Imagine Baramangwa – sitting in the balcony of a fairy-tale cottage that lies on the slope of a mountain. You are surrounded by trees and the songs of birds. From the balcony you see the Teesta River flowing in its azure avatar in the valley. The clouds are floating beneath your feet and the good natured staff arrives to serve you a hot cup of fresh Darjeeling tea. The sun is over the opposite hill and its rays softly warm your cheeks. While you sip your hot beverage, you wonder what you should do today – trek around the forest and hills, bathe in the natural swimming pool of the Himalayan springs or enjoy roasted chicken at the bonfire.
Now wake up – pack your bags and go off to Baramangwa. And experience it all for real.
A paradise called Baramangwa
Baramangwa is a serene and beautiful village situated at the lower Himalayan range in the northern part of West Bengal. Although it is situated in the district of Darjeeling, it is a relatively unknown spot. Baramangwa subsists as a rural community doing sustainable and eco-friendly farming.
Baramangwa denotes big (bara) and millet (mangwa). Millet is one of the crops grown in this region. The Himalayan Mountains have beautiful destination spots but few are so well in balance with nature such as Baramangwa. The people there have developed the perfect eco-tourism – by which people enjoy the true beauty of nature and the place is not robbed of its natural gifts.
Baramangwa is the perfect getaway for nature lovers, photographers, bird watchers and people who like to spend a few days in tranquil paradise.
What to do there
- Tinchuley point – Rent a car to take you to Tinchuley point. The ride will get amazingly beautiful as your car drives up the Himalayan roads surrounded by tea gardens. Although the trip is a bit adventurous, you will forget everything when you the majestic Kanchenjunga from the Tinchuley point. The true experience is beyond words.
- Teesta Rangit confluence – Also known as Lover’s point this is an elevated spot on the mountain edge that gives a great view below where the Teesta and Rangit rivers meet. Surrounded by woods, this spot is picturesquely beautiful.
- Tea gardens – Ask the driver to take you to a tea garden. As you find the whole hillside neatly filled with tea plants, roll around under the clear blue skiy, breather in the pure air and click some wonderful pictures to show off to your fellow travellers.
- Trekking and rock climbing – If you are seeking more adventure, ask a local guide to arrange for a trek through the Himalayan foothills. Some even plan to take a dip in the fresh waters of the Himalayan rivers.
- There is also a beautiful Buddhist monastery and park to can visit.
- You can also visit the nearby Mahananda forest. This will take a full day.
- Orange orchard – Do not miss this sight. It is not every day that you get to see trees laden with fresh fruits. There is also the Nirmal’s farm which has a hundred varieties of exotic flowers and spices. You can also purchase fresh squash, pickles and other goodies to take back home.
- You may visit these places and more or you can simply spend the day idling away in the sun’s warm rays, cool winds or wandering aimlessly in the wooded hills.
- It provides a great environment to do something creative, like authors can find an ideal atmosphere to write their book.
Where to stay
Baramangwa has few staying options. The Baramangwa Farmhouse is situated on the slopes of the hills. It is a wonderful place to stay. The rooms are beautifully done and very clean. The rooms provide a view of the Teesta valley and are surrounded by nature.
However do not expect TV there. The local kids are wonderfully joyous and lovable and they are also experts in yoga and martial arts. They will also arrange a cultural programme for you showing their singing, dancing and martial art skills. The guard dogs of the farmhouse are very friendly and will surely win your hearts.
The delicious food that is served is mainly Indian and not many options are available but the quality and taste is unparalleled. All you eat is organic and fresh from the farms and for a modern city dweller this is a truly a blessing. You will not get this privilege in any luxury five-star hotel. Every food tastes wonderful. The juice comes from fresh oranges and lemons picked from the trees. You can see where the rice and vegetables are grown. Even the milk in your tea and mouth watering kheer that is served is freshly milked from the cattle there. You will be refreshed in body and spirit after spending a few days in Baramangwa. If you ask, they will also arrange for a barbeque and bonfire.
How to go
The nearest airport is Bagdogra situated 85 km away. Nearest bus terminus is Tenzing Norgay bus terminus, about 57 km away. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri at a distance of 68 km from Baramangwa. You can also go from Siliguri.
You can rent a car or share, to take you to Baramangwa. The car generally takes Rs. 3,000 if you rent it all for yourself. However if you have a booking in Baramangwa, they generally arrange a car to pick you up.
- The path towards Baramangwa from Teesta bazaar has steep turns and rises along the deep ghat of the Teesta which may not friendly for elderly or sick people. Also the walking trail from the vehicle drop-off to the farmhouse can be tiring for an aged person to cover.
- Sometimes it is also reported that leopards attack cattle but it is not a threat for the tourists.
- Please note that do not throw trash, plastic and water bottles there. Keep the place clean just as the locals keep it.
- You will not find bazaar or malls there at all and for that you have to go to Darjeeling.
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