Beautiful virgin forests, snow-clad mountains and scenic views all around you. If this sounds like a description of some beautiful town in North India, then you are in for a surprise. While very few places are known for experiencing snowfall in India apart from the North, tourists wanting to escape the crowds will be thrilled to know about this hamlet in West Bengal.
Lava, in West Bengal is located on the foothills of the Himalayas at an altitude of 7000 ft. Situated at a distance of approx. 34 km. from Kalimpong, it is one of the very places in West Bengal to receive snowfall.
A heaven for nature lovers, it is known to be more of a destination to relax and experience utmost calmness than a tourist attraction.
With views of the mighty Kanchenjunga, this offbeat destination offers a chance to catch some breathtaking scenic views. You can see the other nearby snow peaks such as Mt Siniolchu, Jelep La Pass, and Rechila Pass as well.
It is also known as a gateway to the Neora Valley National Park which is bordered between Sikkim and Bhutan. This also makes it a delight for bird watchers and adventure enthusiasts. From scenic treks to rare orchards and a valley filled with greenery, Lava will amaze you with its beauty.
Things to do
While trekking and watching the beautiful sunrise over the peaks of Kanchenjunga are the most popular things to do here, it also has a list of attractions which should not be missed while on your visit here. The famous Lava Monastery situated besides the Neora Reservoir lake is a famous tourist attraction for its architecture and beauty. The Rachela Pass, Rimbik, Samthar plateau and Rishop are popular for their trekking routes which take you through exotic forests and snowy mountains.
The Neora Valley National Park is an offbeat attraction with many unexplored routes and forests so thick that in most areas sunlight also cannot pass through. The best way to explore this small town is by pitching a tent along the hill side and enjoying the sunset.
Best time to visit
Although October-April is an ideal time to visit Lava, to witness the snowfall December-January would be perfect.
There are limited options for stay. However, Hotel Orchid and Dreamland Lava are amongst the few popular ones in the area. The tariff in most places can be from 900-1700 per night on twin sharing.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport is at Bagdogra (115 km.) and Sikkim (113 km.) which are well connected to all major metros in India.
By Train: The nearest railway stations are in New Jalpaiguri (105 km.) and Siliguri (100 km.) which are connected with trains from all major cities and operate daily or bi-weekly.
By Road: From Siliguri (100 km.) via NH-31 you can easily reach Kalimpong which is close to Lava(34 km.)
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