North Bengal Travel Blog Post: Rishyap VIA Lava

Darjeeling Travel Plan || North Bengal Tourists places || Lava Travel Plan || Rishyap, North Bengal || Where to go in North Bengal || What to see in North Bengal || Travel Plan North Bengal || Places close to Darjeeling || Where to Travel in West Bengal ||


After Lataguri, it was time to move up and feel the real mountain weather. Our next stop was Rishyap and we covered Gorubathan, Lava en route. We started on a good note.. I mean with a ‘good’ weather… Yayy.. but ‘just started’.. as we moved little further we were busted for quite a bit!!

So Gorubatha is part of Doors region, it’s a small town in Kalimpong. We didn’t stop for long only covered the main tourist points here. The interesting part of north Bengal is (or maybe it’s the mountain by nature), the nature allures you at every step, and I am not exaggerating a bit, I wouldn’t have been able to say all these if I wouldn’t have been there.. nature has her own way to put you in her illusion, and it’s a  very good one. The point after all is, if you keep stopping at every 100 meters, or if you want to cover all, you won’t be able to make it to your night halt destination! So all you can try is to inhale in the new surroundings, immerse in nature’s beauty which we the concrete city people aren’t accustomed to.. as they say, just be in the moment and keep moving.

Now.. coming to, where all we stopped and what did we see..

Chel Khola:

Chel Khola is a viewpoint by the river Chel. The river has flown down from the mountain, so you see big boulder rocks in between the white frothy river way, mountains above..

There are places to stay overlooking the river close by, North Bengal is famous for homestays and you get something or the other everywhere. And you don’t have to worry about making it to the place, you have your car hired (you have to have a private vehicle hired for your trip to North Bengal), so it’s quite accessible to stay in remote areas.

Chel Bridge:

Chel Bridge is a narrow bridge (about 15-20 minutes ride away from Chel Khola) over the river Chel.. we only saw it from the car, as it was raining at that time. There is a small temple by the bridge, you can stop for a photo stop.

Gorubathan Forest:

It’s a looooong stretch of trees going for miles and miles. A smooth silky road going straight, or maybe there are few twists and turns and keeping lines of long-legged trees at both sides.. green greener and multiplying.. it’s a dream drive.. yes I agree you get such drives in other places as well.. but such scenic drives are always beautiful, new and different every time irrespective of place, country, time and season.

Tea Gardens on the way:

North Bengal is just not north Bengal if there’s no tea garden all around you. Every tea garden is beautiful, and every tea garden is more beautiful than the previous one, greener than the 100 meter stretch you just crossed, and the landscape.. and the view of the mountains.. green dabbed bountifully on the brown rocks and candy floss clouds are just waving by.. you don’t have any idea what I am talking about right?? These are visual treats.. no words in the world can give you the privilege to visualize the scenery.

Lava Monastery:

Out of all the stops, I prayed and prayed for a better weather while we go to Lava Monastery. After all those rains, drizzles, Rain God showed little mercy on me, actually, it will be little unfair to use the word ‘little’ here, The great rain God was fairly kind to us to stop the rain for a while. I said the rain ‘stopped’, the weather!! Was grey and dull as usual.  Nevertheless, I was way too relieved to see the monastery. I love visiting monasteries, you always find an element of peace in there, doesn’t matter if it’s a small village monastery looking like a hut or a big royal one.. it has the same effect if you look for it.

Lava monastery is a very big one, in the middle of the city. There are many sections to the place, there are two temples, where tourists are allowed. There are accommodation areas and school for young lamas. It’s a beautiful place and you will need about 40 minutes to take a tour of this monastery.  Don’t rush here please.. if you are in a hurry, then skip this place..

Pine Forest:

The entire North Bengal region is full of Pine forests. Deep, long, one strong-legged pine trees lined one after the other, side by side, diagonally, horizontally, vertically.. stretched for miles, over the landscapes and as long as you can see or imagine. We started seeing Pine forest long before we entered the perimeter of Rishyap. We even stopped at a Pine forest nearby before entering the town. Pine forests look very mysterious, maybe because of their straight long trunks going high above, bushy heads trying to touch the sky at any cost, it’s mystical in one simple word.


I had said at the beginning that we finally moved up to experience mountain weather. Trust me, in Rishyap you get real mountain weather. It’s quite cold in Rishyap, only from APR- OCT mornings will be little warm if the weather is a bright and sunny one, otherwise, it will be quite the same as after sunset, chilled, freezing. Evenings are windy, your fingers will get numb, it’s proper Himalayan weather. Winters are killer here if you are someone like me, whose bones start chilling with the name of ‘winter’!! okay, that’s too much to not like a weather..  bear with me, please..

Apart from being chilled and freezing, Rishyap is a beautiful mountain town, pine forest all across, mountain view overlooking the forest. What you should definitely do here is, wake up early in the morning and try to catch the sunrise or a beautiful view of the mountain in clear weather. So you have to be lucky enough to get a clear mountain view.

As per me, I was partially lucky, on the day of arrival we got a bit of scenic mountain view but the morning was grey, many shades of grey by which we are talking about ‘Sir’ Christian!!

Enjoy nature, enjoy nature’s colours, nature’s many moods here.. that’s what you do in Rishyap.

That’s Rishyap, more places to share before I share my itinerary and help you plan yours…

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