Good Living

Happy Holidays – Loleygaon

Loleygaon is a quiet and peaceful hamlet located at an altitude of 5,520ft and surrounded by towering dhupi and cypress forests. Several locations in the village offer sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range. You can also see a range of orchids and other flowering plantations here. It’s also a great place for bird watchers.  From NJP railway station Loleygaon is about 125kms and can be reached in about 4 hours by car via Kalimpong. The route via Gorubathan takes a bit lesser time. At the center of the village there is a flat land opposite to the Eco-Park, where there are few small tea stalls and shops. This is the only bazaar area where you can buy small stuffs or eat. On a day trip, you may carry your packed lunch.

At a short distance from here is the most popular attraction – The Canopy Walk. There is a 180-meters long hanging wooden tree-top bridge that goes through the dense jungle. The bridge slowly rises in height and you will find yourself walking through the tree tops amidst dense forest. At the start, there are few stairs to climb to the bridge and then you start the fairly long walk at a height and through the jungle.

The bridge swings at times and you need to catch the wired fence on both sides. Look around in the forest and you can see many different kinds of birds here. It’s an amazing experience. This is only a one way walk and lasts for few minutes. There is also restrictions to the maximum number of persons who can walk simultaneously on the bridge. You get down from the other side and walk back below the bridge.

There is a ticket counter at the entrance. Once you buy the entry ticket (Rs. 25 per person), you will need to walk through the forest for few minutes before you reach the hanging bridge to take the Canopy Walk. If you want, you can explore the forest even beyond the bridge after getting down at the other end. After Canopy walk, you can visit the Jhandi Dara Viewpoint. It’s actually a sunrise point where you get wonderful view of sunrise amongst the Himalayan range. While cars can go up to a point (very bad road though), it’s essentially a pathway that leads through the dense jungle, then to a stairway and then to the elevated view point. If you plan to stay at Loleygaon, trek up to this view point early in the morning to see sunrise. Visit the VIP Bungalow View Point. It’s a manicured lawn area below the VIP bungalow which has nice viewing galleries. Unfortunately they are not well maintained, but you still get excellent views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks from here.

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