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Manali

Manali, Himachal Pradesh – The Queen of the hill stations, this nature’s wonderland is one of the famous tourist destinations in India

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Only 40 kms away from Kullu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. Here the breathtakingly beautiful landscape will greet you. Manali is one of the important hill stations of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at a height of 6,398 ft., it lies at the end of the Kullu Valley. It has a rich cultural heritage for being known as the home of Saptarshi. Manali has an extra appeal for the clean and beautiful River Beas that flows through the Himalayan valleys. This place derived its name from the word ‘Manavalaya’ which means the abode of Manu. It is an ideal place for the holidays and the a favorite resort for trekkers. Added to it the picturesque sight-seeing spots also add to the attractions.

Places to see in Manali: The prime attractions of Manali include:

Jagat Sukh

Located on the left bank on Beas on the road to Naggar, Jagat Sukh is famous for very old temples of Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri in Shikhara style and hence its name. These are worth a visit.

Arjun Gufa

This cave is situated near Prini village just 1km above the road where Arjun had meditated. This is good 1/2 a day excursion with charming view of the brilliant mountains.

Rahala water falls

This scintillating water falls is just 16 kms on the way to Rohtang pass. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well.

Solang Valley

This is a splendid valley resting between the Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. It has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a ski lift for training purpose. Located here is a hut and guest house of the Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute, Manali. Now a few hotels have also come up. The winter skiing festival is organised here. Training in skiing is imparted at this place.

Nehru Kund

Just  5 kms. on the National Highway to Leh, this natural spring of cold clear water is named after Pt. Jwahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. This spring is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake situated high-up in the mountains.

Vashist

This small village Vashist is located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass and is worth visiting. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.

Mountaineering Institute

Located 3 km on the left bank of river Beas towards Kullu, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports Manali, organises basic & advance training courses, in trekking, mountaineering, skiing and water sports. Skiing and trekking equipments can be hired from here by booking in advance. There is also an interesting showroom here.

Tibetian Monastries

There are 3 newly constructed colourful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river.

Club House

2 kms from the town, the club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.

Manu Temple

3 kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.

Hadimba Temple

Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archaeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hidimba, the wife of Bhim of the Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple is located amidst wooden forest of deodar and is about 2.5 kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.

The great Indian National Park

The National Park with an area of 754 sq. km. is located in Kullu District and has the representative area of temperate and alpine forests of Himachal. It has some the virgin coniferous forests of the State. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainj river and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar is the trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan river. Visitors can contact Director, Great Himalayan National Park at Shamshi or Range Officer wildlife at Sainj or Range Officer Wild Life at Sai Ropa (Banjar) for assistance and guidance. Camping equipment and guides are provided by the Forests Department.

Manali Sanctuary

This sanctuary starts about 2 km from Manali town. A bridle path from Manali log huts/ Dhungri temple passes through dense Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut and Maple forests. Night stay in tents at Lambadug or Gallant thatch is an unforgettable experience. Alpine lush green pastures and glaciers beyond Galant thatch are a romantic attraction for the enthusiastic but enduring visitors. One may see Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear digging or ploughing the land and also pug marks with scent of Leopard or Snow leopard. Those who venture up to snows can see herds of Ibex in the glacier zone in summers.

Nearby attractions from Manali: Manali is also admired with a no. of nearby spots. These include:

Rohtang Pass

RohtangPass (3979 m) is 51kms. from Manali on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular mountain view. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh. Rohtang Pass is best visitable between May/June to October/November.

Kullu

Kullu was probably the most ancient state next to Kashmir and Kangra. Kullu valley is gifted with every thing that you can imagine. The Marvelous landscapes, hospitable, peaceful & co-operative people having distinct life style & culture are some of the points that separate Kullu from rest of Himachal Pradesh. The place is located at a distance of 42 km from Manali.

Manikaran

It is located in the Parvati Valley between the rivers Beas and Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. 79 km from Manali this is an esteemed pilgrimage of both the Hindus and the Sikhs. The place is famous for the hot springs. The water is so hot that dal, rice & vegetables etc. can be cooked in it.  Thousands of people take a holy dip in hot waters here. It has many temples and a gurudwara. There are temples dedicated to Lord Rama, Vishnu and Krishna. There is also a tempe of the Great Maratha Raja Shivaji. According to an old legend, Manikaran is connected with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parvati, who lost her ear rings here, which gave birth to hot waters on the bank of Parvati river.

Naggar

Situated on the left bank of river Beas at an altitude of 1851m, Naggar – an ancient town commands extensive views, especially to the North West of the valley. Naggar was the former capital of Kullu. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh in 1460 A.D. Today this ancient and beautiful Palace is a popular tourist spot.

Kasol

Kasol is located at an altitude of 1640 meters above sea level, and is known for its enormous scenic beauty. With wide open clearings which slope down to wide expanses of clear white sands at the Parvati River.

Things to do in Manali: Take a stroll around to view the mesmerizing surrounding that will surely cast a magic spell on you. Enjoy the sight seeing trip and make a visit to the HidimbaTemple, which is the prime attraction of Manali. Sit on the stony banks of the frivolous and restless BeasRiver, forgetting about all tensions and worries completely loosing oneself to nature. The adventurous can organize trekking. Manali is the starting point for numerous multi-day treks. While in Manali, do make a visit to Manikaran and take a dip in the pristine hot spring which is a blessing of the God.

Best time to visit Manali: September to June is the best time to visit Manali.

How to go ?

By Air

Bhuntar, which is 50 km away from Manali, is the nearest airport. Bhuntar is connected to Delhi by air. Delhi is the major nearest airport, which is about 565 km away from Manali. Delhi airport is well connected with all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

By Train

Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station to Manali, which is nearly 50 km away.  Joginder Nagar is a narrow gauge railway station, hence connectivity is not so good.  Other closest railheads are at Chandigarh (310 km) and Ambala (300 km). Kalka train station is near Manali and distance is 279 km. This is connected to some major train stations like Howrah, Barmer, Bandra, Shimla.

By Road

Manali is well connected to other tourist destinations near by in Himachal by private deluxe bus services. State owned services are also available connecting Manali to other cities.

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Where to stay ?

 There are numerous hotels, resorts and lodges in Manali. Some options are:

Log Huts (HPTDC): +91-01902 -253 226
Hotel Beas : +91-01902 – 25228  Website: www.hotelbeasmanali.com
Hadimba Cottages (HPTDC): +91-01902- 252334
Shingar Regency: +91 01902 -252251-52  Website: www.shingarregency.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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Ramdhura

Ramdhura, North Bengal – Covered by pine forests adored by clouds, Ramdhura offering magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the River Teesta

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Ramdhura is just seven kilometers from Delo, offering magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the River Teesta. Ramdhura is a new found gem of North Bengal. Covered by pine forests adored by clouds and the view of gleaming lights of Kalimpong in the night, make Ramdhura a perfect destination to spend a quiet weekend in the Himalayas. Near to it are the tourist spots like Delo

RamdhuraPedong, Algarah, Icchey Gaon, Sillery Gaon, Kalimpong, Rellikhola, Lava and Loleygaon. At Ramdhura there are two homestays with rooms facing Mt. Kanchenjungha and with facilities like attached western bathrooms, electricity and nice home cooked food.

