Do you want to stay away from the noise, crowd, and 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 colourful birds around, Srikhola can be your perfect choice to visit. The name “Srikhola” is abbreviated from “Sirikhola”, a combination of two words- “Siri”, the name of the river, and “khola”, which means river in the Nepalese language.
Srikhola is located at an altitude of 2000 meters or 6562 feet, just 4 km away from Rimbik and 41 km from Manebhanjan in northern West Bengal. It 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 via Tumling and Kalipokhri.
If you do not want to trek, you can also spend a couple of days here amid 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. Travelling to or from Darjeeling, Siliguri, Manebhanjan, Bagdogra, or New Jalpaiguri is very convenient. You can hire a car or book a shared cab at scheduled times.
The distance between New Jalpaiguri railway station and Srikhola is around 130 km, which takes around 5 to 6 hours. In the case of Bagdogra, distance and travel time are almost the same. The fare from NJP to Manebhanjan is around ₹3500, and drivers charge an additional ₹1800-₹2000 to reach Srikhola (50 Km, 2.5 hrs). You can also avail shared taxi from NJP/ Darjeeling More/ Siliguri at a fare of ₹350/person.
If you are planning to follow the route from Sandakphu (total distance: 22 Km), you have to trek through the forest trail via Gurdum village, 6 Km away from Srikhola. While returning from the Sandakphu trek, you have to enter upper Srikhola and hike towards the bridge. From this point, the road bifurcates- one towards Daragaon in the direction of Rammam and another towards lower Srikhola. All the hotels and homestays are available surrounding this area.
If you return from Phalut, you have to pass through Gorkhey to reach Srikhola. The distance between Srikhola and Gorkhey 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.
Activities and Attractions in Srikhola
Srikhola Best 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, the Shovraj hotel has been run by the Sengupta family since 2003, the only Bengali family in the entire Singalia Mountain Region recognized by the Government. It is certified by GST, MSME, FSSAI, and other government departments. Once you reach there, you will receive a warm welcome and get all the necessary amenities.
The 4-member family looks after the entire administration. Ms Sengupta and her daughter takes care of cooking, while Mr Sengupta and his son look after other requirements. You can get both veg and non-veg food in this homestay. The food quality is unmatched in the area as everything is fresh and well-cooked. The owner also arranges bonfires and barbecues on special request. However, Hotel Shovraj does not sell any alcoholic products.
The rooms are entirely wooden and non-smoking. But, Hotel Shovraj has a separate smoking zone outside. There are two double-bedded rooms, two triple-bedded rooms, one four-bedded room, one six-bedded room, and one eight-bedded room, priced in the range of ₹1600 to ₹7400 + 12% GST. The hotel offers packages with AP, EP, MAP, and CP plans. Apart from the wooden rooms, there are facilities to camp by the riverside. You should prepare and book early during the peak season.
A staircase from the hotel leads to the bank of the Srikhola river. This is a wonderful place to spend a good time in peace and also a great place for birdwatching. So, do not forget to pack your birdwatching gear and equipment in the backpack.
Book A Room At Hotel Shovraj
- Address: Hotel Shovraj, Sirikhola (Srikhola), Post Office-Rimbick, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734201
- Official Website: https://www.hotelshovraj.com/
- Owner: Shubhashish Sengupta
- Contact Number: 9933488243
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/H.Shovraj/
Lippohochha Homestay, Srikhola
The Rai family runs the Lippohochha homestay since 2013. It is located at the end of lower Srikhola village. There are double-bedded family rooms with attached baths, single-bed rooms, and a dormitory in the homestay. The rooms of the homestay are properly maintained and clean. Also, the staffs are very well-behaved and helpful.
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.
However, the only disadvantage of the homestay is that it is located on a bit higher ground than the Srikhola river. But the viewpoint nearby the homestay is excellent.
Book A Room At Lippohochha Homestay
- Address: Lippohochha Homestay, Srikhola, P.O. Sepi, Rimbick, West Bengal 734201
- Official Website: https://lippohochha-homestay-darjeeling.booked.net/
- Contact Number: 89728 59231
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lippohochha/
Goparma Hotel, Srikhola
Goparma hotel is owned by Mr Tsering Sherpa and is located nearby the old Srikhola bridge and very close to the Siri river. The location is very good for enjoying the natural beauty around. With their humble and modest behaviour, you will feel homely. The rooms and foods are good and tasty. The local drink “Tomba” is great with delicious homemade snacks. View Goparma Hotel on Google Maps.
Apart from these 3 hotels/ lodges, I would like to mention the Trekker’s Hut. However, we have found Hotel Shovraj to be the best homestay in Srikhola in terms of facilities, hospitality, and food.
What To Eat In 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 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.
Foods like rice, roti, bhaji, vegetable curry, dal, etc., are available for vegetarians. If you are a non-vegetarian, chicken momo, curry, fried rice, and noodles are available in most of the hotels and lodges in Srikhola.
The Best Time to visit Srikhola
Srikhola is open for tourism throughout the year, and every season is very beautiful because of the river, different seasonal flowers, and various birds. But, during the rainy and winter season, various difficulties arise. The best time to visit Srikhola is from February to May and October to November when the temperature is comfortable with less rain.
From Feb to May, the sky can be a bit cloudy. But, being the spring season, you can witness colourful flowers all around the mountains. In this season, rain can happen sporadically.
From October to November, the sky is clearer, 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 trekkers favour 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 if you are visiting for the first time. But if you are planning to visit in the winter, make sure to carry the travel essentials and wear warm clothes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Srikhola is located at the foothills of Singalila National park beside the Siri river. It is a small town under the Rimbik post office area in the Darjeeling district, West Bengal.
If you want to visit Srikhola directly, you can rent a car either from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or Bagdogra airport. Shared cabs are also available. From Darjeeling, the distance to Srikhola is around 85 Km. 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 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.
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 and phone numbers I have shared above. Enjoy the natural beauty of Srikhola and cherish the moments by the riverside. If you like visiting Srikhola, check out Tinchuley and Lamahatta, located in Darjeeling. Have a wonderful trip!