delete

Somrabazar, Hooghly – 82 kms from Kolkata...

Steeped in history and flanked by the mighty Ganges, Somrabazar is known for its terracotta temples, ruins of Zamindar Mansions, lush green paddy fields crisscrossed by rivulets, the riverine island – Sabujdwip and the seat of spiritual awakening of Rani Rashmoni. It is an ideal place to spend a day or two, if you are keen on discovering heritage structures and take long walks along the marshy banks of Ganges to spot some of the rarest birds’ species. Apart from the nearby attractions of Guptipara, Bandel, Balagarh and Hooghly, Somrabazar is also known to produce some of the best sweets of Bengal. BOOKING DETAILS OF SOMRA BAZAR Places to see in Somrabazar: Somra bazar has been home to some of the elite Zamindar families in the history of Bengal like the Sens and Mitra Mustafis. Although most of the mansions of the erstwhile Zamindars are now in complete ruins but one can still make out the lost grandeur of these mansions from their Cornithian Pillars, hanging balconies and Durga Manchas. For more photos of Somrabazar click here The Anandamoye Temple in nearby Sukharia Village is one of the finest specimens of the 25-pinnacled terracotta temples in Bengal. Founded in 1763 AD, Anandamoyee Temple houses the main temple of Anandamoyee Maa, which is surrounded by 12 smaller temples. Although the present structure of the temple was completed in 1813 AD, few terracotta panels are still in good condition. The other notable temples of Somrabazar are Harasundrai Temple built in 1814 AD and Nistarini Temple built in 1847 AD. The Siddheshwari Kalibari Temple on the banks of the Ganges may not be structurally grand as the other temples of Somra bazar but its spiritual and historical importance is immense. It is said that Rani Rashmoni while sailing beside this temple had the spiritual awakening to found the Dakshineshwar Temple. If you do not belong to the group of “history hunters” and prefer more to be a naturalist, then Somrabazar will not disappoint you too. The huge marshland created by the changing courses of Ganges and the rivulets and river islands brings a whole lot of migratory and residential water birds. Somrabazar surely will surprise you with its healthy bird population. Interesting, Somrabazar has been a preferred film location for many films including the National award winning Mrinal Sen’s “Akaler Sandhaney.” Nearby attractions in Somrabazar: A 15-mins ride in a Toto or Rickshaw from the Railway Station will bring you to the Ferry Ghat of Somrabazar from where you can take a boat to Sabujdweep. One of the largest river islands in West Bengal over Ganges, Sabujdweep is a protected sanctuary. There are no accommodation options at Sabujdweep but a walk along the banks of this island and spending a few morning hours within this greenery will surely rejuvenate you. Few other popular tourist attractions near Somra bazar include the Hansheshwari Temple in Bansberia (27 kms.), Imambara (32 kms) in Hooghly and Bandel Church (30 kms). Things to do in Somrabazar: You can hire a Toto or Rickshaw and visit the temples of Sukharia and Somra bazar. You can also hire a fishing boat in the creeks and sail through the paddy fields and marshlands spotting some rare birds in their natural habitats. You can also visit some of the last boat making factories of Balagarh (7 kms) to witness the dying art of wooden boat making. Also, foodies won’t be disappointed at Somra bazar – the sweetshops of Somrabazar is sure to...
delete

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...
delete

Singee, Bardhaman – 135 kms from Kolkata...

