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Lava: Not as hot as it sounds, but a small beautiful hill town

Lava is a small little town hidden in the eastern Himalayas and comes under the state of West Bengal. It is located about 34 km from Kalimpong which is another small town but well known and well connected. As it is situated at an altitude of 706 feet (2138 m), it can be chilly even if you are visiting in mid-summer.

Lava is one of the few places in the state of West Bengal where it snows in winter. From here, you can visit Neora Valley National Park. The entire village of Lava and Lolegaon is surrounded by forests of pine trees. Even the route to Lava from Kalimpong is really scenic. The trees along with the route change from tropical deciduous to conifers like fir, pine, and birch. These forests give ample spots for picnicking, trekking, and bird watching.

That’s okay, but what makes Lava a renowned travel destination in West Bengal?

Lava is full of scenic attractions. The Neora Valley national park is quite close and is abundant in flora and fauna. Being a hill town, there are monasteries and temples.

When it comes to tourist attractions in Lava, it has plenty of them. This place is considered to be an ideal holiday destination for a nature lover.

Let us take a look at a few of the places that you can visit if you are coming to Lava.

Neora Valley National Park:

This place is also known as the paradise of bird watchers in West Bengal. Mainly because the village itself is not much visited by casual tourists letting the scene remain untouched and untampered. Also, the place is surrounded by forests and mountains. The best spots near Lava if you looking for bird-watching treks are Rachet Reserve forest, Rangbang valley, Upper Rishi Valley, and Neora Valley, these places provide good birding treks. Some of the birds seen in this region are Hill Partridge, Kalij Pheasant, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Great Barbet, Golden Throated Barbet, Drongo Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Eurasian Sparrow Hawk, Black Eagle, Common Kestrel, Common Green Magpie, Grey Treepie are some important species found in the region. Apart from bird watching, this place is also famous among the tourists for the pictorial view of Jelep-La and Rechi-La passes.

There is also a Nature Interpretation center near Lava where you can learn about the Flora and Fauna of the place and get a description of the type of plants and animals in the region.

Changey Waterfall:

This place is just 12km from the main town of Lava and is just the perfect spot to relax your mind and immerse your soul into the sounds of nature itself. The waterfall gushes down from high above the mountains and disappearing to the lush green valley at the bottom is a sight to see in itself. Moreover, if you are looking for a bit more adventure, you can camp here or trek to Samthar Plateau which is also close to Lava.

Monasteries in Lava:

If you want to just chill in Lava and not be that adventurous, you can visit Lava Monastery and just calm your mind in the vibes of the place. Close to the local market is the Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery what provides you with a serene and peaceful ambiance to just sit there and let your mind calm down.

You must be wondering, how to reach Lava in West Bengal?

West Bengal is the last name if we talk about places to travel. However, Lava is a great place to visit for anyone and is well connected to the rest of the country by road, rail, and air.

  • How to reach Lava by Road? This is probably the most preferable option and the most scenic. You can hire a cab from any of the major cities that are near to Lava ( Siliguri, Darjeeling, Bagdogra ). The distance will be within 105kms.

  • How to reach Lava by Rail? The nearest railway station is almost 104km from New Jalpaiguri (NJP). This city is connected to every major city in India by road and rail. You can get a cab from outside the station and will take about 3 hours to reach Lava by road.

  • How to reach Lava by Air? The distance between Bagdogra to Lava is almost 118km and is the only airport near Lava. You can get direct flights from every major city in India to Bagdogra. It takes about 4 hours to reach Lava from Bagdogra airport.

Now that we have an idea on how to reach, let us see how is the weather like and what is the best time to visit Lava?

As already mentioned, Lava is situated at an altitude of 2138 m and as a result, the average temperature is more inclined to the colder side. Even though you are visiting in mid-summer, the temperatures can be pleasant in the daytime and become chilly at night. So it is advised to carry woolens whenever you are visiting. Also, in monsoons, the whole valley is covered in a beautiful shade of lush green. As per visitors, Match to June is the best time to visit Lava. The temperature doesn’t drop below zero even in winter so you can also visit in Winter.

Lava is a quaint village where you can be truly close to nature and feel the vibes of the forest surrounding the village. You can find peace of mind in this small village and get to see and experience the life of simplicity.

So, what do you think about this place?

If you are planning to visit or have visited this place, I’d love to listen to your experience. You can write it as a comment down below or email it to me at

Disclaimer: The pictures on this page are not taken by me and I don't claim any rights on the pictures. The credits go to the respective owners of the pictures.




Hi, I am Chandan

I am a traveller, photographer and a tech-savvy person. 

Through this blog, I will help you find unexplored destinations all around India.

Also, sometimes, I will share information about travel and photography tips. 

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