The very nickname ‘city of Joy’ describes Kolkata so well that even the international travelers do wish to be here out of interest. And you know it well that Kolkata really does have components to please its fans. But, the people who have been living here for long years might find all exciting elements to be pale and unappealing for the simple reason that they have seen enough of it. For them, the city has nothing but to offer noise, pollution, and crowd (as this is the case with almost every city resident). So, it is obvious that if you are in Kolkata for years or maybe decades, you would seek a break from dull city life. Therefore, in this Holi (festival of color) weekend I along with my family planned a short tour to lava lolegaon rishop for a break of the monotony of our daily routine life.
Holidays! Holidays! Holidays who does not wait for them? Holidays provide us an opportunity from our routine and facilitate us to refresh ourselves and return to work with revived energy.
They are not only meant for enjoying but also for following our hobbies and interests. During holidays we can live our life as we want. There are no rules for getting up in the morning and going to office, coming back home and having dinner. We are our own rulers as we manage our time consistent with our own want.
My tour itinerary of lava lolegaon rishop
DAY1- Reaching NJP. Then move to Lava. Post lunch Lava sightseeing.
DAY2-Lolegaon sightseeing and move to Rishyap.
DAY3-Morning visit to Changey falls and way back to NJP.
How we reached Lava
To reach Lava first of all you have to reach NJP (New Jalpaiguri). From Kolkata how to reach NJP that I have discussed in my several blog posts before. From NJP we reached Lava via Gorubathan. From New Jalpaiguri (NJP), the distance to Lava is about 115 kms via Gorubathan. It takes about 3.5 hours by car/jeep from NJP.
Early morning we got down from train at NJP rail station. There are plenty of vehicles of several sizes waiting just outside of the station. There are many tour operators also having their offices beside the parking area. Drivers and travel agents (dalals) are searching their prey (murga) with their hungry eyes. Here my advices (whether you accept or not that is up to you) are-
1. Discuss your plan with drivers (key in hands or in waist) not with travel agents.
2. Do not visit travel agent office in front of NJP station.
3. Do not book one vehicle for entire tour. You will get plenty of vehicles in all tourist location of Darjeeling and Gangtok as per you traveling requirement.
4. Moreover, every location in Darjeeling and Gangtok has their own syndicate with fixed vehicle rate chart.
5. Always bargain and start from 50% and end up to 30% discount.
6. Jeep type vehicles are preferable than small vehicles as most of the roads are not up to the mark.
7. Few names of drivers who are covering Darjeeling and Gangtok with their mobile numbers are given below-
Prabir Dey Sarkar 9434216917
From NJP to Lava (via Gajoldoba-Gorubathan) I booked one Bolero @ 3300 up to my Hotel. Driver started from Rs.4200.
Regarding Lava we should remember the nearest town is Kalimpong, which is 30 kms from Lava and takes around 1 hour by road from Lava. Nearest Rail Junction is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is about 115 km via Gorubathan and takes approximately 3.5 hours. Nearest airport is Bagdogra which is about 130 kms from Lava.
Near NJP we withdrew our required cash as our driver Dipak told that there is only one ATM and maximum time that remains out of service. We started around 8.30 am and reached Gajoldoba around 9am. We had our breakfast there. After crossing Gorubathan when our driver Dipak crossed Lava check post then the bumpy ride started. This bumpy ride continued up to Lava.
A journey of concerning one hundred fifteen kilometers via Gorubathan took us to lava, one of the most picturesque tourist destinations in the Darjeeling Himalayas. Lava is a tranquil misty hamlet in the Kalimpong sub-division, West-Bengal, India. Lava has been a new addition in the tourism map of North Bengal and is getting immense popularity among the travelers looking for a tourist destination off beaten track.
Lava is situated at an altitude of 7,016 feet above sea level. It is one among the few places in West Bengal to receive snow in winter. It is the entry point to the Neora valley park from Kalimpong. The route to lava is scenic with the modification in vegetation from tropical deciduous to the wet alpine trees of fir, pine and birch. The lush green forests are a popular spot for picnicking, trekking and bird-watching. Wild animals like the Himalayan black bear and deer are found in these parts. A Buddhist monastery is present in Lava.
We reached our pre-booked West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) cottages around 1pm. For detail review of Lava WBFDC, cottage review click below-mentioned link-
For online booking click WBFDC Lava online booking
After having our lunch we started our Lava walking tour around 3 pm.
- Suicide point: First we went to Lava suicide point which is near WBFDC cottages and not a mandatory sightseeing point.
2. Lava Monastery: Then we went to Lava Monastery which is close to the local market (bazaar). The original name of the monastery is Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery. The ambiance in the monastery with typical Tibetan architecture is peaceful and wonderful.
In 1987 the Buddhist community present there offered 3 acres of land to the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche for building a monastery for the local community of lava. Earlier the place started out with only a handful of monks but with the course of time the numbers kept increasing.
Presently it accommodates over 120 monks. The building is made using brick and concrete, having a bright and colorful appearance. The surrounding areas are covered with the historic forest of Neora Valley, masked with thick mist for most part of the year.
