delete

Mulkarkha Lake Trek, North Bengal

Mulkarkha Lake is a natural lake tucked in a remote corner of the forests of the Himalayan foothills of Northern Bengal. The most fascinating feature of this lake is the reflection of Mt. Kanchenjungha on its tranquil waters. The trek route to Mulkarkha Lake is one of the most exciting and untouched trails of the Himalayan foothills. You would come across 200 feet waterfalls, dense forests, enchanting views of Mt. Kanchenjungha, ageless Buddhist monasteries, remote villages, hundreds of species of birds, butterflies and flowers.  The Mulkarkha Lake is considered sacred by the locals as Manokamana (Wishing) Lake. The overall difficulty level of this trek is considered “Easy” and there are numerous options for completing this trek. Our Starting Point for the Mulkarkha Lake Trek is the small village of Lingzey in West Bengal.  This little Himalayan village has the second largest temple in Darjeeling district. Throughout the year several Hindu festivals are held in the temple complex. The most important among them are the Sawan Bole Bhum, Shivaratri, Durga Puja, and Bala Chaturdasi. There is also a Sanskrit Vidyalaya  in Lingzey which stocks rare and valuable books of Hinduism.  Other than that, Lingzey also has a Hot Suphur Spring, few traditional Lepcha Houses and the Rang Bang River. BOOKING DETAILS OF MULKARKHA LAKE TREK Photographs of Mulkarkha Lake Trek 12► The three options of the Mulkarkha Trek are: OPTION 1 (5 Nights / 6 Days – Uphill trek and Downhill trek) OPTION 2 (4 Nights / 5 Days – Uphill by car upto Chota Ramitey and Downhill trek) OPTION 3 (3 Nights / 4 Days – Uphill by car upto Chota Ramitey and Downhill by car from Chota Ramitey) Mulkarkha Lake is 2.5 hours trek from Chota Ramitey, which is motorable from Lingzey     ========================================================= OPTION 1 (5 Nights / 6 Days – Uphill trek and Downhill trek) ========================================================= Day 1: Reach Lingzey from NJP /Bagdogra Distance: 104 kms from Siliguri Altitude: 4800 ft. Time taken: 4 hours by car Places of Interest: Hareshwar Shivalaya Mandir & Sanskrit Vidhyalaya, Lepcha Monastery, Traditional Lepcha House, Devi’s Than, Sankhey Dhunga, Dawaipani (Hot water sulphur-rich spring), Rang-Bang River Side Picnic Spot, Sericulture. Where to stay: Homestay facilities Day 2: Trek from Lingzey to Jhusing Distance: 5 kms uphill Altitude: 5400 ft. Time taken: 4 hours Type: Easy Introduction with porters and Guide in the morning. Have breakfast and a Brief of the trek from the guide and start for the trek from 8:00 am. Reach Jhusing at 1:00 pm. Stay in our Homestay facilities and have lunch. Take rest and get a brief of next day’s trek. Places of Interest: Jhusing View Point, Servang Waterfalls, Mini Micro Hydro Project River Recreation. Where to stay: Homestay facilities Day 3: Jhusing to Tagathan Distance: 3 kms uphill Altitude: 5900 ft. Time taken: 4 hours Type: Easy Early morning visit to Jhusing View Point for a mesmerizing sunrise over Himalayan Ranges (including Mt. Kanchandzonga)). Have breakfast at Jhusing and leave for Tagathan (3 kms) at 9:00 am. Reach Tagathan at 1:00 pm. Have lunch and stay overnight at Tagathan Homestay. Places of Interest: Tagathan Falls, Dhoksingh Falls and nice view of Newra valley National Park. Where to stay: Homestay facilities Day 4: Tagathan to Mulkarkha Distance: 3  kms uphill Altitude: 7300 feet Time taken: 3 hours Type: Easy Early morning visit to nearby Tagathan Falls. Return to Tagathan Homestay, have breakfast and then start trek at 8:00 am. Reach Mulkarkha by 12:00 noon. Places...
delete

Anden, Sombaria – 122 kms from Siliguri...

Anden is a heaven located high in the hills surrounded by forests overlooking the snow-cappped mountains. It is also one of the destinations from where you can take the famous Barsey Rhododendron Trek. Other nearby attractions include Jureli View Point, Gathang Waterfalls, Dodak Helipad, Devi Falls, Daramdin Sai Mandir, a Manghim and the market at Sombaria. You can also continue to other destinations of Sikkim like Rinchenpong and Biksthang is West Sikkim and Namchi in South Sikkim. A beautiful Forest Rest House with all modern facilities is the only accommodation in Anden. BOOKING DETAILS OF ANDEN Places to see in Anden: Anden is a the base for the famous Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. Hilley, which is the checkpost for the 4 km long trek to Varsey is just 18 kms from Anden. While travelling to Hilley from Anden, you can catch the view of the Mt. Kanchenjungha range. Click here for more photographs of Anden Jureli Dara view point, which offers great views of the snow-capped mountain ranges, Darjeeling, Sombaria and endless stretches of mountains is just a walk from this destination. You can enjoy nature walks and birdwatching in the Anden-Forests. Nearby attractions of Anden Forest House: You can make a trip to Hilley, located 18 kms. from here, which marks the beginning of the Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. There is a beautiful Sai Temple in Daramdin just 20 kms away. Other nearby attractions are Anden Olong Monastery (12 kms away), Kitan Falls, Dodak Helipad, Butterfly Shape Valley and numerous other view points. You can visit most of these destinations while travelling from Somabaria to Anden – they would fall on the way. Other attractions that you cover in a sightseeing trip are Devi Falls, Gathang alls, the EPC church (one of the oldest churches of Sikkim), Ribdi Village and a Lepcha Museum. Things to do in Anden: Trekking is the favorite activity of the tourists visiting this place. Most tourists travel to Hilley by car from Anden (18 kms) and start the 4 kms long Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary trek. The sanctuary offers excellent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons in their array of red, pink and white colours. Birdwatching is another great activity to be enjoyed here. In the mornings you can enjoy your hot cup of tea in the Forest Resthouse’s terrace enjoying the snow capped mountains and in the evenings you can also enjoy a campfire roasting your chicken. Best time to visit Anden: You can visit throughout the year. You can enjoy magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha in October to January. To see Rhododendrons in full bloom, you should visit Anden from mid of March to mid of April every year. Birdwatching can be enjoyed throughout the year. Lodging and dining facilities in Anden: The only accommodation in Anden is the Forest Resthouse, which is located far from any other human settlement in the fringes of a forest. The Forest Resthouse comes with all modern facilities like attached western bathrooms, room heaters, geysers and even TVs. The rest house also arranges trek guides for the guests and cars for sightseeing trips. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously decked with wooden furniture and carpets. There is also car parking facilities and a badminton court here. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
delete