At Singee, you can walk along the paddy fields, marvel at 300-year old terracotta temples, make wishes to the magic tree and sit besides the Brahmani River gazing at the green horizon. There is something for everyone at Singee – a little know village in Bardhaman with a hint of history, culture, untouched village life and endless greenery. If you are harbouring some special interests like bird watching, then you can visit nearby ox-bow lake of Chupir Char in Purbasthali, which is the hotbed for migratory birds. BOOKING DETAILS OF SINGEE Otherwise, history buffs can make a trip to the nearby terracotta temples of Chandra Family and pay respects to the birthplace of Kashiram Das – the composer of Mahabharat in Bengali. Our village guesthouse in Singee is equipped with all modern amenities and commands a great view of the surrounding greenery. You can also take a swim in the guesthouse’s pond or do some angling with a country made fishing rod “Cheep”. For more photographs of Singee click here Places to see in Singee, Bardhaman: You can take your car for the local sightseeing of Singee or the village guesthouse in Singee can arrange for a bullock cart to take you along the muddy village roads. You can start with a visit to the birthplace of Kashiram Das – the poet to compose Mahabharata in Bengali, then you can visit the Navratan structured temple of Buro Shibtala. This temple exudes the typical temple architecture of Bengal in the 18th and 19th Century. Next stop could be the wish-fulfilling magic Banyan tree of Kshetropal. Much older than history, this tree is revered by the villagers for its powers to fulfil wishes of all. In certain auspicious days, animal sacrifices are still held here. Further, along the muddy village roads, crossing paddy fields and vegetable orchards, you would come to the banks of the Brahmani River and a bamboo bridge over it. Nearby attractions of Singee, Bardhaman: Just 22 kms from Singee, is the famous bird watching spot of Chupir Char in Purbasthali. Here, river Ganges takes a sharp turn and creates a marshland which invites migratory birds in winter. If you put up at the village guesthouse in Singee, then you can easily visit Chupir Char in early mornings and late evenings to catch the best moments of the winged visitors. Another nearby attraction is the terracotta temple complex of Chandra Family in Moolti Village. Nearly 300 years old, these terracotta temples represent the Orissa structure of temple building. Still in good shape, these temples and the adjoining Zamindari buildings gives you a feeling of time travelling. Things to do in Singee, Bardhaman: You can take a walk along the village roads or take a swim in the guesthouse’s pond. You can also try your hand in fishing or go for bird watching in the fields and rivers of Singee. Visiting local temples, enjoying bullock cart rides and observing the local rituals and culture are few things you can do here in Singee village. Apart from this, you can spend some quiet evenings with your loved ones, plant some more trees or accompany your children to pick up some fresh vegetables from the guesthouse garden or local fields. How to reach Singee, Bardhaman: If you are travelling by car, then you can take NH19 from Kolkata and cross Singur and reach Jaugram and further take diversions to reach Manteswar and finally Singee. If you are travelling by train, the...
delete

Rajendrapur, South 24 Pgs – 42 kms from Kolkata...

Rajendrapur is a beautiful village just 42 kms from the heart of Kolkata. It is one of the best places to visit and de-stress yourself after a week of hectic work in the office. You wake up to the chirping of birds and watch out from the window of your mud hut to the green horizon of paddy fields dotted with towering coconut trees. You stay in mud huts decked with modern facilities but no Televisions. There is a pond where you can wet your feet and enjoy angling with local fishing rods. The local village boy can also teach you how to cast fishing net. Few things, which have already started vanishing from our complex urban lives like fresh khejurer rash (date juice), shorshey phool (mustard flower), hansher ghar (duck house) can still be seen at Rajendrapur. Rajendrapur village is soon becoming one of the best weekend escapades near Kolkata. BOOKING DETAILS OF RAJENDRAPUR Places to see in Rajendrapur: The simple and slow moving village life of Rajendrapur would surely make you envious. You would find the farmers ploughing their fields, children chasing ducks, fisherman casting their nets and the village elders sitting under the Peepul tree discussing the year’s crops. Paddy and mustard fields stretch as far as your eye can meet on one side of the village, while the other side has vegetable gardens, ponds and mango orchards. The mango grove is more like a hideout surrounded by green fields, vegetable gardens and a placid pond teeming with carps. A walk through the paddy fields would take you to this peaceful refuge.  For more photos of Rajendrapur click here Nearby attractions of Rajendrapur: Take a ride in the local van rickshaws to the famous Vidyadhari River at nearby Malancha (around 6 kms from Rajendrapur). You can watch the setting sun from the bridge over Vidyadhari River. Rajendrapur is surrounded by large fishing ponds and a mango grove. Fish lovers can also visit nearby Malancha Village, while returning from Rajendrapur to buy some fresh catches. Malancha is one of the biggest fish markets in West Bengal. Things to do in Rajendrapur: Take a village walk in the paddy fields and chase the ducks to the puddle. If bird watching is your hobby, then the early mornings of Rajendrapur can yield some nice surprises for you. But the best thing to do in Rajendrapur is to become a part of the village life. You can take long walks taking to the edges of paddy fields, do some fishing, try out khejur rash (date palm juice) early mornings, play badminton, bring out eggs from the duck house, do some campfire in the evenings and simply de-stress your weekend. Family addas during the afternoon and evening in the gazebo with a barbeque can be a unique thing to do during your stay here. Essentially, a stay here is a 2 days of peace in the green. How to reach Rajendrapur: If you are going by car, then you have to take Basanti Highway from Science City and take the road turning right before Malancha. All Buses connecting Malancha from Kolkata will take you to Rajendrapur. Lodging and dining facilities at Rajendrapur: Presently, there are two mud houses in the eco village for guests to stay. Located beside the ponds overlooking the paddy fields and gardens, these spacious Double Bed ethnic mud houses are equipped with all modern facilities like electricity and attached western bathrooms with 24-hrs water. You would also...
delete

