Soumya Roy Chowdhury (April 2023)
Hi Raj, thanks for such a wonderful and insightful blog which covers everything. We are staying for 2 nights in Lava, we then plan to travel to Gangtok from Lava. Is it possible to cover Pedong & Sillery Gaon enroute to Gangtok or is it advisable to keep a separate day for them. If we keep a separate day, can we club the Neora valley with Pedong and Sillery Gaon. Many thanks!
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2023
Hi, Pedong and Sillery Gaon will require a separate day. Neora Valley via Kolkakham is in a different direction and will require half a day (you will need to first arrange for the safari Jeep at Lava in advance), so combining that with Pedong and Sillery Gaon is not practical.
Chiranjib Biswas (August 2022)
I want to travel from Siliguri to Lava. Can you please suggest if Kalimpong route or Malbazar route will be better? I am planning to leave Siliguri in the evening around 4 PM. In such a case, will it be better if I take shared taxi from Siliguri to Kalimpong and then from Kalimpong to Lava take another shared taxi. Or should I travel to Malbazar from Siliguri either by bus or train and from Malbazar take shared jeep to Lava? As I will be able to leave Siliguri around 4 PM at the earliest, can you please advice which route to be taken considering public transportation option.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2022
Presently during the monsoon time, the Gorubathan route will be better to reach Lava than taking the Sevoke road to get to Lava via Kalimpong. However, so late in the second half, I doubt if you will get a shared taxi on any of these routes.
Chiranjib Biswas (August 2022)
Thanks for your suggestions. If we start early morning, can we get shared taxi in Gorubathan route from Malbazar? And what is the frequency of availability of shared taxis?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2022
The shared jeeps are usually available from 7 am onwards. There is no fixed frequency. They leave once they get full (about 10 passengers). The shared taxi frequency is not high on the Malbazar - Gorubathan - Lava route, they are occasional. The Siliguri - Kalimpong route via Sevoke road (NH-10) and Kalimpong - Lava route have much better availability of shared taxis during the daytime, but the condition of Sevoke Road at several patches can be a concern and there are often traffic jams... but if the road is open and you start early, then you can take a chance.
Debolina (March 2022)
Hi, I need little information regarding cab fare. I will be visiting Lava & Loleygaon in the month of May. My queries...
1. Approx cab fare from NJP to Lava via Garubathan
2. Approx cab fare from Lava to Loleygaon
3. Approx cab fare from Loleygaon to NJP via Kalimpong .
Btw, your blog is an wonderful piece on North Bengal tourism. So very informative & interesting
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2022
Hi, approximate small reserved cab fare from NJP to Lava via Gorubathan will be around Rs. 3,000 (if a pre-paid taxi is available at NJP for this route, the fare could be lesser). Lava to Loleygaon will be around Rs. 800-1000, and Loleygaon to NJP via Kalimpong will be around Rs. 3,500.
Sukriti Dey (March 2022)
Sir, Can you provide some information about shared vehicles/reserved vehicles from Kalimpong to Lava for one way journey? What will be the approximate fares for shared taxis/reserved vehicles from Kalimpong to Lava? Also, please provide some information regarding shared/reserved vehicle for journey from Lava to Malbazar via Gorubathan... Fares, KMs etc.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2022
Hello, small private taxi fare from Kalimpong to Lava will be around Rs. 1500-1700 (distance is 33 kms and takes around 1 hour 20 minutes by car). The shared taxi fare will be Rs. 125-150 per person. Lava to Mal Bazar distance via Gorubathan is 55kms and will take around 1 hour 40 minutes by car. Small reserved taxi fare will be around Rs. 2000-2200. You are unlikely to find any shared taxi on this route. Note that fares may vary depending on the season.
Subhasish Mukherjee (October 2021)
Hi , I just want to know 1. If fooding option is available at Lava & Rishyop (other than hotels or homestays' in-house menu)? 2. if it is a good decision or bad decision to book hotels or homestays WITH fooding options ( breakfast , lunch , snacks , dinner )?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021
Hi, there are a couple of eateries in Lava like New Orchid Restaurant on Rishi Road serving Indian and Chinese food (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and another one is Nathula Forest Canteen (this is part of WBFDC forest lodge and they too serve Indian and Chinese meals). In Lolegaon, you won't find any decent restaurant. There is a roadside eatery near the bus stand but the hygiene can be questionable... it might be okay for a cup of tea.
