If you are looking for a beautiful pristine destination in North Bengal then you should consider Doban to spend your weekend with your beloved one or your friends. The picturesque Doban Valley is ideal destination for Nature Loves.
In Nepali Language ‘DO’ means two and ‘BAN’ means place between so Doban means place between two. Actually Doban is situated at the confluence of Reshi river and Rangpo river. Though Doban is a part of Kalimpong Sub-Division but to reach Doban one has to come from Rorathang side of East Sikkim.
As per map being a part of West Bengal Doban is sharing border with Eastern part of Sikkim thus Doban makes a perfect stop over for people visiting to East Sikkim. This place is gradually becoming more famous for its location and landscapes.
Things to do at Doban Valley
Doban is surrounded by lush green hills and two beautiful rives. This place is paradise for birds’ lovers. Apart from bird watching, the valley itself is quite beautiful and you can simply relax here away from the hustle-bustle of the city. There are also few places near Doban worth visiting.
- Seat, Relax and enjoy the nature: Doban is an ideal place for nature lovers to soak them in the beauty of nature. You can simply relax here and can enjoy the beauty of surrounding hills and flowing rivers. If you are a book warmer you will fall in love with this place with your favorite book.
- Bird watching: Doban is a paradise for bird watchers. You will find many beautiful Himalayan birds here even if you are not into bird watching.
- Nature walk: You may go for a walk up to Rorathang Bridge through the jungle. The walking through the jungle is a pleasant experience.
- Trekking: If you are fond of trekking then you would love to trek on the craggy river beds through forest. Serious trekking enthusiasts can go up to Pedong by trekking along river.
- Angling: If you want to try your hand in Angling this place is ideal for a novice. Angling in the water of Rangpo and Reshi river is fun.
- Take a dip into the water of Rangpo Khola: Crystal clear water of the river Rongpo is delight for water lovers. You may go for a bath here with proper precautions.
How to reach Doban
To reach Doban Valley one have to reach Rorathang, Sikkim first. Direct car can be arranged by the Home Stay to reach Doban or one can book a full car to Reach Doban via Rorthang but keep in mind that the last two kilometre road from Rorathang Bridge to Doban is unpaved and it can be in very bad shape during rain so the vehicles having high ground clearance are only recommended.
How to reach Doban by share car: To reach Doban Valley by share car one has to catch a share car from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to Rongpo, Sikkim. Generally the car going towards Gangtok or East Sikkim will go via Rongpo. From Rongpo one will get a share car towards Rorathang.
One has to get down at Rorathang Bridge before reaching Rorathang Market. From Rorathang Bridge if you want you can walk last two kilometer along the river side through jungle to reach Home Stay or you can call home stay to send their vehicle to take you to the Home Stay.
Where to Stay at Doban Valley
There is only one home stay to stay at Doban valley i.e. Kannan Valley Home stay. They have two types of staying options like wooden cottage and Cottage made of Concrete.
Best time to visit Doban
Winter is the ideal season to visit Doban. People can visit Doban during the month of September to April. In monsoon the road from Rorathang Bridge to Home Stay become inaccessible so Kannan Valley Homestay owner do not accept booking during this months.
My travel Diary on Doban Valley
In the month of January I and My wife Ahana was looking for an offbeat destination to spend our Holiday during Holi and Dol Yatra. I was looking for every possible way to finding out new place to spend our holidays.
One of my friend Nilanjan Bhattacharya (Founder of Traverse Holidays) suggest me to spend one night at Doban Valley. This place was totally unknown to me. So I started searching on Google but did not found much informative content and Photographs on Doban.
Finally one day Nilanjan Da send me some photographs of Doban valley on whatsapp and after watching his first photo I was so excited to visit the place that I decided to stay one night at Doban during my upcoming North Bengal trip on Holi i.e. on the month of March.
Most importantly I always try to book railway tickets way in advance but this time I was late thus somehow manage to get two tickets to NJP on RAC 1 but luckily got two confirmed returned tickets on AC three tier.
Now cut to March. It was Friday and we were super busy in our office. We somehow manage our office work and reach home at 6pm. Then we took our dinner but we were getting late as our train was on 7:30 from Sealdah.
