Monday, September 1, 2014

Why Not Cool Mystic Village For a Hot Honeymoon?

Everest Hut Home Stay
Everest Hut Home Stay Lamahatta
Are you looking for an ideal honeymoon spot? 

Your dream place could be where you-

  • Try something you’ve never tried before.
  • A stunning sunrise and sunset.
  • Go for a hike somewhere hidden and exotic. 
  • Go to a hill top and picnic under the stars.
  • Observe mysterious mist entering in the verandah where you were enjoying local tea
  • Taste a local specialty for dinner so I’ll know I’m really on vacation.
  • Do absolutely nothing.
  • Anything by candlelight.
  • No contact with the world so you can spend time together timelessly.
  • Indulge in a memorable combative sex without any disturbance.

Or perhaps not looking for honeymoon place, but seeking to rejuvenate your tired, stressed and run down body and soul?

Misty Lamahatta Forests
Misty Lamahatta Forests

Whenever I close my eyes and think of Lamahatta now, this is the image my mind brings forth… of dense woodlands enveloped by cool, floating mists, stretching out endlessly in front of my wandering feet....

I was accompanying my newly married nephew and were at scenic and famous hill station Darjeeling. This once an awesome hill station over the period has lost its charm with an onslaught of tourists and increasing local population. By the evening on the very first day, my nephew wanted to shift to some remote and exotic  requested me to search for it.

Well, my efforts till midnight paid dividends and next morning we were heading for our selected nearby secret remote hamlet Lamahatta in the Himalayan lap.

The Fairy Tale of Lamahatta

Located at an altitude of 1700 meter above sea level and around 23 km from Darjeeling, this off the beaten track spot is surrounded by greenery, vast, stretching forests of dhupi (a type of high altitude forest trees) and pines, and the magnificent views of the peaks and rivers around.  This secret beautiful village is a paradise for honeymooners as it offers solitude, picturesque beauty and a feeling of being amidst nature, a perfect platform to get to know each other.

Attractions in and around Lamahatta 

Take your love mate around for a change from being in the bed and a combative sex

Go with mate to spend some quiet and intimate time with the nature, take some nature walks through the maze of dhupi jungle, enjoy the beautiful garden and the views around as well as several other natural attractions nearby.

There’s no shopping to be done here, and no historic monument that tells a significant tale, but there are nature trails to be enjoyed, tea gardens to walk through, and wildflowers to stop and admire. There’s also Kanchenjunga in the distance, and its majestic snow-capped peak may be viewed from this little village along with the all the other mountain ranges that frame this picturesque secret, waiting to be discovered

Lamahatta Garden

Lamahatta Garden
One one side of the road is a vast stretch of beautiful manicured garden which has been created along the slope of the hill and under the dense dhupi and pine forest. This is the 'Roadside Garden'. From the Homestays, you just walk across the road to the entrance of this garden. The garden is full of seasonal flowering plants, including white and other colorful orchids. There is a pathway which goes through the park for taking a leisurely stroll. Along the way you will find wooden and bamboo made gazebos where you can relax and soak in the charm of the garden. There are wooden benches on the pathway as well.
Beautiful Flags in Lamahatta Garden
Beautiful Prayer flags

You will see a row of colorful prayer flags fluttering in one side of the garden. Locals say that the breeze that passes through the prayer flags purify the surroundings and minds of the people. There is also a wooden watchtower created to get the best possible views around Lamahatta.
Actually, you get magnificent views from several different places in the garden. What can you see? Probably some of the best that any place in Darjeeling district offers.... On a clear day you can sea the snow peaks of Kanchenjunga, Tiger Hill, Namchi of Sikkim, Darjeeling town and its landscapes, and the Rangeet river flowing below.

Trekking in Lamahatta 

A. There is a short nature trail that leads to a small lake on a hill top. The villagers consider this to be a sacred lake.

