In the wilderness of forest, one finds the true peace. And if you are a mountain biker, Darjeeling’s Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary cycling park, should be your new address. This year the Wildlife Sanctuary opened the country’s first-ever cycle trail, which is a 20-km stretch weaving through thick pine forests and its panoramic views.
Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary was set up in 1915 in the Darjeeling District of West Bengal, India and is also one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries of India. This cycling path is around 11 km (30min-cycle ride) away from the main city. One can easily get a cycle on rent in Darjeeling and enjoy the panoramic vistas of the crowd-free forest. A permit of ₹50 (INR50) is required to traverse the routes of this cycling track, which can be purchased at the sanctuary entrance. The main entrance of this forest is near Jorbangla and the exit point is near the State Tourism Guesthouse, Chatakpur.
The cycling path is is open throughout the year from sunrise to sunset (6AM to 6PM), except during the monsoon (June to September). Cyclists are not allowed to carry snacks with them inside the forest. This track will be strictly closed for cars and motorbikes.
The cycling path is an old route that used to connect Darjeeling and Kurseong. The local authorities are working to make the path more tourist friendly. The authorities are also working to promote other adventure activities like paragliding in Darjeeling. Darjeeling is known for its scintillating views of Kanchenjunga & Mount Everest, and one can enjoy the same beautiful landscape from Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary in a peaceful and fresh air environment, away from city’s clutter.
So are you ready for cycling at 7,000 feet?