Samsing - Mouchaki

Tripoto
23rd Dec 2018

Panoramic View of the Valley from Mouchaki

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma
Day 1

If you love the serenity of the mountain, this is the place. Located 2 km further from the popular Samsing joint, the place is called Mouchaki. There lies the beautiful Neora Valley along with the Murti River and Gorumara National Park.

Samsing

Located on the Eastern foothills of the Himalayas, Samsing is a quaint hamlet. The Village in Darjeeling is a tranquil locality with wide stretches of tea gardens and orange orchards, ideal for nature lovers. Endowed with a pictorial panorama of daunting hills and dense forests it has been an offbeat destination of Dooars region. Samsing has an aura of peace and serenity since it is still untainted by the modernized society. It is also the gateway towards the famous Neora Valley National Park, one of the richest biological zones in the entire Northeast. It is situated at the southeastern peripheries of Neora Valley National Park surrounded by hills. Located at an elevation of 3000ft and at a distance of 17kms from Chalsa, Samsing offers a wonderful view of the national park. If you are looking for panoramic valley views, scenic mountain ranges, stretches of tea gardens, lush forested landscapes, and all in quiet solitude then it is preferable to stay overnight at Samsing. You can see plenty of orange orchards as you walk through the villages in Samsing. November to mid-December is a good time to visit if you want to see the orchards full of oranges.

Road to Samsing

Photo of Mouchuki Forest Bungalow, Samsing Khasmahal, West Bengal, India by Anirban Sharma

Khasmahal is known for its orange orchards which covers the entire area in a golden hue during winter or the harvesting season. After crossing the Khasmahal, the first glimpse of river Murti backed with the green meandering river stream is mesmerizing.

The forest encompassing Samsing harbors a number of exquisite birds making it the paradise for the bird watchers. Some of the species found here include greater racket-tailed drongo, grey nightjar, and Black-chinned Yuhinas.

Road to Samsing through Dense Forest

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

Mouchaki

A 6km uphill route leads to a virgin place Mouchaki (however in Google it is mentioned as Mouchuki). It is a much less populated place to enjoy the panorama of the green and the mountains around. Nature and tranquility confluence here. A trekking route passes through here all the way to Lava via the Lechela Pass cutting through the dense greenery of Neora Valley National Park. The Uphill trek can get very strenuous. However, it is much easier to trek downhill from the other end as the path is mostly downwards.

Located in the lap of the Himalaya, Mouchaki is the perfect safe haven for any romantic person who wishes to spend some quality time enjoying the pristine nature. The surreal panorama together with the pleasant weather has lured travelers. Apart from the view of the valley, it also harbors the route for a few popular places of the Dooars region.

Sunset from Mouchaki

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

Latitude 27° 1' 37.002'' N

Longitude 88° 47' 10.4928'' E

Night sky from Mouchaki

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

How to Reach

The journey towards picturesque Samsing is filled with awe-inspiring sights. Throughout the journey to Samsing you can’t take off your eyes from the landscape around as the road passes through the picturesque tea garden on the slow uphill. To reach Samsing one has to go via Chalsa (7kms from Murti and 20kms from Lataguri). From Chalsa take a left turn and drive on to reach Matelli or Meteli. Finally, drive for another few km from Meteli leads to the Samsing Chowk which is the main hub of Samsing.

The distance of 82 km from Siliguri to Samsing, can be covered in 3-4 hours. There are two options one through the Sevok river another via the main road. Plenty of private cars available at Siliguri, however, shared car (as in the case of Darjeeling or Gangtok) is not readily available. As you enter Dooars through the National Highway 31, you will cross Malbazar to reach Chalsa. Few buses are there (J-9 etc) to reach Chalsa and then the vehicle to Samsing Chowk.

There are several shops & eateries at the Chowk and the forest check post is nearby. The road is relatively narrow but there are few vehicles traveling through this route as the road ends at Samsing. The last phase of the journey is a feast for a nature lover.

Lodging

We stayed at the Mouchaki Camp or the Mouchaki Forest Bungalow through online booking at West Bengal State Forest Development Agency. The Charge was INR 3200 per room per night, with two guests. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner were included. For snacks, extra charges are to be paid. The menu for breakfast was Puri & Sabji. Egg curry and Chicken curry were served during lunch and dinner respectively along with sabji, dal, roti and rice. The quantity was sufficient and taste & hygiene were better than expected at those remote places.

Mouchaki Forest Camp

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

This lodge is located next to the forest check post at Samsing at Mouchaki. Earlier visitors had to trek up to Mouchaki, presently the cars can travel except for monsoon. However private vehicle was not allowed there unless you booked the lodge. The remaining option is to hire a local vehicle operated by the local syndicate from the hub area. Unfortunately, this is obligatory on the tourists by the syndicate only to earn quick cash.

View from Camp

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

At the entrance of Samsing, the first village is Tea Garden labour line. Not much accommodation options are available here. Near Suntalekhola, there are few decent homestays available which provide basic accommodation. About 4 km ahead at Suntalekhola there is a WB Forest Department tourist cottages. The WBFDC lodge in a lush garden setting offers nature stay amidst dense forest On the banks of River Murti, at Rocky Island, there are a few small eco-resorts and home stays. These places also offer basic amenities but are advantageous especially for groups interested in light-adventure activities.

Local Sightseeing

In and around Samsing there are several scenic spots to visit. One such place is Lali Guras which is a popular picnic spot because of its beautiful setting. It's a valley where you can see Murti river flowing through the bed of rocks and mountains towering from its banks. The river Murti originates from the hills of Neora Valley and passes through the plains of Samsing and goes all the way and meets Jaldhaka river at Gorumara. The motorable road takes you to one side of Lali Guras valley where you can enjoy the wonderful view. Go early in the morning to avoid tourist rush.

Rocky Island

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

“Suntalekhola is where many tourists stay overnight. The place is about four kilometers further up the road from Samsing. The road ends here close to a small stream named Suntale Khola (`Suntaley` = Orange and `Khola` = Stream). There are WBFDC cottages and a bicameral bungalow. You have to walk over a small hanging bridge to reach the WBFDC forest resort here.”

Hanging Bridge at Suntalekhola

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

“There is a lovely viewpoint locally known as the Samsing View Point. From a roadside point, you can view a long stretch of meandering Murti river flowing below through a valley with hills rising from its banks. The lush vegetation on the slope of the hills makes them look like a green carpet. On the other side of the road is the sprawling tea garden full of green tea bushes ... a wonderful sight.”

Panorama from Samsing View Point

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

“Next to Suntalekhola is the small picturesque village of Faribasti. The village has about 50 households and is very well maintained. Flower gardens are common in almost all households. Some of the households have started homestay for tourists with active support from nature beyond. You can walk through the village and its paddy land.”

‘Another attractive tourist spot is the `Rocky island nature resort` on the banks of river Murti. This is about 2 km from Samsing. The view of the river and surrounding forests are excellent from Rocky Island but tourist amenities are basic.’

Murti River

Photo of Samsing - Mouchaki by Anirban Sharma

Best time to visit Samsing

The beauty of Samsing can be relished throughout the year but if you want to witness the sleepy hamlet Khasmahal of Samsing glazed with the orange hue the best time to visit Samsing is during October. In the monsoon, the valley mesmerizes with lush emerald green panorama, however the road is lil riskier than rest of the year.

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