Even if you do bookings at the hotels/homestays without food, you can always opt for food after checking in and pay separately.
Avik Ghosh (October 2021)
I am planning to visit lava around end November and stay there for a couple of days. My question is if I take a car from NJP does it go fully up to LAVA bazaar. Kindly help as I have old parents to take along. Also how can I reach Darjeeling from Lava? Is there direct or regular communication from Lava? Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021
Hello, yes you can get a reserved taxi from NJP for a direct transfer to Lava Market... take the road via Gorubathan and not via Kalimpong in order to avoid traffic jams... will take about 3 hours 15 minutes. From Lava market area, you can get a taxi to get to Darjeeling, you can also ask your hotel to arrange for a drop.
Souvik Bhattacharya (March 2021)
Hi, first of all thanks for your detailed guide in all aspects regarding North Bengal Tourism. It truly is a lifesaver. I want to ask you a question. We are group of 6 people planning to stay in Hilltop Tourist Lodge, Kalimpong. What is the approximate tariff of a full day trip of lava-lolegaon and return back to Kalimpong?
Actually we have to next day reach Dhotrey, so I think returning to Kalimpong would help us instead of staying at lava/lolegaon. Also I know it's in a completely opposite direction, but what is the best way to reach Dhotrey from Kalimpong? Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2021
Hi, the full day trip fare from Kalimpong to Lava/Loleygaon will depend on the season... 6 of you will need a large vehicle like an Innova/Bolero... in high season the fare could be around Rs. 4000+.
For Dhotrey, you need to take a reserved vehicle from Kalimpong, take Peshok Road (near Teesta Bazaar), reach Jorebungalow/Ghum area and proceed to Manebhanjan and then to Dhotrey. If the local driver at Kalimpong does not agree to go all the way up to Dhotrey (usually he should), then you need to change to another vehicle at Manebhanjan. It should take about 3.5 hours from Kalimpong to Dhotrey along this route.
Aritra (February 2021)
Hi Raj, Firstly, hats off on maintaining a splendid website. I have gained a lot of invaluable information from your detailed blogs that could not be obtained elsewhere.
I intend to stay a night in Kalimpong, then travel to Lava and Lolegaon from Kalimpong the following day, and return to Kalimpong again. From your blog, I saw that there are several places to see in Lava and Lolegaon such as the Eco Park,Canopy Walk,a couple of view points in Lolegaon and a monastery and Nature Conservation Center in Lava. Now, my mother has a knee problem and cannot afford long arduous uphill climbs on steep pathways or stairs.
My question is - do these places involve such climbs where she will find it difficult to travel? If yes, then could you suggest whether it would be better to cover one of these two places, and which one, if so. Also, if you think visiting the sight-seeing places in Lava and Lolegaon wouldn't be fruitful for someone with a knee problem, could you suggest any alternative places in and around Kalimpong which might be visited ? Thanks in advance, you've been a great help.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2021
Hi, visiting the attractions in Lava and Lolegaon you mentioned will require some walk and climbing steps (but not a long arduous uphill walk). For example, Canopy Walk will require climbing 7-8 steps followed by a longish gradually uphill walk on the hanging bridge, Echo Park is a roadside park and you can enter and walk as much as you like, Lava Monastery requires climbing several flights of stairs to reach up to the main shrine, etc. A person with a serious knee problem will likely find it difficult to negotiate these places, it would certainly not be very comfortable to explore such sites.
Alternatively, if you just want to visit a quiet place, relax for a day or two, and enjoy the lovely views of Kanchenjunga, then you can visit Charkhole (about 26kms from Kalimpong). Blue Pine Retreat is one of the best places to stay there and enjoy the views and food.
Ankan Banerjee (November 2020)
Dear Raj, At first I would like to express my gratitude for your efforts in Darjeeling Forum as it helps a lot to plan a trip. Me and my friends are planning to explore Lava-Lolegaon-Rishop in 3 days, we are four in the group and we will stay at lava and Rishop and explore other parts with a car. I will not ask about itinerary rather I have few queries. In the present COVID situation are tourists allowed there? As we are four in a group so any smaller vehicle is good enough to travel hilly roads of Lava-Lolegaon-Rishop? We are planning to use public transport up to Kalimpong and then private car. How much is taxi fare if we take one from Kalimpong? Thank you,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2020
Hello, you can go but all hotels/homestays are not open in that area... so call up and check with the hotel before you go. A small car is okay for travelling to Lava and Loleygaon. But, you need a large vehicle with good ground clearance to negotiate the gravel road between Lava and Rishop.