When we climbed!
A narrow uphill trekking trail begins at the edge of the garden and winds its way up the mountain through a thick forest of tall, stately pines with trunk wider than my out stretched arms. But the forest looked enchanting with floating mists that made everything seem a little more mysterious, and packed with unknown adventures. 
Way to sacred water body
Way to sacred water body

A sacred water body lay at the end of the climb. We don’t know why the lake is considered sacred, but our guide did tell us that it was an important landmark during the time of the British Raj. The entire lakeside was mesmerizing, shrouded in a heavy mist and fringed by shadowy trees.
Sacred Misty Lake
Sacred Misty Lake
We stuck around at the top for a bit, soaking in the surreal beauty of the pine forests and the crisp mountain air. And then it was time to head back. The climb down was relatively faster, and it seemed as if the clouds had rolled down the mountainside with us, to say goodbye.

B. You can also do jungle trekking...
C. There is another trail of around 8kms from Lamahatta to Takdah that goes through a maze of pine and dhupi trees.
D.  Trek to Takdah Orchid Center (over 5kms). The Orchid Center has been, however, open usually during the season (February through April)
E.  Trek to the Gari Danda - an old fort on top of a hill which is about 3kms away.

F. Tea Estates
Visit the tea gardens nearby (you will get one within about 1.5kms). Some of the well known tea estates nearby includes Glenburn Tea Estate, Rongli Rangliot Tea Estate, Takdha Tea Estate  etc.

Awesome View Points
Trivani from Peshok View Point
Trivani from Peshok View Point

Hament's food Stall at The Peshok View Point
Hament's food Stall at The Peshok View Point
The Peshoke View Point is about 8kms away (by road) where you can see the wonderful confluence of rivers Teesta and Rangeet, a place known as Triveni.

Visit the cave temple (about 2kms)

How to reach Lamahatta 

From Siliguri the road distance to Lamahatta is about 72kms and will take about 3.5 hours. You will need to come to Jorebungalow near Ghoom and then take the road for Lamahatta. Easiest is to take a taxi from NJP station. Otherwise, take a shared jeep up to Jorebungalow and then another one from there up to Lamahatta.
From Darjeeling the distance to Lamahatta is 23kms. Best is to take a taxi which will take a little over an hour to reach. If you are coming from Kalimpong, the distance is 41kms (about 2 hrs).

Lamahatta accommodations 

The indicative rate for a Homestay room (Managed by local citizen and state Govt.) is Rs. 1000/- plus tax (for two) and for a tent (for two) is Rs. 1500/- plus tax. All meals are charged extra. The tents are placed next to the jungle and have provision for lights. Check this site

You can also book through the following agencies:

India Beacons Sojourn 
1 Indra Roy Road (Opposite Indira Cinema),
Room No - 8,  1st Floor, Bhowanipur, Kolkata - 700025, India
Phone: +91 9903295920 , +91 033 24191976

Dooars Ecovillage 
Mobile: 9830694705 / 9007008366
Email:, or

Private Lodges

Everest hut Homestay
The Everest Hut Resort has been established in the Lamahatta village on 24 December 2012 by Mr and Mrs Tashi Sherpa. Everest Hut Resort is a simple, homely home stay where tourist can enjoy an eco-friendly holiday experience at LAMAHATTA.
Phone: +91-9434865611

Another stay option in Lamahatta is the private Lamahatta Lodge set up by ex Captain Tinjong Lamas. Highlights include nicely maintaining wood paneled and carpeted rooms with attached western style bathrooms, 24-hours hot water, homely organic food, car park, and quiet & calm ambience.
Mobile: +91 98320 33444; +91 97333 50099
Or check

photo of Kiran Travelfury
C12, New Natraj, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Travel , India Travel , Ace guide to India , Travel consultant

This hCard created with the hCard creator .

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ganesh Chaturthi | Discover Lord Ganesha's Mystic Ancient Sculptures

Ganesh Sculptures

Ganesh Statues are sometimes called "Rupas", and these statues feature an image of Lord Ganesh. Many different materials are used to make Ganesh Statues; they might  cast in metals such as bronze, brass and copper. Other statues of lord Ganesh are carved from stone, and make suitable garden statues.
Ganesh is believed to help people with new beginnings and can help remove obstacles, so many people will give a Ganesha Statue as a gift for a wedding, or for someone who is starting a new career or journey in life.
Large stone statue (in Ireland!) of Shri Ganesh

  • Large stone statue (in Ireland!) of Shri Ganesh is reading a book. As the Lord of Wisdom, He is invoked by students embarking on a course of study or facing exams.

