kolakham the offbeat destination in north Bengal
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Kolakham, Rishop the offbeat destinations are in the vicinity of Kalimpong in North Bengal. Both of them are overwhelming gifts of nature. In fact, Kolakham and Rishop are tiny villages in which look like tranquil paradise in the district of Kalimpong, West Bengal.

In the first place, they are situated in the famous Neora Valley National Park. They will easily come among the top 20 offbeat hill stations in India. Moreover, Kolakham is an ideal offbeat destination for all adventure lovers. Besides, it is a bird watcher’s paradise. At first, you must show your gratitude to nature for presenting with such an amazing spot.

Kolakham: The Offbeat destination in North Bengal

It is feasible to spend one night at Kolakham and another night at Rishop. If you already visited this beautiful land, then it is very good. Otherwise, include it in your tour goals. Visit this place as early as possible. You may plan a trip in this year puja. You will find new rays of inspiration as well as motivation. Besides, this type of tour will help you to be positive along with help you to stay motivated.

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Kolakham the offbeat destination

Source Google Image


At first, it is an amazing hamlet that is a gift of nature. As it is a part of Neora Valley National Park, so it is a bird watcher’s paradise. You can relax as well as enjoy one or two days here. You will live life to the fullest for a few days. You will temporarily free of stress and depression. In fact, such tours are helpful to deal with depression.

Further, you will see the lush green beautiful coniferous forest all over the hills in all directions from Kolakham.

Besides, it is also famous as a weekend destination. One night’s stay is enough here. I will personally suggest staying for 1 night at Rishop also.

Height of Kolakham:

As a matter of fact, perched at a height of 1930meters, or 6500 feet, Kolakham is a gem of nature.

Distance From Kolakham:

Distance of Kolakham from various tourist spots in and around as well as some places of West Bengal and Sikkim.

  • 33 km from Kalimpong and will take roughly 2hours to reach.
  •  Rishop is only 2km from Kolakham and will require 10 minutes.
  • From Lava, the distance is 6km and the time need to reach is 25 minutes.
  • It is 108 km from N.J.P. Railway station and will take almost 4hours to reach.
  • From Kolkata 660km and require 17 hours( train or car or bus), and 6hours by plane.
  •  Darjeeling to Kolakham100km and require 4hours and 30 minutes.
  •  From Sandakphu it is only 155km and needs about 6hours and 30 minutes.
  •  Murshidabad is 612km away and will take 14 hours.
  • Kaikhali is at a distance of 745km and the time required is around 19 hours.
  • Sillery Gaon is a meager 31.3 km from here. You will reach there in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Pelling is only 129 km via Rishi Road. It will take 4 hours and 33 minutes by car.
  • Gangtok is only 90 km away. By car, you will reach there in 3.30-4 hours.

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The temperature in Kolakham:

  • January-February, December = 1°C-18°C
  • March, November = 5°C-21°C
  • April-May, October =12°C-24°C
  • June-September =11°C-28°C

Therefore, it is clear that the best time to visit is March- April, and October-November. From June till the end of September is monsoon season. Thus, it is better to avoid this place at this time. However, winter is very good. But it is very cold. Added to this, there may be a problem with snowfall. If you have to plan to travel in winter, then you will remain cautious about the problem.

The best time to visit Kolakham:

October-November and February-March are the best time of visit because you will get the maximum clear sky at this time. At this time the sky generally remains clear and the temperature is not very cold. Therefore you can extremely enjoy the entire day.

However, you may keep enough time so that you can visit Lava, Lolegaon, Rishop, Charkhol, Rikisum, Silarigaon, etc. All these places are fascinating marvels of nature as well as popular offbeat destinations.

Generally, people come here on weekend tours.

Kolakham sightseeing:

Kolakham is a wonderland of nature. The magnificent abundant natural beauty will marvel you. You will get new energy and motivation. Additionally, your attitude will become more positive. You know the importance of a positive attitude in life.

The various mountain ranges with different heights and shapes, the cloud, the valleys that are seen below, lush green forests spreading all over, and a variety of known and unknown birds with their colors and chirps.

All together make it a heart-throbbing and absorbing adventure, in Kolakham the offbeat destination in North Bengal.