Places to see at Ramdhura: The rooms of the homestay offer spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and Kalimpong hills as well as a bird’s eye view of the meandering Teesta River valley below. A pine forest surrounds Ramdhura, where you can take local short treks. You can also visit the beautiful British-built Jalsa Bungalow of 1930. A trek along the Cinchona plantation and a visit to the Cinchona Godown can be on your cards too. There is a beautifully located Mahadev Dham temple and Hanuman Tok (viewpoint) nearby from where you can catch panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.

Nearby attractions of Ramdhura: While staying at Ramdhura, you can make day trips to the Delo National Park, Algarah Bazar, Rikissum, Icchey Gaon, Sillery Gaon, Pedong, Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap and Kalimpong. A sightseeing trip to Sillery and Icchey Gaon and its surroundings like Ramitey Dara (which has the longest view of River Teesta), Damsang Fort, Valley of Silence, Tinchuley view point would be very rewarding to the guests. Guests can also take a whole day trip of Kalimpong and its surroundings like Durpin Dara Monastery, Rellikhola and the various nurseries of Kalimpong.

Things to do at Ramdhura: You can take a village walk from Ramdhura and watch the everyday activities of the villagers. You can also take a two-hour jungle trek from Ramdhura to Icchey Gaon and finally to Sillery Gaon. This trek through dense forests and Cinchona plantation is one of the most favourite treks of birdwatchers. The homestays at Ramdhura also arranges paragliding from Delo and rafting at River Teesta. Guests can also take part in activities like rock-climbing and riverbed hiking in Relli.

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Best time to visit Ramdhura: You can visit Ramdhura anytime of the year. The sparkling weather during winters is the best time for witnessing a spectacular sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjungha. In summers, if you want to beat the heat of the plains, then you can visit Ramdhura for its pleasant cool weather. The monsoons are best for watching the clouds float across your room.

How to go ?

You can take any bus or hire a car from NJP, Bagdogra or Siliguri to Kalimpong and from Kalimpong you have to take the pick-up service of Ramdhura homestay. Ramdhura is around 15 kms from Kalimpong. Ramdhura homestay also arranges pick-up services from NJP, Bagdogra, Siliguri and Rangpo.

Where to stay ?

The homestays are located on the edge of the mountains overlooking Mt. Kanchenjungha and River Teesta. The homestays in Ramdhura are well equipped with electricity, comfy beds, hot water and attached western bathrooms. The breakfast table in the open-air terrace overlooking Mt. Kanchenjungha and River Teesta is a great place to spend your early morning. The home stays arrange trek guides for the guests and cars for sightseeing trips too. There are also car parking facilities here. The food is essentially Indian and home cooked and the ingredients are mostly locally sourced and fresh.

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Aritar

Aritar, Sikkim – A serene hamlet that boasts a picturesque scenic landscape and a beautiful lake

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A serene hamlet nestled in the Eastern border of Sikkim under the Rongli Sub-Division, Aritar is a relatively new tourist destination, that boasts a picturesque scenic landscape and a beautiful “boot- shaped” lake called Lampokhri. Covered with lush green forest, mountains, stepped farmlands and waterfalls the place is unique in its own way. Enjoy the amazing view of Mt AritarKanchenjunga and some great nature trails, monasteries, view points, bird watching opportunities and village tour options. Aritar is also known for one of the best heritage bungalows of Sikkim – The Aritar Dak Bungalow. Built in 1896, Aritar Dak Bungalow is a typical British bungalow that is recently restored by the Sikkim Govt. for tourists.

Places to see at Aritar: Aritar is famous for its Lampokhari Lake. This vast natural lake shaped in the form of human foot is flanked by emerald green forest. You can enjoy paddle boating in the lake. Beside the lake there is also a cafeteria. A well-maintained jungle path with view points and gazebos skirts through the jungle and climbs up to the Aritar Top, also called Mankhim from where you can catch a panoramic view of Mt.Kanchenjungha.

Visit the nearby Aritar Monastery, which houses some remarkable painted murals, rare manuscripts and Buddhist artefacts. The Dak Bungalow popularly called Ari-Bangla is an age-old British bungalow, built under the supervision of James Claude White in 1896. Of late, the bungalow has been transformed into a guest house for tourists.

The temple of Mangkhim, belonging to the Rai cult of Hindu origin is located at an altitude of 6500 feet at Maity Village overlooking the Aritar. The viewpoint near the temple offers a panoramic view of the mighty Eastern Himalayas, Aritar town, rolling hills and the Silk Route. You can also visit the Ever Green Nursery and Ram Gauri Sangrhalaya, which is a nursery and museum, displaying some stunning collection of drift wood, botanical and some exotic varieties of flowers.

AritarNearby attractions around Aritar: You can visit nearby Reshikhola, Icchey Gaon, Sillery Gaon and Pedong in West Bengal from Aritar. Some other nearby attractions are villages that used to fall on the Old Silk Route like Kupup Lake, Menmecho Lake, Nathang, Padamchen, Zuluk and Lungthung. If you are an adventure lover then a trek to Mulkarkha Lake can be rewarding. You need to travel few km uphill from Aritar to locate this lake in an isolated forest area. Savour the beauty of the surrounding area of the lake adorned with jungle of exotic orchids and colossal mountains. On a clear day, you can see the reflection of Mt.Kanchenjungha on the placid waters of the Mulkarkha Lake.

Things to do at Aritar: You can organize picnics at the popular picnic spot called Love Dara, located at Aritar. The place is also ideal for the avid bird watchers. You can also enjoy boating in the Lampokhari Lake, trekking to nearby hilltops, enjoying village walks and nature walking.

Best time to visit Aritar: You can visit Aritar any time of the year. The rains shroud Aritar with greenery and clouds whereas in winters, you can get a great panoramic view of Mt.Kanchenjungha.

How to go ?

The nearest airport of Aritar is located at Bagdogra, from where you can hire car and drive for 4-5 hours to reach Aritar. The closest railway station of the location is at New Jalpaiguri, which is well facilitated by trains from all parts of the country. You can also hire vehicles from Siliguri and reach Aritar in 5 hours. Many tourists also hire vehicles and make tour to Aritar from Gangtok in roughly 3 hours. If you are coming from Kalimpong, then the route would be Kalimpong – Pedong – Reshikhola – Aritar. If you are coming from Sikkim, then the shortest route would be Rangpo – Rorathang – Rhenock – Aritar.

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Where to stay ?

