Monday, January 22, 2007

GREEN FALLS

Time: 2.5 hours (one way)

Kalijhora is a very popular picnic spot on the bank of river Teesta. It is also on the NH 31, about 35 km from Siliguri. The stream called Kalijhora (meaning black stream) flows into the Teesta on this spot. The colour of its water is blackish, owing to mineral coal under its bed. An elegant rest house of the PWD overlooks the confluence. Slightly veiled from the eyes of casual picnickers, is a seldom used trail which leads to Green Falls. The NH 31 crosses over the Kalijhora through a bridge. The beginning of the trail can be found on the left side of the bridge, i.e. on the right bank of the Kalijhora stream.

Green Falls is actually a spot upstream on the Kalijhora stream itself, very near to its source. Most of our trek route will pass through dense deciduous forest. On the way, slightly off the track, there is a natural cave considered very auspicious by hill dwellers. There is a temple of Lord Shiva within the cave. There is also an alternate route, which follows the bed of the Kalijhora. It is a bit tougher though, but also challenging. But this path cannot be followed if the water level or the stream is too high, especially in the rainy season, when it is full of gruesome torrents. My suggestion is to make the upward journey through the forest path and then the return journey through the river bed. Most of the forest path is uphill, but the last lap is a steep downward climb. The last lap is like a landslide zone, the stream having cut a deep gorge through the mountains.

The spot is surrounded be steep mountain walls on all sides, saving a small opening through which the stream flows out. On the opposite side is the breathtaking view of the stream descending in all its youthfulness, creating a low waterfall. The water jumps below to form a medium sized pool which has the pearl green colour of tranquillity. Now one understands the reason for the name “Green Falls”. The exhaustion of the trek is washed out totally after you jump into the pool for a swim.

On your return journey in the afternoon, if you prefer to follow the river bed, don’t forget to change into shorts. You can stay the night in the PWD rest house (prior booking is required) or you can conveniently return to Siliguri.

Info:

How to go: All the buses plying through NH 31 either for Sikkim or Kalimpong pass through Kalijhora. Fare: About Rs 15.00 from Siliguri. Buses start from Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus or SNT bus Terminus, both on Hill Cart Road near Siliguri Junction railway station.

Where to stay: Though it is not necessary, you can always return to Siliguri on the very day, but enthusiastic trekkers may like to stay the night at the peaceful location of PWD rest house. For booking, contact: Divisional Engineer, PWD Roads, Mahanandapara.

1 comment:

Lanai said...

Keep up the good work.

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