Takdah located in West Bengal is now an offbeat tourist destination known for some of its untouched beauty, homely foods and stays, Let’s explore Takdah, a small town in Darjeeling district and get to know more of it and understand why it is now an upcoming destination.
WHAT IS TAKDAH ?
‘Takdah’ the name originated from the Lepcha word meaning fog or mist it is perennially under. Takdah (the alias name of Tukdah) is an enthralling expanse of Darjeeling reminding you of the antique reminiscent charm of the British period, with tea garden and Cinchona plantation in the surrounding area. Situated in the Runglee Rungliot region of Darjeeling district,
Takdah has almost 5100 feet altitude at the foothills of the Himalayan Forest vegetation. Takdah is reputed for having the best British heritage bungalows and orchid garden. It is not a popular tourist destination like Darjeeling which remains pretty congested through out the year.
If you are among those who like lovely mountains, orchids, tea gardens and walking trails through the coniferous forest across the mountain slopes then these small hamlets – Takdah would be the perfect answer.
TAKDAH FROM DARJEELING
Takdah – The sprawling estate has elevation of 4,000 ft – 6000ft above sea level and about 40 Kms from Kalimpong and about 28kms away from Darjeeling, yet far enough to be isolated and serene. Although the altitude is much lower than Darjeeling town, the place is comparatively cooler to its surrounding area.
WHY TO GO TAKDAH? FEW OF MY ANSWERS
1. Takdah is yet to develop as a full-fledged tourist place and so a treasure secret still.
2. The Orchid Center which is the best in Asia
3. Takdah, the little unknown hamlet has a pleasant weather all year round.
4. There are great sightseeing attractions in Takdah within short distances.
5. A rare opportunity to stay in a heritage bungalow and enjoy the old colonial charm & aura in such houses which belonged to the British once
6 . Takdah is close to coniferous forests where small treks and strolls are possible
7. The 100 year old suspension bridge is a great tourist spot in Takdah
8. The quaint town has some of Darjeeling’s finest tea plantations.
WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE & OFFBEAT
Takdah has a pleasant weather all year round. It is basically a picturesque tea estate located at Teesta valley. Due to its magnificent views the garden along with heritage bungalow have been filmed in many movies.
A GRAND HISTORY OF TAKDAH: MUST READ
Takdah Cantonment started as a military quarters during the British colonial days in early 1900s. During those days, senior British officers frequently visited this heavenly abode and therefore many bungalows mushroomed here for their accommodations. Those bunglows were built in traditional British architecture with slanted fashioned roofs.
Takdah was originally established in 1864. In 1960s, the tea plants from the Takdah gardens were uprooted and replanted with new ones with the objective of producing delicate first flush. The estate these days produces approximately 231 tons of tea that includes black, green and white novelties, and is a bio-organic estate.
While after India’s independence the British have left India, the establishments and remains they built were left behind and Takdah lost its significance substantially.
They now either belong to famous people there or have been taken over by other establishments like schools (Green Shields and Griffith High School ) and church. Some locals have renovated the houses and offer them as guest house accommodations. So that is the reason we get this unique opportunity to put up in a heritage bungalow and enjoy the vintage colonial charm & aura in such resorts which belonged to the Britishers once.
Did you know ? In the days of the British rule, Takdah used to serve as a prominent British Army Cantonment area in pre-independence era a century back and was famed for its tea plantation.
The heritage bungalows located here are older than over a century, are kept intact.The majestic structures erected during the British era are the living manifestation of the story untold!
RECOMMENDED ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND TAKDAH
I will give you the best places to visit when in Takdah. However, do visit few selected one from the below list and take out time to sit back , enjoy and relax.
BEST RECOMMENDED RESORTS & STAY IN TAKDAH
A good, comfortable & affordable hotel, resort or stay is must for a memorable holiday and to enjoy the visiting place. Takdah is a developing tourism place and there aren't many hotels here. But luckily there is a great option.
After all Takdah's history is firmly connected with the British colonial days and there can't be a better option than staying in a heritage bungalow which has been now converted into a guesthouse with modern amenities while retaining the original British architecture, sprawling lawns and the colonial aura.
SAINO HERITAGE RESORT
Once colonial house and now a guesthouse is Saino heritage bunglow – owned and run by the Moktan family. This used to be a bungalow of British officers and was built in the year 1907. It has been beautifully restored by the Moktan family with refurbished rooms with standard yet modern amenities.