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...
delete

Babur Haat, North 24 Pgs – 48 kms from Kolkata...

Babur Haat is a quaint rural village located about 51 kilometers from Kolkata. It is a perfect weekend destination for families and friends who want to spend some quality time enjoying the rustic village with the different shades of a traditional Bengal village life. The landscape of Babur Haat is filled with huge stretches of natural fishing lakes or bheris, which are used for the purpose of cultivating some of the tastiest fishes of Bengal. Other village attractions include the vast stretches of rice farmlands, vegetable orchards, mango groves, palm orchards, ponds, rural village houses and local temples. Babur Haat can be a refreshing change from the humdrum existence of a city life. The open fields, thriving greenery, fresh air and vast stretches of blue horizon above can really be a great stress buster. The bustling village life will not only lift your spirits but also take you a step closer to nature’s beautiful peace and quiet. Babur Haat is a preferred weekend destination for many families and business conference events in the city. BOOKING DETAILS OF BABUR HAAT Places to see at Babur Haat: Babur Haat is known for its idyllic village life and the innumerable fishing lakes and bheris surrounding the village. The lakes are pretty huge and stretch over extensive areas of the village. These lakes are maintained and looked after by the local farmers who cultivate and breed different species of Bengal fishes naturally. You can visit the neighborhood farmlands where the locals cultivate vegetables like cabbage, cauliflowers, potatoes and okras. You can also have glimpse of the local village life and culture by visiting the village mud houses, the local temple and the local village market. A typical village scene may have a woman sifting rice on a wooden tray or dheki, cows mooing in the background from the shed of the house, farmers working in the fields, fishermen casting nets on lakes, women weaving baskets and brooms, etc. Images of Babur Haat [AFG_gallery id=’134′] Things To Do at Babur Haat: Nature walks, trotting the village paths and lanes, bird watching, fishing and boating are some of the interesting leisure activities you can do at Babur Haat. Fishing can be a great past time here at the local bheris. You can go for exciting fishing trips with your family and friends and enjoy angling the whole day. You can also go for short picnic trips on the local village grounds and mango orchards. The open fields can be a great space for playing outdoor games like cricket and badminton. For those who love quietness, can spend time walking around the winding paths surrounding the bheris amidst vast stretches of water bodies. You can also spend your time in the beautiful surrounds of the resort property. The resort has boating facilities and swimming pools where you can enjoy having a great swim. Nearby attractions of Babur Haat: Attractions near Babur Haat include the Malancha village, which is only 15 kilometers away. Malancha is a renowned fishing village of Bengal that has some of the biggest fish markets in all of Bengal. Located at the confluence of two beautiful rivers, the Icchamati and the Vidyadhari, Malancha offers a great view of sunset from the banks of the Vidyadhari River. The riverbanks are also dotted with many brick kilns with long towers that line up a long way along the banks. The main attraction at Malancha is the fish market, where you would get some of the...
delete

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...
delete

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...
delete

Sitong, Kurseong – 55 kms from Siliguri...