Buxa Tiger Reserve, Terai – 150 kms from Siliguri...

The Buxa National Park is a perfect stopover for tourists, who want to savor the flavor of green darkness, enriched with some exotic wildlife. This National Park located in the Northern part West Bengal, nestles in the Buxa hills of the southern hilly region of Bhutan. The Buxa Tiger Reserve spanning an area of 760 sq. km. is located inside this highly famed National Park. The Buxa Tiger Reserve falls in the Alipurduar sub-division of Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. The northern boundary of the reserve runs along the international border with Bhutan. The Sinchula hill range admires the northern side of Buxa tiger reserve, while, Eastern boundary touches the state of Assam. The “Terai Eco-System” also constitutes an integral part of this reserve. BOOKING DETAILS OF BUXA Places to see in Buxa Tiger Reserve: The ruin of historic Buxa Fort is one of the prime attractions of the reserve. Indians are emotionally attached with the fort because many freedom fighters were imprisoned here during the British rule. Even the great revolutionary, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was once imprisoned inside this fort. You have to trek for 4 kms to reach Buxa Fort from Santlabari (the entry point of Buxa Tiger Reserve). You will also find a sacred temple of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Buxa tiger Reserve. There is a huge congregation of the worshipers of Lord Shiva at the temple site during “Shiva Chouturdoshi.” The Buxa Tiger Reserve boasts 300 species of trees, 400 species of herbs, 250 species of shrubs, 150 species of orchids, 100 species of grass and 130 species of aquatic flora. The surrounding greenery is truly eye pleasing. Some major species of trees are Champ, Sal, Gamar, Chikrasi and Simul. The main species of animals in the region include Tiger, Leopard, Cheetal, gaur, wild Buffaloes, Sambar, giant squirrel, Asian Elephant, Regal Python, Hispid hare, Chinese Pangolin and Hog deer and wild boar. Moreover, it has been recently surveyed that Buxa Tiger Reserve contains the maximum number of fish species in the North Bengal region. The rivers of Jayanti and Raidak, which meanders through the forest offer shelter to migratory birds. Some major species of birds found in the region are Pied Hornbill, Ibis Bill, Trans Himalayan Migratory Goosanders, Red-stars, Wagtails, rare black necked crane, Large Whistling Teal, Bengal Florican, Minivets, White Eyed Poachared and many more. In 2006, two new species of frogs were discovered in the region. Nearby attractions of Buxa Tiger Reserve: Trips can be made to the nearby forests from Buxa tiger reserve. Tourists can visit the Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary to the north of the reserve, the Manas National park on east, the Chilapata Forests and Jaldapara forests to the south-west. However, the most popular destination around Buxa Tiger Reserve is Jayanti. This is a village shrouded in greenery located in the banks of River Jayanti. You can walk along the endless banks of the river and take long nature walks. The forests around Jayanti are home to numerous rare birds. You can also visit the nearby Khairabari Leopard Rehabilitation Centre. Things to do in Buxa Tiger Reserve: Buxa nestled at a height of 2,600 ft. is a two-hour trek through breathtaking surroundings from Santrabari, the starting point. The 4 km further trek to Rover Point, the haven of unknown birds, nestled at 4500 ft is truly exciting. Many trek enthusiasts also enjoy a 14 km trek to Roopam Valley in Bhutan. From Buxa, tourists can also take the 13 km to...
delete

Fagu Tea Bungalow, Gorubathan – 75 kms from Siliguri...

