has now become a pond which offers an alluring view of nature. You can see the Panchachuli peak from here.

Betulidhar

A large garden of  Rhododendrons, Betulidhar is an ideal slope for skiing in winters. Here the sunrise and sunsets showcases beautiful tint of nature.

Thamari Kund

This exotic natural lake is located in the midst of alpine trees and paper trees. You can easily catch a glimpse of the Musk Deer here.

Darkot

A beautiful picturesque hamlet which is just 6kms from Munsiyari on Madkot road. The shop-aholics can buy pashmina, shawls and sheepwool blankets from here. This old artistic house of Darkot represent the rich cultural heritage and creativity of the localites of Kumaon.

Khaliya Top

A very easy trek, covering a distance of 10 kms from Munsiyari, will take you to the Khaliya top. It is located at an elevation of 11500 ft and the trek route offers the scenic views of the greater Himalayan ranges. Towering peaks of Panchchuli, Hardeol, Rajrambha, Nandadevi and Nandakot are clearly visible on this range. These snowy peaks are surrounded with the Khaliya Alpine meadows.  The Alpine slopes of Khalia Top and Betuldhar is ideal for skiing in the winter season.

Nanda Devi

Constructed in the ancient days Nanda Devi temple is on of the oldest temple. This temple is beautifully designed and decorated. Thousands of devotees from all over the country come here to worship the Nanda Devi Temple from the core of the heart. Nanda Devi Temple is only 3km trek from Munshiyari.

Tribal Heritage Museum

Also called the Masterji Museum, the tribal museum is constructed by Dr. S.S. Pangthi who is a retired school teacher, a trekker, traveller, author and also an authority on Bhotiyas of the area. This is a private museum with some antique collection is at his residence in Nanasen village. You can have a look at the original documents, that enabled trade between the Johar Valley and Tibet and along-with the personal effects of the traders.

Balanti Potato Farm

Located at an altitude of 9000 feet this farm grows high yielding potatoes. Covered by the lush green forests, from here one can have a magnificent view of the Panchchuli Peaks.

Kalimuni top

The Kalimuni top is located at 9500 feet on the way to Munshiyari from Birthi. It is 15 km from the Munshiyari township and has a Kali temple. The view of Panchachulli range from the Kalimuni top is amazing.

Dharchula

On the banks of river Kali, an important route to Kailash Mansarovar.

Narayan Ashram

Developed by Narayan Swami, this is a renowned spiritual and socio-economic enter in the region.

Nearby attraction around Munshiyari: Munshiyari also offers some scenic nearby locations. These include:

Didihat

Located at an altitude of 1,725 mts above sea level Didihat is a panoramic town in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state. The location is rich in flora and fauna that offers a beautiful views of verdant valley covered by attractive ridges. The place is situated on the pilgrimage route to Kailash Mansarovar. The place is located at a distance of 89 kms from Munsiyari.

Pithoragarh

It is surrounded by Nepal to the east and Tibet to the north. The place is popular for its exquisite natural beauty and is widely known as the ‘Little Kashmir’. Pithoragarh is located at a height of 1650 mt above sea level thus offering picturesque views of Himalayas. The location has a pleasant weather throughout the year and with a beauty healing us from tension and stress. This scenic location is situated at a distance of 135 kms from Munshiyari.

Chaukori

Chaukori is a small hamlet located at an interval of 96km from Munshiyari. This location perches at an elevation of 2,010mts above sea level, and greets its visitors with enchanting natural beauty. The location is renowned for the tea gardens established by the British. This place is a heaven for the Kumaon travellers. The pristine location remains un-spoilt by the pollution and crowd. From here the views of the snow-capped Himalayan peak is really enchanting. The five sibling peaks of Nanda Devi, Chaukhanba, Trishul, Nanda Kot and the Panchachuli are distinctly visible from Chaukori.

Things to do in Munshiyari: Ideal for trekking, Munshiyari also offers a list of other things to do including bird-watching and wildlife viewing. Explore the spectacular views of the gorgeous peaks or just sit back and relax. You can also buy some fantastic hand-woven carpets or Himalayan tree saplings. Enjoy the delicious local dish Kuka. You can also head to places like Khaliatop and Betulidhar for some fabulous skiing opportunities or Goriganga for river rafting.

Best time to Visit Munsiyari: March to June & September to October is the best time to visit Munsiyari and trekking at Munsiyari.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Munsiyari is Pantnagar Airport. Pantnagar airport is situated 249 kms from Munsiyari in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state. Taxis are available from Pantnagar Airport to Pithoragarh, Almora, Bageshwar and Munsiyari. Pantnagar is connected to Delhi with daily flights. PantNagarAirport is well connected by metalled road with Munsiyari.

By Rail

The nearest railheads to Munsiyari are Kathgodam and Tanakpur. The distance from Tanakpur Railway station to Munsiyari is 286 kms, and Kathgodam Railway station is situated at a distance of 275 kms from Munsiyari. Taxis and buses are easily available from Tanakpur and Kathgodam to Almora, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar and Munsiyari.  Tanakpur and Kathgodam are well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. 

By Road

Munsiyari is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand and northern India. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar are available to Champawat, Almora, Tanakpur, Haldwani and many other destinations from where you can easily hire a local cab to reach Munsiyari. Taxis and buses are easily available to Munsiyari from major destinations of Kumaon region.

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Where to stay ?

The are plenty of eco resorts and hotels in Munshiyari. Some options are:

Tourist Rest House (KMVN) :+91-8650002540
Johar Hilltop Resorts:
+91-59612- 22752 Website: www.joharhilltop.net
Milam Inn Hotel: +9159612-22633,+915962-258012, 258333  Website: www.milaminnmunsiyari.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.

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Kaza

Kaza, Himachal Pradesh – With snow capped mountains, narrow valleys and patches of greenery this wonderful hill town bears a striking resemblence with Ladakh

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Perching at a height of 3600 meter, Kaza is a Buddhist town and headquarter of the Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. The place is famous for the colourful festivals and the ancient Sakya Tangyud monastery. This small town overlooks the steep ridges. The otherwise tranquil place Kaza turns out to be an ideal base for trekking and camping. With small green areas over a dry, weather-beaten face, Kaza is actually a cool desert with no monsoon rains. The place is dotted with by spectacular beauty, narrow valleys and high mountain ranges.

Places to see in Kaza: This placid location has a no. of sight seeing spots. These include:

 Ki Monastery

This is the biggest monastery of the Spiti Valley. The monastery stands midway to Kaza and Kibber, and dominates the Ki village and Spiti Valley. It is Monastery (4116M) of the Gelugpa sect. The hilltop position marks a post-thirteenth century construction. The site is populated with monks’ dwellings mainly up the south and east face of the summit, where the main temple building is located. The greatest wealth of Ki Gompa lies in its collection of ‘Thangkas’ salvaged with difficulty from the devastating battle of the Dogras and the Sikhs in the 19th century.

Chander Tal

Chander Tal lies in Lahaul.  This lake can be reached through either 4551m high Kunzum Pass (the pass dividing the Lahaul and Spiti areas) or through Batal, lying at the base of the Kunzum Pass.

Dhankar Monastery

This renowned monastery is located in Dhankar, the traditional capital of Spiti. The Hill-top fort overlooking the Spiti Valley also served as a jail in good old days. It is a residing place of 160 lamas now. A statue of Dhyan Budha where four complete figures of Budha sit back to back is the main attraction of this more than seven-century old monastery. This 700 hundred year old monastery apart from being a place of prayer was also a kind of fortress, jail and a seat of power.

