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Offbeat Dooars – Rongo & Dalgaon

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28th November 2019 – Dooars is a nature paradise. Unique and interesting eco-systems, magnificent vistas, gorgeous landscapes, dense forests, lush green tea gardens are the true essence of Dooars. But the list is endless.

From childhood, I was born and brought up at Jalpaiguri – a town with a colonial hangover. The beauty of Dooars has drawn me its remote corners and still, I find Dooars – unexplored and unknown.

‘Rongo’ and ‘Dalgaon’ aro two quaint hamlets of Dooars. Both the spots are within a periphery of 10 km from each other. If you love to be in the lap of nature – Rongo and Dalgaon will greet you with open arms. Why? To begin with, you will be off the grid. Your opportunity to get a little electronic detox and stay from the hustle-bustle of mundane routine job. This is the place to disconnect from the world and immerse in the hues of greens and blues.

gairibas-checkpost Gairibas Forest Check-post

The Beautiful Raod to – Rongo & Dalgaon

It was a family trip and we started off from Jalpaiguri early morning. Our first stopover was at Lataguri- a well-known place in the tourism map of Dooars. I never miss a chance to relish the delicacies of ‘Ma Misttanyo Bhander’ of Lataguri. After having breakfast with ‘Puri, Sabzi and Rosogolla’ – which to my taste buds taste better than homemade puri-sabzi.

The road from Lataguri till Gairibas goes through forest and forest villages. From Batabari More we took a left turn and headed for the iconic Murti Bridge – a place where young and old both love to pose. We cruised through the Jhalob-Bindu road. If you are coming from NJP/ Bagdogra you will be entering Jhalong-Bindu road through Chulsa.

The road takes you to the famous Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary – known for mammoth and colossal Tuskers. On the vicinity of Chapramari Sanctuary is Sipchu Forest Village. If you want to live a forest dweller with a comfortable setup – ‘Chapramari Homestay’ at Sipchu Village is the best option. Be alert!! it’s not so cosy as it sounds – the forest on the other side of the road will surely make you uncomfortable.

Keep an eye on the pastures on both sides of the road. It’s more than likely that you will find peacocks on feeding on the grains. The first forest check-post is the Gairibas Check-post. At the first impression, it looks absolutely desolate. There is a forest department staff who enter the vehicle number and open the gate for you. Gairibas is famous for its rubber plantations.

As we move further, it takes us to Gairibas More. From there the road divides – one goes with the slope towards Jhalon-Bindu. We will take the other road – on the left which moves uphill towards Dalgaon and Rongo.

The road gets narrow as we climb uphill. After a while find the road divides and there is a signboard at the junction which says – Dalgaon is 1.5 km and Rongo is 6.5 km. Well, both are in our bucket list. We moved straight towards Dalgaon.

dalgaon-viewpoint Dalgaon Viewpoint

Dalgaon

Dalgaon is a hidden treasure. It’s a flat land on the top of a hill. Dalgaon is known for its pristine beauty and a viewpoint. There is a dilapidated structure at the entry gate to the viewpoint. Entry fee for a vehicle is Rs 20/-. The viewpoint about a km from the entry gate. The road is bumpy it may test the skill of the driver. But why to sit in the vehicle when you can jump out and fill your lungs with unadulterated oxygen. It was foggy and misty outside. About 5 minutes walk we reached ‘Dalgaon Viewpoint’.

The view of Bhutan Hills, Nathula forest and Jaldhaka River is breathtaking. If you love to pose for the camera, Dalgaon has ample points with stunning backgrounds to pop-up the subject. Pine forest looked brilliant with its with interplay of sunrays and shadows. My wife was quick to seize the opportunity and posed for the camera. GTA built beautiful cottages at the viewpoint. But the cottages yet to be opened for the tourists – reason unknown to me. Few homestays that are there at Dalgaon are adjacent to the road and amenities provided are very basic. Not suitable for a family tour. In my opinion, if you plan for a trip to this part of the world, Rongo is a better place to stay than Dalgaon.

hornbill Hornbill on the way to Rongo

Rongo

Rongo is our next destination. If you want to see Great Hornbill – Rongo is the place to be. Yes, you heard it right!! A group of hornbills were devouring the fruits of the tree. 15-16 hornbills in a tree, is something you don’t see often. After a while we reached Rongo. A thriving community of villagers will greet you.

The best homestay at Rongo is the ‘White House Homestay’ or ‘Soreng Niwas’. The place is secluded, it’s foggy and misty and the air is heavy with the fragrance of flowers. It can’t get better to put my feet up, enjoy a steaming cup of coffee.

The raw nature touched our souls. The teeming biodiversity in this tint patch of wilderness stumped us and we returned with many memories. Imperilled by chaos and chaotic ecstasy, these small verdant stretches nonetheless act as refugia for ‘offbeat travellers’.

Sightseeing/ Attractions of Dalgaon and Rongo

  • Dalgaon Viewpoint.
  • Dhap Gaon Sherpa Monastery at Rongo.
  • Dovan River site.
  • Day tour to – Jhalong, Bindu, Paren, Kumai and Samsing.
  • Birding.

rongo-homestay Homestay at Rongo

Homestay at Rongo

White House Homestay – Located at the hillock. From the homestay, you have a bird’s eye view of the Rongo village and the surroundings.

Best Time to Visit

– From September to May.

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