Updated: Mar 25
Discover offbeat Himalayan trails of Bengal with our travel expert Reetwika Banerjee.
Often during our tour to Darjeeling, we miss the charm of its suburbs. Himalayas never disappoint me and it didn’t during our recent winter tour. It was meant to be a solitude finder and we were overwhelmed at our own success. This time our new find was a cascading rock fountain named Barbotey Rockgarden, just ten kilometres from Ghum railway station.
Expedition to Barbotey Falls - a hidden gem of Ghum
The morning temperature was almost sub-zero; end of January is one of the coldest times of the year. The clear view of Kanchendzonga peaks had already filled our hearts with sheer contentment. But as always, we wished more from the queen of hills. So, embarked upon our expedition to Barbotey Rockgarden– an unpopular destination in the lap of mountains.
Since this is not a frequented tourist destination, there are no public transports available in this route. The roads are moderately maintained. We had hired a tourist taxi from Darjeeling Mall Road and drove through Hill Card Road until Ghum.
Drive through the tea gardens of Ghum
Keeping the monastery on our right, we took a sharp turn down the slope. From Ghum, it did not take much time, around thirty minutes, but the road was not only scenic but also far from the madding crowds of Darjeeling.
Multi terraced rock garden at Barbotey
Being at the backward side of the hill station, this place has not earned fame yet. But the multi-tiered concrete terrace gardens can be a wonderful picnic spot for solitude seekers like us. Tired city dwellers can discover peace at a stone throwing distance from Darjeeling.
Spectacular waterfall cascading down the rocky terrains
Almost one thousand feet down the hill, we discovered a spectacular waterfall, cascading down the rocky terrains. There is hardly any fountain of its size in this belt. We were tempted for a guided trek to its source and enjoy a bird's eye view from the top.
Guided trek to Barbotey rock top
Apart from the waterfalls, there is a beautiful Himalayan garden, named after a local lady called Ganga Maya Park. During Gorkha Festival, special folk dance performances are performed by the inhabitants.
View of Ganga Maya Himalayan Park from top
There are numerous tea gardens and orange orchards down the hill slope which added to the green charm of the place.
Picturesque road back home amidst clouds and orange orchards of Ghum
In your text trip to Darjeeling, do plan a half day stopover at Barbotey Rockgarden, enjoy the surreal surroundings, mediate and come back with a rejuvenated soul.
How to reach:
Private taxi from Darjeeling or Ghum is the only way to reach Barbotey Rockgarden. There are no public transports available in this route.
Where to stay:
There are no places to stay at Barbotey Rockgarden. Nearest stay is at Ghum. It is best to cover in a half day sightseeing trip from Darjeeling.
What to see around:
Ganga Maya Park, Tea Gardens, Ghum Monastery, Himalayan Railway Museum
Surreal surroundings of Barbotey
Hilly areas require adequate warmth so it is important to carry warm clothes like beanies, sweaters, hoodies. To travel comfortably, converse shoes can be your best bet.