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Enjoy a slice of a breath-taking sunrise at Tiffin Dara, Rishop

11 March, 2020 05:52:45
Enjoy a slice of a breath-taking sunrise at Tiffin Dara, Rishop

Tiffin Dara is a picturesque viewpoint in the lap of Kolbong forest range of Eastern Himalayas. It can be accessed via two soft trekking routes – one originating from Lava and the other from Rishop. Perched at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level, Tiffin Dara can steal your heart on a cloudless morning.

Way to Tiffin Dara


Early dawn in the mountains


View of skyline at before sunrise

We chose to take the shorter trekking route starting from Rishop; better to call it a jungle hike. The distance was hardly 3 kilometres uphill, but the trail was really steep at this side of the forest. The one from Lava is more gradual and eventually longer. We had boarded at one of the nearest Lepcha homestays so that we could save time for the trek. It was 4.45am –almost dark with a few shimmering lights on the opposite hills of Kalimpong. Traces of clouds covered us with a misty blanket. We could see smokes coming out from our mouth as we exhaled. 

Sun rise awaited on the snowcaps


Sun started rising


The panoramic snowline at sunrise

Three of us embarked on this semi-nocturnal trip to Tiffin Dara. The only rationale for early start was to reach the summit before sunrise. Like on one hand it was indeed an exciting walk, but on the hind side we were extremely scared of the clouds, which might spoil our entire sunrise watching plan. It took us more than an hour to cover the entire stretch from our homestay to the top of Tiffin Dara vantage point with intermittent photo and breath breaks. But it was worth the effort! The sound of our footfalls echoing through the woods, a narrow road through the Kolbong forest, cricket chirps coupled with whistling cedars added a mystic charm. By the time we climbed to the highest point, it was almost 6am. Thin rays of the rising sun had just started falling on the snow peaks, making the skyline gradually visible. 

Last stretch of the flat top trek


The rectrangular plinth of Tiffin Dara viewpoint


Pandim peak after sunrise

By 6.30am, the entire range of Mt. Kanchendzonga was clearly visible. We were extremely lucky to be there on a sunny day. Apart from us, there were a handful of researchers who also had gathered to witness sunrise from Tiffin Dara. One of them said, it’s not actually Tiffin Dara, but T-Pin Dara, which eventually got misspelt as Tiffin Dara over the years. Not just the sunrise, you can spend hours enjoying unspoilt natural beauty, pine forests and a panoramic view of peaks including Mt. Kabru, Talung, Ratong, Central summits, Kumbhakarna, Pandim and many more. However, the mercury dipped too low to fight with our light woollens. With the sun slowly scaling higher, fogs began to engulf the peaks again. 
Spending some awesome moments amidst the mountains, we slowly started our retreat back the same forest trail.  

Complete range of Kanchendzonga after sunrise as viewed from Tiffin Dara


Jungle hike back from Tiffin Dara to Rishap


Peaks slowly getting soaked in clouds with the sun scaling height

How to Reach: 
Located at a distance of 120 kilometres from New Jalpaiguri, it took us almost 6 hours by road to reach Rishop. The last stretch of 7 kilometres from Lava bazaar was a forested road full of boulders. 

What else to see:
Lava, Neora Valley NP, Kolakham.

Where to stay:
WBFDC tourist lodge at Lava and innumerable homestays in Rishop.

Story Tag:
  • Rishop, West Bengal Tourism

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