Darjeeling Offbeat Tour
Offbeat tour of Darjeeling, ‘Queen of the Hills’ is an enduring hill station in the State of West Bengal. Bejewelled by snow-capped mountains, lush green landscapes, a gushing waterfall, spectacular sunrise views, flowing river streams, rich flora & fauna, Darjeeling has it all. However, there are many places near Darjeeling, which are less well known to many nature lovers.
Here is a list of 7 offbeat places in the Darjeeling you must explore :
Kurseong -Land of the White Orchids
Also known as the ‘Land of White Orchids’, Kurseong is a small town near Darjeeling. It is famous for waterfalls, temples and Buddhist gompas with the beautiful view offered by the area. Located on the Siliguri-Darjeeling highway, Kurseong is a quiet hill town. Kurseong enjoys a mild and pleasant climate for most of the year. Kurseong, the ‘Land of White Orchids’, gets its name from the abundant flowers found on its hilly slopes. It is hard to miss the view of the tea gardens, the lush green forests, and the snowcapped mountains. At sunset, you can see a combination of beautiful colours in the sky. You can also see the remnants of the British in the form of churches and schools in the city. This small mountain town makes it a major tourist attraction looking for a more peaceful alternative than Darjeeling.
How To Reach Kurseong ?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Arrive at the town by road or take a toy train to Kurseong. Later a cab to the hill town.
Best Time To Visit Kurseong?
March to June and September to December is the best time to visit Kurseong.
What you can see in Kurseong?
Beautiful scenic tea gardens against foggy mountains in the backdrop
- Just relax or wander around town, tea gardens or parks. Enjoy the cool mountain breeze. The city is small, clean, and not crowded.
- You can walk to Eagle’s Crag (Durpin Dhara) or walk (or take a taxi) to Deer’s Park. Eagles Crag offers a broad view of Kurseong Town and the plains of Siliguri. You can see the Himalayan peaks in their golden sunrise.
- Take a trip to the Balason River, take local advice if you try this.
- Forest Museum.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum at Kurseong railway station.
- You can walk this beautiful trail
Lamahatta – An Alternative Darjeeling Offbeat Tour
Lamahatta is a beautiful village 23km from Darjeeling. To show off the magnificent views of the peaks, rivers and dune forests. Lamahatta Eco Park was created in 2012. Lamahatta means Hermitage’s Monk and therefore, this place promises a place that sounds as peaceful as a monastery. A perfect balance between nature and man. At an altitude of 5,700 ft, this eco-park has a lot to offer.
The eco-park has wooden & bamboo gazebos that overlook the beauty of Lamahatta. A man-made garden, known as the ‘Roadside Garden’, blooms a variety of plants from time to time including white and yellow orchids. There are also many homestays around the area.
How To Reach Lamahatta?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Arrive at the village by road to Jorebungalow near Ghoom Railway Station and to Lamahatta or by road through Teesta on NH 10 via Lopchu and Peshok.
Best Time To Visit Lamahatta ?
November-March As Winter is considered the best time to visit Lamahatta as the flowers bloom during this time.
What you can see in Lamahatta on Darjeeling Offbeat Tour ?
One of the most fascinating attractions of Lamahatta is the newly constructed Roadside Garden covered by Dhupi and Pines. A garden decorated with various seasonal flowers and varieties of Orchids. The viewing tower is the main attraction of the garden from where you can have a panoramic view of Kanchendzonga, Sikkim Hills, Testa and Rangit river.
- A short nature trail leading to a small lake at the top of the hill.
- The Jungle trek about 8 km from Lamahatta to Takdah via pine forest
- About 3 km hike to Gori Dora – an old castle at the top of a hill.
- Hiking to Tea Estates will be a memorable experience. Some of the most popular tea estates include Glenburn Tea Estate, Rongli Tea Estate, Takdha Tea Estate etc.
- You can also take a 2 km hike to visit the smallest and oldest monastery and from there the shortest route to Tuti Dara, a beautiful viewpoint of the Lamahatta.
Lepchajagat is a small village near Darjeeling that has been a tourist attraction in the past. The village is located 14 km from Darjeeling town.
Lepchajagat’s main attraction is its view of the Kanchenjunga range and the town of Darjeeling. The surroundings are very peaceful and are ideal for tourists who like to explore the less-visited area. But thanks to the proximity of the city of Darjeeling, you can easily explore the Darjeeling area but stay away from the bustling city of Darjeeling and enjoy nature in its purest form.
How To Reach Lepchajagat ?
Best Time To Visit Lepchajagat ?