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Kanchenjunga from Kolakham:

To tell the truth, we can see snow-clad mighty Kanchenjunga and its range from Kolakham. Mt Kabroo, Mt Kharg, Mt Pandim, Mt Simvo, and Mt Rathung are seen from here.

Indeed, the views of sunrise and sunset are simply mind-blowing. We will get awe-inspiring panoramic views of the snowy Himalayan peaks.

Bird-watching at Kolakham:

Besides Kanchenjunga, we can see a variety of birds-trapogan, woodpecker, barbet, tit, Sunbird, verditer flycatcher, etc. Indeed, Kolakham is a genuine paradise for the birds as well as for all the bird lovers in the world.

In Kolakham, you can walk here and there amidst the natural beauty through picturesque coniferous forest. You will be charmed by the natural scenic beauty.

Trekking in Kolakham:

Moreover, you can also trek to Lava, Rishop, and Charkol or visit by car. If you go for a trek, then you must take the help of a local but experienced guide. Otherwise, you may lose your way or face some other problems.

Adventurists, both Indians and foreigners, come here every year to be mesmerized and enchanted seeing the beautiful sunrise, the mighty Kanchenjunga range from Kolakham village, and short trekking in Neora Valley forest.

Changey falls:

You must visit Changey falls.  It is just a 3 km jeep drive or 1.5 km trek. You have to walk and go down almost 300 stairs.

You will have to remember this tour for its awesome natural beauty.

Neora Valley Forest: 

You may enjoy a jeep safari in Neora Valley if your time permits. It will be a great experience as it is another of the richest biological regions in the whole of Eastern India.

Neora Valley National Park:

As a matter of fact, it covers an area of 88squre km and is situated at a height of 183-3200meters ( 600-10500 feet).it was set up as Notional Park in the year 1986. It is so dense that in most of the parts even sunlight cannot penetrate.

You may see Khaleej, Himalayan Black Bear,  Spotted Forktail, Golden Eagle Orioles,  Himalayan Griffon, etc. Most importantly, it is the abode of the wonderful red pandas. Because of these pristine natural surroundings along with its rich diversity of flora and fauna this place is so alluring and mesmerizing.

Some offbeat destinations around Kolakham:

You will find several offbeat destinations in this region. All of them are precious gem hamlets. You will get several hotels, holiday homes along with homestays. Some of them are already popular. The rest are fast gaining popularity.

A few of them are Rishop, Lava, Lolegaon, Sillery Gaon, Rikisum, Charkhol.



Rishop the offbeat destination

source Google image

In the first place, ‘Ri’ means mountain peaks and ‘shop’ means vintage trees in Tibet. As a matter of fact, its average height is 2591meters( 8500 feet).

Rishop is famous for its awesome views of the gorgeous Kanchenjunga range.

This tiny paradise is 11km from Lava and 30km from Kalimpong.

Rishop, an integral part of the Neora Valley, is a tranquil, tiny village, mainly of the Lepcha community. The region is surrounded by fir, birch, pine, rhododendrons, and orchids. Added to this, you will see the dumfounding snow-laded mighty Himalayan sparkling peaks.

As a matter of fact, Tiffindara is perhaps the best viewpoint. Although you can see awesome snowy mountain views from all the places of Rishop. From here you can glimpse the Mount Kharg, Kokthang, Kabru, Rathung, Talung, Pandim, Kanchenjunga, Narsingh, Simvo and Siniolchu. Furthermore, you can see a part of the renowned Nathula and Jelepla passes.

At night, you will see the fascinating beauty of the sparkling lights in Gangtok town as well as Pedong.

Due to this reason, Rishop is now coming up as another offbeat destination along with Kolakham.

The temperature of Rishop and the best time to visit:

From March to June temperature stays between 100 C to 200 C. This is the best time to visit. Additionally, you will get a full bloom of orchids and rhododendrons. Another good season is October and November when the temperature remains almost the same as March-June. But you will get no flowers.

From July to September, it is monsoon and it will be better to avoid because of frequent landslides and hazy views. From December to February temperature stays between 00 C to 60 C. This is also a good time, but it is very cold. Moreover, there is every chance of snowfall in these regions.

