The finger millet (Bajra or Ragi) is naturally cultivated in the hills of Kalimpong. The Lepcha people of the hills call it ‘Maong-waa’. This is the origin of the name of two adjacent villages west of the Teesta river, the Bara Mangwa and Chota Mangwa villages.
The two villages and their surrounding area have grown in tourism significance over the years. Within proximity are other popular tourist villages such as Tinchuley and Takdah. Together the area is now a popular tourist destination for those who wish to have a relaxed tour among hilly villages. One can easily go from Chota Mangwa to Bara Mangwa as the road distance between the two villages is just 9 kilometres. The actual distance is much less if you decide to walk through the small village routes that locals call ‘Chor Bato’.
Chota Mangwa is located on the top of Mangwa hill in the district of Darjeeling and attracts tourists for its peaceful atmosphere and farmland. From a vantage point, you may get a great view of the river Teesta and Kalimpong town on the other side of the river.
Bara Mangwa is located on the same hill just below Chota Mangwa. There are some excellent rural tourism accommodations in the area. Even properties with swimming pools are available here which is quite a rarity in the hills here. There is accommodation which is completely organic as well.
There are three different routes to reach here. The first route is through Teesta Bazar. This would be the preferred route for anyone coming from Kalimpong, Sikkim, Dooars side or even from Bagdogra / NJP. Travel to Teesta bazaar and on the Sikkim Bengal National Highway 10 and take the steep uphill village road toward Tinchuley and Chota Mangwa from here. From Teesta bazaar to your destination should be anything between 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on which part of the two villages you would be travelling to.
The second option is to travel via Takdah. The British cantonment of Takdah is another popular tourist destination which can be approached either from the Darjeeling side or from the NH10 side already discussed. From Takdah, Chota Mangwa is just about 4 km ahead. Bara Mangwa would be slightly further.
The third route is to come through Peshok road. This route would be suitable for anyone who is travelling here from the Lamahatta area. The road condition at the time of writing this article (2020) is not very good through this route, and we would not recommend this route. Please consult with our helpdesk experts about the present status of the road while booking your tour. From Bagdogra airport or NJP station, the distance to Chota and Bara Mangwa is about 65 kilometres and will take around 2.5 to 3 hours to reach.
Takling Village – This beautiful village is within walking distance from Chita Mangwa. There is an old monastery which is worth visiting.
Orange Orchards – This region is full of greenery and oranges. One can just walk around and have a lifetime experience of having one of the sweetest oranges.
Teesta and Rangeet meeting point – This is a must-visit for tourists as the meeting point of the two famous rivers is beyond words.
Tinchuley Sunrise Point – From Bara Mangwa there is a splendid sunrise point which is about 9 kilometres is surely a moment to capture.
Tea Gardens – Beautiful tea estates can be visited in this region and can have the opportunity to see the processing of manufacturing tea. Rungli Ranglot, Lopchu and Peshok tea estates can be visited from here. There is also a small juice-making factory in Lopchu which can be visited.
Other Nearby Places
One can also visit Kalimpong, Pedong, Deolo Hills, Lava or even Darjeeling and make day outings or night stays in this region.