A hundred-year old British tea bungalow located on a hilltop surrounded by endless miles of tea gardens with breathtaking views of mountains – that is Fagu. Just 20 kms from Malbazar near the famous Gorumara National Park, Fagu Tea Bungalow is decked with period furniture, British colonial exterior, lush green lawns and verandahs with sloping roofs. It has three large luxury bedrooms, dressing rooms, modern toilets and boasts of fireplaces in every room. If you want to savor the splendor of nature, come to Fagu – the place is unique in itself and offers the ultimate seclusion. There is nothing in Fagu other than your very own heritage tea bungalow, some exotic species of birds, splendid mountain views, orchards and emerald green forests. BOOKING DETAILS OF FAGU TEA BUNGALOW Places to see in Fagu: Besides offering breathtaking views of the mountains, tourists can also explore the forests and various flower orchards around Fagu teasort. The tea gardens are the major attractions here. You can take long nature walks to various viewpoints within the gardens or enjoy a riverside picnic. However, the main attraction of Fagu is your fabulous British tea bungalow with lush lawns surrounding it. For more photos of Fagu click here Nearby attractions of Fagu: One of the major tourist destinations near Fagu is Gorumara National Park. Other nearby tourist destinations includes Lava, Rishyap and Kalimpong. You can visit an ancient monastery, the picture-perfect village of Suntaleykhola and nearby Rock Garden. Just 30 mins down the Fagu bungalow, there is a fabulous scenic spot – Fafar Kheti. A spectacular waterfall, lush jungles, a snaking Chel river, calls of unknown birds and distant villages make Fafar Kheti one of the most beautiful offbeat destinations in this part of the Dooars. The Sevoke Coronation Bridge and River Tista are other nearby attractions you can savour. Things to do in Fagu: With so many activities lined up, you will never experience a single dull moment in Fagu. You can enjoy a riverside picnic if you want to spend some quality time with your family and friends. Bird watching is another popular activity in Fagu. Guided tours are also organized in the tea estate, which also includes a visit to the tea factory at Fagu, where you can watch tea plucking, tea processing and tea tasting. The place is also ideal for enjoying a nature walk or a trek to various nearby forests, waterfalls and mountain villages. At Fagu, you would experience time traveling – you can re-live the days of a British Tea Planter’s life here and enjoy nature every bit. How to reach Fagu: Fagu is located near Gorubathan around 75 km from New Jalpaiguri. The Tea Bungalow is easily accessible by road. You can hire a taxi from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri and drive over Coronation Bridge to Malbazar or Damdim and finally to Gorubathan. Fagu is very near to Gorubathan. You can also get down at New Mall Junction station and hire a taxi to reach Gorubathan just 20 kms away. Best time to visit Fagu: The Fagu Tea Bungalow welcomes tourist all through the year. The temperature hovers around 25 degree C in the summers and the winters are a bit cooler. Lodging and dining facilities in Fagu: You will truly treasure your stay at the 100-year old British tea bungalow cherishing the days of the Raaj and the lonely adventures of a Tea Planters life. The bungalow featuring a British architecture is admired with well-maintained...
delete

Bird watching spots near Kolkata

01. Indian Botanic Garden, Shibpur, Howrah (more details) The Indian Botanic Garden in Shibpur covers some 270 acres of land, located by the Hugli River and is some 230 year old. This place is indeed a heaven for bird-watchers as it houses a wide variety of bird species that also includes a small percent of water-bird species as well. Birds found here include Stork-billed Kingfisher, Rufous Woodpecker, Brown Hawk Owl, Bronzed Drongo, Black Bittern, Greenish and Yellow-browned Warbler, Lineated Barbet, Booted Eagle and Black-naped Oriole. Beside, some rarest species of birds like Black-capped Kingfisher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Red-breasted Parakeet and Eurasian Cuckoo can also be spotted here. How to reach: The Indian Botanic Gardens is located in Shibpur, Howrah district with Howrah Station being the nearest railway station. This particular place can be reached by boarding a ferry service from Bichali Ghat in Metiabruz or by crossing the Vidyasagar Setu as one of the exits of the bridge will lead to the garden. 2. Rajarhat Bypass Although most parts of the marshy land of Rajarhat have been taken over for developments of new townships, this area is perfect for wetland birds and that is the reason why it attracts a good number of species of birds like Asian Openbills, Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, Breeding Oriental Praticoles and Ashy Woodswallows among others. Besides, Peregrine Falcon, Pied Harriers, Black-shouldered Kite and Common Kestrel are common sights during the morning time. Smaller birds like Bengal Bushlark, Oriental Reed Warbler, Oriental Skylark and Bluethroat can also be spotted. How to reach: Rajarhat Bypass can be reached easily by taking the bypass that leaves Kolkata Airport and leads to Kolkata. 3. Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, Narendrapur, 24 Parganas (more details) This is a tiny sanctuary of 17 acre and is housed in an old and deserted orchard with grassland surrounding it. Wide number of bird species can be seen here including Oriental Honey-buzzard, Slaty-legged Crake, Scaly Thrush, Eurasian Woodcock, Blue-throated Flycatcher, Tickell’s Thrush, White-eyed Buzzard, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Little Spiderhunter, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Large-billed Reed Warbler, Changeable Hawk Eagle and Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo. How to reach: Also known as Koyeler Bagan is located in South 24 Parganas, very close to the Rathtala Bus stop. The sanctuary is some 10 km form Ruby General Hospital and can be reached by buses and auto-rickshaws from Garia. Or, boarding a private bus can be equally convenient as they halt at Rathtala. 4. Nalban Fishery Complex (more details) The Nalban Fishery Complex is a huge inter-connected water body that is under the usage of commercial fishery. Good variety of bird species like Purple and Grey Heron, Great and Intermediate Egret, Black-headed Gulls, Rubythroat, Baillon’s and Ruddy Crake, Rusty-rumped Warbler, Clamorous Reed Warblers, Watercock, Common Shelduck, Grey-headed Lapwing and others can be found here. Some 150 species of birds have been recorded in this area. How to reach: Nalban Fishery Complex starts from the border of the Saltlake Technology Park in Salt Lake. There are many local buses, metered taxis and mini buses that connect Nalban Fishery Complex with the rest of the city. 5. Santragachi Jheel, Howrah (more details) The Santragachi Jheel is some 13,75,000 square feet and becomes the home to some 4000 to 5000 water birds, especially during the winter months. Water hyacinth covers most part of the water body with very less green cover. Species of birds like Northern Pintail, Lesser Whistling-Ducks, Ferruginous Pochard, Gadwall, Falcated Duck, Comb Duck and Baikal Teal can be found in good numbers...
delete

Rajabhatkhawa, Terai – 15 kms from Alipurduar...

