(2 )KALIMPONG AND LAVA-LOLEGAON-RISHYOP SECTOR:-
KALIMPONG is one of the four subdivisions of Darjeeling district and enriched with many attractions for the tourists. If you are a forest lover this sector is one of those which you should not miss any cost. Famous NEORA VALLY RESERVE FORREST is situated in KALIMPONG sub division.
Pristine beauty, charming ambience and inviting location - these features set KALIMPONG aside from the other hill stations in the region. Snuggled at an altitude of 1250 m above sea level, in the Shivalik range (or Lower Himalaya), it is one of its kinds in the Indian state of West Bengal. While the scenic grandeur of this hill station is sure to captivate your sensual senses, KALIMPONG also satisfies the religious bend of people, as it is the seat for Buddhism in the North-east India. The tantalizing and enticing climate of the hill station is an added bonus for tourists visiting the place. Conquered from Sikkim by Bhutan in 1706, its name supposedly comes from ‘kaleon’ and ‘pong’ meaning ‘minister’s bastion or fort’ since it did have the presence of a Bhutanese governor for the period it remained under their rule. However, the Lepcha who were there long before are said to have called it ‘kalibong’ meaning ‘the ridge where we play’. The last theory is KALIMPONG is named after "Kaulim", a fibrous plant found in abundance in this region. 1865, after the Anglo-Bhutan War, British India brought it under their control on becoming aware of its vantage position as an outpost for trade with Tibet, which they did accomplish in establishing. Till about hundred years ago, KALIMPONG used to be a tiny hamlet. The written accounts dating back to 1865 mention this place as one constituting of a few huts, less than ten families and eight cows! After it was seized by the British in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the area became a major centre for wool trade with Tibet. In 1916, the area was made into a separate subdivision with KALIMPONG as the headquarters. Today KALIMPONG has been developed as a popular tourist spot forming a triangle with its most illustrious neighbours, Darjeeling and Gangtok. KALIMPONG is located on an overlooking bridge of River Teesta, and is fast becoming a popular tourist destination of the region. Being close to the well known tourist town of Darjeeling gives it an advantage. The town is quite close to the Indo-China border. The Indian Army's 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the KALIMPONG town. KALIMPONG offers a breathtaking view of the snowy peaks of the Himalayan range that lies not far beyond it. The lush green valleys are a soothing sight. There are two things that strike one on reaching KALIMPONG. These are its bustling bazaars that stand out in sharp contrast to the quiet atmosphere heightened by the several places of worship all around.
The gushing rivers in the vicinity and bursts of green forests only add to the scenic beauty of the region. Another major attraction in KALIMPONG is the various nurseries abloom with exotic flowers and rare varieties of plants. KALIMPONG is known for its educational institutions many of which were established during the British colonial period. KALIMPONG is also known for its cultural diversity. While ethnic Nepalis dominate the populace, the place also serves as home to indigenous ethnic groups like Newars, Lepchas, Bhutia, Sherpas, Limbus, Rais, Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Yolmos, Bhujels, Sunuwars, Sarkis, Damais and Kamis. Communication in KALIMPONG would not be a problem, as most of the people herein are multi-lingual, being fluent in Nepali, Lepcha, Limbu, Tamang, Kirat, Hindi, English and Bengali.
There are many things about KALIMPONG which makes it perfect for holidays. KALIMPONG offers panoramic view of the great Himalayan ranges and the view of the Kanchenjunga peak is quite breathtaking from here. Talking about the tourist attractions in KALIMPONG, the place is a haven for travellers and explorers. Once here, one thing that you need to look out for is the regal charm and glory of the Buddhist monasteries. Lepcha Museum is another must see for visitor. Apart from the rich historical heritage, KALIMPONG is a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers also. While Neora National Park is sure to quench your thirst for thrill and adventure, the beautiful flower nurseries and observatory points are will soothe your parched nerves. The major tourist attractions of KALIMPONG are:-
DEALO HILL is one of the numerous hill destinations that warrant a visit. A picnic spot with a tourist lodge is runed by the Department of Tourism. It offers an early morning view of the Kanchenjunga massif.
