Lava Travel Guide: 8 Top-Rated Places in Lava That Every Traveler Must Visit (2020)
West Bengal is one of the few states in India where one can find almost every category of scenic views. From awe-inspiring mountains to breathtakingly beautiful sea, from lush green forests to underrated historical sites, West Bengal has it all. Among all the sites, the mountains of West Bengal are famous throughout the world. Although hill stations like Darjeeling and Kalimpong over there are immensely popular, the same does not apply to the hidden sites. Some hilly towns located in West Bengal are extremely beautiful but due to their remote location, many people do not have much idea about them. Lava is one of the hill stations in West Bengal that is breathtakingly beautiful yet not that popular among tourists across the globe. Although Lava gets a high number of tourists every year, the popularity of Darjeeling is more. Lava hill station is located in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal and is located only 34 km away from Kalimpong. Lava is more of a hamlet than a town. As the altitude of this village is over 7000 feet, the entire region is quite cold. You will be surprised to know that Lava receives a copious amount of snowfalls every year in the winter. Many tourists visit Lava in the winter season especially for witnessing snowfalls.
Although Lava receives snowfalls in the winter and looks absolutely stunning, it is awe-inspiring gorgeous throughout the year. Throughout the hamlet, you will notice pine, fir, and birch trees. The coniferous woods make the region even more appealing. The best part about Lava is that it is quite easy to witness the majestic Mount Kanchenjungha from there. If you are lucky enough to be present there during clear weather, you will be able to view the spectacular mountains even at night. A massive number of people visit Lava to take part in trekking. Many people trek their way to Rishyap. It is another magnificent hamlet, that is located 5 km from Lava. Apart from all the above facts about Lava, it is also home to Neora Valley National Park. This park is home to Himalayan black bears and a wide variety of plants.
In this blog, we are going to provide you the best places to see in Lava in great detail. While visiting Lava, you must visit the places mentioned below as they are exceptionally beautiful. Reaching Lava is quite easy. In case you are visiting by road from other major towns of North Bengal like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, or even Siliguri, you will not have any problem. Not only are there an abundance of cars that you can rent, but there is an ample number of public buses also that will help you reach Lava. The distance to Lava from Darjeeling and Siliguri is 80 and 101 km respectively. In case you are visiting there from other Indian cities, you will have to avail the railways or airways. The nearest railway station from Lava is located in New Jalpaiguri. It is located 104 km from the hamlet. Bagdogra is the nearest airport from Lava, and the distance between Lava and Bagdogra is 118 km. You will have no difficulty in finding transportation from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra to visit Lava. So, let us explore the majestic sites of Lava right now.
8 Top-Rated Places in Lava That Every Traveler Must Visit
There are many breathtakingly beautiful places located in Lava. As it is a tiny region, you will be able to cover most of the following places in a day or two.
1. Nature Interpretation Center
Lava is one of the most naturally beautiful places in India, and most of its beauty comes from its dense vegetation of coniferous forests. At the Nature Interpretation Centre, you will get to know a lot about the region. This information center is maintained by the West Bengal forest department. Over there, you will also get to learn about wild animals and birds that can be witnessed in Lava.
The best part about the natural museum is that the dioramas provided over there will help you understand the geography of Lava even better.
You will also notice models of birds, animals, and other beings in the information center. Apart from the said fact, this center has a great collection of excellent photographs that were taken in Lava. As this site is located right by the Lava Jeep stand, it is impossible to miss it.
The distance of Lava Bus Stand to Nature Interpretation Center: 1 km.
Timings: 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm. (The site is closed on Thursdays).
Located right in between Lava and Kalimpong, Pedong is yet another mesmerizingly beautiful hill station in West Bengal. Even though it will be better for you if you stay over there for a few days, but you can explore the region in a day as well. As the region is located at an altitude of 3970 feet, you will get to witness the scenic view of the surrounding quite easily. Not only is Pedong well-known for its natural beauty, but it has immense historical significance also. The town witnessed the Anglo-Bhutanese war in 1865. One of the main reasons for the said war was that during that time, Pedong used to be the primary transit hub that connected India to Lhasa.
As there are many sightseeing spots located in Pedong, it would take you an entire day to explore the town. Some of the major tourist spot located in Pedong is Pedong Monastery, Silent Valley, Ramitey viewpoint and others.
The distance of Lava Bus Stand to Pedong: 21 km.
3. Neora Valley National Park
Established in 1986, Neora Valley National Park is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India. To reach this park you will have to start your trekking expedition from Kolakham village. This village is located 10 km from Lava. Even though most people do not get to reach the interior of the wildlife sanctuary due to harsh climatic conditions, the starting point of the park is also quite mind blowing. Many adventure enthusiasts visit Lava to explore Neora Valley national park. The altitude of the wildlife sanctuary is 10,600 feet, and that is why it is one of the highest national parks in the world. Most people cannot enter the interior parts of Neora Valley because of its terrain.
This wildlife sanctuary is home to some rare wild animals in the world. Some of them are Black Bear, Sambhar, Goral, Leopard, Tiger, Pangolin, Malayan Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, and others. If you are excited about visiting the Neora Valley national park, you can consider the Choudapheri region of Lava. From this point, the trek to the park would take you four to five days. Most trekkers avail this point as it has a comparatively better terrain. You can get the permit for the park’s entrance from the forest ranger’s office in Lava.
