Sep 28, 2023
Sep 28, 2023
I and my friend Arnab decided to spend three days in the lap of Himalayan nature free from urban commotion. As such, we set out by Howrah-Dubrugarh express on 14th November, 2012 (day after Diwali). As we neared New Jalpaiguri the next morning, the Kanchendzonga peak was clearly visible from the train and that freshened our spirit.
Reaching New Jalpaiguri, we went to Siliguri bus-stop (7 km) by auto and booked a sumo for Rs.1400/- to reach us to Kalimpong, a distance of 68 km. Then I requested Lalu, the driver, to take us to ‘Bish-mile’ (‘20 miles’ – such is the name of stops on mountain roads). He agreed for an extra of Rs. 500. By then I had already phoned Mr. Dilip Tamang, our host at Sillery village, who said he would be sending a sumo to pick us up from the juncture of Kalimpong-Algarah-Pedong road and Sillery road.
3 km before Pedong, ½ km ahead of ‘Bish-mile’ along the Kalimpong-Algarah-Pedong road, a rocky off-shoot road takes a sharp elevation through a lush green forest. A trek of only 4.5 km takes one to Sillery Gaon (village), a still lesser known though fast-becoming-popular serene destination – that the locals adoringly call New-Darjeeling. This road is motorable, however, one keen on avoiding a motor/jeep ride that resembles more a galloping horse-ride better trek to enjoy the oft-dense forest and company of birds.
The jungle trek to Sillery with Kanchendzonga playing hide-n-seek
Jungle path to Sillery
As we reached Sillery after that tremendous car-ride, Dilip Tamang welcomed us with a grinning Namaste. We had to ascend some boulder-steps to reach Mr. Tamang’s Nirmala Resort, a beautifully decorated Home-Stay in posh green colors.
Picture-3: Dilip Tamang’s Nirmala Resort
The sky was clear still though it was 2 pm, a rarity in Himalayan tourist ‘seasons’ but not in this time of the year. Soon we got busy with our cameras.
We took a stroll in the village and had a most rewarding experience among cheerful people. That day was “Tika” – a festival in this area, in which people apply Tika on each other’s forehead, wear garlands, and sing and dance. The Tika festival is akin to the “Bhaifota” festival of Bengalis celebrated on the same day. What we missed at home being here, we got here. The villagers accepted us in their songs and dances.
Villagers celebrating “Tika”
There is another part of the festival. Young villagers in groups visit houses singing/chanting the name of God, and the owner of the house then serve them fruits and some money. There is a similar festival in rural Bengal known as “Ghentu-Puuja.”
We returned to Nirmala Resort in the evening after watching a spectacular sun-set from the forest just below a school at the bottom of the village. Dilip Tamang made the happy announcement of serving us chicken curry in dinner.
Sillery village path
The Village Folks
Sunset on Kanchanjangha
“Sillery” derives its name from a plant that grows in abundance in the region. This area is also well-known for its Cinchona Plantation that the British introduced in this region as a source of Quinine for treatment of Malaria.
This village houses around 30 families. Felling of trees and basic agriculture was once a way of life of the villagers, but eco-tourism is the new found alternative source of livelihood that runs parallel and would perhaps overwhelm the traditional one in near future.
Eco-tourism is a collective brain-child of the villagers, and the result is Home stays in many a houses. There is no permanent electricity supply in the village, however, work is on and electric posts and wires have already been installed – that would no doubt provide comfort to villagers and tourists but the unimaginative placements of prosaic electric posts and the commotion of wires have heavily compromised the beauty of the village.
At present, the owners of Home-Stays ensure generators from 6 pm to 9.30 pm (extendable on request) other than providing candles and kerosene lamps at night. Tourists have no problem charging their mobile phones or camera batteries.
The main attraction of the village other than its pristine greenery is the open north with the towering Kanchendzonga and Macchli-Puchhare peaks and mountain ranges as far as the eye can stretch.
Kanchendzonga in morning
Waking call - Morning coffee
The location of the village is also very interesting. If one stands facing north, beneath the sloping village is Rishi river - the other side of which is Sikkim. To the left is Nepal, and beyond the Skim mountains is Tibet. Gangtok can be seen in front as also the international airport under construction. What a view it would be from this village when flights land there! One has to wait a little more for that. The airport project is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
One can undertake three interesting short treks from Sillery - Silence Valley, Damsang Fort, and Ramitey View Point – other than spending quality time in the lap of nature.
