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Travelogue / West Bengal

A Holiday At Lava – Lolegaon – Rishap – Kolakham

On the way to New Mal Jn

It all started with “Cho Mondarmani Jai. Good Friday te tana 3 din chuti” (Let’s go to Mandarmani. We’ll get 3 long holidays due to Good Friday) by one of our friend. We all had already been to Mandarmani number of times and we all got bored by visiting the same place again and again. But then we thought about other probable options? Generally Bengali’s can’t think of anything else other than same old Digha, Mandarmani etc. as Weekend Destination, may be due limitations of not much options from Kolkata, I believe.

After discussing for 3 days over different destinations, I thought of North Bengal. Well, North Bengal is a heaven for Travelers with numbers of destinations and different options. First I thought of Lava and Lolegaon (also spelled as Loleygaon), but then after doing my research I thought of including Rishap (also spelled as Rishyap) and Kolakham. While doing my research I came upon Pedong and Charkhol, both of which are awesome destinations, but due to shortage of time, we thought of limiting this of our trip to Lava, Lolegaon (Loleygaon), Rishap (Rishyap) and Kolakham.

I quickly chalked out an Itenary and shared with my friends. Finally after few revisions, we fixed our stay at Kolakham and Rishop (Rishyap) instead of commonly chosen destination, Lava and Lolegaon (Loleygaon). All these places can be covered as Sightseen as well as you can stay, if you choose to. As not much options are there, instead of enjoying the scenic beauty.

Itenary

  • Day 1 : NMZ to Kolakham. Post Lunch visit Changey Falls. O/N at Kolakham
  • Day 2 : Kolakham to Rishap (Rishyap) via Neora Valley and Lava. O/N at Rishap (Rishyap)
  • Day 3 : Rishap (Rishyap) to NJP via Lolegaon (Lolegygaon) and Delo (Dealo)

All these happened in the 3rd week of March and all the trains to NJP were full. I quickly booked tickets for our onward journey at about Waiting List of 30, but we were out of luck for our return journey as the Waiting List was of above 150. So we thought of booking Tatkal by some agent, but suddenly on 26th March, I came upon a special train, NJP SRC Special (New Jalpaiguri to Santragachi), announced by Indian Railways as Summer Specials which will run only on Sunday’s. Without wasting a single second, I typed IRCTC in my browser and booked the tickets.

Now that all the arrangements were done, we just waited for the D Day to arrive. Believe me, this moment of waiting for your hard planned trip is like spending every day as a week. But as the trip was of only 3 days, we knew once it comes up, it’ll end just in few moments. So we all enjoyed the verge of this moment.

Trip To Lava Loleygaon Rishyap Kolakham

Finally the day came and we started our journey with Kanchankanya Express from Sealdah. Kanchankanya Express is the only train which goes upto New Mal Jn. (NMZ). If you are going to Lava / Lolegaon (Loleygaon) / Kolakham / Rishap (Rishyap) / Pedong / Charkhol etc., it’s always wise to go upto New Mal Jn. (NMZ) and take a cab upto Lava, which will cost you around 2200/-. From there, book a cab to your destination from Lava Car Syndicate. You can start your journey from NJP, but the cost will be much higher and also, you’ll have a hard time finding cab for Lava. Shared cabs for Lava is available from Siliguri, but nothing is guaranteed. Also, while going to NMZ you can enjoy the scenic beauty and thrilling experience of moving through caves. 🙂

Way to New Mal Jn

Way to New Mal Jn

  • Way To New Mal Jn

Day 1 : NMZ to Kolakham. Post Lunch visit Changey Falls. O/N at Kolakham

When we reached New Mal Jn. (NMZ) our Driver Ramen Da was waiting for us. Soon we started moving towards our first destination Kolakham. En-route to Kolakham, we took a break at Malbazar, for taking Cash out of ATM and getting our Drinks. 😛 Kolakham, Rishap (Rishyap), Lava, Lolegaon (Loleygaon), Pedong, Charkhol etc. these are very less known destinations as well as small villages with very few options. So up there you’ll hardly find any ATM. At Lava there’s an ATM, which will be out of Cash 90% of the times. Also the cost of the Drinks will be high, as you move upwards with very limited options. So it’s always best carry cash and choice of your drinks from plains. Don’t even think of using your plastic money there, else you’ll end up ruining your trip and going back down to get cash.

Way To Kolakham

Way To Kolakham

Way To Kolakham

Neora Valley Jungle Camp

It took us around 3.5 Hours to reach our Hotel, Silent Valley, in Kolakham with few breaks in between. It really felt like Silent Valley, where practically you have nothing to do rather than enjoying the scenic beauty. Kolakham is a small village in Kolbong Forest within the Neora Valley. While moving through Neora Valley, in between through the Pine trees, we all wondered how God have designed the Nature and soon we realized how we city people have destructed it and now we thrive for it with different Go Green pledges. It was just awesome. Wish I had more words to describe the scenic beauty of the nature here. We were greeted warmly by the staff and they took to our room.

  • Way To Kolakham

Silent Valley, Kolakham

Silent Valley, Kolakham

Silent Valley, Kolakham

When we entered the room we were just speechless. Wow..!!

Silent Valley

Silent Valley

  • View From Silent Valley Kolakham

I had already called Mr. Subrata (the owner of Silent Valley) beforehand, when we were at Malbazar and informed about our hereabouts. So, the lunch was ready when we were there. Soon we were served Lunch at the Restaurant. This was the best lunch I ever had.

Post lunch, after taking rest for few minutes, we started for Changey Falls. Within 30 minutes we reached the point from where we trekked down to see the falls. The road was steep and while going down we noticed halt rooms around the turns. Though we didn’t understand the significance of these while going down. But it was not too late for us to understand why these have been made while returning back.

Way To Changey Falls

Way To Changey Falls

Way To Changey Falls

Way To Changey Falls

Changey Falls

Changey Falls

It was around 5:30 PM and we left for our Hotel. As soon as we reached we were given some snacks and Tea. Rest of the evening we enjoyed doing masti among ourselves. At around 9 PM we were called for Dinner. Though in hilly areas people sleeps early but we City people couldn’t adjust with that. So we enjoyed with our Antiquity Blue till 1 AM in the midnight and after that we went to sleep 🙂

Day 2 : Kolakham to Rishap (Rishyap) via Neora Valley and Lava. O/N at Rishap (Rishyap)

It was 6:30 AM in the morning when we woke up and was amazed when we removed the curtains. We all were excited to see Kangchenjunga (actually pronounced and spelled as Kanchendzonga). We just couldn’t move from the window for few minutes. Soon we were served Bed Tea and after that we started getting ready for moving along, according to our Itenary. After breakfast we left Silent Valley and Kolakham at around 9 AM.

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First we went to Lava to get our permits to enter Neora Valley. Though technically we were staying in Neora Valley only, as Kolakham is in Neora Valley base area. But to go up to Zero Point one needs to get permission from Lava. But we didn’t do that previous day while going to Kolakham as we were not aware about the same. So we got permission for Chaufadder Point . While in Lava we ordered our Lunch at Hotel Tibet.

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It took us around 2 Hours to reach Chaufadder Point. After waiting for few minutes and few formalities, the Guide took us further for the trek. It was an awesome experience. This was first time we were trekking in Forest. Though we didn’t came across any Red Panda, but we did managed to see few birds and butterflies. Finally when we reached the end point we just felt that, we are at the source of Changey Falls. The paths around it is dangerous as you need to walk above the roots of the trees which are slippery. After spending some time and few clicks we returned. The trek was about 1 Hour.

Way To Neora Valley

Way To Neora Valley

  • Neora Valley

When we reached Chaufadder Point, we ordered Green Tea. It was authentic Green Tea and nothing else was available. We all felt hungry, so without wasting any time we started for Lava. The weather at Lava was just awesome. We could touch the Fogs, as it was flying so low. It felt really cold.

Lava

Lava

Post lunch we did some shopping in and around. Finally we visited Lava Monastery. We have been to various Monastery before, so we felt nothing special here.

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  • Lava Monastery

At around 5 PM in the evening we started for Rishap (Rishyap). It took us around 30 Minutes to reach our Hotel, Himalayan Hut in Rishap (Rishyap). While on Lava, we had already informed Mr. Bimal Gurung (owner of Himalayan Hut).

Upon reaching our Hotel, Mr. Tamang helped us getting into our rooms. I just couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the whole 180 Deg Kangchenjunga (Kanchendzonga) view. We asked Mr. Tamang to arrange Bonfire and Barbeque. We had already informed about the same to Mr. Bimal Gurung when we were at Lava, as everything needs to be arranged beforehand, as there’s nothing much at Rishap (Rishyap). We ordered 2KG Chicken for us which they had already got from Lava when we called Mr. Gurung.

