Lepchajagat is one of the small forest villages near Darjeeling. The place is located in an area which has virtually nothing around it. It has got its name from the Lepcha tribes who are the residents of this area. If you wish to spend a couple of nights at the hills, in a secluded place away from the rush and crowd, then this could be a perfect option. In order to stay here the only option is the Guest House provided by the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation. The Mountaineering Institute is at a distance from the small village. One can find loads of trekking trails around Lepchajagat and can try out any of them. However, if you are planning to visit the area and try your trekking skills it is recommended to visit the place during the months of October to March.
Trekking trails are at a few meters from the guest house and provides the option of 1 to 2 day trekking for the travellers. At Lepchajagat people would find loads of sightseeing option and a perfect view of Mount Kanchenjunga. The different changing shades of the mountain when the early sunlight falls upon it make it an amazing sight to see.
- Make sure you book your space well in advance as there are only 6 rooms having the capacity of 14 people to reside
- To have the best experience, avoid this place as an option to visit in the monsoons
- Food is very simple but good
- If there in the monsoons, ensure you carry a torch for the long hours of power cut, salt for the leeches (in case you do get the option to trek)
- If possible, make sure you have your own transport for the days you reside in the area
Lepchajagat as mentioned is situated on the way to Mirik from Ghoom. While taking the road from Siliguri to Darjeeling the road diverts itself at Ghoom. It is about 18 kilometers from Darjeeling and to and fro travelling to the town is quite easy. Mirik is about 25 kilometers from Lepchajagat while the area has many tea plantations worth checking.
How to Reach lepchajagat?
In order to reach Lepchajagat the only option is to take a car or a bus from Siliguri. The travel options to Siliguri have been listed below:
- Reaching by Air: Get down at the Bagdodra Airport and take a private car for a trip to the town of Lepchajagat.
- Reaching by Train: New Jalpaiguri is the nearest station to this place. There are loads of travel options available at the station which can be booked by the travellers. There was a toy train available from New Jalpaiguri to Ghoom, but due to landslides and damaged network the toy train is now available for short and selected routes only.
- Reaching by road: Taking your car from your town to the place is not at all recommended. There are very sharp turnings which could be difficult for the people driving in the flatter areas. However, it could be a great experience for the expert bikers to ride their mean machines through some spectacular sights.
The journey from the flat lands to the mountains would certainly amaze you. It takes around 4 hours to reach Lepchajagat from the city of Siliguri.
Please Note: It would be advised to book a car for your entire stay at Lepchajagat, from New Jalpaiguri and back. Car hire charges vary in the peak and off-season. While in the offseason getting a Car like the new Tata Sumo could cost you around Rs.6,000-Rs.6,500, the peak season rates might touch Rs.10,000 to Rs.11,000. The price is for travelling in and around for approximately 40 hours. If you need any assistance about car hiring, then you may comment below.
Best Time to Visit Lepchajagat
It would be the months from October to March which can give you the best views from this place. Experience would certainly be different while you stay within a secluded spot which is away from the rush and sound of the city.
Travel Around Lepchajagat
Besides the spectacular sights and trekking trails this place has lots in store in the nearby areas. It can be a great place for people looking for a 2 Night 3 Day stay. On your way to the guest house there are loads of viewpoints which your driver would stop you at. Make sure you ask your driver to stop at some of the popular ones in the region. Once you reach the guest house, take your lunch and get ready for a visit to Darjeeling. On the way visit the Ghoom Monastry, Batasia Loop, and then the town of Darjeeling. Walk around the Mall road which gives some great shopping options. At the end of the Mall road a small lane passes by the hill which has small yet lovely looking shops (picture below). Shopping and walking around might take a couple of hours which could be a nice addition to your stay at Lepchajagat.
On your way back you may get some snacks, pastries or the popular momos at any of the popular eateries. Make sure you start your travel back to the guest house by 5 in the evening. Roads can be really dangerous at night so travelling during the night hours should be avoided. It should take you 2 hours to travel back to your guest house. Now back at the guest house it’s time for some fun, especially if you have a large group. Ask the administrators to light up the fire area, where sitting around and sharing stories, playing games, and having fun can be the perfect setting. For those who wish to stay indoors inside their suites need not be disappointed. Each of the suites on the 1st floor has their dedicated fireplace. This can be a perfect setting if you are with your loved one on a romantic outing. Also inform the administrators if you wish to trek on the next day. They would arrange a guide for you.