One of the most untouched parts of the Darjeeling Himalayan foothills, Sitong is a treasure trove yet to be discovered. This little picturesque Lepcha village lies is a valley crisscrossed by a rivulet (Khola) and guarded by lush green hills. Every house in Sitong has a garden and every garden has orange trees. The whole village turns orange during the winter. Visiting Sitong is like time travelling – there’s a bamboo bridge, a church, some winding village paths skirting through orange orchards and few meandering streams and a rivulet, which the locals love to call Riyang River. The church guesthouse has been renovated with modern facilities to accommodate guests. BOOKING DETAILS OF SITONG Places to see in Sitong: You can visit the local church. Previously, there used to be a 100-year old Bamboo church here but now a new building has come up. There is a Bamboo Bridge, which you would love to see wobbling when someone crosses. But when you are in Sitong, there is one thing you cannot miss doing – “Enjoying Oranges.” For more photos of Sitong click here When the oranges bloom, the whole village is covered in a hue of orange. You can also spend time walking all around the village along the farms or sit idle on the banks of Riyang river and watch the Lepcha kids returning home. In Sitong, you would love doing “nothing.” Nearby attractions of Sitong: The house of Rabindranath Tagore at Mongpoo is just 20 kms away and Latpanchar – the highest point in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is 13 kms. from Sitong. Latpanchar is also known for being the home to the Himalayan Salamander and numerous species of birds and butterflies. Other touristic destinations like Kurseong, Dilaram, Bagora are all within 20 kms of Sitong.  Chatakpur, the picture-perfect village within  the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is also within 30 kms. of Sitong. Things to do in Sitong: Enjoy long nature walks along the villages and take a peek into the traditional lifestyle of the Lepchas, eat as many oranges as possible and visit the church to find some solace. You can enjoy a dip in the Riyang River and do some bird watching and butterfly watching too. You can also avail some light treks to the nearby Labda village and few nearby spots with a local guide. Best time to visit Sitong: November, December and January is the best time to see oranges is Sitong. The orange harvest takes place during late December and early January. As Sitong is located around 4000 feet above sea level so it is also a nice place to beat the heat during the according summers. The rivers and streams get filled after the rains and the lush greenery is something not to be missed during the monsoons in Sitong. How to reach Sitong: There are three routes to reach Sitong. The shortest route (55 kms) is through Siliguri – Sevoke – Kalijhora and Latpanchar. The second route (78 kms) passes through Siliguri – Rambhi and Mongpoo. The third route (75 kms) is through Kurseong – Dilaram – Bagora and Ghareytar. The last leg of the journey to Sitong (last 15 kms) is quite steep. Lodging and dining facilities in Sitong: The newly built three-storey guesthouse of Sitong church located on a hilltop has been modified with all modern facilities for the guests. There are nine double bedded rooms with attached western bathrooms, solar power and 24 hrs warm water. The lobby has a...
delete

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...
delete

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...
delete

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...
delete

Sillery Gaon, Pedong – 92 kms from Siliguri...