Note that you can not use a private vehicle from outside (such as from Kalimpong) for local sightseeing when you stay overnight at Lava, Loleygaon or Rishop... you need to use a vehicle from the local syndicate. Otherwise, you may end up paying double the fares... first for your private car which is likely to get stranded there and additionally for the syndicate vehicle. I suggest you go to Lava, and use the local syndicate vehicles for touring to Rishop and Loleygaon. These vehicles are available at all these places. A small reserved taxi fare for a drop to Lava from Kalimpong would be around Rs. 1,500.
Jayanta Mondal (February 2020)
Can I visit Lava, Lolegaon and Rishop in a single day from Kalimpong? I will visit Kalimpong in March 2020 with my family (3 persons). What will be the cost of car hiring?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020
It's not practical to visit all three places on a single day from Kalimpong, you won't have time to see any place properly. You can visit Lava and Loleygaon on a day, but must start early. A small reserved car from Kalimpong would take between Rs. 2,800 to 3,000 for these two places.
Biswa (December 2019)
Hi Raj, I am very fond of your Darjeeling-tourism updated information. So reached out to you to get a geniune information. We have planned a tour from NJP to NJP via Murti, Lava, Rishop, Lolegaon, Kalimpong along with the sightseeing of the places. My concern is that can we make a round trip with a car taken from NJP covering all these places or do we need to take local cars for sightseeing at each place?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2019
Hi, in Lava, Loleygaon, Rishop and Kolakham, the transport syndicate is quite strong and do not allow outstation vehicles to do local sightseeing. This is done in order to protect the interest of local drivers. Outstation vehicles can only be used for pickup and drop. However, before checking in or after checking out of your hotel at any of these places, you can use the outstation vehicle for local sightseeing. This means, while staying in a hotel, you can not use an outstation car for sightseeing. So if you plan to stay at any of these destinations for 2 or more nights and do not want your reserved outstation car to idle, it's better not to use an outstation vehicle for the entire trip and instead use local vehicles for sightseeing and transfers.
Dibyendu (November 2019)
Hello, Kindly let me know is there any shared cab available from lava to Siliguri/Njp. We already know about the reserved cars from lava to NJP/Siliguri.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2019
Hello, There are occasional shared jeeps that leave from Lava to Darjeeling More (in Siliguri). Better take a shared jeep to Kalimpong and then change over to another one for Siliguri/NJP. There is also bus service between Lava and Kalimpong.
Sourav Naskar (May 2019)
Hello Sir, I am planning to visit Darjeeling Rishop, Lava, Loleygaon in coming October with my family (4 adults and my 2 years old daughter). Please give me the shortest route plan and how to reach those places (transport) and how many days would be required. Also help me with public transport around the plan. Please help me. I am waiting for your reply.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2019
From Darjeeling you can take a private taxi and visit Loleygaon via Kalimpong... takes around 3 hours 15 minutes (you can alternatively take a shared taxi from lower town and change to another one at Kalimpong for Loleygaon). From Loleygaon visit Rishop (via Rishi road and Lava, takes over 2 hours) and then get back to Lava. There are syndicate operated shared vehicles that ply on those routes. From Lava you can get back to NJP via Gorubathan by private taxi (you can alternatively take a shared vehicle via Kalimpong). You need 6-7 days between these four places.
Kaushik Mukherjee (March 2019)
Hi Raj. thanks for the useful and delightful information about the tour. Would you please share with us the taxi fare from Siliguri to Lolegaon?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2019
Hi, a small reserved cab fare from Siliguri to Lolegaon would be around Rs. 2500, but can be negotiated in low season. High season fares can shoot up though.
Somenath Banerjee (February 2017)
Hats off at first. You have made my day. Finally found some Indian who throws away safe and secure for adventure and wild. I am going to visit Rishop, Lava and Lolegaon tomorrow. We actually stay in Rishop for 1 night and Lolegaon for 2 nights. We are adviced to visit Rishop via Gazoldoba-gorubathan. Then from Rishop we will come to Lolegaon & from Lolegaon back to NJP.
