An ideal vacation is quite a subjective concept. For some, it may be all about relishing in the best of luxuries and for another lot, it could be more than just an escape from the monotonous schedule. The general idea of vacations did not have much scope for experimentation for a long time.
But now, due to varied circumstances, opportunities of remote work and the urge to discover a meaningful lifestyle, the idea of stay-cations have come to a limelight, which allows people to shift base for a longer duration compared to a regular vacation and even continue to work from the new home. Specially, in the post-covid world, the idea of a stay-cation can emerge as a great means to find inspiration while working as well as rejuvenate in a serene setup.
The hills of West Bengal and Sikkim with its pristine pine forests, vast tea gardens and incredible views of the Himalayan mountain ranges offer many experiential living options which may sound too good to be true. These stays are a destination in itself where along with enjoying your retreat you could also engage in farming, learning about permaculture and experience organic living. All you need to do is pack your bags, choose one of these destinations and set off for a much needed experience.
Listed below are five such places from the hills of West Bengal and Sikkim which could be your next stay-cation!
PALIGHAR – KALIMPONG
Just about 30 minutes of drive from Kalimpong, lies Palighar in terrace farmlands of Echhey village. The nearest airport and railway stations are Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri respectively, both situated at a distance of about 3.5 hours from Palighar.
Palighar is a farm-stay that boasts of 3 acres of farmland and its own perennial source of water. Refer to the featured image on the top to have a glimpse of the farm at Palighar. Offering scenic views of the mountains and valleys, Palighar is a perfect place where you could stay, indulge in nature therapy and farming activities, learn to cook Nepali dishes, enjoy bird watching and go for village hikes. The accommodations are built with traditional building techniques, aimed at safeguarding and promoting Nepali heritage and customs. The beautiful outdoor lounge and farmlands are all you need to get a slice of rustic living. During your stay in Palighar, you can also savour some lip smacking Nepali cuisines.
Apart from the town of Kalimpong, there are many beautiful hamlets nearbyh like Lava, Lolegaon, Rishop and Kolakham that are worth a visit to witness unparallel views of Kanchendzonga.
Click here to read more about Palighar and their vision.
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Unwinding to the tune of the rain with the travelling bottle after a hard day's work. . . . . . #palighar #paligharexperiences #reconnecttotheroots #styleblogger #fenny #goa #lensculture #exploremore #lifestyleblog #thehappynow #storytelling #postthepeople #makemoments #streetlife #minimalism #unlimitedminimal #rsa_minimal #supermegamasterpics_minimal #minimal_perfection #kalimpong #mindtheminimal #soulminimalist #ig_minimalist #mastersofwhiteness #incredibleindia #photographers_of_india #indiagram #storiesofindia
BAASBARI FARMS – BIJANBARI, DARJEELING
Baasbari Farms, located in Bijanbari is by all means a perfect example of eco tourism. A drive of approximately 1.5 hours from Darjeeling or 3 hours from Siliguri would reach you to Baasbari, the first of its kind in its vicinity.
If you’re planning to shift base to the mountains for a long stay but want to avoid the crowd and opt for a relaxed ambience, Baasbari is the place you’re looking for.
A complete plastic free zone, Baasbari houses sustainably built bamboo units, tents for accommodation and on-site solid waste management, making it a green stay in a real sense. You have access to the entire 10 acres of space, the kitchen in case you want to cook your own meals, gorgeous forest trails to take leisurely walks and all of it surrounded by the mountains!
Baasbari is a place that would re define your idea of WFH, with plethora of other activities like riverside camping, mountain biking, trekking etc to indulge in and help you connect to nature in a way you never did.
Find out more about Baasbari Farms here and check them out on Instagram to have a virtual tour of the property.
TIEEDI FOREST GARDEN – 8 MILE, DARJEELING
Situated 20 kms away from Darjeeling, TIEEDI is a forest garden revived on a neglected acre of land, now bustling with life. The principle of TIEEDI is finding solutions within the problem.