There are double and triple bedded rooms, which are spacious and airy and have magnificent views of sunrise through all windows. All rooms have attached western toilets with geysers. The double bedded rooms are equipped with fireplaces which is an additional boon during the winter time.
Contact: Anand Mokhtan 09434462806, 09735953404, 94749 63183 Email: [email protected]
FOREST REST HOUSE OR TAKDAH CLUB BUNGLOW
[Update March 2017] Recently Takdah Club has been refurbished into forest rest house and tourists are allowed to book the rest house. There are five rooms and every rooms have attached bathrooms. The main attraction of the bungalow is the dinning cum drawing space with fire place. All the rooms are well decorated with reasonable prices — Rs.2000/-, 3000/- and 4000/-.
The quality of the food is excellent (Charges are only Rs.600/- per head per day).
The staff are well behaved and co-operative. You may relax in the lawn (previously tennis court) attached to the main building. In fact, it is a great view point as you can see the green surroundings from this spot like pine forest, tea garden
It is one of the best home stay at Takdah with all modern amenities present therein. The home-stay is run by Mr. Rajen Pradhan and his wife. The hospitality they provide is incomparable. Rooms are super cozy, with an attached balcony having amazing view of mt. Kanchenjunga and Namchi-Chardham through the orange garden.
Contact: +91-9804493838, +91-9836755550, +91-9874474989 E-mail:[email protected]
Suggested awesome stay: Check out and decide the best hotel yourself by clicking the button below.
WHERE TO EAT?
THINGS TO DO IN TAKDAH
BEST SEASON TO VISIT TAKDAH
FEW SUGGESTED TIPS FOR YOU WHILE VISITING TAKDAH
- Food And Drink: Drink only bottled water. It is always advisable to carry dry foods like to carry biscuits, chips, dry fruits, fruits etc. Foreign Liquors / Alcohols are not available here.
- Health Facility & Health Precautions: It is advisable to carry specific medicines as there are no pharmacy shops in here. Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need for diarrhea, fever etc, also band aids and an antiseptic ointment.
- Card Payment & ATM: Credit/Debit Card is not accepted in Takdah. In Takdah there is also no ATM. Please carry cash for all your transactions.
- Telephone / Mobile phones: Most of the major mobile operator covers Takdah. However, in many occasions signals are not strong enough. It is advisable to carry mobiles phones from two different mobile service providers.
- Clothing & Luggage: Travel as light as possible with least minimum clothes, toiletries and other essential commodities. The weather of Takdah during summer requires light woolen garments. In the winter, heavy woolen is required.
- Electric torches: Emergency lamps can help in case of temporary power outages, which are frequent in this hilly region. Most of the resorts in Takdah have their own backup generators. However, I recommend bringing flash light for your emergency
- Do not Litter: Please do not litter the environment with plastics. The hills are clean and so we all should respect the mother nature
- Respect the culture: Respect the culture of the state, destination and its local community.
BEST WAY TO REACH TAKDAH
82 Km from NJP Railway Station via Kurseong – Sonada , Jorebunglow , 6th Mile. Avg. Travel time from NJP– 5 hours
The nearest airport is Bagdogra(IXB). It is 93 km away and connects with Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata. From Airport, you can hire private taxi.
DRIVING DIRECTION TO TAKDAH
Takdah is located in the hills between Darjeeling and Kalimpong town. You can access Takdah either from the Darjeeling or Kalimpong side. From Darjeeling you have to travel through Peshok road via Ghum. About 10kms into the road you will reach 6th mile, a small village on the road side. From 6th mile take a right turn and drive another 7 to 8 kilometres to reach Takdah.
If you are coming from Kalimpong, you may take Peshok road from the opposite direction and take a left turn once you reach 6th mile. There is an alternate road from Tista Bazar which travels through Baramangwa, Chotamangwa and Tinchuley before reaching Takdah. This road is quite steep and the present condition must be known before travelling on this route.
People travelling from Dooars or Siliguri may take a 3rd route to reach Takdah. You have to follow Sikkim Bengal national highway till you reach Rambhi Bazar. From here a small road leads you to Takdah through Teesta Valley and Rangli Tea gardens.
CONCLUSION & TAKEAWAY
If you want to spend an ideal and relaxing holiday in the lap of cold Mountains of the Himalayas, then Takdah is the apt place to visit. Sightseeing, nature walks, solitary reveries and occasional market sprees can be a wonderful way to spend a memorable vacation at Takdah. A vacation spent in this homely stead with the pretty warm morning sunrise glistening through your window is sure to make for a treasured memory for years to come.
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