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Being an unexplored part of the Darjeeling Himalayan Foothills, Sitong exists as a treasure trove that is enriched with beauty and calmness of Himalaya. In its heart, there is a neatly organized Lepcha village that lies in the Khola rivulet. The village is guarded by a chain of green hills. Each house of Lepcha village has a garden enriched with orange trees. During winter the whole village is ornamented with the beauty of blooming oranges. If you are looking for a place where you would get a chance to have some cozy relaxing hours with your loved ones at the top of any hill station then Sitong will be the best choice for you.
Whenever you are at Sitong you must not miss putting your steps in its nearby places –
- 100 years old local Bamboo church,
- A walk over the Bamboo bridge,
- Riyang river,
- Treat your eyes with a hue of ‘orange trees’, and
- Other nearby spots suggested by the local guides.
All these places come under the periphery of Sitong and other nearby beautiful hilly villages are also easily accessible by local transports from Sitong.
Spending a night in the picturesque Lepcha village of Sitong will prove to be bliss for the nature lovers.
- To reach Sitong, you may follow three routes-
- Siliguri -> Sevoke ->Kalijhora -> Latpanchar (55km)
- Siliguri -> Rambhi -> Mongpoo (78 km)
- Kurseong -> Dilaram -> Bagora and Ghareytar (77km).
From all these stops you have to complete a 15km steep journey to reach at Sitong. To reach Siliguri you may board on express and mail trains from Sealdah or Howrah stations (Kolkata). Direct buses are also available from Esplanade (Kolkata) to Siliguri. Nearest airport of Siliguri is Bagdogra Airport. From Siliguri you will get hired car or shared vehicle to reach Kurseong or directly Sitong following the above mentioned routes.
- To assure your stay at Sitong you have to book rooms in the newly constructed three storied guest house of the Sitong church whose lodging and dining options are equipped with fully facilitated rooms and vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian eateries.
Arrival day As the journey to Sitong is quite tiring so it is recommended to start your vehicle from Siliguri or feasible stop in early morning so that you can enter into the beautiful landscape of Sitong within afternoon. I started my journey from Darjeeling at around 8 am and reached at my beautiful resort of Sitong at 12 pm. Then I opted for having a hilly style freshly prepared lunch at the guesthouse’s dining hall before going out to explore the surrounding. In the evening I took a tour around the Lepcha village, participated in a healthy conversation with the village dwellers, and caught a peek into their traditional lifestyle. In winter, majority of Sitong village is turned into “Orange basket”. On my way through the village I relished the tasty oranges plucking those directly from the uncountable orange trees. You would also love to have a peaceful sleep in the chilled atmosphere of Sitong after having a finger-licking dinner at your guest house.
Exploring the true beauty of SitongBright sunrays woke me up early in the 1st morning at Sitong and my sleepy eyes were enlightened with the sweeping views of the Sitong orange valley from the window panes of my guest house. Enjoying a mug of coffee at the balcony of the guest house quickly energized me for my coming visit. After having a healthy breakfast I headed to the main building of the church to attend the Morning Prayer and get the blessings of the almighty. Then I enjoyed a wobbling walk over the bamboo bridge and spent some relaxing hours just by sitting on the banks of Riyang River. You may also take a dip into its chilly water. Watching different birds and butterflies would definitely beautify your leisure on the river bank. With the help of the local guides fortunately I could avail light trek on some hilly tops of Sitong and some nearby locations including Labda village. Though I was not so fond of oranges but while tripping Sitong in winter, don’t miss to eat and take away as much as oranges you can hold in your hands. Having a customized lunch in a local eatery I moved forward to your next destination.At late afternoon you may ride on your pre-booked car or vehicle which will drop you to your next destination from the doorstep of the guest house. Smiling faces of the Lepcha kids, warm hospitality of the native villagers and church authorities and peaceful ambience of Sitong’s beautiful landscape will give you an unforgettable memory to be cherished forever.
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