North Bengal offbeat tour plan-Rishop,Lava,Delo and Samabeong
North Bengal is a treasure of India. Surrounded by the mighty Himalayas and pristine view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the whole part of this unexplored part of Bengal contains small hamlets with pine forests and rare species of animals. North Bengal is gifted with greenery like the Neora valley national park and numerous pine forests in each hamlet. Dooars is worth to mention as the gateway to Bhutan and a huge tiger national park. In this blog I will take you to a fantastic circuit of north bengal offbeat tour.plan.
Keeping in mind the unexplored routes of offbeat north Bengal I selected a rarely visited part of north Bengal where I started from Kalimpong ,reached Rishop and then went on to explore Samabeong tea estate . Finally I ended my journey on the riverside of Gorubathan and returned back to Kolkata via Siliguri. Here are the list and details of all the hamlets that I have visited.
Delo in Kalimpong- First spot in offbeat North bengal tour.
A beautiful hill station with astounding views of mount Kanchenjunga from Durpindara view point,Delo was previously a retreat for the Britishers. Delo park is the prime attraction of this place which is visited by numerous tourists throughout the year. Delo is 4 hours journey from Siliguri which will be the base town for exploring north Bengal. Siliguri is a happening place and the largest city in north Bengal, well connected by road and air from other parts of India.
Delo Park has a palace and pine forest inside the premises to explore.The park is situated on top of the Delo hills and is an ideal weekend destination from Siliguri for the children. The palace and the flowers avenue adds as a catalyst for decorating the place as an attraction for the tourists. The palace is now a retreat for the government of west Bengal.The entry fee to the park is rs 20 per head which is taken for maintaining the beautiful flower garden and kids playing area inside the park. The park has an elevated portion of pavement to walk beside the pine forests which is also decorated with prayer flags. Everything in detail about this park is mesmerizing.
After delopark I started my road trip towards Rishop but on the way I visited Hanuman tok,Delo monastery and Durpindara view point.There is also a science city park in Delo but unfortunately it was closed. Hanuman Tok is a hindu temple dedicated to lord Hanuman ,situated on top of a hill. From the top the whole town of delo is visible. There are a total of about 150 steps to go to the top where lord hanuman stands tall to shower his blessings. The view from the top is undoubtedly cherishing.
Delo monastery is a coulourful Buddhist temple dedicated to Guru Padsambhava. Situated just beside the highway leading to Rishop the monastery is easily accessible. Here the guru sits tall showering his blessings to the people of the mighty Himalayas. The red and golden attire he is wearing looks splendid with the Himalayas in the backdrop. All around the complex there are prayer flags and colourful walls ,which creates a perfect backdrop for photography.
Durpindara view point was our last destination in delo. Durpindara offers enchanting views of the Teesta River meandering across the plains of the himalayas. The place is a romantic spot with splendid view of the gorges created by teesta river and the Himalayas.
After exploring Delo we proceeded towards Rishop, another mesmerising hamlet in north Bengal situated at 7200 ft above msl. The road to Rishop was surrounded with pine forests which provoked us to take numerous pit stops and capture the serene moment through the lens. The road was steep and smooth ,climbing the Himalayas towards Rishop. There were rivulets ,water streams from the mountains,and thick variety of pine forests with mountain Kanchenjunga playing hide and seek into the horizon.The stretch from Delo to Rishop takes us to a wonderland. The whole stretch is through pine forests and in the late afternoon it becomes foggy which creates a mystic and serene atmosphere for nature lovers.
