East India

BIJANBARI
by David Woollan

Global Mark : to come

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 

Cost

AVER.
                   

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend  Range AVER.
         


Description & comments :
This is just a small town of about 3000 people, just one of hundreds of small towns in the Darjeeling hills. But there are excellent day walks to be had here, and it can also be the starting and ending point for longer (4 to 7 day) treks. The village goes to bed by 8 p.m. but if you don't mind the very simple life, then you might want to spend three or so days here.


Where to stay ?

  • River View Lodge, just off Bank Road, behind the secondary school. Very basic wooden rooms, basic shared toilet facilities. R50 per person.
  • Ujjawa Lodge, next door to the travel agent on main road, tucked down a side street. Basic rooms with shared toilet. R50 per person.
  • A third "hotel" is under renovation. It is made of stone and might offer more luxurious accommodation than the two above when it opens.

Where to eat ? There is just one restaurant in town and it only sells daal bhat. No meat available. Other places offer momos.


Walking around ?
The bus journey from Darjeeling to Bijanbari takes you via Ghum. From Ghum to Bijanbari is 25 kilometers in distance, and this trip is very scenic. If you are staying in Bijanbari then it would make a great walk to catch the Bijanbari-Darjeeling bus that departs at 0610 or 0710 and get off 25 kilometers from Bijanbari to walk back. Excellent views and unspoilt scenery as the road descends over 1500 meters in altitude, passing many mountain streams and uncultivated land. About half way down you start passing through tea estates and small villages. 
Other excellent walks are to Relling (8 kms), Singla Bazaar (4 hours) and Som Tea Estate (4 hours to walk through all three divisions).

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