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Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Jamuni, Darjeeling


Jamuni, Darjeeling, W. Bengal, India
            The new attraction of hill tourism in Darjeeling is Jamuni. Large Shiva statue, Big Buddha Statute, eye-catching gardens, artificial lakes, and picturesque cottages have grown in Jamuni just 14 km from Darjeeling. Subhas Ghising first thought of making this place a tourist destination. This is a tourist spot recently established at Darjeeling. Although the place has always been known in a picturesque valley like setting for its natural beauty combining hills, rivers, waterfalls, a bridge, village etc, it was recently formally converted by the Darjeeling authorities into a tourist place. In January 2013, Jamuni was inaugurated as a tourist spot by GTA leader Bimal Gurung (the body administering several sub-divisions of Darjeeling District). The Jamuni is a place from which one can easily go to Sikkim through Jorthang. If you want to go from Darjeeling, you have to go to Jamuni through Singmari Patalebus.
           One can easily feel the dramatic weather change when one travels to the site as Jamuni is much warmer than Darjeeling's. Due to the steepness of the routes, the ride to Jamuni is full of little adventure but at the same time, it feels great driving through the tea gardens, forests, beautiful villages, small farms, nurseries, and orange orchards. Jamuni has become one of the locals' favorite picnic spots, often overcrowded in winter. Surrounded by the hills, trees and tea gardens, the small river that flows in between makes it very marvelous.
           The magnificent bridge in Jamuni (happy new year bridge) has seen in Bollywood picture, has been filmed one of the shots from the popular Bollywood movie BARFI. This is a location where GTA arranges Krishi Mela every year to enhance the local farmers.
        Jamuni is in Darjeeling, in the north. The road on Lebong Road next to St. Joseph's College (North Point) descends to Jamuni. It takes about 45min to 1 hour to get to Darjeeling by road (about 14 km away). Locals say that Jamuni has now begun to challenge Mirik because it has too a magnificent lake that provides boating facilities. Because the altitude here is lower, you can swim in the lake waters too. The artificial circular lake is however much smaller than Mirik's. The Rangeet River flows through the place, and you can see the stream running across the rocky bed and for a long distance.

Fare
          Private cars/taxis are available for a day trip to Jamuni from Darjeeling. The round half-day trip fare is around Rs. 1500 - 2000/-. 
Cable Car
         Jamuni is also offered a combination trip along with a ride on Rope Way (Cable Car). The car will drop you off at the lower level cable car station (Tukvar) on your way back and you can then take the cable car back to Darjeeling, having had two such experiences in the one-day tour package.
Mela (Fair)
         Jamuni's development as a tourist place is still incomplete and so you won't get a lot of amenities here. There are no restaurants or shops yet, therefore bring your own food. It is a great picnic spot. A local country fair (Mela) sets up at Jamuni each year during the winter (usually in December). Villagers from all over the hills come here to sell local produce including tomatoes, fruits such as oranges, agricultural and dairy products, cattle etc.
Jamuni Fair (in December)

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