Pin Valley 

The Pin Valley located in this cold desert region of the Spiti valley was declared a national park in the year 1987.The valley is formed by the Pin River that rises on the eastern slopes of Pin-Parvati pass (4800M) thus meeting the Spiti River near Attargo Point.  The Park forms  a home to a number of rare animals species including the Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. The snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, ideally makes it, their habitat. It spreads in the south of Dhankar near the Tibetan border, and forms the borderline between the Lahaul and Spiti divisions of the State. The elevation of the Park ranges from about 3,500M near Ka Dogri to more than 6,000M at its highest point. The extreme climatic condition and the higher altitude, makes the vegetation in this area very scanty, thus mainly dominated by alpine trees, patches of Himalayan cedar and several medicinal plants. The valley is decorated with flowers. Sometimes the valley hides under the startling hues. Apart from the animals this park is also a home to the rare birds like the Himalayan Snowcock, Chukor, Snow Partridge and the Tibet Snow Finch also flourish in the area. Steeped in history, the influence of Tibetan culture is prevalent in the surrounding areas of the Park – visible in the Buddhist lamas, shrines, monasteries and culture of its residents. Pin valley is the only area in Spiti where Nyingmapa sect- a sect of Tibetan Buddhism- rules. You will be wonder-struck after visiting here. Discover a new way of life that is quite charming. This is the greenest area in the entire Spiti region. But one does not get that impression while entering the valley from Attargo on Tabo- Kaza road as the first 10 kms are very narrow with steep narrow rock walls rising on both the sides. The maximum number of villages is situated along the Pin River, the largest tributary of the Spiti River, and has a catchment area of 2200 sq Kms. The fossil rich soil of the upper valleys; the carpet of lush green pasture dotted with sheep, goats, yaks, horses, herds of Ibex; striking rock faces in myriad hues; snow covered mountains thrusting up the azure skies; all join to create images that leave a lasting impression on the mind.

Nearby attractions around Kaza: You can make an excursion to places like:

Losar

Losar, located at an altitude of 4,085 meters  is only 47km from Kaza. Lying in the lap of snow covered Himalayas this village is a must visit spot for being the first big village. The scenic view of the mighty Himalayas will steal your heart from you. Yak and horse riding are the activities worth enjoying that adds the uniqueness of the place.

Langza

The state of Himachal Pradesh is full of incredible destinations offering diverse sceneries The picturesque hamlet of Langza is one of them. Just 15km from Kaza, and located amidst the green pastures the Langza village rests at an altitude of 4400 meters. The village is famous for having the Buddhist statue of 20 to 25 feet.

Things to do in Kaza: Sightseeing apart, Kaza is an ideal base for camping and trekking. Enjoy the stunning views of the Himalayas. Make a visit to the pristine Dhankar monastery and get completely lost with the calmness and serenity of the spot. The avid animal lovers and bird lovers must visit the Pin valley national park.

Best time to visit Kaza: The best time to visit Kaza is during the summer season. When the temperature remains cool and comfortable and is perfect for sightseeing.

How to go ?

By Air

Kaza can be reached either from Manali or via Shimla. Indian Airlines and some private airlines operate regular flights to Bhuntar Airport, which is the nearest airport to Manali.  Pre-paid taxis are available from Bhuntar airport. Buses and taxis can be hired from Manali to Kaza. Flights from New Delhi and Chandigarh operate on a daily basis to Shimla airport.

By Rail 

Jogindernagar is the nearest railway station. The rail route from Jogindernagar to Chandigarh is a narrow guage one. Shimla and Chandigarh are the nearest broad guage railway stations. Buses and taxis are available from Shimla and Chandigarh to reach Kaza.

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.

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Where to stay ?

Kaza is dotted with decent hotels and resorts. Some options are:

The Spiti: +91-01906 – 222752
Grand Dewachen: +91-01906 223318  Website: www.dewachenretreats.com
Hotel Mandala:+91-09418558435

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.

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Keylong

Keylong, Himachal Pradesh – The valley, river, and the lofty mountain range together with the green landscape make it a charming destination

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The administrative headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, Keylong is situated at an altitude of 3350 m. After crossing the cool, rough and rugged desert the place of Keylong seems to be the “oasis of desert” with the forest of Poplar and Willow trees. Rudyard Kipling, the famous author rightly said that “it is surely the God live here; this is not the place for men.”  The valley, river, and the lofty mountain range together-with the green landscape make Keylong a charming destination.

Places to see in Keylong: Keylong is an exotic hill station with varied sight seeing spots. These include:

The Lady of Keylong Himachal

The Lady of Keylong glacier is a very popular attraction in Keylong. This spectacular glacier was named by ‘Lady Elashainghday’ at the time of British rule. It is located at an altitude of about 6,061 meters. It remains snow covered throughout the year. But in the middle, there is a dark bare patch visible which looks like the figure of a woman, walking with a load on her back. It is also recorded as ‘Lady of Keylong’ by the geological survey team of India.

Khardong Monastery

It is a 200 years old monastery. The head Lama here is called ‘Narbo’. The monastery has an architectural and sculptural style typical of ‘Lahaul and Spiti’. One of the most revered places of the Durga-Pa Sect, the monastery has a large library of Kangyur and Tangyur volumes of Buddhist scriptures in Bhoti and a huge storeroom where you will find some exquisite thangka paintings, musical instruments such as lutes, drums, horns and old weapons. The frescoes are colorful and the murals fascinating. This monastery has a huge prayer drum containing strips of paper upon which is the sacred mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’. This mantra has been written a million times.

Tandi

8 km, short of Keylong, on the Manali – Leh Raod, situated on the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga rivers. Last point to tank up if traveling north of Keylong as it has the last fuel station on this stretch.

Sissu

On the bank of Chandra, 15 km from Koksar, every spring and autumn wild geese and ducks halt here on their way to and from Siberia.

Gondla (3110m)

18 km from Keylong on the right bank of river Chandra. Famous for ancient Fort.

Udaipur

53 km from Keylong, home of the Mrikula Devi Temple, which is famous for wood carvings.

Triloknath (2660m)

4 km from Udaipur famous for Triloknath temple. Sacred both for HIndu and Buddhist.

Gemur Monastery

Just 8km from Keylong, Gemur Monastery is a Buddhist Monastery, 600 to 700 yards above the village of Gemur, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It is located 38 kilometres from Manali. The Monastery is around 700 years old. It contains a sculpture of the Goddess ‘Marichi Vajravarahi’ which dates back to the 11th century AD. The ‘Devil dance’ is carried out in the month of July. The Monastery also contains ancient Buddhist miniature paintings, wall paintings, Stupas, Statues and Buddhist artifacts.

Guru Ghantal monastery

The oldest monastery in Lahaul area, it is located eight kms. from Keylong.

Shaspur Monastery

The Monastery is situated on a hill 3 kms. away from Keylong. It is famous for the paintings of the history of the 84 Buddhas and the devil dance of the Lamas in June / July that originated in the 17th century.

Nearby attractions from Keylong: While in Keylong, you must visit:

Baralacha La Pass

Baralacha La means the pass where many roads meet. The pass connects Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. The Baralacha La is better described as a plateau where three mountain ranges meet (Pir Panjal, Zanskar and the Himalayas). The Baralacha La towers over three valleys that meet at a height of over 16,000 ft.

Darcha

Situated at an altitude of 3360 metres, this is a camping ground for trekkers. It is 24 kms. from Keylong on the Leh road.

Things to do at Keylong: Trekking, Hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, skiing and fishing, Keylong is the suitable base for all these activities.

Best time to visit Keylong: Mid May to mid October is the best time to visit Keylong.

How to go ?

By Air

There are airports at Manali and Shimla (375 kms.) and Bhuntar Airport in Kullu.

By Rail

The nearest railway stations are at Jogindernagar, Shimla and Chandigarh.

By Road

Keylong is 126 kms. north of Manali. The place is just 120 kms. from the Indo-Tibetan border. There is sufficient number of buses from Manali to Keylong during the summer season.

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Where to stay ?

Keylong offers an array of accommodation options. Some options are:

The Chanderbhaga: +9101900 – 222247, 222393
Hotel Deykith: +91- 094 18 157650
Hotel Deluge: +91- 094 18 063677

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.

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Nathang Valley

Nathang Valley, Sikkim – A plateau having high altitude in East Sikkim covered by mountains on all sides

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Nathang Valley or Gnathang Valley is a plateau having high altitude in East Sikkim. Perching at an altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level, the plateau is covered by mountains on all sides; this is a remote valley with a meandering stream criss crossing it. Nathang is the highest location in the Indian part of the Old Silk Route. One of the remotest Tibetan habitations in Himalayas, Nathang Valley usually remains snow covered from January to April. The long four-month of sub-zero temperature makes the valley a cold desert Nathang Valleyand one of the most beautiful parts of Himalayas. Few homestays with modern facilities have been built recently with the aid from the Government by the local villagers for tourist accommodation. The most wonderful destination in the whole of Old Silk Route is Nathang Valley and the sunrise points of Lungthung and Eagles Nest Bunker are only 5 km from here.

