Latpanchar is a relatively new tourist destination located at an altitude of 5000 ft above sea level on the hilly region of Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary. It is in the Kurseong division of Darjeeling district.
The village is known for its proximity to the core area of the Mahananda WLS. It is also famous for the medicinal plants it produces; there is large plantation of cinchona around here. Snow capped peaks of Kanchenjunga range can also be seen from here.
Apart from natural views, Latpanchar has also gained popularity among tourists due to its birding potential. There are about 250 species of birds available in the area including the Rufous Necked Hornbill. Bird enthusiasts from all over India and abroad, flock Latpanchar for a glimpse of some rare avifauna.
Today tourism in the area has spread beyond Latpanchar village to the surrounding villages such as Selphu and Sitong. Together the area is one of the most attractive tourist destination of the region.
The beautiful hamlet is just a couple of hours drive from the NJP railhead or the Bagdogra airport. The national highway 10 connecting Sikkim to the rest of the country runs through the hills on the side of river Tista. You can start for Latpanchar either at Kalijhora, about 28 km from Siliguri, or at Birik, further 5 kms ahead. Through Kalijhora you will have to take the left turn and drive uphill for about 15 km to reach Latpanchar, through Birik you have to drive about 18 kms to reach Latpanchar.
Latpanchar is no longer a single destination now. The whole area of Latpanchar, Shelphu and Sitong has come up as a tourist area. From Latpanchar to Selphu is just 3 kms and Sitong area is further 5 kms ahead. Though Latpanchar is more popular among the birding enthusiasts, Sittong area has much better tourist accommodations with equally good birding options.