Plan a perfect weekend trip to Kolakham in 2024 with these insider facts

Let’s start on with this blog with the very first question that might come to your mind….

1. Where is Kolakham located, and how can you reach it here?

Kolakham is a small village in Kalimpong district. One can take the train from Kolkata to New Jalpaiguri (NJP)/New Mal Junction (NMJ) and hire a cab or self-drive to reach this serene location.

For us we already reached Rishyap the previous day. If you haven’t read our previous blog on Rishyap do give a read. For us next on the list was another pristine village known as “Kolakham”.

We started from Rishyap post our breakfast around 10 AM. On day 2, due to the rainy weather & fog, it took us around 5 hours to reach our stay in Kolakham. Also, we visited few places on the way to Kolakham.

Next, you might wonder about….

2. Which are the places we visited on the way to Kolakham?

We got down at the first spot, which was Nokdhara viewpoint. It was raining so we couldn’t go for boating. This place is located near Lava. One can enjoy the scenic beauty in and around this place. It is surrounded by the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga and snow capped mountain views.

There are many tea gardens on the way where you could photoshop. We took some snaps at Nokdara and got into our car again for the next spot. There was a minor entry fee of 20 INR per person.

It was Gumba Dara monastery. This serves as a cultural centre for Buddhist followers. We saw monks practising meditation. The surrounding area was full of lush green trees and foggy mountains, seems straight out of a fairytale.

There were a few steps before we could enter the monastery. The interior was beautifully decorated with sculptures, paintings and wall hangings of Buddhist culture.

While we were on the way to the next destination, we stopped at Lava Pine Park. As soon as we got off the car, we saw a handful of other traveller clicking snaps in front of the “I Love Lava” letters. Just above the road, there was a pine forest. It was such a photogenic spot that we couldn’t explain in words.

The place was a perfect destination for nature lovers. It refreshed our minds and soul as we took a stroll through the pine forest. After spending for over close to an hour, we got back into the vehicle as there was a heavy drizzle and before heading towards Lava monastery.

It took us around 40 minutes to reach Lava monastery. This monastery also serves as one of the significant places for Buddhist followers. The monastery was a 5-minute walk on the hilltop. The surroundings were engulfed with dense fog.

It was around 1:30 PM, when we decided to descend. But on the way to the exit gate, it started raining heavily, and we randomly entered a cafe for lunch. It was cold outside, so we decided to have soupy noodles for lunch.

After an hour, we continued our onward journey to Kolakham.

3. What are the stay options available?

Various cosy and beautiful homestay options are available in the Neora Valley National Park Region. There was a forest region entry fee of 200 INR per vehicle.

Finally, at around 4 PM, we reached our stay at “The Himalayan Retreat” at Kolakham. (Contact No: +91 76019 73876). Check out their site or YouTube, as they have some of the coolest rooms and ambience that you might wish for. We would highly recommend this place to those planning a stay at Kolakham.

Returning to our story, as we got out of our vehicle, we were stunned to see the beauty of the place as well as our stay. It was located right at the edge of a hill and covered with lush greenery. As soon as we entered the property, the manager came and greeted us. After check-in and settling the luggage, he directed us to the viewpoint at the property. It was drizzling back then, but we decided to explore the property.

The kitchen was in the basement, and the plant nursery and the art studio were on the second floor. The best place was the dining place. If you are travelling in a group, you will thoroughly enjoy the dining place. It has all the entertainment options that you may wish for. There was a karaoke, a library, and quite a few board games. Additionally, the place had a unique arrangement with cushions and colourful tables, along with arts and crafts created by past visitors.

As you climb to the top of the dining place, you will witness a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills. It felt like we were standing amidst clouds.

We stood there for a while, appreciating the beauty of nature and trying to immerse ourselves in it.

Soon, tea was served, and we all indulged in fun activities in the dining area. In the blink of an eye, how a couple of hours passed, and it was already time for dinner. Now you understand how beautiful the property was.

Apart from this property, quite a handful of stay options were available.

Tip: You might need to book well in advance if you come in a group during the peak season.

Now, you might want to know about…

4. What to expect from Kolakham?

Kolakham is heaven for bird watchers. However, we could barely spot any birds due to the bad weather. The place was no doubt known for its scenic trails, dense forests, and pristine landscapes. Our driver mentioned to us that there was a waterfall known as Changey Waterfall within 2 km of our stay.

Unfortunately, due to bad weather and slippery roads, we couldn’t visit the waterfall.

One can get immersed in nature and greenery. The best time to visit Kolakham is March, April, May, September, October and November. Travellers generally prefer the Spring and Autumn seasons to visit this picturesque village. Snowfall lover can plan their trip during winter to see the snow-covered peaks from their stay options.

We waited patiently for the weather to be a little lenient, unfortunately, Mother Nature had some other plans in mind. It continued to rain, even in the midst of March, which was quite surprising even for the locals. Finally, when it was 10:30 AM, we decided to move to our next destination.

Travellers can also plan to visit the Neora Valley National Park to witness the rare and endangered species such as the red pandas, Himalayan bears or clouded leopards. The national park operates between 9 Am to 4 PM except Sunday when it closes by 12 Noon.

Tip: Ensure to get your permit from Lava early in the morning. Only Government approved IDs are required to get the permits.

The permit ticket price is around 150 INR for Indians and 500 INR for foreign nationals. Jeep Safari’s price is around 1500 INR. The vehicle entry fee is around 400 INR and there is a separate guide charge too. These charges may vary from time to time.

Returning to our story, safari was also not possible for us. Despite such harsh weather, we enjoyed our time at Kolakham and with a heavy heart, bid adieu to this beautiful place. Our journey continued…..

To know more about such isolated and offbeat places, you can contact us. We will help you plan out your itinerary. Till then, follow us for more such informative blogs.

5. What kind of help are we going to provide?

Let us inform you that we prepare itineraries not only for anywhere in India but also for Asia. We have been travelling since we were toddlers. So here in our blogs and stories, we will give you a glimpse of our journey and help you plan your trip.

Read about our Uzbekistan blogs.

Read about our Kazakhstan blogs.

Read about our Singapore blogs.

Read about our Vietnam blogs.

Read about our Cambodia blogs.

Read about our Bali blogs.

Read about our Kuala Lumpur blog series.

Read about our Sri Lanka blogs.

Read about our Nepal blogs.

Read about our Char Dham blogs.

Read about our Ladakh blogs.

Read about our day trip to Hyderabad.

Read about our Madhya Pradesh blogs.

Do follow our Instagram handle @mindfulllofvacations and watch for the next destination story of North Bengal. For any query related to any trip, drop a mail at

by mitkau

Leave a Reply