Sometimes all we look for in our lives is beauty. And nothing can beat the beauty of nature. Furthermore, if the beauty is untouched or unspoiled then it is even better right? One such place is Ahaldara. It is one of the offbeat destinations near Shittong that not a lot of people know about. The pristine beauty of this quaint hill station can promise you a lot of peace amidst nature. With its overwhelming presence your worries would melt away and you would feel like you are a part of this beautiful natural beauty.
If you have never heard about this spot then you are at the correct place. In this article I am going to mention to you all the details that you need to know about Ahaldara viewpoint. So keep on reading this because by the time you will be done with this article you would have enough knowledge about this location to plan a trip there.
Location of Ahaldara Viewpoint: Kurseong subdivision, Darjeeling District, West Bengal
How to reach Ahaldara
You can reach Ahaldara from multiple places. If you are travelling from any major cities you can reach Darjeeling, Karseong or NJP to reach Ahaldara. Shittong to Ahaldara distance is 31 km, Ahaldara distance from Siliguri is 47 km, and NJP to Ahaldara distance is 51 km, Kurseong to Ahaldara distance is 38 km.
If you are travelling by flight then the nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport. From there Ahaldara is around 1 and half hours in a car. You can get shared rides from the airport too.
Nearest Railway station is NJP. From there you will get cabs or shared jeeps to reach Ahaldara.
You can even drive your way to Ahaldara
Best time to visit Ahaldara
Technically you can visit here anytime of the year because Ahaldara temperature is mostly pleasant all year long. . The place offers beautiful views during the months of October and November. You can enjoy the cloudless sky at that time to enjoy the view more. Furthermore, this is the ideal time to visit the orange orchards too, which is another major attraction here. The summer weather is also pleasant here, so you can even visit during that time. However the monsoon season should be avoided. Not because of the altitude but because of road conditions during that time. Furthermore, there are chances of landslides as well during the monsoon so it is better to avoid visiting here during that time of the year.
On the lap of nature, if there can be a place that offers an unparalleled tranquility, it can be this location. Situated 5 km away from Latpanchar on a hilltop above 5000 feet, this place is the other name for natural beauty not obstructed by any object. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, what makes this location even more special is the view from here. The location promises an all encompassing 360 degree view of the Kanchenjunga. Surrounded by lush greenery on all sides and the mountains as a backdrop it is like bliss to the eyes. Furthermore you can get to see a mesmerizing sunrise from this location that goes above the snow capped mountains. That sight is something that you would cherish all your lives.
Additionally, the place is basically popular as a viewpoint because of the numerous views it offers. Other than the panoramic greenery all around you can get glimpses of many hills and mountains from here. The list includes Darjeeling Hill, peaks of Gangtok, Kalimpong peak, Chatakpur Hill, Tiger Hill and Mongpu Hill. However, the showstopper still remains the view of the Kanchenjunga. From this location you can even see the Sleeping Buddha posture of the mountain in the gleaming rays of the sun. The best time of the day here are the sunrises and the sunsets. These times create an aura around you that you would not be able to ignore.
Activities in Ahaldara
The main activity that this particular place is known for is the pristine view that it offers. What is most attractive here is watching the sunrise. Ahaldara Sunset viewpoint is famous for witnessing glimpses of Kalimpong, Gangtok, Bagora, Tinchuley hills along with the view of Kanchenjunga. However a big factor in this is the weather. Only on bright, sunny cloudless days you will be able to enjoy the full view well.
This place is a haven for birdwatchers. You can see a variety of birds here that includes Red Headed Trogon, Common Green Magpie, Sultan Tit, Orient Hornbill, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Chestnut Headed Tesia, Oriental Cuckoo, Black Throated Sunbird and many more varieties of birds.
Now photography lovers and photographers are going to enjoy a lot here. Everywhere that you will look you will find beauty here. The snow capped mountain view, lush greenery, the river Teesta flowing by, orange orchards everything would form beautiful backdrops for your photos. Furthermore if you want wallpaper like pictures, you can click tones of them here. Also if you are willing to click some Instagram worthy pictures of yourself in such a location, you will be too happy here.
The Bengal Safari Park is located within the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and you can enjoy the wildlife here. It is the first animal safari park in the North Bengal region. Leopards, tigers and other animals can be seen here.
Shittong Orange Orchards
The Shittong village located just 1 km away from the Ahaldara viewpoint has orange trees. And it is a sight to see those oranges hanging from the branches of the trees. However this sight would be visible during the October and November months as that is the time of Oranges. You must not miss out on this sight if you are visiting Ahaldara around that time of the year.