Dr. Graham’s Homes
A unique educational institution, started in 1900 by Dr. John Anderson Graham, a Missionary, with six orphans, the school, situated in a 500 acre estate on the slopes of KALIMPONG’s highest hill, DEALO, has today a strength of well over 700 boys and girls who are accommodated in small cottages in a picturesque set-up. It has its own diary, poultry and bakery and every year in the month of May the school organises “MAYFAIR”. A day’s visit there can be enthralling.
Now Co-operative Training Institute, Situated about 2 km from the town centre on the way to Durpin Dara, Gauripur House was one of the favorite haunts of Poet Rabindranath Tagore. He stayed there on his many visits to KALIMPONG.
Your visit to KALIMPONG won’t be complete unless you spend several hours or better still, several days at the two KALIMPONG BAZARS, one on the Main Road, the other near the 10th mile. It is a unique experience to see villagers turning up in their local costume at the BAZARS on weekly market days to sell their farm products.
It is the oldest and most famous Bhutanese Monastery of this place which was established in 1692. This GOMPA was built under the Bhutanese rule under the direct guidance of Bhutan King. The preserved religious and cultural legacy of this summons place call on scores of tourists every year. Every day the monks offer prayers twice, once in the morning and once in the evening and the prayers are accompanied by the blowing of conch shells and long trumpets and beating of the drums. During festive occasion the masked dance ceremony is performed which is attended by large number of tourists.
THARPA CHOELING GOMPA:-
This is among the most popular attractions of this place which was built in 1937. It is the monastery of the GELUKPA sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism which is belongs to the sect to which the present Dalai Lama belongs. This is situated atop Tirpai Hill in beautiful serene and scenic natural ambiances. The Gompa contains idols of the Bhaisajya, Sakyamuni and Maitreya Buddhas (past/present and future form of Buddha). The tiny hall inside the monastery decorated with images of flayed animals and humans is the foremost attractions of this monastery which gives deep insight on the life and teaching of Buddha. The Gompa is surrounded by picturesque and lush green dense forests through which one can view the scenic Himalayan ranges.
This is 120 feet high ropeway located over the famous rivers Teesta and Relli. To enjoy the thrilling experience of this adventure ride tourists flock in large number round the year. Tourists can have spectacular view of the river under the ropeway and the lush green surrounding. The view is so fascinating that it will remain unforgettable experience for any travelers.
It is the prominent attractions of this place which is visited by scores of tourists who come here from several parts of the globe. This spectacular hill town is an important flower producing center of India. Some of the other exotic flowers that cultivated here are amaryllis, lilies, anthuriums, roses, gerbera, dahlias and cacti. There are numbers of nurseries located here which is thronged by scores of tourists to enjoy the scattered scenic beauty of blooming buds.
It is a shopper’s paradise and the main market in KALIMPONG where tourists come to purchase craft, handicraft items and artifacts made by local craftsmen. With the exotic collection this market is also known for its scenic location which never fails to enthrall tourists during their visit to this place.
Kalibari is about 2 km from town Huge statue of Goddess Kali, the main deity of this temple.
It is the highest point in KALIMPONG accessible by car. It offers a breath-taking view of the plains and the mighty Teesta.
7th Mile View Point:
This point is just 3 km from the town on the way to Teesta Bazar. A panoramic view of Teesta Rangeet Valley can be seen from here.
This recently constructed place of worship is a marvellous piece of architecture.
ZONG DOG PALRI FO-BRTANG MONASTERY:
This is a fairly new monastery located in Durpin Dara. One can get a panoramic view of the town and surrounding from this monastery.
Nature Interpretation Centre:
This is operated by the Forest Department, focuses on flora, fauna and local people interacting with ecology. It is working to conserve soil and forests of the area. It has some fine illustrations and demonstrations on the effect of human activity on the environment.
Army Golf Club:
Hewn out of a hillside, to keep officers fit for high altitude soldiering. It has excellent angle for photography of Durpin Monastery from 3rd Green.