The distance of the Lava Bus Stand to Neora Valley National Park: 38 km.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm. (Neora Valley National Park remain closed during monsoon for three months.)
4. Lava Monastery
Lava Monastery is one of the main highlights of the tiny village. This monastery was founded in 1987 by Karma Lodro Chokyi Senge, the third Kongtrul Rinpoche. Even though the monastery’s original name is Kagyu Thekchen Ling Monastery, popularly it is known as Lava Monastery. As this site is located right beside the Lava bus stand, it is almost impossible to not witness it. As this monument is heavily inspired by Tibetan architecture, there are a wide variety of prayer halls and sitting areas located over there. One of the most noticeable things about the site is its surrounding view. As this monastery is located on the backdrop of the picturesque Mount Kanchenjungha, the scenic view surrounding it is astounding.
You will be surprised to know that at the beginning of this religious center’s journey, there were only a few monks. Now, more than 110 monks stay there. If you visit there, you will have a great time spending some time in the sitting area over there. Moreover, most of the hotels in Lava are located quite close to the monastery and that is why it is even more popular among tourists.
The distance of Lava Bus Stand to Lava Monastery: 500 m.
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm.
5. Tiffin Dara View Point
Every hill station has a point where you get the most magnificent views of the mountains. For Lava, that point is Tiffin Dara Viewpoint. With an altitude of 7780 feet, this viewpoint does an exceptional job in offering you a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. Although this viewpoint is located in Rishyap, tourists visit there during sunrise and sunset to enjoy the mesmerizing view of nature. The most amazing fact about this site is that by reaching there, you will get a 360-degree view of Mount Kanchenjungha. To reach there, you will have to trek 2 km uphill. Usually, it takes around 45 minutes to reach there and 35 minutes to return back to Lava.
Not only Mount Kanchenjungha, but you will get to witness the blue mountains of Sikkim and Jelep-La and Nathu-La pass quite vividly from Tiffin Dara View Point.
The distance of the Lava Bus Stand to Tiffin Dara ViewPoint: 2 km.
6. Changey Waterfall
With a height of 150-feet, Changey waterfall is one of the most beautiful sites in North Bengal. The cascading water of the fall from the said height looks like pearls. One of the most interesting things about the fall is that the water over there is crystal clear. As the locality does not have any air pollution, the water and environment of the area remain untouched. This waterfall is so breathtakingly beautiful that people travel there from other tourist destinations of West Bengal as well. Not only the waterfall, but the forest surrounding it is also quite spectacular.
If you love watching birds, this waterfall will make you genuinely happy. Over there, you might be lucky enough to view a wide range of rare birds. Some of them are Grey Treepie, White Capped Water Redstart, Blue Whistling Thrush, Niltava Blue Fronted Redstar, Verditer Flycatcher, and others. Before visiting there, you should know that you will have to trek around 900 m to reach the waterfall. Your rented car will drop you from the said point.
The distance of Lava Bus Stand to Changey Waterfall: 10 km.
Timings: 6 am to 5 pm.
Rishyap has grown to be one of the most visited tourist spots in North Bengal in the past few years, but even a few years ago it was not visited by many people. This site is a tiny village located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Now, people can visit there by hiring cars and the distance between Lava and Rishyap by availing a car is 9 km. Many people do not prefer the said route. They prefer to avail the trekking route to Rishyap. The trekking pathway starts from Lava Monastery amid the thick Pine forests. If you avail the trekking route it would take you only 45 minutes to reach there.
Rishyap is one of the most beautiful places in India. From every corner of the village, you will get a magnificent view of Mount Kanchenjungha. You can also view the important passes connecting India and Tibet from there. If you want, you can stay there, as well. Now, there are some good homestays and hotels located in Rishyap that will make your vacation even more amazing.
The distance of Lava Bus Stand to Rishyap: 9 Km (by car) and 2 km (by trekking.)
Although Lolegaon is a great place to have a vacation, many people prefer to visit there as a sightseeing spot while visiting Lava. Lolegaon is located 50 km from Lava, and by renting a car you will be able to explore the village within a day. This hamlet is extremely beautiful and is covered by dense forests. There are many things to do in Lolegaon that are extremely rare in this world. For example, the famous Canopy Walk over there is an activity that you might have never heard of.
Lolegaon is famous for its scenic view. On a clearer day, you will get to witness the entire Kalimpong town quite vividly. Especially at night, the view becomes even more exquisite. You will also get to view Mount Kanchenjungha from there. There are many restaurants and hotels located over there. You can complete your trip to Lolegaon by having your lunch over there.
The distance of the Lava Bus Stand to Lolegaon: 50 km.
Lava is a wonderful place in West Bengal. When you will go there for the first time, you will genuinely be surprised. The atmosphere and scenery of Lava will transport you to another world. There are some other hidden sightseeing spots near Lava as well that you will get to know more about when you will reach there.
Staying in Lava will not be an issue as there are a wide variety of high-quality and affordable hotels located over there. The sightseeing spots that we have mentioned in this blog are the pride of Lava. While exploring the village, do not miss out on any one of the sites mentioned above.
We hope you have a magnificent time visiting Lava!