Chatakpur is one of the highest villages in the Darjeeling district. Situated at an altitude of about 7,800 feet or about 2,400 meters, the village is located within the Senchal forest area. The forest village came into prominence during the last few years as a new tourist destination. The primary attraction of the place is its great mountain view and serene and peaceful ambiance.
The Chatakpur forest village is located not far from Darjeeling town. It is about 25 kms from Darjeeling town but may take better part of 2 hours to reach there. The reason being that you have to drive through dense forest of Senchal area for about 10 kms to reach here. The hill immediately behind the famous Tiger Hill of Darjeeling is where our Chatakpur village is located and the village is on the very top of the hill offereing panoramic view of surrounding area.
There are three different roads that lead to Chatakpur. One originates at 3rd mile on the Peshok road, a second originates at Dilaram on the Siliguri Darjeeling connecting Hill Cart Road, and the third originates at Sonada near Darjeeling. Whichever route you follow, remember that it is a forest area and entering the forest without permission of the forest department is an offence. Anyone visiting the forest or spending a night here has to get permission from the forest department which is arranged by the locals or tour operators such as naturebeyond.
Among the three routes, the Sonada – Chatakpur route is the shortest and also the most difficult to negotiate. We suggest you to not take this route unless your driver is well versed with it. Self driving is not suggested through any of the three routes. If you are going to Chatakpur in the beginning of your tour, that is you are travelling from NJP or Bagdogra, you should be travelling to Dilaram first and then take a east bound road to reach Bagora couple of kms ahead. From Bagora a 11 kms journey through the forest will take you to Chatakpur. Those travelling from other tourist destinations such as Darjeeling, Kalimpong or Sikkim, has to reach 3rd mile checkpost on the Peshok road. From here take a south bound forest road and drive for about 10 kms to reach the village.
Chatakpur is not a place for sightseeing. It is a place to enjoy nature and the view of beautiful mountain range. The village is spread over a hill and has barely 25 homes and a population of about a hundred. At the bottom of the village is an open ground where vehicles are parked. There is also a seating area here to spend some leisurely time. About a km from here inside the dense forest is a small pond which is considered sacred by the locals. The area is also ideal for birding. If you decide to visit this area, make sure you are accompanied by a local as the forested road may be confusing for a new comer. From the ground a road has gone uphill to the top which is about 200 feet climb. At the top of the hill you have Chatakpur viewpoint which offers the most panoramic view of Kanchanjunga mountain as well as other hills in the surrounding area. In between is the village where about 15 homestays are spread over several acres of land. The villagers are welcoming and are accustomed to tourists. So you may spend walking around the village and interact with the villagers. Just make sure you are not intrusive to their private life and avoid entering any house unless you are invited by the owner.
Where To Stay
There is a forest bungalow in the ground at the bottom of the village. This used to be a popular place for tourist to stay. At the time of writing this in mid 2018, the forest accommodation is closed and is in dilapidated condition. The only option for accommodation is to stay in one of the village homestays. Humro Home manages most of the homestays and offers the best rooms in the village. Humro is a nepali word meaning our. There are multiple Humro Home accommodations which can be booked either through Humro Home website here, or through different other websites. We also can provide you booking at Humro Home.
Being a forest area, all accommodations in the village remains closed between 15th of June and 15th of September every year. During this time you are not allowed to visit Chatakpur.
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