There are some hotels and homestays in Aritar but the best place to stay is the Aritar Dak Bungalow. Decked with period furniture, fireplaces in every room, wall to wall carpets, extra large couches and English glass windows, this 120 year-old British heritage bungalow is a true gem of Sikkim. Recently renovated, the Aritar Dak Bungalow is located amidst sprawling lawns and gardens with great views of the rolling mountains. There are three Master bedrooms (triple bed) with attached bathrooms, a huge sitting room and a dining hall in the bungalow. Staying in the Aritar bungalow is like re-visiting the days of the Raaj. The staff at the bungalow prepares great food for the guests, which is essentially Indian cuisine. For booking details you may visit www.heritagebungalows.com 

Other options are:
Lampokhari Village Resort: +91 9903295920
Hotel Chittiz:  +91-98325 44438 9832038462 /  7407181895 

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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Borong

Borong, Sikkim – An excellent spot to unwind yourself amidst the peace & tranquility of nature

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Located at an altitude of 5800 feet in South Sikkim Borong is an idyllic retreat for the nature lovers. Borong can be easily accessed from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri. Some 17 km from Ravangla, Borong can also be reached from Pelling, Gangtok and Rinchengpong. With the Himalayan Mountains located at the backdrop, Borong is an excellent spot to unwind yourself amidst the peace and tranquility of nature.

borongPlaces to see at Borong: Don’t miss to catch a glimpse of some extraordinary views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and other the snowcapped peaks from here. And a spectacular sight of sunrise from the snow-covered mountains is perhaps the main reason behind a visit to this beautiful place. You can also look for glances of Sinolchu, Narsingh and Pandim peaks.

Nearby attractions from Borong: Ralong Monastery is some 5km away from here. You can hire a car and visit other places like Famtam Village, Gurang Monastery, the Silver Falls and the Barmely Bridge. Besides, a hot fountain is located at a distance of some 3km from Borong, on the bank of Rangit River.

Things to do at Borong: Borong is idyllic for trekking to Maenam Peak. Besides, there is also a trekking route at Namchi that ends in Borong and takes some 6 days to complete. Apart from trekking, you can go for bird-watching as Borong is home to a wide variety of birds like the scarlet minivet, the black magpie and the Himalayan pheasants.

borongBest time to visit Borong: Borong can be enjoyed throughout the year. But if you want to see the festival taking place by the bank of Rangeet River, then you must come during the month of February.

How to go ?

The nearest railway station to Borong is New Jalpaiguri. Then from the station, you need to hire a car that will take you to Borong via Ravangla. You can also reach Jorthang or Singtam from Siliguri bus stand and then head to Borong. Borong can also be reached from Pelling, Gangtok or Rinchengpong by car.

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Where to stay ?

There are two accommodations at Borong located amidst beautiful hilly trees covering from all sides. Both these accommodation options offer dining facilities.

The Wildflower Retreat: +91 9830705512 / 9609853543 / 9733154748
Website: www.thewildflowerretreat.com
Club 8000 The Borong Resort: +91-96098 54231
Website: rabong-borong.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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Chaaya_Taal

Chaaya Taal, Sikkim – Pack your bags to take the pleasure of an itinerary this weekend

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Staying beside a placid lake and enjoying the picturesque view of Mt. Kanchenjungha is a long cherished dream for every urbanite tired of the polluted city life. Pack your bags to take the pleasure of an itinerary this weekend. Chaaya Taal is a mixed magic bag consisting of waterfalls, monasteries, dense forests, largest prayer wheel in the world, rhododendrons, red pandas, water gardens, 65 species of different birds and activities like boating, village walks and trekking. The place is located almost 136 kms from New Jalpaiguri, and just a km above Hee Gaon. It is one of the newest spots on the tourist map of West Sikkim. At the foot of Chaaya Taal is located the twin villages of Hee and Bermiok. The nearby attractions include the Srijunga waterfalls, Vanjhakri Waterfalls, Yuma Samyo Manghim temple, Phurtsa Chu hotspring and Rabindra Nath Tagore Smriti Van. You can also visit the nearby Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary famous for Red Pandas and Rhododendrons from Chaaya Taal. For trekking lovers, an eight-day trek is arranged that will take you to Phoktey, which is one of the very few places on earth from where you can watch sunrise over Mt.Everest and Kanchenjungha, the highest and third highest peaks in the world at the same time.

Places to see at Chaaya Taal: The spell-binding views of Kanchenjungha from the balcony and a turquoise lake beside your guest house with boating facilities makes Chaaya Taal one of the most beautiful destinations of West Sikkim. The twin villages of Hee and Bermiok are located in the foothills of Chaaya Taal. Then there is the famous Yuma Samyo Manghim, the temple where the believers of Yuma Samyo – the great saint from Nepal worship. In front of the temple is a big stone from where this great saint used to deliver sermons to his followers.

About a km westward from the nearby Bermiok Bazar there is a cave on Niya Bhir cliff known as Alley Gufa, where Lord Shiva is worshiped. You would also find a watch tower located just above this Alley cave temple at upper Martam from where you can get a beautiful view of Kanchenjungha. The beautiful Vanjhakri Waterfalls also known as Pheng Doje Falls descends in an isolated destination near Hee-Gaon along the Hee River. However, the biggest attraction of Chaaya Taal is the water garden at the bank of Hee Khola where you would find the world’s largest Buddhist prayer wheel powered by water current, a swimming pool, a cafeteria and few Gazebos.

Also, within a kilometer at the bank of River Kalez lies the sleeping statue of Buda Neel Kantha. On the hill top of Mt. Yumang Thegu (the hill overlooking the lake) a 65 feet high statue of Teyongsi  Sirijunga is under construction. Along with this is, the work of constructing the Sirijunga Study Centre with all the facilities to study and research about Guru Sirijunga is in progress too.

Nearby attractions of Chaaya Taal: One of the major sightseeing options here is the Srijunga waterfalls about an hour’s downhill walk from the Yuma Samyo Manghim. There is a holy cave at the foot of this waterfall in Phagudara village where according to legends the great Guru Srijunga is said to have hidden his mysterious box full of knowledge. Presently, there is a temple located at the confluence of River Reshi and River Kalez which houses a black block of stone which is believed to be the same box of knowledge, now turned into stone.

You can also visit the nearby village of Berthang at the confluence of River Rangsang and River Kalez to see the erstwhile tiny kingdom of Berthang Berfok Mangerjong. The Manger kings ruled this tiny Himalayan Kingdom till 18th century when their last ruler Dal Kinari Khapangi Manger was killed in the battlefield. The locals worship this place as ‘Raja Bhajey Dham’ where he was killed. About 10 minutes’ walk above Bermiok 13th mile village is the ancient cave temple – Kailash Pati Gufa. Hundreds of people come here to offer Puja on Shivaratri every year.

Another popular nearby destinations is the Phurtsa Chu sulphur hotspring which is famous for its ‘medicinal water. It is located below Legship – Jorethang Road between Reshi and Legship along the bank of Rangit River. You can also visit the Rabindra Nath Tagore Smriti Van located at Megie Dara, about a furlong eastward from Rinchenpong Bazar. Though the exact account of this visit to this place is not available, the novel laureate had once arrived here somewhere in the first quarter of 20th century. This is a beautiful place and it can be guessed how the imaginations of the Novel laureate might have soared on his arrival here. There is also a beautiful monastery at Rinchenpong.

