What is your holiday personality? Do you prefer quiet places where you can be close to nature? Are you the type who prefers tranquility over the hustle bustle of city life? Then Sillery Gaon is an apt destination for you to spend your weekend. Sillery Gaon is a village in Kalimpong district of the state of West Bengal. Tourists throng this place all around the year. Winters would be an ideal time to explore the place and catch the breathtaking view of Mt Kanchenjunga.
You can reach this place by air from Kolkatta to Bagdogra. At Bagdogra, you will need to hire a car to reach Sillery Gaon. A bus ride from Kolkatta to Siliguri is another option you can try. From Siliguri, you will have to then again take a car ride to your destination. There are trains from Sealdah and Howrah till New Jalpaiguri. The last part of the journey will have to be covered by car.
You can begin to explore this place from Tinchuley which is a small hamlet. Tinchuley means three ovens, as the three mountains which enclose the hamlet look like ovens from a distance. One can have a panoramic view of the Himalayas, along with Sikkim, Nathula and Jeepla. Once there you can also visit orange orchards, tea gardens and trek on the village trail. It is a memorable experience as you get to enjoy the local food and culture.
If you have packed your walking shoes then a trek to Ramitey Dhara is a must. Located at a distance of three km away from Sillery Gaon, this place is a photographers delight. You can not only see the mountain range but also feast your eyes on the meandering river Teesta.
Damsung Fort is another popular short trek that is located at a distance of 3 km from Sillery Gaon. The fort was built by a Lepcha king by the name Gyabo Achyok in 1690. Now only the ruins of the fort remain after it was taken over by the British.
The Sangchen Dorjee Monastery in Sillery Gaon is about 300 years old. It came into existence in the ancient Bhutanese rule. Its claim to fame is the tantric Buddhist paintings in the old chamber and the mummified body of a reveredBhutanesee priest. If you are visiting this place between April-May, you can witness the annual Chyam dance that is held there.
Imagine a valley where the only sound heard is chirping of birds. A green pasture surrounded by fresh smelling pine trees. The place is known as Silence valley which is located very close to Sillery Gaon. It is an ideal spot for camping and picnic. In the monsoons, it is covered with water and looks like a pond.
If your travel goal is peace and serene then you should this place. Away from the busy mundane city life, this place is a visual delight. Even a short two-day trip can rejenuvate you.
Featured Photo: The trail from Sillery Gaon to Ramitey View Point, Kalimpong district, West Bengal, India by Sumit Surai under CC BY-SA 4.0 from Wikimedia Commons