One can go to Ramitey view point by a 1.5 km trek from Sillery Gaon. The ‘kacha’ road is also motor able. The view point is undoubtedly one of the most vantage locations in this entire region to view both the Kanchendzonga above and the Teesta River below.
This view point offers the longest view of the meandering Teesta river through the valley with its 14 bends, and also the confluence of Rishi river and Teesta river, other than the panoramic view of Himalayan ranges with the crowning Kanchendzonga. The entire region from Teesta Bazar to Majhitar is visible from here on a clear day.
Kanchendzonga and ranges from Ramitey view point
Meandering Teesta river from Ramitey
On top of mountains; Ramitey view point
Author on Ramitey top (photo by Arnab Mukherjee)
The other place of interest from Sillery is Damsang Fort built in 1690. It was the last home of the Lepcha King- Gyabo Achuk. The Lepchas lost the fort to the Bhutanese and then it finally passed to the British after the Anglo-Bhutan War of 1864.
Nothing much remains of Damsang Fort today. The inevitable course of history and further the earthquake of Sep, 2012 have left only simple remnants.
The place would interest one more for bird watching. A little beyond the Damsang Fort is the Hanuman Top with a sculpture of Hanuman. A nice bird’s eye view of Kalimpong and its adjoining areas is a sure refreshment.
Kanchendzonga at sunset, Sillery village
Kanchendzonga at sunset, Sillery village
Kanchendzonga and Machhlipuchhare at sunset, Sillery village
Good bye Kanchendzonga, for now.
“I Will be Back.”
Some useful information:
More by : Indrajit Bandyopadhyay
|It is a very beautiful as well as informative description about Sillery. |
Thank you for the information
|wonderful post. i wish this tour guide will amplify tour plan seamlessly.|
|Lovely article and very informative. Thank you.|
|Thank you Mr. Banerjee for the detailed description given to this site regarding Nirmala Village, Sillery Gaon. Kalimpong. We are impressed and decided to go to stay at Nirmala Village. We have a big group and we have already contacted over the phone to Nirmala Village. Hope every thing will be finalised soon.Thank you again.|
Could you please provide me with the contact details (mobile no. etc.) of RENU's STAY at Sillerigaon?
Hi, Mr Mr.Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, enjoy the beauty of nature,how beautiful the place is!
|Thanx a ton for ur blog...it helped me a lot n influenced me to plan my next vacation thr in end of october...looking forward to a good trip wid my lil kid of 2yrs...can u kindly inform any other details which i need to know, as i willb thr wid a lil kid.|
|Dear Mr.Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, |
This is Mrinal Kanti Kansari here from Barupur, I have seen your blog of Sillery Gaon and very very thanks for usefull infomation & guidelines about Sillery Gaon. We are 6 friend will go there .for 3 days. We want to stay almost upper Hill. Is Dilip Tamang's Nirmala Villege resort at top of the Hill or lower hill. Which home stay would be better view of mountain .
Please share your comments.
Mrinal Kanti Kansari.
|DR Indrajit Babu, we ever chat before, However very enchanting your blog,We want to home stay at Silleri gaon with wife & below 2 years child and another family who is my friend with his 3yrs boy. looking gd silari gaon with surrounding, if u kindly advice us, we want to say 5 days there. we booked railwy tkt 22.1015|
|Hi, came across this very helpful blog while searching for info regarding Sillary gaon. A few queries...which one is the best home stay location or position wise...gurung, tamang, or sillary sojourn? Please advise.|
|I went to Silleri gaon with my wife on 07.04.2015. We stayed at Nirmala Resort which is memorable stay. The hospility at Nirmal Resort (Prop. Dilip Tamang) could not be forgettable. Dilip arranged our tour of East Sikkim. The home stay of Zuluk was very nice. The behaviour of the Driver named 'ROBIN' (provided by Dilip Tamang) was very good. If you want to know more then please contact to Dilip Tamang ( 9933922859, 9635005318).|
Is it possible to cover a route starting from siliguri to Zuluk, zelep-la etc. with Sillery gaon trip & ending the trip down at gangtok through nathula,tsomgo lake, I know the permit problem is there,as it has to be collected from gangtok, if it is possible to collect from kolkata,fort william, then we may start from siliguri to cover the route ending to gangtok, am i right?
