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Yakten, East Sikkim – 135 kms from Siliguri...

High up in the Himalayas is a small village called Yakten which stays shrouded in mist and caressed by the soft chilling winds. Located just 35 kms from the bustling city of Gangtok in Sikkim, Yakten is surrounded by pine forests with magnificent views of the lush rolling Himalayan foothills. A 10-minutes walk through the pine forest would take you to a view point from where you can catch a breathtaking view of Mt. Kanchenjungha. Almost eight home stays with adequate modern amenities welcome guests at Yaakten. BOOKING DETAILS OF YAKTEN Places to see in Yakten: The centuries-old pine forest at the backdrop of Yakten Village is one of the best places to take short treks. A 10-min walk from the home stay through the pine forest would take you to a viewpoint from where you can catch a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchenjungha. Yaakten is a village blessed by a healthy population of butterflies, birds and rare orchids. Although, few areas of Yaakten village are cultivated following the unique step-cultivation pattern most of Yaakten is covered in forests. Yakten Village also has a greenhouse with a very good collection of rare orchids. The upcoming airport at Pakyong is just 10 kms from Yakten. For more photographs of Yakten click here Nearby Attractions of Yakten: A 07-kilometer trail through the pine forests would take you to Jhandi Dara View Point which offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Kanchenjungha. You can also take a shorter trek to the ruins of a Bhutia Fort called Budang Gari. In the vicinity, you can explore the local monasteries like and natural caves. Things to do in Yakten: If you are fond of bird watching, then Yakten will not fail to surprise you. There are few bird watching trails which pass through the forests and farmlands and yield some of the rarest sightings. Located at around 5300 feet above sea level, Yaakten Village is also home to rare butterflies and orchids. Apart from treks to Jhandi Dara, you can enjoy taking long village walks and butterfly watching hikes along the edges of the green hills of Yakten. The Yakten Village Community can also arrange for cultural shows in the evenings if you want. How to reach Yaakten: Yakten is around 35 kms from Gangtok, which is the nearest town. You can hire cars from Gangtok to Yakten. The nearest rail head is New Jalpaiguri (which is around 140 kms.) and the nearest airport is Bagdogra (IXB), which is around 145 kms away. However, when the Pakyong Airport becomes operational, this destination would be easily accessible. Best time to visit Yakten: You can visit Yaakten anytime of the year. However, if you are fond of hiking and trekking, then avoiding the rainy season is recommended. Lodging and dining facilities at Yakten: There are 08 homestays presently operational in Yaakten. Out of these, two homestays have been funded by Sikkim Govt. and the rest are privately owned. All homestays are equipped with electricity, attached bathrooms and commands a view of the surrounding hills and the distant city of Gangtok. You have to take a short 10-mins. walk through the pine forest to reach an opening from where you can catch a view of Mt. Kanchenjungha. The homestays at Yaakten are known for their warm traditional hospitality and some sumptuous local cuisine. The regular Indian cuisine is served in the homestays and the ingredients are locally sourced and fully organic. BOOKING DETAILS OF YAKTEN...
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Khoai, Shantiniketan – 165 kms from Kolkata...

Khoai is a geological formation of small canyons resulting from constant erosion caused by wind and water. The Khoai Shantiniketan region in Bolpur is characterised by a patch of dry forest of Sonajhuri (Acacia Auriculiformis) trees on an eroded landscape of red laterite soil. This unique look of the forest was immortalised by Rabindranath Tagore in many of his compositions. The Sonajhuri forest in Khoai is surrounded by the famous Kopai River (Tagore’s Amader Choto Nadi) on one side and Ballavpur Forest and Bonerpukur Adivasi Village on other sides. BOOKING DETAILS OF KHOAI The Sonajhuri Forest is probably the cleanest forest you would ever visit, so your early morning forest walks would be a grand success. However, the star attraction of Khoai is the weekly market of Shanibarer Haat (Khoai Boner Annya Haat) held every Saturday, where local artisans sell their creations. For more images of Khoai click here Places to see in Khoai Shantiniketan: Shonajhuri literally means “droplets of gold.” In winters, the Sonajhuri trees shed their tiny yellow flowers and the whole forest seems to have a downpour of gold. You can take long walks along this Sonajhuri forest of Khoai region and visit the adjacent Bonerpukur Gram dotted with the mud houses of the Adivasis (tribals). These houses have walls decorated with paintings of daily life. Khoai Shantiniketan attractions: The Kopai River is just a kilometer away from Khoai. This meandering river with its knee-deep waters inspired Tagore to compose his famous “Amader Choto Nadi“. You would find some Bauls, stringing their Ektaras and singing to the tune of the winds on the banks of Kopai. You can surely visit Rabindranath Tagore’s Ashram – Santiniketan to witness his works. Few things you shouldn’t miss out are the Kala Bhawan, Vishwa Bharati University campus, Geetanjali Theatre, Uttarayan, Shantiniketan House, Chatimtala, Kalo Bari, Rabindra Museum and the various installations of the great sculptor Ramkinkar Baije and others. If you are fond of bird watching, then try to make a trip to the nearby Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary and for the religious minded a visit to Kankalitala should also be on the cards. The Kankalitala Temple located around 10 kms from Khoai is considered one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of Sati. Things to do at Khoai Shantiniketan: A visit to the Shanibarer Haat (Saturday Weekely Market) is one of the prime attractions of staying at Khoai. The weekly market officially known as “Khoai Boner Annya Haat” is a platform for local artisans and small goods traders to showcase their works. The usual items include ethnic jewelry, showpieces, local artworks, garments and even local ethnic Bengalee dishes like pithey and payesh. The Haat starts to gather from around 03:00 pm and ends at around 06:00 pm. Apart from the Shonajhuri Haat, the early mornings are really nice for village walks along the tribal villages and the Khoai region. Bird watching can be enjoyed at nearby Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Baul programs can be arranged on request in the resorts of Sonajhuri in the evenings. How to reach Khoai Shantiniketan: The nearest railway stations are Prantik and Bolpur. There are regular trains from Howrah. Guests can also reach Bolpur by bus from Kolkata. There are regular luxury bus services connecting Kolkata and Bolpur. If you are taking your own car then the shortest route would be taking NH19 first and NH114 from Nababhat. Lodging and dining facilities in Khoai Shantiniketan: Located just beside the Sonajhuri Forest, this resort is equipped with all modern amenities and is counted as...
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Jhandi, Gorubathan – 87 kms from Siliguri...