Shri Ganesha statue in Jaipur, reputedly made from a single piece of red coral

  • Shri Ganesha statue in Jaipur, reputedly made from a single piece of red coral! I’ve never seen a piece of red coral anywhere near that big, so maybe it’s really coral-colored stone? In any case, red coral is the precious material associated with the Mooladhara Chakra.

Lord Ganesha sculpture from Thailand

  • In Thailand, Shri Ganesha is worshipped as Phra Pikanet or Phra Phikhanesawora, as the deity of good fortune and the remover of obstacles. He is associated with the arts, education and trade. Lord Ganesha appears on the emblem of the Ministry of Fine Arts in Thailand, and the large television channels and production companies have Shrines in his honor in front of their premises.

South Indian Bronze of Shri Ganesha

  • South Indian Bronze of Shri Ganesha wears high-rise sandals and holding umbrella and waterpot

Shri Ganesha with the trunk turned to His right-India

  •  Murthis (images) of Shri Ganesha with the trunk turned to His right represent the destruction of negative forces. The female figures seated on Lord Ganesha’s knees are Siddhi and Buddhi. They are manifestations of the Success and Intelligence that attend an innocent person. They are qualities of Shri Ganesha, not wives or consorts. source

Garden Ganesha from Indonesian Lava Stone. Hand Carved in Bali

  • Garden Ganesha from Indonesian Lava Stone. Hand Carved in Bali

 Puncha Mukhi Ganesha Temple, Bangalore

  • One of the most magnificent sculptures in Puncha Mukhi Ganesha Temple, Bangalore

Lively sculpture from Gardens from India and IrelandLively sculpture from Gardens from India and Ireland

  • Other Lively sculptures from Gardens from India and Ireland

photo of Kiran Travelfury
C12, New Natraj, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Travel , India Travel , Ace guide to India , Travel consultant

This hCard created with the hCard creator .

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Go to Crowded Hills? Hit to Offbeat Heavenly Mountain Hamlets

Gielle Bhanjyang Bazaar, Takdah Block
Gielle Bhanjyang Bazaar, Takdah Block 
Fed up with visiting tourist congested hill towns like Shimla, Darjeeling and Musoorie? Dreaming to find the lovely mountains and views of snow peaks, the tea gardens, blooming orchids, the walking trails through the coniferous forests on mountain slopes? Then this mountain village near Darjeeling can be a perfect answer.
Let me tell you, this is a treasure secret not many know and when I visited I was totally rejuvenated and free from stress, depression and anger… an unavoidable gift for living an urban and chaotic life.
Not many know about this small hamlet a treasure secret, because it is not on an India tourist map


Takdah is located at an altitude of about 4000 ft and close to Darjeeling (some 28kms away), yet far enough to be isolated, quiet and serene.
Takdah - Tea Garden View

The original name was pronounced as 'Tukdah', which is a Lepcha (Tribe) word meaning mist or fog. And the name is aptly given as the place often remains covered with fog. So what can you expect? Misty meandering roads, the chirping of the birds, nature trails passing through dense forests, sound and sight of fountain streams coming down the slope of mountains every few yards you walk - this is what Takdah is.

Takdah started as a military cantonment during the British colonial days in the early 1900s. During those days, many senior British officers frequently visited this place.
A typical Heritage British Bunglw in Takdah
A Typical Heritage British Bunglw in Takdah
 And therefore many bungalows and houses came up here for their accommodations. Those houses were built in traditional British architecture with slanted roofs.