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Mr. Tamang informed us that weather at Rishap (Rishyap) is very unpredictable, so it could rain anytime. It was chilly and was around 2 – 3 Deg Centigrade. So we didn’t wasted any more time and rest of the evening we spent enjoying Antiquity Blue, warming ourselves in the heat of Bonfire. After few minutes Mr. Tamang started roasting Chicken and soon we were served the same. It was just fabulous. We had tried Barbeque before, even at home we do it sometimes, but it never tasted like this.

  • Barbeque at Rishop

At around 8 PM it started raining, so we hurried ourselves into our room. It was raining heavily and electricity was cut off as trees fell due to the storm. At around 9 PM we were called for Dinner. After having dinner at around 10 PM hotel staff turned off the generator. So practically we had nothing to do, at 3 Deg C while raining, so we followed Early to Bed mantra 🙂

Day 3 : Rishap (Rishyap) to NJP via Lolegaon (Lolegygaon) and Delo (Dealo)

Though we are not an early riser, but due the early sunrise we woke up at around 5:30 AM. It was cloudy morning as it was heavily raining whole night. But as time passed by, at around 7 AM, the sky started getting clear and gradually we were getting the 180 Degree view of Kangchenjunga (Kanchendzonga). We packed our bags as it was the last day of our trip. We got ready and left Himalayan Hut, Rishap (Rishyap) at around 11 AM.

DSC02359

DSC02357

We went to Lolegaon (Loleygaon), but due to the storm, day before, and rain there were few road blocks as the trees fell down on the street.

Way to Loleygaon

Way to Loleygaon

Way to Loleygaon

But finally after all the hassles we reached Lolegaon (Loleygaon) at around 1 PM. But we were out of luck as the Hanging Bridge, Canopy Walk itself got broken due to the storm. Still we helped ourselves to climb up and enjoy the ride..!!

Canopy Walk, Hanging Bridge

Canopy Walk, Hanging Bridge

  • Loleygaon

At around 2 PM, after having some Momo at a nearby shop (infact the only shop near Hanging Bridge, Canopy Walk) we left for Delo (Dealo). It took us around 3 Hours to reach Delo (Dealo). We tried bargaining about the Paragliding, but it didn’t helped us. So we enjoyed rest of the evening at Delo (Dealo) and left for NJP at around 5:30 PM.

Dealo

  • Dealo

It was around 8:30 when we reached NJP. Our train was at 23:00 Hrs, but it got delayed for another hour.

Finally we were back to Kolkata. The train was late by about 3 Hours, and it reached Santragachi (SRC) at 1 PM instead of 10 AM. It was scorching hot at Kolkata. We helped ourselves to book a Mega Cab to our home. Finally the trip ends with some loving memories. We felt like we were travelling for 4 – 5 days whereas it’s just been 2 days. May be because we all were together after a long gap.

Trip to Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap, Kolakham, Neora Valley, Dealo

Miss you all guys 🙂

Costs Involved:
Silent Valley, Kolakham – 4 Bedroom @ 2200/- and 3 Bedroom @ 1700/- = 3900/-
Himalayan Hut, Rishap (Rishyap) – 4 Bedroom @ 1500/- and 3 Bedroom @ 1300/- = 2800/-
Total Accommodation = 6700/-
We were 7 persons and so we booked exclusive vehicle for our entire trip @ 3500/- per day = 10,500/-
Fooding were 425/- per day per person. (This includes Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Dinner) [Note : It’s the meal plan of hotel]
Bonfire = 350/-
Barbeque = Chicken 350/- per KG.
Train Cost – Onward Journey via Kanchankanya Express @ 385/- and Return Journey via NJP SRC Special @ 350/- = 735/- per head

Understanding The Rules of Syndicate:
It’s been quite some time, I have been getting a lot of queries regarding syndicate and how it affects us and our plan to visit these regions. So I thought of coming up with a short paragraph to make it easier for you to understand and plan accordingly.

Please keep in mind that Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap & Kolakham are heavily under the influence of Car Syndicate. For those who don’t know what Syndicate is, let me phrase it easily for you – Think of it as a union / welfare society of local drivers which makes it mandatory to hire the vehicle from them for any kind of sightseeing in these regions. That means you are not allowed to travel in a vehicle which is not part of the syndicate for sightseeing. Outside vehicle (that are not part of the Syndicate) are only allowed to Pickup / Drop you from Railway Station / Airports and cannot do any sightseeing in these regions. And the union / welfare society has fixed rates for all the routes so that the charges are uniform and anyone (any driver who’s part of the syndicate) cannot overcharge / scam the tourists. This helps them generating a source of income for the locals.

While coming from NJP / NMZ / Bagdogra, you can either book a vehicle from syndicate for pickup from Railway Station / Airport (ask your hotel to arrange the same) or you can also book a vehicle on you own on-spot at Railway Station / Airport. As the vehicle you’d be booking on-spot at Railway Station / Airport would just drop you to your destination, it’s allowed. But you can’t use that vehicle for sightseeing. That means if you book a private vehicle for the whole trip, it’s a loss for you, as you’d have to hire a vehicle separately for sightseeing from the syndicate.

Now, there’s a catch. Say you are visiting for 3 Nights and you planned to stay at Lava, Rishyap & Kolakham respectively for each of the night. In this case, you can keep a private vehicle (not from Syndicate) with you. The catch is, you cannot use the vehicle with you for sightseeing after you check-in to your hotel. So you may do all the sightseeing first before checking in to your hotel. So going by the above example, on first day you’d directly check-in at Lava from NJP / NMZ / Bagdogra. Next day after checking-out from Lava you’d do all the sightseeing of Lava and check-in to Rishyap and so on. Hope you get the point.

However, if you plan to stay at a single destination for more than 1 Night, then it’s not possible for you to use the above plan. Say for e.g. you’d be staying at Lava for 2N and Rishyap for 1N. In that case, you are not checking out on 2nd day and thus, you won’t be allowed to use your vehicle to do the sightseeings. In this case, you must hire a vehicle from the syndicate for the sightseeing on 2nd day. As hiring private vehicle for the whole trip means you’d be paying a charge on per day basis, so in this case, if you hire a private vehicle, you’d be paying him for sitting idle on 2nd day and on top of that you’ll have to pay extra to hire a vehicle from the syndicate for Lava Sightseeing. So you see, you are paying double which kills the purpose of hiring a private vehicle.

So in simple words, keep in mind that “You must stay at different destination on each of the days to have a private vehicle with you“. Hope I’m able to explain the things clearly in an easier way.

Now, another thing to keep in mind is that, if you are planning to visit Changey Falls, and not staying in Kolakham, no matter what, you must hire a vehicle from the Syndicate. Well, think in terms of what I explained above! As you are not staying in Kolakham, there’s no hotel that you can check-in / check-out which means there’s no Pickup / Drop in this case. So there’s no way you can enter Kolakham with your private vehicle without telling the truth that you are visiting Changey Falls for sightseeing! However, if you are staying at Kolakham, then you are allowed to enter with your private vehicle. And you can visit Changey Falls before checking in or after checking out the next day with the vehicle you have hired.

Tips For The Visitors:

  • Lava, Lolegaon (Loleygaon), Kolakham, Rishap (Rishyap), Pedong, Charkhol are interconnected with each other by around 30 minutes to 2 hours, with Lava being the largest and well-known Town around. Except for Lava and Lolegaon (Loleygaon) everything else is lesser-known destination. All these destinations can be covered as sightseen, by staying at a single destination, as you have nothing much to do on most of these places except enjoying the scenic beauty. I’d suggest staying at Rishap (Rishyap) / Kolakham / Charkhol if you want to enjoy the scenic beauty and love to be isolated from the crowd in Lava. Also if you are there for more than one days, try to stay at different destinations. This way you won’t get bored (as I already said, you practically have nothing to do) and you can experience different ambience.
  • As for Sightseeings, you can go to Lava Monastery at Lava and can do some shopping in Lava. There’s Hanging Bridge, Canopy Walk at Lolegaon (Loleygaon) and Changey Falls at Kolakham. So expect these three places, nothing is there for sightseeing. So if you are not a nature lover, you’ll be bored easily.
  • Always carry cash, for the whole trip. There’s no ATM at these forest areas. You’ll encounter one ATM at Lava but chances are that will be out of service or out of cash most of the times. And don’t even think of using your Plastic Money there.
  • If you are planning for Paragliding, you can easily do one in Delo (Dealo) or Kalimpong. It costs around 3000/- for 15 – 20 Mins and 4000 for 30 Mins.
  • The same goes for River Rafting (known as White Water Rafting) as well. But the point is different. It’s on the junction where you take the route to Gangtok. It costs around 5000/- per boat for 30 mins.
  • If it’s raining, avoid stepping into the grasses, as there are possibilities of leeches, so if possible please carry some salt to be safe.
  • Lava is the entry point of Neora Valley National Park. Where you need to arrange the permits.
  • Except Lava and Lolegaon (Loleygaon), other destinations are very small villages with around hardly 10 families. So be generous when you visit any hotels (Cottages) over there. Also keep in mind, that anything you want, please arrange it or tell them beforehand, as everything needs to be arranged from Lava. So please don’t be cruel.
  • Carry your drinks from Malbazar / NJP / Siliguri, from where you are starting your journey. Because as you go above the charges will increase and options will be limited.
  • Don’t spend your entire time in the journey. Enjoy the scenic beauty of nature which we city people have destroyed. Also, don’t make much noise as this disturbs the environment of forest and these places.
  • It’s recommended to book exclusive vehicle throughout the trip.

