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Do you want to spend a relaxing holiday in a homestay in and Around Darjeeling amidst the lush greenery and eye-soothing tea garden? If so then pack your bags and transport yourself to the quiet small hamlet of Kurseong- Dilaram, the best location for a homestay in and around Darjeeling. With its scenic beauty, calmness, serenity and healthy climate; Dilaram allows all its visitors to get some fresh enthusiasm for leading better lifestyles. At an altitude of around 1600 meter, Dilaram is situated on the Darjeeling-Kurseong Toy Train’s track. Having a lower elevation, Dilaram offers a healthy and milder climatic condition throughout the year. This picturesque hamlet’s beauty is also enhanced by wide spread green forests of Rhododendron, Chestnut and Mongolia along with layered tea plantations surrounding the village.
Although there are a lot of things to be enjoyed in Dilaram throughout the year the following activities must be included in your list of activities:
- Nature walk through the forests and tea gardens,
- Leisure walk through the village trails,
- Meeting with Himalayan Salamanders at Bhanzang Salamander Lake,
- Short trekking at Chatakpur, and
- Tripping Kurseong and nearby destinations.
Generally, all these spots are mostly at a walking distance however local transports are available for sightseeing at an affordable cost.
Being situated at a distance of only 8 km from Kurseong, Dilaram is well connected by motorable road with Kurseong and other major hilly points of North Bengal. An all-weather metalled road has joined Dilaram with Kalimpong, Siliguri and Gangtok. If you want to get connected with nature and feel relaxed amidst the hilly tropical vegetation then Dilaram would be the ideal weekend gateway for you.
- Bagdogra Airport is closest to Dilaram. It will take around 1.5 hours to reach Dilaram from Bagdogra airport by road. Frequent shared and private rental cars heading towards Kurseong or Dilaram (directly), are available from Bagdogra airport. The road journey from Siliguri to Dilaram would itself be a memorable experience.
- New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) is the mostly used railway station to reach Dilaram. Regular super-fast express trains - Darjeeling Mail, Kanchankanya Express, Uttarbanga Express etc. ply between Sealdah or Howrah Railway station (Kolkata) and NJP. From NJP station's entrance, plenty of shared or private cars head towards Kurseong at an affordable cost. The drive takes approximately 1 hour to reach Kurseong from Siliguri. From Kurseong, you would get rental cars or pickup services to reach Dilaram within 40 minutes.
- AC/Non AC Volvo buses also depart daily from Esplanade bus terminus (Kolkata) and from other particular towns to arrive at Siliguri bus stand. Shared and private rental vehicles are easily available from Siliguri bus stand to reach Kurseong and from then you have to take cars or jeeps up to Dilaram.
- At a distance of around 10 km from Kurseong, Chetri family has set up Kettle Valley Homestay amidst the lush green tea gardens of Dilaram. It is run and maintained by the family members themselves. The homestay is just at 2 minutes’ walk from the metallic road and it provides utmost peace as well as relaxing atmosphere keeping aside the hustle bustle of the city. Two rooms of this house have been converted into comfortable guest rooms that are well decked with modern living facilities including western toilets. A balcony is attached with the room from where a crystal clear view of the pristine Sandakphu and Mirik hills is seen in sunny days. Amidst the rustic rural environment, the homestay is surrounded by tea gardens, Chestnut & Mongolia forest and Cardamom plantation.
- Traditional home made hilly style Mom’s meals are served here in a healthy & hygienic way. Simple yet delicious dishes are prepared from freshly plucked home-grown vegetables. Warm hospitality and unconditional care are key motto of Kettle-Valley Homestay. Chetri herself takes care of the meals and snacks. In road side eateries you would also get sumptuous delicious local hilly delicacies.