Jhandi is a picturesque valley located in the Dooars region of West Bengal around 09 kilometres from Lava on the way to Gorubathan with a panoramic view of the Mahananda River valley and Mt. Kanchenjungha. It is an area of extensive tea plantations and forests. For those interested in exploring a new untouched destination in North Bengal, Jhandi could be the ideal choice. It is rich in lush, tropical evergreen trees, Sal and Pine forests, which are home to some of India’s rarest Himalayan flora and fauna. With its excellent climate, rare flora and fauna and picture-perfect setting, Jhandi should definitely be on the travel plan of all tourists. BOOKING DETAILS OF JHANDI Places to see in Jhandi: The sight of flaky clouds rising up from the Dooars valley, or the sight of yellow fog gently floating along the valley during sunset definitely makes for excellent photography and a lasting memory for the guests. This is combined with excellent and majestic views of the Mt. Kanchenjunga as well as neighbouring mountain ranges and the snaking Mahananda River down the Dooars valley. Jhandi Photographs 12► The Sunrise and Sunset Point is definitely one of the star attractions of Jhandi. From here, exceptional views of both the rising as well as the setting sun could be observed along with the Mt. Kanchenjunga range. The sight of the sunlight slowly making it’s way over the mountains, and filtering through the mist, definitely is a moment worth capturing. This is further complemented by the calmness of the environment, except for the soft chirping and whistling of the birds in the surrounding forest. The Samabeong Organic Tea Garden surrounding Jahndi is well known for employing Biodynamic farming in the tea cultivation. Owing to their particular cultivation technique, Samabeong teas have become widely known both within and outside India for their unusual, distinctive flavour. Tea lovers will definitely enjoy their visit to the tea garden, where they can spend quality time in the cool, clean environs. The visit to the garden is both rewarding and relaxing, as lucky visitors may get to sip a cup of Samabeong brew to soothe their tired souls. Nearby Attractions of Jhandi: As Jhandi is situated near to Gorubathan, guests staying at Jhandi can easily travel to the lush, tropical evergreen forests of the western Dooars region like Gorumara and Chapramari. The Lava Buddhist Monastery just 09 kilometres away is perfect for those tourists who wish to spend a bit of quiet time from all the usual hustle and bustle of the travel, as well as for the spiritual who wish to reflect over things in a calm and peaceful environment. Among the major attractions are a 1000 armed Avalokiteshwara temple within the monastery premises, and various scriptures and figurines of important Buddhist religious figures. The famous Changey Waterfalls with its peaceful, lush and green surroundings can be the perfect relaxation spot. The sight of the water cascading down into white foam can be an awesome sight to behold. Nearby Fafarkheti in Gorubathan area is a picture-perfect village and an ideal picnic spot with the meandering Chel River and surrounding jungles. You can also visit the ruins of Dalim Fort, located high above Gorubathan for the remains of a Bhutanese fortress, hemmed in on all sides by thick forest cover. Things to do in Jhandi: With it’s awesome and evergreen forest cover, and it’s profusion of sub-Himalayan flora and fauna Jhandi provides the perfect place to go on long, organized...
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Lepchajagat, Darjeeling – 68 kms from Siliguri...

Lepchajagat, situated at an altitude of 6956 feet, is a small village 19 kilometres from Darjeeling, in North Bengal. It takes its name from “Lepcha” meaning the indigenous inhabitants of the region, and “Jagat” symbolizing “world” or “domain”. As the name suggests, the village is a Lepcha stronghold, which has since been transformed into a forest reserve. Lepchajagat is ideal for those tourists visiting Darjeeling but planning to take a diversion from the hustle and bustle of the Darjeeling main town. Not only does it offer stunning greenery and mountain views, but birdwatchers will be thrilled with the amazing variety of birds that inhabit Lepchajagat. Visitors to Darjeeling also have the option of combining their tour of Darjeeling with Lepchajagat for added value, at little extra cost. BOOKING DETAILS OF LEPCHAJAGAT Places to see in Lepchajagat: One of the main reasons to visit Lepchajagat is the stunning and breath-taking views of the Mt. Kanchenjunga at dawn. The Kanchenjunga mountain range, in the local language means “the five treasures of snow”, consists of five main peaks. One of the specialities of Lepchajagat is that all the five peaks of the Kanchenjunga can be viewed from Lepchajagat. Particularly during early morning, just after the break of dawn, the sun casts a rich, golden glow on the five peaks of the mountain range, and combined with the peace and tranquillity and the clear, cloudless sky, makes for a truly magical experience. From Lepchajagat, you can also catch a glimpse of Darjeeling town in the distance. Images of Lepchajagat In addition to the magnificent and majestic mountain views, visitors will also find great excitement in the numerous forests in the region. Visitors will greatly enjoy traversing the beautiful pine, oak and rhododendron forests that abound in Lepchajagat. Not only do they offer great places to walk, hike or even camp, but also fresh, unspoilt air, glimpses of frolicking birds and fleeting animals like hares and occasional leopards. Together with the beauty of colourful blossoms in full bloom and the verdant greenery of coniferous trees, the forests of Lepchajagat are truly a picture postcard come alive. Nearby Attractions of Lepcha Jagat: There are many places of interest around Lepchajagat for the interested visitors. These include Darjeeling, Mirik, Kurseong, Batasia, Jorepokhri and Ghoom. Among these, the most well-known is Darjeeling. Darjeeling – A lovely hill-town situated not too far from Lepchajagat. Originally serving as the erstwhile British summer capital, it has since expanded into a thriving tourist destination. It boasts such attractions as the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (better known as the “Toy Train”), the Himalayan Zoo, Observatory Hill, Rock Garden and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Visitors will also be treated to the ubiquitous Darjeeling Tea, and will also be able to purchase the same at reasonable prices. Batasia Loop – It is a large railway loop where the Toy Train makes a complete 360 degree turn, and also boasts a Gorkha War Memorial and a landscaped rock garden. Visitors interested in local crafts may choose to set out before 8 am.   Jorepokhri – It’s principal attractions are the two natural water tanks and the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga range, as well as views of Darjeeling and Kurseong. It is a great place for landscape photographers. Kurseong – Visitors interested in purchasing some of the best quality teas in the world should certainly visit Kurseong. It has on offer some of the finest black teas in the world, such as Castleton, Makaibari and Ambootia....
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Bermiok Martam, West Sikkim – 142 kms from Siliguri...

