Do you remember my last blog?
I mentioned there that I will be posting the second part of the offbeat places in West Bengal. Well, I am here with the second part. So without further adieu, let's check out the places...
(in my previous post, I have shared some insights about West Bengal and its culture, including foods. Most of you, my readers are from outside West Bengal and maybe haven't visited the place. So, it's quite natural that you may have some misconceptions about West Bengal and its' people. If you want, you can head over to the previous blog and come back right here once you have finished the previous blog. Warning...! It's not advisable to read the previous blog if you are hungry; there are chances that the hunger will be intensified 😉).
Doban is considered an ideal destination for nature lovers and also for a quick weekend getaway in West Bengal, but is unknown to a majority of the people.
'Do' stands for two, and 'Ban' means a place in between. Doban is situated at the meeting point Reshi and Rangpo river. Although Doban is a part of the Kalimpong, but to reach this place, you will have to come from the Rorathang side of East Sikkim. Since it is close to Sikkim, it is also a perfect rest stop for people visiting Sikkim.
Doban is all about just relaxing and taking in the views. You can simply rest here or if you are adventurous, you can trek through the jungle following the river to reach the nearby town of Pedong. You want something moderate, I've got you! You can walk to the Rorathang Bridge through the jungle or try Angling in the stream waters. Whatever you do, the plethora of birds found in this region will accompany you.
One of the most suggested activities here is quite simple, have a bath in the cool and clear waters of the Rongpo river.
From left to right: View of the general area of homestay, the river flowing near the location ( you can see the crystal clear water)
Reaching this place is quite a task. You have to reach Rorathang, Sikkim first, and then take a cab to Doban. It is much easier if you have your own vehicle. It is advised to take a vehicle with slightly higher ground clearance as the last 2 km from Rorathang Bridge is unpaved and can be quite bumpy.
There is only one homestay at Doban valley i.e. Kannan Valley Homestay. They have two types of staying options like wooden cottage and Cottage made of Concrete. It is suggested to avoid this place in the monsoon as the unpaved part of the road becomes inaccessible and the homestay also doesn't accept bookings.
Contact of Kannan Valley Home Stay, Doban: Joyce Rachel Tamang: 7076594114 / 9932386689
Oh, I have already added this place to my bucket list. And Kanishk, bro... if you are reading this, we need to go to this place. 😊😊 If you don't want to go, I'll drag you to this place... 😂😂
'Jagat' means World, and 'Lepcha' is the name of a tribe. So together, Lepchajagat means the world of the Lepchas. It is situated just 19 km away from Darjeeling and is accessible by road. This place is so close to Darjeeling but is very unlike it. Lepchajagat is a dense forest area comprised of coniferous trees like pine, oak, and rhododendrons. Along with this, there are amazing views of some of the snow-clad peaks of Kanchenjunga and a few others. There are no markets or shops in the area, so you are left with the chirping of birds to break the solitude of the place and keep you company.
If you can, you can take a trek of about 1 km to reach 'Hawa Ghar'. If you are lucky, you can see all five peaks of the Kanchenjunga range. Another location here is the 'Ghoom Rock' which is about 1.5 km away and provides mesmerizing sunset views.
From left to right: Another amazing view from Lepchajagat, Road through the dense forest in here.
Unless you have a reserved vehicle, reaching this place is quite a task. The nearest airport is 85 km away in Bagdogra and the nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri which is 95 km away.
In terms of places to stay, you can check the West Bengal forest development corporation lodge offers options to stay and is quite budget-friendly.
Rishyap is a small picturesque hill station situated just 4 km away from Lava in the pristine Neora Valley in northern West Bengal. Although there are paved roads, they are neither strong nor wide enough for large cars if you decide to take one.
Like most of the places in this list, Rishyap is all about enjoying the serenity of the place rather than being a commercial tourist place. If you are staying here, you can take small treks around the place, and from some places, you can explore the breathtaking view of the Eastern Himalayan Hills and also of the famous Nathu la Pass.
The breathtaking scenery, the cool breeze, the laidback life around the place and the romantic starry nights make Rishyap a very popular hill station among people looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
From left to right: View of the snow-clad mountains from Rishyap, the morning sun illuminating the snow-clad peaks in the distance.
Rishyap is perfect for visiting all year round with varying views in summer and winters, both being equally beautiful. There are a number of affordable and luxury hotels and homestays in and around Rishyap, which are great options for accommodation.
Let's assume that you are frustrated out of your mind sitting and working from home and your leave request for travel got denied by your manager. Now, being a person who is already bitten by the travel bug, I can understand your concern (LOL... I used to say this exact line when I was working in customer service!). For obvious reasons, I won't be able to help you all over the country, but if you live in or near Kolkata, I can help you with a location that is merely a small drive away and is sure to take your breath away. And guess what, you can reach there and be back within a day.
Located only ~50 km away from Kolkata, Raichak is a riverside town that offers a short breath of fresh air even in its urban and commercialized surroundings.
Fort at Raichak
With the Hooghly river (distributary of Ganga) on its side and the numerous forts that add to its charm. Its modern setting combined with the old forts manages to be a weekend gateway that you will not want to miss.
In terms of places to stay, there are a number of hotels that you can stay.
Located just 120 km from Siliguri, Lava and Lolegaon are two villages that are just 25 km apart and equally beautiful. These two pristine villages offer mesmerizing views of snow-capped mountains and ancient Buddhist monasteries. Apart from these, there are a plethora of spellbinding sights on offer here. If you are someone who wants to just experience nature in its serene form, I'd suggest you reach Lava-Lolegaon.
From left to right: Monasteries in Lava, Changey Waterfall near Lava, Golden Buddha statue in Lolegaon
If you want to read about Lava, you can click here to read an earlier blog on Lava. You will get a fair idea of Lava, and Lolegaon being similar, you should get an idea on it too.
So, what do you think of these places?? Do you want another list like this? Do comment down below. Or if you want to visit and need some information, just drop me an email at email@example.com or comment down below and I'll surely help you out as best as I can.
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Disclaimer: "Some of the pictures on this page are not taken by me and I don't claim any rights to the pictures. The credits go to the respective owners of the pictures. "