Gielle Bhanjyang Bazaar, Takdah Block
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|
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|
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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).
- A great place to visit by car is Triveni - the confluence of rivers Teesta & Rangeet.
- 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.
- Peshoke Tea Garden Viewpoint is about 14kms away and offers a wonderful view of the tea gardens on hill slopes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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|
|Lawn-Saina Heritage Guest House|
|Lawn-Saina Heritage Guest House|
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.............
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