Lepchajagat is a year-round destination to be visited, however, the months starting from October to April is seen as the best time to visit the place to enjoy the beauty of the place.
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Arrive at the Lepchajagat by road to Mirik which is about 30 km away or Ghoom is only 8 km away and to Lepchajagat.
What you can see in Lepchajagat on Darjeeling Offbeat Tour ?
Navigating nature with a wildlife company, many birds, a mountain beach and a silver-plated Kanchenjunga can be a daunting task in Lepchajagat. In addition to the magnificent and spectacular views of the mountains, visitors will also find great joy in the dense forests in the region. Visitors will be thrilled to cross the beautiful pine, oak and rhododendron forests dotted with. Lepchajagat not only offer beautiful places to hike, or camp, but also fresh, un-spoilt air, captions of flying birds as well as the beauty of fully bloomed flowers and lush vegetation of coniferous trees, the forests of Lepchajagat are an attractive destination for all nature lovers.
Watch the amazing sunset from the Hawa Ghar of Lepchajagat and spellbind and be delight by its beauty. Lepchajagat is a paradise for those who wish to experience solitude and enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature.
A small but beautiful village away from the main city, Tinchuley is known for its tea gardens, orchards, dense rivers of the Teesta and Ranjeet, and spectacular views of the Himalayas. One can absorb the natural beauty that is so abundant in this village.
From its foggy climate to spectacular sunsets and unspoiled wildlife trails to the forest, Tinchuley is a paradise for nature lovers. If you are looking for a peaceful weekend, then Tinchuley is your best option.
It is less explored because of its distance from Darjeeling and yet it is one of the most beautiful places to see in Darjeeling.
How To Reach Tinchuley ?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Take a direct car to Tinchuley or you can take a car to Darjeeling and to Tinchuley (32 km)
Best Time To Visit Tinchuley ?
Tinchuley can be visited at any time of the year. The best time to visit Tinchuley is the months of October to April as this time of the year the weather remains clear and you can get the best views of the village.
What you can see in Tinchuley on Darjeeling Offbeat Tour ?
- The main attraction of Tinchuley is the peace and tranquility around it, you can walk among the many pine and oak trees in abundance in the area.
- Meditation amidst the serene hills.
- The sunrise point is a great place to watch the sunrise in the morning. Also, the mountain offers a magnificent view of the range of the East Himalayan mountains. Next to the view is the Tinchuley Monastery which is also worth a visit.
Sittong- The Orange village
Sittong is one of the most impressive settlements on the banks of the Riyang River and is surrounded by lush and fruitful gardens inhabited mostly by Lepchas. It is an Offbeat Destination in Darjeeling for travellers. So, if you are planning a weekend holiday to refresh your mind then you can visit this place to escape the summer heat of the plains
Sittong is also known as “Orange Village” because of the orange orchards that are spread over a large area. It is still one of the most untouched and unexplored places in North Bengal with rampant tourism yet to be discovered.
How To Reach Sittong ?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Take a direct car to Sittong or you can take a car to Kurseong and to Sittong (30 km) similarly distance from Darjeeling is 33 km to Sittong.
Best Time To Visit Sittong ?
The winter season is the best time to visit Sittong is especially from mid-September to January. You can enjoy a spectacular view of the hills and see orchards full of Oranges during this time.
Best things to see and do in Sittong on Darjeeling Offbeat Tour ?
- The best thing you can do in Sittong just admires the beauty of nature with laziness. Just spent a quiet and peaceful day here without thinking and stress and wander the roads of the countryside, sitting on the banks of the Riyang River listening to the chirping birds.
- Bird watching in Sittong – This area is very famous for birds, many species of birds can be found here. Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is also close to the now-famous Latpanchar birding hotspot. All the birds that can be seen in Latpanchar including the Rufus nest and the locked hornbill can also be seen in Sittong.
- Hiking or soft Adventures – There are many soft adventure opportunities around Sitong including hiking and camping. You can walk for an hour to reach the top of the hill, the highest point in the Selphu – Sittong – Latpanchar area, from here you can have a panoramic 360-degree view of Dooars, Terai, Kurseong, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim hill, part of Bhutan and Nepal can also be seen from here. You can also have a great view of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
- Other attractions include a 100-year old Bamboo church, Steel Bridge at Jogighat which connects two villages Mungpoo and Sittong. There is a very old Monastery at the Upper Sittong area made mostly of Bamboo and Mud.
Mirik is a beautiful hill town located in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, serene lakes, and pleasant weather. Mirik offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and peace seekers.