Located just 15 kms from Alipurduar, Rajabhatkhawa is the gateway to the famous Buxa Tiger Reserve. Surrounded by emerald green forest and hills this scenic hamlet is an idyllic spot for experiencing green darkness. Serving as an entry point to nearby forests, this little town is bounded by rivers like Raidak and Jayanti. Numerous nature trails originate from Rajabhatkhawa and pass through dense forested areas in and around Buxa Tiger reserve. Bird watching, jungle safari, trekking and wildlife watching are the main activities here. Rajabhatkhawa and its surrounding areas are also home to various migratory birds. The Nature Interpretation Centre at Rajabhatkhawa with its museum of wildlife related exhibits is very impressive too. BOOKING DETAILS OF RAJABHATKHAWA Places to see in Rajabhatkhawa: Rajabhatkhawa is a great place for enjoying a relaxed vacation. The nearest sightseeing destination is the famous Buxa Tiger Reserve, which is famous for its ruined Fort, wild elephants, leopards, tigers, bisons and a host of wild animals. All required entry permits to this Buxa Tiger Reserve are issued from Rajabhatkhawa Nature Interpretation Centre. There are a number of trekking trails through the Buxa forest, which offer hikers the chance to savor a glimpse of animals in their natural habitat. Spanning an area of 759 sq km, the Buxa Tiger Reserve is admired with hilly landscape crisscrossed by several rivers and their tributaries. The Buxa Fort is located at an altitude of 867 meters on the Sinchula Range in the middle of the reserve forest. Nearby attractions of Rajabhatkhawa: In order to reach Buxa Fort, you have to trek around 5 kms from Santrabari. The Buxa Fort located at an altitude of 2600 ft has a huge historical importance because it as used by the British to confine freedom fighters – even Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is said to have spent some days here. The sacred temple of Mahakal is also located nearby. The riverbed of Jayanti and the dense forests of Chilapata is also located nearby. The beautiful forested area of Jayanti with the meandering Jayanti River and its endless white pebble laden banks is a grand site. You can also visit the nearby Chilapata Forest or the famous Pokhri, which is visited by thousands of devotees. You can also visit nearby Cooch Behar town for a visit to the Cooch Behar Palace.   Things to do in Rajabhatkhawa: Rahabhatkhawa is enriched with plenty of sight seeing destinations. Surrounded by thick forest, the place is a storehouse of flora and fauna. Wildlife safaris, bird watching and trekking are the prime activities of the tourists visiting the destination. The region is admired with a number of beautiful trekking trails, most of which pass through the Buxa Forest. The most popular trek initiates from Santlabari (914 ft) to Buxadar, which is a 5 km trek through the dense forested area lead to the Buxadar Forest Bungalow. The bungalow provides accommodation facility to the trekkers. If you trek for another 4 km through the forest trail, you will reach the Rover’s Point – famous as a birdwatching destination. Another 12 km trek from this point will take you to the picturesque Rupam Valley in Bhutan. The journey through this trekking trail is quite adventurous and full of excitement. Nearby Jayanti is a beautiful place where tourists can relax and rejuvenate enjoying the cool breeze by the riverside. Buxadar to Jayanti trek is another very popular trekking trail of the region. This 13 km trail passes through the thick forest...
delete

Jayanti, Dooars – 30 kms from Alipurduar...

Imagine staying in a cottage amidst a lush forest overlooking a meandering river and the distant mountains. Jayanti is one of the last destinations in Dooars still untouched by mass tourism. Often termed as the “Queen of Dooars,” this heavily forested area is close to the famous Buxa Tiger Reserve known for its tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, peacocks and the historic Buxa Fort. Although the Jayanti River is mostly dry throughout the year, its shores of white pebbles add to the eternal beauty of the place. With the soothing sound of the Jayanti River blending with the chirping of birds, your weekend trip to Jayanti is sure to rejuvenate your tired soul. The way to Buxa Tiger Reserve offers breathtaking views where herd of elephants or spotted deer or peacocks are a common sight. Jayanti is located in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. It is a forest village forming a natural boundary with the Bhutan Hills, some 30 kms from Alipurduar.  BOOKING DETAILS OF JAYANTI Places to see at Jayanti: There are in fact, quite a number of places to see at Jayanti other than the Jayanti River. One such place is the ruins of the historic Buxa Fort which is located on top of the Buxa Hill, at a height of 2600 feet. During the time of British India, this fort used to be a prison for freedom fighters. After that, it became the spot for refugee camps for Bangladeshis and Tibetans. There is also a Pokhri (pond) located on the nearby Pokhri Hill, which is considered holy by the locals. It is some 4 km from Jayanti. This place has great religious importance for the Bhutanese and to reach both Pokhri and Buxa Fort, you need to trek through the forests. For more photos of Jayanti click here Mahakal is another popular sightseeing destination and popular pilgrimage site. It is located very close to the Bhutan border and is a cave devoted to Lord Shiva. The hike through the forest towards the Mahakal cave is famous for bird watching. You can also trek to the nearby Bala Riverbed (another river near Jayanti), which is a great place for bird watching, mainly for peacocks but don’t stay back till late evenings because it is a leopard prone zone. Another great destination for elephant viewing is Bhutia Basti just 1.5 kms from Jayanti. Nearby attractions of Jayanti: You can actually visit a lot of places during your stay in Jayanti and one such place is the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary which is one of the best forests in India to view Rhinoceroses. The sanctuary covers a total area of 216 sq kms and is covered by woods, grasslands, flowing streams, sandy river banks and long lines of trees. It is located in Jalpaiguri district and has the Torsa River flowing through it. Other than rhinos, Jaldapara is also the home of a wide range of birds like paradise flycatcher, Bengal Florican, racket-tailed Drongo and hornbill. Totopara – the village of the Toto tribe is one of the oldest tribes of India who reside in the area. From Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, you can also visit Khairabari Leopard Sanctuary. The Chilapata Wildlife Reserve can be an equally exciting place to visit. One of the main interests of the Chilapata Forest reserve is the “Nalraja Garh” or “Mendabari Fort,” situated very close to the Bania River. The fort is in ruins and it speaks a lot about the Nal kings. You can also...
delete

Taptapani, Ganjam – 50 kms from Berhampur...

