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There is a small holy rural hamlet on top of 6100 feet high hill and it overlooks the majestic Eastern Himalayas. This hamlet is named as Kolakham and it is nestled just beside the Neora Valley National park and at a distance of only 8 km from the famous hill destination Lava. The picturesque village of Kolakham has given shelter to around 60 Nepali families who are representatives of ‘Rai’ community. Being located in the lap of nature, Kolakham offers the panoramic view of the mighty Himalayas (Eastern) up to the popular destination Nathu-la-pass.
If you crave for spending some relaxing moments taking an escape from the busy chores of the city or famous tourist towns then Kolakham would be the ideal destination. At a distance of 108 km from Siliguri, this tiny hamlet Kolakham is treated as a peaceful halt during the trip to Lava, Lolegaon, Rishop, Charkol and adjacent destinations. Kolakham would give you ample scope to indulge yourself in a wide range of activities –
- Breathtaking view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim and Mt. Kabbru.
- Village walks and Nature trails through Kolakham,
- Birding and chitchatting with unknown bird species,
- Rock climbing, rope traversing and short trekking,
- Camping at Neora Valley national park and
- Paying a visit to the popular hill stops like Lava, Lolegaon, Rishop and alike.
All the destinations are easily accessible from Kolakham by cars or available public transports.
Kolakham is well connected with Siliguri - the entry point of North Bengal. It could be reached from Siliguri via private or shared vehicles and jeeps.
- Kolakham's nearest Railway stations are New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) and New Mal Junction Railway station. It takes around 4 hours and 3 hours respectively to reach Kolakham from the above mentioned railway stations by private or shared vehicles. A good number of express trains head towards NJP and New Mal Junction regularly from Sealdah & Howrah stations. To avoid the rush and get confirm seat it is recommended to book the tickets in advance.
- Bagdogra airport that is connected with major cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, and Assam; is just 3 km away from Siliguri. One can hire private jeeps or shared cars from the airport to reach Kolakham directly.
- Regular buses also run between Esplanade Bus Terminus (Kolkata) to Siliguri. From bus stand frequent cars and shared jeeps are available for Kolakham.
- From your feasible destination you can easily hire a private car or jeep or shared vehicles to reach Kolakham within 3-4 hours at an affordable price.
- Enterprising individuals of Kolakham have recently opened a few homestays in and around Kolakham although Kolakham Retreat unit of Spring Vale Resorts is one of the highly recommended accommodations in Kolakham. This fully wooden resort is located at the middle of Neora Valley National park and all of its fully equipped cozy rooms offer splendid 180 degree view of the surrounding range of mountains from the window pane.
- Local hilly delicacies like Momos, Thupkas and alike are sold in almost each eatery of Kolakham. Authentic Bengali cuisine, both veg and non-veg meals are also served at the hotels and road side eateries. As a taste changer you may also try out traditional Nepali dishes at the rural households only on prior request.
Entering into the piece of heavenTo take a break from my monotonous frustrating life, I booked a ticket of Darjeeling mail that heads towards Siliguri daily from Sealdah (Kolkata). On scheduled date, I took my seat on Darjeeling mail and went down to New Jalpaiguri Railway station (NJP) on next morning at around 9 am. Having a quick breakfast at NJP station, I hired a shared jeep that was going towards Lava and the jeep driver easily agreed to drop me along with two more tourists to Kolakham that is at a distance of 8 km from Lava. After a drive of 4 hours I finally took an entry into my destination - Kolakham. This pretty village brought a smile on my face at the first glance. At my pre booked homestay I was heartily welcomed by the hosts and I quickly went to keep my luggage in the pre-allotted neatly arranged room. After a quick shower I was called for lunch at its dinning hall where two more guests joined me for a healthy lunch freshly prepared by our host. During the lunch we all got familiar with each other and our friendly host. He informed us about the village, its history, culture and hidden treasure. He also suggested me the places where I would definitely be able to explore the beauty of Kolakham. At late afternoon I went outside to take a stroll around the village. This pleasant nature walk helped me to come closer to nature. I interacted with the local dwellers, paid a visit to the well decorated households and also enjoyed delicious home made momos in one of those Nepali households. Their friendliness and affection had already made my trip to Kolakham worthy and memorable. At night I dozed off under my quilt following a joyful dinner at the premises of our homestay.
Capturing beauty of Eastern HimalayasAt Kolakham, my morning was started with chirping of birds and a cup of aromatic Darjeeling tea. My sleepy eyes were astonished by the spectacular view of snow clad Mt. Kanchenjunga, Kabru, Kokthang, Kharg, Kabroo, Rathung, Talung, Simvo, Khang-Chen-D-Zongha, Siniolchu, Narsingh, and Pandim. The cool breeze and scenic beauty of the hamlet made my day. A healthy breakfast awaited for me in the dinning hall so I had it got ready quickly. Host of the homestay already arranged a car for sightseeing so I along with other got into the hired jeep to explore Kolakham. Our first destination was Changey Falls that is just 4 km away from Kolakham. The sparkling ever flowing water from the hill top made us spell bound. Then we headed towards Nature Interpretation Center at Neora Valley National park where we enjoyed a short trek through the dense forest and observed various colourful birds including Red-billed Leiothrix, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Leiothrix lutea Flocks, Heterophasia capistrata ,Alcippe castaneceps, Rufous Sibia and lots more. From Neora we opted for a short tour around the surrounding tea garden to inhale the fresh aroma of tea leaves. Our experienced Jeep driver also took us for a tour around the beautiful Charkol village. Then we returned back to our homestay. Our hosts prepared for us traditional hill style Bengali thalis and we finished such finger-licking dishes in no time. After lunch I packed my bag and headed towards my next destination Lava- Lolegaon. On prior request, the homestay owners book cabs, jeeps or private cars to drop the tourists at Siliguri, NJP or any of their choices of location. From Siliguri you would get trains, buses or flights to reach Kolkata or any other destination. Holy scenic beauty of Kolakham, breathtaking views of mighty Himalayas, welcoming nature of the native dwellers added colours to my splendid holidays at Kolakham.
For further details, contact the local host.
For further details, contact the local host.
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