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“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more that what we could learn from books.”
– John Lubbock
Yes, I am a huge admirer of nearly perfect quotes. Because they expound almost everything.
Kalimpong, the destination for a dauntless journey. Blessed by the mighty Kanchenjungha, this town offers a panoramic view of Teesta Rangit Valley. Inhabited by the down to earth Bhutanese people Kalimpong, was once an imperative trading zone and a British Colony, due to its setting near Old Silk Route. The city is still pockmarked with the British and Buddhist Monuments and Churches.
Well, I will not tax your patience by explaining why I prefer to stay in a homestay? What do I like about it? And etc etc etc..
Because I know I have already chatted a lot about this topic. What! You don’t know! Really! Then check my perspective about homestays here: HOME- AWAY FROM HOME 12 Reasons to stay in a Homestay.
Honestly speaking I can write or talk unceasingly for 24/7 at a stretch on this topic. Hey! Don’t freak out. I am not going to do that. Relax.
But today I am talking about offbeat homestays in and around Kalimpong you must explore once in your nomadic life. Before that I must clarify the reason behind selecting these specific homestays:
- Because of their settings
- Extra amenities or paybacks
- Overall experience
So, now scroll to know in detail.
I don’t know whether I will be able to explain the splendor, tranquillity or experience of staying in this homestay or not. I mean my vocabulary may fail to do so.
Let me start with the location first. Chhangay falls. One of the highest falls of West Bengal. You already know that it is in Kalimpong, the exact location is Lingsaykha Khasmahal, 14 kilometers away from Lava.
The backdrop of the falls is smeared with quietude. And you will get the view of sprawled Kangchenjunga in bonus. Chhangey falls zone is full of diverse lovely birds like White Capped Water Redstart, Verditer Flycatcher, Niltava, Blue Fronted Redstart, Grey Treepie, Indian Robin, Blue Whistling Thrush. They sing beautiful choirs using the background score of the falls.
Well, do not try to be too exploratory to spend a bit long time in the water. Though it’s a great sensation of being filmy sometime but the super chilled water will not permit you to be too much high per dramatic in this occasion.
The homestay is situated on the top of a hillock. So you will get the chance to hike the hill for sure (through stairs). Here I must mention one thing to remember, because of its location it is not at all my recommendation for senior citizens. They will face a hard time to reach the place. But adventure seekers like me will definitely love it.
The finest part of this homestay is the sight of the falls from the balcony or window. It is breathtaking. I use to download a few apps to listen relaxing natural sound for a better sleep. But whoa! There I got the chance to sleep while listening to a real waterfall sound. Ahhh! I had the best sleep ever.
And the morning! I became kind of chain coffee sipper just because of that balcony view. I mean it was so elating that I spent almost 2 hours there which is a huge span for a restless person like me.
I have very precise reasons to like this particular homestay.
The Atrium Park, Homestay is situated on Dr.B.L.Dikshit Road, Middle Bong Busty, after crossing Jubilee High School and Mount Carmell’s School, Near Sudhama Puri, Above International Nursery, District Kalimpong, Kalimpong, India.
But let me have the delight to tell you about its specialties. Apart from bird viewing, nature trails you can experience paragliding and river rafting there. Yes, you got it right. And I am not at all exaggerating the fact.
You can be contented enough about the authentic home cooked Nepali cuisine of the homestay.
The location of this homestay itself demands a few lines. Rishop or Rishyap, whatever you like to call it is basically a picturesque hamlet of Himalaya. First of all, you can enjoy the Kanchenjunga from almost every corner of Kalimpong. And Rishop is no exception.
Rishop is tranquil, and just 4 kilometers away from Lava. The place is still quite in her virgin phase, covered with the lush green forest of Pine, fir and colorful rhododendrons. The area is surrounded with a number of Himalayan peaks like Mt. Kharg, Kokthang, Rathung, Kabru, Talung, Pandim, Kanchenjunga, Simvo, Narsingh and Mt. Siniolchu etc.
My favorite place was the Shiva Buddha Temple. As you ascend the staircase you will see idols of Lord Shiva and Buddha mounted side by side. For me, it was the perfect representation of the true culture of India: the unity and profound spiritual knowledge. This place gives you an instant wave or vibration of calmness and peace
After your forest trail adventure, you Trek along the Neora Valley forest and reach Jorepokhri. Jorepokhri is actually a twin lake.
The main attraction that makes this homestay off beat is its owner. The owner and his son are quite fitness freaks. The duo has been State & National level Body Builders and Archers and participants of Mr. India and State & National championship. So they have arranged yoga practice hours and archery practice facilities in the vicinity of this homestay. I think, now you got the explanation behind the name of this homestay.
Besides that, I must mention the collection of the handcrafts. And ‘The Food’. Yeah, its definitely deserves that importance. I mean, if you are getting authentic, homemade cuisines of Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal altogether in one place then what else you expect!!
By the way, they can arrange your barbeque as well if you wish. Now, what, spend an evening beside the campfire and try to count the new stars of your sky, and of course, bless me for this suggestion for rest of your life.
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I don’t know who said that you can fall in love for just a single time in your whole lifetime. I mean, see, I am in Love with Kalimpong, just like Shillong, Dooars, and so many places. This homestay is in Kashyem of Kalimpong. Kashyem is a well-known place for the Mansong Cinchona Plantation. And it is 21 kilometers away from Kalimpong town.
All of us love to visit the monasteries, to trek or explore forest etc. But in Kashyem you will get a whole new experience if you visit Kashyem School. The happy faces of the children will definitely make your day. The simple but authentic culture, village life and basic chit-chats with the locals can be your lifetime assets. I will never forget a boy from that school. He was so happy after taking a selfie that he almost jumped to give me a happy-hug.
The homestay is exactly on Tshangu route. Very close to a forest with medicinal trees. Though I am illiterate about plants especially Ayurvedic ones. The owner elucidated about the trees, their use, and benefits with much patience. But I am quite sure that I will not be able to recognize those trees during my next visit.
Anyways, this homestay actually changed one of my perspective about remote location homestay. Previously I used to think that staying in a remote homestay means you have to compromise with few luxury and comforts. But hell no! You never have to face that in this homestay. The rooms were spacious with all necessary amenities.
If you are a silence seeker. Then I just have suggested your ideal place.
So these are my list for Kalimpong homestays. But I am eager to mention another small, cozy homestay. Lonely Planet. It is in Algarah of Kalimpong. I am attaching a photo to express all that I want to say about this exquisite shelter. This one is perfect heaven for solo travelers and trekkers and of course backpackers.
Honestly speaking this list can be long enough if I really wish to mention about all the lovely homestays. But I don’t want to confuse you. So I think I have given all the significant details about these places. Now, you just have to make your plan and pack your bags.
And don’t forget to write about you