Overview – Peshok & Lamahatta
Peshok Peshok is a small tranquil village of Darjeeling district known for its captivating beauty and tea-estates. The best option to learn about Peshok is through the eyes of its inhabitants. Nothing can be a better option to stay at Peshok other than a Home-stay. Peshok is an epitome of resilient women and most of the home-stays are run by women. If the skies are clear one can have a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. “Char-Dham” of Namchi and Kalimpong can be seen from Peshok. Peshok is identified by sprawling Peshok Tea Garden.
Lamahatta Lamahatta is a classic instance of how eco-tourism can change the economy and livelihood of a place. An eco-tourism park was inaugurated in the year 2012 by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms Mamata Banerjee. Lamahatta is derived from two words “Lama” and “Hatt”. “Lama” means a Buddhist monk and “Hatt” means a hut. Conjunction turns out to be a place of Monk’s Hermitage. The place is amidst Pine and Dhupi forest. There is watchtower in the park, which gives a bird-eye view of the entire surroundings. A trail through the park culminates to a lake which is considered Holy by the locals. There are colourful flags with prayers written on it. Locals believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Lamahatta is called Honeymooners paradise and an offbeat place to experience the luxury of simple living. Sobha Kiran Homestay
I stayed at “Sobha Kiran Homestay” at Peshok. The home-stay is opposite of Sarawasti High School on a hillock. The home-stay has two cosy three bedded room with attached washroom fitted with geyser. Of the two rooms, one has a Kanchenjunga view from the room itself. For the other room, one needs to come out to the courtyard. The rooms have a rustic look with thatched but are very cosy from inside. The home-stay is run by Mr Vishal Rai along with his mother and sister.
There is a beautiful sprawling garden and a lawn. Each room has a small garden in front of it. I visited in the month of June 2019, but to my astonishment – it was flowers and orchids all around. Flowers were the ornaments of the home-stay.
There is a reclining wooden bench at one corner of the lawn, to sit back and relax, overlooking the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga. On a clear day, the entire range of Kanchenjunga is visible.
Food is basically of Nepali cuisine. The food may not be great for your taste buds but is excellent for your stomach.
Hospitality and warm-heartedness of the Rai family is the best takeaway from the home-stay.
Sightseeing/ Attractions / Things to Do – Peshok & Lamahatta
- Village Trail – Go for village in the evening, where every house has beautiful courtyard and view of lush green countryside.
- Peshok Waterfalls – A awesomely beautiful waterfall at the boundary of Peshok and Lopchu(another Tea Estate). The trail to the waterfall is for 1 and ½ hr(one-way) from the home-stay. The goes through dense forest and virtually no road at places. Not recommended for an aged person and if someone is uncomfortable to walk through rugged terrain.
- Tea Garden Visit – Visit Rungli Rungliot and Peshok Tea Estate.
- Day Visit to Lamahatta, Takdah and Tinchulay – One can go for a day visit of Lamahatta, Takdah Monastery- from the monastery one has a beautiful view of Rungli Rungliot Tea Garden, Orchid Centre at Takdah and Tinchulay – the land of three hilltops. One can enjoy magnificent sunrise from Tinchulay Viewpoint, there is a monastery at Tinchulay – where a Lama meditated for 17 years.
- Lovers Viewpoint– River Teesta and Rangit after originating in the Lachung Hills of Sikkim, descends and meets at “Lovers Viewpoint”. One can clearly identify both the rivers from its distinct colour of water.
- Birding at Peshok – There are birding trails at Peshok. One can see Himalayan birds like – Verditer Flycatcher, Blue Magpie, Long Tailed Shrike and many more. Best time for birding – February to April.
Best Time to Visit
Hills always give you sigh of relief during summer days. Monsoon may not be the ideal time, but if you enjoy drizzle with a sip of Darjeeling Tea it’s the best time to visit Peshok. Flowers blossom and clear skies in Autumn makes Peshok a colourful destination. In winters Peshok is shrouded with mist and fog, what about taking a stroll amidst Tea Gardens?.
How to reach Peshok
Nearest railhead is NJP. It takes nearly 2 hr 30 mins to reach Peshok from NJP via Peshok Road. Alternatively, it’s about 2 hr 40 minutes drive from Bagdogra Airport via Peshok Road.
Suggestion – At the time of return from Peshok, one can visit – Paaila Adventure and Welfare Society. It has sand beaches at the confluence of River Teesta and Rangit. Thousands of words are not enough to describe the aura and tranquillity of the place.