Latpanchar situated in the lower Darjeeling hills is the highest point of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary at 4200 feet. It is mainly known for its cinchona plantation and proximity to the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also a favourite spot for birding enthusiasts due to the often rare and beautiful birds found here. It is also the home to the rare Himalayan Salamander reptile and the forests in the proximity of Latpanchar is also home for many rare species of wild mountain goat, leopards, wild boars, porcupines and different species of deer.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Getting Here
To get here, you can take one of the following alternatives given below:
- By Train: The NJP Railway Station in Siliguri connects the city to several cities across India. If you are journeying from Kolkata, then get in the Darjeeling mail which arrives at 10:00 pm in Kolkata. Once you reach NJP Station, take a taxi ride to Latpanchar situated 55 km from here as described below.
- By Jeep/Taxi: Get in a taxi going towards Darjeeling. As you are travelling through the National Highway no 31 you will go through a place called Kalijhora. From Kalijhora, an uphill drive will take you to Latpanchar. Alternatively you can go through the Kurseong plains where you will come across a small village called Dilaram. From Dilaram you have to take the road to the right which will lead you to Bagora. From here it is a straight road to Latpanchar.
- By Plane: Bagdogra airport located at Siliguri is has several planes available offered by many airlines. Some of them are:
Air India and Jet Airways has flights from Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata to Bagdogra available, Go Air has daily flights to and from Delhi and Spice Jet operates flights from Kolkata and Delhi.
Once you reach Bagdogra airport, you can take a taxi ride as described above.
Things to see in Latpanchar
Namthing Pokhri: It is situated just 3 km away from Latpanchar. It houses the rare Himalayan Salamander Reptile. It is one of the very few places housing this reptile.
Ahal Point: It is located just 2.5 km ahead of Latpanchar. It is a sunrise point with the entire horizon having a panoramic view of the Darjeeling mountain range with the Kanchenjunga as the jewel of the crown.
Birding Activities:Â The entirety of Latpanchar and its surrounding areas are a bird watching paradise filled with rare and beautiful species of mountain birds. Mainly the hills are the best place for Birding Activities. Bird enthusiasts come here from all over the country and abroad. A good binocular and a camera is a must to get the full experience.
Cinchona Plantations: The cinchona plantations in Latpanchar is what made this place famous. The plantations look great and are beautiful to see and roam inside.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Things to do in Latpanchar
Mahananda Trek: Latpanchar is famous for the several short treks that take you through deep forests, treacherous terrain and beautiful landscapes. The most important trekking trails take you to the top of unexplored hilltop on Gulma peak and another following a difficult stream through the wilderness takes you down to Sevoke.
Trek to Kurseong: The trek to Kurseong is a low altitude trek going through a ridge and meeting with an old cart road at Bagora. This trek offers great views of the surrounding areas and forests.
Relax in Nature: The relaxed and welcome nature of the locals combined with great forests, natural landscapes and countless beautiful birds make this a truly relaxing and peaceful spot for tourists.
Accommodations in Latpanchar
For tourists a lodge is available with all the basic accommodations and amenities.