This trip would not have been such a memorable one without

Special Thanks To:
Mr. Dipankar (North East Travels) for helping us brushing up our itinerary and booking Hotels and Car. He really is a very knowledgeable person of North East areas and can provide great solutions for your trips in these areas. He himself is an avid traveller. He just not only does business with you, but always provide cost-effective tips. I always love DIY, but I’m really happy after dealing with Dipankar Da.

Thanks to Dipans, Ashis Roy and other active members from TripAdvisor Forum for their contributions. Thanks Dipans for suggesting Mr. Dipankar.

Contacts:
Mr. Dipankar Roy (North East Travels)
Email : northeasttravels2008@gmail.com
Phone : +918972247306

Driver : Mr. Ramen – +919679868649

Silent Valley, Kolakham : Mr. Subrata – +919830190503 / +918981530735

Himalayan Hut, Rishap (Rishyap) : Mr. Bimal Gurung – +919733093588

About Author

Hi, I'm born and bought up in Kolkata in the midst of what bongs are best known for - Eating, Sleeping and Travelling. A developer by profession and a traveller by passion. As I was facing a lack of budget-friendly information on the internet while planning my travel, I started drafting my travel experiences here to help you all having a pocket-friendly smooth travel experience.

201 Comments

  • Ranit bhowmik
    January 13, 2017 at 11:47 PM

    Hi,

    It is been nice reading your diary…. Quite informative.. I have a query… Is shared vehicle available for Lava-Rishyap-Lolegaon from NMZ?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 14, 2017 at 12:02 AM

      Thanks a lot Ranit 🙂

      Unfortunately there are no shared vehicle in these region. You can either keep exclusive vehicle for throughout the tour else hire car everyday as per your itinerary from car syndicate out there. Fares are fixed for everything at the syndicate.

      From NMZ it’d take around Rs. 2000/- – 2500/- for Lava / Loleyagon / Rishop / Kolakham.

      Reply
      • Ranit bhowmik
        January 14, 2017 at 2:01 PM

        Even at off-season I mean now the price is fixed? What about from NJP/Siliguri.. Are shared vehicle available?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          January 14, 2017 at 2:27 PM

          Well you can try bargaining the price. No even from NJP / Siliguri there’s no shared vehicle in this region.

          Reply
      • Pratyusha
        November 27, 2019 at 10:57 PM

        We are a group of four girls aged around 21-23…how safe is it for us to make a trip to this region ?..we are planning a trip on February and want to visit to Lava-lolegao-Rishap-kolakhap..it wilk be a 3days 2 nights trip…what should our itinerary be?and how to make it cost effective ?

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          November 27, 2019 at 11:09 PM

          Hi Pratyisha, Yes it’s relatively very safe for womens to visit this place on their own. As you have 2N I’d recommend you to stay at Lava / Kolakham for a night and Rishyap for another night.

          As you are 4 person, hire a private vehicle at your disposal. As it’d be more cost effective than hiring vehicle seperately on-spot for each of the destinations. But keep in mind that, if you don’t stay at Kolakham, you won’t be able to visit Changey Falls with the private vehicle and have to hire a vehicle from Syndicate.

          Reply
          • Pratyusha
            November 28, 2019 at 3:06 PM

            Thank you ?

            Reply
  • Jay
    January 16, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Fantastic description. I read this blog again and again as I have been tasked with planning a similar trip for my family and friends. Hope I can do it this good.

    Reply
  • Diptyajit Paul
    March 18, 2017 at 3:04 AM

    can you please tell me how much car fare will be there only for lava to loleygaon trip? will be there any share car ?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 18, 2017 at 9:07 AM

      Hi Diptyajit, Unfortunately there’s no shared car on this region and tourists must hire cars from Car Syndicate only if you are staying for more than one night at each destination.

      Otherwise if you are staying for only one night at each destination then you can bring outside vehicles exclusively for the whole tour.

      Lava to Loleygaon would be within 1000/- – 1500/-. But you don’t need to worry on this front, as the fares of syndicate are fixed and you won’t be foolled.

      Reply
  • Diptyajit Paul
    March 18, 2017 at 12:07 PM

    Thank you Krishnandu. My trip plan is like this->
    5/4- gorumara stay and jungle safari
    6/4- gorumara to kalingpong dello via lava and night stay at rishyap
    7/4- rishyap to lava by trekking and then lava to loleygaon and night stay at lava
    8/4- lava to kolakham and night stay at lava
    9/4- lava to jpe and boarding at train

    So can you please tell me that the trip plan is alright or not !! and I have some queries on fares as we are college students (4 people) and we have a limited budget.
    1) lava to kolakham car fare?
    2) Is there any hill top point up from Rishyap where we can trek?
    3) what are the places to see in lava by a trek?
    and you told lava to loleygaon car fare will be within 1000-1500/-..so is that price for lava to loleygaon and then come back to lava again?
    and if you have any suggestion in your mind to modify our trip please inform me.
    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 18, 2017 at 2:16 PM

      Hi Diptyajit, Yes the itinerary is fine, but I’d like to suggest one change for “8/4- lava to kolakham and night stay at lava”, instead of staying at Lava for 2 nights, stay one night at Kolakham, you’d love the experience of staying inside Neora Valley 🙂

      1) lava to kolakham car fare?

      A. Around 1500/-

      2) Is there any hill top point up from Rishyap where we can trek?

      A. Yes you can trek upto Tiffindara.

      3) what are the places to see in lava by a trek?

      A. Nothing much. You can go to Lava Monastery and roam around the market. Lava is kind of a town. You can visit Neora Valley Nature Interpretation Center. You can go and trek to Neora Valley from there.

      and you told lava to loleygaon car fare will be within 1000-1500/-..so is that price for lava to loleygaon and then come back to lava again?

      A. No round trip fare is around 1500/- – 2000/-.

      and if you have any suggestion in your mind to modify our trip please inform me.

      A. Ahhh I have already suggested that above!!

      Reply
  • Jayasish Ghosh
    April 17, 2017 at 1:09 PM

    hello krishnendu…thanks for the beautiful description..i was planning a trip with my 75 yrs mother and sister’s family. i choose kolkham-rishyap-ramdhura after reading your blog.my itinerary is like this..
    21st april –20:30 p.m. kanchankanya express(13149) from sealdah
    22nd april— 09:20 a.m. arrival at New Mal junction—go to kolakham village via jhandi dara view point (by car) —Night stay at kolakham silent valley resort
    23rd april— Sightseeing (chungey falls etc) by walk—Night stay at kolakham
    24th april—after breakfast go to rishop (by car via lava and neora valley sightseeing) — reach rishop by afternoon—-night stay at rishop at Himalayan hut hotel.
    25th april—after breakfast leave rishop—go to ramdhura village via lolegaon sightseeing by car—night stay at ramdhura
    26th april—after breakfast leave ramdhura—go to new mal junc via delo sightseeing—train kanchankanya exp from new mal at 6:30 p.m.
    27th april—back to sealdah at 8:15 a.m.
    Is that ok??if yes..i have some queries…hope u can help..
    1. what about the tempareture there in last week of april?i am a bit worried about my mother. they are saying one sweater is enough..is that true??
    2.we booked an exclusive vehicle for the whole journey and he is taking 12500/-..is that a fair amount??
    3.how is food there?
    4. to stay in risyap or other places is permission mandatory??if yes ,all members of the grp should have an id card right?my mother lost her card..so will that be a prob??
    I like to travel very much.actually trekking is my passion.but this time i am a little bit worried about my mother.so pls help me…thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      April 17, 2017 at 2:04 PM

      Hi Jayasish, Thank you and I’m glad that you liked it. Your itinerary is perfect. But I don’t think it’d be a good idea to take your mother to Changey Falls, as to reach the same you have to go downhill by walk a lot. Which can be an issue for her, while coming back. Rest all looks like. You may also exclude her from the Neora Valley Trek, which is also not feasible at her age.

      1. what about the tempareture there in last week of april?i am a bit worried about my mother. they are saying one sweater is enough..is that true??

      A. Yes temperature would be moderate in April. Just to ensure the safety, carry sweater along with either one of a jacket / windcheater / thermals / woolicot. That would be more than enough.

      2.we booked an exclusive vehicle for the whole journey and he is taking 12500/-..is that a fair amount??

      A, Yes the amount is very good.

      But here’s something for your information.

