Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.

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However, before heading towards Kalimpong, Sillery, Gaon was on my list today. Yes, it’s the last day in Darjeeling, and luckily, the weather is clear & bright. A newly radiant sun steps forth behind the clouds, wrapping us in her warm and brilliant rays. I got up at 7 am and had a quick bath and a hearty breakfast before checking into the hotel. Another location I wished to cover was Icchey Gaon (also spelt as Echey Gaon), one of the newest destinations in the  Eastern Himalayas, North Bengal. Not sure I could, but I still kept it on my bucket list. 

Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.
Sillery Gaon

As we hit the road, I looked at the sky; it was one of those baby-blue skies, neither the psychedelic candy-blue nor the washed-out grey after the rains. The clouds were as puffs of radiant joy, ready to disperse into the wind. As I watched them eddy, pure reflected rays dappled and swirled in the sky. Also, the cool breeze was dancing on my skin as the car sped up. 

It was a 3hrs(71.4km) drive from Darjeeling, & being Holi, the festival of colours, I saw many colours smacked faces along the way.

Colour-smacked faces on Holi.

Sillery Gaon is a pristine destination overlooking a green valley with a panoramic view of Kanchenjunga, stuck within the deep forest of Pine, Oak & Rhododendrons. The virgin beauty of this almost unexplored tiny hamlet will fill your heart with bliss. The forest’s silence, birds chirping, and pleasant cool breeze make this place mysterious and romantic.

Walk-in Woods

Nestled at 6000 ft and 8 km from Pedong, this village is lovingly called the New Darjeeling. The roads were empty, one because of COVID restrictions & another Holi. The road condition had improved earlier, as the drive was smooth. And the weather also started to play; clouds began to hover around us. By the time we reached Sillery gaon, it was 11 am. The scenic beauty is undoubtedly appealing to the eye, and the sound of the wilderness: this small village’s serene ambience and the fragrance of nature are a perfect getaway for nature lovers.

Panoramic View of Snow clad Mountains

A small tea stall sold maggie tea, cold drink & other basic amenities. I could see the magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungaandh and other peaks like Jumulhari and Fish Tail.

I decided to talk for a walk in the village; amazingly, each house has a flower garden in its front. There is neither electricity nor a market in Sillery Gaon. “Sillery” derives its name from prows in abundance in the region. I spoke to the local villagers and had a most rewarding experience among cheerful people. The location of the village is also fascinating. If one stands facing north, beneath the sloping town is the Rishi river – the other side of Sikkim. To the left is Nepal and beyond the Skim mountains in Tibet. 

Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.
Home Stay in Sillery Gaon

I walked back to the stall and sat down on the wooden bench to soak in the pure beauty of nature. And ordered a cup of tea and a maggie for myself. I met a local at the stall who agreed to be our guide & take us to three main points around Sillery Gaon. 

We started with Raimtey Viewpoint, a 3km drive from Sillery gaon or a 1.5 km trek. I, my mom and my aunts trekked to the viewpoint. It is undoubtedly one of the most vantage locations in this region to view the Kanchendzonga above and the Teesta River below. Upon reaching the place, I just sat on a rock gaping at the most extended viewpoint of river Teesta, close to 14 turns at a glance. 

Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.
Raimtey View Point


Ramitey View Point also offer a view of rivers Teesta and Reshi conflux. With the bliss of the serene beauty of the place, my heartfelt calm. On a clear day, Teesta Bazar to the  Majhitar region is visible. Lord has to create majestic natural beauty where one can just be lost. Spending some time at the point, we walked back to our car.

Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.
Teesta & Reshi Conflux

We took directions from the tea stall vendor and drove towards Pedong; a 30 mins drive from Sillery Gaon and the oldest towns on the historic Silk Route. We had to visit the Damsang Fort; hence we reached the Pudong bus stand & asked for directions.

It is 7km from the bus stand & It is the only fort in the entire Darjeeling district. It is a historical fort built in 1690 by Lepchas Damsung fort, also known as Damsang Gudi. We arrived at the ruins of the fort, from where the last Lepcha king Gyabo Achyok used to run his kingdom. This fort was constructed to defend against attacks from the Bhutanese. However, the fortress witnessed a long ethnic war in the 17th century between Lepchas and Bhutias. Following the Anglo-Bhutan war in 1864, the British took over the fourth. I could only witness the ruins of the queen’s horse stable as the bathing room. I clicked a few pictures & drove towards Silent valley.

Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.
Damsung Fort

From Damsang,t at a distance of 2 k,m stands a vast green meadow called the Silent valley. Surrounded by tall pine trees is a large green pasture; I stood in the middle,e enjoying the quietness of the woods, disturbed only by birds chirping. We took a walk around the area to feel the tranquillity. However, the place is perfect for picnics & camping. The site is a revelation with a green lake named Siyal Pokhara, with greenery throughout the monsoon.

Sillery Gaon: A pristine getaway to nature lovers.
Silent Valley

Tinchuley View Point is around a 1km trek from Silent valley. Through the thick wood, the forest reaches this pictorial spot. Anyhilltopp, where three ridges meet, tends to be referred to as Tinchuley by the locals. The trekking is a stiff uphill hike for about 30 minutes. It is adventurous and makes us run out of breath. But worth it! Upon reaching, I just got off the rock & sat down to catch my breath. 

Tinchuley View Point

It is the vantage point I witnessed the panoramic view vista of snow-clad Mt.Kanchenjunga along with Jeep La and Nathu. It also offers lovely views of Kashyem village, thickly wooded forests, and terraced fields brimming with green paddy. It looked like a canvas sketch with the floating clouds beneath & the Himalayas as the backdrop. The funny part is you have a tea stall at the far-end corner of the Himalayas. I sipped my tea, enjoying the pristine scenic view of the place.

Tea Stall

Since I was running out of time, I skipped Hanuman top and Cross Hill. But suggest you visit these places because of the enchanting view it offers. 

It was 3 pm we had to rush back; I checked with my driver to halt for 15-20 min at Iccha gaon since I was on the way. He agreed, and we drove back to the bus stand. Just 2km ahead of the bus stand is Sangchen Dorjee Monastery. It is a Bhutanese monastery that is popularly known as Pedong Monastery. The Monastery was built during the Bhutanese rule around the early 1700 ADT. I took a brief halt to take a few pictures, as the architecture is astonishing, with fresco paintings that depict Tantric Buddhism.

Sangchen Dorjee Monastery

The Monastery’s look, feel, and construction differed significantly from the other monasteries I visited. However, the primary attraction,n as per the locals, is the mummified body of the last Shabdrung Rinpoche, the most revered Bhutanese priest. This Monastery even provides an insight into the history and culture of Pedong. The valuables of Damsang Fort were placed in this Monastery after the fort was destroyed in 1864. The Drukpa Khargu tradition of Buddhism and other Bhutanese consider Sangchen Dorjee Monastery an important pilgrimage site. The Cham dance or the Mask Dance is held annually from April-May. Quite Interesting!

Sangchen Dorjee Monastery Interior

Without wasting any further time, we drove towards Kalimpong. 

It took us around 30 minutes to drive to Icche y Gaon. A small picturesque hamlet amidst the woodlands of Pine, Birch and Juniper trees. A few eco-friendly homestays provide basic amenities. But the hospitality and warmth of these villagers left me spellbound. A local boy took me around the village; the serenity and calmness amazed me. I walked down the main road towards the parked car; it was already 4.30 pm, and we were late reaching our homestay in Kalimpong. 

These villages lie in the lap of lush green pine forest, far from the hustle and bustle of congested city life, the best place to rejenuviate. And the pristine serenity is not only thrilling but romantic, too; that would refreshes us from all stress and anxiety. On the way to our homestay, we stopped at Lover’s point to take pictures of the Teesta river surrounded by the green valley. However, without any halt drove to our homestay named Alaknanda in Kalimpong.

Icchey Gaon

The dinner was ordered prior; hence after freshening up, I had an early dinner & hit the bed. The excursion was enthralling; it reminded me that Mother Nature could please, comfort, call and nurture one’s soul.

How to Reach.

By Air: 

The nearest airport is Bagdogra, approximately 76 km away from Kalimpong. At the airport, hire taxis to reach the city.

By Rail:

The New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station to Kalimpong. New Jalpaiguri connects the city in India. You need to hire private cabs or take a shared taxi from the station to reach Kurseong.

By Road:

Kalimpong is well-connected via road with Kolkata city & other closeby cities such as Gangtok and, Kurseong, Darjeeling. Buses, private cabs, and shared taxis ply to Kurseong from these places. Moreover, you can also take a private cab or a shared taxi.


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