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Lava, Lolaygaon & Rishyap

Lava is a poplar hamlet situated approximately 34 kilometers east of the town of Kalimpong. Lava is situated at an altitude of 2138 meters / 7016 feet and it is one of the few places in West Bengal to receive snow in winter. Lava is situated in the vicinity of Neora Valley National Park and is also one of the entry points. The route to Lava is scenic either way with wet alpine trees of fir, pine and birch. The verdant forest is known among tourist for trekking and bird-watching. The infrastructure is not so developed compared to other places but small guest houses and lodges has been built including log houses or small huts built in the midst of the forest which a tourist can rent to experience the wildlife and a famous spot to view the sunrise. Other popular destination near Lava is Rishyap just 4 kilometers with nice view points. Lava is situated at an elevation of nearly 2350 meters. It is a small hamlet with lot of tourist activities. Monastery, Nature Interpretation center, a few view points and the entrance to Neora Valley are worth visiting. The monastery is of Bhutanese origin. This is one of the hot spot for birding and excursion to Lolaygaon, Rihya, Kolkakham & Jhandi, etc. From Lava one can visit Ratnarishi Bihar Buddhist Gumpha, Neora Interpretation Centre, Chhengey waterfalls (Optional)

Wild life here is quite an attraction. Red Panda, Leopards, Himalayan Black Bear and barking deer are found in these parts of Neora Valley. Notable sites include Changey Waterfalls and Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery are worth visiting. Load to Changay is quite difficult to travel. During monsoon Lava is also has a problem and it’s the leaches, hence one hasd to be careful not to brush the leaves of tree. During the rainy season, vegetation around the place gets covered with leaches. Close to the local market (bazaar) is Lava Monastery (Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery). Popular tourist places around Lava include Ratnarishi Gumpha, Neora Lake and Chhangey falls. Treks to the Neora valley starts from Lava. 

Loleygaon (also known as Kaffer village) is situated 1524 meters. Loleygaon is a quiet and peaceful hamlet located at an altitude of 5520 feet and surrounded by towering Pine and cypress forests. Several locations in the village offer sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range. One can also enjoy range of orchids and other flowering plantations here. It's also a great place for bird watchers. Apart from long treks across the valley, small treks are also possible in the region. Common treks include trek to Tiffin Dara, Aluabari etc from Lava. One can also stay at Samthar or Charkhole instead of Lolaygaon & Rishyap roads are in bad shape overthe years. Apart from Pedong or Lolaygaon or Rikissum guests can stay in any place like Rishi, Sillery Gaon, Lava or Rishyop and visit the area as part of a day tour. Even Kalimpong is just an hour’s 02 drive away. Loleygoan offers the "canopy Walk" and guests can enjoy the call of birds in the park. One has to be in small group and likeminded people or else its only for natural beauty and not birding.  The serenity and mesmerizing beauty of nature makes the place a tourist paradise. It is a calm village on the edge of hill from where you can see a wide range of Kanchenjunga. Lolaygaon offers natural beauty with wide view of Himalayas, Dense forest & the most beautiful 04 kilometers from Loleygaon. A Heritage forest of Oak & Pine  trees. It is a protected forest and is known for various species of birds & wild animals. A hanging foot bridge over canopy oftrees is major attraction  and walking on the bridge is an unforgettable experience.

Rishyop is situated at an elevation of 4310 meters. Rishyap is a small settlement only 11 kilometers road from Lava walking distance is 04 kilometers through pakdandi & 28 kilometers from Kalimpong. It is this beautiful small hamlet Rishyap, nestles amidst the hidden hills of Neora Valley covered pine and rhododendron trees that makes the tourist hotspot of the region. Last couple of kilometers from Lava have graveled road and is difficult to navigate. It is supposed to be the highest point in Kalimpong subdivision. It is known for its panoramic view of the Himalayan range. Also visible is the blue mountains of Bhutan and Nathu La / Jelep La Pass. The Himalayan ranges including Mount Kokthang, Rathung, Kabroo, Talung, Pandim, Khangchendzonga, Simvo, Narsingh, Siniolchu are visible in this place and few other places also. Also visible is Khangse glacier the source of river Teesta. Just behind these form 'La's lies the 'Chumby Valley' which is in China. Sunrise and Sunset is mesmerizing. The forest of Pine, Birch, Fir and Orchids with soothing path following the chirps of birds & the view of big sky on the lad of snowcapped Khang-Chen-D-Zongha is a special gift of Rishyap. Enjoy the closeness of nature treading along narrow paths laid down by dry leaves and mosses, frequented by birds and animals. The lingering sounds of forest clubbed up with earthy fragrance will definitely quench your thirst for nature.

Places around Lava Lolaygaon & Rishyap are Jhandi, Kolakham, Samthar Valley, Chuikhim, Charkhol and Pedong. Nearby to Lava is Kolakham, a small village in Kolbong Forest within the Neora Valley

Places of Interest

  • Lava
  • Lolaygaon
  • Kalimpong
  • Rishyap
  • Neora Valley National Park
  • Tiffindhara
  • Canopy Walk 
  • Changey Waterfalls 
  • Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery
  • Pedong
  • Charkhole
  • Samthar
  • Bidyang
  • Rellikhola
  • Sillery Gaon
  • Silent Valley
  • Damsang fort
  • Kagey

Connectivity / Communication

Airways - Lava, Lolaygaon & Rishyap is approximately 120 kilometers from Bagdogra Airport (IXB) & New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP). Bagdogra airport is served by regular Indian Airlines, Spice Jet, Go Air, Druk Air, Indigo and Jet Airways. There are daily flights from Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, etc. The airport is well connected by roadways and railways. The drive will be roughly 04 – 05 hours from Bagdogra Airport. Pakyong Airport is 75 kilometers from From Lava and is nearly 03 hours drive along National Highway 10 or Via Reshi Road. Taxi as well as Private Vehicles for nearby tourist spots is available from the airport.  It is advisable to book vehicle earlier through net or contact as during season & festival the supply reduces. 

Railways - New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) is approximately 120 kilometers away and is the nearest major railway station from Lava. There are two route to New Jalpaiguri Station – One is via Kalimpong and the other via Bhuttabari & Gorubathan. New Mal Junction (NMZ) is also the nearest Railway Station but the trains from there are not so frequent. Kalimpong has no railway connectivity but in future plan is there to have railway upto Rangpo. There are regular train services from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to all the major railway station like Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bangalore, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Jaipur, Agra, etc. Taxi as well as Private Vehicles for nearby tourist spots is available from the Railway Station (NJP) / Siliguri Junction or Siliguri Town Station and Pakyong Airport (PYG)

Roadways - Lava Lolaygaon & Rishyap forms a small triangle. Lava to Lolaygaon is approximately 22 kilometers. Lava is nearly 32 kilometers from Kalimpong and 115 kilometers from Siliguri via Sevoke, Gorubathan and Bhuttabari. It is completely surrounded by age old pine forests. Round the year it is hidden in mists and clouds. These three places can be visited staying in any one place and its preferable to stay at Lava. Rishyap / Risshop is only 28 kilometers from Kalimpong and nearly 11 kilometers from Lava. One can also trek to Rishyap via pakdandi and it is only 04 kilometers. Lava is 34 kilometres east of the town of Kalimpong via Algarah in Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal, India. There are two approach road one Via Sevoke or national highway 10 and the other via Gorubathan or National highway 31. 

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