      In this region, there’s a rule that states if one is staying for more than one night at any destination, he/she must hire vehicle from Car Syndicate and cannot use outside vehicle. Hotel / Homestay owners are very closely tied up with the syndicate and may cause an issue due to the same.

      You are allowed to hire your own exclusive vehicle (outside Car Syndicate) if you are staying for one night at each destination though. But the issue is for more than one night.

      But, the catch is, if you don’t use the vehicle on the 2nd day of your stay at Kolakham (i.e.23rd April) and you really walk to Changey Falls from your hotel, then it’s fine. The thing is you won’t be able to use the vehicle 23rd April for Sightseeing without checking out completely. If you need a vehicle on 23rd April, you have to hire it from Car Syndicate.

      Though this depends on whether the homestay owner co-operates with you and doesn’t complain the Syndicate.

      3.how is food there?

      A. Homely and tasty I’d say!!

      4. to stay in risyap or other places is permission mandatory??if yes ,all members of the grp should have an id card right?my mother lost her card..so will that be a prob??

      A. There’s no such permission required. For hotels, you need to give photocopy of Voter ID Card, which any one can do. It’s not required for every member.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
  • prasenjit Roy
    May 15, 2017 at 6:28 PM

    hi krishnandu,

    i have booking 1 nt at kolakham and 2 nt ryshop. 3nt / 4day planning.

    day 1- NMZ to Kolakham and rest
    day 2- Changi Falls (Morning), after breakfast/ lunch towards Neora Vally Zero Point, lava monestry. nt stay ryshop.
    day 3- Morning tiffin dara. after breakfast delo n sillary gaon. nt stay ryshop.
    day 4- lolegaon and charkhol. afternoon NMZ.

    is this plan ok???
    should i book a exclusive vehicle for the entire trip. Some1 cost us 12000/- for 4 days.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 15, 2017 at 7:01 PM

      Hi Prasenjit, Yes the itinerary is fine. But you might not be able to do Charkhole and proceed to NMZ on Day 4 due to the time constaint.

      If you book an exclusive vehicle, make sure it belongs to Syndicate, otherwise you can’t use that vehicle on Day 2.

      Outside vehicles are not allowed to do sightseeing unless you checkout of the hotel / homestays. It’s a rule there to help employment of the locals.

      If you can’t get a vehicle of Syndicate, which is very tough to hire exclusively for the whole tour, as they prefer to do day tours only, I’d suggest you to book vehicles on spot on point to point basis. Otherwise you’d be loosing out on Day 2 as you won’t be able to use the outside vehicle and must hire a vehicle from Syndicate anyway.

      Reply
  • prasenjit Roy
    May 16, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    Dear Mr Krishnendu,

    Thanks for your reply.

    No1. You told me not to book a exclusive vehicle because on day 2 at ryshop they wont allow us exclusive vehicle. So if I book on spot on point to point basis, then total vehicle expenses should be higher. Right?? IF yes, then please can you tell me How Much (the difference amount)??

    No2. you told me we cant cover charkhol on day 4 bcz of shortage of time. So what should i do?? you know our itinerary. please suggest or rearrenge our itinerary.

    btw our journey dates 23 – 26 th May. (22nd eve train from sealdah & 26th eve train from NMZ)

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 16, 2017 at 9:34 PM

      Hi Prasenjit, Yes, because if you hire exclusive vehicle you’ll be paying for it day wise, say Rs. 3500/- per day. But on Day 2, you’d not be allowed to use that vehicle anyway and you’d have to hire another vehicle for again Rs. 2500/- – 3000/-. So on Day 2 you’d be paying 3500 + 3000/- = 6500/-. It’s not like point to point vehicle expenses are higher, but it might not cost you Rs. 3500/- every day.

      Let me explain, the reason of keeping exclusive vehicle is, they would charge us day wise say Rs. 3500/- per day. But for point to point vehicle you’d be charged at fixed rate from Syndicate according to the distance. So whatever it is you have to pay as the rate is fixed by Syndicate.

      So for say Kolakham – Rishop might be done in Rs. 2000/- – Rs. 2500/-. A Day trip to Changey Falls and Lava Monastery might be done in Rs. 1500/- – Rs. 2000/-. So you get my point right?

      So you want to do Charkhole? In that case you can do it like…

      23rd : NMZ – Kolakham. Visit Changey Falls.
      24th : Kolakham – Rishop via Lava & Neora Valley.
      25th : Rishop – Charkhole via Loleygaon & Kaffer
      26th : Charkhole – NMZ.

      1. Now as you are not staying for 2 nights at any of the destination with the modified itinerary above, you may hire exclusive vehicle.
      2. Even if you hire exclusive vehicle, that vehicle might not be able to do Neora Valley. Check with the driver first. So you might have to hire another vehicle for Neora Valley Zero Point.
      3. I have ditched Sillery Gaon, as it’s on a different route. Plan it different time along with Silk Route.
      4. You may or may not be able to include Dealo and Kalimpong on 26th depending on the time you have, as Dealo and Kalimpong is on a different route than NMZ. It’d have been possible if your ticket was from NJP instead. Anyway check with the driver again on this.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
  • Geeta
    May 20, 2017 at 5:37 PM

    Dear Krishnandu,
    Very informative,and cost effective analysis. I want to go Lava Lolegaon ( any other hill area in north Bengal )trip for 3/4 days with my 12 years son in his summer vacation(till 15th june) please suggest my tour plan from kolkata.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 20, 2017 at 11:00 PM

      Hi Geeta, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      If you want to do this Lava, Loleygaon, Rishop, Kolakham trip in mid June, you may go for it. But please notice that during that time it may rain a bit.

      So for 3-4 days it’d be like

      Day 1 : NMZ – Kolakham
      Day 2 : Kolakham – Rishop via Lava & Neora Valley
      Day 3 : Rishop – Charkhole via Loleygaon
      Day 4 : Charkhole – NJP via Teesta Barrage / Kalimpong & Dealo.

      Reply
  • Prasun
    May 22, 2017 at 12:58 PM

    Dear Mr Krishnandu,
    we are planning a trip in North Bengal during DURGA puja this year. Pl guide us whether it is posible to stay 2 nights at Samsing and will explore Sultanekhola and then move to Kolakham for 2 nights. Otherwise you can suggest me a itinerary for 4 nights 5 days in North Bengal . Pl guide.

    With thanks,
    Prasun

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 22, 2017 at 2:06 PM

      Hi Prasun, Well you for 4N/5D you may plan around Lava, Loleygaon, Rishop, Kolakham, Charkhole otherwise you may plan around Samsing, Suntaletkhola, Jhallong, Bindu along with Chapramari and/or Gorumara in Dooars.

      Please let me know your preference, I can then suggest you a proper itinerary.

      Reply
      • Prasun
        May 23, 2017 at 12:13 AM

        Krishnandu,thanks for your early response. It is clear from your post that you are not preferring Samsing -Sultanekhola-Kolakham tour plan . Then I may plan like this

        Day 1: From NZM or NJP directly Rishap .

        Day 2: Rishap to Charkhol via Lava Monastery .

        Day 3 & 4 : At Kolakham.

        Day 5 : Njp or NMZ

        PL share your opinion.

        Thanks,
        Prasun.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          May 23, 2017 at 4:46 PM

          Hi Prasun, Actually Samsing, Suntaleykhola comes under Dooars region. Though you may definitely combine both Kolakham along with these two, but in that case you’d miss out some picturesque destination along that route.

          So I’d suggest you to concentrate on either of the region and have another trip to the other!!

          Ahh your route plan is not right, please find the correct route plan below…

          Day 1: From NMZ – Kolakham

          Day 2: Kolakham – Rishop via Lava & Neora Valley

          Day 3 : Rishop – Charkhole via Loleygaon

          Day 4 : Charkhole.

          Day 5 : Charkhole – NJP via Teesta Barrage / Kalimpong & Dealo

          And if you want to do Samsing / Suntaleykhola

          Day 1: From NMZ – Kolakham

          Day 2: Kolakham – Rishop via Lava & Neora Valley

          Day 3 : Rishop – Suntaleykhola River Camp via Kalimpong

          Day 4 : Day Trip To Samsing, Jhallong, Bindu

          Day 5 : Suntaleykhola River Camp – NJP

          Reply
  • Prasun
    May 23, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Dear Krishnandu, really obliged with your suggestion. Can you please guide me which place will be better for 2 night stay – Kolakham or Charkhol ? Even if, u already planned 2 night at Charkhol. May we enjoy Rishikhola during return time to NJP by road?
    PL suggest best accommodation at Rishap and Charkhol. I visited Rishap and Lava in 2010. At that time we stayed at Neora Valley Resort at Rishap. Planning stay in Kolakham Retreat at Kolakham.

    At last I have been going through your every travel blogs and became a fan of you. ?