Places to see at NathangValley: There is a local Hindu temple, a small Buddhist monastery, few houses, some migratory birds, a stream snaking through the valley and a small bridge over the stream in the distance – Nathang is as close as you can get to paradise.

The sunrise points of Lungthung and Gyamochen are just 5 kms from Nathang valley. The whole of Mt.Kanchenjungha range with all its allied peaks can be seen from here. The sun rises over Bhutan, it washes the whole of Bhutan and parts of China with its early rays and reaches Kanchenjungha to turn it crimson and you stand in the middle to witness the magic called “creation.” This heavenly experience can be witnessed from these sunrise points.

If you want to see the longest view of the entire Eastern Himalayas, with Bhutan, China, the hills of Bengal including Darjeeling, the entire  Kanchenjungha range and River Bramhaputra meandering across China and entering India, then you have to trek uphill for 10 minutes to reach the Eagle’s Nest Bunker. This is an abandoned Bunker of the army and located strategically on a hill top with a 360 degree complete view of the Himalayas. You can still see bullet marks in the bunker walls, which bears the testimony of the Indo-China war. Within 5 kms of Nathang Valley, these sunrise points can be reached within 20 mins from Nathang. However, from other spots in this Old Silk Route like Zuluk or Padmachen, it takes around 1.5 hours to reach the sunrise points. Nathang is the most scenic and strategically located spot in the Old Silk Route.

Nearby attractions of Nathang Valley: You can take local sightseeing tours to Zuluk (24 kms away). The panoramic view of winding roads across Zuluk (also spelt as Dzuluk) with 32 turns is an interesting sight. Lungthung – Dhupidara also has a great view of Kanchenjungha and so does Thambi View Point and Tukla Valley. From Nathang, you can also move ahead following the GN Road and reach Kupup Lake (also known as Elephant Lake or Bitan Cho) at 15,600 feet above sea level. Some of the most sacred and scenic lakes like Jorepokri, Green lake, Changu lake and Menmecho Lake all fall within 25 kms of Nathang and can be covered in local sightseeing tours. You can also take a trip to the Nathula Pass at 14,400 feet above sea level to witness the border gates of India and China. There is a cafe at 14,000 feet at Nathula  Pass.

Gangtok is around 60 kms from Nathang Valley. There is the Old Baba Mandir (which was the original bunker of Baba Harbhajan) near Kupup Lake. There is an interesting belief about this temple. Baba Harbhajan was an Indian army soldier who died near the Nathula Pass. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honour. Baba is believed to have granted favours to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain. There is a new Baba Mandir near Changu (Tsomgo Lake) dedicated to Baba Harbhajan too. Another interesting destination near Nathang is the Four Lake Point from where you can see the four sacred lakes of Sikkim.

Things to do at NathangValley: You must visit to the local monastery and temple. A ride on a yak or horse across the valley or making a snowman is some of the activities you can take part here. You can also trek to Changala View Point around 4 kms from Nathang to experience one of the most mesmerizing views of River Bramhaputra meeting River Teesta and the vast plains of China, Bengal and Bhutan. Bird and Butterfly watching in summer, when the valley is drenched in colours of all shades is another activity to take up. In October and November Nathang Valley exudes different colours during the day. You can witness this change of colour over the valley sitting in your homestay balcony throughout the day. If you are a food fanatic then you can try local Yak Milk Cheese (Chupri) and some other interesting traditional Tibetan Yak herder’s dishes.

Best time to visit Nathang valley: If you are in Nathang between January and April, then it is covered in 3 feet of snow. Nathang is shrouded with wild flowers from June to September after the snow thaws and the whole valley is covered in a golden hue of the grassland from September to January.

How to go ?

You have to reach Gangtok first which is well connected by both rail and road from all parts of India. Hire a car from there to reach Nathang Valley which is only 60 km from Gangtok.

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Where to stay ?

There are traditional as well as modern homestays in Nathang valley for the tourists. The recently-built Government aided pucca homestays are concrete buildings with modern facilities like cushioned beds, room heaters, solar water heaters, 24-hour electricity, attached western bathrooms and endless supply of blankets and quilts to fight the chill. There are separate dining areas for the guests within the building and Televisions in common room. You may not call it luxury but it is the best accommodation in the whole of Old Silk Route circuit.

The two popular home-stays at Nathang Valley are:
Dafter Bungalow and Phinasa Lodge.
At this time we do not have any contact information of these home-stays.

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.

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Zuluk

Zuluk, Sikkim – At an altitude of 3000 meters Zuluk is a quaint tourist destination

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Located in the lower Himalayas, at an altitude of 3000 meters Zuluk or Jhuluk is a hamlet in the East Sikkim, near the Indo-China border. It is a quaint tourist destination. For making a tour to Jhuluk you must have special permits. The place has a population of around 700 people. There is also an army base located that is used as a transit camp for army movement to the Chinese border, located a few kilometers away. It was a part of the popular silk route previously that connects Kalimpong to Tibet and used by traders mainly for travelling to Tibet. The entire area around Zuluk becomes snow covered in winters. However the rains in September, makes the whole region covered in wild flowers of all types. This small village of Zuluk is used as a base to see one of the most magnificent sunrise over Mt.Kanchenjungha.

ZulukPlaces to see at Jhuluk: The three-level zigzag roads of Jhuluk offer beautiful views of the Kanchenjunga and its mountain range. The other attractions of the place include lakes, temples and ‘Young Husband Track’, a route that leads to Tibet. Some of the forests situated around Jhuluk are completely unexplored and offer a variety of flora and fauna. Various kinds of animals found in the wild forests include Deer, Himalayan Bears, Wild Dogs, Red Pandas, Tigers and Snow Leopard. The list of birds includes Monal Pheasant, Khaleez Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Snow Pheasant and many more.

Nearby attractions of Jhuluk: From Jhuluk, you can reach Thambi View Point by driving on a winding road. Situated at an altitude of 11,200 feet; the spot offers excellent view of the entire eastern Himalayas. You can also go ahead and reach Lungtung, at an altitude of 13,000 feet to enjoy another complete panoramic view of Kanchenjungha.

ZulukAnother 30 mins drive would take you to Kalpokhri Lake, Adi Baba Mandir and Kupup Lake. The Kupup Lake (Bitang Cho lake) also known as Elephant lake owning to it shape which resembles and elephant is also a very popular destination. You would also find the highest golf course in the world near Kupup Lake. You can further travel Nathula Pass, New Baba Mandir Tsomgo Lake and reach Gangtok. Menmecho Lake, which is tyhe source of the Rangpo River is also visible in the distance from the road after crossing Kupup.

Things to do at Jhuluk: Your early morning trips from Zuluk village to nearby Lungthang or Thambi View Point would help you witness a grand sunrise over the entire Mt.Kanchenjungha range. The sunrise view points of Thambi and Lungthung offers a panoramic view of the valleys, roads and most of Eastern Himalayas. The road to Lungthung would cross some of the untouched parts of the region and you can catch a glimpse of some rare birds like monals in this region too.

Best time to visit Zuluk: The beauty of Zuluk is breathless in every season. Just after the rainy season in September, the valleys get covered in wild flowers. In April and early May, Zuluk is covered in blooming Rhododendrons and the winter months witness around 6 feet of snow. If you are aiming for the most memorable sunrise of your lifetime, then visit during the winters.

How to go ?

The Zuluk trip is operated as package tours because you would need special Inner Line permits (even for Indian citizens) and exclusive Reserved Cars. The trips are usually operated from destinations like Sillery Gaon in West Bengal, Reshikhola or Mankhim (in Sikkim). The usual packages are 3 Nights – 4 Days and 4 Nights – 5 Days (ex New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri or Bagdogra).

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ZulukWhere to stay ?

Not many hotel facilities are available at Zuluk. You can stay at:
Sky High Resorts: (+91) 8697127316,  9836739437,  9836020731,  9830078453.

You can also opt to stay at homestays at Zuluk.

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.
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rabangla

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

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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.