You can also visit the famous Reesum Monastery from Chaaya Taal. To reach this monastery, you have to hike over 600 steps but the effort would be rewarded with one of the most magnificent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. You have to leave Chaaya Taal at around 3:30 am to view sunrise from Reesum Monastery. The car would take around 40 mins to reach the base of the hill from where you have to trek for another 40 min to reach the monastery.     Other than the nearby sightseeing destinations, the major spots of West Sikkim like Pelling, Pemyangtse, Uttarey, Kaluk and Richenpong are all within an hour’s distance.

Things to do at Chaaya Taal: Boating at Chaaya Taal is a wonderful experience. You can also catch the glimpses of Kanchenjungha from your balcony or from the various viewpoints located all around Chaaya Taal. You can take long nature walks and be a patient listener to the quarrels and songs of the birds. If you are an adventure lover then the Everest Singalila trek covering the higher reaches of the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary can be your itinerary. This trek is famous for its flowers and spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and Mt.Everest. After you cross Thulo Dhaap the trail climbs up to the Singiila Ridge and from Phoktey you can see the sunrise on Mt Everest and Mt.Kanchenjungha – the highest and third highest peaks of the world at the same time.

If you love re-discovering ethnic cultures then try to visit here during the Kalez Valley Heritage Festival held every year from 10th to 13th May. This colourful festival showcases multi ethnic cultural practices, cultural dances, demonstration, mountain biking and traditional cuisine.

Best time to visit Chaya Taal: You can visit Chaaya Taal any time of the year. However, if you want to trek at Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary and see rhododendron in full bloom then visit during March- April.  Also the Kalez valley Heritage Festival is held every year between 10th and 13th May.

How to go ?

Chaaya Taal is located above the twin villages of Hee-Bermiok. New Jalpaiguri is around 136 kms away and it takes around 4 hours to reach. The usual route to be followed is Melli – Jorethang via Mangalbaria, Rinchenpong – Kaluk – Hee Bermiok – Chaaya Taal. You can also come via Nayabazar – Soreng – Kaluk- Hee Bermiok.

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Where to stay ?

There is only one guest house named Chhayatal Village Guest house with four Double Bedrooms at Chaaya Taal. The accommodation is decked with all modern facilities like hot water, television and attached bathrooms. The guesthouse faces Mt.Kanchenjungha and overlooks the lake. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is available at the guesthouse. Treks to Singalila Ridge and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary can be arranged from the guesthouse itself. For booking details you may contact:

Chhayatal Village Guest house: +919434012213 / 9775915168.

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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Biharinath

Biharinath, South Bengal – The highest hill in the Bankura District

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Biharinath is the highest hill in the Bankura District located near the famous Joychandi Hills. It is covered by Purulia on the one side and River Damodar on the other side. The hill is of 451 meters altitude. It is recognized as a popular tourist destination in the recent years. The place is shrouded in thick forests, and is rioted with colours with the blooming of Kash Phool, Shimul and Palash during the seasons. The villagers decorate their mud homes with Alpona here. It is not quite difficult to catch the glimpse of the wild boar, hare, fox and some unknown colourful birds when they cross your path. It is quite surprising that Biharinath Hill is the highest hill in the sub-Himalayan terrain in West Bengal (1480 feet).

BiharinathPlaces to see at Biharinath: The primary attraction of Biharinath is the lush nature all around and Biharinath Hill. The unforgettable experience of watching the rising and setting sun over Ledhi and Sharpahari Hills and the winding village paths would compel you to extend your stay. Another popular attraction here is temple dedicated to Shiva, popularly known as the Biharinath dham and a small tank located at the foothill.

Nearby attractions at Biharinath: Visit the Ureshwari Temple, which is just a walk away and located to the West of the Biharinath Hill. The Binodpur Dam and Joychandi Hill (where Satyajit Ray’s Hirak Rajar Deshey was shot) is also nearby.  Boranti Lake is located just 15 kms from Biharinath. Other attractions that can be covered within a couple of hour’s journey are Maithon, Panchet, Shaltora and Sushunia.  Biharinath is just 66 kms from Durgapur.  Boranti is also nearby, just 15 kms.

Things to do at Biharinath: The adventure lovers will have a great time in Biharinath. Biharinath hill is ideal for trekking and you can scale the hilltop in just one and half to two hours. You can also explore the region, which boasts of an exotic range of flora and fauna. You can also enjoy boating at the lake located nearby the Biharinath temple. Enjoy a nature walk along the scenic natural landscape of Biharinath. Biharinath also hosts a whole range of religious fairs and festivals throughout the year. Huge fairs are organized during Shivrati and Saraswati Puja.

Best time to visit Biharinath: The place attracts tourists throughout the year. However, if you are looking for a peaceful weekend gate away then try to avoid the seasons when fairs and festivals (especially Shivratri) are held. If you love palash flower then February/March should be the ideal season.

How to go ?

There are a number of options to reach Biharinath. You can drive along the Durgapur Expressway, bypassing Panagarh, Durgapur and Ranigang. After crossing the Damodar River Bridge, drive straight towards Madhukunda. After bypassing the Madhukunda railway crossing, go straight to Biharinath (16 kms). You can also avail trains running to Asansol. Biharinath is located at a distance of 46 km from Asansol, which you can commute by hiring a cab from the Asansol Railway Station. However, the best way to reach Biharinath is by train to Raniganj and then to Biharinath by hired car (22 kms).

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Where to stay ?

There is not much accommodation facilities in Biharinath. Biharinath Tourist Point is an option.
Ph No : +91-(033) 6954 7111, 8017202499, 9732861020

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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Kaleej Valley

Kaleej Valley, Sikkim – An ideal tourist spot to romance with nature

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Kaleej Valley in West Sikkim, is an ideal tourist spot to romance with the nature. The place offers the complete peace of mind. Covered by rivers from all sides like the Kaleej Khola in the North, Hee Khola in the West, Rangsang and Rangit in the South, Kaleej Valley is a hamlet with pristine looks from where the enchanting views of Mt.Kanchenjungha will cast a magic spell on you. The popular tourist spots like Bermiok, Uttarey and Rinchenpong, are also located near to this site. This quaint destination is a heaven for bird life and natural splendour. The green farm fields and the winding Kaleej Khola makes it even more appealing. Enriched by the exotic species of flora and fauna the hamlet is mainly dominated by local communities. The treasures of Kaleej Valley are its own rich natural and cultural heritage and gives opportunities for immense travel potentials.

Kaleej ValleyPlaces to see at Kaleej Valley: It is the peculiar charm of Kaleej Valley, which has laid its spell on many visitors. There is an exquisite temple of Yuma Samyo Manghim, where the followers of Yuma Samyo religion worship. There is a huge stone in front of the temple, where the great mystic Guru Teyongsi Srijunga used to sit and deliver Yuma Samyo sermons to his followers. You can walk for around ten minutes above the nearby 13th mile village, to spot the Kailash Pati Gufa, a centuries old cave temple. The place is highly revered by both the locals and the tourists and it is visited by hundred of worshippers during Shivaratri. The Ally cave or Allay gufa is located a kilometer westward from nearby Bermiok Bazar. It is also an ancient cave temple, where Lord Shiva is worshiped.