Built by local craftsmen to resemble a Gumpa, it has wood carvings adorning the walls, depicting biblical scenes, in which personalities resemble Buddhist monks. An interesting example of Tibetan influences.
The Catholic Church constructed in 1890, during the rule of Britishers is the largest church located in the region. This church after the religious consecration was opened to public for offering prayers in 1891.
MacFarlane Memorial Church
This Church was constructed in 1891, is named after Scottish missionary William MacFarlane, who had set up the Scottish Universities’ Mission Institution. The church was constructed under the stewardship of William Sutherland, another Scottish missionary, with the help of the local people. This church is considered to be the “mother church” of KALIMPONG. “It was designed in Scotland and is a typical Scottish structure of the time,”
For shopaholics, the 10th Mile Market or Raja Dorje Market would be a paradise.
MansangSituated at an altitude of 5000ft on the Kalimpong Hills is a small picturesque hamlet and head quarter of Mansang cinchona plantation. And is just 22Kms from Kalimpong town. Because of its picturesque setting, it has good potential to develop as a new tourist destination. Till now the place is visited by only a few offbeat travelers. It has a beautiful bungalow under the maintenance of the cinchona directorate. From the bungalow a magnificent view of the entire range of Kanchenjunga in the south and of the Tista meandering through the deep gorges towards south can be seen. On clear nights, the lights of Darjeeling town and also that of Gangtok in the north-west offers beautiful views from this place.
LAVA is situated about 3500 meters above sea level, among dense forests of Birch, Juniper and Pine trees is a small secluded hamlet. Lava is one of the few destinations which still have to be discovered by the rest of the world. Lava is a small village that is situated in the KALIMPONG district of the state of West Bengal. The place is well renowned for its beauty and it attracts nature enthusiasts and adventure buffs. The town is situated at an altitude and this makes it a perfect place for many outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking and climbing. There are several trekking routes in the nearby forests and these are worth exploring. The people of the village still follow a traditional lifestyle and they are friendly and welcoming.
LAVA is just 32 kms from KALIMPONG, is at an altitude of 7755 ft. and remains hidden in the mists and clouds almost throughout the year. It stands against the backdrop of the Neora Valley National Park. Attractions approached from this unique landmark of bio-diversity are the emerald green valleys, lakes, waterfalls, the snow-capped mountain peaks and the unforgettable, ever smiling helpful village folks.
View of Mt. Everest at sunrise is from LAVA is completely different view of Mt. Everest at sunrise than what one has from Tiger Hill of Darjeeling. Lava holds no end to sightseeing and no barrier to its scenic beauty. Visit the Silvi culture research station and discover the mysteries of the Himalayan medicinal plants. Visit the Ratnarishi Bihar Buddhist Gumpha (Lava Monastery) with a devotional heart or just enjoy the serenity around the large Neora Reservoir Lake. Those interested in monasteries may visit Guruchukhi Monastery (Gitkolbung) which is about 7 km. from Lava.The TIffin Dara appears enchanting which commands a magnificent Panoramic view of Khangchenjunga. A little trek will take one to the Ghanti Dara which provides a pleasing and romantic view of the sunrise. Besides all, the Neora Valley National Park is unique and mingles harmoniously to develop the enchanting beauty of the Nature. Treks to Samthahar plateau also begins from here.
LAVA is said to be a haven for bird watchers and numerous species of migratory birds can be seen in the area. Some of them include the rusty bellied short wing, blue robin, fulvetta, finch, wren babbler and many more rare birds. The forests of the region are relatively untouched and they are teeming with wildlife and these include the black bear and barking deer. There are several picnic spots in the region and these are ideal for spending the day in the outdoors. You can also visit the old Buddhist monastery that is located amongst the hills of Lava. The Neora National Park can be reached from Lava and permits are available here.
The main tourist attractions of LAVA are:-
Panoramic snow views:
On a clear day one can see the Jelep La Pass and Rachela Pass near the China border. Other peaks that can be seen are Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Siniolchu. The best view points are Sherpa and Tiffin Dara (2.5 km from the Lava Bazaar).
Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery:
The Lava Monastery was built in 1987 on a hill. The monastery is a colourful building surrounded by dense forests and enveloped in mist thoughtout the year.
Neora National Park:
Lava is the gateway to the Neora National Park which is hidden in the clouds almost throughout the year at a height of 2350 meters. This Park is at the intersection of Sikkim, West Bengal and Bhutan.
Samabiong Tea Garden:
6 kms south of Lava Bazaar is an organic tea garden which is popular for it panoramic sunrise view from Ghanti Dara.
Lava Monastery –
Monastery at Lava is also known as Kagyu Thekchen Ling Monastery and Ratnarishi Bihar Buddhist Gumpa. It is one of the prime sightseeing spot of Lava. Located on a hill, overlooking the snow-capped mountain range to the north, the Monastery is surrounded by dense forests and remains enveloped in mists for most of the year. This large and colourful monastery was established by Karma Lodro Chokyi Senge, the third Kongtrul Rimpoche.
Changey Water Falls –
Another major sightseeing spot of Lava is this Changey fall. Journey to the fall via sharp meandering roads is a thrilling experience. The fall is situated amidst picturesque surrounding and provides a perfect backdrop for taking photograph making it all the more popular and favourite among tourists.
Kagyupa Gompa, natural forests, Sunrise point are the other attractions of LAVA.
LOLEGAON is a small offbeat destination in the northern part of West Bengal, 24 km from Lava and 54 km from KALIMPONG, LOLEGAON lies at an altitude of 1850 m above sea level. LOLEGAON is basically a tiny Lepcha village also known as Kafer and has recently been introduced as a tourism place in the state of West Bengal, offering views of the Eastern Himalayan snow ranges. LOLEGAON is famous for its natural beauty and views of Mt. Kanchenjungha.
LOLEGAON is considered to be the tourism mascot of West Bengal, the majestic icon of the place. It is an obvious choice if one wants to go far from the hustle and bustle of the city to refresh one’s mind. It is one of the stunning places for the tourists and it is something that one may define as “out of ordinary”. LOLEGAON “the land of unending beauty” lies in the KALIMPONG hills. It has a mesmerizing scenic beauty with a tranquil and serene environment. For nature lovers, it is truly a feast for eyes. The main attraction of the place after its natural beauty is the wildlife. It is also a perfect destination for the animal lovers. It has an age-old forest with pine, cypress and oak and their mossy trunk that is considered to be a perfect place to have a glimpse of the Himalayan endangered species such as black bear, mountain goats, numerous birds and different varieties of species. Tourism in LOLEGAON is on its boom these days. LOLEGAON is legendary in West Bengal for its peaceful nature and simplicity. The natural beauty of LOLEGAON is remarkable. It has a heritage forest and a view point for snow ranges of Singalila Range. LOLEGAON is a quiet, cool and serene destination yet to be commercialized. The scenic wonder of LOLEGAON is awesome. The fabulous Heritage Forest with a beautiful hanging bridge from the ground to the treetops is the prime attraction of LOLEGAON. LOLEGAON is ideal for travellers looking forward to spend a leisure holiday enjoying the views of Mt. Kanchenjungha, Mt. Pandim and others. Located on top of a flat hill, LOLEGAON is famous for its panoramic views of the Himalayas. A very important spot to look out for in LOLEGAON is Jhandidara which is a wooded top of a hill and it offers views of all the peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest.
Viewing sunrise over the snow peaks from Jhandidara - a wooded hilltop - is perhaps the most treasured memory of being at LOLEGAON. In a clear day all major peaks of Kanchenjunga massif can be seen from Jhandidara. Even the glorious Mt Everest can be seen from Jhandi Dara (Jhandi = Flag, Dara = Top) as your eyes sweep across the layers of mountains and valleys and reach at the distant corner, where the highest peak in the world is touched by the first rays of the Sun.