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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.
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tashi-gang-resort

Yangtey, Sikkim – From here the snow-covered Kanchenjungha & other peaks is a feast for the eyes

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Located just 9 km from Pelling, Yangtey offers excellent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha but is not as crowded as Pelling. It is located at an altitude of 6000 feet and from where the snow-covered Kanchenjungha and other peaks is a feast for the eyes. The place is dotted with various nearby destinations like Kangchendzonga waterfalls, Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi Waterfalls, Rabdentse Ruins, Sewaro Rock Garden, Temi Tea Garden, Geyzing, Legship and Pemyangtse. Besides the beautiful Himalayan views, Yangtey is also famed for its beautiful Tashigang Resort located amidst lush green gardens and lawns.

Places to see at Yangtey: Savour the panoramic view of the splendid Mt Kanchenjangha and other snow covered Himalayan peaks from Yangtey. Yangtey offers wonderful view of snowcapped peaks like Rathong, Frey, Kabru Dom, Pandim, Narsing, Tinchikhang Siniolchu and Kanchenjungha.

Nearby attractions of Yangtey: In the nearest town of Pelling, you will be truly amazed by viewing the earliest monastery of the region, the Pemayangtse Monastery, belonging to the Nyingmapa sect. The monastery offers visual pleasure by its impeccable sculptures and wall paintings. If you are visiting the monastery in January-February, you can witness a religious dance called ‘Cham’. Locate the Rabdantse Ruins, which is 10 minutes walk away from the Monastery. You will also find a forest area nearby, admired with some exotic orchids and few lakes.

You can organize tours to visit some of the prominent locations around Yangtey. The Changey Waterfall, located at a distance of 19 km. from Yangtey is worth visiting.  You can also visit another spectacular waterfall, the Kangchendzonga waterfalls some 30 km away. Make a trip to the site of Khecheopari Lake, highly acknowledged as one of the holy lakes in Sikkim. Surprisingly, there is not a single leaf on the lake surface, which is said to be cleared by birds. The other two major tourist attractions are the Rimbi Water Falls and Karchen Power House.

You will truly enjoy your visit to the Sewaro Rock Garden, admired with flowers, fountains, spectacular gardens, ponds, swimming pool, cafeteria and well-maintained rocks. A fair called Maghe mela is also celebrated at the site. You can also visit the Sang Da Choeling Monastery near Pelling by taking a short 45 min trek from Pelling.

Things to do at Yangtey: The sights from the gardens of the resort during the sunrise will really take your breath away. You can clearly view the sun rising from behind the snow capped mountains shrouded in the morning mists. You can take a nature walk along the village roads of Yangtey.

Best time to visit Yangtey: Throughout the year but the best season to view the peaks is the winter.

How to go ?

Yangtey is 106 km from Siliguri and just 2 km from Geyzing. You can hire cars from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri to reach Yangtey. If you are travelling from Gangtok, then you can take buses of shared cars upto Geyzing and then hire a car for anther 2 km to reach Yangtey.

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Where to stay ?

Yangtey has only one resort that is Tashigang Resort. The sights of the rising sun from the resort and the changing colours of Mt.Kanchenjungha during sunrise is breathtaking. You can clearly view the sun rising from behind the snow capped mountains shrouded in the morning mists. The Tashigang Resort offers room types like Super Deluxe, Deluxe Cottage and Suite Cottage. It is known for its comfortable rooms and splendid services. The splendid interiors of the cottages perfectly compliment the outside world of the mountains and valleys. The rooms have wall-to-wall carpeting and minimal furniture, built in closets and the bathrooms are clean with running hot and cold water. You would also get a colour TV with cable connectivity.

Tashigang Resort has a very good restaurant named Shangrilla serving both Sikkimese and International cuisine. There is a bar as well called Rabdentse Bar which caters internationally acclaimed brands as well as popular local offerings.

For booking details you may contact:
Tashi Gang Resort: 09874491400,  +91-3595-250340, 9933007730

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.

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temi-tea-garden

Temi Tea Garden, Sikkim – The beauty of the lush green garden will astonish you

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Planning to go for a trip to Ravangla then you will find the Temi Tea Garden on your way. It is the sole tea garden in Sikkim guarded by Mt.Kanchenjungha. The place was established in 1969 by the Government of Sikkim. It extends over a total area of Temi_Tea_Garden_Ravanglaaround 453 acres. Temi tea garden produces some of the best quality teas across the globe. The beauty of the lush green garden will astonish you. The journey amidst the greenery of the tea plantation and a night in the resort located within the tea garden is truly a lifetime experience. The beauty of the Temi Tea Garden reaches at its fullest during the winter season with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms and the mountain and tea garden are covered in a mauve veil. This grandeur is overlooked by Kanchenjungha.

Places to see at Temi Tea Garden: The surrounding region of Temi tea garden is a haven of some exotic bird species like the Rusty-bellied, Lesser Shortwings, Satyr tragopan, kalij and numerous butterflies. Apart from the tea estate, the region is mainly dominated by large cardamom plants and cherry blossom trees. The tea garden also offers some breathtaking view of the surrounding villages and the entire range of the Eastern Himalayas with Kanchenjungha towering in the middle. The Temi tea garden is known for manufacturing a popular tea brand, called ‘Temi-Tea’, famed for its rich aroma and taste. Do not miss the picturesque view of tea plucking, which is an enduring experience. You can also visit the factory to gain some interesting knowledge on tea processing.

Nearby attractions of Temi Tea Garden: Pelling, which is renowned for its charming natural beauty is an ideal location to make an enjoyable trip from Temi. Located in the district of West Sikkim, Pelling is nestled at an altitude of 7200 feet, offering some stunning views of the snow-clad peak of Kanchenjunga and other peaks of Eastern Himalayas. Pelling also has some notable ancient Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim, the most famous being the Sang Da Choeling Monastery and Pemyangtse Monastery.

Temi-tea-GardenNamchi, the capital of South Sikkim is another popular destination, located at an altitude of 1675 m above sea level. It is located at a distance of 78 km from Gangtok. In Bhutia, the word ‘Namchi’ means ‘sky high’ and this township is gradually gaining popularity as an amazing tourist destination. The prime attraction of the place is the statue of Guru Padmasambhava measuring 135 feet, in Samdruptse monastery. You can also savour the majestic view of Kanchenjungha from this location. The upcoming Chaar Dhaam point also attracts tourists.

Trips are also made to the serene hamlet of Ravangla, located at an altitude of 7000 ft. This place located in South Sikkim District is slowly emerging as a natural tourist retreat offering splendid snow view. It is an ideal location for village tourism. Ravangla, overlooked by colossal snowy mountains, picturesque tea gardens, exotic flora and fauna, ancient monasteries and charming villages has all resources to become a tourist hotspot. The trek adventurers also prefer Ravangla as the trekking routes to Tendong Hill and Maenam Hill originate from this place.

Some other notable places where you can organize day trips are a number of nearby destinations of West Sikkim like Rimbi Waterfalls, Sewaro Rock Garden, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdentse Ruins, Pemyangtse Monastery and Kangchendzonga waterfalls.

Things to do at Temi Tea Garden: The pristine manicured Temi tea garden welcomes tourists to savour the beauty of the surrounding picturesque landscape. You can also visit the tea factory in the garden to view tea processing. Many tourists also prefer to spend few nights at the resort nestled in the tea garden. Near the tea garden, there is a small outlet operated by the ‘Tea Garden Employees Consumers’ Co-operative society Ltd.’, which sells some quality packaged tea for visitors. You can find brand names like Temi tea, Sikkim Solja, Mysteaque, Orthodox dust tea and Kanchanjunga Tea. Enjoy a nature walk along the scenic tea garden, exploring the pristine Himalayan hamlets, birds and butterflies. You can also visit nearby Ravangla to indulge in Maenam Hill trek or trek to Tendong Hill from Damthang.

Best time to visit Temi Tea Garden:Temi Tea Garden welcomes tourist all the year round. However, if you want to relish the amazing sight of the cherry blossom in full bloom, it is best to visit during November and December. The best time to viewMt. Kanchenjumgha and her allies is from October to February.

How to go ?