    Thanks
    Prasun

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 23, 2017 at 5:01 PM

      Hi Prasun, I’d suggest to spend 2 nights at all of Rishop, Kolakham & Charkhole!! They are so beautiful and best to relax overviewing the Kanchenjungha. But the problem is as per the rules, if you stay more than one night in Kolakham, Rishop, Lava & Loleygaon, you have to hire Syndicate vehicles for sightseeing and cannot use the exclusive (outside) vehicle you’ll hire.

      In simple words, the thing is you cannot use your own vehicle that you bought with you before checking out of the hotel. Thus I suggested staying 2 nights at Charkhole.

      Ahh, Reshikhola is on different route. I won’t suggest going that way, as cars will charge you a high rate for that in that case.

      I’d suggest you to make another trip to Reshikhola, Sillery Gaon, Icchey Gaon, Ramdhura, Pedong etc.

      And if you don’t want to stay 2 Nights at Charkhole and looking for exploring another gem nearby, look at Kaffer village!! Most peoples think Loleygaon and Kaffer to be same (due to the marketing strategy), but they are different!! Or you may check Chuikhim as well, but alcohol is strictly banned in Chuikhim (if that matters) 😛

      For Charkhole, Blue Pine Retreat is the best accommodation option available. And for Rishop, you may try Himalayan Hut, where I stayed. Please check above images and reviews for details of Himalayan Hut.

      Reply
      • Prasun
        June 8, 2017 at 10:38 AM

        Dear Krishnandu , Now it becomes my habit to go through any of your blogs of different places everyday. So nice you have presented everything there. Last of all I have booked hotels at RIshap for 2 nights & Kolakham for 2 nights. Now one problem has come that we r reaching Siliguri on Nabami and will start journey to Rishap early morning on 39/10. As that day is Dusera , I have great doubt whether I will get any shared hip for Lava or not . At that case I am planning to reach Kalingpong with shared hip or by bus and from there Rishap by exclusive vehicle . Pl share your opinion.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          June 8, 2017 at 10:51 AM

          Hi Prasun, I’m glad that you find my post helpful 🙂

          Yes, Dussehra being the key festival among Nepali’s there will be shortage of cars on that day, but you’ll still find other vehicles by Hindu drivers on that route.

          Otherwise, go as per your plan i.e. take a shared vehicle to Kalimpong and then hire a exclusive vehicle to Kolakham / Rishop as per your itinerary.

          Reply
  • Anirban
    May 25, 2017 at 4:24 PM

    Can’t have a better guide with details … great job!

    Reply
  • Anonymous
    June 7, 2017 at 2:24 PM
  • priyanka das
    June 7, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    eta pore khub bhalo laglo. khub sundor. ami o jete chai. NMZ theke Lava Rishyap Lolegaon Sillerygaon tour plan ki korbo??

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 7, 2017 at 3:40 PM

      Hi Priyanka, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 😉

      Let me know when you are planning and for how many days. I can then suggest you an itinerary.

      Reply
      • PRIYANKA DAS
        June 7, 2017 at 3:51 PM

        in the month of October and for 3/4 days.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          June 7, 2017 at 5:17 PM

          You may do it like..

          Day 1 : NMZ – Kolakham
          Day 2 : Kolakham – Rishop via Lava
          Day 3 : Rishop – Sillery Gaon via Loleygaon
          Day 4 : Sillery Gaon – NJP

          You may do it in exact reverse order too, but I’d suggest to stick to the above plan, as you get to experience train journey through Dooars!! And if you haven’t travelled to NMZ before via Kanchankanya, then this is going to be an unique experience for you!!

          PS ; Book Kanchankanya Express for NMZ.

          Reply
  • PRIYANKA DAS
    June 7, 2017 at 6:00 PM

    thaks a lot.
    ami NMZ kanchankanya te gechilam doors a. takhn doors darjeeling pelling gantok korechi 15dys total legechilo

    Reply
  • Indrarup Saha
    June 8, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Great work Krishnandu da…..you have really been a great help to so many travelers and tourists, as evident from your blog page. Really appreciate it.
    I too have a query related to North Bengal travel.
    We have our rail tickets confirmed from Kolkata to NJP on 19th Sept 2017 (night) and from NJP to Kolkata on 26 Sept 2017 (evening).
    We are a group of 14 members (all adults, with 4 senior citizens) – all fit and fine.
    Our tentative itinerary is given below :-
    19.9.17 – Darjeeling Mail from Kolkata (night)
    20.9.17 – NJP to Darjeeling via Kurseong (overnight at Darjeeling)
    21.9.17 – Darjeeling and in and around (overnight at Darjeeling)
    22.9.17 – transfer to Kalimpong via Takdah (overnight at Kalimpong)
    23.9.17 – transfer to Rishyap (overnight at Rishyap)
    24.9.17 – Sight seeing at Lava, Lolegaon – back to Rishyap (overnight at Rishyap)
    25.9.17 – transfer to Kolakham – Sight seeing at Charkhole & Neora valley National Park (overnight at Kolkakham)
    26.9.17 – Kolakham to NJP via Gorubathan – Darjeeling mail (evening)
    27.9.17 – Kolkata

    Kindly, advise if this itinerary is O.K. We do prefer quaint, serene natural beauty…but, most of us have not seen Darjeeling before, therefore had to dedicate 2 days there (mainly for the rarest of rare glimpse of Kanchenjunga, the next morning) . What do you suggest? Any deletion, addition, route change as per your views?

    Also, we have always been budget travelers….so our permissible budget for this tour per head (inclusive everything) is around Rs8500/- to 10,000/-, is this feasible.

    Thank you a lot,

    Indrarup Saha
    Kolkata

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 8, 2017 at 3:19 PM

      Thanks a lot Indrarup 🙂 I’m glad that you liked my post.

      Yes your itinerary is mostly fine, but one small issue with the route is that, go for Kolakham first and then Rishop as you are approaching the same from Kalimpong.

      Also Charkhole is not a place for sightseeing. Dedicate a day if you want to see Charkhole.

      So the modification I’d suggest is…

      23.9.17 – transfer to Kolakham (overnight at Kolakham). Visit Changey Falls
      24.9.17 – Sight seeing at Neora Valley & Lava – transfer to Rishyap (overnight at Rishyap)
      25.9.17 – transfer to Charkhole via Loleygaon
      26.9.17 – Charkhole to NJP – Darjeeling mail (evening)

      If you don’t want to shift hotels everyday then you may drop Charkhole entirely and can stay back at Rishyap and do Loleygaon sightseeing on 25th.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
      • Indrarup SAha
        June 8, 2017 at 9:46 PM

        Thank you a lot Krishnandu da…..
        Thank you a lot for your prompt and well thought out reply and helping us modifying our itinerary,

        Looking forward to our tour….would definitely share our experience with you, once it’s done !!!!

        Thank you again,
        Indrarup

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          June 8, 2017 at 9:59 PM

          You are welcome Indrarup 🙂

          Yes, I’d love to hear your feedback 🙂

          Reply
  • KOUSIK CHOUDHURY
    June 16, 2017 at 10:38 PM

    HI Krishnendu,

    Just going through you blog…Really nice and informative.
    Please help us to make our plan for the below mentioned dates.

    Kolkata (Sealdah) to NJP on 26.09.2017
    Return Back to Kolkata (Howragh) from NJP on 01.10.2017
    Earlier we have planned for Lava,Rishop,Lolygaon and Zuluk. Is it ok? Or we will cancel Zuluk and include Kolakham.

    Amra 3 te Family Jabo , each family 3 members . So total 9 Members.

    Please help us to plan our tour .

    Thanks a lot in Advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 16, 2017 at 11:03 PM

      Hi Kousik, Thank you and I’m glad that you liked my blog 🙂

      I think it’s better to include Kolakham instead of Zuluk. As driving to Zuluk for one night doesn’t makes much sense to me. As Silk Route is more of a journey to enjoy, so better plan it seperately next time along with other Silk Route destinations.

      So you may do it like…

      27th : NJP – Kolakham
      28th : Kolakham – Rishop via Lava & Neora Valley
      29th : Rishhop – Charkhole via Loleygaon
      30th : Charkhole
      1st : Charkhole – NJP

      Reply
      • KOUSIK CHOUDHURY
        June 18, 2017 at 8:10 AM

        Thanks a lot Krishnandu. Working on your advice , shall let you know once finalize…..

        Reply
  • Sudipto sarkar
    June 20, 2017 at 5:40 PM

    Hello Krishnendu,

    We are planning a tour to visit Lava, Lolegaon and Rishop in the month October’2017. We set the plan for 4N,5D( 7th to 11th Oct).

    Day1- NMZ to Kolakham ( Night stay- Kolakham)
    Day2- Kolakham Sight seeing (Night Stay- Rishop)
    Day3- Rishop Sightseeing ( Night Stay- Rishop)
    Day4- Rishop to Siliary Gaon ( Night Stay- Siliary Gaon)
    Day5- Siliary Gaon sightseeing ( Back to NMZ at night)

    Is this plan work for the month October? If not plz suggest a better plan.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 20, 2017 at 6:18 PM

      Hi Sudipto, Yes the plan is perfectly fine. You can just return to NJP on Day 5 as there are less trains from NMZ after evening.