Sillery Gaon, a pristine Himalayan village nestled at an altitude of 6000 ft. is an ideal romantic escape. With only 25 families residing in this picture-perfect destination, Sillery Gaon offers a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjungha touching and its allied peaks. The entire ambiance of the place is shrouded with tranquility, only interrupted by the chirping of birds. The pine trees admiring this serene village is nowadays being lovingly called New Darjeeling nowadays. Sillery Gaon is located 96 km from New Jalpaiguri via Kalimpong. BOOKING DETAILS OF SILLERY GAON Places to see in Sillery Gaon: Tin Chuley is a wonderful hilltop near Sillery Gaon, providing a 360 degree view of the legendary Himalayas, the towns of Sikkim, Jeep La and Nathula. The place is accessible by car or you can also trek to Tin Chuley. Another amazing spot of the location is Ramitey, a celebrated vantage point, which offers an extensive view of River Teesta with around 14 turns along with the majestic Kanchenjunga range. For more photos of Sillery Gaon click here You can also pay a visit to Damsang Fort, located 4 km. away from the Sillery Gaon. This fort locally was constructed in 1690 by the Lepchas. However, it was invaded by the British after the Anglo-Bhutan War of 1864. The remnants of the fort only exist now. You can conclude your day tour by savoring the exquisite beauty of the Silence Valley, a small forest area with grassy land, offering the ultimate serenity. Nearby attractions of Sillery Gaon: Sillery Gaon is surrounded by Pedong, Reshi and Aritar. A major attraction of tourists visiting Sillery Gaon is Sangchen Dorjee Monastery near Pedong. This 300-year-old monastery was built during the reign of Bhutanese in Pedong. The old section of the monastery is admired with some exquisite wall paintings depicting Tantrik Buddhism. The major attraction of the new section is the mummified body of a most revered Bhutanese priest. The annual “Chyam” dance is also held at this place in April-May. You should also visit Cross Hill near Pedong, built by Fr. Augstine Desgodins in 1882. It stands grandly, overlooking Jelep-La and Nathula and is considered as a place of Pilgrimage for the local Christian Community. Another “must visit” location is the Shahid Park located 2 km from Pedong bazaar. A memorial stone has been laid at the park to commemorate the memory of a local young soldier of Indian army, Let Palender Raj who sacrificed his life at Thangdhar J & K sector (Kargil War). The park offers clear view of Sikkim on the opposite side. A visit to the Rikisum, a majestic viewpoint on the way from Algarah to Lava is also rewarding. You would also appreciate the natural splendor of Kashyone village, located 8 km from Pedong bazaar. Savor the majestic view of the union of Rongpo Khola and Tista River, behind this village. The village is dotted with Cinchona plantation. Walk a little ahead to visit Ranibon that has been declared as a preserved forest. You will also find a 300-year old Lepcha house here, which is the sole specimen of the rich Lepcha craft works. Many tourists also make trip to Reshi Bridge and Reshi Khola, located 15 km from Pedong Bazaar. Rishi and Mudum Khola merge to form Rishi Khola just before the bridge. The place nurtures a romantic natural atmosphere. The Aritar Lake or Lampokhri is an amazing eco tourism spot, located 16 km from Rishi Bridge in East Sikkim. The...
delete

Dhuturdaha, South 24 Pgs – 51 kms from Kolkata...

Just 51 kms from Kolkata, Dhuturdaha is a serene village with endless stretches of fishing lakes (bheri), vegetable gardens, ponds, palm trees, mango groves, local temples and different shades of village life. It’s a nice place to de-stress yourself after a whole week of slogging in your workplace. At Dhuturdaha, you can just relax watching the vast endless skies over the green horizon, get together with your family and friends beside the pond, do some fishing and dip your tired legs in the pond. But, Dhuturdaha is not only rustic life without daily facilities, here you have some of the best resorts you can find around Kolkata with AC rooms, swimming pools, landscaped gardens, dining halls, conference rooms, gazebos within water and all other amenities which make our life comfortable. Dhuturdaha is a perfect blend of ethnic charm with modern facilities. BOOKING DETAILS OF DHUTURDAHA Places to see in Dhuturdaha:The main attraction of Dhuturdaha are the uncountable number of fishing lakes. These lakes stretch as far as you can see over the horizon. The village is dotted with vegetable gardens blooming with all types of vegetables from cabbages and cauliflowers to ladies fingers. You can also visit the local temple under the shadows of a Peepal tree or watch the local women sifting rice under the wood-plaque (Dheki). Village life is Dhuturdaha’s main attraction – ducks puddling around in ponds, farmers ploughing their fields, fisherman casting their nets and the local shopkeeper selling groceries. For more photos of Dhuturdaha click here Nearby attractions of Dhuturdaha: Malancha is a nearby destination just 15 kms from Dhuturdaha. This small town has one of the biggest Fish Markets in West Bengal. At Malancha you would see the mighty Icchamati River meeting the Vidyadhari River. You can also stop over the bridge over Vidyadhari River and enjoy the sunset. This side of the riverbank is dotted with brick kilns and their towering chimneys line up the riverbank for miles – it’s an amazing sight. On the way to Dhuturdaha from Kolkata, you would come across Ghusighata Lock gate, where few local canals meet – this is nice stopover too. Things to do in Dhuturdaha: The best thing to do is to watch the little things of village life pass around you. You can do casual birdwatching of some local birds around Dhururdaha and walk around the fringes of the fish lakes. You can also enjoy boating within the resort and try your hand in fishing. You can also play outdoor games in the nearby fields and take long village walks. If you are planning to stay a little longer, then try to visit Malancha. You can watch the sunset over the Bidyadhari River from here or take a country boat to cross over to Chaital on the other side. A visit to a nearby brick kiln can also be a nice experience. There is one more thing you can do – if you love eating fish. You can stop at Malancha’s Fish market to buy some freshly caught fish at great prices while returning from Dhuturdaha. How to reach Dhuturdaha: If you are going by car, then you have to take Basanti Highway from Science City and reach Minakha. From Minakha, you can take the road going right to Dhuturdaha. All Buses connecting Malancha from Kolkata will cross Minakha. You have to get down at Minakha and take a local Auto Rickshaw to Dhuturdaha. Lodging and dining facilities at Dhuturdaha: Dhuturdaha has a...
delete

