Sneak into the remote side of Darjeeling, Tinchuley _ nature lover's paradise

Tripoto
3rd Mar 2018
Photo of Sneak into the remote side of Darjeeling, Tinchuley _ nature lover's paradise by Kasturi Mitra
Day 1

This is not a trip about same old Darjeeling and kalimpong. We planned just one month before and confirmed the train tickets first. Then four of us reached at NJP station on 3rd March,18 morning. Our driver Mr. Shyamal was there to take us to our destination.

The road from NJP to tinchuley is beautiful. Upto Siliguri mainly you go through the citylife, but after that the forest starts. We stopped at sevoke near the coronation bridge to have pictures of river teesta. 🏞️🚗

Teesta at sevoke

Photo of Sneak into the remote side of Darjeeling, Tinchuley _ nature lover's paradise by Kasturi Mitra

Serene teesta river

Photo of Sneak into the remote side of Darjeeling, Tinchuley _ nature lover's paradise by Kasturi Mitra

After sevoke the road divides into two, we took the road towards Darjeeling. Then we stopped at 2nd view point that is peshok tea garden, just around 5km from tinchuley. 

Tea garden from below, the small hut at the top offered us organic freshly made tea

Photo of Coronation Bridge Viewpoint, Sevoke, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Peshok tea garden

Photo of Coronation Bridge Viewpoint, Sevoke, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra


In no time we reached tinchuley, it's in Darjeeling district, 5800.ft above sea level. From NJP station to tinchuley it's around 2.30hr journey with no stop, we took around 4hrs. We stayed at nitesh homestay, run by Mr. Nitesh Tamang and his family. We received a warm welcome and in our 3days stay with them, just felt like home away home. ☕

Tinchuley means "tin chullas" or three ovens. There are 3 small peaks that surround tinchuley forest. Nearest market area is takdah cant. that is 3km from tinchuley. There are homestays in tinchuley or takdah. They can be booked online from their sites. Tinchuley is for nature lovers. It's  still not much touristy, you will not find fancy star category hotel. but the mountain,dense forest, orchids, orange orchards, tea garden and the people here will never disappoint you.

Tinchuley pine Forest, that make you feel lost in the woods.

Photo of Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Road towards heaven

Photo of Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Our homestay, small and cozy.

Photo of Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra
Day 2

We woke up at 6am and went for a morning walk towards takdah. The mountain scene morning sun, smell of forest, fresh air took us to another world. We went through beautiful houses, bunch of orchids, orange garden and many more. 🏵️🌲🍊

Cherry blossom at tinchuley

Photo of Takdah, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Orange garden, most of them were picked up before, we just saw the few leftovers.

Photo of Takdah, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Few of the orchids, lower left Camelia.

Photo of Takdah, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Sunshine on the shoulder

Photo of Takdah, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Pine flower

Photo of Takdah, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Amidst the nature

Photo of Takdah, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

after breakfast we headed towards kalimpong district,mainly lava. It takes around 3hr to reach lava. Lava is popular for it's dense pine Forest and old monastery. It's situated 7016 ft above the sea level. It's the entry point of neora valley national park. There are ample hotels and homestays in lava, one can also book a tent in the forest.

Lava monastery was built in 1987 and presently accommodates over 100 monks. The tranquility of the place will instantly make anyone calm and stress-free. I love travelling to Buddhist gomphas/monastery. These are very integral part of the Himalayas. No travel is complete without knowing the locals, their daily life and culture.

Lava monastery

Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Budhha inside the monastery

Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra
Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Prayer wheel

Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Towards lava monastery, few steps to be taken from the main road to reach.

Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Lash green tropical Forest

Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Effect of tourism. The red building is where the monks live.

Photo of Lava Monastery, Lava Road, Lava, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Our next destination was deolo. It's 5590 ft. above sea level, it's the highest peak of kalimpong. In bright clear days one can opt for a paragliding session from deolo peak. We missed it as it was a cloudy day( my pictures are describing 🙈) . One must try delicious hot pipping momo, thukpa,noodles at deolo veiw point.

We ended our day 2 with shopping at kalimpong market . Hill stations are great for buying woolens, they are very cheap and high in quality.  🛍️🧥

WB tourism hotel, deolo.

Photo of Deolo, Kalimpong, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Roadside Budhha statue enroute deolo

Photo of Deolo, Kalimpong, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra
Day 3

The day started with a morning visit to the tinchuley monastery. A monk is meditating there for 17 long yrs.

On 3rd day our 1st spot was lamhatta village, it's around 30min from tinchuley. It's now under state tourism development. We trekked on the top through the pine forest and ferns.