You can avail the regular buses running to Temi or can hire taxis from Namchi, Pelling, Ravangla, Pelling or Gangtok. Rented cars are also available from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri to reach Temi. New Jalpaiguri is around 3.5 hours and Bagdogra is around 4 hours from Temi.

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Where to stay ?

There is a quaint and intimate resort at Temi tea garden, popularly known as Cherry resort. This charming inn offering exquisite view of the snow capped Mt.Kanchendzonga and the Teesta River gorge offers luxury accommodation and excellent dining facilities. The rooms of the resort are very spacious admired with decks, overlooking the spectacular surrounding Himalayas and the Tea Garden. Nestled on the slopes of the Temi tea garden, this is one of the most distinguished hotel settings in Sikkim. You can relish some delectable dishes ranging from Western to Indian in the hotel’s dining hall. For booking details you may contact:

Cherry Resort: (+91) 8016488737, 9800013666  Website: www.cherryresort.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.

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Lachen

Lachen, Sikkim – The breathtaking scenic beauty of the place is feast for the eyes

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Lachen, located in north district of Sikkim rests at an altitude of 9000 feet. It is a really tempting tourist destination. The word ‘Lanchen’ means “big pass”. The breathtaking scenic beauty of the place is feast for the eyes. Lachen, lies close to the China border, and offers excellent base for adventurers, willing to explore the towering peaks of the region and the exotic Gurudongmar Lake. From here you can catch the spectacular sight of the greatest mountain peaks of the mighty Himalayas. The tranquil atmosphere of the place is truly rejuvenating.

Places to see at Lachen

Lachen is an ideal base to explore a number of tourist attractions in and around the village. The place is dotted with amazing lachen-yumthang-tourviewpoints that offer spectacular shots of nearby mountains and valleys. Travelling to Chopta Valley from Lachen is truly rewarding. This valley is renowned among bird lovers and the enthusiastic hikers. Green Lake is another popular tourist attraction near Lachen. Many tourists also make an exciting trip to Kanchenjunga National Park, which boasts an exotic variety of wild life. Another must visit tourist spot near Lachen is the Gurudongmar Lake that is highly revered by Buddhists and Hindus.

Nearby attractions of Lachen, North Sikkim

Trips are made from Gangtok to Lachen, which is truly enjoyable. Gangtok is located at a six hours driving distance from Lachen. On the way, the panoramic view of the surrounding landscape is truly enthralling. Many tourists also use Lachen as a gateway to some of the most fascinating spots, which all nestles in the upper reaches of the mountains of Sikkim.

Things to do at Lachen, North Sikkim

This cool picturesque village of Lachen is an ideal place to leisure around. The place is also an excellent trekking destination. Most of the trek enthusiasts prefer to trek from Lachung to Lachen to experience the exotic splendour of the majestic mountains from a close distance. Also a short two-day-long trekking route connects Yumthang Valley to Lachen.

Best time to visit Lachen

Lachen experiences alpine climatic condition. The ideal time to visit the location is the summer season (April, May, June and July), when temperature remains favourable and suitable for guests.

 How to go ?

The panoramic town of Lachen can be accessed both by buses or hired cars within the state. However, tourists coming from other parts of the country will have to opt for trains or flights that are connected to the nearest railway station or airport of the destination. New Jalpaiguri and Guwahati are the nearest railway station of the destination, well connected to a number of cities. The closest airport from Lachen is the Bagdogra Airport, which is well connected to all-important Indian cities through a number of flights. Buses, hired jeeps and cars are available from both Bagdogra airport, New Jalpaiguri railway stations, Gangtok carrying passengers to Lachen. To visit Lachen you will need permits that are opted from Gangtok.

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Where to stay ?

There are some budget and luxury hotels at Lachen. Most accommodations at Lachen have hot water geysers, attached toilets, double bed and 4-bed family rooms. All these hotels serve local Indian cuisine. Few options are:

Himalayan Residency: (+91) 94340 54777 / 73840 52777 /  73840 49777 / 97331 00777 / 98320 64513
The Apple Orchard: +91- 9474837640 / +91-96098 20029
Hidden Hill Lodge: 605-550-0445

However, to visit Lachen it is best to opt for Lachen Lachung package tour that are operated from Gangtok.

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.

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Bermiock Martam

Bermiock Martam, Sikkim – A picturesque Himalayan village known for its pristine village life

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Sitting in a quiet corner of West Sikkim, Martam is a picturesque Himalayan village offering beautiful views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. The place is known for its pristine village life and beautiful natural surroundings. The popular tourist destinations like Bermiok, Uttarey and Rinchenpong, are quite near to Martam yet it is still far from the maddening tourist rush. This little village is also popular for its rich growth of flora and fauna species and is an abode of some of the most beautiful birds of Sikkim.

Places to see at Bermiok Martam: Martam is a pristine hamlet in West Sikkim. If you are looking forward to experiencing Bermiock Martamsome authentic Sikkimese Village life in the lap of the Himalayas and a grand panoramic view of Kanchenjunga, then Martam village is the place to be. The quaint village was once a popular and revered religious hub of the Limbu people. The village ground still holds the symbol of its rich religious past in the form of the temple ‘Yuma Samyo Manghim’ that was built by the followers of this religion. The mystic temple has a huge stone place in its entrance, which was once the seat of the great mystic Guru Teyongsi Srijunga. Legend has that it was here that Guru Srijunga used to sit and deliver sermons to his devoted followers.

Nearby attractions of Bermiok Martam: Near to this little village are many interesting and beautiful places. The Srijunga waterfalls and caves located along the banks of Reshi River is an important historical site located near Martam. The caves are also known as Srijunga Phuku. The Srijunga Wadhan waterfall is simply spectacular to watch. Next stop is the Berthang Berfok Mangerjong located at the confluence of the two rivers Kaleez and Rangsang at Berthang, which is absolutely a breathtaking view. Moving further, there is another gorgeous waterfall known as the Pheng Doji Falls that stands solitary at Hee-Gaon in the Hee-Khola area.

Bermiock MartamA little further from here you can visit the famed Rabindranath Smritiban, which was once a resting home of the Great Nobel Laureate of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore. Near the Hee-Khola riverbank, there is a beautiful water garden by the name of Hee Water Garden that possesses the largest Buddhist Water Prayer Wheel in the world, which is also called the Mani Chukar. The water garden is set amidst beautiful scenery that includes a swimming pool, a cafeteria, a Gazebo (resting place) and a small Temple of Lord Shiva.

At upper Martam, located just above the Alley cave temple is a watchtower that offers a magnificent view of the Mt. Kanchenjungha. You would also find the picturesque lake Chaaya Taal that offers boat rides to tourists and visitors, just eight km from Martam. Other interesting sightseeing places located nearby are the Resum Monastery, Changay Falls, Singshore Bridge, Pemyangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Yuksom and Pelling.

About 13 miles away, there is a beautiful cave temple of Lord Shiva that is more than a century old. The cave temple is also popularly known as the Kailash Pati Gufa, and is visited by hundreds of tourists and locals every year during the festival of Shivaratri. There is another popular temple cave located nearby known as the Alley Cave, which is also incidentally dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from these activities, you can also go for quite nature walks, bird watching and trekking trips to nearby places of interest.

The Red Panda Gate (one of the entrances of the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary) is also within 10 km of Martam. This sanctuary is one of the last natural habitats of the illusive Red Panda.

Things to do at Bermiok Martam: Besides enjoying the panoramic views of Kanchenjungha, in Martam you will truly enjoy the actual flavour of a mountain village life. The local home stay at Martam lets you enjoy the unique life of a mountain villager. To get the best enriching experiences of a typical village life, hire a local guide to show you through the various modes of daily activities in the village. You could begin with sightseeing around popular village spots like the agricultural farmlands, flower gardens, village home backyards, animal husbandries, the local market and various herbal plantation spots. Martam is also dotted with very interesting herbal plant species of which cardamom plants are the most dominant in the region. The locals are also very warm and generous in nature. You can have a different experience by participating in village activities like basket weaving, gathering, organic farming and the bustling village fair.

Best time to visit Bermiok Martam: Martam can be visited all year round. But, if you want to catch a glimpse of the scenic Kanchenjungha at its grandest splendour, then visit Martam between the winter months of October and February. For those who love fun and frolic, the months of March, April and May are the best time to enjoy the local tourist festival at the Monastery organized by the Hee Bermiok Tourism Development & Heritage Conservation Society. Moreover, you can also pay a visit to the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary famous for its magnificent blossoming Rhododendron flowers during this time.

