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Lava Tourism And Travel Guide
12.5° C / 54.5° F
October to April
2 to 3 Days
Bagdogra (117 kms)
New Jalpaiguri railway Station (110 kms)
When we talk about North Bengal the first thing that comes to our mind is mountains and when we talk about mountains there are many names that crop up like Loleygaon, Darjeeling, Mirik, Kurseong, Lava and several others. Lava is a beautiful tourist destination that is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and charm. Situated at an altitude of 2100 m, Lava is one of the few places in Bengal that experiences snowfall during winter. The coniferous forests, the blooming rhododendrons, the snowcapped Himalayan peaks and the warm glow of the sun make Lava an irresistible tourist destination. Here is a snippet of travel guide to enjoy tourism in Lava.
How to Reach
The sleep hill village of Lava does not boast of an airport and has to depend upon Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri for air connectivity. Bagdogra Airport located 117 km from Lava is a major aerodrome in the area. It helps to connect North Bengal with the rest of the state and the country. It is a busy airport with both private and public air carriers operating regular flights to and from the city. From Bagdogra Airport it is a 3-4 hour drive to Lava and can be reached by cabs or by buses, both of which are easily available near the airport.
Lava does not have a railway junction and for rail connectivity has to depend upon New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or NJP. This is the biggest railway junction in North Bengal and in fact in the northeastern part of the country. There are major express and superfast trains that run through NJP starting from different parts of the country and most of them are headed towards the northeastern states. It plays an important role in connecting people, towns and cities. From NJP tourists can hire cabs to reach Lava.
In the absence of a railway station and airport, Lava is primarily accessible by roads. From neighboring towns and cities including Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri tourists can easily drive up to Lava. There are two routes via which one can reach Lava. One road is through Dooars via Damdim road with a left turn from NH31. Via this road, it is 97 km and less than 3 hours journey from New Jalpaiguri to Lava. The second route is via Kalimpong and Algara and takes more than 4 hours to reach Lava. Cabs and buses ply regularly between these places which ensure good connectivity.
Lava can be explored by foot. Walking down the winding roads, inhaling the fresh mountain air with a sight to behold is truly intriguing. The towering trees, the view of the mountains, the blooming flowers and the beautiful people of Lava can be known better known when one explores on foot. Alternately jeeps are also available to ferry people to different spots.
Weather and Best time to visit
Summer (March to June):
Lava is one of the few places in Bengal that enjoys a beautiful summer. While the rest of the state sizzles, Lava offers a cool and pleasant climate with temperatures ranging between a comfortable 12°C and 15°C and reaches a maximum of 25°C. The skies remain clear and cloudless offering a spectacular view of the snowcapped mountains. The lush green meadows, the colorful flowers dotting the landscape and the gorgeous weather make Lava one of the best summer destinations in the state. A short escape from the scorching heat is what lures people to Lava.
Monsoon (July to August):
Lava receives a considerable amount of rainfall during monsoon months. It is the least favorable time for visiting the region as the roads turn slippery and are accompanied by frequent landslides and mudslides. It throws traffic into chaos and sometimes also proves to be fatal. Sightseeing is not feasible in the rains and skies remain cloudy. It obstructs the view of the mountains. As it is the off-season here, hotels try to lure tourists by offering lots of discounts but it is best avoided.
Winter (September to February):
This is another good time to visit Lava. The monsoon rains infuse a fresh lease of life and the mercury dips gradually. The skies clear up and remain cloudless, offering a magnificent view of the surrounding hills and mountains. The chill is refreshing and enjoyable; however as months progress the cold increases. If you are planning a visit during these months remember to pack lots of woolens as Lava also experiences snowfall. It is the best time to go for those long walks, exploring the villages and hidden gems of the region.
Things to Do
If you are in Lava, a trip to Neora Valley is a must. The latter presents tourists with a great opportunity for camping in the wilderness and is a dream come true for wildlife and nature lovers. Camping under the blue skies surrounded by nothing other than towering trees and mountains is a thrilling experience. Neora valley is known for its rich flora, fauna, endangered animals and birds and to spend some time amidst them is too good to be true. The best time for camping here is between October and April.
One of the most favorite activities for people traveling to the hills is trekking. It is now only a thrilling experience but also gives an opportunity to get a stunning view of the landscape from up close. Imagine walking your way through blooming radiant flowers, towering coniferous trees with the majestic mountain ranges on the horizon! If you are in Lava and is a trekking enthusiast you could try trekking up the Rachela Pass trekking route. It is a 12 km trek, difficult and steep but extremely rewarding at the same time.
We have many bird watchers and lovers who are always on the lookout for an opportunity to catch the winged beauties in action. In Lava, bird watchers can try their luck at Neora valley Nature Park and Changey La Waterfalls. Several species of birds are sighted here regularly and it can be a rewarding experience trying to spot them. From Cuckoos, minivets, partridges, sunbirds to Water Redstart, Verditer Flycatcher, Niltava, there are many more and bird lovers will not be disappointed. For those whose passion is wildlife and bird photography, Neoara Valley is the place to be. Keep those lenses ready!
Trip to Pedong:
If you are an adventure sports lover and look for opportunities to indulge in them then you must visit Pedong, which is a few kilometers from Lava. It has some gorgeous trekking trails for trekkers and Tinchuley deserves a special mention. It offers the tourists a spectacular view of the Cinchona Plantation, Kassang Valley and Sikkim Himalayas. Apart from trekking tourists can also indulge in a number of adventure activities like mountain climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing, archery etc.
Eating in Lava
A sleepy quaint village set in the mountains Lava is all about nature and beauty. There are no luxurious fine dining options available here. There are roadside eateries cooking up some absolutely delicious food for the tourists and a few restaurants that offer lip-smacking Bengali and multi-cuisine dishes. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is available here. There is also a strong Tibetan influence in the food of the area. Steaming hot momos and thukpas are soul-warming dishes and the best one can get on cold wintry afternoons.