Place of Interest

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Lava is a small hamlet situated 34 kilometres (21 mi) east of the town of Kalimpong via Algarah in Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal, India. Lava is situated at an altitude of 7,016 feet (2,138 m). It is one of the few places in West Bengal to receive snow in winter. It is the entry point to the Neora Valley National Park from Kalimpong. The route to Lava is scenic with the change in vegetation from tropical deciduous to the wet alpine trees of fir, pine and birch. The verdant forests are a popular spot for picnicking, trekking and bird-watching. Lava has now become a favorite tourist destination for people living on the coast of West Bengal, and tourism has become the source of living for the inhabitants.

Many small guest houses and lodges has been built including log houses or small huts built in the midst of the forest which a tourist can rent to experience the wildlife and a famous spot to view the sunrise. Another tourist destination near Lava is Rishyap ust 4 km walking pathway with a view of Himalayan peaks.

Wild animals such as the Himalayan black bear and barking deer are found in these parts. A Buddhist monastery is present on one of the hills of Lava. Notable sites include Changey Waterfalls and Lava Jamgyong Kongtrul Monastery.

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Walks Around

Lava offers some nice walks for nature lovers. You can walk towards the Neora Valley National Park, this area has good vegetation. If you want to go for serious jungle trek, the Neora valley trek also originates in this area, but you would need to take permission from forest department before entering the core area of the forest. You may also go for a hike towards Maneydara village which is about 5 kms walk from the town. Another route takes you to Rishop, a more recent tourist destination. Rishop is close to 12 kms by car, but the trekking distance is about 5 kms.

Birding Options

The area is a bird watchers paradise, you can seen a variety of birds including Satyr Tragopan, Broad-billed Warbler, Blue-fronted Robin, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Yellow-throated Fulvetta, Scarlet Finch and many other varieties around here.

General tourist attractions

Common tourist places around Lava include Ratnarishi Gumpha, Neora Lake, Silviculture Research Centre, and Chhangey falls. Treks to the Neora valley starts from Lava. Apart from long treks across the valley, small treks are also possible in the region. Common treks include trek to Tiffin Dara, Aluabari etc.