BAGORA – A LESSER KNOWN HIMALAYAN HAMLET
Bagora – the picturesque hamlet was the first destination of our unplanned trip to North Bengal. Yes, it is that time of the year where we get some continuous days of holidays and unlike most homebound Bengalis, we do not travel back home, but just pack our backpacks for quenching our ever growing wanderlust. This has become inevitable during every Durga Puja season much to the chagrin of our parents. But with “Dugga-Dugga” (a Bengali prayer to Goddess Durga for the safe journey before travel) on our lips, we are on our way to see a new place! This year, we just thought to be a little different and just take an unplanned trip to some places we have never been before.
So how unplanned was our trip? Well, for starters, we know that we are visiting places at North Bengal. A bit of research was done and we selected a few places. So with our backpacks, we started our journey towards Siliguri.
The first stop of our trip happened to be Bagora which is a little village near Kurseong at a height of about 7150 ft. We had chosen the place because whatever we read about the place was excellent. A picturesque village, a place of utter tranquility from the madness of town and all those beautiful words used to describe beautiful places. But on reaching Bagora, we simply realized that words are not enough to describe the place.
The road that leads to Bagora is itself inexplicable. The uphill road meanders through the forests of pine and dhupi trees so huge that even sunlight finds it difficult to peep through. As the car moved through the dusty roads, we were simply exhilarated – it was that feeling which comes whenever you feel free from everything. The road led to the Bagora market – a small place with a few shops. Here we saw the villagers sitting at their doorsteps talking with each other. Life is slow here and you will be happy to experience this slow pace.
Bagora has only one homestay and one forest rest house. Fortunately for us, the homestay could provide us with a room and we were more than happy to be there.
The best thing about the homestay was its location. It is situated on the top of a small hillock and is the highest in the village. Climbing up a few yards we were in front of a happy looking house – the Diki’s Homestay. We always prefer to stay at homestays because here we are in touch with the local people. There is a small lawn in front of the homestay and from there we could see Kalimpong town dotted with houses. From the terrace, we could see Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong town as well.
So what can you actually do at Bagora? You can simply relax and rejuvenate yourself. Here no one is in a hurry, the mountains are just before your eyes and the green carpet of trees is there to soothe you. And then you can decide to take a walk along the village. A little ahead of the market, there is a crossroad. There are three roads which will take to Chimney, Latpanchor and Chatakpur respectively. If you are not much into hiking, then do not venture towards these destinations on foot. But there are trekking routes to all these three places from Bagora. If you take the road towards Chimney, there is a Kali temple a few metres ahead.
Bagora is also called the “zero point”. There is an air force base about 1.5 km from Bagora market. It is just in the opposite direction from the previous route. As you will walk down towards the Air Force base, there is a viewpoint. The view from this place is mesmerizing. From here you could see the Teesta river meandering through the valley. The whole valley lies in front in all its splendor.
The view will surely make you forget all your woes and bring forth all the happiness which were waiting to burst from you. At least, it happened to us. All we saw was the green valley below amidst the layers of green mountains. The clouds as big as giant were just below us. The sun and the clouds were playing hide and seek with each other making the sky glow with envy. You might as well see a few pictures.
And as the night falls, the towns and valleys all light up Diwali lights. And we silently say, what a place to be! If the weather is clear, the view of mighty Kanchenjunga will make you spellbound.
So next weekend, you can be at Bagora spending an unforgettable weekend in peace and tranquility.
Some facts about Bagora:
How to reach Bagora:
From Kurseong, take the Hill Cart Road to Dilaram. From Dilaram, there is an uphill road to Bagora.
Best time to visit:
You can visit Bagora any time of the year.
Where to stay:
There is a forest rest house at Bagora. There is also a homestay – Diki’s Homestay, which provides basic accommodation and food.
What to do at Bagora:
Take a walk to the viewpoint and the Air Force Base camp.
You can visit Chimney, Latpanchor and Chatakpur from here. There is a trek route from Bagora to Chatakpur and Latpanchor, but the route is not well marked.