Places to Visit in Mirik
The heart of Mirik’s tourism, Sumendu Lake is a man-made lake surrounded by lush green hills, pine trees, and colorful gardens. Boating on the lake is a popular activity, and you can choose from paddleboats, rowboats, and shikaras. The lake also has a floating fountain and a well-maintained walking path around its periphery.
Situated atop a hill, Bokar Monastery is a significant Buddhist monastery in Mirik. The tranquil atmosphere and stunning views from the monastery make it a peaceful place for meditation and introspection. Visitors can explore the monastery’s prayer halls, interact with monks, and learn about Tibetan Buddhist practices.
Tingling Viewpoint: For breathtaking panoramic views of Mirik and the surrounding Himalayan ranges, Tingling Viewpoint is a must-visit spot. It offers a mesmerizing vista of the mountains, tea gardens, and the town nestled amidst the hills. Sunrise and sunset views from this viewpoint are particularly captivating.
Mirik is renowned for its abundant orange orchards, and a visit to one of these orchards is highly recommended. You can take a walk through the fragrant orchards, taste freshly plucked oranges, and purchase organic produce. The orange harvest season, typically between December and February, is an ideal time to experience the orchards in full bloom.
The region surrounding Mirik is dotted with tea gardens, and a visit to one of these estates offers a glimpse into the region’s tea industry. You can witness the tea-plucking process, interact with tea garden workers, and learn about the tea-making process. The picturesque landscapes of tea gardens provide ample opportunities for photography and leisurely walks.
Rai Dhap is a beautiful viewpoint located a short distance from Mirik town. It offers panoramic views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range, tea gardens, and the valley below. The viewpoint is an excellent spot for nature enthusiasts, birdwatching, and enjoying the serene ambiance.
Situated on the India-Nepal border, Pashupati Nagar is an intriguing cross-border destination. It attracts visitors who want to experience a slice of Nepalese culture, explore the local market, and indulge in shopping for clothes, handicrafts, and other goods.
Located near Mirik, Rameetay Dara is a hilltop offering breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset. It is a serene spot with a peaceful ambiance, making it an ideal place for meditation and relaxation.
The Donbosco Church is a prominent religious site in Mirik, known for its architectural beauty and peaceful surroundings. Visitors can attend mass, admire the stunning stained glass windows, and explore the church’s peaceful premises.
Mirik Bazaar is the main market area of the town, bustling with activity. It offers a range of shops selling local handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs. You can also savor local delicacies and taste freshly brewed tea in the tea stalls and small eateries.
Best Time to Visit Mirik
The best time to visit Mirik is during the spring and autumn seasons, from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant with mild temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The summer months provide relief from the scorching heat of the plains, while the autumn season offers clear skies and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Things to Do in Mirik
There are several exciting activities to enjoy during your visit to Mirik. Here are some of the top things to do in Mirik:
- Boating on Sumendu Lake: Take a boat ride on the serene Sumendu Lake, surrounded by beautiful hills and gardens. Enjoy the calm waters as you paddle or row around the lake, taking in the picturesque scenery.
- Visit Bokar Monastery: Explore the peaceful Bokar Monastery, a significant Buddhist monastery in Mirik. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere, witness the prayer rituals, and learn about Tibetan Buddhist culture and practices.
- Enjoy Sunrise/Sunset at Tingling Viewpoint: Head to Tingling Viewpoint and witness the breathtaking sunrise or sunset views over the hills and tea gardens of Mirik. The changing colors of the sky and the panoramic vistas make it a memorable experience.
- Explore Tea Gardens: Mirik is surrounded by lush tea gardens. Take a stroll through one of the estates, learn about tea cultivation, and enjoy the fresh aroma of tea leaves. Some tea gardens offer guided tours where you can witness the tea-making process.
- Walk around Orange Orchards: Mirik is famous for its orange orchards. Take a leisurely walk through these fragrant orchards, especially during the orange harvest season, and enjoy the sight of ripe oranges hanging from the trees.
- Trekking and Nature Walks: Mirik and its surroundings offer excellent opportunities for trekking and nature walks. Explore the nearby trails, forests, and hills, and discover the region’s natural beauty while enjoying the fresh mountain air.
- Birdwatching: Mirik is a paradise for birdwatchers. With its diverse flora and fauna, you can spot various bird species. Grab your binoculars and venture into the forests and tea gardens to catch glimpses of colorful and exotic birds.
- Visit Pashupati Nagar: Located near the Indo-Nepal border, Pashupati Nagar is a bustling market town. Cross the border and explore the local market, browse through shops selling clothes, handicrafts, and other items, and experience the blend of Indian and Nepalese cultures.