Rolling green hills, jungles washed by rains and clouds tucked within the distant hills – that’s Taptapani located amidst the forests of Ganjam District of Orissa, just 50 kilometres from Berhampur. Taptapani is mainly known for its natural hot sulphur springs whose water is considered to have medicinal properties and is capable of curing aches, pains and skin ailments like eczema and scabies. Taptapani is surrounded by beautiful hills of the Eastern Ghats, which is inhabited by the ancient tribes of Orissa. There is also a majestic Buddhist Monastery, a deer park and a Shiva Temple nearby. It is a great weekend destination near Kolkata, which can be visited with another great beach destination of Orissa – Gopalpur on Sea. BOOKING DETAILS OF TAPTAPANI Places to see in Taptapani: In Taptapani, you can visit the Deer Park maintained by the Forest Department located nearby and visit temples like Sri Nilakantheswar Temple, and Kandimata Mandir. There are numerous small waterfalls, nameless rivulets, lakes and tribal villages all around. The other interesting place to visit is the Tibetan settlement and monastery. For more photos of Taptapani click here. However, most tourists visit this place to take a dip into the Sulphur rich Hot Springs, which rejuvenates them with a renewed life-force. You can take long walks along the forest trails and highlands of Taptapani or just sit back in your hotel’s terrace and enjoy the views of the distant hills and greenery. Nearby Attractions of Taptapaani: Gopalpur on Sea – the famous beach destination with a famous light house is very near to Taptapaani. The light house at Gopalpur offers an amazing view of the sea and a part of the Chilika Lake. The other beaches of tourist attraction near Taptapaani are the Pati Sonepur beach located near the mouth of River Bahuda and the beach at Aryapalli. You can also visit the nearby temple of Taratarini surrounded by Rushikulya River and dedicated to the twin Goddess, Tara and Tarini. You can also visit from Lake Chilka. The temple of Mahuri Kalua just 20 kms from here is located on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys is breathtaking. Things to do in Taptapani: You can take a long nature-walk along the picturesque landscape of the surrounding areas of Taptapani. A visit to the villages of tribal communities such as Kutia Kondh, Bonda, Dingara Kondh and Mali tribes can be interesting as you can also learn about the lifestyles of these tribal people. You can also visit Tampara, which is a large brackish lake with a water sport complex offering various water sports such as paddle boats, water scooter and more. But the most popular thing to do is to take a dip at the hot spring of Taptapani. How to reach Taptapani: From Kolkata, you can avail a train to Berhampur, the nearest rail station to Taptapani. From there, you can avail the option of taxis. Since Taptapani is situated on the State Highway connecting Berhampur with western Orissa, you can also avail the option of buses plying on the State Highway. Best time to visit Taptapani: Taptapani is an all season destination and you can visit this place all round the year. However, to enjoy the dip in the hot water spring and to visit the nearby places, the most preferred time to visit Taptapani is between October and March. Lodging and dining facilities in Taptapani: The Govt. accommodation at Taptapani the best one...
delete

Chandbali, Bhitarkanika – 45 kms from Bhadrak...

Located in Bhadrak District of Orissa, Chandbali is one of the main gateways to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Shrouded in forests, rivers and distant hills, Chandbali is just right antidote for your stress. The picturesque Baitarani River flows beside Chandbali and meets the Brahmani River at a distance. Chandbali used to be a famous port during the medieval times but now it is a popular tourist spot. You can still find some of the remnants of the British period like anchor and cannons out here. From Chandbali, you can visit many nearby places like Dhamra, Aradi and Nalitapatia by boat. Apart from being one of the most popular gateways to the mangroves of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandbali also acts as the hub for visiting remote beaches like Gaharimatha – one of the most popular Olive Ridley Turtle nesting sights. BOOKING DETAILS OF CHANDBALI Places to see in Chandbali: Some 35 km away is located the 650 square km Bhitarkanika National Park which can be reached by ferry service. This is one of the few marine parks of India and was founded with an aim to protect saltwater crocodiles. This is the main reason behind the establishment of a saltwater crocodile breeding center inside the park. Beside, there are various other pieces of attractions including temples and monuments belonging to the period of 9th century. Chandbali also has Sri Aurobindo Dibyadham Ashram, Relics Temple and Integral Education centre. Nearby attractions of Chandbali: One of the main attractions of Chandbali is the Bhitarkanika River that has thick mangrove canopies on either side and gives a spectacular setting for wildlife viewing and majestic sunsets. Take a boat ride from Chandbali and catch the glimpse of the Giant Saltwater Crocodiles. If you are an adventure lover, then take an enjoying long walk through the Bhitarkanika forest that takes you through the remaining of an old village which was once inhabited by mariners. Beside, the beaches of Barunei, Ekakula and Habalikhati are not to be missed out. Bhitarkanika forest is home to a wide range of animals like Rhesus Monkey, King Cobra, Spotted Deer, Pythons, and others. You can see a crocodile-breeding center at Dangmol which houses the rarest White Crocodile “Sankhua.” Other than animal life, a good variety of bird life including migratory birds like Open Billed storks, Kingfishers, Whistling Teals, Sand Pipers, Sea Gulls and others can also be seen. Another very exciting thing to watch out for is the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles at Gahirmatha. Things to do in Chandbali: Take leisurely walks along the banks of Baitarini River, enjoy boat rides over the river along the mangroves, visit local temples and experience village life. You can also enjoy a daytrip to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. How to reach Chandbali: If you are traveling by flight, then the nearest airport is Bhuvaneshwar airport which is located at a distance of 125 km. This airport is well served by most of the major airlines. Chandbali does not have a railway station of its own and is served by the Bhadrak and Cuttack railway stations. Cuttack is located at a distance of 107 km. But if you are traveling by car, then you can surely reach this destination from Bhubaneshwar too just 125 km from Chandbali. Bhadrak is another major Railway station which is very near to Chandbali just 45 kms away. State Highway 5 connects Bhadrak to Chandbali. You would get regular buses and taxis from Bhabrak to Chandbali. Best time to visit...
delete

Sonajhuri, Santiniketan – 165 kms from Kolkata...