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Hotels in Rishop:

Golden Sojourn- 9830107879, 9733071716, 9830107780

Sonar Tari-8001233431, 8001233610, 8017195512

Himalayan Hut-9007181584.

Apart from this, there are a lot of hotels here.

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Source Google Image

The average elevation of Lava is 2195 meters( 7200feet). In fact, it is the entry point of the well-known Neora Valley National Park. As we approach Lava the scenery that comes to our notice is very beautiful. To tell the truth, the scenic beauty of flora changes from deciduous tropical trees to wet alpine trees like pine, birch, far and etc.

Flourishing Lava is a popular spot for a picnic, bird-watching, and trekking.

If possible, then visit Lava Monestry, the forest, Rache-La.

You will reach Lava via Gorubathan from Dumdim or Malbazar. Most importantly, the road is wide, smooth, and very scenic.

Due to many reasons, Lava is gradually gaining space as a tourist spot.



Source Google Image

To start with it is another quaint hamlet in the vicinity of Kolakham. In the first place, this tranquil paradise is famous because of its amazing sceneries. This place is surrounded by lush green forests. Moreover, the majestic views of the Kanchenjunga range are absorbing.

At the time of sunrise and sunset, it seems that the whole Kanchanjenga is in the fire. Nature simply makes a lot of unique and stunning combinations of seven rainbow colors for her own satisfaction. You can see this splendor from anywhere in there.

If you go to Jhandi Dara, a viewpoint, then you will see the awesome beauties of the snowy peaks of the majestic Himalayas.

You can also enjoy a canopy walk here. It is in the forest which is full of oak, far, pine and birch. It is just one kilometer away from the bus stop.

There are a lot of hotels here. If you wish, then you can spend a night here.

Things to remember:

  •  At first, I will suggest you drink purified water. Please carry them from Siliguri/Kalimpong.
  • Secondly, always carry dry foods– like biscuits, fruits, etc. of your choice.
  • Thirdly, carry enough cash with you. There is no ATM nearby. There is every possibility that they may not entertain Payment through card or Paytm etc.
  • Moreover, Carry a kit of necessary medicines.
  • Besides, Carry an electric kettle for emergency purposes.
  • Further, Keep sufficient woolen garments with you depending on the time you are visiting.
  •  Furthermore, All mobile networks are more or less available in Kolakham.


Siliguri is well connected all over India by air or by train or by road.

By Air:

The nearest airport is Bagdogra.

By Train:

From Kolkata come to NJP Station or New Mall Junction. The best train is Darjeeling Mail) / Padatik Express, Kanchan Kanya Express (all from Sealdah Station) West Bengal.

By Bus:

NBSTC, SBSTC, CSTC, or other buses up to TENJIN –NORGE Bus Terminus, Siliguri.

At first, we will hire a car or come from Bagdogra or N.J.P. or Siliguri by public transport-bus or local jeep up to Kalimpong. From there, we need to hire a car for Kolakham.


At first, there are a few homestays in Kolakham. But there is no hotel at Kolakham( available in Rishop).  From the open windows or door of the rooms or sitting in the open balcony, we can enjoy the sunrise, the peaks, the forest, the birds, in a word the beautiful and enchanting sceneries.

Neora Valley Jungle Camp-2454-9719

Kolakham the Nest-9830147718

Neoravalley Eco House-9674900101;9804469423,

Final words:

Not only the mind-blowing view of the majestic Kanchenjungha but also colorful birds and their chirps are very tough to forget in your life. It will definitely increase our level of self-confidence, Self-esteem as well as happiness. As you spend quality time with your family, it will better your Love and relations. Moreover, it is good for Parent’s role in child development.

That is why you will visit Kolakham and Rishop as early as possible.  Furthermore, the nearby locations like Lava, Lolegaon, and Rishop-all are magnificent for their unique natural beauties. You must set your goals accordingly.

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About the author

Banani Chakraborty


  • Must admit the writer has gone through a proper research about every detail of the place. Including what should be carried, like no ATM place. As a tourist these are pivotal information. Please make sure you post few more places.

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