How to go ?

Martam is situated about 145 km from Siliguri, 135 kms from Bagdogra Airport and New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. All cars going to Dentam Bazar will reach Bermiok, from where pick-up to Martam can be arranged.

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Where to stay ?

There are very few accommodation facilities in Bermiock Martam. One option is Hitaishi Homestay. For booking details you may contact:

Hitaishi Homestay:  (+91)-9593889226 / (+91)-7797883912
Website: www.hitaishihomestay.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.

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selim-hill-tea-estate

Selim Hill, North Bengal – The Tea Estate perches at an altitude of 4,500 ft.

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Located just 35 km away from Siliguri, the Selim Hill Tea Estate perches at an altitude of 4,500 feet and overlooks the lush Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary on one side and the magnificent Mt.Kanchenjungha on the other. The Tea Bungalow which is 150 years old is placed into one of the oldest and finest tea estates of Darjeeling, decorated with period furniture and the old world charm of a tea planter’s life.  Selim Hill Tea Estate was made by the British planter Mr. Henry in the year 1800. The place is located quite away from the Hill Cart Road towards Darjeeling. Unlike other tea bungalows, here the accommodation in Selim Hill Tea Bungalow is much affordable. According to locals, the estate is named after Selim Saheb, who was an earlier planter at the place, some others believe that the name is after the stunning sailing hills bordering the estate.

Places to see at Selim Hill: The Selim Hill Tea Estate is a bio-dynamic tea garden divided into upper and lower segments across Selim-3the slopes. You can savor the spectacular views of River Mahananda and Balasun River Valleys and on a clear morning catch a   glimpse of Mt.Kanchenjungha over Kurseong town in the distance. You can roam around this beautiful lush tea estate all day accompanied by the distant hoots of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway passing through the Mahananda Forest. The shivering River Teesta meanders down in the valleys below and you stand witness to the mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises over the verdant valleys, hills and forests.

Nearby attractions of Selim Hill: Within a walk of few minutes, there is the renowned Agony Point of 20th Mile Loop of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways locally called ‘SmritivanPark.’ You can also visit the nearby orphanage of Mother Teresa – ‘Santha Bhawan.’ The nearest railway station is Gayabari which is on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway route, a world heritage site. The town of Kurseong is also nearby.

Things to do at Selim Hill: The Selim Hill Tea Bungalow offers a number of activities within its boundaries. There is a Selim-2badminton outdoor court, table tennis games room and library. The estate is also a good centre for studying tea processing. Guests can also try for foot treks and pony treks within the boundary of the estate. You can also opt for several low altitude treks, nature walks and bird watching trips in nearby forests. Other options may include an itinerary of the tea estate with a visit to the nearby tea factory for watching tea processing, tea tasting and tea plucking. A Toy Train ride on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or organizing an outdoor picnic lunch with cultural shows in the evenings are also other sources of entertainment.

Best time to visit Selim Hill: You can visit Selim Hill anytime of the year. The winters are addictive, the monsoons are lush and the summers are cool here.

How to go ?

Selim Hill is just 35 kilometers from Siliguri on the Darjeeling Hill Cart Road at an altitude of 4500 feet bordering the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located in the Kurseong Division. You can hire a car from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri to reach Selim Hill. You can also board the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from New Jalpaiguri and get down at Gayabari Station. Selim Hill is just a walk from the Gayabari Station.

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Where to stay ?

The Selim Hill Tea Bungalow has four comfortable Double Bed rooms with attached baths and all modern amenities. If you look straight from the windows of the bungalow, you can view the spectacular sight of the Himalayan ranges and deep gorges. The bungalow is decked with period furniture, a fireplace and a kitchen equipped with garden fresh organic food. There is a separate dining room, a verandah and a lounge.You can also spot numerous strategic view points spread all over the tea estate. You can also taste some awesome dishes at the bungalow, prepared from fresh vegetables grown in the organic garden of the Selim Hill Tea bungalow.

For booking details you may contact:
Selim Hill – The hideaway. With a heritage
9830822937, 9836362937, 9932374725
Website :  www.selimhill.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.

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chota-mangwa

Chota Mangwa, North Bengal – Located amidst orange gardens

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Located amidst orange gardens Chota Mangwa is a beautiful quiet village offering majestic views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. The village passes through landscaped gardens and cottages with view points located everywhere along the mountain slopes. It is one of the undiscovered gems of Eastern Himalayas. This quaint village rests at the top of the Mangwa hill in the Darjeeling district, and gives a scenic view of the serpentine Teesta River and marvellous mountains. Chota Mangwa, is an eco village where no vehicles ply within its area and tourists must leave their car before entering it. Pack your bags to visit this exotic destination that offer you a slice of village life nestled in the lap of mountain.

chota-mangwaPlaces to see at Chota Mangwa: From Chota Mangwa you can take the delight of an un-parallel view of the majestic Kanchenjungha and the spectacular Teesta River. The breath taking sunrise is also equally admirable. A trip to the orange orchards at Chota Mangwa to see the oranges in full bloom, picking them and enjoying orange juice fresh from the orange garden is an experience that you will cherish for your lifetime. Chota Mangwa is an eco-tourism village, where the farmers mainly practice organic culture in terrace cultivation. The most commonly produced crop is rice, which is cultivated along with a number of vegetables. Oranges are found in abundance, covering the entire village with an orange hue during the blooming season from October to February. Beside oranges, loads of yellow hued, sweet and juicy lemons (Mausambi) also grow in Chota Mangwa.

Nearby attractions at Chota Mangwa: Tourists can make a trip to the nearby village of Takling to view an age-old monastery. chota-mangwaThere is also a Tibetan Medical center at nearby Takdah. The stunning view of Rungliot Tea Estate at Takdah will cast a magical spell on you. You can also visit the small orange juice-making factory at Lopchu, a relaxing pristine hamlet across the hills. Here you will also find small shops offering hand processed tea, jams, juices and jellies prepared not only from oranges but also from plum and other citrus fruits. Bara Mangwa is just a kilometer from Chota Mangwa. Tinchuley and Kalimpong are other popular tourist destinations near Chota Mangwa. Other destinations like Mongpoo (21 kms.), Pedong (36 kms), Loleygaon (69 kms.) and Delo Hill Top (34 kms.) can be reached within a couple of hours.

Things to do at Chota Mangwa:  The adventurous tourists can try rafting in River Teesta and River Rangeet. You can also chota-mangwawalk through the lush green mountains and orange gardens of Chota Mangwa, to take the pleasing view of the entire range of Kanchenjungha. The intoxicated smell of the ripe orange that makes the air heavy is captivating. Guests are allowed to collect the ripe oranges from the forest floor after taking permission from the farmers. You can have the oranges, drink the orange juice and can apply it as a natural pack. A short uplifting and refreshing local course in medication and yoga are also offered at Chota Mangwa. While taking a walk along the winding alleys of the place, inhale the refreshing unpolluted mountain air.

Best time to visit Chota Mangwa: You can visit Chota Mangwa any time of the year. However, to see the oranges in full bloom, it is better to visit Chota Mangwa between October and early February.

How to go ?

Tourists can avail overnight trains from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri. They can also take flights to Bagdogra airport. Rental cars are available at the New Jalpaiguri station, which will take you to Chota Mangwa in three and half hours. You have to reach Teesta Bazar and then take left before the Teesta Bridge to reach Chota Mangwa. It is around 66 kilometers from Siliguri.

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Where to stay?

There are cottages at Chota Mangwa, which are operated by several self-help groups. The cottages offer decent accommodation and dining facilities along with a personal attendant and local guide, who assist the guests in every activity. The cottages are very clean and eco-friendly with views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. They are equipped with facilities like hot water and attached western bathrooms.  At Chota Mangwa, you can cherish home cooked vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food.

Darjeeling Blossom Eco Tourism Complex is a good option. For details you may contact 9800072639, 8972549897, 9332901041.

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.