At Sonajhuri you can enjoy the lost charm of Shantiniketan with the winding village roads, untouched forests, Adivasi Villages, the Kopai River and the Khoai region. Sonajhuri is situated very near to the northern side of Visva Bharati, Santiniketan. Those who do not like the crowded Visva Bharati area but want the peaceful Shantiniketan then Sonajhuri should be the choice. The area is between the Shyambati Canal and the Sonajhuri jungle. With plenty of greenery along with Santhali settlements, and the famous Khoai region (canyon created by water and wind erosion) this is an idle place to look out for peace that you otherwise miss in the busy city life. The traditional life of the Santhali community with their local art and culture make Sonajhuri a heritage destination. Moreover, you can find the local crafts along with the traditional delicacies being sold at the famous Shonajhuri Haat (weekly market) on every Saturday. The famous Baul singers of Shantiniketan also perform in this Haat. BOOKING DETAILS OF SONAJHURI Places to see in Sonajhuri: The main attraction here is the Sonajhuri jungle that offers a serene atmosphere and is the perfect place to take a leisure walk. This is probably the cleanest forest area on earth. You can even let your kids stroll around safely. The Khowai region – canyons created by wind and water is worth experiencing here. The hanging trees and the view of the roots at the edges of these rifts within the forest area will make you fall in love with the region. Sonajhuri Home stay Photographs 123► The slow flowing Kopai River (Rabindranath Tagore’s Amader Choto Nadi) and the Baul singers along the banks are special attractions. The Banerpukur tribal village inside the forest area shouldn’t be missed as it gives a chance of close encounter with the local tribes living there. Nearby attractions of Sonajhuri: Shantiniketan – Rabindranath Tagore’s “Abode of Peace” is just a kilometer from here where you can indulge in a whole lot of sightseeing options. Some of the places you shouldn’t miss out during your trip are the University campus of Vishwa Bharati, Kala Bhawan, Uttarayan, Geetanjali Theatre, Chatimtala, Shantiniketan House, Bichitra Bhawan or Rabindra Museum and others. There is also the Ballavpur Abhayaranya or the Deer Park set on a total area of 700 acres with a variety of trees, animals and birds. You will also find a watch tower here to view the surrounding landscape from top of it. Located some 3 kms from Shantiniketan is the Vishwa Bharti’s Rural Art Centre, which is a great place to collect some local artifacts. You can also visit Sriniketan if you want to buy handicrafts. There is also a brick kiln of 7 lakh bricks nearby. The 14th century Surtheshwar Temple is only 8 kms from here on the way to Illambazar whereas Nannoor – the birthplace of the famous poet Chandidas is just 23 kms away. You can also visit Dangali Kali Temple nearby. Another popular destination – Kankalitala Temple, which is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths of Sati is around 9 kms from Sonajhuri. You can also visit the famous Gar Jungle from here located 30 kms via Illambazar. Other popular nearby destinations include Kenduli, Bakreshwar, Maithon, Tarapith and Durgapur Barrage. Things to do at Sonajhuri: Take a leisure morning stroll through the Sonajhuri jungle to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding. The jungle is clear and devoid of wild animals so you can also take your kids...
delete

Padua, Koraput – 130 kms from Vishakapatnam...

A serene lake with an island surrounded by hills wrapped in forests – that’s Padua near Koraput in Orissa. Nature is abundant here with lakes, rivers, hills, forests, valleys and miles and miles of paddy fields. Spanning an area of around 50 sq. km, this charming location is nestled at a height of 3500 feet above sea level. It stands midway between Araku and Koraput and tourists visiting Araku, can easily make a trip to Padua just 30 km away. You can also reach Padua from Koraput, which is just 70 km away. In Padua, you can enjoy boating and angling in the Macchkunda Lake, nature walks and treks on the nearby hills and keep romancing the moonlight amidst the music of wilderness. BOOKING DETAILS OF PADUA Places to see in Padua: Padua is an outstanding destination with an array of impressive attractions. If you have planned for a two-night stay at Padua, then visit the nearby Nageshwari Caves, Duduma Dam, Rani Duduma waterfall and Sili caves. A visit to Deomari, the highest point of Eastern Ghats also offers a memorable experience. The Macchkonda Lake along with Macchkonda powerhouse is also worth visiting. Walk down to the nearby tribal village of Kulabi, inhabited by the local tribal people. Click here for more photos of Padua Nearby attractions of Padua: Padua is 30 kms from Araku valley, 130 kms from Vishakapatnam and 70 kms from Koraput so you can tag Padua into your Vizag – Araku itinerary too. You can enrich your experience of touring Padua, by making an enjoyable trip to the Koraput in Orissa. The picturesque landscape of Koraput admired with verdant hills, meandering streams, lush green valleys, spectacular caves and wonderful waterfall, bring heaven to the earth. The prime attraction of Koraput is “Sabar Shrikhetra,” a modern temple of Lord Jagannath, built on a hilltop. Do not miss the Tribal Museum and Nisanimunda, located a few kilometers away from the temple. From Padua, you can also visit Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh. Araku lures tourists mainly for viewing its rich landscape, hills and valleys. Travelling to Araku by train from Vishakapatnam truly offers an enduring experience. On its way to Araku, the train needs to cross a total of forty-one tunnels and a number of bridges. The Ananthagiri hills found on the way to Araku Valley is famous for coffee plantations and panoramic views of the entire Araku region. Nestled on the Eastern Ghats of India, Araku valley is mainly the refuge of tribal people. There is also a Tribal Museum in Araku displaying tribal handicrafts and lifestyle. Araku Valley is also a superb base for sightseeing. You can visit Katika waterfalls, Ananthagiri hills, Chaparai River and Padmapuram gardens from Araku. While returning Vishakapatnam you can also pay a visit to the Tyda forest. Another most enchanting attraction is the Borra Caves, located 49 kms from Padua. This enthralling tourist attraction, nestled at an altitude of 705 m is primarily noted for the stalactites and stalagmite formations. The caves are located in the Araku Valley of the Ananthagiri hill range and drained by the Gosthani River. At the entrance point, the cave measures around 100 m horizontally and 75 m vertically. You can also trek 4 kms to reach the nearby Nageswari caves and have a panoramic view of the  Machkunda Valley. Here you can meet the tribal people and even try to discover a part of the Nageswari caves.     Things to do in Padua:...
delete

Chapramari FRH, Dooars – 72 kms from Siliguri...