Nearby attractions of Kaleej Valley: If you want to explore the region, further, make a trip to the Srijunga Falls and caves. The beauty of the Srijunga waterfalls along Reshi River, known as Srijunga Wadhan is breathtaking. The Srijunga Phuku or caves is also famous and boasts historical importance. Nestled at Berthang at the converging point of Kaleez and Rangsang Rivers is Berthang Berfok Mangerjong. Do not miss the Pheng Doji Falls, spotted at a desolate place at Hee-Gaon along Hee Khola. The sulphur mixed hot spring, popularly known as Phur-Tsa-Chau situated beneath Legship – Jorethang road between Reshi and Legship along the bank of Rangit River is also a very popular destination. You can also pay a visit to the Rabindranath Smritiban, named after the Noble Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, who stayed here for sometime.

The Hee Water Garden nestled at the bank of Hee-Khola is also noteworthy. The water garden is admired with the biggest Mani Chukar (Buddhist prayer wheel rotated by the current of water) found across the globe. You will also find a swimming pool, cafeteria, Gazebo (a resting place) and a temple of Shiva in this picturesque water garden. There is also a watchtower just above the Alley cave temple at upper Marrtam, from where you can also catch a spectacular view of Kanchenjungha. Nestled atop Yumang Thegu is a grand statue of Teyongsi Sirijunga, measuring 65 feet. There is a lake just beneath it, offering boating facilities known as Chaaya Taal. You can also make a trip to the Resum Monastery in the early morning to savor a spectacular sunrise over Kanchenjungha.

Some other nearby popular sightseeing destinations include Changay Falls, Singshore bridge, Pemangytse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins and Pelling. Nunthaley grassy flat field at 7350 feet is another great attraction. Nunthaley is located at the top of Radu-Khandu, and surrounded by Bajrathey Temple, Jor Pokhari, Goru Jurey and Narayan Gumpa. Nunthaley is best place to witness the panoramic view of Kanchendzonga.

Things to do at Kaleej Valley: Kaleej Valley is a huge attraction for the trek and nature enthusiasts. You can take a 19 km long nature walk all the way to the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary through the Red Panda Gate. This stone paved smooth route is 6 ft wide and crosses waterfalls, rivers, valleys, mountain villages and countless streams. It is also a mountain biking trail and tourists truly enjoy this trek. Enjoy village walk or nature trail along the picturesque landscape of the destination. From Kaleej Valley, you can drive to Chaaya Taal and walk just 1 km to reach the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary through the Red Panda Gate. You can also visit the nearby mountain villages and trek to various view points located all along the valley.

Best time to visit Kaleej Valley: If you want to see  Kanchenjungha in all its brilliance, then visit Kaleej Valley in the winters – between October and February. March to April is the ideal time to trek all along the valley and witness the beauty of the blooming Rhododendrons. In April and May, the Hee Bermiok Tourism Development & Heritage Conservation Society organizes a tourist festival, centering the Monastery, which upholds the rich local culture and tradition.

How to go ?

The nearest airport of Kaleej Valley is the Bagdogra Airport, which is connected with regular flights from Kolkata. The airport is located at a distance of 150 km from Kaleej. The closest railway station of the Kaleej Valley is New Jalpaiguri, located at a distance of around 140 km. You can hire cars from New Jalpaiguri to reach Kaleej Valley or can take up shared cars or buses to Pelling and then take cars to Kaleej Valley.

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Where to stay ?

The hotel in Kaleej Valley offers all Mt.Kanchenjungha and valley facing rooms with a rooftop restaurant having spectacular views of the mountains. All the rooms are equipped with attached western bathrooms and hot water Geysers. You can also watch television in the evenings or arrange a small party in the rooftop restaurant. The rooms are well furnished with all standard modern amenities. The most admirable feature of the hotel is its rooftop restaurant offering Indian, Chinese and local cuisine to relish. Complimentary Bed Tea is also offered to every guest in the hotel.

We do not have any name or contact information about Hotels at Kaleej Valley at this point of time.

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Susunia Hills

Susunia Hills, South Bengal – Spend some time of your own in complete seclusion

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Tired of cacophony and hectic schedule of urban life then pack your bags to visit Susunia hills this weekend to spend some time of your own in complete seclusion. This quaint destination is still not much explored by the tourists and hence the natural beauty of the place is pure and unspoiled. It is located just in the middle of Bankura and is about 1500 feet high. There is a believe that Raja Chandra Varma had once built his fort on this hill. Adorned with adequate natural beauty in the form of cascading waterfalls, plenty of greenery and river Gandheshwari flowing down the hill, gives the place a complete picturesque look.

Susunia perches at the northwestern part of Bankura district. This weekend destination will greet you with its exotic natural beauty, rich flora, beautiful holy spring and the rock faces on which the eminent mountaineers of the regions commenced their journey. The Susunia hillock are the rich reserves of medicinal plants.

Places to see at Susunia: A stone edict that belongs to the period of Raja Chandra Varma is the main attraction of Susunia Hills. It is believed that Susunia hills once had the fort of the Raja. Moreover, the Gandheswari River flowing down the hill is another great place to watch out for. The mighty Susunia hill boasting a height of about 1500 feet is a wonderful site of historical inscriptions, by Raja Chandravama. The hill is also a renowned archeological site, yielding Stone Age tools. Susunia Hill is also a noteworthy site for tourists, who visit the destination to see “Dhara” (Natural Spring) & Silislipi.

The twin-villages of Hadal-Narayanpur, nestling on the banks of the Bodai River, are renowned for the Mandal family terracotta temples, including Barataraf, Mejotaraf and the Chhototaraf. At the entrance of the Barataraf temple, there is a big Rasmancha. The other two temples of Mejotaraf and Chhototaraf are beautifully studded with wonderful terracotta panels, which include a brilliant representation of Vishnu in the Anantashayan posture. You can also visit the other notable temples of Bankura, while touring Susunia, which include Gokul Chand Temple, Saileswar Temple, Temple of Radha Damodar Jew, Temple of Ratneswar and Temple of Shyam Sunder.

Nearby attractions at Susunia: The other major tourist attractions of Bankura District like the terracotta temples of Bishnupur and the Kansabati Dam at Mukutmanipur can be visited from Susunia. Biharinath Hills, which lies on the north of Saltora Block is also nearby. Biharinath is tallest hill in the Bankura district and a popular site of tourism. Another notable nearby sightseeing destination is Jhilimili, located 70 km away from BankuraTown. The place offers spectacular sight of forest. The famous historical site called Betur is also situated here.

Things to do at Susunia: Apart from enjoying the serenity of Susunia, you can indulge in trekking or rock climbing. Susunia village is famous for beautiful stone carving and you can buy them at affordable prices. There are two villages in the vicinity of Susunia, Netkamla and Bindhyajam, which are home of Dhokra craftsmen. Again, Bankura is famous for artistically designed terracotta items, which are readily available all across the district and worth buying. The famous Bankura horse has now become a symbol of Indian handicrafts. Besides buying, also indulge in eating the special sweets of Bankura, like the famous mecha sandesh or the pera. If possible, you can also taste Mahua, the popular local drink of the region.