      Reply
  • Abhijnan Banerjee
    January 30, 2018 at 12:27 AM

    hi krishnandu,
    first of all, I must congratulate you on the wonderful job you are doing. I am sure your blog is awakening and giving wings to the sleepy wanderlust of many people like me.
    I am planning a Dooars family trip in May-June 2018, 6 people, 4 adults including 1 sr ctzn (quite fit) and 2 kids (aged 5 and 4). The first part of the trip is set as Sdah -Noq (1N in train) -Buxa RBK (1N) -Hollong (2N)-Murti (2N). Having come thus far, I am tempted to include the hills as well in the same trip. But I am pressed for time. I am considering 1 night stay in Kolakham and 1 night stay at Darjeeling (have to do it! family demand..:)). As conveyance is an issue, I am running my tentative plan by you for your suggestions-
    I intend to book a taxi for 2 days… first day start from murti wbfdc/nmz to kolakham… experience natural serenity for one day, overnight kolakham, car stays.. next day kolakham to darjeeling hotel drop via sight seeing on way (lava, deolo, kalimpong)…. will it be too hectic especially 2nd day? can it be managed?
    is car booking like that available at murti/new mal jn? what could be the tentative taxi cost if i go as per this plan? can you give me number of some reliable driver who could do this programme…

    Thanks in advance,

    Abhijnan Banerjee

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 30, 2018 at 10:26 PM

      Hi Abhijnan, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Frankly speaking, your plan is fine and keep it to dooars only. Reducing days from the above plan and including it in Kolakham and/or Darjeeling is not at all justified. But if you plan to add more number of days, then it’s fine. Even in that case, Kolakham is fine for 1N, however for Darjeeling, you need to allocate minimum 2N. Else believe me, it’s a waste of money, time and energy.

      Also for Lava, Loleygaon, Rishyap, Kolakham, having 2N is better to cover all of them.

      Yes you can book vehicles from Murti / NMZ to Kolakham. And yes Kolakham > Lava > Dealo > Kalimpong > Darjeeling can be done in a day but as a transport. Kalimpong needs around half day for sightseeing. So Lava Sightseeing + Dealo + Kalimpong Sightseeing + transfer to Darjeeling will be like rushing through things which I won’t suggest. If you still plan to do something sort of this, just drop Kalimpong Sightseeing. After Kolakham, it won’t be much worth it.

      Reply
  • Anindya Sundar Bhattacharya
    February 12, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    Thanks a lot Mr. Krishnandu …..you have really been a great help to so many travelers and tourists, as evident from your blog page. Really appreciate it.
    Our group member is 10 along with my 2 years son. My father is a post bypass surgery patient (Done on 24th Oct’ 17). Doctor has given permission for the trip. But we do not want to change our staying everyday. We want a fixed place for staying and which will be convenient for LAVA, Loleygaon, Rishap and Kolkakham.
    Our journey date will be 29th April’ 18 and reach NMZ on next day.
    So, where we can stay. Please suggest.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 12, 2018 at 9:19 PM

      Hi Anindya, Thanks a lot & I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Well frankly speaking, by staying at same place and taking day trips to the above mentioned places would be like killing the precious time of the day travelling to & fro. Also the above mentioned places do not have much sightseeings to do, instead these are the palces where you need to stay to enjoy or feel the charm of the place.

      But still if you have no other way, I’d suggest to choose the halt according to your preferences…

      Lava : Lava is more of like mini town with various shops / restaurants / eateries etc. Lava is also the center of all the above mentioned places. So if you’d like to be in a town (which I don’t recommend personally) and be in center of other destinations you can stay at Lava.

      Loleygaon : Loleygaon is just few KM’s away from Lava and a bit tucked in too with good scenic beauties and clouds all over.

      Rishyap : Rishyap offers 360 deg view of Kanchenjungha from your room itself. One of the best scenic destination among all above. The route being in good condition, I’d personally recommend staying at Rishyap if you are into scenic beauty and Kanchenjungha. Rishyap being tucked in is also disconnected from the hustle bustle of the town and thus offers peace and tranquility

      Kolakham : Well, Kolakham also offers good views of Kanchenjungha and scenic beauty as of Rishyap. However Kolakham being situated within base region Neora Valley Forest, the route is not at all in good condition, in fact I should say worst of all above. However if your idea is to stay within a forest, being disconnected from the hustle bustle of the town, then you may choose Kolakham. However I won’t recommend doing journey everyday (i.e. making day trips) from Kolakham with a bypass surgery patient.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
  • Anindya Sundar Bhattacharya
    February 28, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  • Anonymous
    March 9, 2018 at 1:52 PM
  • Bhaskar
    March 24, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    Its very useful for our journey to lava,lolegaon…………..thanks for sharing your details .

    Reply
  • Subhadip poria
    April 27, 2018 at 3:41 AM

    Hi krishnendu ,
    You have done a womderful job by giving information to everyone travelling to lava rishop and kolakham. We the family of four want to spent our summer holidays in May month to Kolakham,rishop and charkhole. We have decided to arrange our itinary in this way:
    day 1: NZM to Kolakham. Stay at Kolakham. Visit Changey Falls.
    day 2: Visit to neora valley and tranfer to rishop. Stay at rishop.
    day 3: Transfer to Charkhole visiting Delo and loleygaon.
    day 4: Charkhole to NJP.
    Please mention if any itinary needs to be changed.
    Please mention what may be the rate of exclusive car for 4 person. And also the food price per day at each destination. Also it would be helpful if you give the estimated tariff rates of the homestays at each place respectively.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 9, 2018 at 12:14 AM

      Hi Subhadip,
      First of all I’m sorry for replying you back a bit late. I was out for a trip throughout last week with limited internet connectivity.

      Your itinerary is perfectly fine. Just to fine tune it, cover Lava on Day 2 after / before Neora Valley

      A small vehicle would charge you around 2500/- – 2800/- per day. Homestays costs around 1200/- per head including fooding and lodging.

      Reply
  • PAROMITA MAJUMDER
    May 7, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    first of all, I must congratulate you on the wonderful job you are doing. I am sure your blog is awakening and giving wings to the sleepy wanderlust of many people like me.
    I am planning a rishop family trip in May ,Our journey date will be 17th mayl’ 18 and reach NMZ on next day.
    So, where we can stay. Please suggest. 5adult and 2 child from kolkata.
    please suggest me a trip plan

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 9, 2018 at 12:11 AM

      Hi Paromita,
      Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Well how many days do you have? Do you want to stay in Rishyap for the whole trip?

      You may check Himalayan Hut, Rishap (Rishyap) : Mr. Bimal Gurung – +919733093588

      Reply
  • S. Chowdhury
    June 16, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    thank you so much for the detailed blog.
    We are planning to visit Lava Rishop Lolegaon for our honeymoon in August. The primary reason is that we enjoy the beauty of the hills when it rains,
    On the contrary, I went through a few blogs that leeches pose a major disturbance to the tourists in Lava and Lolegaon.
    Do you suggest that we go for the trip?

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 17, 2018 at 7:45 PM

      Hello, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Well yes, leeches are common throughout North East during monsoon. However that’s not much of an issue if you can avoid walking through the corner grasslands post monsoon. In any case, keep some salt with you and that should help 🙂

      Reply
  • Anagh
    June 21, 2018 at 8:37 AM

    Dear krishnendu I am planning for a 6 day tour to lava lokegaon kolakham rishap delo and sunane khola, but going through ur post I found only 3 days is sufficient. But as planned fir 6 days could u pls suggest a plan for 6 days as we are going after 2 yrs and family of 6 need enjoyment. I hope paragliding and river drafting will 1 day prog still left with 2 days. Pls suggest a jabardast plan so my family get represent. Thanks u r awesome .

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 21, 2018 at 8:28 PM

      Hi Anagh,
      Well with all those 3 days wouldn’t have been sufficient. As Suntaleykhola and River Rafting is on a different route than Lava Loleygaon.

      Anyway you can do it like…

      Day 1 : NMZ / Bagdogra – Kolakham / Lava
      Day 2 : Kolakham / Lava – Rishyap via Lava & Loleygaon
      Day 3 : Rishyap
      Day 4 : Rishyap – Charkhole
      Day 5 : Charkhole – Dealo (Paragliding)
      Day 6 : Dealo – NJP / Bagdogra (River Rafting)

      The route to Kolakham is in devastating state. So depending on your wish you can either go to Kolakham if you want to have a breathtaking view or else stay back at Lava if you want to be close to Market.

      Reply
      • Anagh
        June 22, 2018 at 6:53 AM

        Sir I planned the during puja from 12 Oct to 18 Oct will this do .

