Over three years ago, in 2017, Darjeeling launched its only Forest Cycling Trail in the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary and it cannot be more beautiful. A 20km long trail surrounded by pine woods and stunning picturesque slopes of the Himalayas is just the place for you to visit next time you’re in Darjeeling, only if you want to break a sweat!
Image by @rad_inventures, Instagram
The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.
“It is on the path that used to connect Darjeeling and Kurseong” said Anurag Srivastava, Darjeeling’s district magistrate. Though this trail does not allow a picnic, it has chai stalls in the small hillside village of Chatakpur where you can enjoy a cup of “garma-garam-chai” (hot tea) with some local snacks. This is also one of the reasons the trail is plastic-free and unpolluted.
Image by @art_e_orophile.piu, Instagram
Priyanka Gosh enjoying a steaming cup of tea at the village of Chatakpur!
Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of India’s oldest protected areas, and is only a short-scenic drive away from The Elgin, Darjeeling. Its iridescent lake is also the water supply for the city of Darjeeling.
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“It is in the still silence of the nature where one will find absolute bliss”
If you are in luck, you might also be able to descry some wild boar, rabbits and barking deer roaming the perimeters of the Sanctuary. On some rare days, Himalayan bear or leopard can also be spotted on this trail.
This trail is open from dawn to dusk every day except in the monsoons and you can experience the scintillating views and a fresh breath of nature for just 50 rupees. If you wish, you can also rent a mountain bike for 800 rupees before you get on the trail and explore the beaten parts of Darjeeling. The gentle slopes make this a comparatively easy route which can be explored by everyone.