Martam is a picturesque Himalayan village, tucked in a quiet corner of West Sikkim, with spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjungha. The place is mostly known for its pristine village life and beautiful natural surroundings. Although located near popular tourist destinations like Bermiok, Uttarey and Rinchenpong, Martam is still far from the maddening tourist rush. This little village is also popular for its thriving flora and fauna species and is home to some of the most beautiful birds of Sikkim. BOOKING DETAILS OF BERMIOK MARTAM Places to see at Bermiok Martam: Martam is a pristine little settlement in West Sikkim. If you are looking forward to experiencing some authentic Sikkimese Village life in the lap of the Himalayas and a grand panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, then Martam village is the place to be. The quaint village was once a popular and revered religious hub of the Limbu people. The village ground still holds the symbol of its rich religious past in the form of the temple ‘Yuma Samyo Manghim’ that was built by the followers of this religion. The mystic temple has a huge stone place in its entrance, which was once the seat of the great mystic Guru Teyongsi Srijunga. Legend has that it was here that Guru Srijunga used to sit and deliver sermons to his devoted followers. Bermiok Martam Photographs Nearby attractions of Bermiok Martam: This little village is surrounded by many interesting and beautiful places nearby. The Srijunga waterfalls and caves located along the banks of Reshi River is an important historical site located near Martam. The caves are also known as Srijunga Phuku. The Srijunga Wadhan waterfall is simply spectacular to watch. Next stop is the Berthang Berfok Mangerjong located at the confluence of the two rivers Kaleez and Rangsang at Berthang, which is absolutely a breathtaking view. Moving further, there is another gorgeous waterfall known as the Pheng Doji Falls that stands solitary at Hee-Gaon in the Hee-Khola area. A little further from here you can visit the famed Rabindranath Smritiban, which was once a resting home of the Great Nobel Laureate of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore. Near the Hee-Khola riverbank, there is a beautiful water garden by the name of Hee Water Garden that possesses the largest Buddhist Water Prayer Wheel in the world, which is also called the Mani Chukar. The water garden is set amidst beautiful scenery that includes a swimming pool, a cafeteria, a Gazebo (resting place) and a small Temple of Lord Shiva. At upper Martam, located just above the Alley cave temple is a watchtower that offers a magnificent view of the Mount Kanchenjungha. You would also find the picturesque lake Chaaya Taal that offers boat rides to tourists and visitors, just eight kilometers from Martam. Other interesting sightseeing places located nearby are the Resum Monastery, Changay Falls, Singshore Bridge, Pemyangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins, Yuksom and Pelling. About 13 miles away, there is a beautiful cave temple of Lord Shiva that is more than a century old. The cave temple is also popularly known as the Kailash Pati Gufa, and is visited by hundreds of tourists and locals every year during the festival of Shivaratri. There is another popular temple cave located nearby known as the Alley Cave, which is also incidentally dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from these activities, you can also go for quite nature walks, bird watching and trekking trips to nearby places of interest. The Red Panda Gate (one of the entrances of the...
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Yangyang, South Sikkim – 115 kms from Siliguri...

Surrounded by lush jungles on one side and the rolling mountains on the other, the bungalow in Yangyang is the ideal place to spend your weekend in nature’s lap. The Yangyang Bungalow perched on the edge of a hill overlooks the curious looking Bhaleydunga Hill (appears like a Bear’s Nose) and the deep valleys of Teesta River. Lush gardens, manicured lawns, a huge lobby, extra-spacious rooms, fireplaces in every room and modern facilities like hot water geysers make this British-style bungalow one of the most beautiful hidden gems of Sikkim. Located at the base of the Maenam Hills, Yangyang is very near to the popular touristic destination of Ravangla and local sightseeing options include the Tig-Cho Lake, a helipad, a Buddhist rock-painting and endless stretches of jungles, hills and river valleys. The popular nearby destinations include Ravangla, Solophok, Namchi, Temi Tea Garden and others. BOOKING DETAILS OF YANGYANG Places to see in Yangyang: The little village of Yangyang has a Lepcha Heritage Centre with a museum dedicated to Lepcha art and culture. There is a helipad just 3 kms from Yangyang Bungalow surrounded by the beautiful Tig Cho lake and dense forests. A rock painting of Guru Padmasambhava and a local monastery are few other things you can visit in a day trip. Being at the foothills of Maenam Hills, Yangyang is covered in dense forests, which is home to numerous bird species. The nearby Teesta River is another attraction of Yangyang. For more photos of Yangyang click here Nearby attractions of Yangyang: Ravangla, which is just 24 kms away, is the most popular touristic attraction near Yangyang. In Ravangla, you would find a local monastery, the newly-built Buddha Park and the trail to Mainam Hill. Solophok – famous for its Chaardham Temple Complex, the Samdruptse Monastery near Namchi and  Tendong Biodiversity Park are all located within 65 kms. from Yangyang. Temi Tea Garden, the only tea estate of Sikkim is around 40 kms from Yangyang and can be visited in a day trip. Things to do in Yangyang: Yangyang is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The nearby Teesta river valley and the dense forests surrounding Yangyang is home to some of the rarest birds of Sikkim. Another great activity to be enjoyed by tourists in Yangyang is riverside picnic and camping. The meandering Teesta river with its wide valley is a great spot to spend an idle morning picnicing with friends and family. Best time to visit Yangyang: You can visit Yangyang throughout the year. The winters are not that biting at Yangyang and the summers are cool and pleasant. Bird watching can be enjoyed throughout the year. How to reach Yangyang: The village of Yangyang is around 53 kms from Gangtok through Singtam and 115 kms from Siliguri. The Yangyang Bungalow is located further 1 km ahead of Yangyang town in a secluded hilltop. Lodging and dining facilities in Yangyang: The majestic Yangyang Bungalow overlooks the Bhaleydunga Hill and the rolling valleys. Perched on the edge of a hill top and surrounded by forests, this British plantation style bungalow has two majestic rooms and a huge lobby with ceiling to floor windows. There are fireplaces in every room and all bathrooms are equipped with hot water geysers. The Yangyang Bungalow has a nice lawn, few park benches and a nice garden. The word “tranquility” best describes the experience at Yangyang Bungalow. It is a great hideaway for travellers wanting to spend a few days far from the din. Food...
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Padamchen, East Sikkim – 116 kms from Siliguri...

