This is a forest village situated near Darjeeling town. The village is popular among tourists for its total seclusion and grand view of the Kanchenjunga massif. Chatakpur is a village of just 19 families and the nearest other village is at least 7 /8 km away. The village is surrounded by deep forests of Sinchal wildlife sanctuary.
The village is on a hill slope facing the North. The lower part of the village is where the motorable road ends. The altitude of this area is about 7,500 feet. From here you have to take the stairs to walk uphill. The village is spread over a large area and the higher you go, the better view of the mountain range you are likely to get. At the top of the hill is where there is a watchtower from which almost a 360-degree view of the surrounding area can be seen. The altitude of this highest point is almost 7,800 feet.
Attractions and Sight Seeing
Chatakpur is not for tourists interested in sightseeing. This is a village that you visit to be close to nature and enjoy nature’s bounty. The top of the hill with its watchtower is an ideal place for viewing the surrounding area. On a clear day, you can see the plains of Dooars, almost the entire Kalimpong district, and parts of Sikkim from here.
You can go for small walks in and around the village. There is a sacred waterbody about 500 meters inside the forest. You may visit this place but remember to be accompanied by some locals as the forest is quite dense and there is plenty of wildlife in the forest. You can take the main road and walk for about 3 km to reach a trijunction of roads. This is another viewpoint from where on a clear day, Mirik, Kurseong, and even Nepal hills are visible.
Those who are physically fit and have a day in hand may go for the Tiger hill trek. The trek starts early morning and takes a better part of the day to reach Tiger hill and come back.
Birding is another popular tourist activity at Chatakpur. There is a large variety of bird species that can be seen here.
How to reach
Chatakpur is a forest village and can be visited with the permission of the forest department. The villagers run homestays and they are authorized by the forest department to collect the visitor's entry fee and deposit it with the forest department. So you should visit Chatakpur only after you have a confirmed booking of one of the many homestays. The village is inside the wildlife sanctuary and there is no tarmac road reaching there. The road inside the forest is primarily for forest patrolling and villagers' use purposes and is not maintained well. Probably this is one way the forest department tries to keep a check on the number of tourists visiting the village. Once inside the forest area, it may take about an hour to cover a 10/12 km distance.
The shortest distance is through Sonada, however, you have to cross a forest gate if you travel through this route and the gate mostly remains closed and you may not find a forest guard to open the gate for you. So we do not recommend taking this road to Chatakpur.
The most common road, if you are travelling from the plains, is to travel to Bagora and from there to Chatakpur. The road to Bagora is mostly in good condition and the last about 12 km from Bagora to Chatakpur will take more than an hour. If you are travelling from another hill station in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, or Sikkim, you have to reach the 3rd-mile check-post near Jorebungalow and from here take the forest road. The distance and travel time are roughly the same through this route also.
Self-driving is not recommended unless you are highly experienced in driving in the bad hilly terrain of the region. Low-ground clearance vehicles may not reach Chatakpur at all. We highly recommend taking a local and experienced driver for this visit.
There are about a dozen homestays in the village. The best homestays are mostly on the higher ridges of the hill. Humro Home is a network of homestays that has 5 homestays and they have the largest inventory of rooms at Chatakpur. You may book Chatakpur accommodation directly through Humro Home or by getting in touch with our team.