Imagine staying in an old Forest Bungalow built within a dense forest. You have the whole jungle to yourself when you stand in the Bungalow’s balcony watching over the waterhole and salt lick where Bisons, Elephants, Rhinos, Monkeys, Peacocks and a whole lot of unknown birds come to quench their thirst. But, this is not all! From the Chapramari Forest Rest House (FRH), you can have a panoramic view of one of the oldest jungles of the Dooars region with the mighty mountain at its backdrop. A night in the Chapramari FRH with the mysterious sounds and squeaks of the jungle dwellers would give you the real thrill of spending a night in one of the oldest jungles of India. BOOKING DETAILS OF CHAPRAMARI Places to see in Chapramari FRH: You must spend the whole day watching the animals visiting the waterhole for their drink and the birds hopping from one branch of the tree to another. You are in the middle of the jungle and do not miss the thrill of it. There is a watch-tower adjacent to the Chapramari FRH where visitors come during the mornings and evenings. The watchtower and the Rest House offers the same view of the salt lick and the waterhole. Nearby attractions of Chapramari FRH: There are plenty of tourist attractions around and near Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary like the Khunia watch-tower which is located within short distance of this sanctuary. Other places to see are the Gorumara National Park and Jaldapara National Forest. The Murti River and Jhalong can also be visited as nearby attractions. The new destination of Panjhora located a few kilometers away on the banks of the Murti River on the fringes of Chapramari Forest has become a new attraction. The entire Dooars region can be visited from this Chapramari Forest Bungalow. Things to do in Chapramari FRH: If you love nature, then this is your place. As soon as you enter the forest, you will see a wide variety of trees like aamloki, rudrapalash, rubber trees, rupasi and others. Bird watching can be a really exciting activity here with plenty of birds frolicking in the trees. You can sit idle on the balcony of the Chapramari FRH with a cup of tea enjoying the forest and the distant hills spotting wildlife around the waterhole and salt lick. In the evenings, you can watch the tribal dance and when the night falls and the Chapramari forest is bathed in moonlight, you can see the Elephant herd munching away the forest foliage beside your bungalow. How to reach Chapramari FRH: The Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary is located some 72 km from Siliguri, 26 km from Lataguri, 70 km from Jalpaiguri and 8 km from Chalsa. National Highway 31 that passes by the sanctuary as it connects Nagrakata and Siliguri. You can easily reach the sanctuary by hiring cars either from the New Mall Junction or the rail station at New Jalpaiguri. If you are going by road, then you have to turn from the Khunia More on NH31that takes you to Jaldapara. Best time to visit Chapramari FRH: You can visit the Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary during any time of the year. However, the Forest stays closed to visitors during the monsoons. Lodging and dining facilities at Chapramari FRH: The Chapramari Forest Rest House is the only accommodation available inside Chapramari Forest. The bungalow has balconies facing the two salt licks and waterhole. Accommodation here is well furnished and well equipped with...
delete

Murti, Dooars – 84 kms from Siliguri...

Murti is a picturesque tourist spot located on the banks of the Murti River in the Dooars region of Northern Bengal. Spending few tranquil days beside the knee deep snaking Murti River is a perfect break especially for those who are looking for some serenity and peace.  Murti is a great place for nature lovers and bird watchers. You can also take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Murti River or do some fishing whenever you like. Camping is the most popular activity in Murti along with hiking. The Gorumara National Park, which is home to Indian Rhinos, Wild Elephants and various bird species is just a stone’s throw from Murti. BOOKING DETAILS OF MURTI Places to see in Murti: Murti village is located by the banks of Murti River and it is very close to Chapramari forest and Gorumara National Park. In fact, Murti River is one of the main rivers skirting right through the middle of Gorumara National Park. [AFG_gallery id=’51’] Nearby attractions of Murti: The entire Dooars range of forests can be reached from Murti. Forests like Gorumara, Chapramari, Chukchukia, Khunia and Chalsa are all nearby. You can also visit nearby hill destinations like Jhalong, Bindu and Paren. Samsing, Suntaleykhola and few other spots like Mouchuki marking the fringes of other jungles like Neora Valley N.P are also located nearby. Things to do in Murti: Camping, angling and hiking are the two most popular activities in Murti. Plus, bird watchers will have a great time too. You can also enjoy jungle safari in Gorumara N.P and other nearby forests from Murti. How to reach Murti: You can reach Murti from New Mall Junction Railway Station. If you are traveling by air, then the nearest airport is at Bagdogra from where you can hire cars to reach Murti. Murti can also be reached from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri Station by hiring cars. Best time to visit Murti: Murti can be visited any time of the year. However, if you are planning for jungle safari then avoid the monsoons because the jungles remain closed during the rains. Lodging and dining facilities at Murti: You won’t find many hotels in Murti because it is a very small village tucked within a bend of the Murti River. There are a few basic budget hotels and a couple of very nice, well maintained private hotels with all modern facilities. Food is served in the hotels which mainly comprises Bengali cuisine. There is no Government run accommodation in Murti. BOOKING DETAILS OF...
delete

Netarhat, Jharkhand – 160 kms from Ranchi...