We were sure that if we try to board train from Sealdah we will miss our train so we changed our plan and instead of boarding at Sealdah we decided to board at Dakshineswar as the train has a stop here and we started from uttarpara at 7:20pm and rech Bally Khal at 7:35pm but the situation of traffic on Bally Bridge was in horrible condision.
It took almost 7:58 to reach Dakshinaswar from Bally Khal. We was about to miss the train but fortunately the train was a minute late so we were able to catch the train. After boarding the train we were surprised by the crowd.
As this was a long weekend all the tourists from the South Bengal were heading to Hills of North Bengal. Surprisingly one of my friends Puja was also on same compartment and was going to Parkha in Sikkim. We took our seat and spend the night at train.
Day 2 : The journey to Doban
Today we woke up early and got ready. The train was on time and it reached New Jalpaiguri Railway station on 6:30 AM. We took our luggage got down from the train.
Like every places we first took a selfie with the station name board. We came out of the station and went to a nearby restaurant for breakfast. We took bread omelet as breakfast. Then we were looking for a share car to Rongpo.
As it was Holiday most of the cars were asking for higher price for a seat. I talked to three-four car operators and finally reserved two front seat of a car for Rs 350 each. We put our luggage inside the car and went to buy few snacks from a nearby store.
We had to wait for 40min until the car gets full by other passengers. The car started form NJP at 8:30AM and we headed towards Rongpo. Within 15minute the car leave Siliguri town behind. We were on a National High Way through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Every time when I go through this place I feel very good as I become sure that finally I am going to hill.
After crossing Sevok the car started to climb hills and Teesta was on our right side. We were enjoying the fascinating view. We crossed Teesta Bridge; then we leave Kalimpong on our right and headed towards Rongpo. After crossing Melli we stopped at a place for a 15minute break.
We took soupy Maggie and our co-passengers took some other foods. We reached Rongpo check post at 1:00PM. Just to mention Rongpo is the entry point of Sikkim so there is a check post. Foreigners need to show their identity card to get entry permit here.
Rongpo is a busy market place. We get down from the car took our luggage and went to the opposite side of the road. We asked local people about the share car of Rorathang. There is a separate counter for share car seat reservation under a tree. We went to this counter and asked for two tickets. The car was almost full only the two seats were left. We got the last two seats at the back side.
We board the car and started towards Rorathang. I was continuously following location of Kannan Valley Homestay at Doban. I asked co passengers about this place but no-one can inform us properly about the place and the home stay. It was almost 1hour and according to google map we were approaching to the home stay.
I started to look outside form the car I got a view of the home stay from the car but it was on the other side of the river. So nothing to do we have to cross the Rongpo river first to reach the homestay. I called the owner Mrs. Joyce she informed me to get down at the Rorathang bridge which was on Rongpo river.
We crossed the bridge and got down. Just after crossing the bridge at the end point there is an unpaved road going towards river bed. Then we took this road the road goes under the bridge along with river bed. We started walking on the direction of the homestay. We were following this road and went through a jungle.
No one was there. Birds were playing around us and the river was flowing, suddenly we found a man is coming from opposite side. I asked him about the home stay and he informed me we are on the right way. He instructed us to follow this road until we reach the Home Stay. We again started walking.
It seems that we had reached to another world which is far away from our busy life. We saw two trucks were coming from opposite side. These trucks were carrying sand from the river bed to the town. I asked the driver about the Home Stay and one of them informed me that we were about to reach.
We again started to walk and after few minute I found the home stay on the other side of another river which is Reshi River but fortunately there was a small wooden bridge to cross the Reshi river. This wooden bridge was made by the Home Stay. We crossed the Reshi river and reached the Home Stay.
Just before entering the Home stay there was a large open field. We reached the home stay and manager of the Home stay welcomed us with a big smile. He took us to our room. It was a wooden cottage and most surprisingly he informed us that we were the only boarder of the day at his home stay.
We asked him for some hot water to get freshen. Manager provided a bucket of hot water. It was getting cloudy outside. We took bath,got freshened and went for lunch at the dining hall. The dining hall was little bit away from the wooden cottage. The dining hall is made of wood; there was a kitchen along with the dining hall.
