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iXiGOers Jul 05 2013

Which are the best hill stations in West Bengal?

Vaishali Singh Jul 06 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Gurgling rivers, conical evergreens, mystic monasteries and towering above them all in resplendent glory, the snowpeaks are part of the landscapes of best hill stations in West Bengal. Easily approached from the southern plains of West Bengal, these towns are a colorful distillation of Himalayan splendour and hold the recipe for a delightful holiday. These places of pristine beaty are often the main attractions to the various themed West Bengal holiday tour packages.

MIRIK

The natural Sumendu Lake is the most popular tourist attraction here. Perched
at over 4,000 ft, the lake nestles in a hollow of verdant hill slopes. Boating in
the lake offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills that are dotted with
cardamom and orange groves and tea gardens. Ramitey Dara, the town’s sunrise
view point, also offers a fine view of the surrounding countryside.


On the way back, stop at Bokar Monastery. Pretty and quaint, Raidaph contains the town’s water supply reservoir. Take a tea garden tour, albeit with permission. If you can spare a night halt, stay at Jorepokhari or Lepchajagat, both known for their scenic hill views and forests and are located on the Mirik-Darjeeling route.

Getting there: Mirik is 55 km from Bagdogra, 52 km from Siliguri and 50 km from Darjeeling.

KURSEONG


The word Kurseong means – the place of the white orchid. Because of its lower elevation, Kurseong enjoys a milder climate throughout the year. It is the peace, serenity and the ambient climate that attracted people like Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore and Sister Nivedita, the great disciple of Swami Vivekananda, who made Kurseong her home.



It is learnt that Mark Twain spent some time in Kurseong in 1885. The Eagle’s Crag is a beautiful point to watch the panoramic view of the Siliguri plains and hills. Known for its surrounding tea gardens and British-era public schools and ambient climate, stop for some Darjeeling tea and other exotic tea-based brews at Cochrane Place.


DARJEELING

Dominating this town’s skyline is a chain of snowy peaks of Mt Kanchenjunga. The town chiefly comprises of the circular Mall and the Chowrasta that goes round the Observatory Hill. Radiating outwards, a road leads up to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the zoo, two most popular attractions after the peaks. When visiting the Mall, stop at Keventer’s rooftop restaurant or Glenary’s next door for a relaxing breakfast or meals.



Darjeeling is one of the favorite tourist spots and the Darjeeling holiday tour packages are one of the most sought after. During your stay, shop for Darjeeling tea, woolen garments and locally-made handicrafts like thangkas or painted scrolls. A pre-dawn ride to Tiger Hill (2,590 m) to see a scintillating play of colours over the snow peaks at sunrise is a must-do. Stop at Batasia Loop (five kilometres away), on the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway route, an engineering marvel, for a panoramic view of the snow peaks. A trip to Darjeeling is incomplete without a visit to the famous tea gardens. Most gardens allow visitors to look around with prior permission. Some also offer tea tours and tea tasting sessions.


KALIMPONG


Getting to Kalimpong – meaning the ridge where we play – is a journey in itself, especially at the bridge over Teesta at a place called Teesta Bazaar from where the road to Gangtok bifurcates. At 4,100 feet, Kalimpong is far less crowded than Darjeeling.



The points to visit may be fewer here, but take your time to explore them at leisure. Motorable roads run up to Durpin Dara (three kilometres from the town centre) and Deolo Hill (five kilometres). Durpin Dara offers a bird’s eye view of the confluence of the rivers Teesta and Relli. Located here is the Palri Monastery that is rich in artworks. Nestling atop Deolo Hill are the reservoirs that contain the town’s water supply. You can see the snow peaks of Sikkim from here while taking a stroll in the stepped, landscaped garden or stop at the Tharpa Choling Monastery. Go for white water rafting in the Teesta.

Siliguri is the gateway to the northern hills of West Bengal and to Sikkim. The Bagdogra airport, about 15kms from the city caters to airlines which operates in cities like Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi. New Jalpaiguri, the nearest broad gauge railway station is connected important stations in northern and southern India. To reach Siliguri by train from New Delhi, you will have to catch a New Delhi to Jalpaiguri train and then further take a Jalpaiguri to Siliguri taxi.

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