With options of shared and private accommodations within a natural forest, TIEEDI is a gem of a place to experience minimalist living. You even have the option to earn your meals by volunteering in their ongoing projects, a win win! You can expect great conversations with fellow travelers and the hosts, organic meals and cultural exchange in this space that will surely add to your knowledge about nature, sustainable living and permaculture.
Their zero waste store and cafe are a add on to this beautiful place. All you need to do is land at Bagdogra and take a drive of 2.5 hours to 8 mile, Sonada to reach this incredible setting. You won’t be disappointed if you choose TIEEDI as your next staycation.
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Minal sets chess board. Looks around at the motley group of folks engrossed in mundane discussions of natural buildings. His fingers itch. He even plays the pawn of the king two places forward as his first move. Looks around. Folks still engrossed in the same mundane topic of cob walls vs straw bale walls vs bamboo walls. Vara notices the chess board laid out invitingly and requests for a game with him. Minal's eyes light up. Well, we think it does coz when he smiles we don't see his eyes anymore. About 12 moves and 3 minutes later we hear a shriek 'CHECK MATE! YAAYYY!' The eyes light up …. and vanish again. Poor Vara, she didn't know what hit her! She couldn't protect her Russian chess reputation against the onslaught of this boy who prefers endless games of chess…over Pubzzzzzs. #MinalChronicles #TieediGames #tieedishortstories
SAMAGHANG COTTAGE – KEWZING, SOUTH SIKKIM
Samaghang Cottage in Kewzing is a lovely home stay full of warmth and out of the world hospitality. Kewzing is a small hamlet in South Sikkim, 10 kms from Ravangla, best known for community tourism.
It takes about 4 hours to reach Kewzing from Bagdogra Airport or New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, or 30 minutes from Ravangla, the nearest town.
With cardamom plantations, in house orchards and tea gardens spread all around the property, Samaghang Cottage has a homely environment, where the family of the host would treat you as their own. You can view the snow clad peaks of Mt. Pandim and Mt. Narsing right from the balcony in the property. The outdoor seating space and the fireplace are a bonus. Bird watching, nature walks, visit to the nearby monasteries like Kewzing Monastery, Bon Monastery and Doling Monastery are few things that will keep you engaged.
They provide options of monthly stays and the WiFi is a savior that would allow you to carry out work from this little paradise.
ESHAB HOMESTAY AND COTTAGES – SRIBADAM, WEST SIKKIM
Eshab Homestay and Cottages is the only homestay in the village of Sribadam in West Sikkim that offers a dwelling right in the lap of nature. Sribadam is located at a distance of 25kms from Jorethang which is the nearest town, 35kms from Pelling and 115 kms from Bagdogra.
The cottages are situated in the mountain village away from the hustle and bustle of its touristy counterparts. The cottages are built in Sikkimese style and are well equipped with modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.
For the adrenaline junkies, hiking and mountain biking through the pristine and green valleys are some activities that can be taken up while staying in Sribadam. The area is surrounded by Himalayan ranges, streams, waterfalls and two Buddhist monasteries You could even join the locals to learn about the process of producing wine, extracting wild honey and trout fishing. The hosts aim at promoting responsible tourism and focus on conserving Sikkimese traditions.
Their amazing offers on monthly stays will make it difficult for you to not plan a stay-cation to Sribadam.
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It's grazing time do not disturb.#ethnictoursim#conservation#preservation#sikkim#tribe#traditionalfood#traditionalcottgaes#traditionalspa#river#waterfalls#lakes#monastery#chamdance#meditationcenter#agriculturalfarm#dairyfarm#herbalgarden#organicfood#hiking#trekking#mountainbiking#hammocklife#tentlife#troutfisheries#airbnbhost#tripadvisor#village#lonleyplanet#travelindia#northeastindia#sikkim#
Now that you have a list of places to choose from, find out what suits you best and start to pack your bags.
The dream of moving to the mountains while working is no more difficult; it’s time now!
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Hailing from the foothill town of Siliguri, Michelle takes immense interest in storytelling, through words and photographs. Having a home so close to the mountains is what she considers a gift. A law student at present, she often takes time out to travel to the mountains and pen down her experiences. She believes in giving back to the community through volunteering in local projects and strongly supports community tourism.