Best time to visit Susunia: You can visit the place throughout the year.

How to go ?

Board a Purulia bound train from Howrah and get down at Chatna. From there, Shushunia is only 9km. Apart from this, you can also board Susunia bound buses from Bankura, Kharagpur and Durgapur.

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Where to stay ?

There are government accommodation and other private guest houses available there. Few options are:

Aranyak Guest House: 03242-234201
Radhakrishna Lodge: 9474630192

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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tiyabon-resort

Tiya Bon, North Bengal – Located in the middle of tea gardens and forests

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Located near the Khariar Bander Forest, Tiya Bon is 63 kilometers from Siliguri. This place is located in the mid of tea gardens and forests. This destination is idyllic for both the adventurous and nature lovers. The Tiya Bon Resort extends for an area of 2.33 acres and offers the spectacular views of the surrounding forests and gorgeous hills. Tiya Bon provides with the combined essence of wild Dooars and Gorumara Forest. Besides Tiya Bon also shares close proximity to Chapramari, Khunia, Gajol Doba, Sakham and hill stations like Samsing, Suntaleykhola, Jhalong and Bindu.

Places to see around Tiya Bon: The Gorumara National Park is located near to Tiya Bon in the Dooars region, in the district of Jalpaiguri. In 1949, this small forest area was declared a wildlife sanctuary and in 1994, it was proclaimed a National Park.  The National Park spans an area of 79.99 square kilometers and houses a variety of flora and fauna. It is also famous for being the home to the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros and the Indian Bison.

tiyabon-resortNearby attractions of Tiya Bon: The other famous forests that can be visited from Tiya Bon are Chapramari forest and Jaldapara Sanctuary. The Chapramari forest is situated near National Highway 31 and can be easily reached by crossing the river Teesta and following the route that leads to Dooars. The Jaldapara Sanctuary is also situated near National Highway 31 and is at a distance of 80 kilometers from Tiya Bon. The other forested areas located nearby are Khunia and Sakham. The birding site of Gajol Doba, which is famous for the annual visit of migratory birds is also located nearby.

You can also visit a number of hill stations from Tiya Bon such as Jhalong, Samsing and Toto Para. The hamlet of Jhalong is situated at a distance of around 47 kilometers from Tiya Bon. The valley, Bindu is on the banks of Jaldhaka River and is encircled with the hills of India and Bhutan. Samsing is located at a distance of around 25 kilometers from Tiya Bon and the route offers the most picturesque landscape. The journey takes around 30 minutes, by car. The small village of Toto Para is located on the banks of TorshaRiver, near Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhutan border. The place is famous for housing the slowly disappearing ‘Toto’ tribe. Besides this tribe, Dooars also houses several other tribes.

Things to do at Tiya Bon: You can opt for a variety of adventure activities such as rock-climbing, trekking, tree climbing and angling in nearby areas of Tiya Bon. You can also visit the nearby craft villages or tea gardens to see the tea production process or can opt for jungle safaris at the nearby forests.

Best time to visit Tiya Bon: Though the resort can be visited throughout the year, it is better to avoid the rainy season if you want to visit the forests.

How to go ?

Tiya Bon is located in Chalsa on NH31. You have to cross Mal tourist Lodge and reach Chalsa. Chalsa is a few kilometers from Malbazar on the way to Dooars from Siliguri. Tiya Bon is around 70 kms from Siliguri.

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Where to stay ?

The Tiya Bon Resort provides excellent accommodation and dining facilities in wooden cottages to the tourists at very reasonable rates. There are Deluxe Rooms, Ethnic Standard Rooms and Six Bed Huts at Tiya Bon Resort, which arranges activities like trekking, rock climbing, angling, tree climbing and rope traversing for its guests.  From Tiya Bon Resort, you can enjoy jungle safari at GorumaraNational Park, Chapramari and other nearby forests. Visits to tea factories in tea gardens and nearby crafts villages can also be arranged by Tiya Bon Resort. For booking details you may contact:

Tiya Bon Resort
9831018135, 9432647740
Website : www.tiyabonresort.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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Samsing

Samsing, North Bengal – The heart touching landscape with hills, forests, river & the green tea gardens

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Samsing, located at an altitude of 3000 ft. has a lot to offer its visitors. The heart touching landscape, hills, forests, the meandering river and the profusely green tea garden makes the place an ideal destination for spending some time in isolation. Samsing is still unexplored for the purpose of commercialization; and hence the purity of the place is still alive. Samsing is also the gateway to the Neora Valley National Park, located at a distance of 18 km.

SamsingPlaces to see at Samsing: The sleepy and pristine village of Khasmahal in Samsing is truly is full of orange orchards and you could see that the whole village is covered in an orange hue, while visiting in season. Just after crossing the Khasmahal village, you will get the very first view of the Murti River in Samsing. The scenic beauty of this emerald green stream is truly fascinating. Moreover, the stunning view of the tea gardens and forested areas covering major parts of Samsing is also captures the heart.

Nearby attractions around Samsing: Samsing boasting of its picturesque beauty is mostly admired by the nature lovers. The place is also surrounded by a number of pristine destinations within 5 to 7 km of distance. One of the most preferred locations of the tourists near Samsing is Suntaleykhola (Suntaley means oranges and Khola means stream), located at a distance of 5 km. from the destination. Suntaleykhola is also the starting point of various trek routes. Listen to the eternal tunes of water of the winding Murti River while exploring the bank of Suntaleykhola. The Neora Valley National Park lies in close proximity to this place.

Next to Suntaleykhola, most tourists you can visit the serene village of Faribasti. From the top of Faribasti, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the entire Dooars region. The village with around 30 households is very well-maintained and clean.

Another popular tourist spot is the ‘Rocky Island,’ cradled on the bank of River Murti. This charming location is about 2 km from Samsing. The RockyIsland is completely downhill, where you can take the pleasure of the stunning view of the MurtiRiver. The terraced fields on the either side of the river will make you spellbound. You can continue your journey further downhill, where the vegetation will gradually change to thick bamboo groves. Cross the Murti River to explore the quaint villages of ‘Tinkatari’, ‘Bhalukhop’, located within few kilometer.

Things to do at Samsing: Murti River is a special attraction for everyone visiting Samsing. You can spend hours just by sitting near the river, savoring the exquisite beauty of the place. Bathing in the river is also a favourite activity of the tourists. You can also organize picnic on the riverbank of Murti. Moreover, a number of trek routes also originate from Suntaleykhola, which is another village near Samsing. Tourists nurturing an interest in trekking can opt for a steep ride to ‘Tree Fern Point’ and ‘Mo’ or ‘Mo Chaki’ for savoring the spectacular view of the Himalayas in one side and the lush green Dooars plain on the other.