Make sure you get some good sleep as the next day could be an early beginning and a tiring trekking session. Get up early and witness the sunrise to see the falling rays of the sun on Kanchenjunga would really be a great sight. For those staying in the suite 1 it could be a spectacular scene to see the mountain right from their bedroom. The next thing to do would be to have some good breakfast with tea, as nothing else can be better than a warm Darjeeling tea with some simple breakfast. Choose a perfect trail for trekking in the options available and witness some of the great sights of nature. Trekking options are available from 2 hours to 2 days depending on the time people have. Also make sure you have the right sports shoes to ensure a smoother travel. After a tiring session at the trek it should be great to come back at the guest house and relax. In the evening checking out the entire town of Darjeeling glittering with lights will make it a lovely experience. The terrace provides great views in times of clear skies.
Next, morning should be a trip back to SIliguri as 2 days are enough for a relaxed stay in Lepchajagat. Start your travel after having lunch. This time take the route from Mirik and travel back to Siliguri. The drive is a pleasure as there are several viewpoints in between. Make sure you have a great camera to capture these places and take them back with you. In between there are several tea gardens which you may stop and explore as well. Taking back some Darjeeling tea from the small stores in between could also be worth it. Stopping at the Nepal Border and checking out the Pashupati Market which is 2 kilometers inside Nepal would be one of the recommended halts. The place has several options for the shoppers with loads of shops on both sides of the street.
After a 3-4 hour drive one would be reaching the beautiful lake of Mirik. One can try out boating, horse riding and some spectacular views of the lake along with the area. There is a Buddhist Monastery and a popular church to see as well. Take your lunch and start your descent to Siliguri. Besides the spectacular viewpoints which come off and on there are certain orange gardens which look beautiful with grown oranges around.
One of the recommended halts in between would be the small bridge of River Dudhiya. Travel down the bridge and witness the spectacular scene of the river flowing in front of you. The water is amazingly clean and spending some time would certainly be a nice ending to this short trip at Lepchajagat. From there it is around an hours by when you would be at the city of Siliguri.
Attractions in Lepchajagat
There are not many attractions at Lepchajagat besides the forest guest house and its suites. The suites are well maintained and certainly providing a great feel while inside. The wooden finishing with a large drawing area and a master bed is perfect for a romantic stay. While for those who travel with friends and groups it’s also a great place to have fun and party.
The other attractions are the trekking trails which is a couple of kilometers from the guest house. The trekking trails present several options which range from easy to difficult. One of the best trekking trails is Mane Bhanjang Trail besides Mangan which is about 36kms from Lepchajagat gives an excellent trekking option to the travellers as well. There are a couple of other trail options available as well.
What’s in store for the Shoppers at Lepchajagat?
This is a secluded area which has virtually nothing around it. Shopping near the guest house is not available but during the entire trip one may check out few local products at Darjeeling or Pashupati Market.
What to eat in Lepchajagat?
The guest house has its own cooking area and chef who cook some good food. Though not a large variety of food is available, having simple food would certainly please you. Ordering omelet, bread toast, and alu poori for the breakfast and having rice with dal with some vegetables would be an option. Egg Curry is also available for the non-veg foodies. For snacks Momos, Chicken Pakora, and Fried potato can be ordered. Dinner includes Chinese as well as Indian curry options as well. Make sure you order your food well in advance so that they have it ready for you.
Where to Stay in Lepchajagat?
As it’s clear that there is no other option available besides the guest house by WBDFC, it would be recommended to get in touch with them and book rooms from long before. Bookings are available from three months in advance. You may book them online here. The booking office details are as follows:
West Bengal Forest Development Corporation,
6A Raja Subodh Mullick Square,
7th Floor, Kolkata 700 013
Phone: +91-33-22370060/61, +91-33-22258549
For more information on the resort visit here: http://www.wbfdc.com/lepchajagat%20.html