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chatakpur

Chatakpur, North Bengal – The mountain village

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The mountain village of Chatakpur is located at an altitude of 7887 feet within Senchal WLS. On its northern side, is the Mt.Kanchenjunga and on the southern side of it are the swinging green valley and the river gorge of Relly Khola. The small village has a population of around 100 people. The organic crops, the shrubs and medicinal herbs which are acquired by means of the terrace cultivation from the forest, form the means of livelihood of the locals. The place offers spectacular views of Kanchenjungha, lush greenery, forest trails and wooden cottages. It is a perfect destination for those seeking peace and tranquillity in the Himalayas.

Places to see at Chatakpur: A number of popular trek routes are from Chatakpur that lead to the top of the Tiger Hill. During this trek, you might even catch a glimpse of the ‘Chumbalumba’ or Mount Everest. While going to the forest, make sure to take a trained forest guard as the forest is the home to the Great Himalayan Black Bear family, Leopards, Barking Deer and Antelopes.

Nearby attractions of Chatakpur: During your stay make a visit to the Tiger Hill. There are many other places that are situated nearby such as Jorebungalow, Ghoom and Sonada. Darjeeling is the nearest popular tourist destination of Chatakpur. You can enjoy a number of small treks to Tiger Hill, Rimbi village, Sixeen village, Labda. Most of the trekking trails run through the wild life sanctuary and you would be accompanied by our expert guide.

chatakpurThings to do in Chatakpur: Tourists can climb rock faces or avail the trekking routes both downhill and uphill that lead to various destinations. They can also climb the watchtower to view the sunrise or enjoy an eye-catching sight of Sandakphu. You can also spend time at the Pokhri (Pond). Bird lovers can spend their time watching birds and tourists can even enjoy the heart-stealing view of Kanchenjunga from nearby or enjoy the folk dances performed by local people.You can also enjoy the company of story tellers. A generation still exists to share the experience of myth, culture and traditional values.

Best time to visit Chatakpur: Chatakpur can be visited throughout the year but for those planning to visit the forest are advised to avoid the rainy season.

How to go ?

Chatakpur is located at a distance of around 16 kilometres from Jorebungalow that lies on Siliguri-Darjeeling Road and 7 kilometres from Sonada. You need to go through the Hill Cart Road and enter the jungle trail, in order to reach Chatakpur.

Air Route
 : The nearest airport is Bagdogra. It is 80 km away and connects with Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata.

Rail Route : Ghoom is the nearest station connected by Indian Heritage Toy Train with New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Junction station which are nearest broad gauge railway station and is 87 km away.

Road : NH 55 passes along the Western side of the Sanctuary . The sanctuary is 9 km away from Darjeeling. Chatakpur Eco village is 17 km from Ghoom, Jorebunglow and 7 km from Sonada.

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Where to stay ?

ChatakpurAccommodation options like Homestays and Eco-Tourism cottages are available to the tourists.  The homestay in Chatakpur offers a panoramic view of Mt.Kanchenjungha and its allied peaks from the verandah itself.  It is furnished with wall to wall carpet, western bathrooms, room heater, Hot water geyser and dining facilities like vegetarian and non-vegetarian Organic Traditional food.

Forest Department had made two cottage with four double bedded room and all modern facilities with warm hospitality of the villagers will impress you. Home stay is available in selected houses in Chatakpur.

You may contact following for booking:
WIND OZ
34 Sarat Bose Road, Hakimpara, Siliguri -734 001, West Bengal
Ph. No :91 353 2520492 / 91 94340 72552 / 91 94341 41812

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.

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icche-gaon

Icchey Gaon, North Bengal – The Wishing Village

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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.

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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.

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bara-mangwa-farmhouse

Bara Mangwa, in North Bengal – A tiny village at a heavenly place

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The Bara Mangwa Farmhouse rests on a mountain slope surrounded by the orange orchards facing the confluence of Teesta and Rangeet Rivers. The place is heavenly. It is located in the Darjeeling district, towards the western side of the Kalimpong hills, in the Teesta Valley. The Bara Mangwa village is the abode of few terraced farms, local huts and also many orange orchards. The prime attraction of this little village is the farm house that offers good accommodation facilities and clean organic food plucked from its own farms. The farmhouse also has its own poultry and a small goat and pig house. You can also enjoy rafting in Teesta River, learn rock climbing from the experts or opt for angling here. Bara Mangwa is a tiny village where you can experience life in its simplest forms in a little and forgotten corner of the Himalayas.

Places to see at Bara Mangwa: From the farmhouse rooms you can have an outstanding view of the Sikkim and Kalimpong hills as well as a bird’s eye view of the TeestaRiver. The farmhouse has its own farms where the seasonal vegetables, fruits and regular crops grow in abundance. A trip to these farms is worth. You can also visit their poultry, dairy as well as the small goat house. You can make a visit to the nearby tea gardens also. Take long stroll along the orange orchards or just look at the blue hills all around from the farmhouse’s beautiful verandah.

bara-mangwa-farmhouse

Nearby attractions of Bara Mangwa: There are many places around Bara Mangwa village where guests can visit. Kalimpong is one such place which is located some 21 kilometers from Bara Mangwa. Lava, which is 46 kilometers from Bara Mangwa is also another visiting spot. It is famous for being the entry point to the Neora Valley National Park. Darjeeling, the Queen of the Himalayas is also located close to Bara Mangwa, some 40 kilometers away. The other places of attraction includes Chota Mangwa (1 km), Tinchuley Sunrise Point (9 kms), Peshok and Lopchu Tea Garden (15 kms), Tista and Rangit View Point (12 kms), Teesta and Rangit Confluence (8 kms), Mongpoo (20 kms.), Delo Hill Top (33 kms.), Loleygaon (68 kms.), Pedong (35 kms) and Gangtok located some 70 kilometers away.

Things to do at Bara Mangwa:  Bara Mangwa provides with lot of opportunity. Trekking and rock climbing are abundant. River rafting in the waters of Teesta is also another activity. You can also enjoy fishing in the waters of Teesta. There is a Yoga and Martial Art Center that teaches some martial art techniques as well. The village of Bara Mangwa promotes local sports which are quite exciting activities to take part in.

Best time to visit Bara Mangwa: The best time to visit is during the winter season when the orange garden is full of oranges. But you must take permission of the owner before plucking them. In fact, winter is the best time to see the best of this beautiful, small village surrounded by hills.

How to go?

You first have to get down at New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway station and then take NH-31  straight to Teesta Bazaar. From here you need to take left after crossing the Teesta Bridge to reach Bara Mangwa village. From New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station, you need to hire a car to cover your distance. The nearest airport is Bagdorgra Airport.

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Where to stay?

The Bara Mangwa Farmhouse itself offers basic but clean lodging facilities. The farmhouse has two rooms, well equipped with modern attached bathroom offering excellent views of the Sikkim and Kalimpong hills as well as views of River Teesta. Facilities like regular cleaning and running water are also available. The farmhouse also has its own poultry and a small goat and pig house. The food served is organic in nature which is prepared from the vegetables grown in their own farms. Dining is offered four times a day and includes Bed Tea, Breakfast, Lunch, Tiffin and Dinner. For booking you may contact 9830947352, 8420424111, 9830788403, 9836955186.

There are many home stay lodges in Bara Mangwa. Some options are:
Dhanbagey Home : 9434862561,9775423925
Heritage Farm: 9832381150
Anudith Lodge Rangaroon T.E. : 9800835301,9679425941
Yonzon’s EC0-Tourism Homestay: 9002680011,9800457279.
There are also many other home stays. For details you may visit www.westbengaltourism.gov.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.

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chimeny

Chimeni, in North Bengal – Surrounded by pine trees, overlooking River Teesta & Mahananda, offers breathtaking views

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Chimeni – the name sounds interesting isn’t it? The history behind this little unknown village is also very interesting. This Himalayan village houses a 23-foot high chimney, which was probably built during the First World War by the British. When the British soldiers and officials trekked from Kurseong to nearby villages, they took rest in this valley under the shadows of this Chimney and soon the village also got its name – Chimeni. This quaint destination perches on a valley, overlooking River Teesta and River Mahananda and offers a breathtaking view of Mt.Kanchenjungha. Chimeni is surrounded by pine trees and dotted with numerous view points. The mystical night view from Chimeni along the slopes of the Himalayas of Darjeeling is fantastic.  The place is just 8 kms from Kurseong. Chimeni is far from the tourist rush yet near to the tourist attractions.

