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West Bengal: Lava, Loleygaon, Mongpu, Latpanchar & Rishap
Mongpu, situated on NH-31, at a ridge of the valley, is a hill station, at an altitude of 3759 feet. The small hilly town is known for its ever fascinating natural beauty. Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote a poem called “Janmadin” sitting at Mongpu. Rabindra Bhaban is built here in remembrance of this.
Kalijhora, at a distance of 13 km downwards from Mongpu, is a village hidden in the shades of Shaal and Arjun forests. The fall coming down to the valley of Kalijhora from a height of 550 feet looks amazing along with the Mouni Pahar, well covered by jungle. The view of Tista from Kalijhora is simply astounding. Black colored Kalikhola River and white colored Swetikhola River are acting as borders to the well stretched valley of Kalijhora. Nepali villages at one side of the River Tista look like a picture on a wide spread canvas.
Latpanchar, at an altitude of 4000 feet, surrounded by dense forests, is a small hilly town famous for Sinchona and medicinal plants. Latpanchar (panchar means jungle) can be accessed in 2 hours time from Sevak road, Siliguri. You can also visit Mananda sanctuary and Kuhi block forest, renowned for the various species of inhabitant and migratory birds. The quiet presence of Kanchanjangha range is really charming and amiable. Enthusiasts can get the pleasure of the beautiful hilly winding streets and Rajdhani hill while walking down with a guide along the valley of Latpanchar.
Tinchule which has recently become a tourist attraction is just a 3 km away destination from Mongpu on the way to Ghum. The sunrise point gives a holistic view of Namchi, Kalimpong, Mahananda sanctuary and Siliguri. Nabin cottage and Gurung cottage are the options for you in Tinchule to stay overnight. Tinchule can also be visited from Pedong
Lava is about 32 km east of Kalimpong. Located at an elevation of 7200 feet, is illustrious for its proximity to the Neora Valley National Park which is stretched over a rambling area of 88 square km. Neora Valley National Park has a lot of wild life animals like Red Panda, Eagle, leopard, black bear and different types of famous and also unknown birds. It is possible to take a closer look at the biodiversity of Neora National park staying at the lower and upper camp of Neora national park. The hill station of Lava is lined by the tall pine trees. Oak and fir trees greet the visitors at Lava. Once you get into the unruffled forest you will be engulfed by a silence. Lava is considered as a small town which offers a beautiful view of the Jelep La and Rechi La passes along with Kanchanjangha.
Common tourist places around Lava include Buddha monastery, Nursery of forest autority, Wild life interpretation centre, Glass house, Ratnarishi Gumpha, Neora Lake, Silviculture Research Centre, and Chhangey falls. Apart from treks to the Neora valley which starts from Lava, long treks across the valley, small treks are also doable in the region. Frequent treks Tiffin Dara, Aluabari etc are quite common but don’t ever forget to take an expert guide who can accompany you.
Lava looks really gorgeous with different species of orchids and cactus allover the valley. Though Lava is more popular to tourists but the divine appeal of the nature of Lolegaon closeby is far better than that of Lava.
Buses start from Kalimpong at 6:30 and 10:00 am everyday and it takes 2 hours to reach you Lava.
Forest rest house, yankee resort, unique lodge, Hotel orchid are some hotels where you can stay at night. Also try our hotel booking links at the bottom of the page.
Rishap, situated very near to Lava, is a village with the clear view of Himalayan range. The prevalent plea of Rishap that pulls crowd here is mainly the breathtaking and magnificent view of Kanchanjunga and various icy mountain peaks of India and Nepal like Singaleela, Kabru along with some part of Nathula. Sun plays hide and seek and the mountains change their color according to the reflection of sunlight on the rocky mountains of rishyap. The picturesque view of sunrise and sunset from Tiffindara watch tower is mind blowing. Seeing the darkness of Kalimpong at night was a spectacle to remember until this place got electricity.
To enjoy the finest view of the dense and damp forest in Rishap you have to trek in the uneven hilly mountains. A number of private accommodations have come up at Rishap in the recent past, among them Rishop Nature Tourist Centre, Rishop inn, Sun Tac Garden Resort and hotel Hemlock are some of the renowned and notable ones.
Rishyap can be reached by hiring a Jeep or by trekking. The rent of jeep is Rs. 300 - 400. The road is very bad and will test your back. Trekking is much more comfortable and time saving too. But you must have a guide.
There are still some places in the world, which are no less than heaven with their divine beauty and attractiveness. Lolegaon, the heavenly destination, about 20 km off Kalimpong, has taken a place among those places due to its natural prettiness.
The roads that take you to Loleygaon are enthralling with its meandering mountain roads, profound valleys, soaring mountains and roaring mountain streams. The joy of trekking from Bridge of Relly to Lolegaon is an unforgettable one. The Loleygaon Forest is a must-see. Tall oaks and pines rule the woodland. From here you get an all time uninterrupted view of the entire Kanchenjunga range, and not only the kanchenjungha mountain. You can also walk a kilometer in same level road and check out the spectacular view of valley below.
Hotel Kanchenjunga and the WBFDC’s spralling cottage resort facility is the best place to stay. Details at http://www.wbfdc.com/ Winters are the best time to go if you can bear the cold.
Jhandidaran, the sunrise point and the view of Shivalik Himalaya, Rotang, Kanrung, Panding, Jopuno, Simbo, Narsing and Silialchu should not be missed out.
A small town, Gumphadara, 12 km away from Lava, is a virgin forest encircled by oak, pine etc. The natural beauties of the forest and valley have the capability to free you from the worries of boring and dull daily life.
Charkhol village, lies 16 km from Lolegaon, is a new attraction for tourists. Calm and quietness of the forest alongside the simplicity of the village life is the main pull of it.
Uneven Samthar, at an elevation of 1400 meters, is 30 km away from Lolegaon. Samthar, the small town, looks lively like a picture perfect spot with its greenery and hills all around. The smoky clouds meeting the tall mountains in Samthar is a real delight to the visitors. If you like trekking, then trek to Samthar from Lolegaon or trek a distance of 8 km to Panbu, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the road and nature. The wilderness of singing birds and prolonged Kanjangha are the attractions of the road. You can also trek down to Sepkhola (12 km) from Samthar. Keen nature lovers can also visit Joretar village from Samthar.
Not many hotels are doing their business here but tourist resort and the farm house inn are two expensive options to choose from.