Surrounded by greenery and rivers amidst picturesque terraced farmland, Lamahatta is a small mountain village that now boasts of an upcoming eco tourism destination. Located at an altitude of 1700 meter above sea level and around 23km from Darjeeling, this tourist spot offers solitude, picturesque beauty and a feeling of being amidst nature, a perfect platform to get to know each other. The beauty of the place is further enhanced by a new garden developed recently surrounded by prayer flags and wide variety of flowers and orchids.
One short trail leads to a small beautiful lake on a hill top. There is another trail of around 8kms from Lamahatta to Takdah that goes through a maze of pine and dhupi trees. Many tourists also opt for the trek to Takdah Orchid Center. The Orchid Center is, however, open between February and April. Trek to Gari Danda – an old fort on top of a hill which is about 3km away is also an adventure. Strolling along the enormous tea plantations is another attraction of Lamahatta. Some of the best Darjeeling tea plantations are here. They are Glenburn Tea Estate, Rongli Rangliot Tea Estate and Takdha Tea Estate. The Lamahatta Village Monastery is also another place to visit.
How to reach :
From Siliguri the road distance to Lamahatta is about 72kms and will take about 3.5 hours. Easiest is to take a taxi from NJP station. Otherwise take a shared jeep up to Jorebungalow and then another one from there up to Lamahatta
As the name suggests, it once used to be a hamlet of the Lepcha tribes. The word ‘Jagat’ actually means “the world’, so it was the world of the lepchas. Lepchajagat is a small village located in wilderness at an altitude of 6,956 ft (i.e. 2123 meters) and only 19kms away from Darjeeling hill town. Although it’s quite close to Darjeeling’s main hub and takes only about 45 minutes by taxi, it has a world of its own.
Lepchajagat is all about dense forested area full with pines, oaks and rhododendrons. And all that is combined with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga peaks, wonderful birdlife and serene tranquility.
So during the day time, you engage with nature in its full bloom, and when the night falls, you sit next to the fireplace and read a book, hear the sounds of crickets from the jungle around (that’s the only sound you will hear), or just recapitulate your day’s experience as you sip a cup of Darjeeling tea and relax.
Places of Interest:
There is also nature walking trail that leads to a place called Hawa Ghar (about 1km). This place offers magnificent view of the peaks. If you are lucky, you can see all five peaks of Kanchenjunga massif.
Another place is Ghoom Rock (1.5kms away and at an altitude of about 7,900 ft). The place offers wonderful view of the Balsan Valley. Ghoom Rock is also famous as a sunrise point.
Other sight seeing places include:
1) Jorpokhri (only about 5kms away), well known for its serene beauty and views of Kanchenjunga, a beautiful pond and the rare Himalayan Salamanders.
2) Ghum Monastery is about 10kms.
3) Pashupati Market located at the Indo Nepal border (about 15kms away) and is well known for the foreign goods at cheap prices. Be careful about the Chinese makes and the fakes. Only Indians are allowed entry and with valid Id proof.
4) Mirik – Famous for its lake fringed by forests on one side. About 27kms away from Lepchajagat and further down from Pahupati Market along the same route.
5) Manebhanjan, which is the base for Sandakphu trek is about 15kms and takes about 45 minutes to reach.
How to reach:
Pre-paid taxis are available from NJP or Bagdogra for Lepchajagat. It takes about 3 hours to reach from NJP/Bagdogra (by the normal route – Hill Cart Road via Ghoom). Alternatively shared jeeps can be availed from NJP and Siliguri to Ghoom.
Charkhole is the latest edition in offbeat tourist destination map of Darjeeling district. The place offers a complete 360-degree view of Mt. Kanchenjunga from the mountain top of Charkhole Hill. The dense forest of towering pine, oak, fir, cypress, the variety of rhododendrons, the sweet melody of rare birds, will accompany you throughout the journey towards Charkhole.
Places of Interest :
1) Lolegaon/Kafer : Lolegaon is a small Lepcha village also known as Kaffer, has a magnificent view of Himalayan snow ranges over the entire horizon. Viewing sunrise over the snow peaks from Jhandidara, and the famous Canopy Walk (hanging footbridge over the Canopy of huge trees) is an experience of a lifetime. This is the only Canopy walk in the entire Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayan region and must see for all the tourists visiting Lolegaon. For Details about Lolegaon.
2) Lava : A 4 km trek through the Neora Valley forest will lead you to Lava. The nearest small town in the district of Darjeeling. In Lava, you can visit the Lava Monastery, the biggest monastery in this region. You can also carry over your handicrafts shopping from Lava.
3) Neora Valley Forest : A jungle safari by Jeep and trek inside the forest is a wonderful experience. This trip is a must to all nature lovers and bird watchers. The trips through the deep jungle, full of tropical forest and most rare birds will make this trip memorable one. More adventurous people can go for a Rachela Trek towards the Aritar. The Jeep safari will start from Lava and return at Lava. NatureWings can arrange Jungle Safari for its guests.
4) Changi Falls : Changi, Changey or Chagey falls just 3 km jeep drive and 1.5 km walk down through nicely built staircases and rest hut takes you to the most beautiful falls in the deep forest of Darjeeling Hills. It is the only falls in the deep forest which can be reached by tourists by jeep ride and a walk down to around 250 stairs. In the deep forest of Neora Valley forest with sounds of rare tropical birds like Wagtail, Minivet and others make your journey a memorable one.
5) Rishyap : The picture Rishyap offers a splendid view of snowcapped Mt. Kanchenjangha along with Mt. Kabroo, Mt. Kharg, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Simvo, and Mt. Rathung.
How to reach :
By flight: Nearest Airport is Bagdogra. By car it will take 4hrs to reach Lava from Bagdogra.
By Train : Nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri railway Station (NJP). It will take 4 hrs to reach Lava by car from NJP.
By Road: Lava can be reached from Siliguri by various hired vehicle in roughly 4 hours.