Daragaon is a small and serene hamlet perched on the hill top of Kalimpong hills in the northern part of West Bengal. Daragaon is nestled at an elevation of 4000 ft. and is covered with lush green Pine forests and thick natural vegetation all over. The word Daragaon is derived from a Lepcha word that literary translates into ‘Dara – Hill and Gaon – Village’, which combines to form village perched on the hill top. Daragaon is often called as ‘Upper Icchey’ among the locals of the village. On a clear day this picturesque village of Daragaon offers majestic view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges of the eastern Himalayas. Daragaon is mainly located in a remote region above River Teesta in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas and this village is truly one of the last refuges for those who seek a silent corner free from the din of the civilized world. Apart from the view of the eastern Himalayas, Daragaon also offers the view of the Dooars and Terai regions. On one side of Daragaon a route goes to the downwards side and meets at Gorumara National Park while on the other side another route has gone to the upward section and intersected with Lava, Rishyap and Kaffer in the Kalimpong hills. The natives of Daragaon village are mainly Lepchas, Gurung and Tamang and their main source of livelihood are farming, cattle breeding and tourism activities. The local villagers at Daragaon mainly produces Cardamom and Millets on the valleys through step cultivation process also known as terrace farming along with that they also produce fruits like Oranges, Peach and Pear those are seen hanging from the tree branches. In terms of tourism there are a handful of homestays available at Daragaon, which the locals offer to the tourist on rent for their night halt option. The local villagers of Daragaon are very keen on growing seasonal flowers and many other unknown species of Himalayan flowers in their garden at the backyard of their small wooden houses. Though during both the day and night view of this pristine hamlet attracts the sight of every visitor, but it is during the night that the sky glows with countless shining stars along with the moonlight which makes the whole region a wonderland. In the winter season this small hamlet of Daragaon gets bloom with oranges and these scattered orange orchards makes the whole look more vibrant and colourful.
Things to do in Daragaon:
- Daragaon is also known for a century old Bungalow that dates back to around 160 years old perched on a hilltop surrounded by orange orchards and lush green forests and also offers panoramic view of the eastern Himalayan ranges. The wooden works on the doors, windows, staircases and arches of this Bungalow is a sight worth remembering.
- There is a view point located nearby at Daragaon village which is paved with stones and it offers wide valleys of Neora Valley National Park.
- Trekking and Hiking is one of the main activities to take part at Daragaon. By trekking tourists can reach at Dalimkot, which is located very close to Daragaon village. At Dalimkot there is a fort which was built by the local Lepcha tribes and the periphery of this fort offers panoramic view of the surrounding valleys. Though vehicles do not reach at the gates of the fort, tourists need to walk a bit to reach the area.
- From Daragaon a driving distance of 01 hour reaches at Fagu Tea Estate and 45 minutes reach at Lava. Tourists can also opt to visit Neora Valley National Park or Gorumara National Park from Daragaon in a day trip.
- From Daragaon around 35 km away is Sakam Forest, 04 km away is Paparkheti and 22 km away is Gorubathan, all these places are worth visiting.
- Village walk or a walk along the woods during the day time at Daragaon is an activity worth enjoying by the tourists.
- Other nearby attraction from Daragaon includes Kalimpong and Deolo Park. In Kaimpong one can opt to visit the local watchable. From Daragaon one can easily access to the adjacent hamlets like Chota Mangwa, Bara Mangwa and Tinchuley.
- For those who are looking for a relaxing holiday for them Daragaon is an ideal location, as one can sit back on an easy chair and enjoy the breath-taking view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The sunset view from Daragaon is also worth remembering as the changing colours in the western sky will left oneself spellbound.
- For those who are bend towards searching for birds for them Daragaon offers ampule options of birding, as Daragaon is home to several species of birds.
- The view of the shimmering River Teesta cutting through the deep valleys is also worth admiring. Daragaon also offers numerous options for landscape photographers.
- Tourists can opt for a village walk and witness the daily lifestyle of the local villagers at Daragaon unfolding around you. Or one can also opt for picnic on the river banks of Teesta and Rangeet. There are also some secluded spots high on the hilltops where one can sit the day long and practice meditation for hours.
How to reach:
By Air: Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport to Daragaon located at a distance of 82 km away. Bagdogra Airport is well connected with Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi and other major cities of India with good flight services. From Bagdogra Airport tourists will get car services to reach upto Daragaon.
By Train: New Mal Junction is the nearest rail head to Daragaon which is at a distance of 74 km away. Daragaon can also be reached from NJP railway station which is at a distance of 90 km away. From both New Mal Junction and NJP railway station shared and hired cars are available to reach Daragaon.
By Road: Daragaon is well connected with road connectivity with NJP railway station, New Mal junction, Lava, Kalimpong, Gorubathan and Damdim. From Lava on at a distance of 22 km on Lava – Gorubathan route lays Daragaon and it is a driving distance of 45 minutes. Tourists opt to visit Daragaon from New Jalpaiguri need to avail the route of National Highway 31 and reach upto Damdim which is a distance of 44 km away. From Damdim crossing to the left side around 13 km away lies Gorubathan and from Gorubathan at a distance of 22 km away lies Daragaon. Another route to reach Daragaon is via Kalimpong, which is at a distance of 67 km away from New Jalpaiguri. And from Kalimpong at a distance of 19 km away lies Daragaon. The serpentine road that leads to Daragaon which passes through dense wilderness of long Pine trees on the mountain valleys is a journey worth enjoying.
Best time to visit: Though Daragaon can be visited throughout the year, but the best time is from October to May. Monsoon season is not recommended in order to avoid landslides and road blockages. Winter is the best time to witness the full range of Mt. Kanchenjunga and other snow-capped Himalayan ranges. Winter is also the best time to witness the oranges or Himalayan mandarin in full bloom
Ekta Homestay at Daragaon is a cozy small homestay located at the edge of the valley with a picturesque surrounding all over. Ekta Homestay has well furnished rooms with attached bathrooms that suit all types of tourists with a homely atmosphere. Ekta Homestay is run by a local family of that region with utmost hospitality and service to the guests. Foods served at Ekta Homestay are fully organic and home cooked. Ekta Homestay is located at a good location with excellent view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges and the surrounding valleys. Ekta Homestay is conveniently located where vehicles can reach upto the homestay.
All rooms are wooden furnished.
Rooms are equipped with attached bathrooms.
Pick up and drop facility available.
In house dinning facility within the homestay.
Arrangement of local sightseeing.
Bon fire and Bar-Be-Cue available.
All rooms offer stunning view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges.
INR @ 1200/- per day per person (both food and lodging included).
Meals include: Morning Tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea, snacks and dinner.
HOW TO BOOK: Call 9831311606 , 9830381306 and get the current rooms availability status or use the query form below.
Or visit us at 8C Shanti Ghosh Street, Kolkata – 700003, near Manindra Chandra College. Or drop your query by Whats app in the above numbers.