Best Ahaldara homestay
You can get a good option for Ahaldara viewpoint homestay. These homestays are well equipped with basic facilities. Most of these homestays can accommodate a minimum number of people and have minimum rooms. So it would always be advisable for you to book the homestay in advance. Some of the popular and well known ones are,
Ahaldara Chamling Homestay
This homestay in Ahaldara comes with a total of 4 cottages with four beds. If two people share the room along with a food package the price is Rs. 1750 per person. And if three or four people are sharing one room then the rate is Rs. 1550 per person including meals. The rooms are good and offer a beautiful view and have geysers and heater facilities as well. Furthermore they can even arrange pick up and drop services for the visitors from Bagdogra Airport, NJP Railway Station, Siliguri etc. The charges vary on the number of people and the type of car. However the rate starts from Rs. 1500 for one way drive.
This homestay also offers a beautiful view. They have double sharing beds along with meals like lunch, dinner, breakfast, evening snacks and tea that costs Rs. 1750 per person. And four or three sharing rooms costs Rs. 1550 per person with meals.
Sunrise View Point Homestay
Ahaldara Sunrise Homestay is another good option to stay in Ahaldara. They have rooms with a mountain view. Furthermore the service and hospitality here is also nice and you can enjoy a comfortable stay here as well. The room rates start from Rs. 1350.
Humro Home Ahaldara Homestay
This homestay is run by Mrs. Neeta Chamling and they are great hosts. You will be provided all sorts of basic facilities here. They have a dining area and also provide on demand barbeque for the guests. You can check this place out as well. They have a central office located in Siliguri and a Kolkata branch office as well.
Contact no– 9733071716, 9733069690
Nearby attractions in Ahaldara
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the popular spots for the tourists to visit. Here you can see animals like Royal Bengal Tiger, Barking Deer, Indian Bison, Spotted Deer, Himalayan Black Bears, Leopards and much more. It would be an interesting visit to this sanctuary to enjoy the wildlife there.
The view from the Shelpu Hill is truly breathtaking. You would be lost in the enchanting beauty that it offers. Everywhere you would get to see the woody wonders and green carpet of trees. Furthermore as you go deep you can actually enjoy a distinct smell from the wild flowers and wild plants here. This feeling and vibe itself would give you the much needed thrill here. Definitely visit this place whenever you are visiting Ahaldara.
This is a lake amidst the Shilpu Hill. The lake remains dry for more than 6 months in a year. This lake is mostly famous for the Himalayan Salamanders which is an endangered species. The view here is also really pretty.
This bridge crosses over the Teesta River just with a single arch support. This bridge also connects the districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. The sight here would leave you wondering in awe. This is a popular tourist spot in the area.
Other than these spots you can also visit the Latpanchar Sunrise Point, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Kiwi Point, Ghoom Monastery etc.
Things to remember before visiting Ahaldara
The area is not much ahead in terms of development. So you are not going to get top class resorts or hotels here. However you can get some decent homestays here for a comfortable stay.
You can even stay in Darjeeling, Siliguri or anywhere nearby and make a trip to Ahaldara. But to witness the sunrise first thing in the morning at least one night stay here is recommended. After all, that is what this place is known for.
You must carry necessary medicines, some cash and your necessary items along with you. The area is a little secluded so you won’t find shops immediately.
Do confirm with the homestay whether they deal with online transactions of payment or credit and debit cards. A lot of places still deal in cash. So you must confirm beforehand.
Booking the homestays beforehand is a must because there are not many options available. Furthermore the homestays have a capacity of very limited accommodation. So to avoid hassle this is a must.
Because of the higher elevation of the location, the temperature gets chilly at times. Especially if you are going there after October you must carry winter wear along with you.
If you are visiting the orange orchards do not forget to take some of them back home.
Places like Ahaldara Viewpoint are not for luxurious stays and extravagant comfort. The main luxury here is to witness nature in its purest form. A place that promises a breathtaking view of the mighty Kanchenjunga and so many other hills and peaks should be visited once. Furthermore if you are interested in exploring offbeat locations more than crowded places, then you must visit Ahaldara once. You can even make a trip while returning or going to Siliguri or Darjeeling as well.
1-2 days of unadulterated peace, tranquility of nature and the serenity that will come along will wash away all your stress. Your heart and soul will be full after a visit to such a location. So start planning already because it would be a big loss to miss out on this spectacular beauty. Do let me know if this particular article was helpful for you all. Also let me know if you already had an idea about the Ahaldara viewpoint or you got to know about it after reading this article. I would love to know.