Takdah (altitude 5100 ft.) is located at Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India. It is an upcoming tourist spot of the Darjeeling Hills. It was a British cantonment before the Indian independence. Now it is the head quarter of the Rungli Rungliot Development Block with hospitals, post office etc. Takdah has an ATM at the main Takdah Bazzar.
The history of Takdah goes away back to the times of the British Raj when it was established as a military cantonment.
The original name of Takdah is pronounced as ‘Tukdah’, a Lepcha word, which indicates mist or fog. In fact, this place is often covered with fog. There is no crowd of tourists. Takdah will gift you the lovely mountains and view of snow peaks, the tea gardens, blooming orchids, mystic roads, chirping of the birds, dense forests and sight of fountain streams. The cantonment is filled with cedar trees and offers a panoramic view of the nearby locations.
How to Reach
Takdah is well connected with NJP and Bagdogra. It takes about 2.5 km to 3 hrs to reach Takdah from both places by car. From Darjeeling, by car it takes 1.5 hrs. Beside the reserved taxis, there are many buses and shared vehicles very much available from Darjeeling or Siliguri. You can also avail shared cars from Ghoom To Takdah.
Places to Visit
Takdah is well known for its tea gardens. It is a major tea making estate of Darjeeling. Some of the finest tea gardens are located in Takdah. They are Rungli-Rungliot (located at walking distance from Takdah), Giele, Namring, Jinglam, Poomong, Peshoke Tea Garden,Teesta Valley Tea Garden, Takdah Tea Estate etc. Rungli-Rungliot is one of the most picturesque tea garden in the Darjeeling Hills. Its tea is world class. Peshoke Tea Garden view point is about 14 kms away from Takdah. It offers wonderful view of the tea gardens on hill slopes. Every morning one can enjoy the panoramic view of the tea gardens with regular sights of tea plucking activities by local women of the region. Beside Tea gardens on rolling hills you can visit tea factories to watch tea processing. Remember that in winter the factories remain closed.
Bara and Chota Mangwa are located 12 km from Takdah. Visit there for lovely orange orchads. The small factories here produce delicious and absolutely fresh orange juice. You can buy a few bottles of them.
Tinchuley is situated about 3 km away from Takdah. It is famous for its lovely views of the Himalayan range including the snow peaks of Mt. Kanchanjungha and spectacular sunrise view.
Lamhatta village is 12 km from Takdah. It is a small mountain village, now boasts of an upcoming eco-tourism destination. Enjoy here the magnificent gardens and views of Mt. Kanchanjungha.
Mongpu is a nearby beauty spot. Visit here for orchid nurseries, the famous museum of poet Rabindar Nath Tagore and the vast Cinchona plantations.
Triveni, the confluence of river Teesta and Rangeet.
Durpin Dara view point is located about 10 km from Takdah. You can get a spectacular view of Teesta river flowing through the mountain landscapes. You can also get lovely view of Mt. Kanchanjunga from here. It can be the ‘moment’ of your life.
Sillerygaon, a small village surrounded on all sides by tall pine trees. It is an upcoming tourist destination and loving called by the locals as “New Darjeeling”.
Dachhen Pema Tshailing Monastery. It is a sacred monastery located in Takdah beside the Mata Durga caves. The place is considered very holy by the locals.
Chapgori Tibetan Medical Institute in Takdah. From here you can gain some insight of the local culture of the region.
Beside tea gardens Takdah is popular for its British Heritage Bungalows also. They have preserved the glory of the region about 105 years. These beautiful structures of the British era are the living proof of the stories untold. In spite of the age of over centuries, the British bungalows are well maintained and kept intact. The bungalows are popularly known by the local name of “Kothi.” Watch this amazing architectures of British bungalows and houses with lovely gardens. Visit Club House, Rani Kothi, Shikharini, Forest Guest House, Aat Number Kothi, Sonpur House, Old British post office etc. Club House (1 km) is situated near Sonpur House. Sonpur House is built in 1911 and now known as Takdah palace. Rani Kothi is now converted to a church.
There is a 100 years old suspension bridge by the name of Barbatey Bridge that is an interesting place of interest.
For those who are interested in getting a feel of the village culture can visit the local weekly village market (haat) on Thursdays at Dokan Dara which is the center of prime village trade and fair. You can see here villagers coming from nearby places to buy and sell vegetables and other essentials of weekly needs. It is a great way to come connection with the local life and culture.