West Bengal is the only state of India which literally offers an Ocean to Sky travel experience within her own state territory.
Geography of West Bengal is diverse, consisting of high peaks of Himalaya in the northern extremes to coastal regions down south, with regions such as plateau and Ganges delta intervening in between. Alike the geographical variation the state s population too is a potpourri of different racial strains the predominant element being the proto-Australoid in varying proportions.
West Bengal is the land of Tagore , the base of art and culture.The forests are the haven for one horned rhinos,Royal Bengal tigers and endemic birds. Champagne of Tea –the famous Darjeeling tea is produced here.
Suggested Itinerary Darjeeling
Kalimpong is a hill station in the Mahabharat Range (or Lesser Himalaya). It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft). The town is the headquarters of the Kalimpong subdivision, a part of the District of Darjeeling. The Indian Army’s 27 Mountain Division is also located on the outskirts of the town. Kalimpong is renowned for its educational institutions many of which date back to the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway for trade between Tibet and India prior to China’s annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. Kalimpong and neighbouring Darjeeling were major centres calling for a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s.There has been a Rotary club in Kalimpong since 1993.
Kalimpong, located on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River, is a tourist destination owing to its temperate climate and proximity to popular tourist locations in the region. Horticulture is also important to Kalimpong: it has a flower market notable for its wide array of orchids. Nurseries, which export Himalayan grown flower bulbs, tubers and rhizomes, contribute to the economy of Kalimpong. Home to ethnic Nepalis, indigenous ethnic groups and non-native migrants from other parts of India, the town also is a religious centre of Buddhism. The Buddhist monastery Zang Dhok Palri Phodang holds a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.
Sandakphu, situated at a height of 3636 m above sea level, might not be famous for any tourist destinations, but is a true paradise for all adventure lovers. Trek to the highest point on this hill station and you will get the never seen before views of the Himalayan Range. A long stretch of Himalayas starting from Bhutan till Mt. Everest is visible. River Teesta flows through Sandakphu at quite a pace. The thundering River Teesta also offers a great option for adventure sports especially river rafting. Sandakphu is the only place in the world where you will find a Rhododendron and Silver fir forests. To reach Sandakphu, one has to nearly trek for 12 hrs from Maneybhanjan, which is the gateway to Sandakphu. You can also hire a Landrover from Maneybhanjan.
Darjeeling conjures visions of snow peaks, serenity of vibrant green hills steeped in splendour, a land of breathtaking beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas. Darjeeling is one of the most magnificent hill resorts in the world. This heavenly retreat is bathed in hues of every shade. Flaming red rhododendrons, sparkling white magnolias, miles of undulating hillsides covered with emerald green tea bushes, the exotic forests of silver fir – all under the blanket of a brilliant azure sky dappled with specks of clouds, compellingly confounds Darjeeling as the QUEEN OF HILL STATIONS. The crest of Kanchenjunga shining in the first dawn light truly supports the title.
Darjeeling beckons thousands today for a leisurely respite from the bustle of the madding crowd. The traveller – whether a tourist or a trekker, an ornithologist or a photographer, a botanist or an artist – will find in Darjeeling an experience which will remain etched in the memory – forever.
Lava – Lolegaon
Lava is situated at an altitude of 7200 feet, it is famous for its proximity to the Neora Valley National Park and its beautiful view of the Jelep La and Rechi La passes. Lava is about 32 km east of Kalimpong. Oak and fir trees welcome the visitor at Lava. Lava is also known for its leaches. During the rainy season, vegetation around the place gets covered with leaches.
Common tourist places around Lava include Ratnarishi Gumpha, Neora Lake, Silviculture Research Centre, and Chhangey falls. Treks to the Neora valley starts from Lava. Apart from long treks across the valley, small treks are also possible in the region. Common treks include trek to Tiffin Dara, Aluabari etc. The small town is located at a distance of 12 km from Lava at an altitude of 5,500 ft. A spectacular view of the Himalayan snow will take you to a different world. Loleygaon offers panoramic view of the Kanchenjunga.
Mirik-a nest in the hills is West Bengal’s one of the famous hill resort at an altitude of 1767 metres with its own special charm. It is 49 kms from Darjeeling and 52 km from Siliguri. The 1.25 km “Long Lake” is fed by perennial streams. A floating fountain in the middle of the lake is a joy forever and very often, you may find the glory of Kanchenjunga reflected in the lake waters. A rich forest with thousands of Cryptomaria-Japanica trees clothes the slopes on the west. A 3.5 km zigzag foot walk takes you along the lake – a sleek footbridge connects the garden on the east with the woods on the west. Alone or with company, you are sure to enjoy a boat-ride in the lake.
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