North Bengal Travel Blog Post: Sittong

Travel North Bengal || Places to see around Darjeeling || Shitong || Where to go in North Bengal || North Bengal Travel Plan || Offbeat North Bengal || Tourist villages in North Bengal ||

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Sittong.. off-beat Bengal.. small village.. no; a small beauuutiful village in North Bengal.. After Chhibo, Sittong was my favourite. I loved this place, yes there are many places I liked during my North Bengal Trip, but the second best was Shittong after Chhibo. After a long day trip to Lamahata, Tinchuley, Mongpoo and all those other places I had spoken of in my last post; our stay, the appearance of the village, everything was perfect in Sittong.

About 2.5 hours driving distance away from Darjeeling, Shittong is a small village, currently quite popular among tourists as an offbeat, quiet tourist destination.  Usually, small villages in North Bengal get all inside the house latest by 6 in the evening. However Shittiong, we still saw people out of the house, in the small market area till 7- 7:30ish in the evening.

There aren’t any restaurant in the market, maybe 1-2 tea stalls and food stalls maybe.. but not tourists centric at all, hence your meals, especially the dinner and breakfast has to be inside your homestay.

Stay:

There are few homestays available, home-stay experiences are really good in North Bengal if you ask me, of course, you have to check reviews and make sure of the services (As much as possible) before making a booking. However, we stayed at ‘Bishesh Home-Stay’, this is one of the best homestays in Shitton, the place is.. how do I say, it’s an experience. It’s not a luxury property as you may assume like those Taj Palace types!! No no.. it’s not that big at all.. but the place is quite big, the staffs are very very friendly, cooperative and thoughtful. The place is an experience, people are always ready to help, they try to keep the evenings entertaining for the guests, food was good.. so it was a great stay here.

By the way, I completely forgot to mention a very important thing.. Sittong is divided into 3 parts, Sittong 1, Sittong 2, Sittong 3. Sittong 3 is considered the most beautiful to stay at, however, don’t fall for it.. I liked the entire place, only the road condition of Sittong 2 & 3 is a little better than 1, and that’s mostly it..

Duration:

One can stay for 2-4/5 nights here very easily. By the way, I didn’t mention one thing.. from Shittong one gets a great view of the Himalayas. Starting from Zuluk at one end and ending at Kanchanjagha.. as if the horizon consists of snow-clad mountain peaks. & the homestay we stayed at gives a great view of the Himalayas.. I had to threaten nature to get a glimpse of her beauty though, but as long as it worked.. I am happy and in love with the place more.. so much more!!

Day excursion from Sittong:
Namthing Pokhri Lake:

As you understand, we get to see a lake here!! This place is very close to Sittong 1 and the ‘lake’ you most likely can see in the monsoon.. we only saw green floras in place of dipping water amidst long, misty jungles. SO, we didn’t see the lake here, however, from the pine forest, we went up a bit and there stood a Shiva temple, still under construction. 

Ahaldara View Point:

This is a very very well-known tourist spot in North Bengal.. As the name says,  it’s a viewpoint.. You get to see the entire valley along with a view of the Kanchanjangha, however, the weather has to be at your side to get a great view. Mine was a half-hearted great view sighting!!

Let me give a couple of details here.. at the time, we went, there was some construction work going on, hence for now cars/bikes aren’t allowed inside the viewpoint area (from the main gate the viewpoint is about 15 minutes by foot), one has to walk about 300 meters inside. There are homestays inside, there is one right at the front of the viewpoint area, you also get to stay inside a camp here, there are camping options available. But you are coming by bike, your bike may not be allowed inside and that is something you can’t risk..

Latpanchar:

Latpanchar is a small small village, it’s a thick dense green village.. or in simple words, it’s a forest village. The place is very quiet and it’s quite ideal for a walk. It’s more ideal for a walk because the place is famous for bird watching apart from it’s dark green pine forest.

Hornbill is famous here, and to find one, better hire a guide (costs about INR 300.00 for  1-2 hours) and go for a walking tour. There’s serenity, quietude, peace and it’s really a lovely place to be.

There are a few places to stay here, nature lovers should keep this place on their list, Mahananda wildlife sanctuary is the official name of the forest here. We were on a day trip and both my parents are quite aged, hence I didn’t go for any bird watching tour, also early morning or late afternoon is a good time for such tour.

Monasteries:

On the way we found quite a few small monasteries, they are worshipping places for the locals as tourists, it’s hard to identify if a house is a monastery. It can be a small hut or a small house, seeing the Tibetan flags and the mani chos ‘khor or the prayer wheels one can identify that the house is actually a monastery.

Tea Gardens/ View points:

The surroundings are full of tea gardens and viewpoints. As I keep saying, viewpoints are only the best when it’s clear weather and you get the desired view!! On day 2 in Sittong, I was luckier.

This entire tour takes half a day, by afternoon you will get back to your hotel. Sittong was one of my favourites, I loved the place, it’s a simple, small place but so scenic. So.. are you going to plan a trip to Sittong? Or have you been there already? Tell me what did you like about the place?

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