The most exciting trek leads to the unexplored wilderness of Neora Valley National Park. However, prior permission is required to organize this trek. Again, Samsing is a great place for the avid bird watchers. The sound of the sweet chirping of the colorful birds in this scenic picturesque landscape is truly refreshing. Some of the most notable species of birds are Grey Nightjar, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Maroon Oriole, Greychinned and Short-billed Minivets, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Slaty-backed Forktail, Sultan Tit, Ashy Bulbul, Yellow-vented, Golden-spectacled and Chestnut crowned Warblers and black-chinned Yuhinas. The forest trails of Samsing are also great for enjoying a nature walk.

Best time to visit Samsing: Samsing welcomes tourists throughout the year.

How to go ?

Samsing is located at a distance of 82 km. from Siliguri and it takes around 3 hours to reach from Siliguri. The journey to Samsing is truly admirable, as you gradually drive uphill through the scenic Dooars tea garden on the rolling hilly slopes. However, it is better for tourists from Kolkata to get down at New Mall Junction which is only 19 kms from Samsing. Cars can be hired from New Mall Junction for Samsing.

Where to stay ?

SamsingSamsing has very limited accommodation. Other than Government owned Forest Department cottages there is only one private deluxe accommodation in Samsing named Tempula Inn. To book the Government owned cottages you may contact:

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

For booking Tempchula Inn you may contact: +91 03562-200324

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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Anden

Anden, Sikkim – A heavenly place from where you can savour the beauty of snow covered mountain peaks

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Surrounded by forest and located in the higher altitude Anden in Sikkim is a heavenly place from where you can savour the beauty of some snow-covered mountain peaks. The famous Barsey Rhododendron Trek is what you can enjoy here. The place is loaded with numerous nearby attractions like Jureli View Point, Gathang Waterfalls, Dodak Helipad, Devi Falls, Daramdin Sai Mandir, a Manghim and the market at Sombaria. From here you can also visit the other nearby attractions like Rinchenpong and Biksthang is West Sikkim and Namchi in South Sikkim. Anden is facilitated with only one accommodation which is a beautiful Forest Rest House having all modern facilities.

Places to see at Anden: Anden is situated at the base for the famous Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. Hilley, the check post, a 4 km long trek to Varsey is just 18 km from Anden. While travelling to Hilley from Anden, you can catch the view of the Mt.Kanchenjungha range.

Jureli Dara view point, offers great views of the snow-capped mountain ranges, Darjeeling, Sombaria and endless stretches of mountains is just a walk from Anden. You can enjoy nature walks and birdwatching in the forests around Anden.

Anden-ForestNearby attractions of Anden: Make a trip to Hilley, located 18 kms from Anden that marks the beginning of the Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. There is a beautiful Sai Temple in Daramdin just 20 km away. Other nearby attractions of Anden are Anden Olong Monastery (12 kms away), Kitan Falls, Dodak Helipad, Butterfly Shape Valley and numerous other view points. You can visit most of these destinations while travelling from Somabaria to Anden – they would fall on the way. Other attractions that you cover in a sightseeing trip of Anden are Devi Falls, Gathang Falls, the EPC church (one of the oldest churches of Sikkim), Ribdi Village and a Lepcha Museum.

Things to do at Anden: Trekking is a favourite activity of the tourists visiting Anden. Most tourists travel to Hilley by car from Anden (18 kms) and start the 4 kms long Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary trek. The sanctuary offers excellent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons in their array of red, pink and white colours. Birdwatching is another great activity to be enjoyed from Anden. In the mornings you can enjoy your hot cup of tea in the Forest Rest house’s terrace enjoying the snowcapped mountains and in the evenings you can also enjoy a camp fire roasting your chicken.

Best time to visit Anden: You can visit Anden throughout the year. You can enjoy magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha in October to January. To see Rhododendrons in full bloom, you should visit Anden from mid of March to mid of April every year. Birdwatching can be enjoyed throughout the year.

How to go ?

Siliguri station is connected with all important rail routes across India. Anden is 122 km from Siliguri which can be reached by car.

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Where to stay ?

Anden-Forest-ResthouseThe only accommodation in Anden is the Forest Rest house, which is located far from any other human settlement in the fringes of a forest. The Forest Rest house  comes with all modern facilities like attached western bathrooms, room heaters, geysers and even TVs. The rest house also arranges trek guides for the guests and cars for sightseeing trips. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously decked with wooden furniture and carpets. There is also car parking facilities and a badminton court here. For booking details you may contact:

Akash Ganga Forest Rest House: (+91)9593388677

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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okhrey

Okhrey, Sikkim – One of the most sought after trekking trails of Sikkim

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One of the upcoming destinations in Sikkim, Okhrey is a little and not so famous village falling on the way to Varsey. It is one of the most sought – after trekking trails of Sikkim. It is the most popular base for the Varsey Rhododendron trek. You can either stay overnight at Okhrey or start your journey to Hilley around 10 km away by car the next morning. Park your car at Hilley and start your 4 km long trek to Varsey from Hilley. If you start your journey from Okhrey towards Hilley, you will find a small natural lake on your way offering some breathtaking views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons. The breathtaking natural beauty of Okhrey and its surroundings, the calm and quite atmosphere will amaze you, where you can find your peace of mind.

okhreyPlaces to see at Okhrey: Okhrey is famous for being the base for the famous Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. Hilley, which is the checkpost for the 4 km long trek to Varsey is just 10 kms from Okhrey by car. While travelling to Hilley from Okhrey, you would enjoy the view of the magnificent Kanchenjungha range. If you climb up the slope of the hill, you can spot a serene village called Latitar. Another popular tourist attraction of the place is the Ugen Thon Meon Ling monastery, which is visited by travelers passing through this way. The monastery is operated by the Tibetan missionaries and features a small school.

You will also enjoy a walk to the Ribdi from the village of Okhrey, located on the border of West Bengal. You can also explore further down along the forests of Rumbum and Coorkey to Rimbik. Trekking along the trail from Okhrey that leads to Phalut via Gurdung is also quite exciting.

Nearby attractions around Okrey: You can make a trip to Hilley, located 10 km. from Okhrey, which marks the beginning of the Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. There is a beautiful Sai Temple in Daramdin just 28 kms away. Other nearby attractions of Okrey are the view point Jureli Dara around 18 kms away, the Anden Olong Monastery (20 kms away), Kitan Falls, Dodak Helipad, Butterfly Shape Valley and numerous other view points. You can visit most of these destinations while travelling from Somabaria to Okhrey – they would fall on the way. Other attractions that you cover in a sightseeing trip of Okhrey are Devi Falls, Gathang alls, the EPC church (one of the oldest churches of Sikkim) and a LepchaMuseum.

okhreyThings to do at Okhrey: Trekking is the favourite activity of the tourists visiting Ohkrey. The towering mountains on the northern part of Okhrey also beckon the adventurous tourists to enjoy a rambling walk along the winding mountainous paths. Most tourists travel to Hilley by car from Okhrey (10 kms) and start the 4 kms long Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary trek. The sanctuary offers excellent views of Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons in their array of red, pink and white colours. Birdwatching is another great activity to be enjoyed from Okhrey.

