Dalgaon – The Medicine Men of Himalayan Tribes

Dalgaon – North Bengal Rural Tourism Destinations

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Dalgaon View Point

The snow covered Bhutan Hills from Dalgaon

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Jaldhaka River

River Jaldhaka Diving Bhutan and India

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The Buddhist Tribes

The indigenous Tribes of North Bengal

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Shaman Dance - The medicine men

Shamans often named Jhankri, Bijua and Dhami dancing.

Dalgaon – The beauty of Cinchona Plantation.

Have you heard the name Dalgaon, a small plateau located in the hills of North Bengal near the Jaldhaka River that naturally divides India and Bhutan as two different countries? Well, the place is not so well renowned in the map of India Tourism, so not a real place for Luxury Travellers, but definitely one of the best Rural tourism Destinations of India and North Bengal . Luxury in modern sense may perhaps bear a different meaning, but in the true sense does the world really defines ” Happiness beyond just satisfaction”? India has many such historical places that have yet to be unveiled to the world of explorers. As the name suggests ” Meaningful Traveller”, you need to be well confirmed that all the meaningful destinations are not well equipped with all the materialistic luxuries , but here the true luxuries are meant as closeness to nature to an extent beyond satisfaction.

So, Dalgaon is one of such destinations that has many things to teach to the travellers. The place is a small village under the Cinchona Plantation of Rongo Division, one of the four divisions of Historical Cinchona Plantation of Darjeeling. The place is locally renowned tJaldhaka Rivero be the best view point to watch the dramatic River Jaldhaka marking the Indian Territory from Bhutan. “Dalgaon” name perhaps  was given because the place was and set up as a nursery fro all the medicinal plants the Directorate of Cinchona Plantation grows. Saplings and seedlings in local language are called ” Dal” and “Gaon” means Village, so the name Dalgaon means the nursery( Plants) village.

History of Cinchona Plantation

It was the time when Malaria – the epidemic disease was weakening the backbone of the colonial rule in India. The disease had created a havoc by increasing the mortality rate of British troops in India and whole world. This was the time the saplings and seeds  of Cinchona ( The medicinal herb)were smuggled from South America by British offcials and the first plantation started in Sri Lanka and India. The Indian Plantation was set up commercially at Mungpo in the year 1862 in Darjeeling Hills and the set up earned huge profits for the British compaRural Tourism Destinations of India - The Himalayan Tribesny. The bark of the Cinchona tree is stripped , powdered and used for many medicinal purposes among which Malaria is the most primary disease. The compound that is used as an anti-malarial drug is called quinine which is present in the bark along with many other medicinal compounds. So, the saga still continues today where the whole plantation area is under the supervision of the Govt. of West Bengal’s Directorate of Cinchona and other Medicinal Plants. The best part of it is that you can still find the same method of manual processing in the plantation done by the workers and their predecessors who have been residing as workers since the colonial rule of British in India.

The Journey Exploring the Medicine Men of the Himalayan Tribes

Apart from its historical stories Dalgaon is surrounded by many other villages, where you can still find some ancient shamans practising Shamanism as the ancient method to cure sickness in the community. The spiritual leaders inspired by the nature along have inherited knowledge of many medicinal plants that can be wildly and abundantly found in Neora Valley National Park, one of the pristine heritage forests of India.

The medicine men of Himalayan Tribes

Jhankri -The medicine men of Himalayan Tribes

The journey through Dalgaon can also help many travellers  to create a meaningful journeys for Researchers, botanists who want to practically learn about the precious and rare medicinal plants and herbs that can be found in the heritage forests surrounding Dalgaon and other nearby areas.  To view the complete journey plan please see :

<< The medicine men of Himalayan tribes>>

 

The Meaningful Experiences for Travellers at Dalgaon:

  • Workshop for Scholars on learning the methods of Planting, processing and seasoning various medicinal plants that have high commercial value in today’s market.
  • Rural tourism workshop and participation for Tourism professionals to learn about the community activities, concepts and linkages that helps to build a rural tourism destinations.
  • Trekking through Neora Valley National Park to experience the unexplored bio-diversity richness of natural forest of hills.
  • Spend your valuable time working with and among the little known shamans of Himalayan tribes, herbal local doctors and other spiritual doctors to learn how they cure their patients and believers. Dalgaon even is near to a hugely built facility that is fully occupied by patients from poor families who cant afford to visit the doctors in the town and thus they seek the help of local herbal doctors to get fully cured. The travellers can spend their time working in the facility with the local doctor helping him to look after so many patients learning his regular therapies. (see Journey for medicine men of Himalayan tribes)
  • Stay in a homestays of North Bengal  of  a local and be a part of the different sharing and learning traditions of different tribes.

For any queries about the Journey covering Dalgaon and other places feel free to share you thought:

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