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Lure of Sittong

On the gentle slopes of the Himalayas, in the heart of the orange country, where the air wafting carries with it the scent of ripe fruit, the cloying fragrance of wild flowers; wisps of white clouds settle on the rolling blue hills beyond. And above all of them towers the mighty Kanchendzonga. That’s Sittong for you. Sittong or Sitong 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. The area is not very touristic yet and visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature unaffected by the vices of modern tourism. The Valley is located on the hill cart road connecting Darjeeling with the plains, and Teesta river, the lifeline of the region, geographically can be considered as almost two parallel lines. You have to get up early, and step out onto the terrace. For it is now that the magnificent Mount K takes a bath in the warm glow of the rising sun. And, as the cold morning air caresses your face, the clump of flowers in the bush sways to greet you; the birds will start a chorus, heralding the advent of a glorious morning. The Darjeeling tea would never be more refreshing as the aroma haunts your senses.

Mount K is draped in a pure white now. It is a perfect place to do famously nothing. There are quite a few very comfortable places to stay, easy on the pockets too, where you can explore yourself. Let your feet up. Dream. Mongpoo is nearby, where you can visit the cottage where Rabindranath had penned some of his immortal works. Ahaldara is also a short distance away. A hilltop which offers exciting views of the Teesta valley, Latpanchor could also be a destination. And a charming old Monastery nearby is certainly worth a visit. If you are looking for a comfortable perch, Bishesh Homestay could be your answer. Large well ventilated rooms, hot & cold water, home cooked tasty food. And the owner, Vikram Rai is always present with a smile! Sittong is only about a 3 hour drive from Siliguri, across the hills, through winding roads, orange orchards. You will know how wonderful it feels when you loose yourself among the pine and the birch, in the land of bird songs.

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