North Bengal, located in the northern part of the state of West Bengal, is a region of incredible natural beauty, diverse cultures, and rich history. It is a destination that is becoming increasingly popular among tourists who seek to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in nature. In this travel guide, we will take you on a journey through some of the most picturesque places in North Bengal.
Darjeeling, sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Hills,” is a charming town situated in the Himalayan foothills. It is renowned for its lush tea gardens, snow-capped mountains, and scenic beauty. The town is filled with lovely structures from the British era and has a colonial charm.
Things to do in Darjeeling:
- Visit Tiger Hill: Tiger Hill is the highest point in Darjeeling and is known for its stunning views of the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga mountain range.
- Ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-visit for train enthusiasts.
- Visit the tea gardens: Darjeeling is famous for its tea gardens, and a visit to one of these gardens is a must-do activity. You can learn about the tea-making process and even sample some of the local teas.
- Visit the Darjeeling Zoo: The Darjeeling Zoo is home to a variety of animals, including the endangered snow leopard and red panda.
- Explore the local markets: Darjeeling is known for its vibrant markets, where you can find everything from traditional handicrafts to fresh produce.
The picturesque town of Kalimpong is situated in the eastern Himalayas. It is renowned for its magnificent Himalayan views, colonial-era buildings, and Buddhist monasteries.
Things to do in Kalimpong:
- Visit the Kalimpong Science Centre: The Kalimpong Science Centre is an interactive museum that showcases the scientific and technological developments of the region.
- Explore the Buddhist monasteries: Kalimpong is home to several Buddhist monasteries, including the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang Monastery, which is known for its intricate wall paintings.
- Visit the Cactus Nursery: The Kalimpong Cactus Nursery is home to a variety of rare and exotic cacti and succulents.
- Take a stroll in the Morgan House: The Morgan House is a colonial-era bungalow that has been converted into a heritage hotel. It is known for its beautiful gardens and scenic views of the Himalayas.
- Visit Deolo Hill: Deolo Hill is the highest point in Kalimpong and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
North Bengal’s major city, Siliguri, also acts as the region’s entry point. The city is renowned for its transport options and commercial activities.
Things to do in Siliguri:
- Visit the Kali Mandir: The Kali Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus.
- Explore the Coronation Bridge: The Coronation Bridge is a historic bridge that spans the Teesta River. It is known for its architectural beauty and scenic views of the river.
- Visit the Hong Kong Market: The Hong Kong Market is a vibrant market that sells a variety of goods, including electronics, clothing, and handicrafts.
- Visit the Salugara Monastery: The Salugara Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery that is known for its beautiful wall paintings and statues.
Mirik is a scenic town in the North Bengal district of Darjeeling. It is well-known for its peaceful environment, scenic beauty, and tea gardens.
Things to do in Mirik:
- Visit the Mirik Lake: The Mirik Lake is a natural lake that is surrounded by hills and pine forests. It is a popular spot for boating and picnicking.
- Explore the tea gardens: Mirik is known for its tea gardens, which produce some of the best teas in the world. A visit to one of these gardens is a must-do activity.
- Visit the Devi-Sthan: The Devi-Sthan is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus.
- Take a walk in the Bokar Monastery: The Bokar Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery that is known for its beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere.
- Enjoy the local cuisine: Mirik is known for its delicious local cuisine, which includes momos, thukpa, and other Tibetan delicacies.
Jaldapara is a wildlife reserve located in the Himalayan foothills. It is famous for its rich flora and fauna, which includes the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.
Things to do in Jaldapara:
- Go for a jungle safari: Jaldapara offers jungle safaris that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the wildlife in the sanctuary.
- Visit the Chilapata Forest: The Chilapata Forest is a dense forest that is known for its rich biodiversity. It is a popular spot for birdwatching.
- Visit the Totopara Village: The Totopara Village is home to the Toto tribe, an indigenous community that has a unique culture and way of life.
- Explore the Gorumara National Park: The Gorumara National Park is another wildlife sanctuary located near Jaldapara. It is known for its population of elephants, deer, and other wildlife.
- Visit the Jayanti River: The Jayanti River is a scenic river that flows through the Jaldapara region. It is a popular spot for picnicking and hiking.
Ways to Reach
By Air: The nearest airports to North Bengal are Bagdogra Airport and Kolkata International Airport. Bagdogra Airport is well-connected to major cities in India, while Kolkata International Airport is a major international airport with flights to and from several destinations around the world.
By Rail: North Bengal has two major railway stations, New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Junction. Both stations are well-connected to major cities in India and have frequent trains running to and from nearby cities like Kolkata, Delhi, and Mumbai.
By Road: North Bengal is well-connected by road, with several buses and rented cars available from nearby cities like Kolkata and Siliguri. National Highways 12 and 27 pass through North Bengal, connecting it to other major cities in India.
Whether you prefer to travel by air, rail, or road, North Bengal is easily accessible from most parts of India.
|Place||Hotel Name||Phone Number|
|Darjeeling||Mayfair Darjeeling||+91 354 225 6376|
|The Elgin Darjeeling||+91 354 225 7226|
|Kalimpong||The Silver Oaks||+91 98320 52741|
|Mayfair Himalayan Spa Resort||+91 98320 53285|
|Mirik||Mirik Resort||+91 97320 03456|
|Hotel Jagjeet||+91 354 224 9916|
|Jaldapara||Jaldapara Tourist Lodge||+91 98320 72203|
|Hollong Tourist Lodge||+91 97332 24007|
A tour of North Bengal provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit some of India’s most stunning locations while immersing yourself in the local culture. North Bengal has something for everyone, whether you are a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a foodie. So pack your bags and prepare for a memorable adventure across this stunning region.