Rishop-View of Kanchenjunga in offbeat North Bengal tour
After reaching Rishop the weather changed drastically. It was severe chilling cold with temperatures dropping to sub zero. We stayed in kanchan view homestay ,situated at the highest point in Rishop. Being located on such a high elevation it was really advantageous as we got a clear view of mount Kanchenjunga in the early morning. In early morning as the sunlight started to come out ,mount kanchenjunga popped up with its colourful ranges as in this case it was pinkish white due to the reflections of the sunlight. The food was delectable with homely cooked dishes of chapati,chicken curry,rice ,local pulses dal, ladyfinger and cauliflower fry,fish curry,aloo paratha and pickle. It was really noteworthy to get such varieties of homely cooked food in such a remote location. Tourists visiting rishop can also embark themselves into local trekking activities. The homestay organises that with the help of local guides. Rishop is more like a quiet hill station where travellers can relax in silence and enjoy astounding views mount Kanchenjunga and enjoy bird watching and also can explore beautiful flowers in the natural backdrop of Rishop. In the early morning tourists will even find snowflakes on the ground. Good food ,great hospitality and stunning views of mount Kanchenjunga were all the memories that we took after our tranquil moments in Rishop.
Changey waterfalls :-
Next we proceeded towards Lava and explored kolakham and changed waterfalls. Lava is a much more famous hill station especially among the bengali community of travellers. This hill station is more developed and is situated at a height of 6000 ft above msl. Lava has a huge monastety which is visited by numerous travellers all through the year. The monastery is situated on the highest point so it is easily seen from other towns. From Kolakham and Samabeong included in my itinerary the monastery is the identification of lava town. Lava is surrounded by pine forests all through its periphery and provides astounding views mount Kanchenjunga. After having some panoramic views of the Himalayas and its valleys I started for Changey waterfalls.
Changey waterfalls is situated deep inside kolakham forests and it takes about 45 mins to reach the base point from where one has to walk 20 mins through steps to reach the waterfall. The trek to the waterfall is surrounded by deep forests of the lower Himalayas consisting of wide variety of flora and fauna. Situated deep inside the forest this waterfall is a gem and totally an offbeat destination. The waterfall falls from a height of about 4 storey building and creates a rainbow in the pond below where one can easily take a bath. Fortunately when I visited the waterfall there were no tourists except me and that provided me an ideal moment of solace and tranquility. It was a perfect moment for me to stay close to Himalayas and feel the fragrance of its fauna.
After exploring Changey waterfalls and Kolakham I drove back to Lava through the dense sanctuary of Kolakham where I spotted numerous species of birds. Due to time shortage we were not able to explore Neora valley national park ,a divine forest set amidst the Himalayas. After reaching Lava it took me 20 mins to reach Samabeong village and tea estate which was my next destination. Just before entering the tea estate I found a small monastery just beside the highway which is attractive enough for photography and enjoy some colourful moments. The monastery had prayer flags and prayer wheels all around with bright colourful walls. All these provoked me to spend some quality time with my camera.
Samabeong tea estate-Finest stay in Offbeat North Bengal tour
Samabeong tea estate is a totally offbeat destination and the main attraction of it staying inside the premises of the tea bungalow and enjoy the serene views offered by it. The valleys surrounding the estate is planted with tea plants and pine trees. The elevated hills are easy to trek and offers astonishing views of the Himalayas.
Samabeong Tea Estate is a very charming tea garden which has a beautiful bungalow where one can stay and admire the beauty of the tea gardens. The bungalow has all the modern amenities and is a very relaxing place to stay for tourists. The caretakers of the place provide good hospitality and good food. The rooms are very spacious and have wooden architecture , the walls of which are made of glass from where you can treat your eyes with the refreshing beauty of the tea gardens. The bungalow also has a library and if you are a chess lover, you can indulge in playing chess with their chess board , with your travel partner. You can also buy organic tea straight from Samabeong tea factory. The bungalow has a fireplace where you can sit and enjoy some quality time with your partner in this calm and romantic ambience . The place gives a serene vibe . In the morning we went trekking in the tea gardens with the help of a guide where we came across the real beauty of the Samabeong estate which is enriched with greenery and after climbing for a while along the mountains, we could clearly see the peak of the mighty Kanchenjunga. This trekking really added to our amazing and memorable experience in the Samabeong Tea Estate. Since we were bound by time limitation ,we could stay only for a day in this place .We felt extremely energised and satisfied at the end of our trip.
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