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Friday, 11 September 2020

Chatakpur, Darjeeling

 


    Nature spirituality has been an irrepressible aspect of our nation for centuries. Many people have forgotten the luxuries of city life and settled in the remotest places near "Nature Earth" and loved it. Such places are uncommon but are within our range not too far. Chatakpur is one of those small, Eco-friendly villages within the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary in Darjeeling, West Bengal. Good to know, there are two Chatakpur, Lower Chatakpur and Upper Chatakpur. However, if want to enjoy the natural scenery, the upper Chatakpur is better.

    This beautiful village is bordered in the north by the Kanchenjunga mountain chain and in the south by the Relly Khola River Gorge. Chatakpur is just about 70 km from NJP or Bagdogra, 22 km from Darjeeling and 14 km from Jorebunglow, Ghoom.

    Situated at an altitude of approximately 7,800 feet, Chatakpur is a heaven for nature lovers as one can get a stunning view of the formidable Kanchenjunga mountain chain and at the same time experience the breathtaking lush green forest in a peaceful village environment with a population of just about 100 people and 20 village houses.

    This village supports organic vegetable farming through terraced cultivation. Herbal medicines are also produced, and through them, the local people maintain their survival.

Attractions & Activities in and around Chatakpur

    From the Watch Tower in Chatakpur, 10 minutes walk from the tourist cottages/home-stay, you can see the dream destination of trekkers Sandakphu. This view tower is also famous as the sunrise location and the sunrise vision from here is absolutely wonderful as planned. View of the sunrise over Kanchenjunga than get from Tiger Hill which requires you to drive from Darjeeling early in the morning for 30 minutes. While here, the tower is only 10 minutes' walk away.

On a clear day, there will be a Kanchenjunga range with you all along. And that is possibly the main reason why tourists are most fond of this spot. 

Here there are many forest trails (around the Chatakpur) through lush greenery, suitable for light treks. Should always take a professional guide for treks with you as the forest also harbours wildlife such as leopards, deer barking and many other species and can also see a Red Panda.

A path from the Eco-cottages/home-stay leads down to a lovely little holy pond, known locally as Kalipokhri. It is a 10-minute walk away.

    Since the jungle is also home to a variety of beautiful colourful birds such as Blue Magpie, Munia, Bulbul, Verditer, Flycatcher, Pipit, Long Tail Shrike, Warbler, Prinia and many more, it's also an excellent location for bird lovers.

 How to Reach

The way to get to Kurseong is from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station or Bagdogra airport (either by taking the Hill Cart Road, otherwise via Rohini Road), and then up (toward Darjeeling) to a small village on Hill Cart Road known as Dilaram then Bagora, another small village, take a right turn here. Chatakpur is roughly 45 minutes drive from Bagora. Another way to get to Sonada is through Rambi first, then Mongpu and Jorebunglow. Chatakpur is a simple 9 Km from Sonada.  

Coming from Darjeeling, get down to Sonada which is a drive of hours and then go up to Chatakpur (10 kms).

Best time to visit

Anyone can travel Chatakpur throughout the year except during the monsoon season (Jun, 15th to September, 15th) when exploration of the forest is not possible. At this time the tourist Eco village resort stays closed. From November to February wintertime can be very cold. Thus during this time bring sufficient warm clothing.

 Accommodation

Sufficient Eco-cottages, home-stays are available and well decorated. But TV is not present at all.

Range : 1100/- – 2000/- per head/Day

  


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