At the end of the road, there is only peace and tranquility. You will hear the murmuring Little Rangeet and whispers of trees around you—some infrequent chirping of Himalayan birds. Well, you realize then that you have reached Bijanbari (बिजनबारी).
It is a quaint little town to the east of Darjeeling with a population of merely few thousands of people. Lies in a valley at an altitude of 760m above sea-level, Bijanbari came to limelight for a rather tragic reason—a river bridge connecting Pullbazar and Bijanbari gave away to nature's fury and caused death and disruption. Ever since, Bijanbari has drawn interest from travellers who look beyond regular places and attractions in regular tourism map. It is only few hours' drive from the famous hill station Darjeeling in West Bengal state.
Bijanbari is literally a heaven for nature lovers for its unspoiled beauty even today. Amenities are less but nature has its presence in abundance. You will get a companion in the form of Little Rangeet who can whisper sweet nothing to you throughout day and night. The green valley has a soothing and calm effect on you; takes your mind away far from the maddening crowd.
If you are an enthusiast, some great hiking routes are available from Bijanbari. Singla Bazar can be reached in about 4 hours, Relling is about 8 kms (5 miles) away and Som Tea Estate is about 4 hours walk from Bijanbari. Other nice places offering great walks and picnic spots include Kaizalay, Gok, Kainjalia, Jhepi, Sumbuck, Rimbik etc. It is also possible to have a sneak peak of Sikkim from Kainjali which is not far from here. The view is simply spellbinding.
Bamboo House Resort (home-stay) is a good option for your stay if your budget permits. Otherwise few small home-stay facilities are available in and around Bijanbari market. Not that you will get many options there but being a nature-lover and a traveler who loves places off-the-beaten-track, I am certain you will not complain about it.
Few important tips:
1. Pick your vehicle carefully. If you are traveling by a smaller hatchback vehicle, road condition and rugged terrain can make your journey difficult. It is advisable to opt for a vehicle from Indian SUV segment.
2. Check with your Home-stay whether their facility is accessible for differently-abled travelers. At times, bamboo huts have accommodation on upper floor which is to be accessed by using narrow and thin wooden stairs.
3. Your reserve for packaged (mineral) water needs to be well stocked. Like any other hill areas, Bijanbari is deficient of healthy drinking water supply.
4. Ensure that your accommodation provides continuous supply of clean water in washroom and for shower. Check for alternative arrangement if they do not.
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