Dalim Tar, a tiny hamlet nestled in the Kalimpong hills, is fast emerging as a hotspot for tourists who intend to spend a few days amid a idyllic landscape and far from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The place had been out of focus even five years ago as road communication was not available. In 2013 a road was built to Dalim Tar and since 2017, the place started gaining popularity among tourists for its scenic beauty and a heritage fort, said sources.
Back in 2008, the state had made the fort, which was built by Lepchas and later taken over by the British, as a heritage property.
“Dalim Tar is basically a plateau on the top of the hill. It has ruins of the Dalim Fort, a fort the Lepchas built in the 19th century. Till 1865, this fort was with the Lepcha community and later, the British government captured it,” said Sajit Rai, secretary of the Dalim Tar Tourism Society.
Tourists visiting the site can witness mesmerising views of Lava, Jhandi, the entire Gajoldoba (Teesta barrage area) and even Siliguri from the top of Dalim Tar.
“Our place is famous for its scenic beauty as well as the forest. Birdwatchers are also fond of this place as various species of birds can be sighted here. There are also stretches of gardens, organic vegetable cultivations that also attract butterflies,” Sajit said.
Raj Basu, the convenor of the Association for Conservation and Tourism (ACT), said the place had got a new dimension after the road was built.
“People here were a bit isolated as there was no road connectivity. But the place is emerging as a new destination for tourists. Also, it has opened a new avenue for alternative earning for the locals who are coming up with homestay accommodations and promoting the site,” said Basu.
Earlier, most villagers were engaged in agriculture while some others would trudge through hilly tracts to reach nearby places and would work as contractual workers.
One of the homestay owners said they were enjoying this new opportunity.
“Tourists have started pouring in and the demand for accommodation is steady. We are also enjoying this new option to earn a living. It gives us a chance to meet more and more people, many of whom come up with suggestions on how this place can be developed further as a tourist destination,” the owner said.