Best time to visit Okhrey: Okhrey can be visited throughout the year. You can enjoy magnificent views of Kanchenjungha in October to January. To see Rhododendrons in full bloom, you should visit Okhrey from mid of March to mid of April every year. Birdwatching can be enjoyed throughout the year.

How to go ?

Okhrey is located at a distance of 130 km. from the New Jalpaiguri station. A number of trains halt at the New Jalpaiguri station. Regular jeep services are available from Jorethang. It takes about an hour to reach the destination. The route from New Jalpaiguri is Teesta Bazar – Jorethang – Sombaria – Okhrey.

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Where to stay ?

Okhrey has not many accommodation facilities. One option is:
The Varsey Retreat: +919800398309

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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Pelling

Pelling, Sikkim – At an altitude of 7200 ft the place is bestowed with magnificent natural beauty

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Located in the district of West Sikkim Pelling is bestowed with magnificent natural beauty. It lies at an altitude of 7200 feet, and from here you can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Mt.Kanchenjunga and other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. Pelling comprises two localities – Upper Pelling and Lower Pelling. Pelling is the tourist hub for travelling to various nearby destinations of West Sikkim like Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi Waterfalls, Kanchenjungha waterfalls, Temi Tea Garden, Rabdentse Ruins, Sewaro Rock Garden and Pemyangtse. Besides the panoramic views of the Himalayas, Pelling is also famed for being the home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim like the Pemyangtse Monastery and Sang Da Choeling Monastery.

PellingPlaces to see at Pelling: Savour the panoramic view of the splendid Kanchenjangha and other snow covered Himalayan peaks from Pelling. Pelling offers wonderful view of some peaks like Rathong, Frey, Kabru Dom, Pandim, Narsing, Tinchikhang, Siniolchu and Kanchenjungha.  You will be truly amazed by viewing the earliest monastery of the region, the Pemayangtse Monastery, belonging to the Nyingapa 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. Pelling also features a helipad ground, though there is no provision for regular air service.

Nearby attractions of Pelling: You can make a trip to visit some of the prominent locations around Pelling. The Changey Waterfall, located at a distance of 10 km. from Pelling is worth visiting.  Tourists also travel a distance of 28 km. to view another Pellingspectacular waterfall, the Kangchendzonga waterfalls. Make a trip to the site of Khecheopalri 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.

Things to do at Pelling: Peling is a great place for monastery trek. You can take part in a 3 day trek, from Pelling to Kechapalari lake and then to Yuksum and finally to Tashiding. Enjoy a nature walk along the pathways of Pelling. You can also try your hand in fishing at Rimbi, where you can angle a local fish called Assala. There are few shops in Pelling, displaying an array of gift items, post cards, maps etc. You need to bargain a little, if you intend to buy from those shops.  You can also take a short 30 mins nature walk to Sang Da Choeling Monastery – which is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Pelling is also popular as a bird watching destination.

Best time to visit Pelling: You can visit Pelling round the year, though it is good to avoid the rainy season.

How to go ?

The nearest railway station of Pelling is located at New Jalpaiguri at a distance of 135 km. There are regular trains like Darjeeling Mail, Kachenjungha Express, Kanchankanya Express, Teesta Torsa and others from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri. Hired cars are available from New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Jorethang and Namchi to Pelling. The nearest airport from Pelling is the Bagdogra airport.

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Where to stay ?

Himalayan Retreat and Resort
Ph: (+91) 9007358444 /  9432324780
Kolkata Office :  (+91) 033 24309371 / 033 32941172

Hotel Sikkim Aurora
Ph.:  (+91) 9732258987, 9434591378

Norbu Gang Resort:
Ph.:  (+91) 03595-258272, 919933004492/93/96

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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Sribadam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to go ?

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

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Sribadam Guest HouseWhere to stay ?

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

Sribadam Guest House: (-91) 08902232559

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

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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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Yuksom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to go ?

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

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Where to stay ?

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

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

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

Tashiding, Sikkim – The serene hamlet at the Eastern Himalayas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to go ?

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

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Where to stay ?

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

Yatri Niwas: +91 – 9832623654

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

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lachung_valley

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

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

LachungPlaces to see at Lachung, North Sikkim

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

Nearby attractions of Lachung, North Sikkim

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

Things to do at Lachung, North Sikkim

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

Best time to visit Lachung, North Sikkim

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

How to go ?

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

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LachungWhere to stay ?

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


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

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

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namchi

Namchi, Sikkim – This quaint place is a popular tourist destination

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Located at an altitude of 1675 m, Namchi is 78 km from Gangtok. The word Namchi means ‘sky high’ in Bhutia. This quaint place is slowly emerging as a popular tourist destination. The prime attraction of the place is the 135 feet statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Samdruptse monastery, the eternally beautiful Mt.Kanchenjungha and upcoming Chaar Dhaam point, Namchi is soon to become one of the most popular tourist destinations of Sikkim.  According to historical records, Namchi was the place where the princess Pende Ongmoo poisoned one of the Chogyals of Sikkim, but was later caught and killed. It is believed that her spirit still looms large over the horizon.

namchi-2 Places to see at Namchi: Perhaps, the most striking piece of attraction of Namchi is the 135 ft high statue of Guru Padmasambhava on Samdruptse Monastery located on top of a rising hill. Ngadak Monastery, another piece of attraction is one of the oldest in Sikkim and belongs to Nyingmapa Buddhist sect. Other attractions include Solophok, which is still under construction and is expected to house the replicas of the ‘Chaar Dhaams’, the pilgrimage sites of Hindus. Then there is also the Kanchanjunga Handicrafts Center, Salleybong Bul Cave, Tirikhola Dancing Falls, Temi Tea Garden, Rayong Sunrise View Point and the Tendong State biodiversity Park among others.

Nearby attractions from Namchi: Some 5 km from Namchi is Assangthang, a small and unique village that can offer you some really exclusive experiences. There are some 75 huts, brick paved paths in between farmlands, solar lighting system and namchiextremely affectionate villagers who will make your trip wonderful.

Things to do at Namchi: Sightseeing is the most important thing that you can do while in Namchi. The town offers quite a lot of places of attraction to look out for. Besides, you can also go out for trekking and discover the most exquisite beauty of nature.

Best time to visit Namchi: You can visit Namchi any time of the year. However, if you want to see the annual flower show that displays a wide variety of rare orchids organized by Namchi garden, then you must visit during the month of February.

How to go ?

Namchi is located some 90 km from New Jalpaiguri, so the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Station. But if you go by plane, then the nearest airport is Bagdogra which is about 96 km from Namchi.

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Where to stay ?

There are numerous private hotels of different budgets in Namchi. Dining facilities are available in most of the hotels. You would also find roadside eateries selling local dishes in Namchi. Some options are:

Seven Hills Resort: (+91) 97330-53324 , (+91)-83481-71672  Website: www.sevenhillsresort.com
Kava Hotels: (+91) 3595 263444 / 263041/ (+91) 9647874540 / 9679602975

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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