Here it divides into several channels and flows through the lower marshy land of the sanctuary, providing an ideal breeding place for migratory birds. Situated on the lofty bank of Teesta, Mongpong Forest Rest House offers a great panoramic view of the Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary and the widespread Teesta valley. The colour of the river changes as the Sun slowly hides behind the hills. The flocks of wild geese fly back to their nests. The sudden chorus of crickets and beetles animates the surrounding forests. A leopard roars nearby. And night falls at Mongpong. It is now time to return to your nest, one of the cosiest ones in the region. Spend the rest of the night in complete peace.
Most tourists visit Mongpong for its quiet and serene environment. This is the ideal place to spend a couple of days walking among the trees and sitting beside the river Teesta. Options galore for those who want to go for a drive in the nearby area.
Cross the Highway and travel a hundred meters through the village road to reach Upper Mongpong village besides a small stream. The picturesque village and the wide meadow in front including the dense forests of Mahananda WLS would keep you mesmerized for a whole day.
The famous Sevok coronation bridge is about 5 km from here. You may take a drive or even walk through the hilly road to visit “Sevok Bagpool”. Once here, don’t forget to visit the Sevokeswari Kalimandir, the temple of Kali that is an attraction for the locals as well as tourists.
About 7 kilometres ahead of Mongpong is the location of Washabari. One of the older and reputed tea gardens of Dooars. You may take special permission from the garden manager to visit the garden including the tea production facility at the Tea factory.
Next to Washabari is the Leesh River. The river looks docile for the most part of the year but during the Monsoon months, Leesh sometimes becomes violent and has a record of breaking into the Oodlabari and Washabari areas including destroying forests and tea gardens. The view of the river and the hills from the highway bridge is very attractive. You may decide to go for a day hike upstream to the Leesh river. An hour’s walk from Bagrakot up the river will take you to an abandoned coal mine on the bank of Leesh River.
If Washabari is on the right bank of the Leesh River, Bagrakot is on the left bank. The small village is centred around Bagrakot Tea Garden. Just after crossing the Leesh bridge, you will reach “Mina More”. From here Bagrakot village is 100 meters to your left.
A road passes through Bagrakot to reach the hills. Through this road, a large number of tourist destinations can be accessed very easily including Nimbong, Barbote, Samthar, Chuikhim, and Charkol. The road condition is not very good when last reported and you must confirm the current status of the road from the Mongpong check post before venturing into this road.
Further east of Mongpong as you drive through the Highway you will visit the following places one after the other. The distance given is from Mongpong.
Washabari – 8 Kms
Leesh River Bridge – 9 Kms
Bagrakot (Mina More) – 10 Kms – From here take a left turn for Barbote, Nimbong area
Gheesh River Bridge – 14 Kms
Oodlabari Crossing – 16 Kms – From here take a right to go to Kathambari forest area
Damdim – 21 Kms – From here take a left turn to reach Lava via Gorubathan
Malbazar - 28 Kms
Chalsa – 36 Kms – From here Take a left turn to Samsing or a right turn to Gorumara.
Where to Stay
The only tourist accommodation at Mongpong is the forest rest house of the West Bengal Tourist Development Corporation. The accommodation is very comfortable and is one of the best in the area.