        Reply
        • anagh
          June 23, 2018 at 12:41 PM

          sir i am waiting for u r reply
          tour plan from 12 oct 18 to 18 oct 18
          12- train 2030hrs from sealdah to nmz
          13- NMZ to kolakham, night stay at kolakham.
          14- visit changy falls,lava sight seen ,night stay at lava
          15- visit lolegaon back to lava proceed to rishyap sight seen and night stay at rishyap
          16- sunrise at rishyayp visit pedong sillary gaon night stay either pedong or sillay gaon preferably silalry
          17-vist charkhole forpara gliding todealo
          18-deola to njpwhile coming river rafting and night train to sdah at 2100hrs
          will thisisok,or need anyammendments. thnaks

          Reply
          • Krishnandu Sarkar
            June 24, 2018 at 10:39 PM

            The plan is fine. However I’d highly recommend to stay at Charkhole instead of proceeding to Dealo.

            Visiting Charkhole for a day trip won’t be any fruitful actually.

            Reply
  • Anagh
    June 26, 2018 at 8:34 AM

    Krishnendu Da can u share it mobile no. Thanksgiving anagh

    Reply
  • Prasenjit karmakar
    July 4, 2018 at 2:41 PM

    Hi, Krishnendu Da
    I was planning a trip to lataguri on December 2018.
    can you help me with the given itinerary below:

    28.12.2018
    11.15 p.m Padatik Express
    29.12.2018 12.00 NJP station After lunch via car Rishop Sight seeing & Stay at Rishop Hotel
    30.12.2018 after breakfast travelling to Lolegaon sight seeing in loleagaon stay in lolegaon hotel
    31.12.2018 Aterbreakfast traveling to lataguri If possible enroute totopara tribal village
    Night spent in lataguri.
    01.01.2019 spend leisure time
    02.01.2019
    Early morning Jeep safari to Gorumara forest. After breakfast visit Samsing , Sontalekhola , Rockey Island. After lunch visit Paren, Jhalong & Bindu. Overnight at Lataguri hotel.
    03.01.2019
    After breakfast pack your bagpack travelling to NJP station

    Thanks in Advance

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 4, 2018 at 9:05 PM

      Hi Prasenjit,
      Well, here are my views…

      1. Loleygaon is close to Rishyap, so on 30th if you want you can go back to Rishyap for night stay. The reason I’m saying this is because, you get to enjoy the 180 deg view of Kanchenjungha from Rishyap. However staying at Loleygaon amongst the clouds have it’s own charm too. So it’s your decission. I just thought of informing you just in case you don’t know.

      2. On 31st you cannot visit Totopara. Lataguri and Totopara which is in Lankapara actually and comes under Jaldapara National Park is totally in opposite direction.

      3. On 1st you can go for Safari to Chapramari. Check Enchanting Dooars – Gorumara – Chapramari for more details on that section.

      Well the itinerary is perfectly fine except that plan of Totopara.

      Reply
  • Sujoy Sen
    July 17, 2018 at 10:27 PM

    Hi Krishnendu,

    Thanks for your detailed blog.
    I want to visit Kolakham, Rishyap and Sillerygaon with my wife and son (14 years) on this Diwali holiday for 4 days. Please suggest me how can I plan my trip including sight seeing of the said places. My journey will be from NMZ to NMZ. Also suggest about the car I shall hire.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      July 20, 2018 at 11:03 AM

      Hi Sujoy,
      Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

      Day 1 : NMZ – Kolakham
      Day 2 : Kolakham – Rishyap
      Day 3 : Rishyap – Sillery Gaon
      Day 4 : Sillery Gaon – NMZ

      I’d suggest to drop Sillery Gaon, as you are like hurrying through all the places and won’t be able to enjoy the scenic beauty of these places doing this. Instead stay 2N at Rishyap. And while staying at Kolakham and Rishyap you can cover Lava and Loleygaon as well.

      Reply
      • sujoy sen
        July 20, 2018 at 3:02 PM

        Dear Krishnendu,

        Thanks for your valuable points. Actually, As a nature lover, I also want to spend some days amidst the nature and don’t want to make the tour a hectic one. So, as per your suggestion, I want to visit Kolakham and Rishyap only. Hence, this will be,

        Day 0 : Kolkata (Kanchankanya from SDAH)
        Day 1 : NMZ – Kolakham
        Day 2 : Kolakham – Rishyap (on the way Lava and Lolegaon)
        Day 3 : Rishyap
        Day 4 : Rishyap – NMZ
        Day 5 : Back to Kolkata

        Is it okay now?

        Now, please suggest me, instead of share car, if I hire a small car for 3 of us from Malbazar to Kolakham, will it be a better option? As I am staying at Kolakham for one night, will it be possible to hire any car from there which will cover the Lava, Lolegaon tour along with dropping us at Rishyap. Lastly, from Rishyap to NMZ what will be our option?

        Can I hire any car from NMZ to NMZ or, hotels there, provides this type of facility. Will it be cost effective for us? Please suggest.

        Reply
        • Krishnandu Sarkar
          July 20, 2018 at 8:09 PM

          Yes this is perfect. You’d get enough time to indulge within the nature. Else with Silery Gaon it was like reaching a destination and leaving next morning which would have killed the charm of being at such destinations.

          Well in this region, you cannot travel by shared cab anyway due to syndicates. So yes having a small car would be more convenient.

          Yes due to syndicate you have to hire car from there only if you are staying for 2N at any places. So it’s better to hire local vehicles as you go.

          I won’t suggest hiring exclusive vehicle for the whole tour i.e. NMZ – NMZ as due to syndicate, there will be lots of issues during the sightseeings. So in the end you’ll loose up more money and will miss the places. Better hire it on the go, as and when needed.

          Yes the hotels will help you arrange the vehicles. And due to the presence of syndicate, you’ll be charged fixed rate. So that’s a positive point though.

          Reply
  • Sarasij bhattacharya
    September 16, 2018 at 11:13 PM

    hi krishnandu,

    thanks for sharing your amazing experience. i wanted to ask a few questions
    i am including my trip plan
    day 1-njp to kalimpong, sightseeing , o/n at kalimpong.
    day 2- start for neora valley national park, lava monastery , drive to rishap. o/n at rishyap.
    day 3- view morning sunrise from tiffin dara view point in rishap, leave for loleygaon, canopy walk, hanging bridge and then back to njp.
    can i include kolakham, changey falls and charkhole in this trip plan? please advice me with your suggestion.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 20, 2018 at 8:44 PM

      Hi Sarasij,
      Well you are already doing a lot considering the small timeframe specially your Day 3 is tight but can be done. But I don’t see any scope to include Kolakham within this plan. You need to add 1 more day for the same.

      Reply
  • Krishnendu Ghosh
    November 30, 2018 at 12:16 AM

    After getting intimidated by police itself in January (https://newsmen.in/…/police-officer-suspended-for-harassin…/), a group of tourists were forced to pay extra money to cab-drivers on 25th November, 2018. The tourists, 10 students from an premier institution of India, booked 2 Boleros for a trip to Lolegaon-Rishyap-Lava for 3 days. After discussing the detailed itinerary over phone, Mr Ramen (Contact: 9679868649) agreed at a cost of Rs. 18,000 and an among of Rs 2,000 was provided as advance about 3 weeks before the trip. Instead of appearing himself, Ramen sent two of his well-known friends: Anupam (Contact: 9932321998; Car: WB73C1907) and Bijay (Contact: 9800864773; Car: WB67A 6407). On the first day, the drivers didn’t follow the route as asked and eventually made late arriving at the hotel and forced the tourists to pay for their meals (although Ramen promised for no extra hidden costs). On the second day, the drivers didn’t arrive for start in time and harassed the tourists denying to go some spots (Delo, Ramdhura, Ramitey view point and Ichchegaon). On the third day, the drivers again denied for the trips to Changey waterfalls. On reporting the driver’s behavior to Ramen, he promised for a reabte of Rs 5,500, but his friends were adamant. Finally, their planned coercion got a form of forced snatching where the tourists were asked to pay the full money (Rs 18,000) or threatened to make them late for the train they had on that evening. One of the tourist form the group stated: “Although repeatedly discussing the spots with Ramen for the last one month, his drivers denied to take us to those places”. According to another tourist: “Being local to Lataguri, the drivers gathered 20-25 people from local car syndicate and threatened us in broad daylight. They created a scene of terror and eradicated any chance for a logical and quiet discussion. Lest we miss our train, we had no other choice but to agree to their demands. If such things happens to a group of bachelors, I doubt how they will treat families”. The team-leader of the group sounded a bit hopeless after the mishap: “Such aggravated behavior from Ramen and his gang-members will certainly change a thing; I will not book train tickets to New Jalpaiguri anymore like I used to do in every winter for the last 10 odd years.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 9, 2018 at 9:18 PM

      I’m very sorry to hear such an experience. I just wish people visiting this article just read this comment before proceding further.

