Nestled amidst an abundance of lush greenery and fluttering, colourful prayer flags in the distance, Lamahatta is straight out of any standard tourism advertisement. This up and coming eco-tourism destination is situated at an altitude of 6800 feet above the sea level and is located barely 23km from Darjeeling.
There’s an interesting story behind the name of this place, which originates from a couple of Buddhist monks who used to reside here before independence. While ‘lama’ means a Buddhist monk, ‘hatta’ is used to denote a hut while gives rise to the name- Lamahatta.
How to reach Lamahatta?
You can take a train to NJP, or take a flight to Bagdogra and then take a shared cab to Darjeeling. Once you’ve reached the main town, you’ll find cabs aplenty waiting to take you to your destination. You can also take a cab to Jorebungalow and then take another one up to Lamahatta.
What to do Lamahatta?
Lamahatta is anything but your classic tourist destination. Expect the unexpected when you’re spending a couple of days in solitude with yourself amidst pines and conifers swaying lightly against the cool mountain wind. A small village where farming and cattle-rearing were the only sources of income until a couple of years ago, Lamahatta has embraced the concept of eco-tourism better than a lot of places. In fact, this is one of the destinations where you’ll get to observe nature at its best; close and personal.
If meditating in the vicinity of the forest is not your calling, follow the trekking trail that leads to Jore Pokhari- the twin ponds, or if you happen to plan your visit to Lamahatta during February to April, make a stop at the Takdah Orchid Centre. While the orchid center remains closed, the 8km trek to Takdah can be done all the year-round.
An embodiment of utter isolation with only birds chirping in the distance and occasional footsteps belonging to fellow trekkers, you can visit the Gari Danda which is an old fort on the top of the hill and offers unparalleled views of the landscape around you. Keep your camera handy for this one!
The entire region has been transformed into a beautifully manicured garden with multiple viewpoints and also a wooden watchtower. On a bright, clear day be prepared to get overwhelmed with sweeping vistas of the majestic Kanchenjungha, the tinsel-town of Darjeeling and even the neighbouring state of Sikkim if you’re lucky.
Where to stay Lamahatta?
Lamahatta has multiple options for the traveller who is looking for serenity, authenticity, and warmth more than a luxury. You’ll find basic homestay options starting from cottages to even tents; the locals are amazing hosts and their hospitality is unmatched.
What to eat ?
You can share your likes and dislikes with your host, vegetarian or non-vegetarian options might be limited though! However, a piping hot bowl of thukpa, or a plate of steaming momos with a spicy chutney side will probably more than make up for that.
Pack your bags now, thank us later!