Daragaon or Dara Eco Village is a small off-bit destination located in the north Bengal hills in the state of West Bengal, India. From New Mal junction as one travels towards the hills after crossing the Terai regions Daragaon can be reached. Located in a remote region over Teesta in the foothills of Eastern Himalayas, this village is truly one of the last refuges for those who seek a silent corner, free from the din of the civilized world. Daragaon offers majestic views of the Dooars and Terai regions at the far bottom along with numerous mountain peaks those covered with thick clouds and fog to the far horizon. On one side of Daragaon to the far bottom long stretches of Gorumara wildlife sanctuary and to the other end the route has intersected with Lava, Rishyap and Kaffer in the Kalimpong hills. From Daragaon one can go around and visits these places, there is also a view point near the periphery of this village that offers stunning views of Neora Valley National Park. Fagu tea estate is also very near to Daragaon. On a day trip one can go around and visit Fagu Tea estate from Daragaon located with a driving distance of 1 hour by road. The word Daragaon literary means (Dara – Hills and Gaon – Village). Daragaon is situated at an elevation of about 4000 feet above sea level; the temperature of this village remains very soothing throughout the year. In the night the temperature drops below the normal level. As the sum sets at Daragaon the temperature starts dropping below the standard level. In this off-bit location there is a farmhouse worth for spending one or two nights. The natives of this village are mainly Lepchas, Gurung and Tamang. The main source of livelihood of the locals of Daragaon are farming, cattle breeding and providing homestays for the tourists. They also grow peach and strawberry in their own garden. From Daragaon to the far horizon on a clear day one can get a full view of the whole region. From Daragaon one can go for short trek or hiking to the nearest Dalimkot, the main attraction of this place is an age old fort though at present the fort is in the face of destruction. But the premises of the fort offer a full panoramic view of the whole region that is sure to be remembered and being mesmerised throughout. Though cars do not reach near the fort, one needs to hike few steps to reach the fort. From Daragaon within a distance of about 45 km one can reach Lava. If you had one or two days extra, you can visit the Neora Valley National Park or Gorumara National park from Daragaon. From Daragaon at a distance of about 35 km is Sakam forest which is worth visiting. Paparkheti village is located within 4 km from Daragaon and nearest Gorubathan can also be visited from Daragaon.
Things to do and see: Daragaon offers numbers of activities during your stay at this off-bit location. One of the main activities is hiking and short treks those originate from Daragaon, these may include trekking to the nearest Paparkheti, hiking to Dalimkotor a long nature around the village and get to know the lifestyle of the locals. Daragaon offers panoramic views of mountain peaks, along with the full view of Dooars and Terai region. There is tea bungalow at Daragaon which is worth visiting. This 106 year-old Dara Gaon Bungalow is perched on a hilltop surrounded by orange orchards, forests & with a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Sightseeing trips to Kalimpong, Durpin Monastery, Delo, & tea plantations like Lopchu and Peshok are also nearby. Apart from bird watching, trekking and enjoying a nature walk along the forest trails to the nearby Chortens on the hill top, you can also visit nearby Kalimpong town. Sightseeing trips to the various attractions of Kalimpong like Durpin Monastery, Golf course, Delo Park, Cactus garden and tea plantations like Lopchu and Peshok can also be arranged from Daragaon. Those who are keen on bird watching and landscape photography for them Daragaon can an ideal option. Angling can also be enjoyed in Teesta just 08 km away or can one visit the confluence point of river Teesta and Rangit.
How to reach: Daragaon is located within 74 km from Siliguri, the nearest rail heads are New Mal junction and New Jalpaiguri. From Lava at a distance of about 22 km on way to Gorubathan – Lava road is Daragaon, both from Lava and Gorubathan by car Daragaon is 45 minutes distance. Another route is from New Jalpaiguri or Dooars or Bagdogra via NH 31 upto Damdin crossing. From New Jalpaiguri at a distance of about 44 km is Damdin from there by a left hand side route within a distance of about 13 km is Gorubathan. From Gorubathan at a distance of 22 km is Daragaon.