I heard road to lava is very bad. We have 2 60+ people with us, so I am asking you how to reach rishop from NJP? then to lolegaon and then to NJP? Which route to take while returning back to NJP. Should we choose Bagrakote-sevoke-njp route? or Kalimpong-Sevoke-NJP route? Please mention which road to take and which to avoid (Like you mentioned relli road to avoid and rishi road to take when going to lava/lolgegaon from kalimpong). Another question is bad road here means bumpy only or narrow? is there high chance of falling into deep pitt? Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017
The road from Lava area to Rishyap is a very bumpy road. Only jeep type vehicle can negotiate and not a small car. You need not worry about falling into a deep pit though. Gajoldoba/ Gorubathan route to Lava would be the shortest, but Sevoke/ Bagrakote route is better for the first part (takes about 40 minutes more). Both routes however meet at Odlabari. You can choose either. You need not go via Kalimpong which is the longest route of all.
Joydeep Banerjee (February 2017)
Sir..to put it simply, I dont think a travel blog can be written and maintained more scrupulously and meticulously than yours...however, I want a piece of suggestion if you may please cater to....is it possible to travel to Loleygaon, Lava and Sillerygaon in 2 night 3 days' time...if yes, please let me be guided as to how the plan might be negotiated....
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017
Reach Lava and spend the first night. Next morning start early, visit Lava Monastery and few other spots in Lava and start for Loleygaon by 11am. Get back and spend the second night at Lava. Next day visit Sillery Gaon and even Pedong, Damsung fort etc before heading for NJP/Bagdogra.
Dibyendu Ghosh (October 2015)
I am Dibyendu Ghosh from Kolkata, planning for family tour with my wife and 2.5 year old daughter. I would like to go for Darjeeling-Kalimpong-Lava-Lolegaon in end of February for 7 to 8 days. Request for your suggestion. I could plan up to NJP - Darjeeling - Kalimpong, after that I am not getting any idea about LAVA and LOLEGAON. Please suggest whether it is possible to cover LAVA and LOLEGAON with my daughter, considering safety ? I will be grateful , if somebody send a details tour plane for this route.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2015
There is no additional safety measures to be taken for your child other than what you plan for Kalimpong. But note that February will be very cold and you should take adequate woolens and full winter protection. Also, Lava & Loleygaon being a bit remote, there will be practically no medical help available there should you require some. You will need to get back to Kalimpong for that. Lava is only about 1.5 hours from Kalimpong and Loleygaon is further 1 hour from Lava. Ask the driver to stay on the main road (i.e. Rishi road) to get to both Lava and Loleygaon in order to avoid bad roads (there will still be some). From Kalimpong, you can take a taxi or bus for Lava. Stay there for 1 or 2 nights, after local sightseeing move to Loleygaon. There are shared jeeps available between the two places which are operated by the local syndicate. You can also take a private jeep/car. Spend 1 or 2 nights in Loleygaon for local sightseeing, and then directly return to NJP via local vehicle (the usual route is via Gorubathan).
Swarup (November 2014)
Hi Raj, while searching for shared car service from NJP to Lava I found your portal. I am planning to visit lava at the end of December. Can you please tell me whether any shared car is available from NJP / Siliguri to lava or I need to take a break journey at Kalimpong. Also is there any shared car available frequently from Kalimpong to lava. Waiting for your valuable message.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2014
You will usually get shared jeeps from Darjeeling More at Siliguri for Lava but not from NJP. From NJP take an auto and go down to Darjeeling More (about 20 minutes) and then take a shared Jeep to Lava.
Otherwise from NJP take a shared jeep to Kalimpong and then change to another one for Lava. However Kalimpong to Lava shared jeep service is not frequent. You will unlikely get any shared jeep after 3pm.
Arnab Patra (October 2014)
I am looking for the public transport information between NJP to LAVA and LAVA to Rishyap and also the reverse. Please help me if you have any information regarding that.I always prefer public transport because its economy and its saves at least few liters of oil :). Will wait for your reply
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2014
You can get shared jeeps to Lava from Siliguri stands (Darjeeling More or on Hill Cart Road). There is also a bus from P C Mittal bus stand. From Lava, there is a 4km trek route to Rishyap. Alternatively you can get a shared jeep.