Padamchen is a village tucked in the slopes of the Himalayan foothills surrounded by a forest teeming with birds. A nearby waterfall and a sparkling weather make this village on Silk Route circuit one of the best places to stay before taking the high-altitude Nathang Valley or Kupup Lake. Located at 7,000 ft, Padamchen is splendid in its own way. This quaint village lies at a distance of 8 kms from Zuluk and 14 kms from Rongli. Admired with breathtaking landscape and winding roads, this picturesque village of the Sikkim Silk route circuit truly offers a refreshing relief. The heritage Forest Resthouse at Padamchen will take you to the olden days of the Forest Officers and Sahibs, who used to travel this way. BOOKING DETAILS OF PADAMCHEN Places to see at Padamchen: Surrounded with thick virgin temperate forest, Padamchen village is an ideal place for the avid bird watchers. The village offers shelters to a wide range of birds like Fulvettas, Laughing thrushes, Steppe Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Wrens, Tits, Pheasant and many more. and others. The forests witness occasional visitors like Leopards and Himalayan Black Bear. You can also take an early-morning sunrise trip to watch the panoramic sunrise over the majestic Mt. Kanchenjungha from Thambi View Point at 11,200 feet. Images of Padamchen For more photos of Padamchen click here Nearby attractions of Padamchen: Padamchen is an excellent base for sightseeing of the other notable places in the Silk Route circuit. The three-level zigzag roads of Zuluk, the placid Kupup Lake, Nathang Valley and all other destinations of the Old Silk Route circuit can be covered in a day trip from Padamchen. Thambi View Point located at 11,200 feet, which offers a mesmeric view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and Lungtung Dhupidara is around an hours drive away after crossing the zig-zag roads. Drive for another 30 minute and you will reach the placid Kalpokhri Lake, Kupup Lake and Adi Baba Mandir. The contour of the Kupup Lake has striking similarity with elephant and thus it’s is also popularly called Elephant Lake. The highest golf course in the world is located near Kupup Lake and so is the Jelepla Pass. Those who desire to explore further afield can experience the rewarding view of the beautiful Tsomgo Lake and reach Gangtok. Things to do in Padamchen: Take the early morning sunrise-trip to Thambi View Point to witness the spectacular sunrise over the mighty Mt. Kanchenjungha range. The zig-zag road leading to Thambi View Point crosses some of the unexplored parts of the region and offers some spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayas. How to reach Padamchen: Padamchen is around 14 kms from Rongli but you would need permits to enter Padamchen (even Indian citizens) as it is guarded by the Indian Army. To reach this destination, you have to carry your proof of Indian citizenship and permits are arranged at Rongli Checkpost. Best time to visit Padamchen: The weather of Padamchen remains conducive all through the year. Unlike the upper regions of the Silk Route circuit, winter in Padamchen is not that chilling and the region also experiences good sunshine. However, the region becomes quite cold during deep winter (January to March). Lodging and dining facilities at Padamchen: Padamchen has a number of home stays. However, the best place to stay at Padamchen is the Govt. Forest Guesthouse. The Guesthouse is well furnished with comfortable sofas, fireplaces, wood-paneled walls and wooden floors. Staying in the guesthouse will offer you an unforgettable...
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Icchey Gaon, Pedong – 84 kms from Siliguri...

Icchey Gaon or “Wishing Village” is a place where all your wishes to stay amidst untouched nature would come true. At Icchey Gaon, you can get a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjungha, wake up to the call of unknown birds, take jungle walks through pine forests and stay in a village still untouched by tourist rush. Located at an altitude of 5800 feet, Icchey Gaon is close to Pedong. The homestay at Icchey Gaon is well-furnished with Double Bed and Triple Bed rooms with attached western bathrooms. At night, you can relish the twinkling lights of Darjeeling, Namchi and Ravangla from your homestay and the morning sky is ruled by the majestic Mt. Kanchenjungha. BOOKING DETAILS OF ICHHEY GAON Places to see in Icchey Gaon: Some of the best viewpoints of the Kalimpong Hills are located a walk away from Icchey Gaon. Ramitey Dara viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of the winding Teesta River, flaunting its 14 turns with the Mt. Kanchenjunga guarding it, is truly breathtaking. The hilltop of Tinchuley near Icchey Gaon also offers a great view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the Eastern Himalayas. Ichhey Gaon Photos 12► You can also savor the wonderful view of Nathula and Jeep La from Tinchuley. A trip to the Damsang fort, located at a distance of 6 km from Icchey Gaon is also rewarding. However, only the ruins of the fort exist now. Conclude you day trip by admiring the fascinating beauty of the Silence Valley, a small forestland. Many tourists also visit the Jalsa viewpoint, a great place nestled within the Cinchona plantation with a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchenjungha, River Teesta and lush forests surrounding it. There is an old British Bungalow at Jalsa, which gives the place a mystic feel and reminds of the Sahibs and their trips to the Himalayas. You can trek to these destinations or hire a car for the whole day to go around these places too. Nearby attractions around Icchey Gaon: This little village of Icchey Gaon is near to Reshi, Pedong, Sillery Gaon and Mankhim. A prime tourist attraction near Icchey Gaon is the age-old Sangchen Dorjee Monastery, located close to Pedong. This monastery is a 300-old structure, erected during the domination of Bhutanese in Pedong. The old section of the monastery flaunts an array of beautiful wall paintings, depicting Tantrik Buddhism. The center of attraction of the new section of the monastery is a mummified body of a Bhutanese priest. During April-May, the annual “Chyam” dance is also celebrated at this place with great pomp. The Cross Hill near Pedong built in 1882 by Augstine Desdgodins is another popular destination nearby. The place is acknowledged as a site of pilgrimage by the Local Christian Community. Another wonderful location is the Shahid Park, which nestles 2 km away from Pedong Bazar. The park guards a stone, which has been laid to honor the memory of a local young soldier of Indian Army, Late Palender Raj who gave up his life at Thangdhar J & K sector (Kargil War). Another popular viewpoint called Rikisum, which you will pass on the way from Algarah to Lava can also be visited in daytrips. The Kashyone village, located 8 km from Pedong Bazar offers a great view of the converging point of Teesta River and Rongpo Khola. The village is adorned with beautiful Cinchona plantation. Explore a little ahead top visit Ranibon – a preserved forest. The place also has a 300-year old Lepcha...
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Joypur Forest, Bankura – 140 kms from Kolkata...

