River Trekking through Neora Valley National Park

Babit Gurung
Jan 26
This trip is about exploring the adjacent beautiful villages that protect the chastity of this pristine heritage forest of West Bengal. So it's about exploring the unexplored, untagged and unmapped.
Arrive at Suntalekhola - The entry point to Neora Valley National Park.

This will be your first day at Samsing Suntalekhola. The first night's stay will be at a homestay in the village. You can clear your permission to enter Neora Valley National Park for the next day's trekking.

Reach Neora River, Neora Valley National Park by Trekking from Suntalekhola

After the breakfast at Homestay get ready to reach the river Neora, The lifeline of Neora Valley National Park. 

Where is Neora Valley National Park in Darjeeling?

Quite strange, but the administrative part of this rich green lusciousness of District Darjeeling is tackled by District Jalpaiguri, naming it as Jalpaiguri wildlife division-II. The earlier recorded area of Neora Valley National Park in Darjeeling was 88 sq. km, but currently, the demarcation of Neora Valley National National Park in Darjeeling has extended to cover the adjacent Reserves forests of District Darjeeling and the figure is approximately 140 sq. km. 

There are two legal entry gates to the forest for the Travellers, though the forest is accessible from all the sides through many villages. By legal entry, it means permissible entry, after one obtains a permit to enter the national park. One is from Samsing Range which is often named as Samsing-Suntalekhola in the tourism map of West Bengal and the other is at Lava and that too is one of the most popular tourist destinations in West Bengal. Extending towards the north the park shares the territory of Bhutan ( Torsa strict reserve of Bhutan) and Sikkim ( Panglakha Wildlife Sanctuary) without any artificial barriers and towards south and east, the forest reaches other reserve and protected forests of West Bengal like Chapramari wildlife sanctuary near Chalsa Junction.

Special attractions of Neora Valley National Park for the Travellers:

The attractions described here may not seem more common that usually become the hub point for tourists, but it is more ethical and resourceful for only a portion of Meaningful Travellers. In real words if you’re on a holiday just to enjoy drinking, get in the crowd, click selfies near popular landmarks, see wild animals by paying money for booking watchtowers, enjoy the so-called royal ride of captive elephants, then Neora Valley National is not your choice for the best tourist destinations of North Bengal.

What is «River Trekking»?

A river walking is a kind of trek that follows the trails of river , mostly from it’s lower stage towards its source, On the way you can explore different cultures and traditions, forests with different kinds of vegetation starting from plains to the foothills of Himalayas. River walking is a complete package for adventure lovers that involves all the activities of rock climbing, river crossing, Bouldering, Chimneying, Crack climbing, etc. It can practically be a great experience to test your physical strength before you plan out to explore higher altitude trek or mountaineering.

Start the River Hiking 

After reaching the river Neora the hiking starts. A river has always been a reason for civilization, agricultural economy, cultural richness and formation of a society that we commonly divide into villages, towns and cities. The names of the places, culture and tradition may differ at many places that comes within the journey of a river from it’s source to the sea, but the name of the river mostly remains the same for every regional accent, perhaps bearing the same meaning. So, if you ever want to explore the bio- diversity, historical evidences, culture and traditions and other aspects of nature then following a river would be a complete endeavor to open the knots of you curiosity.

Spend your night beside the river in a tent

This first day after reaching the river you will be staying in a tented accommodation 

Adventurous River Trekking

Next day wake up amidst the green density of wilderness, all pure and fresh. Feel the chilling water of Neora River Flowing down the hills. Enjoy the sound of clapping sound of white water against the hard rocks. Get some high protein diet and this will be the day to experience the real adventure of river Trekking.

The sight of lives emerging from the River

As we all know, the greatest civilizations of the world started with River. in comparison to other types of hiking, River trekking is always full of life. You can see lots of wildlife activities on the way.

Hiking, river crossing, rock climbing ...all in one

River Neora is a mountainous river. The gallons of water it carries fall from the mountains through streams, narrow crevices, waterfalls, leaving a tough challenge for the trekkers to climb upwards. On the way, you will have to climb the waterfalls, cross the river, jump from stone to stone, altogether a complete activities of adventure sports. The only difference is that you will be doing it all naturally and with no deliberate intention. 

Reach a spot named Asaley camp and end your trek

After the whole days tiresome hiking, you will reach a place named «Mithun Khaar»- a local name for a small spot near the river. It’s a natural salt pit and many times, if you are lucky enough, the wild ox also named Mithun is often seen licking the rocks. So just spending some time at the place you can again trek towards Asalay Camp. Asalaey camp is a wildlife camp located near Asalaey river. You will spend your night here in the tents. The place is near to the village. It will be easier for all to check out next day because it only takes one and half hour to reach the village from this place.

Reach the village named Sunderbusty and checkout.

So this morning, after breakfast you can go for easy trek towards the nearest village named sunderbusty. This is the village where you can get the transportation and checkout with memories.