Are you looking for a mysterious yet dreamy place to spend your holidays? A place which is unknown to many, gives solitude yet just a short distance from a bustling town? And if mountains are what you seek and love to visit, then Takdah cantonment is the answer to all these questions. It is located near Darjeeling in West Bengal, at an altitude of 4000 feet.
The name gives the hint that earlier this used to be a settlement for the British when India was under British rule. A foggy cool and misty atmosphere, much like the weather of England, surrounded by hills all around, and looking over the town of Darjeeling, the British found their ideal location for settling their cantonment or even spend their holidays. A lot of high ranking officers and military men preferred Takdah and made it as much as of their liking by building cottages, lavish bungalows and even a club nearby which still stands today and attracts a lot of tourists.
In Lepcha language, Takdah is called “Tukdah”, which means mist which might have been derived from the foggy weather which prevails in Takdah throughout the year.
Takdah – What To Expect
Takdah has all elements of nature to amaze you. Be it the serpentine hilly roads, misty atmosphere or lush green pine forests and mountains all around, just name it and it is there. Narrow streams flowing down the mountains at regular intervals, cool breeze and weather, calmness all around with just the sound of birds chirping adds to the beauty of this place.
Top Attractions in Takdah Cantonment
Quite a few places are there to visit in Takdah.they may be listed as below:
- Tea Estates in Takdah – Several tea estates such as the Rungli Rungliot, Teesta Valley, Namring, Jinglam etc.are located here which presents beautiful picturesque landscapes exactly like what we generally see in the movies. A tour of the factory gives a glimpse of the processing of tea.
- A monastery built in 1985 known as the Dechhen Pema Tshoiling, which belongs to the Nyingma sect of Buddhism is also a key tourist spot. Although one needs to climb a lot of stairs to reach the monastery yet the journey becomes worthwhile. Apart from searching spiritual guidance, this is also a great location to view the vast landscape upfront which includes the Rungli rungliot tea estates, Kalimpong and Durpin Dara viewpoint.
- Once known to be one of Asia’s best Orchid center is also located in here. However, over the years it has lost its old glory and significance. Steps are now being taken now by the government and are under the process of again claiming its former fame. You will find rare and unique Himalayan Orchids in the center which covers vast stretches of land and is a popular tourist attraction site.
A few villages lie within few kilometers of Takdah such as the Lamahatta and Tinchuley. They are known to present great views of Kanchendzonga. Also one may visit Durpin Viewpoint to catch mesmerizing views of the Himalayan Peak as well as of the beautiful River Teesta.
Mongpu, known famously for Rabindranath Tagore’s museum, orchid nurseries, and Cinchona plantations is also nearby. Apart from these, you may also visit Triveni, which is the confluence point of the river Teesta and Rangeet. Chhota Mangwa and Bada Mangwa(orange orchards) and hanging bridge are also few spots not to be missed.
Where to stay – A lot of Bungalows erected as early as the 1900s or 1905/1910 still stands today featuring typically slanted roofs and British architectural designs. Many such Bungalows have been converted in schools or public offices or have been renovated and are used as guest houses or places of accommodation in Takdah which offers best-staying arrangements to enjoy the views. Apart from these, forest guest houses and lodges are also available.
When to visit – October to March is the best time to visit.
How to reach- Takdah may be reached from Darjeeling, which is just 28 kilometers away via bus or hiring cars. Kalimpong is merely 40 kilometers from here.one may directly avail shared or rented cars from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri. It takes roughly around 3 hours from NJP station(60 km distance). Bagdogra is the nearest airport to it and jeeps are available to and from Bagdogra to Takdah.