Staying in a dense jungle of Sal and Teak with Spotted Deer herds crossing the lush forest-path every now and then – if this excites you then Joypur Forest can be your next weekend destination. The age-old historic town of Bishnupur with its 17th Century terracotta temples and the Kansabati Dam and lake at Mukutmanipur are also located nearby. You can stay in a resort adjacent to the Joypur Forest, which has its own farm, vegetable garden, a huge lake (Jheel) and is equipped with all modern facilities. With the dense forest surrounding the resort area, this is an idle place to look out for peace that you otherwise miss in the busy city life. If you are planning to visit Bishnupur recently but hate the din and busy streets, then stay at Joypur. Bishnupur is only 14 kms from Joypur. BOOKING DETAILS OF JOYPUR FOREST Places to see in Joypur Forest: This is a dense forest of 120 square kilometers with a watch tower to catch a glimpse of the greenery and the spotted deer – Cheethals. You would also find a good population of birds here – especially parrots. The forest vegetation mainly comprises Sal and Teak with few other trees like Amla and Bahera. Occasionally, during winters, you would also find wild elephants crossing the forest area. There is a forest watch tower within 10 mins walk from the resort. You can have a panoramic view of the forest from this watch tower. There is also an abandoned airstrip of British era within the forest, which you can visit. But, remember to return from the forest within 4 pm. Joypur Forest Photographs 123► Nearby attractions of Joypur Forest: The major attraction near Joypur Forest is the temple town of Bishnupur in Bankura District. Located just 14 kms ahead of Joypur Forest, this 17th century town of Bishnupur is dotted with terracotta temples and historical buildings all around. Some of the famous temples of Bishnupur are the Rasmancha, which is the oldest brick temple built by the legendary king Beer Humbeer in 1600 AD, the Pancha Ratna Temple built in 1643 AD built by King Raghunath Singha, the Jor Bangla temple built in 1655 AD by King Raghunath Singha Dev II, the Madanmohan Temple built in 1694 AD, the Lalji Temple built in 1658 AD and Nandalal Temple built in 17th century. All these temples built by Malla Kings were dedicated to Lord Krishna. However, the show stealer is the famous 3.8 meter long Dalmadal Cannon with a muzzle diameter of nearly 30 cms. which is said to have been used by the Malla Kings against the Marathas. You can also visit some of the temple ruins located around Bishnupur like the infamous Gumghar (torture chamber) of Malla Kings, the Lal Bandh lake, the Pathar Darwaja (main gateway of the town) and the Nutan Mahal. Other than Bishnupur, tourists can also visit Jairambati and Kamarpukur, birthplaces of Saradamayi Maa and Sri Ramakrishna Pramahamsa just 53 kms from Joypur, the Mukutmanipur Dam on River Kansabati around 80 kms away and the Panchmura village just 31 kms from Joypur Forest famous for terracotta horses. Nearly all households of Panchmura make terracotta horses and various terracotta items like jewelry and showpieces. Jhilimili and Susunia Hills are few other attractions which you can cover in day trips. Another interesting destination located within 60 kms is the Temple of Kapistha, which is a 17th century temple of Durga atop a hill. Just...
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Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary – 172 kms from Kolkata...