Attractions & Activities in & around Takdah 

Surprisingly, there are several great places of interests and sightseeing attractions here within short distances. There are nice soft trekking routes as well. Here are the main attractions: 
Tea estates near Takdah
Tea estates near Takdah

  1. Some of the finest tea gardens of Darjeeling district are located in Takdah. You can walk down or take a local taxi tour to some of them and enjoy the tea gardens on rolling hills. The main tea estates in Takdah are Rungli Rungliot, Gielle, Namring, Jinglam, Poomong, and Teesta Valley estate. You can also visit the estate, factories and watch the tea processing (in winters the factories usually remain closed).  
  2. Visit the lovely orange orchards located in Bara and Chota Mangwa (both about 12kms from Takdah). The small factories here produce fresh orange juice and you can buy a few bottles of them. Tastes delicious and absolutely fresh.  
  3. Visit Tinchuley, another lovely hamlet about 3kms away from Takdah and famous for its lovely views of Himalayan range including the snow peaks of Kanchenjunga and spectacular sunrise views.  
  4. Lamahatta Village with its magnificent gardens and views of Kanchenjunga is about 12kms from Takdah. (Get details of the Lamahatta village trip in the next post)  
  5. Another nearby place is Mongpu where you can visit the orchid nurseries, the famous museum of Rabindranath Tagore, and see the vast Cinchona plantations.  You can take a vehicle and make a trip covering the above places in a day or over two days (in case you want to spend more time in each place).  
  6. A great place to visit by car is Triveni - the confluence of rivers Teesta & Rangeet.  
  7. Visit the Durpin Viewpoint, located about 10kms from Takdah. You can get a spectacular view of Teesta river meandering through the mountain landscapes. You can also get a lovely view of Kanchenjunga from here.  
  8. Peshoke Tea Garden Viewpoint is about 14kms away and offers a wonderful view of the tea gardens on hill slopes.  
  9. Takdah itself has a great Orchid Center where you can see unusual and colorful Himalayan Orchids being cultivated and grown. This is a very popular site for tourists.  
  10. There is a monastery next to the caves of Mata Durga. It's known as Dechhen Pema Tshoiling Monastery. Lama Karma Gyaltchen was in charge and the head monk of the monastery until 2007.  
  11. You can take a nature walk through pine and cedar forests, or through villages. The thickly wooded coniferous forests here are maintained by the Forest Department. You can take a shorter trek path through the forest up to Lamahatta, enjoy the views of Kanchenjunga and return via Tinchuley. The entire trek takes about 4-5 hours.  

How to reach Takdah 

Takdah is about 60kms from New Jalpaiguri (the nearest rail head) as well as Bagdogra (the nearest airport). It takes about 2.5-3 hours to reach Takdah by car from NJP or Bagdogra. Siliguri, the nearest town is about 52kms from Takdah, Darjeeling about 28kms away (about 1.5 hours by car) and Kalimpong about 40kms (2 hours).
You can get reserved taxis from NJP, Bagdogra, Siliguri and Darjeeling. There are also shared taxis/Jeeps available from Darjeeling and Siliguri (Sevoke Road, behind Vishal Cinema Hall or from Ranjit Garage behind 9/10 Hotel Sevoke). You can get private and shared taxi fares from Darjeeling here.

Best time to visit Takdah 

October to March is the best time to visit Takdah and the nearby areas. This is the time the sky remains clear and you can enjoy the chill of the winter.

Where to stay in Takdah 

Takdah is a developing tourist place and there aren't many hotels here. But luckily there is a great option. After all Takdah's history is firmly connected with the British colonial days and there can't be a better option than staying in a heritage.

Sanaa Heritage Guest House, Takdah 
Entrance of Saina Heritage Guest House
Entrance of Saina Heritage Guest House

Lawn-Saina Heritage Guest House
Lawn-Saina Heritage Guest House
Lawn-Saina Heritage Guest House
Lawn-Saina Heritage Guest House

Owned and run by the Moktan family. This used to be a bungalow of British officers and built in the year 1907. It has been nicely restored by the Moktan family. Rooms have been refurbished with standard yet modern amenities. This is a nice budget lodge.

Contact information for Inquiry & Booking 
Ms. Sujala Moktan
Saino-The Heritage Guest House,
Takdah Cantt., P.O.Takdah, District-Darjeeling, West Bengal, Pin-734203
Mobile no:- +91-94344 62806/ 94749 63183
Based on source
Note: Journey continues.............
photo of Kiran Travelfury
C12, New Natraj, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Travel , India Travel , Ace guide to India , Travel consultant

This hCard created with the hCard creator .

A Must Travel Accessories for Selective, Enlightened and Sensitive Tourist

More of...