LOLEGAON is a fabulous destination for the lovers of wildlife in their natural habitat. The age-old forest of towering pine, cypress and oaks with their mossy trunk is an ideal place for watching endangered Himalayan species like black bear and mountain goats, numerous colourful birds and butterflies and rare orchids. The Heritage Forest at 10 minutes walking distance is the place to feel the exquisite wealth that nature has showered here. The recently built wooden hanging foot bridge over the canopy of the huge trees is a special attraction. Popularly known as 'The Canopy Walk' it offers an unforgettable experience, which allows you to get close to the trees. The visit to the Heritage Forest of LOLEGAON is a must to get a feel of the exquisite wealth nature has showered here. This forest is also the home to some Himalayan species of mountain goats and black bear along with other rare species of butterflies, birds and orchids. This forest is also the home to some Himalayan species of mountain goats and black bear along with other rare species of butterflies, birds and orchids. The unique 'Canopy Walk' over the century old mossy Oak and Cypress in the Heritage Forest is a thrilling experience. The all-pervading melodious silence will give you a new dimension of contended soul. Hanging bridge and sunrise point are the other tourist attraction of LOLEGAON.
RISHYAP is a Himalayan hamlet in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. About 2591 m above sea-level, it's a nice quaint village away from city crowds, with picturesque views of snow-capped mountains. The sun plays vermillion through the day. At night the big sky seems to come closer. Beneath the sky the twinkling lights of Gangtok & Pedong are similar to the twinkling stars above. Tourists are attracted by the natural beauty of Neora Valley National Park & TRIFINDARA. Both are enjoyed through trekking route which is a deep silent forest of pine, birch, fir & orchids with some soothing path following the chirps.
Undoubtedly, RISHYAP is one of the most beautiful hill-resorts in West Bengal which is yet to be crowded by unfeeling sightseers. RISHYAP is developed recently in 1998, is rapidly becoming a popular tourist point. Situated over the Neora valley at an altitude of 2,360 m, this hill station at the foot of Tiffin Dara comprises a Lepcha hamlet and a few resortsRISHYAP is a small village on the hill top can be reached from Lava on trekking ( only 4 kms) or Four Wheels ( 12 kms). But the bumpy road can make uncomfortable. Its main attraction is overwhelming 300 degrees view of nowcapped Himalayas including Kanchenjunga.
The meaning of the word Rishyap is ‘mountain peak and tree’ and it is located between the junctions of Sikkim, West Bengal and Bhutan. Rishyap's unique feature is that there is only empty space between this tiny hamlet and the KanchenDZONGa range standing on the horizon. The town is spread across a narrow ridge with valleys falling away on either side. The majestic peaks are easily visible from here.The mountain ranges that are visible from Rishyap are Kokthang, Mt. Kharg, Kabroo, Talung, Khang-Chen-D-Zongha, Rathung, Simvo, Narsingh, Siniolchu and Pandim. TRIFINDARA is a perfect spot to have a glimpse of the Himalayas. The biggest attraction of RISHYAP is the breathtaking view of picturesque majestic KANCHAJUNGHA and various mountain peak of India and Nepal. By standing in RISHYAP you can see the Nathula's some part.
Mount Kanchenjunga, situated in the border area of Nepal and Sikkim, is a popular tourist attraction here that is visited for hiking and sightseeing. Sunrise in RISHYAP will be in memory for years. Sunset turns the snow-capped pinnacles into pink and gold.
RISHYAP is also enriched with variety of birds and dance forest enroot to TRIFINDARA.
RISHYAP is covered with DHUPI, pine and rhododendron trees. 'Ri' stands for Mountain Peak & some say it 'lofty' & 'shop' means Old aged trees.
At RISHYAP the night sky is bright and clear. It may seem that the stars have come closer. Far below, one can view the lights twinkling in the nearby towns and villages.
You can also do trekking. You can enjoy the finest view of forest in RISHYAP. TRIFINDARA is a finest gallery from where you can see the Himalaya. The oldest name of TRIFINDARA is Sherpa Dara. There is a Pine forest situated in the lower of TRIFINDARA. A view tower is created in there. RISHYAP is a perfect destination for a family holiday, weekend break and general vacation tour. Take a break from the activities of daily life. The main tourist attractions of RISHYAP are viewing the mountain picks and enjoy the nature and birds, witness the sunrise and sunset, and relax.