Inside, monks can been seen occupied in rigorous study of Buddhist literatures and meditation. The monastery is well maintained and one can get a clear view of the charming forest. With the ambiance of pure calmness and the chirping of birds nearby, the beauty of this location is simply matchless.
We went to the backside of the monastery and got lovely view of the surrounding and a playing field below along with that of Lava village itself with mountains in the backdrop. Outside and below the car park there are toilet facilities. There was separate toilet for ladies and gents and well maintained.
Next day after our breakfast we packed our luggage and started our Lolegaon sightseeing tour. After covering Lolegaon we will reach Rishyap for our night stay. When you are traveling to Lolegaon from Lava, you should be prepared for an ever increasing bumpy ride along roads that haven’t been repaired for ages. In this route Jeep is the suitable option.Roads are full of potholes and passes through dense forest.
Loleygaon is a noiseless and serene village located at an altitude of 5,520ft and surrounded by towering
At the middle of the village, there’s a flat land opposite to the Eco-Park, where there are few small tea stalls and shops. This is the only bazaar area where you can buy small things or eat. On a day trip, you may carry your lunch pack.
At a brief distance from here is that the most well-liked attraction – the canopy Walk. There is a 180-meters long hanging wooden tree-top bridge that goes through the dense jungle. The bridge slowly rises in height and you will find yourself walking through the tree tops amongst dense forest. At the beginning, there are few stairs to climb to the bridge and then you start the fairly long walk at a height and through the jungle.
The bridge swings sometimes and you would like to catch the wired fence on each side. Look around within the forest and you’ll see many various varieties of birds here. It’s an amazing experience.
This is only a one way walk and lasts for couple of minutes. There are also restrictions to the maximum number of persons who can walk simultaneously on the bridge. We got down from the other side and walk back below the bridge.
There is a ticket counter at the entrance. After purchasing the entry ticket (Rs. 25 per person), we walked through the forest for few minutes before we reached the hanging bridge to take the Canopy Walk.
While cars can go up to a point (very bad road though), it’s essentially a pathway that leads through the jungle, then to a stairway and then to the elevated view point. There is pay and use toilet facility near entrance also.
After coming back to Lava from Loleygaon we went to a Bengali restaurant to have our lunch. The restaurant is big having both indoor and outdoor sitting arrangement. Spacious rooms but the ambiance was not so good. Food is the ok type. We ordered for rice, dal, fry and fish curry. As we were hungry we found the food delicious.
Then we started to our next destination Rishyap by a different vehicle. Distance between Lava to Rishyap is about 12 kms. This road also requires a Jeep type vehicle. It’s a boulder and a bumpy road. However one incentive is you will get glimpses of step-farming along the way where potato, maize and cabbage are cultivated. Locals depend mostly on these for their livelihood.
In the untouched Neora Valley in northern West Bengal is situated a picturesque, romantic village which provides a great experience of fulfillment. Rishyap, a hill station of vast beauty could be a must visit for those searching for rejuvenation. A keep within the village allows you
In late afternoon we strolled around and in the full moon (as we reached there in Holi-the festival of color) night we sat back and stare at the infiniteness of the starry sky and enthralled by the serenity and magic of this hill station.
Rishyap is a year-round destination and might be frequented throughout the year. However, the appropriate time when the climate is perfectly cool and favorable is from August until the end of March. This is the period when one can enjoy the beauty of Rishyap to the fullest.
Next morning we went to Changey falls on our way back to NJP. At a distance of 4 km from Kolakham and 10 km from Lava, Changey Falls is a hypnotic waterfall situated near Kolakham in Kalimpong district of West Bengal. It is one of the stunning waterfalls in Kalimpong region and among the best places to visit in Lava.
Changey Falls is a small waterfall in the midst of hills and forests. Cascades down from a height of about 150 feet, the waterfall looks spectacular with crystal clear water and thick green forest. Innumerous chirps of wonderful Himalayan birds make the atmosphere heaven like.
A four wheel drive of 1 hour from Lava will take you to Changey Falls. The distance from Changey Falls to Kolakham is around 4 km. One needs to trek 900 m from the last motor able point in order to reach the falls. Extreme calmness with large waterfall sound makes an exquisite distinction. There is no public or private buses ply through this route. So, visitors need to hire a cab to visit the falls.
A four-wheel drive of 1 hour from Lava will take you to Changey Falls. The distance from Changey Falls to Kolakham is around 4 km. One needs to trek 900 m from the last motorable point in order to reach the falls. Extreme calmness with huge waterfall sound makes a wonderful contrast. There is no public or private buses ply through this route. So, visitors need to hire a cab to visit the falls.
After that visit we came back to NJP and had our lunch. We had our train from NJP in evening to come back and accommodate ourselve in our hectic life style.
Points to be noted: No wine shop in Lava/Lolegaon/Rishyap. You can purchase it from grocery/stationery shops after giving Rs. 150-200 extra. All brands or varieties are not available. My advice
Because, when you will get down at NJP in the early morning all wine shops will remain closed.
If you any queries please ask me in my comment section below the post.
Last updated on 17.01.20