Sometimes, it is a good idea to do things un-touristy. We all know what Darjeeling has to offer in terms of tourism – toy trains, monasteries, mall road, sunrise point in Tiger Hill etc. Let’s talk about what else can we visit if we plan a 3-4 days trip from Kolkata.
How to Reach Rangbull Tea Estate
Rangbull is a small tea-estate nestled in the middle of the eastern Himalayan foothills about 15 KMs away from Darjeeling and 52 KMs from Siliguri.
The best way to reach is to take an overnight bus/train from Kolkata and reach Siliguri early in the morning.
Train fares go up from 600 INR + (sleeper) and bus fare is 1200 INR per person. Flights are also available till Bagdogra. Shared taxis are available from both the start points @ 150-200 INR per person.
The journey will be an estimate of 2-3 hours depending on road condition. Private taxis will take about 2200-2500 INR one way.
Note: The road via Mirik is longer and therefore, the one that goes through Rohini is the best option.
It lies about 15 KMs ahead off Darjeeling and is situated in a valley that goes downhill of 05 KMs from the Rongbull market on the main road.
Adventure seeking trekkers can walk down whereas, others can also take cab service provided by the owner of the tea-estate @500 INR one-way trip.
The tea estate itself is the serene and complete lack of any noise other than what nature produces is enough to rejuvenate one’s senses and energy.
This place is for people who do not have any chosen agenda but just to relax within the premises of the resort or aimlessly roam around within the tea-estate to look for some exotic viewpoint which can be used to make display pictures on the social platforms.
The entire valley that goes downhill to the resort is a jungle of thick vegetation and a dense carpet of flowers (yeah, you heard it right!).
This valley is also famous for a waterfall which is about 3 KMs away from the tea estate and is famous for its rainbow formation across the falls in sunny days, thereby, deriving its name as Rainbow waterfalls or Indrani Chago as called by the localities.
The trail till the waterfall is misty, green, filled with the huge roar of a small stream that laces the entire valley.
The resort has rooms and cottages at the rate of 1200 INR and 1800 INR which are negotiable. The food is cooked by the owner’s wife and has a home-made touch to it which, as a Bong, I was highly appreciative of. The amount also is minimal and for 2 nights and 3 days, I had spent only 5200 INR for 3 people.
Things to do in Rangbull
Relax, see the sunrise, explore the tea estate, trek till the waterfall and have a quiet picnic, explore the riverside and take in numerous photos.
From Rangbull, the very touristy Darjeeling and the rest of the offerings can be explored by car. The owner himself will drive around and charge about 1200 INR for an entire day.