|Thanks Dear Indrajit for your sharing of Sillery Gaon , a nice calm place, also useful information about Mr. Dilip Tamang, a warmly co-operating person, rate is also comparatively cheap, if directly can be contacted with him ,otherwise so-called resort booking is costly from kolkata.|
|Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience. We are also planning to visit the place soon.|
|Hello - In my prev post - there is a typo - It should have been Nov 2014 :)|
|Thanks Mr Indrajit for lovely photographs..We had visited Sillery gaon, zuluk , lungthu, nathang, kupup in Nov 2015. Beautiful places, lovely people..very reasonable cost...In sillery gaon, renu''s homestay has 2 cottages with best view of kachenjunga from sillerygaon. for night stay, sillery gaon and lungthung are the best options...|
|Very nice,breathtaking scenery and mountain view from Ramitey view point is fabulous.|
Also Tinchule trekking around 4.0 km from Sillery is memorable and view from this point also good.
|I have a plan a tour of sillery gaon on 29th dec for 2 days with my wife.|
Can you tell me , which time is best for ramitey view points ? Also is that trek safe for ladies ?
|we want to visit that place on march,2015 . pls, tell me the booking procedure. As i can't contact with Mr. Tamang.|
|@ Rajib Islam|
I went there in 2012. You see, costs have surely escalated. I suggest you phone Mr. Tamang and ask him. I suggest stay there for 2 nights to enjoy the place.
|Dear Mr.Indrajit Bandyopadhyay,|
your travel logue has provided me very useful information.me with my family are planning a trip to sillery gaon at the middle of May 2014.can u plz give us an estimate cost of staying in sillery gaon and sight seeing from there.and it is right time to visit at there suggest us Please. whether 1 day or 2 days is preferred in staying there.
|Thanks Mr Indrajit Bandyopadhyay for regarding this information about sillery gaon.|
very nice photography, especially Kanchnzonga peak.
We will be there in last week of may14.
|Dear Mr.Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, ur travel logue has provided me very useful information.me with my family are planning a trip to sillery gaon at the end of march 2014.can u plz give us an estimate cost of staying in sillery gaon and sight seeing from there.and suggest us whether 1 day or 2 days is preffered in staying there :)|
|Ur travellogue provides me an utmost desire 2 visit that serene village.. I wud like 2 visit mid nov2014.. wht more , I wud lkd 2 know, dat treks u described in ur narration, can it be done by d host, where we wud b put up?cud he b able to provide us every facility 2 conduct d trek???|
|Valuable trip report. Do u cover other than this place or any idea about Rishikhola, Nathang valley etc along with accomodation and conveyance?|
Have any experience about flower blooming time in this area?
|The phone number posted by you of Mr.Dilip Tamang, owner of Nirmala resort helped us a lot in booking a cottage there for our trip in Sillary gaon.|
Thanks a lot
|awesome descriptions and illustrations..|
|Apnar bhraman-katha khub valo laglo.end december,2011,ami @ amar 1 bondhu saparibar giechhilam sillery gaon,zuluk.nathang.apnar lekha se chhobita firie anlo abaro.sref dhanyobad dile sabtuku bojhano jabe na.|
|Thanks Mr Indrajit Bandyopadhyay for regarding this information about sillery gaon and other sight scene|
|complete information from njp-zuluk-gantok-pelling-njp|
Hotel contact no
car rent details
|I visited Echey Gaon on 22-28 December 2012 and enjoyed very much. See my blog echeygaon.blogspot.com .|
|Dear Mr.Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, this is Vivekananda Ghosal here from Konnagar, I have seen your blog of Sillery Gaon and very very thanks for usefull infomation & guidelines about Sillery Gaon. We stayed in the Nirmola Village Resorts for 2 days. Dilip Tamang is very good man.|
|Dear Mr.Indrajit Bandyopadhyay, This is Rajesh Saha here from Kolkata, I have seen your blog of Sillery Gaon and very very thanks for all the information.|
Actually I plan go to Sillery Gaon & zuluk..... Thanks once again....
|Thank you for sharing beutiful experience, amazing photos & useful information.|
|Enjoyed the description and photos. we are going Sillery on 23.12.2012. Your description helps me a lot. What about Tinchuley ? Haven't you go there?|
|Nice. Enjoyed it.|
|thank you sir for reminding me how beautiful the nature is..... Hope you enjoyed your adventurous tour.|