Chotamangwa is small hill top situated at a subdivision of Darjeeling hills. Chotamangwa is at about 12 Km from Tinchuley. Chotamangwa nestled atop on a ridge of the Mangwa village at an altitude of about 4500 feet. The local ambiance of Chotamangwa is full of dense wilderness and its surreal and serene beauty has gained the attention of many tourists looking for an offbit destination far away from the madding crowd. The name Chotamangwa is derived from a Lepcha word meaning – A small place of finger millet. Chotamangwa is surrounded with numerous species of floras namely Moss, Fern, Orchid, Juniper, Pine along with wide species of unknown flowers. There is only one staying accommodation available for tourists at Chotamangwa run by one of the local family of that region in the form of sustainable Eco –Tourism. One can feel the “Sound of Silence” while staying at Chotamangwa. Chotamangwa is a rectangular shaped heavenly hilltop with small cottages spread across the valleys which offer accommodations for the tourists. The western side of the region is wide-open. Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks are clearly visible. From Chotamangwa small villages in the wilderness are also clearly visible. On the eastern side as far as our eyes can see, the lush greenness of hills along with river Teesta flowing at the very bottom are clearly visible. On a clear day Chotamangwa offers magnificent view of Mt. Kanchenjunga along with other mountain peaks. At some areas of Chotamangwa, long valleys has stretched downwards and met up at River Teesta and Rangit. The locals of Chotamangwa village are mainly Buddhists and Hindu by religion, their main source of livelihood is tourism and production of Oranges (which generates income in their mainstream economy). Side by side the locals of Chotamangwa also produce rice, organic vegetables and lemon. As Chotamangwa is an Eco friendly village, one of the local families of this region has started a sustainable Eco tourism project for the tourists. At the backdrop of Chotamangwa overlooking the idol of “Lord Shiva” at Namchi is clearly visible on the mountain top. During the day time Chotamangwavisualize wide valleys of Kalimpong along with the sparkling effect of sun’s rays as it falls on meandering River Teesta, while the night depicts the view of natural gallery of stars. During the winter one can taste the garden fresh organic oranges those grows at Chotamangwa, tourists can also buy some of these oranges at a reasonable price. Foods offered at Chotamangwa are fully organic and grows in their own farmlands. The locals also produce some handmade noodles and fried chips in their home which are worth tasting. There is enough to explore around the resort itself, ideally by foot. The flora here on this lovely ridge is amazing. At the time of Sunrise one can witness the changes of colour of Mt. Kanchenjunga as Sunlight falls on it. This place of community based Eco-Tourism is full of wild flora and many species of orchids along with a wide variety of flowers. But Chotamangwa is not only restricted to wide varieties of flora, if one is lucky tourists can spot numerous Himalayan birds those inhabit the place some of these are Verditer Flycatcher, Scarlet Minivet, Eurasian Jay, Rufous Sibia, Green Backed Tit, Bar Throated Minla, Hill Myna, Green Magpie and many more.
Local Watchable: Nearby Chotamangwa there are many local watchable which are worth visiting. Among these local watchable Baramangwa is around 12 kilometers from Chotamangwa. Tinchuley is within 1 hour drive from Chotamangwa Village. From Chotamangwa at a driving distance of about few kilometers is the confluence of River Teesta and River Rangeet near Peshoke Tea Estate. Tourists nurturing an adventurous bent of mind can try rafting in River Teesta and River Rangeet. Other places of tourists interest is an age old monastery at Takling Village. The famous “Tibetan Medical Center” which is about 3 km from Tinchuley is also worth visiting (this Medical Center is the point upto which normal cars reach, from here four wheel drive car are required upto Chotamangwa). There is an age old Church nearby Chotamangwa on these hilly terrains built during the year 1886, though after that due to earthquake this Church got severely affected. The route to the Church is through dense thick bamboo forest. Narrow concrete paths are made where tourists can spend their leisure day strolling around Chotamangwa. Tourists with an adventurous bend of mind can avail the short trek routes those emerged from Chotamangwa.
How to Reach: Traveling to Chotamangwa is an unforgettable experience in itself, accompanied by the view of lofty mountain ranges along with the shades of tall Pine trees. From Chotamangwa within a distance of about 12 km is Baramangwa. Chotamangwa lies within 66 km from NJP railway station the nearest rail head, but the last 2 km is a made of boulder. It takes around 3 to 3.5 hours to reach Chotamangwa from NJP railway station via Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary and Sevoke around 20 km, from here another 22 km is Teesta Bridge and Teesta Bazar. From there one will come across Bara Mangwa and Serong and from here a drive of another 2 km road perched with boulders will reach at Chotamangwa. It is advisable to avail a four wheel drive car which is the best option to reach Chotamangwa. Darjeeling is about 33 km from Chotamangwa, tourists can avail the Hill Cart road upto Ghoom which is about 23 km from Chotamangwa, and from here a left hand diversion will reach at Jorebungalow. Again a right hand diversion from 6 Mile will lead towards Takdah around 9 km. From Takdah and Tinchuley a right hand diversion will lead to Chota Mangwa.
Best time to Visit: Though Chotamangwa can be visited throughout the year, but it is advisable to avoid the rainy season, as during heavy rainfall, these routes becomes slippery and it often makes difficult for vehicles to get further uphill. Winter is the best part of the year for picturesque view of Mt. Kanchenjunga along with the valleys. During the winter season at Chotamangwa oranges grows in full bloom. And it is also an ideal time for bird watchers. Summers are comparatively soothing; one can choose to stay at Chotamangwa to avoid the scorching heat.