Chatakpur, a small Himalayan village on the lap of Mother Nature, surrounded by the green forests of Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal eco-tourism destination with an altitude of 7,887 feet from the sea level, situated just 7km away from Sonada on the way to Darjeeling. This is a village of only 18 families having around 100 villagers, and their main occupation are terrace cultivation of organic crops and eco-tourism organised by the forest department.
Chatakpur is a newly built tourist destination in the Darjeeling tourist map, where you may get a panoramic view of snow-capped Himalayan range surrounded on the northern side, along with a majestic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga all alone with you on a clear day. Other hand, Chatakpur is located within the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, so this place is surrounded by the lush greenery too, having some wooden cottages for tourists alongside of forest trails. At a glance, Chatakpur is an ideal place for those, who want a lovely and peaceful destination for relax after a long hustle and bustle city life.
A wooden watch tower is situated about 10 minutes walking distance from the tourist cottages or home-stay in Chatakpur, gives you a clear and extraordinary sunrise and sunset view over the Mt. Kanchenjunga as good as Tiger Hill. In fact Chatakpur is just the next hill of Tiger Hill. Sandakphu also viewable from this 180 degree view point. Sometime, Chatakpur get extra preference to a tourist rather than the Tiger Hill about 40 minutes driving distance from Darjeeling, because you need not have to wake up in the chilly night at Darjeeling and rush for Tiger Hill.
Chatakpur is a paradise to the bird lovers. It is the home for a numerous numbers of different kinds of birds like Blue Magpie, Himalayan Bulbul, Verditer Flycatcher, Pipit, Long tail Shrike, Warbler, Prinia, Rufous Sibia, Black Redstart, Blue Fronted Redstart, Water Redstart and many more.
Chattakpur is an adjacent village to the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary. There have many forest trails through the lush green forests, which are very much ideal for the light trek to the visitors. Chatakpur offers a number of popular trek routes that lead to the top of the Tiger Hill, Rimbi village, Sixeen village and Labda through the wildlife sanctuary. During this trek, you might even have a glimpse of the ‘Chumbalumba’ or Mount Everest. But, it is highly recommended, that you must accompany with a trained guide at your forest treks. This jungle is the home to the leopards, Himalayan black beer and Antelopes. Barking deer and some others animals also available in this forests. If you are lucky, you can even see a Red Panda, which is a rare species in the World. A trail from the eco cottages leads down to a nice small pond, locally known as pokhri. It's around 10 minute walking distance from the village. This pond is famous for its inhabitant of critically endangered Himalayan Newts, it is also known as salamanders.
Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season (July to mid-September), otherwise it is an all-weather tourist destination. Winter is extremely cold between November and February, so it is highly recommended to bring adequate warm clothing during this time.
Chatakpur is located at a distance of around 16 kilometres from Jorebungalow that lies on Siliguri-Darjeeling Road and 7 kilometres from Sonada. You need to go through the Hill Cart Road and enter the jungle trail, in order to reach Chatakpur.
Air Route The nearest airport is Bagdogra. It is 80 km away and connects with Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata.
Rail Route Ghoom is the nearest station connected by Indian Heritage Toy Train with New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Junction station which are nearest broad gauge railway station and is 87 km away.
Road NH 55 passes along the Western side of the Sanctuary. The sanctuary is 9 km away from Darjeeling. Chatakpur Eco village is 17 km from Ghoom, Jorebunglow and 7 km from Sonada.
Transportation fares chart:
Reserved vehicle fare from NJP/Bagdogra to Chatakpur: Rs. 3,000/-
Reserved vehicle fare from Darjeeling to Chatakpur: Rs. 2,000/-
To stay at Chatakpur, Eco-village is the best choice. There has two cottages with two double bedded room each, run by the Forest Department with a village cooperative society. All rooms are well-furnished, along with some modern facilities like, attached bathrooms with geysers for hot water and Room Heater facility. Warm hospitability’s from the villagers will impress you along with the magnificent Kunchandzonga. Maximum 12 persons can be accommodate in a day.
There has a separate hut, using as kitchen cum dining room. If you booked a room here, it is included all three meals and bed tea. All vegetables served here are fresh and organic cultivated by the local villagers.
Tarrif per night:
Double bedded Eco-Cottage room per night : INR Rs. 3,300/-
Extra bed : INR Rs. 440/-
3.5% service charge will be applicable.
You may also contact with Binod Rai, Care Taker cum Manager of the Eco Resort. He is a helpful man and will give you all the information you may need. His mobile number: 9609740489.
The resort remains closed from July to September 15th.
You may also accommodate in a home stay in Chatakpur run by the local villagers. All types of facilities you need may available. Sometime bathroom may not attached to the bedroom, but it must be on a few steps away. Although, it is an excellent way to stay close to a village family and understand their culture.
Tariff Plan :
INR Rs. 1150/- Per head per night including all meals.
Service Tax @ 3.50% will be applicable on above tariff.