With an area of 200 hectares Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary located on the fringes of the University town of Bolpur is just the perfect getaway for your next weekend. Just a kilometer from the Viswa Bharati University area, this lush Wildlife Sanctuary is home to three large water bodies (Jheel) which hosts migratory as well as resident birds in plenty. The sanctuary was established in September 1967 and has one of the most successful deer conservation records in the state. It is home to numerous Cheethals (Spotted Deer), Blackbucks and other resident animals like jackals and foxes. The whole sanctuary is a protected area with watch towers and jungle paths for tourists to walk around and catch glimpses of deer and other wildlife. There is a nice and cozy private hotel just 5 minutes walk from the sanctuary for the tourists. All the sightseeing attractions of Bolpur can be visited in day trips staying at Ballavpur.  BOOKING DETAILS OF BALLAVPUR WLS Places to see in Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary: The main attractions of this sanctuary are the blackbuck deer and spotted deer. There is also a huge tract of wetland created by the three water bodies (Jheel) which hosts thousands of migratory birds in winter like Lesser Whistlings, Pintails, Teals, etc. The sanctuary is also home to a healthy population of resident birds like Black Hooded Orioles, White Bellied Treepies, Commorants, Hoppoes, Egrets and others. Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary Photographs 12► The Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary may lack in size but it is very impressive for its remarkable dense local vegetation comprising Sal, Akashmoni, Sisoo, Cashewnut, Amlaki, Bahera, Haritaki and other trees. The whole sanctuary can be covered by foot and tourists can catch glimpses of wildlife from the watchtowers located at strategic sites. Nearby attractions of Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary: The most significant sightseeing options near Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary is the Viswa Bharati University and its different departments, the most notable being the Kala Bhavan. You can spot some frescoes and sculptures of Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar Baij around Kala Bhavan. Tagore’s Ashram features a number of buildings namely the Santiniketan building, Dehali, Nutan bari, Kaalo Bari and others. School classes and some major activities are held in the Amro Kunja (Mango Grove). You can also spot a hillock featuring an age-old banyan tree on the eastern side of the ashram. The Uttarayan complex has several buildings like Konark, Udayan, Shyamali, Chatimtala and others. The Rabindra Bhaban Museum popularly called Bichitra houses letters, manuscripts, medals, documents, paintings and certificates associated with Tagore. The Khowai region and Kopai River (Rabindranath’s Amader Choto Nadi) are other destinations where you can spend some time. Apart from this, you can also visit Hindi Bhavan, Cheena Bhavan, Nipon Bhavan, Sangeet Bhavan, Patha Bhavan, Vinaya Bhavan, Sihsha Bhavan, Kaalo Bari etc. Kankalitala, just 9 km from Santiniketan is a temple popular as a Satipeeth. Surul, located near Sriniketan, features temples decorated with terracotta carvings. You can also visit another Satipeeth at Labhpur-Fullara, just 30 kms. from Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Another nice nearby destination is the Tilpara Barrage over River Mayurakshi (around 30 kms away). Sunset from the barrage over River Mayurakshi is a aite to cherish. Tourists also visit Nanoor, famous as the birthplace of the Sanskrit poet of the 14th century – Chandidas. Kendubillo is another destination, popular as the hometown of another renowned Sanskrit poet, Jaidev. You can also make trip to Bakreshwar, the famous Satipitha, housing the Bakranath temple and hot springs. Tarapith, the famous Saktipeetha, is...
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Mekhliganj Tea Resort – 86 kms from Siliguri...

A luxury resort tucked within a lush tea estate beside a meandering river – that’s Mekhliganj. You can enjoy a magnificient view of endless greenery of tea garden and farmland from this tea resort. On one side of Mekhliganj teasort lies the snaking Saniajaan River and on the other is the tea estate. The Tin Bigha Border Crossing is just a walk away from Mekhliganj Tea Resort where you can witness the ceremonial Border closing of India and Bangladesh every evening. You can also enjoy long walks along the tea estate, visit the lonely banks of River Saniajaan, visit a nearby tea-factory or just take a dip in the resort’s swimming pool. BOOKING DETAILS OF MEKHLIGANJ Places to see in Mekhliganj: A lush tea estate, the Saniajaan River skirting across the villages and rice fields, a scattered jungle, River Teesta and the Tin Bigha Border Checkpost – all are located nearby. [AFG_gallery id=’103′] The ceremonial border closing between India and Bangladesh at nearby Tin Bigha Border Checkpost is one of the best attractions here. The Tin Bigha Corridor is a strip of land belonging to India on the West Bengal–Bangladesh border, which in September, 2011, was leased to Bangladesh so that it can access its Dahagram–Angarpota enclaves. Nearby attractions of Mekhliganj: Mekhliganj is quite far from any popular touristic destination. This makes Mekhliganj an ideal place to spend a few days in bliss within a tea estate far from the madding crowd. Moreover, Mekhliganj is becoming popular as a destination where tourists can wind up their hectic Dooars Itinerary and spend the last couple of days of their Dooars trip in nature’s cradle enjoying all earthly comforts. Mekhliganj is around 55 kms from Gorumara National Forest, around 105 kms from Jaldapara National Forest, 90 kms from Gorubathan and 82 kms from Cooch Behar. If you are planning a trip to Dooars this year, then try to keep Mekhliganj Tea Resort in the last leg of your itinerary. Things to do in Mekhliganj: If you are planning to spend few days doing nothing, then Mekhliganj can be your ideal choice. You can take a nature walk along the bank of Saniajaan River or within the tea estate. You can see tea plucking and even try yourself to pluck a few leaves in the tea garden. A visit to some local villages or the mighty River Teesta can also be in your cards. Another major attraction is the Tin Bigha International Border Checkpost just a kilometer from the resort. You can witness the ceremonial Border closing at Tin Bigha Corridor between India and Bangladesh every evening. How to reach Mekhliganj: Mekhliganj is 86 kms from Siliguri, 98 kms from Hasimara and 105 kms from Alipurduar. So you can reach Mekhliganj from anywhere in the Dooars region. Geographically Mekliganj is located in Cooch Behar District. Best time to visit Mekhliganj: You can visit Mekhliganj anytime of the year. The rivers and greenery bloom during the rainy season and the sparkling winter brings a whole lot of birds here. Lodging and Food at Mekhliganj: All modern amenities have been packed in this fully Air Conditioned cozy resort to give the city traveller every luxury he deserves to shrug his year long stress. You can start with a dip at the resort’s swimming pool and enjoy the mesmerizing views of the tea garden from your extra spacious AC room, which is decked with draping curtains, LCD TVs, attached western bathrooms, sitting area and terraces...
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Dilaram, Kurseong – 45 kms from Siliguri...

