If you are the type who loves going to offbeat locations then some places in West Bengal you would definitely like to visit. Going to less crowded locations in West Bengal is a great way to have fun and adventure filled holiday and to explore places that lie off the beaten path. So today I have listed the offbeat places of North Bengal that you will really love to visit. Here we go:
A paradise for bird lovers and adventure seeking tourists, located an altitude of 1868 m in the Kalimpong Hills of Darjeeling Dist, on the fringe of Neora Valley National Park, just 108 km from Siliguri via Kalimpong amidst the clouds, surroundings and facing the Majestic Mount Kanchenjunga can be seen atop the lush green valleys. One can enjoy the beautiful range of snow peaks, the never ending green forest and variety of birds from this place. Enthusiasts can go for a walk on the jungle trail. The chance of coming across wildlife is quite higher here. A trek of 5 km will take to the beautiful Changey falls.
One has to travel 85km from Siliguri to reach here.
Where small streams, natural forests, tea gardens come together to form a breath taking landscape is place called Samsing. It lies 18 km from the Neora Valley National Park. One of the places where many tourists stay overnight is Suntalekhola which is about four kms further up the road from Samsing where the road ends close to a small stream named on the place itself in the village of Faribasti. Flower gardens give this place amazing view, is common to almost all households and some households may allow home stay for tourists. `Rocky island nature resort` on the banks of river Murti is another attractive tourist spot that lies 2 km from Samsing. Treks and accommodation are arranged in small Tents for overnight visitors in the surrounding area of the National Park. There is `Tree Fern Point` and `Mo` or `Mo Chaki` for a great view of the Himalayas in one side and the plains of Dooars in the other where Trekkers can take ride. Bhutan hills and Jelepla, the pass which connects Tibet with India, is also notable place to visit. Other places nearby are malbazar, chalsa andmeteli.
Sillery Gaon, a small village surrounded on all sides by tall pine trees, at a height of about 6000 ft in the Darjeeling district. Located at a distance of around 8 km from Pedong and 5 km from 21 Miles, this sleepy village of New Darjeeling offers a magnificent view of the Kanchendzonga. The shimmering silver peak and the serenity around entice every traveler visiting the village.
It is a small hamlet, a treasure secret, because it’s yet to develop as a fully fledged tourism place. Takdah is located at an altitude of about 4,000 ft and about 28kms from Darjeeling, yet far enough to be isolated, quiet and serene.
The original name was pronounced as ‘Tukdah’, which is a Lepcha word meaning mist or fog. And the name is aptly given as the place often remains covered with fog. So what can you expect? Misty meandering roads, chirping of the birds, nature trails passing through dense forests, sound and sight of fountain streams coming down the slope of mountains every few yards you walk – this is what Takdah is.
Lama in Lamahatta stands for Buddhist monk and Hatta for hut – a monk’s hermitage. Lamahatta is located at an altitude of about 5,700 feet and at a distance of 23kms from Darjeeling hill. It’s a small village where farming and cattle rearing are the main sources of livelihood.
It is a mountain village with vast stretching forests of dhupi & pines, vast stretch of beautiful manicured roadside garden and the magnificent views of the peaks and rivers around.
Tinchuley is a small mountain village (rather a hamlet) in Darjeeling district and located at an altitude of 5,800ft, and just 3kms above Takdah. The word Tinchuley means Three Ovens (i.e. Tin Chullahs). And such name to the village has been given because of the three prominent hill tops that surround the place and which from far look like ovens or chullahs. Tinchuley faces the Kalimpong hills.
If you love nature, the lovely views of the Himalayan range, like to see the meandering Teesta flow through the mountain landscapes, enjoy tea gardens, orange orchards, walking along village trails, watching birds, local culture, people and food, then this is the right place for you.
It’s a beautiful mountain hamlet offering stunning views including that of Kanchenjunga, having wide range of bird & animal life as well as many different types of amazing plantations.
Latpanchar actually forms the highest part of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary with an average altitude of about 4,200 ft and about 44 kms from New Jalpaiguri. Since it’s part of the sanctuary, there is good chance that you will come across some wildlife here like deer, barking deer, wild boars, and sometimes even leopards and elephants while exploring the jungles around.
A beautiful village at the foothill of Singalila National Park and having a mountain stream passing through it. A paradise for the nature lovers.
You can walk through the forest of birch, oaks and pine trees and enjoy the atmosphere. There is a river with the same name. Do fishing in the river; there are lots of trout fish.
Jorpokhri is a tiny place on a hilltop and about 19 kms from Darjeeling town. Located at an altitude of 7,400 ft, the main feature of Jorpokhi is its twin lakes after which the place has been named. ‘Jor’ means two and ‘pokhri’ stands for a lake or water tank.
You can often see large number of white swans swimming in the waters or strolling around in the nearby area. Jorpokhri, however is not only about the lakes. There is a lovely forest around full of dhupi and pines.
In the water tanks you might be able to see the rare Himalayan Salamanders that are small lizard like amphibians. One of the best offerings of Jorpokhri is its sweeping views of the Himalayan snow peaks and the Darjeeling landscape. On a clear day and from one side of the lake you can get breathtaking views of the majestic Kanchenjunga peaks. On the other side you can see Darjeeling and Kurseong town landscapes.
