It’s okay if you are exhausted and need a break from the boring reality of the monumentally tedious daily life. You deserve it! Call in your best friends, get your backpack ready, plan a weekend trip (or, better, don’t plan it!), just get out of the four walls where you feel trapped; you have an open road, let’s go somewhere!
Here are 4 not-so-popular places in North Bengal to make sure you don’t get lost! (Also, they come in a really low budget!)
Hollong, which is located at the core of the Jaldapara National Park, is absolutely the ideal place for people who want to have a private jungle safari free from the usual infliction of pain on the animals and the hustle bustle of the safari operators. Besides the Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary, the place, frankly, does not have many sites to explore, but the mysterious ambience, the thrilling adventures that the not-so-dense woodlands promise, and the tribal villages more than make up for it. The Government bungalow at Hollong near the sanctuary is much in vogue for the tourists, but staying at a more remote area, far away from the locality, and adjacent to the woodlands where, as stories go, herd of elephants frequent, a Cheetah can be seen at the dead of the night, you and your friends may just have the time of your life!
Travel Plans: Kanchankanya Express (Sealdah – New Mal Junction). The distance between New Mal Junction and Hollong is about 79 Kms which should take about 1 hour 15 minutes by car.
The blue-grey shadow of the far-away hills, the infinite amount of tea gardens, the little, boisterous streams humming constantly to the rhythm of their surroundings, and the clouds coming down to touch your cheeks – all this will accompany you on your way to Raimatang. A village, small, picturesque, situated at the western Buxa area is well loved by the tourists for its abundance of natural gifts. The spiral ways of woodlands up the hill, the quiet and colourful Nepali settlements, the Dukpa tribal village, the Raimatang river, and exotic, vibrant flora of the place are definitely worth exploring with your friends. And if you want to spend some quality “us time” there, the luxurious wood houses will gladly welcome you and serve you to your content during your stay.
Travel Plans: Kanchankanya Express (Sealdah- Hamiltongunj). The distance between Hamiltongunj and Raimatang is about 6 Kms which should take about 7-10 minutes by car.
This place, as they say, takes you away from the monotony and morbidity of the chaos i.e. life and brings you before your own self, by the River Murti. Rocky Island, situated near Samsing is just as fun in daylight as it is peaceful when the night falls. It facilitates adventurous activities like trekking, rock climbing, rappelling and so on; if you and your best pals enjoy some adrenaline rush, this is your place. Small treks to nearby spots like Sherpagaon, Bhalukope, Jhandidara, and Mo-chuki only add to the fun! Stay the night in the tents, put up a camp fire amidst the litany of crickets, under the starry navy blue sky; let the steady thrums of the river waters hitting against the pebbles lure you to sleep.
Travel Plans: Kanchenjunga Express (Sealdah- New Jalpaiguri ). The distance between NJP and Rocky Island is about 84 Kms which should take about 1 hour 45 minutes by car.
The village, situated at Matigara in Darjeeling is locally called “Swarga Chhera” (Torn from Heaven) and it is totally justified! Kalkut inhabited by the Garo tribe is a place that will provide you with solitude and simplicity if you are really sick of the complexities of city life. A sky spread forever, overflowing greenery all around, the dancing, exuberant river Kalikut will keep you company during your stay. Make sure to visit the church near the tea garden, you will be surprised at the hospitality the villagers offer. There is the Buxa Tiger Reserve across the river, and as the Garo girls say, sometimes, a tiger or a bison will cross the river and enter the village territory. You never know, you might just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one or two of them!
Travel Plans: Kanchankanya Express (Sealdah- Alipurduar Junction). The distance between Alipurduar and Kalkut is about 20 Kms which should take about 33 minutes by car.
Written By: Sushrita Acharjee