Lepchajagat is not even 20 kms from Darjeeling and is close to all local attractions of Darjeeling like Mirik, Pashupati market, Ghoom Monastery, Kurseong and the numerous tea gardens. However, Lepchajagat also has its own share of attractions like Ghoom Rock and Jorepokhri. Here is a list of local attractions of Lepchajagat:
Located at nearly 7500 feet above sea level, the Ghoom Rock is a large boulder portruding from the hill top. A trek to the top of the Ghoom Rock through rough stairs would lead you to a magnificient view of the Balasun River Valley and the surrounding forests, tea estates and a bird’s eye view of Darjeeling. Ghoom Rock is just 1.5 kms from Lepchajagat.
At 7400 feet and just 2 kms from our Pakhrin Homestay is Jorepokhri – a hill top located amidst the pine forests with a great view of Mt. Kanchenjungha, Darjeeling and Kurseong. “Jore” means two and “Pokhri” refers to ponds – so here you would find two ponds on a hill top. Jorepokahri is popular to wildlife enthusiasts for the Himalayan Salamanders too. They are usually visible during the rainy season.
Around 4 kms ahead of Lepchajagat is Sukhia Bazar – a local township with a view of Mt. Kanchenjungha. The local Friday Market and the main bus stand is located at Sukhia Bazar. A 7-km long bifurcated road from Sukhia leads to Maneybhanjan village – the gateway to the famous Snadakphu trek.
Pashupati Nagar Market
Just 17 kms from from Lepchajagat is Pashupati Nagar in Nepal. Here you would find hundreds of stores selling cheap Chinese commodities but if you are really good in bargaining, then you can get good some good stuff like jackets, clothing, toys and stationeries. Our car from Lepchajagat would take you to the Nepal border, there you would need to get a permit and board a different car and visit the market. However, recently some commodities like cosmetics and electronic goods have been banned.
At 4800 feet, Kurseong town is truly a reminder of the British Raaj. With its toy train, the Gothic structures of St. Paul’s church, the colonial schools like Dow Hill and Goethal’s and the never-ending slopes of tea gardens, Kurseong is just “out of the story book” hill town covered in mist. Another lesser-known place of attraction is the ancestral house of the great revolutionary Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, prsently converted into an archive. If you have a little time in hand then make a visit to the Eagle’s Craig view point from where you get a panoramic view of the river valleys and plains of Bengal. Kurseong is 32 kms from Lepchajagat.
The Yiga Choeling Monastery popularly known as Ghoom Monastery was established in 1850. Located on hill top at 8000 feet and 7 kms from Lepchajagat, the Ghoom Maonastery is famous for its paintings and 15-feet high statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The monastery also commands a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjungha.
Batasia Loop & Gurkha War Memorial
Just below the Ghoom Monastery is the Batasia Loop of Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (popularly known as Toy Train). Here the toy train makes a complete 360 degree loop around the famous Gurkha War memorial. The war memorial was built in 1988 and honours the brave Gurkha soldiers who were martyred after the Indian Independance in various wars. A 30-feet high cenotaph with the “Roll of Honour” of the martyrs written on it is guarded by a 9-feet high bronze statue of a Gurkha soldier at the backdrop of the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunha.
Lovingly called the “Queen of the Himalayas”, this erstwhile summer capital of the British Empire is a bustling tourist town with fabulous manicured gardens, heritage buildings, the Darjeeling zoo, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (better known as the “Toy Train”), the picturesque Mall and some famous eateries like Glenary’s and Keventers. While in Darjeeling, you should also treat yourself to the legendary blend of Darjeeling tea. Darjeeling is 15 kms from Lepchajagat.
Just 33 kms from Lepchajagat is the famous Sumendu Lake also known as Mirik Lake. Surrounded by pine forests, this emerald lake overlooking Mt. Kanchenjungha is very popular with tourists. You can take long walks around this lake skirting your way through pine forests or enjoy a horseride with your kids. Boating on this trnquil lake is another great experience. You can also visit nearby Bokar Monastery for its fabulous paintings and shrines.
Just 12 kms from Lepchajagat is the famous Tiger Hill – the highest point in the Darjeeling Himalayas. From here, you can catch a glimpse of the world’s highest mountain Mt. Everest and the third highest mountain Mt. Kanchenjungha at the same time. Other peaks like Lhotse, Makalu, Chomolhari, Pandim, Kabru are all visible from this 8400 feet high viewpoint. Sunrise from Tiger Hill and the changing colours over the world’s highest mountains is one of the main attractions. While returning frm Tiger Hill you can also visit the Durga Mata Mandir and Senchal Lake.