ROAMING AROUND THE EYE-SOOTHING TEA GARDENSWhen I reached Siliguri bus stand, it was around 10 am of a sunny bright day. I started my journey from Esplanade bus terminus (Kolkata) last night at around 8 pm. Although it was Volvo AC bus but still the bus journey is more hectic than that of train. I gave a call to Kettle Valley Homestay 2 hours before reaching Siliguri so that they could send a car for me as I requested them for rental car service at time of booking. So a rental private car was waiting for me at the bus stand. After getting off the bus, I had some breakfast from the nearby eatery and then got into the car. The Siliguri roads were so congested that a quality time was wasted to get out of Siliguri. The cab driver took the short cuts to avoid the jam and finally we came out of the daily chores of the city. The road leading to the hills was as beautiful as expected and within 1.5 hours we reached at Kurseong. There was a spectacular view of hills playing with the white clouds. Then the car took a turn and entered into the tea gardens at downhill. Following a metallic road through the forest the car stopped at the gate of Kettle Valley Homestay that was just at the middle of a flourishing tea garden. I became spellbound at my first glance at Dilaram. The owner greeted me at the entrance and introduced me with all other family members. Their happy faces and warm welcome immediately gave me a homely feeling. After having a cup of Darjeeling tea while chitchatting with younger members of Chetri family, I went to my room that was neatly arranged by them to give me a comfortable stay. I settled in my room, took a shower and opted for a power nap. I woke up when Mrs. Chetri came to take me for lunch. She herself made delicious Bengali lunch for the guests and we all together relished the freshly prepared lunch at their dining area. True affection and care were seen in the food and service. After lunch, I sat with Mr. Chetri to chalk out my trip and he gave me lots of information about Dilaram & its nearby attractions. In late afternoon, I went outside to explore the village and the youngest member of Chetri family became my tour guide.
LEISURE WALK THROUGH THE FORESTSAt Dilaram, my morning started early with the sweet noise of cute birds and my sleepy eyes were immediately be refreshed by the lush green of surrounding tea gardens. One of the family member cum a friend of the homestay knocked my door and offered me to join him for a pleasant morning walk through the forest. I wrapped my shawl and followed him towards the forest area. We took entry into the Rhododendron forest that was as fresh as the morning dew. Walking through the Rhododendrons while playing with its green leaves and inhaling the smell of its freshly bloomed flowers really made my day at Dilaram. Our next destinations were the Mongolia & Chestnut forests. A long leisure walk through these forests took us to the track of Darjeeling-Kurseong. On our way back to Kettle-valley homestay, we enjoyed a plate of steamed Momos accompanied by cups of Darjeeling tea in a popular local road side eatery. Coming back to homestay, I took a hot shower and got ready quickly as I had to explore the nearby attractions too. The homestay owner already booked a car for me so that I could enjoy the sightseeing comfortably. The car was on time and picked me up from the doorstep of my homestay. Firstly, the car driver cum guide took me for a short tour around the village Dilaram. I crossed the narrow village trails while observing the daily life-struggles and activities of the village dwellers. Then the car headed towards Bhanzang Salamander Lake where I was fortunate enough to witness age-old Himalayan Salamanders playing with the cool water. Apart from the Salamanders, the lake itself was enriched with scenic Himalayan beauty. We moved towards Chatakpur where I along with my car driver cum guide took part in a short trekking through the hilly areas of Chatakpur. The climate of Dilaram was so mild and relaxing that I was not a little bit tired of such trekking or climbing up to the altitude. From Chatakpur we returned back to the homestay as they were waiting to have a lunch with me. At homestay I enjoyed another plate of delicious traditional lunch with all the family members and then took a leave from them. The car was waiting for me outside as I dealt with him to drop me in Siliguri. With heavy heart I bid goodbye to the lovely family of Kettle Valley homestay as well as the most beautiful Dilaram and headed towards Siliguri. On my way to Siliguri, I paid a short visit to some popular spots of Kurseong and reached Siliguri in late evening. My train was at night from NJP station. The car dropped me at NJP and on scheduled time I caught my train for Kolkata. Majestic beauty and calmness of such a small rural hamlet – Dilaram not only added some fresh colours in my life but also portrayed a beautiful picture in my heart’s canvas.
For further details, contact the local host.
For further details, contact the local host.
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