Rangaroon –an offbeat alternative to Darjeeling

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Rangaroon, an offbeat alternative to Darjeeling

Photo of Rangaroon –an offbeat alternative to Darjeeling by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

A naturally beautiful and peaceful mountain hamlet with a gorgeous view of the Kanchenjunga ranges is all that you need for a weekend vacation. Rangaroon is one such place where you simply get immersed in the beauty and simplicity of the place. And with the view of the Darjeeling town along with the Kanchenjunga ranges is an added bonus.

Darjeeling Town and Kanchenjunga Ranges together

Photo of Rangaroong Tea Garden, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Rangaroon stands at the foothills of the famous Tiger Hills near Darjeeling. It serves as an excellent offbeat alternative to the more crowded Darjeeling. When we talk about Darjeeling, how can we not mention about tea gardens? Rangaroon has some of the best tea gardens of the Darjeeling Hills.

The Tea Gardens overlooking the valley

Photo of Rangaroong Tea Garden, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

This hamlet is situated at an altitude of 6000 ft and thus the weather makes it a perfect place for tea gardens. Infact, the tea estates here were built during the British period. The Rangaroon Tea Estate was established in 1776 by Lord Adlain Ashley, the Governor of Bengal. The British colonist especially chose this place because of its climate. They were very fond of Rangaroon tea and experimented with the varieties of tea grown here. They were very particular about producing better quality of tea grown and brewed here. Presently, Rangaroon has some of the best tea gardens of Darjeeling hills over an area of about 90 hectares.

The vast stretches of Tea Gardens

Photo of Rangaroong Tea Garden, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

The village is an absolutely delightful place. With vast stretches of tea gardens at your disposal, you can simply take a walk among the tea gardens. There is a mountain river flowing through the village. The River Rungdong takes a turn towards the valley below at Rangaroon. The villagers too have understood the importance of eco-tourism. They keep the village clean and do not allow anyone to litter. They are well aware of organic farming and grow vegetable at their farms. So at Rangaroon, you can have the best of fresh and organic food.

Things to do at Rangaroon

Visit the tea gardens and the abandoned tea factory

You can simply take a walk along the vast green tea gardens. Watch the locals pluck tea leaves. You can yourself experience the same by plucking a few.

Since Rangaroon was once the hub of tea processing during the British time, there is a 18th century old tea factory here. It has some very unique equipment for tea processing. The factory is now owned by the Ambootia group. Unfortunately, the tea factory is now closed down and has a deserted look. The tea processing has been shifted to places near Darjeeling because of high cost of production here.

Abandoned Tea factory

Photo of Rangaroong Tea Garden, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Visit the Old Bungalow

Witness the grandeur of British architecture by visiting the Old colonial bungalow. It was built by a German native, Frederic von Frostmann between 1860-1870. The bungalow has been renovated a number of times, but the original structure remains the same. You can get a view of the British architectural styles, a collection of old and rare paintings and the well manicured garden.

Trek to the Tiger Hills

Since the village is just at the foothills of the Tiger Hills, there is a trek route to the Tiger hill. Tiger Hill is famous for the magnificent sunrise. Alternatively, you can also take a cab to the Tiger Hill before dawn to get a panoramic view of the sunrise over the snow clad peaks of Kanchenjunga and Everest.

Go for a picnic to the Rungdung River

You can trek down towards the Rungdong River bed and have a late afternoon picnic. It is a 4 km trek either way. Simply enjoy the solitude of the place as you see the river flow with all its might.

View of the Rung Dung Khola

Photo of Rung Dung Khola, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Visit the Temple

There is a temple that can be reached by a short hike uphill. Mata Singha Temple is quite revered here. During the Baisakhi Purnima, villagers from Rangaroon as well as nearby villages gather here to offer prayers.

Mata Singha Temple

Photo of Rangaroon –an offbeat alternative to Darjeeling by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Birding

Rangaroon is a haven for bird watchers and ornithologists. The place boasts of around 50 species very beautiful Himalayan bird species like the Niltava, minivets, spotted eagles, drongos and many more.

Birds of Rangaroon

Photo of Rangaroon –an offbeat alternative to Darjeeling by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Darjeeling

Those who want to avoid the Darjeeling crowd can stay at Rangaroon and yet get all the taste of Darjeeling tour. You can easily make a day trip to Darjeeling and visit all the places of attraction. Visit the Darjeeling Zoo, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Japanese Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling Mall and other places of interest. You can also take a visit to the Ghoom Monastery and the railway Museum at Ghoom Station.

Stay At:

There is only one homestay at Rangaroon. – Khaling Cottage Homestay. It is a very beautiful homestay having 4 rooms in total. The hosts are really friendly and go all out to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Their motto is "Come as guests, Leave as family". And the will really become your family after your stay.

Khaling Cottage

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

How to Reach:

By Air: Bagdogra is the nearest airport. From Bagdogra, you have to come to Siliguri town and from there you will get various options to travel to Rangaroon.

By Train: New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest Railway head. From NJP, you will get shared as well as private vehicles.

By Road: Rangaroon is about 90 km from Siliguri town. From Siliguri, drive towards Darjeeling. Reach Jorebungalow and then take a right turn and drive till 3rd Mile. From 3rd Mile, it is a rough ride of about 4 km.

If you are taking a shared vehicle, you can get shared jeep and buses from Siliguri towards Darjeeling. You have to get down at Jorebungalow. From here, you have to reserve a car to get to Rangaroon.

Best Time to Visit:

Rangaroon is an all weather destination. Weather remains cool during the summer season. To get best views of the mountain ranges, it is recommended to visit during October to March.

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