Palmajua is a beautiful small village located at an altitude of 7,250 ft, it takes 4.5 hours from NJP.
Palmajua lies in the fringe of the well known Singalila National Park which is the home to amazing animals like Red Panda, Pangolins and lot more, and close to 170 species of birds. Some great places you can visit and things you can experience around Palmajua includes Ramman hydel project, enjoying short treks through forested land, a view point from where you can see Daramdin of West Sikkim which is well known for rose cultivation, watch the spectacular sunrise at Dhotrey, and visits to nearby places like Rimbik, Srikhola, Meghma, and even the summit of Singalila range Sandakphu.
Lepchajagat is a small village located in wilderness at an altitude of 6,956 ft and only 19kms away from Darjeeling hill town. Although it’s quite close to Darjeeling’s main hub and takes only about 45 minutes by taxi, it has a world of its own.
Lepchajagat is all about dense forested area full with pines, oaks and rhododendrons. And all that is combined with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga peaks, wonderful bird life and serene tranquility. So during the day time, you engage with nature in its full bloom, and when the night falls, you sit next to the fireplace and read a book, hear the sounds of crickets from the jungle around or just recapitulate your day’s experience as you sip a cup of Darjeeling tea and relax. There are no shops to disturb the quietness that you have been longing for.
Chota Mangwa is one and half hour’s drive from Darjeeling. Chota Mangwa is an Eco friendly village with extremely friendly and down to earth people to welcome you. It’s a relatively new destination located on a ridge at the top of the Mangwa hill in Darjeeling district. It’s a quiet village with some excellent views of the meandering river Teesta and magnificent Kanchenjungha on a clear sunny day.
Chatakpur is small eco friendly village within the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, it is just 26 kms from Darjeeling. This pristine village is bounded by the Kachenjunga Mountain Range in the North and the river gorge Relly Khola in the south.
Located at an altitude of 7,887 feet, Chatakpur is a paradise for nature lovers as one can get a spectacular view of the imposing mountain range of Kanchenjunga and at the same time experience the overwhelming lush green forest in a quiet village setting with a population of only around 90 people and 18 village houses.
Petrichor is not just a farm, it’s a growing community which practices and encourages several activities in harmony with local villagers through organic farming, conducting programs for visitors to share the ways of simple & sustainable living in an Eco-friendly environment, encouraging volunteers to participate in farming work, inviting artists to take part in art & craft, and of course offering such wonderful farm stays to guests to experience it all.
It’s located in Gorubathan, about 2 hours drive from NJP and on the way to the popular tourist destination Lava. Gorubathan is a small settlement located at the east bank of river Chel. It’s part of Kalimpong subdivision and Darjeeling district.
Rashikbill or Rasikbill is a huge lake located in the town of Tufangang in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. It is a very popular bird watching spot famous for local and migratory birds.
Rasikbeel is 74 kilometers from Alipurduar by high road. Rashikbill boasts about a jumble of wild flora and fauna. Located around a large lake spreading over 175 hectares area, Rashikbill Lake is surrounded by three dark and dense forests – Nagurhaat, Atasmochar and Bochamari. They are separated by Batikata a small canal. It is a heavenly haven of Eco-tourism in the wilderness with breathtaking beauty of its picture-postcard scenery.
If you are thinking of staying in one of the smallest villages in India with a fabulous view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the snaking Teesta River, then keep Ramdhura in your itinerary. Located just seven kilometers from Delo, Ramdhura, truly commands some of the best postcard views of the Eastern Himalayas – the white goddess, Mt. Kanchenjungha stands amidst the expansive slopes of lush green mountains and the mighty River Teesta hurdles through the gorges below. You can enjoy this panorama from your homestay’s balcony while sipping your cup of Darjeeling tea. You can trek along the slopes of the surrounding pine forests, enjoy bird watching and visit few local attractions like Hanuman Tok (viewpoint) and Mahadev Dham Temple.
Jhandi is a picturesque valley located in the Dooars region of West Bengal around 09 kilometres from Lava on the way to Gorubathan with a panoramic view of the Mahananda River valley and Mt. Kanchenjungha. It is an area of extensive tea plantations and forests. For those interested in exploring a new untouched destination in North Bengal, Jhandi could be the ideal choice. It is rich in lush, tropical evergreen trees, Sal and Pine forests, which are home to some of India’s rarest Himalayan flora and fauna. With its excellent climate, rare flora and fauna and picture-perfect setting, Jhandi should definitely be on the travel plan of all tourists.
One of the most untouched parts of the Darjeeling Himalayan foothills, Sitong is a treasure trove yet to be discovered. This little picturesque Lepcha village lies is a valley crisscrossed by a rivulet (Khola) and guarded by lush green hills. Every house in Sitong has a garden and every garden has orange trees. The whole village turns orange during the winter. Visiting Sitong is like time travelling – there’s a bamboo bridge, a church, some winding village paths skirting through orange orchards and few meandering streams and a rivulet, which the locals love to call Riyang River.