Down the Hill following the steps of River Jaldhaka

The same mountain road,

With bumps and trees surround

Over the hills we go

To hear the river sound.




Up went the hill and so do we. We were on our way to Bindu, the last point of Bhutan-India border.  Actually we were going to follow the route of Jaldhaka River.

Similar to the other beautiful locations of Dooars (as I shared earlier), this river valley is another beautiful tourist attraction of North Bengal.

Early in one October morning, we boarded a car from Murti and went to see the river valley. As our car was moving up the hill, our excitement also increased along with the height. But, it was something different. The delight was not quite similar to that of our urban life. There was a calmness in the surrounding. Our inner-self was filled with that serenity. We were enjoying to the fullest, but not shouting or talking as we do in our busy city-life.

Our first destination point is Jhalong. Jhalong is a beautiful picturesque village of Jaldhaka valley. We stopped there, had our breakfast (momo-a local delicacy) and then started again towards Bindu.

As soon as we started from Jhalong, we had the first glimpse of Jaldhaka, moving below the hills. From the top of the hill, the river looked like a silvery-satin ribbon. We were mesmerized by its beauty.

River Jaldhaka originates in east Sikkim at Kupup Lake. From there it flows down to India through Bhutan and eventually flows down to Bangladesh and finally meets river Brahmaputra there.

As we were moving up the hill, Jaldhaka came closer to us. Now we can view it on our side; right from our car. The river is on the right side of us and on the left, the fresh green mountain.

 Jaldhaka Dam

Next we stopped at Jaldhaka Dam. It is a Dam on Jaldhaka River at Bindu village. This Dam is used for producing electricity and is a prime tourist attraction in Bindu. As for fact; it is the first electricity plant made after Indian independence. We had a great opportunity to go to the core area of the electricity plant because my father-in-law is an ex-employee of West Bengal State Electricity Board and he was posted here, long time back. We went down the plant and saw the procedure of producing electricity and had learned a lot from there. My father-in-law was enjoying a lot; since that was a nostalgic trip for him.

Outside the dam, we clicked some pictures. Some of them were purely experimental and just for fun.

Bindu

We went to Bindu on a Sunday. That was the day for the local market (or in local language hat). The market opened there twice in a week and all the local folks went to that market for purchasing their weekly needs.

We observed local folks busy buying chickens, ducks, vegetables, and other household products from the market. Some of them were busy buying winter wear came from the city. We passed the market and reached our final destination, the Bhutan border of Indian from where river Jaldhaka enters India.

The river was fresh, but the weather was hot; despite that was October. We stayed there for a little and then started our journey back to Murti. This time river Jaldhaka accompanied us from the beginning.

Getting there

Jaldhaka can be reached by road from Siliguri (90Kms), Dooars (30 to 50 Kms) or Kalimpong(135 Kms)

Accommodation

West Bengal Forest development Corporation has a beautiful forest rest house there. Other than that there were several high-quality private rest houses where you can stay for the night.

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