Guarded by a private forest on one side and lush green tea gardens on another, Dilaram is a little village tucked within nowhere in the Kurseong Hills. Here, you can take long nature walks, enjoy birdwatching, take a tea garden tour or visit a tea factory. But, the best thing to do in Dilaram is to do nothing but sit and watch the shadows of the clouds move across the deep valleys, slopes and tea gardens of Mirik, Sandakphu and the adjoining hills. You can also trek to nearby Chatakpur or Bhanzang Salamander Lake. A day trip to Kurseong and its nearby attractions can also be on your itinerary. BOOKING DETAILS OF DILARAM Places to see in Dilaram: Lush green tea gardens surround Dilaram. Here, you can pluck tea leaves or just watch the daily activities of the tea plantation workers. For more photos of Dilaram click here There is also a nearby Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva with a unique feature. This age-old temple has a stone carving of the Buddhist Guru Rimpoche – it is a perfect example of communal harmony. Nearby attractions of Dilaram: Bhanzang Salamander Lake, which is the natural habitat for the Himalayan Salamander is just 10 kilometers from Dilaram by road. The emerald lake, tucked within the endless stretches of tea gardens and forests is a sight to relish. You can also visit the famous Margaret’s Hope tea estate, which produces some of the finest tea varieties in the world. Sitong – the orange village, the forests of Chatakpur, Balasun Tea Estate, Chimeny, Bagora and Kurseong are all located within 10 kms of Dilaram. You can also visit Mirik, Rangbang or Darjeeling in a day trip from Dilaram. Things to do in Dilaram: Take a walk in the lush forest of Magnolia, Chestnut and cardamom plantations surrounding Dilaram. Bird watching is another activity you can undertake. Dilaram is surrounded by tea gardens and you can take a tea garden tour and visit a local tea factory to see tea processing. You can also pluck a few handfuls of tea leaves if you want. A village walk around Dilaram to watch the daily chores of the villagers can also be rewarding. For the more adventurous, a full day trek can be organised to nearby Chatakpur View point. The trek passes through dense Cryptomere forest and small hamlets. Trekkers would experience a varying vegetation as the elevation changes. The sight of Mt. Kanchenjungha range and its adjacent valleys and hills from Chatakpur watchtower is breathtaking. This trek is very rewarding to bird watchers. Best time to visit Dilaram: The winters bring lots of birds and butterflies to Dilaram. Treks and peak watching can be best enjoyed during winters. Snow covers the Sandakphu Hills in the distance and the sight is awesome from Dilaram. However, the monsoons cover Dilaram with lush greenery and it is one of the best destinations of Darjeeling Hills to watch the rains on the Himalayas. How to reach Dilaram: The little village of Dilaram is 45 kms from Siliguri and 8 kms from Kurseong. You can always hire an exclusive car from New Jalpaiguri / Bagdogra / Siliguri to Dilaram. You can also take a shared car to Kurseong and then hire a local taxi to Dilaram. Local taxis also ply from Darjeeling to Dilaram. Lodging and dining facilities in Dilaram: There is a lovely luxury homestay in Dilaram. The wall-to-wall carpeted rooms of the homestay are very spacious with attached...
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Sumbuk, South Sikkim – 112 kms from Siliguri...

Sumbuk is one of the most untouched parts of South Sikkim with an astounding flora and fauna. Pine forests, Gladiolas Farms, monasteries, villages tucked on the mountain slopes, valleys, countless birds, butterflies and Greater Rangit River has made Sumbuk a destination no lesser than paradise. Sumbuk is close to Namchi and can be reached within 2.5 hours from Siliguri. Touristic crowds are yet to visit Sumbuk and few nature-loving travellers, who truly enjoy living in “no-frills” homestays imbibing the local culture visit occasionally. The Sumbuk village has two distinct divisions – Lower Sumbuk and Upper Sumbuk. Lower Sumbuk has an altitude of around 1500 feet and is covered in temperate forests rich in birdlife like peacocks, hornbills and others. Upper Sumbuk is at an altitude of 7000 feet and has a very different vegetation and bird life. You can see endless stretches of fir and pine forests in Upper Sumbuk. BOOKING DETAILS OF SUMBUK Places to see in Sumbuk: The dense forest at the Southern slope of Lower Sumbuk, which is famous as a Peacock Breeding forest is one of the prime attractions here. The banks of Rangit River, numerous Gladiolas Farms and few age-old temples make Sumbuk a very different type of attraction. For more photos of Sumbuk click here The Sumbuk Shivalaya Mandir dedicated to Lord Shiva is revered highly by locals and mass prayers are often organized during auspicious occasions. The Kolomple Rocky Mountain also has a nice viewpoint overlooking parts of Sikkim and Bengal. However, the show-stealer is the region of Upper Sumbuk at an altitude of 7000 feet. It takes around an hour to reach Upper Sumbuk from lower Sumbuk. Mungram Village also known as Phooldara (hill of flowers) has a wide variety of Rhododendrons, wild orchids, pines, wild strawberries blooming in different seasons of the year. A huge tract of pine forest known as Dhupi covers most of Upper Sumbuk and you would find endless varieties of birds and butterflies here. Tamley Chaur, located just above Phooldara in Upper Sumbuk is covered in pines, rhododendrons, ferns, cinnamon and wild strawberries. From Tamley Chaur, you can enjoy a glorious view of the Himalayan ranges. There is also a beautiful lake located at the Tamley Chaur called Tamley Pokhri. The natural viewpoints of Upper Sumbuk offer panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjungha, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and other parts of Bengal.       Nearby attractions of Sumbuk: Kitam Bird Sanctuary, which is adjacent to Lower Sumbuk is the only designated bird sanctuary in Sikkim. You can take a guided bird watching trip through these forests and enjoy spotting some rare birds and lots of peacocks. The town of Namchi is also nearby and its attractions like Chardham in Solophok and Samdruptse Monastery can all be reached within an hour from Sumbuk. Another great destination is the nearby village of Sadam, which is famous for the geological wonder – Tarey Bhir. It is a ridge 10000 feet long with an abrupt drop of 3500 feet. There is a path over the edge of the ridge on which you can walk and enjoy the enchanting views of River Rangit and River Teesta, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri, Tendong Hill, Nathula, Jelepla and Mt. Kanchenjungha.       Things to do in Sumbuk: Birdwatching is the favourite activity of guests in Sumbuk. The southern slope of Sumbuk is a favourite habitat of the peacock and guests can easily spot them and photograph them here. Other common birds to be found here are...
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Kitam Bird Sanctuary – 112 kms from Siliguri...