They served salad, hot rice, dal, sabji, egg curry and papard. The food was really delicious. After having our breakfast we started to stroll in front of the home stay but suddenly it started to rain. So we came back to our cottage and took a nap. After waking up I again came out from the cottage and sat on a chair just outside of the room.
The place was so calm, only the babble of flowing river is coming continuously. The surrounding hills were getting covered by cloud. I went out to the river bed. No one was there only a couple of dogs were giving me a company. I sat on a large rock and enjoy the beauty all around. It started to get dark. I returned to the cottage.
Meanwhile the caretaker of the home stay came with a pot of tea and snacks. We took our tea and again it started to rain outside. Ahana and I started to play antakshari to spend our time. My wife Ahana is an animal lover. She went out from the cottage to feed biscuits to the dogs.
It was nearly 8pm and the dinner was served at our cottage. It was salad, roti, dal, sabji, egg bhurji and chicken curry. After having our dinner I came outside to do some night photography but unfortunately the sky was cloudy, so could not take any photo. So I came back to the cottage and went to sleep.
Doban Valley Day 3
Next day I woke up early and went outside to watch sunrise. As this place is surrounded by hills this place is not ideal for watching a perfect sunrise but as there was little bit scattered cloud at the sky I was damn sure that the sky would take some colour.
It was getting bright outside. I took some photos and started to stroll around. There were many birds started flying around the trees and the chirping sound of birds were coming continuously. I tried to take some photo of the birds with my limited gear.
In between the homestay manager served morning tea. Ahana and I sat in front of the cottage and having our morning tea with the view of beautiful landscape. Ahana was playing with the dogs and I went to the river to see how local people catch fishes from the running river.
Some local people came here to catch fish with rod. It was really fun to catch fishes from the running river. Local people are very much experienced regarding this matter. They were catching fish very easily. I came back to the cottage.
We got ready and went for breakfast. This was our last day at Doban. Homestay owner served hot noodles as breakfast. At the time of returning we took homestay’s car service to drop us at Rorathang bridge. They charged Rs 300 to drop us at Rorathang Bridge. The most enjoyable thing about this car service is that it was crossing over flowing river.
We reached Rorathang Bridge at 10:30 am and we were looking for share car service from Rorathang Bridge. But as this day was holiday many people were traveling from Rorathang to Rongpo and other places. We asked many cars but everyone denied us to give us a lift to Rongpo.
Fortunately a private car stopped and they agreed to give us a lift to Rongpo with some local people. This was my first hitchhiking experience but I was not ready for it. I thought that I would get a share car very easily from Rorathang Bridge but I was wrong I should have took droping facility upto Rorathang Market as most of the shared cars were coming from there.
Anyway we reached Rongpo and got a share car for NJP very easily. We had to go another place i.e. Ahaldara. I will come up with the story of Ahaladara on my next write up.
Review of Kannan Valley Home Stay
Kannan valley homestay is the only home stay of Doban valley. Instead of Kannan valley there is no other staying option at Doban Valley. So you have no other choice.
The Home Stay is good. They have two adjacent double bedded concrete rooms with attached toilets and one triple bedded wooden cottage with attached toilet. Specifically I love their wooden cottage.
Lots of open space and greeneries are there. Owner and Manager of the homestay are very much prompt. They always come with happy face. Foods are also good and delicious.
The only thing I don’t like about this homestay is the price they charge for dropping to Rorathang Bridge, it seems little bit high to me. Otherwise everything is ok.
Costing of Doban Valley
Breakfast at NJP station : Rs 150/-
Share car from NJP to Rongpo: Rs 350/- per person
Share car from Rongpo to Rorathang Bridge: Rs 80/- per person
Staying at Kannan Valley Home stay: Rs 1000/- per person for Food and Lodging.
Kannan valley home stay to Rorathang Bridge drop: Rs 400/- for full car.
Rorathang Bridge to Rongpo: NIL (Done by Hitchhiking)
Rongpo to Birik(from here we were going to Ahaldara): Rs 300/- per person.
Contact of Kannan Valley Home Stay, Doban: Joyce Rachel Tamang: 7076594114 / 9932386689
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