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Shittong

Shittong

Sittong is a village in the Kurseong division of Darjeeling district. It is not a village, but a cluster of villages in a large area known locally as Sittong Khasmahal. The place has become famous among tourists as it is the heart of the orange growing countryside of Darjeeling hills. However, Sittong has much more to offer to the tourists apart from its oranges. nature is at its pristine best and bestowed Sittong with its bounty. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature unaffected by the vices of modern tourism. The area is also quite close from NJP / Bagdogra arrival point making it a convenient start or end point of your tour. The Hillcart road connecting Darjeeling with the plains, and Teesta river, the lifeline of the region, geographically can be considered as almost two parallel lines. If you imagine a line connecting Kurseong on the Hill cart road and Kalijhora besides the Teesta river to form an imaginary H, Sittong is exactly in the middle of this connecting line.

Sittong can be approached from either the Hill cart roadside or from the Teesta side. If you are coming from NJP / Bagdogra or places in Sikkim or Kalimpong side, you are more likely to travel via the Teesta side. If you are coming from Darjeeling, Kurseong or Mirik, you will probably come through the Hill cart road route. It is worth noting that the hills lack arterial single road as in case of plains, there is a mesh of small roads connecting places and often the latest road condition is a more deciding factor about the selection of your route than the exact travel distance.

If you are coming here from the Teesta side, you may start climbing uphill either at Kalijhora, Birik Dara or at Rambhi Bazar, the first two roads meet at a place named Ahaldara and continue to Sittong whereas the third road travels via Mungpoo, all the three roads lead to Sittong.

If you are coming via Hill cart road, you have to leave the main road and start climbing uphill from Dilaram and continue to travel via Bagora, Pokhritar, Tham, and Mahaldiram to reach Sittong.

To see and do in Sittong

The Sittong area is very famous for its orange cultivation, during the winter months the entire area turns orange with its orange gardens. Tourists find the gardens and its produce highly attractive.

Within the Sittong Khasmahal area, you may visit the Sittong church, there was a very old bamboo church here which has now been constructed into a brick and mortar building. The place is nicely located with a view of the surrounding hills.

There is a very old Monastery at the Upper Sittong area made mostly of Bamboo and Mud, this monastery and the ground next to it is an ideal place to view the Kanchenjunga range at its full glory.

Jogighat at lower sittong is a bridge over the Riyang river. This is a common picnic spot for the locals, tourists may also find the small stream and the bridge ideal spot for rejuvenating the soul.

Birding in Sittong – The area is very famous for birds, a large variety of birds can be found here. The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is nearby so is the now famous birding hotspot of Latpanchar. All the birds that can be seen at Latpanchar including the nesting of Rufus necked hornbill can be seen at Sittong as well.

Treks and soft adventure – There a re several soft adventure opportunities around Sittong including trekking and camping, several trek routes originate from Sittong and go to a variety of destinations. For example you can have an hours trek to reach the top of the hill, the highest point in the Selphu – Sittong – Latpanchar area, from here you can have a panoramic 360 degrees view covering Dooars, Terai, Kurseong, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim hills, part of Bhutan and Nepal is also visible from here. You can also have a grand view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Another trek through the forest can take you to Chatakpur, a forest village that has become popular among tourists in recent years. You can also trek to Bagora via Mamring from here. Other trek options include a trek to Kurseong via Majua and Mahaldiram. If you are interested in low altitude treks, this place will give you plenty of choices.

Camping of school groups and others are also organized regularly besides river Riyang, there is a camping ground which has a small waterfall and a climbing rock for practicing.

Sittong is not an isolated tourist destination, it is surrounded on all sides by new and old tourist destinations, most of which still hold their original beauty and has not turned typical touristic yet.

Mungpoo, the cinchona village made famous by Rabindranath Tagore is just 8 km from Sittong. Latpanchar is about 7 km, Chatakpur is about 22 km away and Kurseong is also about 24 km drive. You can spend several days in the village and explore all the tourist destinations in and around from here.

 



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