Located between 1200 feet and 3200 feet above sea level and covered within a thick temperate vegetation of shrubland and Sal-chir and pine forests, Kitam is home to more than 200 species of birds and butterflies. The beautiful village of Sumbuk and its gladiolas fields, few age-old temples and the emerald green Rangit River make Kitam one of the most beautiful and untouched wilderness in the lower altitudes of Sikkim. Characterized by warm summers and pleasant winters, Kitam Bird Sanctuary bursts with a healthy population of residents like Rufous-necked Hornbill, Grey-crowned Prinia, Rufous-throated Wren-babbler, Yellow-vented Warbler, Wedge-billed Wren-babbler and many more. Migratory birds start visiting from October every year. Peacocks roaming freely is a common sight here. Located between Namchi and Melli, Kitam is also close to some of the most popular tourist destinations like Samdruptse, Solophok, Ravangla and Tarey Bhir. BOOKING DETAILS OF KITAM Places to see in Kitam: Kitam bird sanctuary is flanked by two villages – Sumbuk and Kitam. Though the major attraction is the Bird Sanctuary, the snaking River Rangit and Manpur River also steals the show. You can take long nature walks along the wide banks of Rangit and rest your tired feet on its cold water. Other attractions include the Alley Khet, which is a meadow with some great views of the hills and rivers, some age-old temples, Peepal trees, dilapidated Stupas and a Monastery. For more photos of Kitam click here Kitam village seems to belong to the Middle-Ages, with 200-year old traditionally built mud and bamboo huts and weekly markets selling local produces and vegetables. One of the highest points of Kitam Bird Sanctuary is the small forested area of Tumbol Schor, which offers great panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Nearby Sumbuk is also known for its galdioli farms – a visit to these farms blooming with bright red flowers is a treat to the eyes. You would also find a mammoth sized 100-year old litchi tree at Kitam. Nearby attractions of Kitam: Just 12 kms from Namchi, Kitam is close to a whole lot of other touristic destinations of South Sikkim like Kewzing, Ravangla, Temi Tea Garden (Sikkim’s only tea garden), Solophok (famous for being Chardham) and Samdruptse. Spending a couple of days in the wilderness and tranquility of Kitam Bird Sanctuary after completing the  hectic touristic itinerary of Sikkim would be a soothing relief before returning home. Things to do in Kitam: Being the only bird sanctuary in Sikkim, Kitam boasts of some watch towers and view points for bird viewing. However, to view birds you have to walk along the beaten paths of the sanctuary skirting through the mountains and river banks. The guided birdwatching trips begin in the morning at around 5:30 am and it takes around 4 hrs. There are 4 different birdwatching trails around the sanctuary and you can opt any of them depending on your choice. Some of the trails end up on the banks of River Manpur where you can continue you riverside nature walk for a few kms and enjoy butterfly watching. Some of the commonest sightings are of Chestnut-breasted Partridge, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Slender-billed Babbler, White-naped Yuhina, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Beautiful Nuthatch, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Grey-crowned Prinia, Yellow-vented Warbler, Rufous-throated Wren-babbler, Wedge-billed Wren-babbler and others. Other than bird watching, you can also indulge in activities like angling and rafting in River Rangit. Local Govt. registered guides are arranged  by the homestays and accommodation to take the guests...
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Choto Kolagachia, Sunderbans – 82 kms from Kolkata...

This is a small riverside town at the confluence of Chota Kolagachia River and Rampur River on the fringe of Sunderban. A small busy Ferry Ghat ferries passengers and goods to different parts of Sunderban from here. Country boats pass through the river every minute carrying daily supplies of Sundarban and you can spend the whole day sitting in your guesthouse’s balcony watching the tides of the river, the passing boats and the setting sun. You can also take a walk in the nearby villages and witness the daily chores of the villagers, the fishermen bringing their daily catch and the changing landscape. BOOKING DETAILS OF CHOTO KOLAGACHIA Places to see in Choto Kolagachia: This is at the confluence of two rivers – Chota Kolagachia and Rampur, which gives rise to Boro Kolagachia River. The Boro Kolagachia River ultimately meets Raimongal River downstream. [AFG_gallery id=’90’] Distant chimneys of nearby brick kilns on the riverside, villages, Ferry Ghats, few abandoned temples, mosques, fishing lakes (Bheris) and endless network of rivers make Choto Kolagachia a great weekend spot. Bounded by two rivers, this small village on the fringe of Sunderban is a perfect destination for nature lovers. Nearby attractions of Choto Kolagachia: You can hire a boat from the Ferry Ghat and visit few villages in Sundarban across the river. The guesthouse would arrange a local guide to take you to the nearby villages and show you few attractions too. If you have some time, then you can hire a boat and visit various parts of Sunderban like Jhingeykhali Watch Tower and Marichjhapi village within two hours. You can also visit Buridabri or Hemnagar in Sunderbans from here. Things to do in Choto Kolagachia: The rivers are the lifeline here and you can spend the whole day watching the tides and passing boats from the lawn of your guesthouse. You can always hitch a ride from a passing boat on the river for a few hours or take guided village – walks with a local villager. If you inform the guesthouse authorities in advance, they can also arrange local cultural programs like Tusu Dance, Monosha Bhasan and Bonobibi Jatra. Bird watching and wildlife watching are two other activities you can enjoy here. Best time to visit Choto Kolagachia: The dark clouds spread over the horizon and the river during monsoons. In winters, birds chirp all around the villages and the cool river wind soothes the soul during the summer. Choto Kolagachia can be visited anytime of the year. How to reach Choto Kolagachia: If you are going by car, then you have to take Basanti Highway from Science City and reach Malancha. From Malancha, you have to go ahead to Sarberia from where you have to take a left turn towards Dhamakhali. There are also buses from Kolkata connecting Dhamakhali. The guesthouse is just a walk from the Dhamakhali Bus stop. It takes around 2 hours from Science City Crossing on EM Bypass to reach Dhamakhali. Lodging and dining facilities in Choto Kolagachia: There is only one guesthouse with four Double Bed rooms and a dormitory. The rivers flow just beside the guesthouse, which has a lovely lawn, a couple of viewpoints, a children’s park and other facilities like attached Western bathrooms, canteen, car parking and hot water geysers. Every room in the guesthouse has a balcony facing the rivers. The guesthouse is available for day picnic groups as well as for individual guests who want to stay overnight. Food served...