Places to see at Chimeni:  The greatest attraction of the place is a 100-year old 23-foot high brick chimney built by the British. It was probably built during World war I. The region adjoining the chimney offers a splendid view of the Nathu-la and Kalimpong and you can also take the pleasure of a view of  Kanchenjunga from here.  The village of Chimeni is located on a valley and it is surrounded by pine and cedars.chimney1

Nearby attractions of Chimeny: Chimeny is very close to all the major attractions of Kurseong like its famous tea gardens – Makaibari, Castleton, Ambotia and Goomtee. The toy train station is one of the major attractions of Kurseong. Some major religious sites of the region are the Ambhotia Shiva Temple, Giddapahar Durga Mata Mandir, Jagdish Mandir on Bank Road (on way to Eagle’s Craig), St. Paulseak Church on Hill Cart Road, Buddhist Gompa in Downhill Road, Buddhist Gompa in Montieviot and Juma Mosque in Hat Bazaar. Make a visit to the satellite zoo at Dow Hill in Kurseong.

You can visit the Deer Park also known as Down Hill Park on the Down Hill Road. The forest museum located in Down Hill Road is also worth a visit. Do make a visit at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Museum and NSC Bose Institute of Asiatic Studies, located at the Giddhapahar Area. The Eagle’s Craig viewpoint, which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, hills, slopes and hamlets, is located nearby. The location has a cafeteria, a watch tower and a flower garden. You can also visit the nearby village of Bagora, famously known as the Zero Point as the place boasts the highest altitude in Kurseong. The place also houses a base camp of the Indian Force with a helipad.

ChimeniThe picturesque cave housing the statue of Virgin Mary is also located nearby. The place offers a feeling isolation and it is visited by a number of devotees, who light candles here. The Bhangzang Salamander Lake is located 14 km from Kurseong. It is a beautiful green-hued lake that offers shelter to the rarest and most endangered species of salamanders – a species that is at the verge of extinction.

Things to do at Chimeni: Explore the little village of Chimeni and enjoy its natural beauty. You can take a stroll along the exotic landscape of the region, the forests and tea estates. Chimeni is idyllic for the trek enthusiasts. You can trek from Chimeni to the Mahananda Waterfall. You can also arrange a picnic in any scenic spot on Chimeni valley and enjoy your day. Watching a breathtaking sunrise over Kanchenjungha and bird watching in the surrounding forests are few other things you can do at Chimeni.

Best time to visit Chimeni: Chimeni welcomes tourists all through the year. However, it is better to avoid the rainy season.

How to go ?

Chimeni is 53 kms from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Railway Station and 8 kms from Kurseong. You can reach Kurseong by hiring any car from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri and catch a local taxi from Kurseong to Chimeni. You can also catch a bus from Tenzing Norgay Bus stop at Siliguri to Kurseong, from where you can hire a local taxi.

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Where to stay ?

There are several homestays at Chimeni. Some options are;
Himalayan Home Stay, for details you may contact 91 9933583130; +91 9933982525
Meghmala,  for details you may contact +91 9547991991

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Hee Bermiock

Hee Bermiock, in West Sikkim, at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level

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Hee Bermiock in West Sikkim is at an altitude of 1,700m above sea level can be traveled from New Jalpaiguri (NJP). It is an all-weather destination, its charm changing with every season. In winter it is especially a traveler’s delight with clear skies and snow-capped peaks all around.

The shrill whistle of birds is a wake up call for you morning and what awaits you is the marvelous morning view of the sunrise. As the first slanted rays of the sun appeared from behind the hills in the east, the crests of the Kanchenjungha got smeared with molten gold. The gold turned to white through diffusing shades of yellow as the sun started moving upwards in the sky. Between Hee Bermiock and Kanchenjungha, there is only one hill that hosts Ghesing on one side and Peling on the other.

You could not resist visiting Chhai Tal, a lake 10km uphill from Hee Bazaar, the main market place of the hill town. There is a cultural programme of east Himalayan tribes which is also worth enjoying. The folk songs and dances in traditional costumes and ornaments will make the day even more magical.

Near Rinchengpong, six kilometres downhill from the town, there is a monastery where a woman embraces the idol of Ati Buddha, an exceptional sight indeed.

Different shades of green, colourful flowers, a variety of orchids and tiny birds with bright feathers dotted with red, blue, green and black are a photographer’s delight. At sunset, rays turn golden again but this time it looks as if a white sari with a golden border covering the Himalayan beauty queen.

The local foods which are also an attraction of the tourists are  momos, steaming thukpa and local wine.

How to go ?

You can reach Hee Bermiock from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) or Siliguri by road via Jorathang. One has to pass through Reshi and Rinchengpong.

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Where to stay ?

There are several hotels to choose from. One can book hotels and get information from the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation office at 4/1 Middleton Street, Calcutta. Phone: (033) 22817905
Website :  www.sikkimstdc.com

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Kolakham

Kolakham, North Bengal

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Want to take a short break from Kolkata? If you are a wildlife enthusiast then set off for Kolakham. You have to reach New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station. Cars are available from there that will take you to Kolakham, a destination in north Bengal. You can stop at Sevoke which is few kilometers away from it for some snacks.

KolakhamThe winding mountain roads, will take you higher and higher.  Look down to catch a glimpse of the meandering Teesta. The air is sweet and light there. The vegetation grows greener and denser with the rise of altitude. The road is steep, sometimes almost precariously narrow road. A panoramic view of the rocky riverbed and endless rows of tall green trees spread out below.

On the way you spot the tiny town of Dam Dim and the bustling commercial centre of Gorubathan, and then Paparkheti. The vegetation changed to thick clusters of tall coniferous trees lining the winding mountain roads. According to the local people these pine trees were planted by the early travellers with the East India Company. Miles of desolate roads is surprising for any hardcore urbanite living in a congested city. You can spot the occasional band of mountain labourers waving their hands on your way.

KolakhamThe Neora Valley Jungle Camp is 7km from your destination — a resort located above the Kolakham village at an altitude of 6,000m. While passing along a mountain trail along the edge of a cliff stare down at a sheer drop of miles of emptiness. However even the gut-churning drive can not stop one from admiring the breathtaking view from the cliff — fiercely beautiful and desolate. With the last bend of the car you will spot the cliff clustered with pine cottages. It is the Neora Valley jungle camp.

The four cottages in the resort are each named after mountain birds — Shyama, Niltava, Besra and Shikra. The cottages are built of pine wood, complete with a wooden staircase leading up to a little attic. Each cottage has a sit out with large glass windows looking out on the Neora valley and Kolakham village.

Directly in front the majestic mountain ranges of Sikkim with Nathu La pass are clearly visible. In the evenings the lights of the new airport being constructed in Sikkim is quite visible from there. You may also get a shadowy glimpse of the Kanchenjungha on days when the mountains are not covered in mist.

Do make a visit to the sparsely populated Kolakham village during the day time. The evenings are accompanied in with lanterns and lamps, as the cottages don’t have electricity yet. The sight of the setting sun from the cottage is awesome — strokes of deep pink cutting through miles of mist as the last blaze of daylight sank behind the mountain ranges.

The forest is also worth venturing. Scrabble over the rocks and soak your feet in the icy waters of a waterfall, the source of water supply in the resort. The trees are thick and form an endless green canopy. You will stumble as you walk upon the stony paths in the midst of the deep ravine which is however a thrilling experience. You may also experience hailstorms in this region.

Jungle Camp will provide you with a sense of wellbeing and peace. It’s a challenge that you will bid goodbyes, with a resolution to come back to this perfect getaway.

How to go?

Take a train to New Jalpaiguri station and then hire a car to Kolakham. You can also fly to Bagdogra and then take a car to Kolakham via Kalimpong and Dam Dim.

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Where to stay?

The only option is the Neora Valley jungle camp.  For booking contact:
Help Tourism
Kolkata Office : Sadananda Kuthi (1st Floor)
67A – Kali Temple Road
Kalighat, Kolkata -700026 India.
Cell : +91-9733000442 / 443
Tel : +91-33-24550917,
+91-33-24549719

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.

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