TINCHULEY AND CHOTA MANGWA SIGHTSEEING
A trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa in North Bengal in the summer is always a good idea especially if you live close to Bengal. A 3-hour scenic drive along the Teesta river from Siliguri in North Bengal takes us to some picturesque Eco-friendly villages which lies in this part of the Himalayas. We planned a trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa and Bara Mangwa in the spring to imbibe some offbeat culture of Ecotourism in North Bengal.
As I had expected , this trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa was really an exhilarating and refreshing one. I could say that this trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa was one of the best trips of my life so far. The journey was strenuous uneven. It was till 2km diversion from the main village, the entire journey to the only resort in Chota Mangwa is an alluring journey. Situated on a cliff, the government with the help of locals has built this marvellous resort . This resort entirely runs on solar power.
Chota mangwa Eco tourism Resort- Introduction to the trip to Tinchuley and Chota mangwa
A half an hour jungle trek from the resort leads us to a monastery. The monastery has a huge orange garden in its backyard which blooms with numerous oranges in the month of November.
The jungle trek to the monastery is precarious along the muddy terrain of the mountains. But we need to accept that some difficult roads lead us to beautiful destinations. The monastery is covered with numerous rhododendrons and Himalayan flowers that add to the charming nature of the foggy ambience. It is obvious that the serene atmosphere of this resort in this tiny hamlet will be a peaceful and soothing memory in a traveller’s mind . It made our trip to Chota Mangwa even more memorable.
Bara Mangwa- Natural beauty in the trip to Tinchuley and Chota mangwa
Next day we started our journey from Chota Mangwa towards Tinchuley. On the way, we decided to take some photos of the terrace farming in Bara Mangwa. Bara Mangwa is a quiet hamlet in the North Bengal. Here people can spend in an Eco-friendly atmosphere with a perfect ambience of a traditional farmhouse culture. The village is famous for its orange gardens which attract numerous Himalayan birds in the winters. While coming down towards Lamahatta from Chota Mangwa we have to pass through this picturesque village.
People here strictly follow a sustainable Eco-friendly culture. They grow their own crops and fruits and use solar power as the source of electricity. The village is rich in Bamboo forests on both sides of the highway that adds to the greenery. The locals here work hard every day. The results of which can be imbibed from the terrace farming and flower plants inside the village. Rhododendron and dahlia flowers are common in this part of the Himalayas. This makes the road trip even more exotic and colourful.
As we proceeded towards Lamahatta,which is another famous destination before Tinchuley,we encountered various types of flowers on our way including the Rhododendron,Dahlia,Hibiscus,Rajnigandha and several others local flowers which further adds to our delight.Before that first we visited the Lover’s point from where the confluence of Teesta and the Rangit river can be viewed. Tourists can capture a bird eye view of the the river valleys below.
Chota Mangwa to lamahatta park:-
Then after few minutes of driving we visited the famous Peshok Tea Garden. It is also a famous tea producing factory in kalimpong district. The Peshok tea garden is a famous tourist spot that offers a visit to tea plantations with a panoramic view of the kalimpong and darjeeling mountains. We proceeded towards Lamahatta park which amazed us with its splendid view of the diverse types of seasonal flowers.
The Lamahatta park was intersected horizontally with a series of colourful prayer flags that fluttered when the wind blew across the exotic garden. The fluttering flags captured the limelight of every tourist entering the marvelous park. It exhibited like a garland with a spectrum of colours along the length of the park.
There is a pine forest at the rear side of the garden as we climb up the stairs towards the fluttering flags. The tall pine trees carves out the scenic park into a more picturesque painting to the eyes of a tourist. The park provides numerous opportunities to capture spectographic memories for a traveller.
Gumba dara view point:-
The winding road climbs steeply from Lamahatta. It meanders along the green carpet of wild bubble flowers and tea gardens. Just at the start of this hill station we arrive at Gumba Dara view point. This view point offers some breathtaking views of the valley.
The valley looks best when it rains in the afternoon. During our 3 day stay in this hamlet, what was common everyday was the slight drizzle that starts in the afternoon.It is the best time to visit this view point as the dark clouds linger above the windward side of the Himalayas and the tea plantation turns into a blanket of rejuvenated green colours of the rain.
The white bubble flowers with the lemongrass add to the colours and fragrance of the entire valley. The white small flowers assist the green colour of the tea garden in featuring like the dust of snow scattered on a green carpet. The lemon grass dissipates the lemon flavour into the valley as strong winds blow during the drizzle. Undoubtedly the Gumba Dara viewpoint is a hidden paradise in the Himalayas of North Bengal.
Where to stay in Tinchuley:-
Gurung guest house ensures a calm and soothing stay in this quiet hamlet of the Himalayas. As we enter Tinchuley the first guest house is Abhiraj Homestay, then comes the Gurung homestay. Finally we arrive in this pleasant wooden guest house decorated with numerous flowers.
