Serene weekend at Kolakham
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
A relatively new place, but high in the hit list of non-conventional tourists, Kolakham is soon becoming a popular weekend gateway for anyone looking to spend some time away from the hustle bustle of the city. Located just outside the Neora Valley reserve forest and about 6kms from Lava, this small village comprising of hardly 25-30 families, is as deep into the nature as you can imagine. We visited the place around 15th August, 2016 and had a nice relaxing weekend to spend with only the sound of birds to keep our company. There are few homestays which one can hire for about 1500-2000 (excluding food). The people are super friendly and the food they provide is homely. We (4 friends) took a cottage (which to our surprise was a duplex), just at the edge of the valley, which had super open view with all the surrounding mountains. The name of the cottage was "Eco Green Huts & Hospitalities". At night, when it was pitch black, we could see the town of Kalimpog, resting far away like a cluster of cloud. There is a waterfall nearby, "Changer Falls", which one can visit. As well, one can visit the Neora Valley Reserve Forest, which according to many is a birder's paradise. How to Reach: The nearest railway station is NJP. From NJP one can have 2 options to reach Kolakham: 1. Hire a car (costs about Rs. 3,000) directly to Kolakham. 2. Go to Lava in a shared taxi and from Lava hire a car to Kolakham (costs about Rs. 1,000 to 1,500) Note: The road from Lava to Kolakham is VERY VERY bad. It is so bad, that small vehicles cannot go there. You will have to take some SUV. Another important tip, when you are hiring your car from NJP, the locals will force you to book the homestays from them as a package. Don't do that. Just get the transport from NJP, go to Kolakham and then get the rooms as per your choice. Things to do: 1. RELAX and enjoy nature. 2. Visit the Changer Falls 3. Visit the Neora Valley Reserve Forest (the forest remains closed from 15th June - 15th Sep) 4. Visit Lava, Lolegaon, Rishap (there is a buddhist monastry at Lava). Words of Caution: 1. If you are into super luxurious stays in your holidays, don't consider this place. There are homestays, no hotels. In the 2 days that we stayed there, we did not get any water and electricity for over a day. Saying that, if you enjoy nature and the beauty of the himalayas, and is not concerned with such petty earthly needs, do visit the place soon before it gets crowded.