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Mongpong: Gateway To The Dooars

By Aishwarya Mishra

PC: Saptaa1234

Let us talk about the gorgeous view of the Eastern Himalayas. If you drive around 32 km from Siliguri, you shall find a small hamlet situated on the lofty banks of the river Teesta. Right under the white fluffy clouds, you shall come across some mesmerizing picnic spots while a splendid view of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary shall leave you speechless.

You can always plan a trek through the virgin forests of Mongpong with your family and friends. Be ready to live a lustrous dream with a glimpse of the glittering Teesta on a moonlit night. A soothing breeze and the radiantly beaming sun shall breathe new enthusiasm in you, only at Mongpong.

The left bank of the Teesta river is referred to as Mongpong, whereas the bank on the right is named Sevok Bazaar. Heard of the Dooars? Mongpong is their first destination and when you look to the west side of Teesta, it is called Terai.

Let's go another 500 m east; Upper Mongpong village will be located on the left and the Mongpong army cantonment to the right. Do you know what is a good picnic spot for the locals? A road going via the village reaches right up to the Teesta river bed; this is it.

HOW TO REACH MONGPONG

By Air: To catch a flight to Mongpong, the nearest airport would be Bagdogra, which is connected to major Indian cities. It is also well joined to some international destinations as well.

By Rail: The closest railroad shall definitely be New Jalpaiguri. Even Siliguri Railway Station is a viable option. You should further continue via road to reach Mongpong.

By Road: Numerous buses like North Bengal State Transport Corporation Buses, Bhutan Govt. Buses, private buses and taxis and minibuses can be availed from Siliguri to Mongpong. The National Highway No. 31 in the midst of Siliguri and Guwahati goes over Mongpong via Sevoke. It is a 30-km road spread. Even the buses going to Malbazar, Alipurduar and Chalsa pass over Mongpong. We would still advice you to take a private cab from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri. From Siliguri to Mongpong, travel time comes up to 45 min.

The best time to visit is definitely October to April which is the winter season.

PLACES TO SEE IN AND AROUND MONGPONG

1) Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

1) Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary

PC: Ujjal Ghosh

Here you shall find numerous Indian and migratory birds like the pin-tailed duck, Brahminy duck, mallard as well as the bar-headed goose which flies here from Central Asia and Ladakh during the winters.

2) Teesta River

2) Teesta River

PC: Ankur P

Where does this river rise from? Its wonderful origin is the Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim which forms a boundary between West Bengal and Sikkim. Finally, the Teesta river joins the Brahmaputra. And so do the Thangu, Donkia-La and Yum Thang ranges that connect along the 315 km long river. However, if we talk about the main tributary which is river Rangeet, it joins the river Teesta just before the Teesta Bridge. It is a very ideal location for the purpose of white water rafting.

3) Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

3) Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary

PC: M.Swarnali

Hearb about the Matiya Dam? You shall find it near this sanctuary. Many birds like the green pigeon, roller, peafowl, finch and hornbill are found. It is also the royal abode of the Bengal tiger as well as a sprawling variety of reptiles. Located near the National Highway 31, it connects the northeastern region to other parts of India. The place is also quite famous for the Indian Bison, elephants, leopards and the Himalayan langoor.

4) Odlabari

4) Odlabari

PC: Jonoikobangali

It is situated some 17 km from Mongpong. The one main attraction which shall catch your eye is the Odlabari Tea Estate. This tinsel town is perfectly sandwiched between two rivers, Chel and Ghis.

5) Kalijhora

5) Kalijhora

PC: Krushna Sundar

This is a wonderful picnic spot to savour delicious items with your friends and family. It is just 8.7 km from Mongpong.

6) Other activities

6) Other activities

PC: Sagardeep Sen

These include riverside picnicking, trekking, bird watching and jungle safari as some of the activities which make Mongpong an enjoyable vacation spot!

Many destinations of the Dooars region are also easily accessible from Mongpong. A lot of places can create hype among the crowd filled with zeal, such as Murti, Bindu, Jhalong and Chalsa. All of these places have been rarely visited and hence their natural beauty is preserved. Do not forget to catch a glimpse of an old tea estate of the Dooars known as Washabari.

Also read: Dooars - India's Gateway To Bhutan

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