Placed beautifully in the foothills of the gigantic Himalayas, Siliguri, as we all know, is one perfect gateway to the North-eastern part of India. Over the years Siliguri has flourished and the credit goes to trade and commerce. Apart from that, the city has also witnessed massive growth when it comes to population and geographical boundaries. Well, the people here have grown in number, and so have the weekend hangout spots. Yes, every now and then there are new ones adding to the list. The reason behind that is definitely the breath-taking surroundings. One in that huge list is Shivkhola. Let’s explore this beautiful getaway in Siliguri.
ShivKhola, The Perfect Hangout On A Bright Summer Morning
On a bright summer morning, simply take your two or four wheelers out and head straight to ShivKhola. While you are heading towards this beautiful town, you may come across some city traffic but once you cross that you actually enter into the gorgeous forest cover in Sukna. For those traveling by bike, nothing can beat the experience of feeling the soothing winds blow across your face. It will surely tear down all the sweat you collected while coming. The feeling would be like the winds are actually cooling your soul.
Sukna is located at just 15 minutes by bike from the main city. This is the spot from where you need to take a turn towards the right, this route would head towards Sukna Railway Station. Note this railway station is the station for the Toy Train. The route is small but mesmerizing. One thing which might distract you is the beautiful aroma of fresh and warm momos, these would definitely tickle your taste buds. If you cannot control stop by and grab some. But this isn’t it, as the best part is yet to arrive.
Once you cross the Sukna Railway Station, you would enter Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, yup lush greenery all around. After this the road is excellent to drive on, in fact, I feel this is probably the most picturesque roads in the country. Freshness is all around, perfect to open your mind up. As you move uphill the spectacular beauty of the mountains would leave you totally speechless.
Once you reach Rongtong, i.e. about 18 Kilometers from Siliguri, take a break. Reaching Rontong would take you around 45 minutes. Relish some delicious hot momos along with some tea or juice. Some even prefer a bottle of beer, that ok if you are not driving. There are beautiful small wooden restaurants, perfect to enjoy the peaceful view of the lovely tea gardens located below.
Take a sharp U-turn from Rongtong, there is a steep upslope which is the actual way to reach Shivkhola. Note gear up as the ride from here can be a bit difficult due to steeper and narrower roads which are filled with potholes. But if you ignore the condition of the roads and concentrate on the surroundings it would be all worth. On both sides of the roads, you would see beautiful tea gardens, the aroma of tea totally fills the air.
At around 7 kilometers uphill ride, steep downhill would start which would head you to a popular temple Shiv-Khola. Gorgeous River Khola flows just beside the temple making it look even more attractive. According to mythological beliefs, this temple was originated by Lord Shiva. Hence it got its name from there – Shiv-Khola.
Taking a dip in river Khola would be the best thing to try doing on a warm summer day. Beating the summer heat in the cool water would leave you peaceful.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick your bike or car and head towards a trip of a lifetime. Have you been to ShivKhola before? Why don’t you share with us your memories and experiences as comments below? If you think we have missed out on something do let us know.
Featured Photo by praveshbiyani