The wet, sticky, and smelly days have arrived. I don’t say I hate summer, but it’s the reality. The wishes to turn your bathtub into a bedroom will now really get intense and you can’t just help it. The crouching heat rising above the roads blowing against your face, and the itchy droplets of perspiration flowing down from your nape to spine, all now appall you to escape from your burning town towards some place far in the cold hills. One of such places is North Bengal, and I will just make it short because I know you’re burning and you don’t care for my writing skills. So, let me just fly you to some of the beautiful monsoon destinations of North Bengal or you can say Monsoon destinations of India where you can rejuvenate your tiredness with a new energy of this season. In addition, let me also add some spicy package of thrilling adventure, colorful culture and above all the experience of healing happiness to your journey.
Takdah : Touch the clouds
I love this place not because it’s cold throughout the year, but monsoon is the best season to visit Takdah. The green color of the leaves of tea gardens and the forests will blush in its fresh and clean tone after the rain will have washed out all the layers of the dust. The snaky roads will seem like a carpet spread upon the pink sheet made of petals of peach and weeping willow’s flowers. The sloped roofs of beautiful houses on the sweeping landscapes of mountains will shine with its bright colors matching its contrast with the wet landscapes of the foothills of Himalayas. The best of all, the beautiful place surrounded by the slopes of tea gardens, heritages Bungalows, and a view of plains rising to meet the mountains will all turn into a cloudy world. Clouds, clouds, and clouds, is what you will love the most about Takdah. Just from the window of any house, you will feel the clouds rising below you, somewhere from the river Teesta, cascaded with the aroma of those fresh tea leaves, the wetness of the dry soil, and the forest at its bloom, caressing your body with its chilled touch. If you’re a photographer, this is the time to capture the moments of clouds mating with the mountains dancing in its various seducing forms, just to make the whole mountain region fall in love with Monsoon.
Takdah Cantonment (As the name suggests, it was an army cantonment for the British troops) is about 27 Kms from Darjeeling town. The other reason why I call it a growing tourism spot because the place is adjacent to many other places of district Darjeeling like Kalimpong, Darjeeling Town, and even Sikkim. So, it’s the best place to enjoy most of the beautiful places of District Darjeeling staying at one place. There are many homestays available at Takdah now, so instead of staying in Takdah Hotels if you love to share the culture and tradition, you can avail one of best homestays of North Bengal.
Bara Mangwa : The Monsoon with a Farmer
Monsoon is not just a season, but a time when nature celebrates with all its beauty and creations. The soil regains its fertility, the plants shoot out their new leaves depicting a new life, the river and streams get back to their juvenile age, and above all a time when a farmer wears a vigorous smile to decorate his fields and farms. Darjeeling, being one of the most blessed places of nature, is not just famous for its tea plantations that have won the whole world with its aroma and taste, but the magic of its climatic influence can be seen in fruits and vegetables as well. In order to explore all these taste and flavors of happiness, Bara Mangwa is the best place to experience the agricultural richness and beauty of Darjeeling.
Staying in one of the best farm houses of Bara Mangwa named Orage Villa, you can experience all the small wonders of happiness, nature can bless you with its miraculous orchards, flower gardens, and vegetable farms in the foothills of Himalayas. This can be really a meaningful Summer escape for the travelers who really want to get closer to nature. So, soil your feet and hands, getting ready to work in a farm of trees laden with peach fruits and plums, climbers heaving huge hill cucumbers and the hypnotizing smell of blooming orange trees giving you the message of its early fruiting season at Bara Mangwa Orange Villa, a homestay and also a farm stay for the true nature lovers.
Kolakham – Sing with Monsoon Birds
Monsoon is not the season to get wedged inside a room, eating all unhealthy junk food. For those who fear the striped beautiful leeches and are too greedy to donate their few drops of blood to the wilderness, these monsoon destinations are surely not yours. Kolakham is a beautiful village located closely adjacent to one of the richest bio-diversity areas of India Neora Valley National Park. Now for all the adventurers, Photographers, and wilderness lovers, Monsoon is a season to grab your DSLR and step out in the wilderness to capture some of the rare species of Birds, that are found abundantly at Lava, a paradise for Bird Lovers. Kolakham is a village that gets you away from the urbanized crowd of Lava and brings you closer to all those Monsoon lovebirds. The village is located on the way to one of the famous tourist spots of Lava – Chhangey Falls. So, its an addition for people who love to watch the streams flowing through the hills, because Monsoon is the best season for that.
The wooden home stays of the village have another story pinned with its unique culture. That is the whole village belongs to the vegetarian community, and eating non-veg food among the community is strictly prohibited. Although recently because of some demanding tourism market, the poor villagers serve non-veg food only to their so-called demanding guests who usually leave the place with their memories of empty liquor bottles. After all the clear message is that they do serve non-veg food if you are a strict non-veg ( carnivores). You can start your morning with some beautiful shots of some uncommon species of birds, and if you’re lucky enough you can have a picturesque view of Mount Kanchenjunga right from the window of your house. So for all the bird lovers, Kolakham is one of the best Monsoon destinations.
Samsing-Suntaleykhola : I love Butterflies
| Photo courtesy – Asif Hussain
You’ve heard enough of it. Beautiful place, near the dense forest Neora Valley National Park, Best Monsoon destinations, Moderate climate throughout the year, etc, But you’ve never heard that Samsing-Suntaleykhola is one of the best Butterfly zones of North Bengal. So the lovers of these little colorful scaly wings very well know that Summer is the time to capture their colors. Both in your eyes and lenses. Samsing – Suntaleykhola ( Often mistaken as two Places) is the same place with Suntaleykhola a stream’s name. I’ve had many rare butterfly encounters in my past, Now I rarely get any chance to challenge the monsoon. People out there who love to play in the rain can also come to Suntalekhola. As the local pranksters commonly name this place “Second Cherrapunji”. With more than 200 cms of annual rainfall, the destination is certainly one of the best Monsoon Destinations to enjoy the true colors of Monsoon..
|Photography courtesy – Asif Hussain
Don’t just miss any of the Sunny breaks in between as this the best time to grab you macro lenses. Just run out to hunt for the colorful creatures near the streams and other bushes. All the surrounding areas of Suntaleykhola like Asaley camp, Rocky island and Neora Hydel are the best regions for the butterfly lovers. The natural forest that has its undisturbed vegetation provides the habitat for varieties of species of Butterfly. Above all Monsoon is the time for these creatures to come out for the single purpose of adult stage and that is mating. So, you will encounter many species of butterflies mating each other during summer.
So isn’t the Monsoon the best time to visit North Bengal ? Just be sure you choose the right Monsoon destinations of North Bengal.
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