Nestled in green hills of Kalimpong, the charming hilly hamlet Rishyap (Rishop) is one of the most promising offbeat destinations in North Bengal. Away from the city rush, the excellence of lush green forest, pristine blue sky, floating clouds, and endless mountains create a magical ambience around Rishyap, making the place an ideal gateway for nature lovers. Indeed, the majestic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga is something very special that you can experience from Rishyap, seamlessly.
Also, I must not forget mentioning about the auspicious sight of night sky twinkled by millions stars, which you can confront on a clear evening, right from the terrace of your homestay!
Introduction to Rishyap (Rishop)
Situating at an elevation of 2951 m (8500 ft) from the sea level, Rishyap (also known as Rishop) is basically destined within the Neora Valley National Park range. The spot is easily accessible from nearby popular destinations such as Kalimpong (32 km), Lava (8 km), Lolegaon, and Dooars.
Rishyap is mostly popular with the peace-lover tourists of West Bengal, who love to feel the silent beauty of Mother Nature. However, adventure lovers also have a wide scope to trek across the Kalimpong hills around Rishop, especially the short trek to/from Lava is well-popular (trekking distance – approx. 3.5 km).
In addition to the splendid view of Mt. Kanchanjangha, a wide range of Eastern Himalayan peaks are visible from Rishyap. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Kharg, Mt. Kokthang, Mt. Rathung, Mt. Kabru, Mt. Talung, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Simvo, Mt. Narsingh and Mt. Siniolchu (from left to right in a row). Also Nathu La Pass and Jalep La Pass are visible from Rishyap.
Things to do in Rishyap
Let’s take a look, how you can spend your sweet holidays in Rishop, making it peaceful but charming.
Enjoy a cup of tea watching the majestic view of kanchagangha
On a clear morning when the first sunlight falls on the snow-white tip of eastern Himalayan range reflecting the golden vibe, it really produces a magical sight; Mt. Kanchanjangha leads the peaks from the middle. To experience this auspicious sight, you definitely have to get up very early morning, before the sunrise.
However, not each day of the month offers the same sight because the hilly atmosphere often remains overcast, cloudy, or foggy in the first morning. The clouds/ fog generally pass away in the late morning, offering you an excellent view of snowy white Kanchenjunga range; just the golden vibe disappears. You can fairly enjoy a cup of tea watching the majestic view of kanchanjangha.
Have a morning walk through the hilly road
This part of North Bengal is extremely serene and peaceful. After taking your tea and breakfast, it’s worth having a walk through the forestry hill road of Rishyap. Surrounded by the lush green forest of pine, birch, fern, and rhododendrons, the hilly paths of Rishyap always conveys an ever-refreshing good morning message; the beauty of place overwhelms by the blossoming orchids and wildflowers here and there, while the crippling birds make an ever-enchanting ambience.
A short walk through the hilly path, experiencing the beauty of pure nature is much demanding on a refreshing trip away from city hassle.
Enjoy short trek to the Green hills
If you are an adventure lover, go one step ahead and plan a short trek through the Kalimpong hills; it’s even more exciting. You may plan to hike around nearby hilly forest. For a longer trekking experience, you can head towards Lava; it’s a 3.5 km short trek.
Tiffin Dara is the best nearby spot to watch the eastern Himalayan Mountain range, including Kanchanjungha peak. Also, this is an ideal spot to watch sunrise and sunset. So, after your breakfast, you can plan to trek towards Tiffin Dara. This trip offers an excellent short hiking experience starting from Rishyap; you’ll have the real jungle safari experience in Himalayan Mountain.
Enjoy Evening with millions stars
After a busy day (or even a lazy day) an exciting evening is much demanding, right? Hope your Rishyap homestay or resort has an open terrace or a mind-blowing balcony to enjoy the evening glory.
So, start your evening with a cup of tea, counting endless stars in the hill-head sky. On a clear night, millions of twinkling stars really create a romantic atmosphere around Rishyap; however, an overcast of foggy weather restricts your vision, which is unfortunate.
Visit nearby spots
Although a few city residents visit Rishyap for weeklong silent holidays, Rishyap is actually a short touring destination; after 2 days of continuous stay, you may feel bored. So, for making your Rishyap holidays more exciting, plan to visit other spots in Neora Valley National park, enjoy for the full day, and return to your Rishyap homestay at night.
Alternatively, you can also migrate yourself to another destination after a couple of days’ stay in Rishyap.
Below, I have introduced the list of nearby attractions.
Place to visit near Rishyap (Rishop)
The village Rishyap situates in Neora Valley National Park, an evergreen hilly forest range, offering a heavenly atmosphere. There are several other magnificent spots are destined under the Neora Valley forest range, each of them presents unique beauty and well accessible from Rishyap.
Check the following list of places with distance from Rishyap. This will definitely help you to plan an exciting trip to Rishyap as well as the Neora Valley forest region.