      Reply
  • SWARUP MAITY
    January 19, 2019 at 9:48 PM

    Dear Krish Da, we (7 people) will go to Kolakham, Rishikhola, Ramdhura on 23 January 2019. Our itinerary is like this…
    Day 1 – NMZ to Kolakham. Visit to Chhangey falls, N/S at Kolakham.
    Day 2 – From Kolakham to Rishikhola via-Lava & Rishop (Tiffindanra Trek), N/S at Rishikhola
    Day 3 – From Rishikhola to Ramdhura, Ichhe Gaon Trek, N/S at Ramdhura.
    Day 4 – Ramdhura to NJP via Kalimpong & Delo sight seeing.
    My question is, can i get exclusive vehicle at NMZ station?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      January 24, 2019 at 9:36 PM

      Hi Mr. Swarup, I believe I’m late here. It seems like you have already started your journey. I guess you must have got your answer by now.

      Reply
  • Sourav
    February 4, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    I’ve read this blog like 20 times.
    And basing you travel guide, I’ve planned a rishop lava lolegaon tour for my family. I’ll be staying only at rishop for 3 days, and from there I’ll be traveling to lava lolegaon delo etc.
    Now my queries are:

    I contacted a driver suggested by the hotel, and he said rishop to changey falls updown will be a 5 hour journey! And he’ll take 14k for an exclusive vehicle booking for 3 people including pick and drop. Is this pricing ok? Should I book the vehicle directly from lava syndicate? What is your suggestion on that? And that part of 5 hour journey to changey falls is a shock for me. He even suggested me to drop neora valley from my plan, as there is nothing to see. please help me :'(

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      February 6, 2019 at 10:36 AM

      Hi Sourav,
      Well 14k seems exhorbitantly high. However it depends on when you are visiting. During peak season when vehicles are low in numbers, the drivers charge as much as possible.

      I’d suggest you to book through Lava Car Syndicate as and when you require vehicle. As you are staying in Rishyap, it’d be Rishyap Car Syndicate for you which is more notorious than Lava Car Syndicate.

      Well Changey Falls from Rishyap would be around 5 hours up and down. I don’t see any issue there. Mostly because the route to Kolakham is in devastating state, so it’d take time to drive through that road. Also from the point where the vehicle would drop you, it’s quite downstairs. So while coming back up it takes time. Specially if you are visiting with the old persons.

      Well, the driver is not wrong, there’s nothing to see in Neora Valley in tourist’s point of view. But if you are like serene places and hiking through the forest then you’d love being there. In that case don’t skip Neora Valley.

      Reply
  • Rahul Ghosh
    March 25, 2019 at 3:11 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,

    I am indebted to you for your valuable tips that helped me plan my last trip of West and South Sikkim. This time I am planning a trip in June with mainly the offbeat locations of North Bengal. We have 5 days (4 nights) at hand. I want to stay at Kolakham for 2 days. I would like to stay at either of these locations – Icche Gaon, lepchajagat & Reshikhola. My question is can Icchegaon, Lepchajagat be combined with Kolakham or should I plan for Kolakham – Resikhola – Rishyap ? it would be very hepful if you suggest me an appropriate itinerary.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 25, 2019 at 9:22 PM

      Hi Rahul, Kolakham, Iccheygaon, Reshikhola are nearby destinations. However Lepchajagat is completely different route.

      So as you are planning for Kolakham, I’d suggest you to stick to Rishyap / Iccheygaon / Ramdhura / Sillery Gaon / Reshikhola / Pedong etc.

      Plan Lepchajagat seperately.

      If you are doing Kolakham – Resikhola – Rishyap, your route should be Kolakham – Rishyap – Resikhola

      Reply
  • Puja Majumder
    June 6, 2019 at 4:13 PM
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      June 6, 2019 at 9:49 PM

      Hi Puja, I think you forgot ro write anything. Is there anything that I can help you with?

      Reply
  • Nilanjan Saha
    September 4, 2019 at 7:59 PM

    Could you Plz check once on draft version of our itinerary. Plz let me know if any modification Required.

    start from NJP:9:45 A.M

    Kaplimpong 12:15 p.M
    Lunch -1:15 p.M

    Kalimpong sight seeing towards Lava part: mangal dham,7 mile view point,delo park,graham’s school,Hanuman mandir,
    budhist temple.(3:45 P.M)

    Lava view point,Lava monestry,(5 P.M) move to Himalayan Hut hotel, Rishap (Rishyap) or Kanchan view resort.(6p.M)
    Stay overnight.

    In morning, Visit tiffindara view point, then have breakfast,checkout and start sight seeing by 9 A.m In the morning.
    Get entry Pass from LAVA office.
    Neoravalley nation park (10 a.M)-Chaufadder Point trek through jungle trails(2 p.M).Have Lunch(3:15)
    Go to Changey waterfall,Kolbongeyswari Devi Dham at kolakham.(4:45 p.M)
    Return to lava, minimal sight seeing and get into WBFDC cottage.(6 p.M) Stay overnight.

    In morning, after breakfast,Do checkout and leave by 9:20 for lolegaon.
    Canopi walk, hanging bridge and rest sightseeing.(12:00)

    Have lunch.(1P.M)
    Leave for Kalipmpong. Visit Army golf course,Morgan house,Durpin monestry.(3-4 p.M)

    Leave for NJP by 4 P.M.
    Train from N.J.P -7:30 P.M

    Thanks In Advance.
    Nilnjan

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 4, 2019 at 8:21 PM

      Hi Nilanjan, The plan looks fine to me. You may cover Dealo on Day 3 if you don’t get time on Day 1. And on Day 3, leave for NJP early, as there’s regular traffic jam around Siliguri.

      Reply
  • Sourim Das
    September 17, 2019 at 7:14 PM

    When I get down at NMZ how to get a cab?? like there is cab stand??? or you pre booked? if you have pre booked then give the contact details of the cab that will take us to rishop/lava

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 23, 2019 at 10:24 AM

      Hi Sourim, Yes there are few cabs outside NMZ which you can bargain. Although it’s very less in comparison to NJP.

      You can check with Babai Da : +91-89066-72949. He’s my trusted go-to person in this region. You may refer my name.

      Reply
  • Sambit Naha
    November 13, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    Hi Krishnandu,
    That was a very interesting travelogue enjoyed reading it. However if the group consist of only 3 members(1 senior citizen) and the booking is only at LAVA in WBFDC cottage for 2 days and the Group members are more inclined in enjoying the chilly weather of end enjoy and not much travelling for mere sightseeing then what should be the itinerary if someone only stays and explore lave and the nature surrounding it. A short hiking to enjoy the nearby places is though there in the cards
    Thanks
    Sambit

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 20, 2019 at 11:52 AM

      Hi Sambit, I’m glad that you liked the article and found it helpful 🙂

      Well, you can stay at Lava and explore Loleygaon, Rishyap and Kolakham easily.

      As you don’t want to travel much, may be ditch Kolakham. However you can easily cover Rishyap and Loleygaon.

      Reply
  • Hemil Jasani
    November 27, 2019 at 8:39 PM

    hi Krishnandu. The site is very helpful. I and my 2 friends are planning for a short trip of 2 days and 2 nights. We will reach Bagdogra airport on 8th Dec evening at 5.30 pm. We would like to cover the Lava and Rishyap areas. Can you please help me out with few things?

    1. Is late evening/night travel safe from Bagdorga airport to Lava?
    2. Should we pre-book the car from here or we can get someone at Bagdogra airport? What will be the approx charges for return trip from the airport?
    3. Can the car travel upto the hotel at Rishyop?
    4. Anything else we should include in this short itiniery trip.

    Eagerly waiting for the reply. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      November 27, 2019 at 9:06 PM

      Hi Hemil, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you found this blog helpful.

      1. There’s not much of an issue. However if you plan to start late evening / night then I’d not recommend it.
      2. Are you planning to keep a car at your disposal? If yes, then please remember that Lava and Rishyap region is heavily influenced by Syndicate. So if you are planning to stay at same location (Lava / Rishyap) for both the days, then remember that you won’t be allowed to use your pre-booked vehicle for the 2nd day. This is not an issue if you are staying at different location on both the days such as say Day 1 at Lava and Day 2 at Rishyap.

      So if you are staying at same destination for both the days, then you may pre-book your pickup. And then you you can book a vehicle from Syndicate for sightseeing and drop to Bagdogra.

      Alternatively you may not choose to book your picukp in advance and book a vehicle on spot after you reach Bagdogra. As you are visiting during 8th Dec which is not a peak season you’d not be scammed on-spot.

      But please remember, on-spot rate highly varies by season and your bargaining power. From Bagdogra expect to pay around 3200/- – 3500/- for Lava / Rishyap.

      3. Yes

      4. Yes if you have time pay a visit to Changey Falls at Kolakham and explore Loleygaon.

      Reply
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