There are plenty of flowers in the vicinity of the guest house which adds to the delight of a traveller. The flower plants with the enigmatic colourful prayer flags greets a traveller into the cozy wooden rooms of the guest house.
Every room is provided with a balcony that looks onto the the Sikkim and Kalimpong valleys. Every morning and specially when it rains the clouds do enter through the windows of the balcony . This creates a charming ambience for the travellers in Tinchuley. These experiences made our trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa even more special.
Tinchuley sightseeing- main part in the trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa
There is also a monastery situated at a 5 min walking distance which further leads to a view point. Though due to clouds and fog, most of the time it is difficult to get the proper views of the Sikkim and Kalimpong valley, but the trek to the monastery and the view point through the pine forests garlanded with the prayer flags make the location of this guest house even more enchanting.
One can also enjoy a calm and serene walk through the pine forests nearby. When it is raining the drizzles create a mist which hovers over the pine forests . This makes the vicinity of the guest house even more magnificent. The villages on the opposite hill to the guest house have plenty of Rhododendron and Dahlia garden which one can visit by trekking through the pine forests.Pine forests are a visual treat to the eyes if we are staying in any of the cosy accommodations in Tinchuley.
Tinchuley accommodations for the tourists are few in number. But each one of them has a marvellous view of the Sikkim and Kalimpong mountains from their balcony. Just a couple of km before entering this hill station, the pine forests starts . These forests continue along the entire length of the main road in this town.
The forests are thick and rich in various wildflowers that grow on the foot of the pine trees in the form of shrubs. Locals showed us lemongrass in these forests the smell of which remains for a few days, which are used in brand Liril soaps. Every morning in the months of spring the entire stretch of the pine avenue gets covered with clouds . This makes the walk even more romantic.
Takdah- sightseeing in the trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa
The hanging bridge and the orchid garden are the major attractions for any tourists in Takdah . This is just fifteen minutes drive from Tinchuley. The hanging bridge has been constructed by the locals for connecting two villages over the Teesta river. The bridge is suspended by iron cables on both ends bolted with supporting pillars.
The footbridge is made up with wooden panels bolted to the iron cables. Tourists may find it adventurous to walk over the bridge as it swings away on both sides as weight is put on it. For tourists it may seem to be precarious but for locals. But it is the only way of communicating to the main town, as we saw school kids rushing through the bridge to schools and even motorbikes crossing into the other side.
Orchid garden in Takdah:-
The orchid garden provides some useful information of this unanimous unique Himalayan plant with various colours of blooming flowers. The garden is maintained by the forest department . It offers a scenic landscape . The locals here have put down a great effort to decorate the garden that has become a major attraction in Takdah.
Teesta valley garden:-
The entire Teesta valley, which is an hour drive from Tinchuley is covered with tea estates. In the morning local women can be seen plucking the three bud tea leaves with their traditional bamboo bark baskets. The motorable road passes in between the vast tea plantations providing a mesmerising view of the entire Kalimpong valley. The roads are extremely bumpy and in bad shape but such difficult roads can be tolerated to let us into the fresh green avenues of the tea estates.
We were fortunate enough to experience changing weather while traversing the tea estates in the entire Teesta valley. The clouds were playing hide and seek with a slight drizzle for a few kilometres. When we were near the Durbin Dara viewpoint it was a clear sky with no shades of clouds in the sky. As we proceeded downwards and reached the Gelle Tea Estate the hovering clouds which we saw at a distance from the Durbin Dara viewpoint started to downpour in the form of a drizzle.
Sevoke and Triveni- Concluding the trip to Tinchuley and chota mangwa
On a concluding day I thought of providing a final subtle touch to my trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa with a perfect glimpse of the famous destinations that we will confront on our return back to Siliguri.
The first one is that of the Sevoke Coronation bridge built in the memory of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.Locals even name this bridge as “Bagh Pool” owing to the face of the two lions at the entrance.
Due to its historical significance and location as it connects the districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri and Cooch behar ,the bridge is now considered as a heritage site.The bridge is built over the Teesta river which makes a gorge below owing to the high currents of the flowing river.The prayer flags with the view of the green colour of the river makes the the location significantly scenic to a traveller.
Triveni lovers point :-
The second picture is that of Triveni which is the confluence of the Rangit and Teesta river.The place got it’s name “Triveni” as the three mountains each belonging to Sikkim ,Bhutan and West Bengal meet at this single place. My trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa would not have been complete without spending some time on the banks of the gushing rivers meeting at Triveni.
While facing the Teesta river the mountain lying in the front takes us to Bhutan via Cooch Behar. The left mountain takes us to Sikkim. The mountain on which we stand belongs to the journey of the Himalayan hamlets in West Bengal.
This trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa was a memorable one. I felt ecstated throughout the journey because a trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa is truly a treat to the eyes and soul . I hope that this article inspires travellers to plan a trip to Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa.