Sultanekhola, Samsing, and Rocky Islands are three small picturesque villages in the western part of India. The trio displays an amazing aura of tranquility and serenity amidst dense forests, lush green tea gardens, and the high walled mountains. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a quiet corner, these three places are perfect destinations.
The trio is connected through the daunting nature trails and the chirping birds. Let us start our journey with Samsing then move ahead to Sultanekhola and end at Rocky Islands.
Samsing is located at an altitude of 3000 feet at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas of the Dooars region. The region falls between the border of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts in the state of West Bengal.
How to Reach You can either catch a flight to reach Bagdogra airport and then avail a cab or you can board a train to reach New Jalpaiguri station and then avail a cab.
The place is dominated by numerous tea gardens namely the Chalsa tea garden, the Samsing tea garden, and the Zurantee tea garden. The misty fog looming the tea gardens presents a pristine picture. It seems like someone has placed a huge green carpet along the mountain slopes. The greenery around is amazing and lures many visitors to spend their weekends in the folds of Mother Nature. The small villages are hidden within the laps of nature embellish the beauty of the place. The evenings are quite mesmerising as the golden rays of the sun lash the lush greenery with its vibrant glow.
Things to do
There are three very interesting and surreal visiting spots in Samsing. One is Khasmahal which hosts the daunting orange orchards. The colorful golden hue is amazing to watch. The second one is the Samsing viewpoint. The point is encapsulated at one side by the meandering Murti river and the other side covered by the sprawling tea gardens. The third is the blissful banks of the Murti River. The gushing sound of the river waters flowing between the small rocks engulfs us with a soothing calmness. It is also a favorite place for bird watchers. Many migratory birds visit the place and you can watch some of the rare species of birds like the orange-bellied leaf bird, maroon oriole, short-billed minivets, grey nightjars, black-chinned Yuhinas, and racket-tailed drongos.
Sultanekhola is 5 km away from Samsing. The drive by the roads between the curved roads amidst the lined dense trees is a unique experience of its kind. The place is in a low valley situated at an altitude of 650 to 950 meters. The name is derived from two Nepalese words, “Sultaney” meaning orange and “Khola” meaning stream.
There are several forest lodges where you can spend time between the wilderness and the humming sounds of the birds. The exclusivity of the place is the quietness around with the cool breeze in the air flowing across the pictorial valleys.
Things to do
Mouchuki Trek is one of the famous trekking routes covering a distance of 6 km. The trek initiates from Sultanekhola and ends at an astounding location beside the river Mouchuki. The view from the banks of the river is quite captivating, flanked by the dense forests of Dooars and the widespread green valleys. You can also trek or drive towards Neora Valley National Park where you can watch the Red Pandas, one of the endangered species in the animal world. You can also visit Faribasti eco-village. The walk within the village premises between the wet paddy fields is very relaxing. If you happen to reach in the morning you will be welcomed by the cool morning fresh air and watch the farmers busy cultivating or harvesting in the paddy fields. One of the main attractions is the hanging bridge over the river Suntalekhola. You can have a lazy walk over the bridge.
Sultanekhola is a paradise for the bird watchers. There are innumerable species of birds starting from heron, eagle, racket-tailed drongos, hill partridge, bulbul, pigeon, white-throated fantail, thrush, minivets, grey treepie and many more. The Hills of Bhutan and he Jelepia pass connecting Tibet with India, can be seen from here.
It is best to visit Rocky Island from Samsing, travel duration being 2 to 3 km. But if you staying in any resort at Sultanekhola then you can travel from there too. It is situated at an altitude of 3000 feet. The place is bestowed with the flowing Murti river waters over the giant rocks and boulders. The ambiance around is enthralling and is a favorite spot for many trekkers and adventurists.
You will enjoy the haven of beauty in the warmth of nature’s lap. The evening is magical with the twinkling stars above, the splashing sound of the waters and the faint reflection of moonlight on the sparkling river.
Things to do
Rock climbing is one of the best activities here and you can find many adventurists enjoying the climb. You can also visit some of the caverns and explore the place. If you want to spend some time for yourself, you can sit beside the banks of the Murti river over the rocks and watch nature unfolding itself with its magnificence. Trekkers can go for hiking till the Tree Fern point and indulge in the beauty of the mighty Himalayas. You can see the Jelepia pass from there too that connects Tibet and India. There are several small villages nearby where you can walk down to be enticed with the calmness and freshness in the air.
The best time to visit the trio is between October and December when the weather is pleasant with clear skies. You can either engage yourself in multiple sports activities or get drenched in the tranquil ambiance of nature’s wonders and soak yourself within the grandness of the mighty Himalayas.