Skip the regular hill stations and go offbeat this time. We'd totally recommend visiting Mongpu - a tranquil village near Darjeeling known to be the summer retreat of our very own Rabindranath Tagore.
Also spelt as Mungpoo, this village is the perfect place to go to if you're looking to get away from the madding crowds. The road to the place itself is marked by scenic views - lush green tea gardens, orchids, flower nurseries and pristine water streams. The village is also famous for its Cinchona plantations, the barks of which are used to extract quinine - a medicinal drug used to treat malaria. You can actually see the extraction process at the quinine factory set up by the government in Mongpu.
The schools in Mongpu make for quite fascinating views too. Visit the Mungpoo Cymbidium Orchid Park that's got over 150 varieties of orchids. If you're looking for some peace and solitude, head to the Dinchhen Sherap Chhoeling Gumba, a Buddhist monastery located on a hill adjacent to the local market (take a walk around to get a feel of the place). The extraordinary Kalijhora Waterfall that falls from a height of 550 mt to meet the Teesta river is also a must visit.
And, of course, how can you leave Mongpu without visiting the place it's known for - the Rabindra Bhavan, Tagore's summer house that has been turned into a museum where you can still find the mahogany desk and the bed used by the Nobel laureate. Get a glimpse of his original artworks as well as handwritten poems and verses at this house-turned-museum.