Do you want to stay away from the noise, crowd, pollution and live amongst the mesmerizing nature with absolute peace for a few days?
If you love the green forest, the splashing sound of a beautiful river with the chirping of colorful birds around, Srikhola can be your perfect choice to visit.
It is situated just 4 km away from Rimbik and 41 km from Manebhanjan. Srikhola is a great place for leisure and has well-connected roads with good availability of water, electricity, and food. Most people mark this place as their ending destination after a long trek from Sandakphu or Phalut.
If you do not want to trek, you can also spend a couple of days here in the midst of beautiful nature. In that case, you can take a car ride from New Jalpaiguri/ Bagdogra or even Manebhanjan.
How to reach Srikhola?
Srikhola is very well connected by road to the other parts of West Bengal. Traveling to or from Darjeeling, Siliguri, Manebhanjan, Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri is very convenient. You can hire a car or book a shared cab in scheduled times. The distance between New Jalpaiguri railway station and Srikhola is around 130 km and it takes around 5 to 6 hours. In the case of Bagdogra, distance and travel time is almost the same.
If you are planning the route from Sandakphu, you have to trek through the forest trail. The distance of Srikhola from Sandakphu is around 22 Km. However, you can halt at Gurdum, a village, 6 Km away from Srikhola.
From Gorkhey, the distance of Srikhola is almost the same, 21 Km approx. So, it can be a good idea for a beginner trekker to halt for a night at Rammam, a small village 12 Km away from Srikhola.
At the end of the trek, you can take a bath, rest, and more varieties of food in Srikhola and cherish the moments of trekking by the river. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can get some good dishes here.
The Best Time to visit Srikhola
Srikhola is accessible around the year. But, the rainy and winter season should be avoided. The best time to visit Srikhola is from March to May and October to November when the temperature is comfortable with less to no rain.
From March to May, the sky can be a bit cloudy. But, being the spring season, you can witness colorful flowers all around the mountains. Rhododendron with various colors is the main attraction at this time. In this season, rain can happen in a sporadic manner.
From October to November, the sky is more clear and the forest is greener after the rainy season. At this time, you can watch the magical starry sky above. The temperature is chilly but comfortable with warm jackets for trekking. Most of the trekkers favor the month of November. After the month of December, the temperature can fall below 0°C sometimes. So, it is advised to avoid the winter season. But if you are planning to visit in the winter, make sure to wear warm clothes and get a sleeping bag.
6 Activities and Attractions in Srikhola
- The Srikhola river is the main attraction here. You can spend some quality time at the bank of the river.
- Situated at a lower altitude of 3570 ft (approx.), Srikhola is a great place for bird watchers. It is a paradise to many Himalayan birds like blue-capped rock thrush, flycatchers, forktails, etc. I recommend carrying a good binocular for birdwatching in Srikhola.
- There are a monastery and a temple nearby. Ask any locals and get the direction if you wish.
- Beautiful landscape with wooden cottages beside the river and in the mountains.
- Witness the stunning colorful view of the mountains during the flowering season. During April and May, the Rhododendrons start flowering, Because of this, many tourists particularly prefer this season.
- Get an outstanding view of the night sky full of stars using a telescope.
- Flying a drone camera and shooting breathtaking photos can be an excellent idea at Srikhola. The place is ideal for drone photography.
Fooding at Srikhola
You won’t get a wide variety of foods in Srikhola that you can expect in most urban places or cities. But, if you plan to trek via Sandakphu or Phalut, there is barely any alternative option for food is available until Srikhola. Throughout the route, you can barely get any Non-veg food. But, when you reach Srikhola, you can get a good variety of food for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
For vegetarians, rice, roti, bhaji, vegetable curry, dal, etc available. If you are a non-vegetarian, chicken momo, curry, fried rice, noodles are available in most of the hotels and lodges in Srikhola.
Also Read: Travel Essentials during Pandemic
Srikhola Hotels and Homestays
There are some homestays run by locals and lodges/ hotels run by leased owners or property holders. I am sharing details of the top 3 hotels/ homestays/ lodges below.
Hotel Shovraj, Srikhola
Located right at the bank of the Srikhola river, Shovraj hotel is run by the Sengupta family. Mr. Sengupta is the only Bengali who owns a property there. Once you reach there, you will receive a warm welcome and get all the basic amenities.
The whole administration is run by a 4-member family. There are two double-bedded rooms, two triple-bedded rooms, one four-bedded room, one six-bedded room, and one eight-bedded room. So, you should plan and book early during the peak season.
There is a staircase from the hotel that leads to the bank of the Srikhola river. This is a wonderful place to spend a good time. Moreover, it is also a great place for bird watching.
For more information, you can check their website.
Lippohochha Homestay, Srikhola
The homestay is run by the Rai family since 2013. It is located at the end of Srikhola village. The most interesting part about the homestay is that their vegetables are 100% organic from their own farm. The food is very delicious. The management of Lippohochha Homestay is very aware of plastic pollution. They have unique gardens with waste plastic bottles used for potting plants. The rooms are very good, clean. Staffs of the homestay are very well-behaved and helpful.
However, the only disadvantage of the homestay is that it is located on a bit higher ground from the Srikhola river. But the viewpoint nearby the homestay is excellent.
Check their Facebook page for more details.
Goparma Hotel, Srikhola
Mr. Tsering Sherpa is the owner of the Goparma hotel. It is located nearby the old Srikhola bridge and very close to the river. The location is very good to enjoy the natural beauty around. With their humble and modest behavior, you will feel homely. The rooms and foods are good and tasty. The local drink “Tomba” is great with delicious homemade snacks. One must try it.
View Goparma Hotel on Google Maps.
Apart from these 3 hotels/ lodges, I would like to mention the Trekker’s Hut. However, it has got some negative reviews recently. I will advise staying in one of the above 3 stays.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is located at the foothills of Singalila National park beside the Srikhola river. It is a small town under the Rimbik post office area in Darjeeling district, West Bengal.
If you want to visit directly Srikhola, you can rent a car either from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or Bagdogra airport. Shared cabs are also available. From Darjeeling, the distance of Srikhola is around 85 Kms. In case you are trekking to Sandakphu or Phalut and want to visit here as the ending point, you must hire a guide from the forest department check post of Singalila National Park. Then proceed via Gurdum (for Sandakphu) or via Rammam (for Phalut) towards Srikhola through the forest trail.
If you are planning for a trip to Srikhola, October, November, April, and May are the best months. During these times, the weather is comfortable with little to no rain. Make sure to wear good trekking shoes and carry a comfortable rucksack to reach Srikhola. The hotels and the lodges I have mentioned are the best in terms of hospitality, delicious food, and great location. You can contact the owners through the link I shared above. Enjoy the natural beauty of Srikhola and cherish the moments by the riverside. Have a wonderful trip!
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