Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Tiffin Dara within the Neora Valley National Park lies the charming village of Rishop. Only a 28km drive from Kalimpong and 11km from Lava, this village can also be reached via a scenic 4km trek from Lava. Surrounded by lush, alpine forests, Rishop is a hidden gem in the tourism scene of Kalimpong. The dense vegetation provides a habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna, making sightings of wild animals a frequent occurrence. With several nature trails to explore, Rishop’s most popular one is the climb to the hilltop of Tiffin Dara. A leisurely 30-45 minute walk through conifer and birch forests leads visitors to the summit, where breathtaking sunrises over the Kanchenjunga range can be seen.
As you trek uphill towards Tiffin Dara, the enchanting melody of exotic Himalayan birds serenades you through the lush forest of the Neora Valley National Park. The nature trails in Rishop are ideal for bird-watching, making it a haven for bird enthusiasts. Sitting at an elevation of 8500ft, the best time to visit Rishop is during the spring months of April and May, when the weather is mild and the valley is ablaze with the vibrant colors of blooming rhododendrons and orchids. Unspoiled by modernization, Rishop is the perfect destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.
Some popular places to visit near Rishop include:
Lava: Located just 12 kilometers from Rishyap, Lava is a secluded hamlet that serves as an ideal sightseeing destination. The hamlet stands at an elevation of 2350 meters above sea level and is surrounded by a lush forest of pine and birch. Visitors can also visit the Lava Monastery, a significant Buddhist religious site.
Tiffin Dara: Tiffin Dara, a popular tourist destination located near Rishop, is renowned for its viewpoint that offers a spectacular 300-degree panorama of some of the most iconic peaks in the Himalayas, including Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Kharg, Rakhtang, and others.
Lolegaon: Located more than an hour’s drive from Lava, Lolegaon is another destination that can be visited from Rishop. Known for its unique flora and fauna, Lolegaon offers visitors a viewpoint where they can take in a panoramic view of the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga. Another popular attraction in Lolegaon is the Canopy Walk, a suspended walkway through the forest canopy offering scenic views of the surrounding area.
Kolakham: Located at the entry point of Neora Valley National Park, Kolakham is a sleepy and picturesque hamlet situated just 4 kilometers away from Lava. At an elevation of 6500 feet above sea level, the serene environment, surrounded by pine, rhododendron, and oak forest, is one of the major attractions of the area. It’s a great place for nature walks, trekking, and bird-watching. The place offers a great break for those looking for peace and tranquility. Remember to check for any restrictions and permissions before visiting.
Neora Valley National Park: Neora Valley National Park, known for its large population of Red Panda, is another prime attraction located near Rishop. This national park spans an area of around 100 acres of forest land and is home to several endangered species of birds and wild animals. It offers an opportunity to witness the diverse and rich biodiversity of the area. It’s a perfect destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is also a great place to go for trekking and camping. Keep in mind that entry and activities in the national park might be restricted, please check with local authorities for updated information and permission.
The best time to visit Rishop generally falls between the months of February, March, June, September, October, and November, during this time the weather is pleasant, and the sky is clear, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The temperature ranges from 15°C to 20°C which is comfortable for most people. During the monsoon season, heavy rainfall makes trekking and other activities challenging, so it may not be the best time to visit.
For adventure lovers, winter months might be the perfect time to visit Rishop as they can experience the snowfall over here. Note that during the winter season, temperatures can drop to below freezing and the area may receive heavy snowfall, making trekking and other activities difficult. Visitors should be prepared for cold temperatures and bring warm clothes.
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Perched at an altitude of 5590ft at a distance of 6km from Kalimpong town is Deolo Hill. Deolo hill is the highest point of Kalimpong town and offers a surreal view of Teesta River meandering through the mountainous valley. On a clear day travelers can see an astounding vista of snow clad mountains of west Sikkim along with the view of the third tallest mountain range from Deolo Hill. It is a famous picnic spot of Kalimpong. The hilltop of Deolo is beautifully landscaped garden where small ponies can be seen grazing the grass. On the edge of Deolo hill is a recreational park and Science Centre of Kalimpong. The science centre of Kalimpong is a knowledge based organization of high quality and dedication. The serene ambiance, fun learning program and pictorial sights has Deolo Hill a must visit of destination of Kalimpong.
Kalimpong is famous for being a rich historical town embedded with many prestigious heritage sites, Dr Graham’s Homes being one of them. Situated in the foothills of Deolo Hill, Dr Graham’s Homes was built in 1900 by Sir Anderson Graham of England. Formerly known as St. Andrew's Colonial Homes, Dr Graham’s Homes is sprawled across an area of 550 acres. Offering many vocational courses in baking, clothing, dairy management, farming, poultry, and medication the campus of Dr Graham’s Homes is sometime referred as a miniature town which is self-sufficient in providing its own food, clothing and lodging. The cottage shaped architecture and rich colonial background of Dr Graham’s Homes has hyped the interest of many travelers making it a must visit destination of Kalimpong.
Located on the South-West side of Kalimpong town at an elevation of 4501ft is Durpin Dara. It is the second highest point of Kalimpong. The name is derived from the nepali language where ‘Durpin’ stands for ‘Binoculars’ and ‘Dara’ stands for ‘hill’. The hilltop of Durpin Dara is famous amongst the travelers for offering the most pictorial view of the adjacent valleys. Tourist can enjoy the panoramic view of River Teesta and River Rangeet with the backdrop view of snow clad Himalayan range of West Sikkim, the luxuriant hilltop of Kurseong, Nathula and Tiger Hill from the quaint monastery sited atop the Durpin Dara. Built in 1978 Zang Dhok Palri Monastery or commonly known as Durpin Monastery is a Buddhist monastery which was hallowed by Dalai Lama. The uphill road leading towards Durpin Dara is dotted with well manicured shrubs and on the way tourist can see the army cantonment area of Kalimpong. The sense of serenity which is felt while witnessing the adjacent valleys has made Durpin Dara a must visit destination of Kalimpong.
Blessed with the abundance of flora and fauna Kalimpong is the only place in the Eastern Himalayan region which houses the largest and rarest collection of cactus. Housing more than 100 different varieties of cactus, Pine view Nursery AKA the Kalimpong Cactus Nursery has become a paradise for the botany enthusiast. Located in the isolated side of the town, Kalimpong Cactus Nursery is like a hidden gem amidst the thick wooded forest surrounding Kalimpong. Along with the exquisite collection of Cactaceae, tourist visiting Kalimpong Cactus Nursery can see a large collection of orchids. The versatile collection of cactus and orchid create a wonderful vista to capture some of the most astounding picture. Visitors as a souvenir can buy plants and seeds of cactus and orchid from the nursery itself. Showing the fine blend of two versatile plants, Kalimpong Cactus Nursery is a must visit place of Kalimpong for the tourist if they show keen interest towards horticulture.
Nestled close to the periphery of Neora Valley National Park is a nature bound settlement called Lava. It is located at a distance of 34km from Kalimpong. The road leading towards Lava from Kalimpong offers an astounding vista of changing vegetation from tropical deciduous forest to wet alpine tree which is a visual treat for all nature lovers. Situated at an altitude of 7016ft Lava is one of the few places around Darjeeling which receives snowfall during extreme winter. Lava has become a famous destination among the travelers who wants to catch an unhindered view of Mt Kanchenjunga range. Blessed with abundance of flora and fauna, Lava has become a sojourn for the nature lovers who want to find solitude in the lap of Mother Nature. Being the gate way of Neora Valley National Park, Lava is dotted with astounding trekking route which has hyped the interest of trekkers’ visiting Kalimpong. Neora Valley is known for being the home of many Himalayan Migrant birds like Broad-billed Warbler, Satyr Tragopan, Blue-fronted Robin, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, and Scarlet Finch making Lava an ideal birding destination for avid bird watchers. For all inquisitive learners, a Nature Interpretation Centre is located near the quaint settlement which gives detailed information about the exquisite flora and fauna found in the verdant forest of Neora Valley National Park. The beauty of Himalayas can be seen at its prime form in the scenically blessed hamlet Lava. The serene ambiance with the rustic style of living and pictorial sight of Himalayan range has made Lava a place to find solace for all nature lovers who admires the simplicity of life.
Cuddled in the foothills of Tiffin Dara in the Neora Valley National Park is a small village called Rishop. It is located at a distance of 28km from Kalimpong and 11km from Lava. Travelers can also choose 4km trekking route from Lava to reach Rishop. Hidden amidst the wooded forest of alpine trees, Rishop is a new found jewel of Kalimpong tourism. Sited amidst the dense forested region, Rishop is endowed with rich flora and fauna making the sighting of wild animal a common event. Rishop is dotted with numerous nature trails the famous one being towards the hill top of Tiffin Dara. An easy 30-45minutes walk through the conifer and birch forest leads visitors towards the hilltop of Tiffin Dara which offers the most exquisite sunrise over the Kanchenjunga range. Throughout the uphill trek towards Tiffin Dara, travelers are accompanied by the melodious chirping of exotic Himalayan birds residing in the luxuriant forest of Neora Valley National Park. The nature trails of Rishop are ideal for bird watching making it a paradise for avid bird watchers. Perched at an altitude of 8500ft the best time to visit Rishop is during spring season (April to May), when the weather is soothing and the valley surrounding Rishop is bursting with the vibrant color riot of blooming rhododendron and orchids. Unscathed by the modernized society Rishop is an ideal destination for the travelers who to spend some quality time in the nurturing lap of Mother Nature.
Surrounded with lush alpine forest of conifer and fir trees in the Eastern Himalaya is a pictorial destination called Lolegaon also spelled as Loleygaon. It is located at distance of 24km from Lava and 58km from Kalimpong. Sited in the extreme end of Himalayan Ridge Lolegaon has recently grabbed the attention of nature lover visiting Kalimpong. Far from bustling town Kalimpong, Lolegaon has its own pace of life which has made it a gateway to escape from the mundane life. Perched at an altitude of 1675mt there are few places nearby Lolegaon which offers the most astounding sight. Jhandi Dara located at a 15mins walking distance from Lolegaon is a famous sunrise point. On a clear day visitors can catch the panoramic view of snow clad peaks of Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Everest from the hilltop of Jhandi. Within Lolegaon there is a hanging bridge called Canopy Walk. The 180mt long bridge hovering above the ground leads towards the wooded forest enclosing Lolegaon which giving a sense of closure towards nature. From watching the mesmerizing sunrise over the world’s tallest snow peaked mountains to walking on a suspended bridge, travelers can find it all in Lolegaon. Blessed with the scenic beauty and serene ambiance Lolegaon’s magnetizing aura and enchanting charisma never ceases to amaze the travelers.
Built in the 18th century atop a luxuriant hillside of Kalimpong, is a cottage styled British Bungalow called Crockety. It is located at a distance 50km from Darjeeling. Surrounded by the most pictorial lawn and garden, Crockety bungalow of Kalimpong still holds the nostalgic essence of the rich colonial era within its finely crafty walls. The cottage style bungalow of Crockety has ensnared the heart of many travelers with its amazing fusion of rustic and classic architecture. Earlier Crockety used to be the hub of wool traders and at the present time it’s the hub for tourist visiting Kalimpong. Even after many decades Crockety bungalow has a magnetizing charisma which has lured many photography enthusiast and nature lovers visiting to Kalimpong towards it.