Netarhat in Jharkhand is one of the most beautiful weekend getaways, nestled on Chhotanagpur plateau. Covered with thick emerald forest, lush hillocks and barren rocks, it is aptly called the “Queen of Chhotanagpur.” Located at an elevation of 3,700 feet above sea level, Netarhat is truly refreshing during summer with its cool bracing breeze. The breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset that one can savor from the hills and viewpoints of Netarhaat is truly adorable. Netarhat was one of the favorite getaways of the British and the pear orchards, manicured gardens, churches, colonial buildings and numerous sunset points keep the memories of the British Raaj alive. BOOKING DETAILS OF NETARHAT Places to see in Netarhat: Netarhat is primarily known for it picturesque landscape, serene ambience and wonderful climate. There are patches of sal and simul forests dotting the region with occasional pines and cypresses planted by the British reaching out to the sky. Seasonal flowers are grown all through the year and the weather and soil of this region is apt for growing fruits like peaches, lemons and even apples. The beautiful Koel River and its tributaries – Amanat and Auranga skirts its way through Netarhat creating beautiful landscapes. A number of winding small streams also bound the region. The sunrise and sunset seen from the viewpoints of Netarhat is truly fascinating. For more photos of Netarhat click here Nearby attractions of Netarhat: Netarhat is admired with a number of nearby tourist attractions. The Upper Ghagri Water Falls, located 4 kms from Netarhat is a major picnic spot. The Netarhat Dam also creates a nice small waterfall. The Lower Ghagri Water Falls located 10 kms away from Netarhat is a delight to watch. The stunning waterfall leaps from a towering height of 320 feet. If you want to savor the excellent view of sunset, make a trip to Magnolia Point, located some 10 kms from Netarhat. You can also travel to the Koel View Point, located 3 kms from Netarhat. However, to savor the beauty of the highest fall in Jharkhand, Lodh Falls, you need to travel almost 60 kms from Netarhat. The Sadni Falls located 35 kms from Netarhat is also equally appreciable. Destinations like Gaya, Bodh Gaya, Ranchi, Daltongunj and Rajgir are also closer to Netarhat. Things to do in Netarhat: Explore the entire region of Netarhat, full of natural resources. Do not miss the spectacular sunrise and sunset. If you are an adventure lover, you can hike the Burhaghagh, the second highest fall of Jharkhand. Less adventurous souls can visit the local Netarhat public school established by the British, visit any local fruit orchard or take a long nature walk. How to reach Netarhat: Netarhat is located at a distance of 160 kms from Ranchi. So you can avail bus services from Ranchi and Daltonganj to Netarhat. You can also drive from Ranchi along the NH23 to Sisai and then cross Ghaghra and finally reach Netarhat. Best time to visit Netarhat: You can visit this Netarhaat any time of the year. However, the summer at Netarhat is quite cool offering a pleasurable climate. It can well be said that Netarhat is the coolest region in the entire state of Jharkhand. Lodging and dining facilities in Netarhat: In Netarhat, Jharkhand Tourism’s Prabhat Vihar is the most popular and well-equipped accommodation. It has one of the best sunrise points in Netarhat and offers excellent views of the surroundings. We arrange booking for Jharkhand Tourism’s Prabhat Vihar directly...
delete

Malbazar, Dooars – 65 kms from Siliguri...

If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Dooars at its best, then you must travel to Malbazar from Siliguri by rail or by road. On your way to Malbazar, beautiful Teesta River which has a peculiar feature of changing colors every season will stay beside you. The town of Malbazar has a beautiful tea garden of Raja Tea Estate and a nice Mal Park. Malbazar can also be used as a base to visit nearby forests like Gorumara, Chapramari, Chukchukia and others. You can also make day trips to Jhalong, Bindu, Paren and other nearby destinations from here. On your way to Malbazar, you will cross a few forests and come across the famous Sevokeshwari temple and Coronation Bridge. BOOKING DETAILS OF MALBAZAR Places to see at Malbazar: The biggest attraction of Malbazar is the Mal Park. There is also a beautiful tea garden named Raja Tea Estate which you can definitely pay a visit. [AFG_gallery id=’41’] Nearby attractions from Malbazar: Mongpong overlooking River Teesta and Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary located on Sevoke Road falls en route to Malbazar. Beside, there are various forests like Chapramari, Gorumara, Chalsa, Khunia and Chukchikia located all around Malbazar. Other nearby places of attraction includes Jhalong located on the banks of Jaldhaka River and Bindu near the Indo-Bhutan border. The twin villages of Suntaleykhola and Samsing perched within dense greenery on the banks of rivulets can also be visited on day trips from Malbazar. You can also arrange a picnic on the banks of River Murti. Things to do at Malbazar: You actually have a lot to do in the Dooars. You can take a long walk along the river banks, take a dip or enjoy some fishing in the knee deep Murti River. You can also try your hands in tea plucking, enjoy a safari in the nearby forest or enjoy wildlife viewing from the forest watch towers like Chandrachur Tower, Jatraprasad, Chapramari Tower, Rhino Point and Chuk Chuki. You can visit the nearby villages and meet the local tribes like the Toto, the Bodo of Assam, Bhutanese, the Koch, Mundas, Limbus, the Rajbongshis in Bengal, Lepcha, Rabha and Oraons and know more about them. How to reach Malbazar: If you are traveling from Kolkata, you need to board the Kanchankanya Express from Sealdah and reach New Mal Junction station. This train leaves Sealdah station four times in a week. You can also reach New Jalpaiguri station from where, you can board a car or a bus to reach Malbazar. Best time to visit Malbazar: The best time to visit Mallbazar is during the months of September to March, when the monsoon gets over. Lodging and dining facilities in Malbazar: The WBTDC (West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation) Tourist lodge at Malbazar perched beside tea garden, overlooking greenery is the most popular and well-equipped accommodation in Malbazar. We arrange booking for WBTDC Tourist Complex at Malbazar directly from Kolkata. Dining facilities are excellent here, which mainly comprises ethnic Bengali cuisine.   Photographs by Prasun Sarkar, Bidyut, Goutam.dv BOOKING DETAILS OF...