Tinchuley monastery

Photo of Lamahatta Farms, Lamahatta, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Starting point of the small trek

Photo of Lamahatta Farms, Lamahatta, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

A chapter from a ghost story

Photo of Lamahatta Farms, Lamahatta, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Lake at the top of lamhatta

Photo of Lamahatta Farms, Lamahatta, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Fern petal

Photo of Lamahatta Farms, Lamahatta, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

From lamhatta we further ascend to ghoom. It's the highest railway station in India at 7407 ft. One can have the joyride in toy train from Siliguri/ kurseong only with prior booking.

Foggy day at ghoom

Photo of Ghoom Railway Station, Ghoom, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Toy train, Darjeeling Himalayan railway

Photo of Ghoom Railway Station, Ghoom, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Ghoom station

Photo of Ghoom Railway Station, Ghoom, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Lepchajagat means the world of lepcha's. The name gives full justice to the beauty of the place. It's a world on it's own. It's only 19km from Darjeeling at an altitude of 6956 ft. It's away from any hustle bustle of the city, full of rhododendron,pine and oaks. In clear days, the view of mighty kanchenjungha will keep you spellbound. Wbtdc bunglow is the best and only place to stay here.

At Wbtdc bunglow

Photo of Lepcha Jagat, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

White rhododendron

Photo of Lepcha Jagat, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Red rhododendron

Photo of Lepcha Jagat, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

As a city resident and ardent nature lover I was in hangover. It was started pouring cats and dogs, visibility was very less, the road was risky. Finally we reached at Darjeeling via jorpokhri. We had our lunch at glenary's. It's the oldest and most popular restaurant at Darjeeling. I am not going to any detail of Darjeeling.

The name itself is enough

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Darjeeling municipality

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

it was the last night at our homestay, we came back early and had a wonderful dinner at Nitesh Ji's house.

Day 4

At our last day the mountain showered love upon us. After the previous day's rain it was a bright sunny morning, we could see the kanchenjungha range from the viewpoint.

Sunrise at tinchuley

Photo of Tinchuley Gumbadara Viewpoint, Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

It's a beautiful day

Photo of Tinchuley Gumbadara Viewpoint, Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

The golden hour

Photo of Tinchuley Gumbadara Viewpoint, Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

The sleeping budhha

Photo of Tinchuley Gumbadara Viewpoint, Tinchuley Lopchu Road, Tukdah Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

We started our journey towards NJP station and took a break here. It's a view point above the confluence of teesta and rangeet river.

Lover's meet view point

Photo of Lovers Meet View Point, Alipurduar Road, Teesta Valley Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Roadside tea garden, zigzag road

Photo of Lovers Meet View Point, Alipurduar Road, Teesta Valley Forest, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

We visited Nirmal's orange orchards. They take tourists to a tour of their garden, serve fresh orange juice, various jams,pickle , bamboo pickle is one of the famous. They harvest many medicinal plants, herbs,coffee, spices, fruits and vegetables.
The caretaker of the garden is such a wise man. He knows every  detail of every plant. I suggest everyone to spare an hour there.

That was a Pandora's box

Photo of Sneak into the remote side of Darjeeling, Tinchuley _ nature lover's paradise by Kasturi Mitra

On the way to Siliguri this is a new tourist spot for adventure lovers. At the confluence of teesta and rangeet, one can opt for river rafting, camping by the bank or fishing.

Crystal clear water

Photo of Teesta River Rafting, Tista Bazar, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Fishing at the bank

Photo of Teesta River Rafting, Tista Bazar, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Flowing Teesta

Photo of Teesta River Rafting, Tista Bazar, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

Clear winter morning scene

Photo of Teesta River Rafting, Tista Bazar, West Bengal, India by Kasturi Mitra

We reached at NJP station in the evening, bid goodbye to our guide Tamang ji and our pilot shyamal ji. With full of fresh air and a heavy heart we boarded our train to sealdah planning the next visit.

** Price of our homestay was 1500 per night per person including breakfast and dinner.
We had bread,butter,omlete ,tea for breakfast and rice/chapatti, dal, mixed veg,chicken curry for dinner and all were home cooked,fresh. The quality and amount of the food was more than enough we expected.
** 24hr geysser service was available. 
** We were provided double bedded rooms with clean bed, pillow and blankets.
** We traveled in a xylo and it costed around 9k, NJP to NJP including all sightseeing.
** Our total expenses for 3N/4D was 10k approx. per person.
** Any hill station have some water issues, so use them mindfully. It's best to have packaged water as hilly water doesn't suit to everyone.
** Mountains are our pride. We all should visit responsibly,say no to litter,help the locals to keep their abode clean.

*
#lastly I thank all of you who have patiently read it. It was my first travelogue here. And all the pictures were taken in my mobile phone, pardon me for this. I am willing to do better in further stories.

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