Rishyap is a tiny village close to Lava. The village came into prominence more than two decades ago when the excellent mountain view from the village was discovered by trekkers. The place used to be only accessible on foot, even today, the last couple of miles to Rishyap is difficult to negotiate on a vehicle. However, the excellent view of the Sikkim Himalaya and Kanchanjunga range led to the fast popularity of Rishyap and today all the houses in the village have been converted into lodges and homestays and hotels. The view of the sparkling lights of nearby towns from Rishyap at the night is an excellent sight. From Rishyap one can get a glimpse of some parts of the well-known Nathula and Jelepla pass.
Located at an altitude of 8500 feet, Rishyap is famous for its pristine beauty. It is an ideal place for those who wish to spend time close to nature. Set in the backdrop of snow-capped Himalayan mountains and peaks and surrounded by forest Rishyap is thrilling as well as tranquil.
Things to see
Visitors to Rishyap have two primary options for activity and sightseeing. One is to enjoy the sights and beauty of the village itself. Although excessive construction due to a large number of hotels has somewhat ruined the ambience of the rural village, you can take a walk in any direction and within 5 minutes you would be in the woods. This is because Rishyap is within the limits of the Neora Valley National Park and apart from this tiny village there is no other human habitation nearby. A popular trek for tourists here is to visit Tiffin Dara (Dara means hilltop in Nepali), which is an excellent viewpoint to watch the sunrise. Another option is to trek to Lava through the Lava – Rishyap trek route. Though this route is less used now once the motorable road is being established.
The second option for tourists is to go sightseeing around Rishyap. This is a typical full-day activity. There are several tourist destinations in and around Rishyap which can keep you engaged for a whole day. Lava is just about a 7 km drive away where you can visit the nature interpretation centre and lava monastery. Further inside the forest, tourists visit Kolakham and Change falls. On the western side of Rishyap are tourist places such as Pedong, Sillery Gaon and Icchegaon. And Kalimpong, the district headquarter is also within a driving distance of about 1 hour or so.
How to reach
Rishyap is 95 km away from the city of Siliguri and 102 km from the NJP railway station. Kalimpong is also very close. It is less than 40 km. Rishyap is very close to another very famous spot Lava. Kalimpong, Lava and Rishyap form a very important circuit. From lava, Rishyap is 12 kilometres. The road from lava to Rishyap is not in very good shape. The first seven km is OK but the last 5km is in bad condition. So for travellers, large vehicles are always recommended.
The weather here is cool and pleasant throughout the year. Warm sunshine and a cool breeze invigorate the soul. March to May temperature hovers around 22-8 degrees c. Winter is extremely cool. Temperatures are around 10 degrees to 0-degree c.