#BeautifulBengal: Five Things You Must Do When In Lava

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Situated at an altitude of 7,200 feet, Lava is one of the few places in West Bengal that receives snowfall in winter. You will fall in love with this quaint hamlet, untouched by modernity and surrounded by dense forests of berch, pine, fir and juniper trees. Here are five things you must experience when in Lava.

Watch The Sunrise At The Tiffin Dara View Point

Tiffin Dara is one of the most visited tourist spots in Lava. You can enjoy scenic views of the Kanchenjunga range, blue mountains of Sikkim, Nathu-La and Jelep-La pass on a clear day. The trek to Tiffin Dara takes about 45 minutes each way through a beautiful jungle trail that turns out to be quite an adventure. Don’t miss indulging in either a sunrise or sunset (or both!) at this view point. Thank us later.

Trek to the Neora Valley National Park

Neora Valley National Park is a protected wildlife sanctuary located in Kalimpong. Did you know that it is one of the richest biological zones in the entire eastern India? The park is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, so it has a craggy inaccessible hilly terrain. Covered in luxuriant foliage of rhododendrons, endemic orchids and a mixed variety of trees, the forests are so deep in some places that not even a speck of sunlight touches the ground. It is home to the Red Panda, Himalayan Tahr, Black Bear, Sambar, Barking Deer, Goral, Tiger, Leopard, Chinese Marmorata, Pangolin, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Clouded Leopard etc. The park is also inhabited by some rare birds like Redstart, Whistling Thrush, Golden Headed Black Finch, Pheasants, Cuckoos, Minivets, Flycatchers, Maynas, Orioles, Owls, Parakeets, Partridges, Sunbirds, Swallows, Swifts and Woodpeckers. Trek from Choudapheri to reach Rachela (highest point in Neora Valley) before descending to Samsing to enter the forests (you will need special permits though). Park remains closed during monsoons.

Channel Your Inner Zen At The Lava Monastery

The Kagyu Thekchen Ling Monastery is one of the main attraction of Lava. Built in Tibetan style of architecture, the monastery has a bright and colourful appearance. Take in the quiet calm of this holy place while you enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the enchanting Neora Valley forests from here.

Revel In The Serenity Of Changey Waterfall

Changey Falls, situated near Kolakham, is one of most the gorgeous waterfalls in Lava. Cascading down from a height of about 150 feet, the waterfall looks stunning with its crystal clear water surrounded by lush green forests. The calming sound of falling water punctuated with the sweet chirping of birds lends a tranquil atmosphere to the place. It is about an hour’s drive from Lava. No public or private buses ply through this route so you will need to hire a cab to visit the falls.

Learn About Endangered Wildlife At Nature Interpretation Center

A short distance from the Lava Jeep Stand lies the Nature Interpretation Centre, a museum at the entrance of the Neora Valley National Park, that you must visit to know all about the rare animals inside the forest reserve. Strongly recommended for wildlife lovers, this place is where you can get all kinds of information about the wildlife of Neora Valley and Lava region. The museum is famous for its informative dioramas. The centre remains closed on Thursdays.