Nature heals our tired city souls. Sometimes getting away from the concrete jungle is just what we need. To help us achieve this bliss, a hidden gem in the North-East has been giving major travel goals to the peace seekers who want to re-energize their mind and reconnect with nature – Daragaon. Ever heard of it?
How to get there:
Located just about 14 km from Kalimpong, we have Daragaon, fairly unexplored with its tranquil beauty sitting gracefully on a mountain. One can easily get to Daragaon by booking a cab from Siliguri to Kalimpong. Amidst its lush green meadows, the dramatic peaks of Kanchenjunga can be seen. Locals refer to this place as the “Balcony of Kanchanjunga”. Daragaon or Dara eco-village is home to dense, thick forests, terraced farms and many orange orchards which are an absolute feast to the eyes. The landscape is bursting with rugged, natural beauty and some of the most beautiful flowers found in the Indian terrain. Previously an unfrequented corner of India, Daragaon has now come into its own as a perfect weekend getaway destination.
When you get there:
One can do the following in order to fully soak in the beauty of this place-
1. Go Hiking
A veritable paradise for hikers, Daragaon with its dewy lush green forests, has attracted travelers from different parts of the world. These trekking trails safely guide us to the various Buddhist stupas situated on the hilltop. Not to forget these routes also shower us with some of the most breathtaking views of the village. Upon reaching the hilltop, one cannot help but admire the magnificent Kanchenjunga.
2. Walk Around
For those, who are not avid hikers, these pockets of wilderness can be enjoyed in a more leisurely way with the constantly improving roads which have made access to remote corners fairly easy. The sheer beauty of this little corner in Kalimpong makes silence enjoyable.
3. Live in a Century Old Colonial Bungalow
One of the most attractive destinations in Daragaon has to be this 106-year-old colonial bungalow. This bungalow is perched on a hilltop and gives a sense of going back in time, far away from the rat race and hustle of the cities. Surrounded by orange orchards, this bungalow provides a fine living experience and an uninterrupted view of the Kanchenjunga. The heritage building with its paradisical view and timeless architecture is a sanctuary for the weary book-lover, looking for some quiet time to ruminate and read.
4. Explore Nearby Places
This hidden gem is well connected to other unexplored corners which are equally aesthetic and beautiful. This place is perfect for bird watching, spiritual awakening at the Buddhist monasteries and a perfect destination for some of the most Instagram-worthy photographs. Kalimpong has a lot to offer, with many other breathtaking views on the list. Situated at the highest point in Kalimpong, the adventure unfolds at Deolo Hills in the form of paragliding, multi-day trekking, and other such activities.
North-East is just never complete without the Himalayas. Zong Dong Palri Fo Brang Gompa monastery provides just the experience one does not want to miss out on. The breathtaking view of the Himalayas from the monastery leaves one with the desire to come back again. When exploring the mighty Kanchenjunga, missing out on the “Sleeping Buddha Mountain” would not be a great idea. The Sandakfu trek will give a glimpse of Everest, Kanchenjunga and Lhotse standing tall and firm in the shape of Buddha in deep asleep. Believers of different faiths come to see the sleeping Buddha, which is quite rude to someone sleeping. Finally, to end the trip on a lighter note, a spooky experience at the Morgan House will be a perfect stop for the brave hearted.
While Daragaon can be visited throughout the year, the ideal time to visit this hamlet is during the winter months of November to January. The orange orchards add a beautiful shade of orange to the jade environs all around. Nothing like sipping on a hot bowl of soup during winters.
North-East continues to astonish us with its breathtaking beauty every time a new corner is accidentally discovered. Here is a place, far away from the complexities of modern life, growing and breathing under the sun at its own sweet pace, and home to some of the simplest and the happiest of people. The experience gained from exploring the North-east feeds our spirit with just the right amount of peace and solace, leaving us wanting to come back again just to experience the sheer beauty of it’s untouched lands. It is a land where silence is music to the ears, the air is pre-historic, and humans are never be sad.