- Relax in Mirik Bazaar: Spend some time exploring Mirik Bazaar, the main market area of the town. Indulge in shopping for souvenirs, traditional clothing, and local handicrafts. Don’t forget to try the local street food and sample a cup of Darjeeling tea.
- Enjoy Local Festivals: If you visit Mirik during festivals like Losar (Tibetan New Year) or Tihar (Nepali festival of lights), you can witness vibrant cultural performances, traditional dances, and music. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions.
These activities will ensure a memorable and enjoyable time in Mirik, allowing you to experience the town’s natural beauty, cultural heritage, and tranquility.
Bara Mangwa & Chota Mangwa
Bara Mangwa village is gaining popularity as a quiet tourist destination. The mountain slope, famous for Orange Orchard, Bara Mangwa sits atop Darjeeling Hills in the Testa Valley, with a beautiful view of the junction of Testa with Rangeet Rivers on one side and the Kalimpong Hills on the other.
At a distance of about 30 minutes from Bara Mangwa, there is Chota Mangwa, an eco-Tourism village, where farmers mainly practice organic farming. The entire village covers with an orange hue during the flowering season from October to February due to the wide range of orange cultivation. Apart from oranges, lemons are also grown in Chota Mangwa.
How to Reach Bara Mangwa & Chota Mangwa ?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Take a direct car to Bara Mangwa via NH10 or you can take a car to Darjeeling and to Bara Mangwa (35 km). Chota Mangwa is about 25 minutes drive from Bara Mangwa.
Best Time To Visit Bara Mangwa & Chota Mangwa ?
You can visit any time of the year but late October to Early December is the best time to Bara Mangwa & Chota Mangwa.
Best things to see and do on Darjeeling Offbeat Tour ?
Orange orchards in Bara Mangwa will keep you entertained for a long time. Viewing the various species of Himalayan birds is popular with tourists. Hiking and rock climbing are quite famous here besides the rafting river in the Teesta river. Visitors can also engage themselves in fishing and angling in the Teesta river. The locally-run Yoga and Martial Arts Center is a must-see in Bara Mangwa.
Be sure to visit the oldest palace in Takling, Chota Mangwa besides enjoying walking in the orange orchard and treat yourself with fresh oranges with the farmers’ permission. You can also visit the beautiful Runglee Rungliot Tea estate in Takdah.
Chatakpur Eco Village
The village of Chatakpur is located in the Senchal Wild Life Sanctuary in the Darjeeling district. This is an Ecovillage at an altitude of 7887 feet when the weather is clear Mt.Kanchenjunga can be clearly seen from Chatakpur. An eco-village managed by the Department of Forestry in partnership with the village cooperative has eco-friendly cottages to stay. This place offers a beautiful view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, lush green, forest trails and wooden huts and in short, Chatakpur is an ideal place for those looking for peace and tranquillity in the Himalayas. A paradise for bird watchers Chatakpur offers a wonderful holiday experience in the peace and warmth of nature.
How to Reach Chatakpur ?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) while the closest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP). Take a direct car to Chatakpur, located at a distance of around 16 kilometres from Jorebungalow that lies on Siliguri-Darjeeling Road. You need to go through Hill Cart Road and enter the jungle trail to reach Chatakpur.
Best time to visit Chatakpur ?
You can visit to Chatakpur all year round except for the monsoon season (July to mid-September) when the eco-cottages remain shut. The winter months of November to February can be extremely cold. Make sure to pack enough winter clothes for your trip to Chatakpur.
Best things to see and do in Chatakpur on Darjeeling Offbeat Tour ?
- Sunrise Trek to Tiger Hill is probably one of the top things you can do in Chatakpur, This famous 5 am trip is just 10 minutes from the Chatakpur here. One can have a very good and close view of Kanchenjunga’s range from this offbeat Chatakpur village. Sunset view is also a lifelong experience from here.
- Likewise, you can take a soft trek to the dense jungles 200 meters away from the eco-cottages here. About a mile from here in the dense jungle there is a small pond that is considered sacred by the local people.
- This area is also ideal for bird watching. If you decide to visit this place, be sure to take a local person or guide with you. As the jungle road may be confusing.
These offbeat places in Darjeeling are so quiet that most people may not have come across their names in popular travel brochures. These make for a rewarding trip especially if you have already visited the popular tourist attractions and looking for places to visit which are less explored. If you wish to visit these places, you can take up one customized tours by Get Set Go Tours and head on your next adventure.