About this blog: Bunkulung in North Bengal is a beautiful hamlet dotted with lush green forests, orange orchards and stretches of tea gardens. This quiet and peaceful place can serve as a very good weekend destination from Kolkata. Read this blog to know about Bunkulung, how to reach there, where to stay, what to do and our experience at this wonderful Himalayan hamlet.
Our wanderlust to visit the offbeat weekend getaways surely takes us to places that are quite unique and beautiful. We have always believed that West Bengal is full of gorgeous destinations yet to be explored. The beauty of these places simply cannot be described by words. Bunkulung, located near Mirik is one such place. It is a small village with picturesque scenery and tranquility that is not usually found in our daily city life.
We came to know about Bunkulung quite by chance. After our visit to Tabakoshi, another tea tourism destination in North Bengal, we were looking for another place to simply relax and rejuvenate ourselves. A friend told us about Bunkulung and within a day, we got our tickets for New Jalpaiguri and were all set to travel to our destination.
Where is Bunkulung located?
Bunkulung is a tiny village in North Bengal located about 18 km from Mirik and about 48 km from Siliguri town. Actually Bunkulung can be reached in 2 ways. You can come to Mirik (that is what we did) and then take a vehicle to Bunkulung, which is 18 km away. There is another shorter road from Siliguri to Bunkulung via Dudhia. This distance is shorter.
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We reached Bunkulung via Mirik. We arrived at New Jalpaiguri Station and took a shared sumo to Mirik. From Mirik, we had taken another shared sumo to Soureni and from there we had to hire a car to reach our destination, Bunkulung.
Bunkulung – the Perfect Weekend Destination
The road to Bunkulung was extremely bad and uneven. The roads were bumpy and we were thrown against each other at the back seat of a Maruti Van. But as we entered the village, all our chagrin vanished. It is such a beautiful place, with acres of paddy fields wherever you lay your eyes.
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The place is also famous for pisciculture. Our driver informed us that there are as many as 19 pisciculture projects going on here. The houses looked quaint and lovely with gardens full of flowers and orchids in front of every house. Most of the houses had small rickety gates too. Our homestay was also on a beautiful piece of land with gardens in front and three cottages standing side by side. The cottages were all so elegant and comfortable.
Bunkulung is criss-crossed by two rivers – the Balasun and the small Murmah Khola (it is more of a rivulet). The Murmah Tea Gardens are also nearby and you can simply walk down the village roads to explore the tea gardens. There are a few off-roads going to the nearby villages.
As soon as we reached our homestay, we simply chucked in our luggage, freshened up and went for lunch. After lunch, we explored the village. There are stretches of paddy fields and cardamom fields. We met the villagers and talked to them. We did not venture towards the tea gardens and Balasun River that day. It was reserved for the next morning.
At night, we had a sumptuous dinner of rice and chicken curry. The food was quite delicious, something that all the homestays of North Bengal seem to master.
The next morning we were awoken by the sound of chirping birds. After breakfast, we went out again to explore. We preferred walking around rather than taking a car. Bunkulung is not very large and we had already explored a part of the village the last day.
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So this morning, we went towards the Balasun River side. It took us about 40 minutes to walk our way to the Balasun River. As we walked on the metalled road, we passed an old cantilever bridge. The Murmah Khola (khola means river) is flowing below this bridge. Just have a look at the bridge.
After we passed the bridge and the last house of Bunkulung, the road took us through the Murmah Tea Gardens. Walking through the tea gardens has always been an enjoyable experience for us. We clicked some wonderful memories, not just pictures!
After walking for another ten minutes, we could hear the murmur of the flowing river and saw another bridge. This one is a new one though. The riverside was completely desolate. We were the only two people there.
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There were a few houses nearby, but the whole stretch beside the river was completely devoid of any people! Imagine our happiness. It is rare that one gets such solitude in a beautiful place. We naturally spent some time beside the river, talked gibberish with each other and finally retracted back our steps to the homestay happily. It took us more time to return, as now it was an uphill walk.
Why will you visit Bunkulung?
Firstly, it is an offbeat destination where you can spend your weekend at ease. You will see green everywhere – the paddy and millet fields, the luscious green tea garden and the jungles. It will be soothing to the tired eyes that are so used to see the concrete jungles. Silence can be enjoyed here. Like your eyes, ears will also get healed. You can simply stay here a couple of days and connect to nature instead of connecting to your laptops and desktops.
Bunkulung is such a place where you get to see stretches of paddy fields as well as tea gardens. The combination is simply awesome.
How to reach Bunkulung?
The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Bagdogra is the nearest airport. You can take the Darjeeling Mail or Padatik Express from Sealdah to reach NJP. There are other trains also from Sealdah and Howrah to NJP.
Bunkulung is located 48 km from Siliguri town. You can hire a vehicle from New Jalpaiguri to reach Bungkulung. It takes around 1.5 hours to reach Bungkulung from Siliguri via Siliguri-Mirik road.
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Alternatively, you can also reach Mirik and from there travel to Bunkulung. For those on budget, you can get a shared cab from Siliguri junction to Mirik. From Mirik, you can get another shared vehicle to Bunkulung, but they are very limited and run on time. The last one is at around 2:00 PM. You can also hire a car from Mirik to the village.
Where to stay and eat? Bunkulung Homestay
When we visited the village, there was only one homestay at the place. It was known as Bunkulung Homestay at that time run by a local police officer who stayed at Siliguri.
At present we heard that the owner has leased the property to someone else. And now the homestay is known as Bunkulung Eco Retreat. You can reach them at 9547159388 or 7427991491.
The homestay has 3 cottages having all the modern facilities like geysers, comfortable beds and other amenities. The homestay is surrounded by a beautiful garden and the dining space has some cute seating arrangements. There are 2-bedded, 3-bedded and 4-bedded rooms. The tentative room rate is between Rs1800 to Rs3000.
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The food is provided at the homestay. For breakfast, you will probably get the option of bread-omlette or Poori-sabji. For lunch and dinner, it is rice, roti, dal, sabji and chicken or egg curry. The food is homemade and is quite tasty. I never had any complaints about the food in the homestays.
What to do at Bunkulung?
Bunkulung is a laid back destination. The best thing you can do is to enjoy the place at a slow pace. The best things you can do the this tiny and quaint village are:
- Visit the Murmah tea gardens and the nearby tea gardens
- Enjoy camping at the banks of Balasun River
- You can also explore the banks of Balasun River and enjoy angling there.
- Hike to the nearby villages and the orange orchards.
- Visit Dudhia, another beautiful picnic destination.
- Visit Mirik Lake and Bokar Monastery in Mirik.
What is the best time to visit?
You can visit Bunkulung at any time of the year. But the best season would be the winter months. The monsoons will also be enjoyable as the place will look greener and better, but the road conditions cannot be guaranteed.
Are there any ATMs at Bunkulung?
Bunkulung does not have any ATM. Nearest ATMs are at Mirik and Dudhia.
Did you like our post? If yes, please share it and let others know about this wonderful place. You can always contact us for more details and about new places like this.