- Lava (10 km by road, 3.5 km by trek)
- Tiffin Dara (9 km by road, 1 km by trek)
- Kolakham (18 km)
- Changey Waterfall (21 km)
- Lungchu (23 km)
- Zigzag viewpoint (24 km)
- Samabiyong Tea Garden (17 km)
- Pankhasari Khasmahal (26 km)
Away from Neora Valley forest region, you may visit
- Sillery Gaon (20 km)
- Ichha Gaon (21 km)
- Tendrabong (15 km)
- Pedong (19 km)
- Lolegaon (26 km)
- Kalimpong (29 km)
- Charkhole (47 km)
Sikkim border is also not far away from Rishyap. You can explore some of the spots of lower Sikkim from Rishop, such as Reshi, Rhenak, Rorathang, Amba, etc.
How to reach Rishyap (Rishop)?
Most people do a mistake; they often travel up to New Jalpaiguri station by train and then book a car to reach Rishyap (110 km). Don’t so this mistake because it takes a longer time. Instead, you should travel up to New Mal junction by train before hiring a rented car for reaching Rishop. For your serious note, Mal junction (67 km) is the nearest railway station to Rishop.
If you travel by air, then you have to land at Bagdogra Airport; this is the only option for flight route, so, in that case, there is no way to escape the long road trip; to reach Rishyap from Bagdogra, you have to travel 125 km, that takes almost 4-4.5 hr.
If you plan to visit multiple spots of North Bengal along with your Rishyap trip, this is definitely a great idea. Kalimpong, Lava, Lolegaon, Tendrabong, etc. are some nearby places from where you can access Rishyap easily.
Being an adventure lover, you may trek towards Rishyap starting from Lava or vice versa.
When to visit Rishyap (Rishop)?
Rishyap offers pleasant weather throughout the year. So, you can plan to visit there any time of the year.
October to May is the ideal time to experience clear weather in Rishop, while October-November and February-March are the best seasons. Some people also visit there during rainy season to enjoy the hilly monsoon and lush green ambience of Kalimpong hills. However, you are suggested avoiding the monsoon season mainly to escape from the land sliding of hill region.
Winter often remains very foggy, so you may miss out on the panoramic view of Mt. Kanchengangha.
Where to stay in Rishyap?
There are several options, mostly homestays. Below, I introduced a list of the best homestays where you can choose to stay during your Rishyap trip.
- Kanchan view Homestay
- Passerine Retreat Birding Lodge
- Neora Valley Retreat
- Pahaar Ghar
- Sleeping Buddha
- Tibet Homestay
- Rishyap Homestay
- Pink Floyed Homestay
- New Mountain Resort
- Lovely Home Stay
- Green Valley Resort
- Hotel Himalayan Hut
- Valley of Flowers Resort
Foods in Rishyap
You shouldn’t expect high-class foods at a offbeat hilly region. I have seen some Bengali tourists demad and argue too much for btter food quality instead of experiencing the serene atmosphere of Rishop, which is not fair at all (my personal feelings, though I love tasty foods in general).
Most of the homestay owners of Lepcha cast are unable to cook tasty foods as you get in the rest of Bengal (especially in south Bengal). They have to struggle in every step of life, probably that is the reason they don’t take care too much about food taste. So you shouldn’t expect your favourite dishes in Rishyap.
Most of the homestays offer food and lodging facities together and they take bokings accordingly; they provide breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, and dinner. Also, they provide you tea twice a day. In lunch and dinner, they generally serve eggs and chicken as the non-veg items. If you want something extra, you have to pay for that. You can try non-broiler (deshi) chicken.
They can afford camp fire and roasted chicken on demand.
You’ll not get any reputed restaurant around Rishop; afterall it’s an offbeat touring destination. So you have to rely mostly on the homestay authorities for fooding.
Few homestay authorities employed Bengali cooks for better food quality, especially for the Bengali tourists; you may send an enquiry about this before booking your homestay.
That’s all about Rishyap. So, don’t be late, plan an exciting trip to the Neroa Valley region of North Bengal, and must include Rishop in your tour plan. Undoubtfully this is one of the most promising destinations for nature lovers and also for lazy vacationers, although there are several scopes for trekking adventure.
Hopefully, the above description of Rishop helps you to plan a perfect tour plan to this awesome place. If you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to post your questions in the comment box below. I’ll be very happy to help you.
Have a nice trip!
Dr. Suvankar Das is a scientific advisor by profession, associated with a CRO organization. He pursued his doctoral degree in Chemistry in 2015. Later, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher & scientist in a couple of institutes/companies.
Besides his scientific journey, Dr. Das is also a passionate traveler and travel blogger. He loves to share all his travel experiences with other travelers so that everyone can enjoy hassle-free holidays with their own tour plans.
He believes, the most beautiful thing in this world is the WORLD itself. so there is no way to live like a clock; rather live it like a compass!