Exploring the Serene Hamlet in West Bengal
Sittong, also known as Sittong Khasmahal, is a small village in the Kurseong district of West Bengal. It is located about 45 km away from Darjeeling and can be reached by car or by taking a toy train ride from the Darjeeling station.
The village is situated at an altitude of 3000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by beautiful green hills and tea gardens. One of the main attractions of Sittong is its beautiful orange orchards.
The village is known for its delicious oranges, and you can see the orange trees in full bloom during the winter months. The best way to enjoy the oranges is to pluck them straight from the trees and savour them as you take a leisurely stroll around the village. The oranges are also used to make the famous Sittong orange marmalade, which is a must-try for all visitors.
Apart from the oranges, Sittong is also known for its tea gardens. The tea gardens in Sittong are some of the most picturesque in the region and offer a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
You can take a guided tour of the tea gardens and learn about the tea-making process from the locals. The tea produced here is of exceptional quality and is exported to different parts of the world.
Natural Beauty and Landscapes
Sittong is endowed with stunning scenery and an abundance of natural beauty. It offers guests a calm and tranquil setting because of the surrounding undulating hills, lush forests, and tea gardens.
The settlement boasts sweeping views of the powerful Kanchenjunga mountain range and is lined with orange orchards. The area’s appeal is enhanced by the cool, pleasant climate.
Culture and Traditions
Another highlight of Sittong is its rich cultural heritage. The village is inhabited by the Lepchas, an indigenous tribe of the region. The Lepchas are known for their unique culture, which includes their traditional dress, music, and dance.
You can witness their cultural performances during festivals and other celebrations. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and you can spend time with them and learn about their way of life.
Sittong also offers some excellent hiking and trekking opportunities. The village is surrounded by lush green forests and hills, and there are several trails that you can take to explore the area.
One of the popular trails is the Sittong-Kafer trek, which takes you through dense forests and past cascading waterfalls. The trek offers stunning views of the Himalayas and is a must-do for adventure enthusiasts.
Another thrilling activity is bird watching, as Sittong is home to many different avian species. You may go river rafting and fishing on the Teesta river, which is near to Sittong, adding an element of adventure to your trip.
Accommodation options in Sittong are limited, but there are a few homestays and guesthouses that offer comfortable and affordable lodging. Visitors can engage with locals, learn about their traditions, and make priceless memories by staying in a homestay.
Staying in a homestay is a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine. The homestays are run by local families, and they offer traditional home-cooked meals made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
List of Homestays at Sittong / Sittong Homestay price List / Sittong homestay contact number:
How to Reach Sittong ...
NJP (New Jalpaiguri Junction) is the nearest major railway station to Sittong. Here are the different ways to reach Sittong from NJP:
By Taxi: The most convenient way to reach Sittong from NJP is by taxi. You can hire a taxi directly from the station or book one in advance. The journey takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.
By Shared Jeep: Another popular way to reach Sittong from NJP is by shared jeep. You can find shared jeeps at Siliguri Junction or Siliguri Bus Stand, which is a short distance from NJP. The journey takes around 4-5 hours and can be a bit uncomfortable due to the crowded seating.
By Bus: There are several buses that run from NJP to Sittong. You can take a bus from Siliguri Bus Stand, which is a short distance from NJP. The journey takes around 5-6 hours and can be quite uncomfortable due to the crowded seating.
Overall, the most convenient way to reach Sittong from NJP is by taxi or shared jeep. It is recommended to book your transportation in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.
Approx. Transport Fares:
- Rs. 2,800/- for a reserved small taxi ride from NJP/Bagdogra to Sittong.
- Rs. 2,400/- for a reserved small taxi ride from Darjeeling to Sittong.
You might want to consider keeping the vehicle with you overnight if you’re willing to pay extra night stay fees.
Exploring Nearby Attractions
Visitors can feel the allure of the “Queen of the Hills” by travelling to the well-known hill station of Darjeeling, which is also easily accessible.
Itineary in Sittong...
- Arrive in Sittong and check into your accommodation.
- Take a leisurely walk through the village and soak in the serene atmosphere.
- Visit the Sittong Monastery and learn about the local religious traditions.
- Enjoy a traditional Lepcha lunch at a local eatery.
- Spend the evening strolling through the tea gardens and witnessing a beautiful sunset.
- Start your day with a refreshing cup of tea and a hearty breakfast.
- Embark on a nature walk to explore the nearby forests and enjoy the bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscapes.
- Visit the Orange Orchards and indulge in some orange picking.
- Have a picnic lunch amidst nature and savor the local flavors.
- Participate in a cultural program organized by the villagers and get a glimpse of their traditional dance and music.
- Begin your day with a visit to the nearby Lamahatta village known for its beautiful flower gardens.
- Take a short trek to the Mahakal Cave and witness the breathtaking views of the mountains.
- Enjoy a traditional Nepali lunch at a local restaurant.
- Return to Sittong and spend the evening interacting with the locals and learning about their way of life.
- Indulge in a sumptuous dinner featuring local delicacies.
- Rise early and witness a mesmerizing sunrise over the Kanchenjunga mountain range.
- Enjoy a hearty breakfast and bid farewell to the picturesque village of Sittong.
- Depart for your onward journey with beautiful memories of your time in Sittong.
Best time to visit Sittong...
The best time to visit Sittong is generally around the months of October – November in autumn, December – January – February in winter, March – April in spring.
More Offbeat places near Sittong...
Sittong: A Perfect Getaway
In conclusion, Sittong provides the ideal escape from the rush of city life. It offers visitors a singular and immersive experience with its tranquil scenery, rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine.
Sittong has plenty to offer everyone, whether they are looking for action or tranquilly. Set aside time to visit Sittong and make lifelong memories.
FAQ about Sittong ...
The village of Sittong is located in the Kurseong CD block, which is part of the Kurseong subdivision of the Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Sittong, is primarily famous for its scenic natural beauty and orange orchards. Sittong offers visitors a serene environment with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Its increasing popularity as an offbeat tourist destination and as a bird-watching spot.
Distance from NJP to Sittong is roughly 32–35 kilometers long. Depending on the precise path used, the actual distance could change slightly.
Depending on traffic and road conditions, it typically takes 2 to 3 hours to go by vehicle or cab from NJP to Sittong.
Wintertime is the ideal time to visit Sittong, especially from late November to early January. Visitors can see the brilliant colors of ripe oranges at this time, when the orange orchards in the vicinity are in full bloom. This time of year is perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities due to the cool, pleasant weather.
Moreover, the Kanchenjunga mountain range is frequently visible because to the beautiful winter skies. But, the months immediately following the monsoon season might also be taken into consideration if you’re interested in enjoying the lush vegetation post-monsoon or the tranquillity without the masses of tourists.
Yes, Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, is visible from Sittong.
In Sittong, the orange season typically occurs in the winter months. The oranges usually ripen and are ready for harvest from late November to January.
During this time, the area is filled with the bright colors of the fruit, making it a picturesque and delightful period to visit.
Absolutely! Sittong offers a peaceful and family-friendly environment, making it an ideal destination for a memorable family vacation.
Yes, Sittong has several trekking trails that take you through scenic forests and hills, providing a thrilling adventure for trekking enthusiasts.
Yes, Sittong is surrounded by tea gardens, and visitors can witness tea plantation activities, interact with tea garden workers, and even participate in tea plucking.
Yes, Sittong can be visited as a day trip from Darjeeling. It is approximately a 2-hour drive from Darjeeling, and you can explore the highlights of Sittong within a day.