A Road Trip to Charkhole from Siliguri

Ujjainee Chakraborty

I have a special place for mountains in my heart. It starts since I was a kid. Luckily, I have been placed in Siliguri for a few years which is giving me the opportunity to explore the Darjeeling Himalayan Range in a deeper way. Its mesmerizing view of snow capped mountains and lush green alpine forests are something will make you fall in love with this place again and again. Each part of this range is unique and has something to give. So, this time we choose Charkhole.

Kanchenjungha

We started our journey in the morning from Siliguri. It was 9 am. Our motivation was to explore a part of Kalimpong, so we picked the route via Samthar. As our journey started, within half an hour we started to see the beauty of mother nature. One side of the road was enigmatic mountains and the other side was the river Teesta. As it was a sunny winter day, the sunlight gave the river a spectacular turquoise green colour. Indeed, it was something to stand and watch for long. So, we stopped near the lower Teesta Dam. Where we took some rest and off-course drank some tea. The area is actually controlled by Indian Army. So, one is not allowed to take pictures of some parts of the place.

lower teesta dam

We spent almost like 20 minutes at the Lower Teesta Dam and then started towards Samthar. The road took us through peaceful hilly villages and farming lands. At hill in West Bengal, villagers prefer to do organic terrace farming. The weather here is very supportive to grow different kinds of vegetables and fruits in organic way.

Terrace farming

We reached Samthar by 1 pm. It is a very small town in Kalimpong, where you will find some fine wooden buildings. When we reached there, we were looking for food. Here, local people prefer Thukpa (Tibetan noodles) or momo ( dumpling). So, we had Thukpa and egg fry. In general, Thukpa contains vegetables, boiled meat and boiled noodles, but if you ask them to make without meat, they will do that for you.

Thukpa

From Samthar we went to Panbu Dara, a beautiful viewpoint. It offers you a magnificent view of Mt. Kangchenjunga at one side and foggy river Teesta on the other. There are some sitting places too, where you can sit and enjoy the view of the beautiful Himalayan Range.

Panbu dara

Now, it is time for Charkhole. Yes, we were again on the twisting and turning road towards Charkhole. On our way to Charkhole, we asked several times to local people to confirm the route. The locals are very helpful, but you have to make sure that your driver knows Nepali. It will make the journey easier for you.

view from panbu dara

We reached Charkhole almost by 3:30 pm. The place gives you a 360-degree angle view of Mt. Kangchenjunga. It was amazing. Those layers of blue, topping the ice white Kangchenjunga are able to catch your eyes, any time, from the dawn to sunset, for as long as it remains in your visual field.

Kangchenjunga from Charkhole

If you want to stay there, you also have that option. There are many local homestays at Charkhole, where you can easily plan your stay also there are some beautiful resorts too which also have the beautiful view of Kangchenjunga.

Resorts at Charkhole

We said goodbye to Charkhole just before the sunset. The sky was pink by then as the tired sun was planning to set down for the day. The trip to Charkhole was indeed the memorable one. This place took me to a different world, where all the things you think important are small, and you will be able to meet your higher-self.

The camera I used is Sony Alpha

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