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regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 March 2024

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration plan to revive two tourist sites in Darjeeling

The Gangamaya Park and Rock Gardens, located on the outskirts of Darjeeling town, had been damaged by Cyclone Aila in May 2009. The sites remained unattended because of the political situation in the hills and tourists stopped visiting both the locations

Bireswar Banerjee Siliguri Published 30.10.23, 06:40 AM
Boating in a waterbody at the Gangamaya Park near Darjeeling.

Boating in a waterbody at the Gangamaya Park near Darjeeling. File picture

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has drawn up an elaborate plan to revive two popular tourist sites in the Darjeeling hills and restore the road leading to the destinations at an expenditure of around Rs 9 crore.

The Gangamaya Park and Rock Gardens, located on the outskirts of Darjeeling town, had been damaged by Cyclone Aila in May 2009.

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The sites remained unattended because of the political situation in the hills and tourists stopped visiting both the locations.

Norden Sherpa, who is in charge of the tourism department at the GTA, said experts had recently visited the two spots and prepared a detailed project report to revamp the sites completely. The sites are around 10km from Darjeeling town.

“Our plan is to introduce adventure sports, carry out beautification and rebuild the road that leads to these locations. Some other roads within the sites will also be rebuilt. A sum of Rs 9 crore will be spent on the project,” said Sherpa.

Adventure sports like zip-lining and mountain biking will be launched at Gangamaya Park and Rock Gardens. The beautification of the surrounding areas of a natural hilly stream (also known as Chunnu Summer Falls) and the park arena will be also carried out.

During the regime of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, the sites were developed. Landscaping was done on solid rock slopes, along with a garden showcasing varied flora. The location also has a waterbody where boat ride was popular among tourists.

“Along with tourists, residents from different hilly hamlets would turn up at the sites for picnics,” said a Darjeeling resident.

Sources have said the condition of the road that leads to Rock Garden and Gangamaya Park has become so precarious that even cab drivers refuse to take tourists to the spots.

Damage assessment

The tourism department of GTA is making an assessment to rebuild the infrastructure of adventure sports at Triveni and Teesta Bazar area in Kalimpong district.

Triveni is the confluence of the Teesta and the Rangeet rivers, a popular spot for camping under the clear sky while adventure sports like rafting in the Teesta draws tourists and enthusiasts.

The devastating flash flood in the Teesta on October 4 had washed away the entire road (which leads to Triveni from Teesta Bazar) and the campsite.

Many properties, including tents and rafts, were swept away.

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