Monchasa, Contai – 130 kms from Kolkata...

Whenever we plan for a vacation, most of the time we stay at some plush, contemporarily decorated hotel or resort, which oozes an artificial flavor. But sometimes, our heart yearns for something natural, devoid of any artificiality. So if you seek to savor original village culture and authentic earthen traditions come to Monchasa, brimming with a true sentiment of natural India. It is the first rural based sustainable eco-tourism initiative in India, which is promoted to support a very special social cause. Located on the banks of Bagda River in the remote village of Paushi, in East Midnapur district of West Bengal, it has an interesting story behind its development. BOOKING DETAILS OF MONCHASA There is an orphanage called Antyodoy Anath Ashram in Paushi. The primary aim of this orphanage is to provide food and shelter to the parent-less children or single parent children, abandoned by their family. The orphanage is operated by Sri Balaram Karan, who was an owner of a medicine shop at Kalianagar. To run the orphanage, he sold out most of his assets. After sometime, an ashram was constructed to provide shelter to the destitute children. Now, to support this noble cause, Mon Chasha has been built, which is a sprawling eco-tourism project. For more photos of Monchasa click here Places to see in Monchasa: Explore the location to enjoy some wonderful view. The Shalmoli Bithi, which is the plantation area of the project offers a real visual treat. You will find wide species of fruits, flowers, vegetables and spices. The authority of the project is also taking the effort of tagging the plants with their significances and name in local language along with its scientific name, to enrich the knowledge of the visitors. You will also found many plants having medicinal importance, like Ram Tulsi – Bon Tulshi – Krishna Tulshi (Holy Basil), Aamlaki (Goose Berry), Boyar (Baheda), Hartuki (Haritaki) and Neem trees. Visit Ishani and Naitri, the huge fish tanks (jheel), where large numbers of fish including Rui, Katla, Mrigel, Kalbous, Carp, Telapia, Puti, Mourala are bred completely naturally. For the conservation of traditional cultural heritage, “Sahajiya” has been built, which is a platform for local cultural performances as Chhau, Raibneshe Jatra Pala, Baul Fakir Darbesh and other programs. The other options include slide presentation, film show or story telling. The Sahajiya cultural centre is a straw / hogla thatched circular clay court beautified with green grass. Guests need to sit on the ground over hand crafted Madur. Do not miss Nabya Nakshi, the handicraft centre promoted by this project. There is also a plan for promoting Nakshi Kantha, one of the most treasured handicrafts of Bengal, to support the local self help group. You can also visit Aamar Bangla, where you will find numerous attractions like Dhenki, Kumorer Chaak, Tamt, Langol – Moi, Hand Painted Alpana, Pot Chitra, Typical Styled Tulshi Mancha, Machh Dhorar Jal, Chhip, Gachhe Jholano Hnarite Payra, Mouchak, Borshar Toka, Kendupatar Borshati, Lau Macha etc. Nearby attractions of Monchasa: The temple of Bahiri which dates back to the Middle Ages is just a few kilometers from Mon Chasa. The historically significant town of Tamluk boasting of a thousand year old Devi Barghobhima Temple (one of the popular Shakti peeths), a Rajbari, a museum and Rakhit Bati – the secret centre of freedom fighters is also located nearby. You can also visit Mandarmuni – the popular beach destination within an hours drive. Things to do in Monchasa: You can visit...