Anushka posted on 22nd March

Need A Break? Head To These 5 Offbeat Hill Stations In Bengal To Escape The Heat

This summer, instead of choosing the usual mainstream destinations, instead plan the perfect summer getaway at these offbeat towns in the Eastern Himalayas just a few hours from the noise and pollution of Kolkata.

Mongpu

Visit this lesser known town {at an altitude of 3700 feet} in the Kalimpong district to see Rabindra Bhavan, Tagore’s summer residence and the abundance of cinchona plantations used in the treatment of malaria. The area also has orchid cultivations and lush tea gardens. Darjeeling is just 35kms away {about 1.5 hours by road}.

Ichhe Gaon

This beautiful village on an altitude of 5800 feet is one of Kalimpong’s hidden gems. Surrounded by pine forests, this place is just 89kms away from New Jalpaiguri railway station. There are only two homestays here – Khawas and Marigold, so you will need to book your stay in advance. While you are there, make a short trip to Ramitey Dara for a mesmerising view of Kanchunjungha and the Teesta river. And don’t forget to visit the renowned Sangchen Dorjee Monastery, 14.8 kms away. The sanctity of the place will fill your soul to the brim.

Sittong

This cluster of villages in Kurseong division of Darjeeling district has a lot to offer, starting with orange orchards, the charming Sittong church and options for trekking and camping. It is close to both Darjeeling and Kalimpong towns. Read more about it here.

Rishyap

Unlike other offbeat destinations, this place has more stay options {choose the ones hosted by local sherpas. One of the must-visit places here is Tiffindara — a 1.5 kms uphill trek from Rishyap through forests of birch, fir, pine and rhododendrons.

Lamhatta

The residents of this small village 23kms away from Darjeeling have come together with the government to make this an eco-tourist spot. You will find several homestays here run by villagers, and manicured gardens. Stay at the Lamhatta Lodge for a relaxing experience.