Chayatal is a small hamlet in the western part of Sikkim, India. Chayatal comprises of mainly hills, natural views, birds and guarded by Mt. Kanchenjunga. Chayatal is at an altitude of about 6000 ft above sea level. If you want 180 degree panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga from your balcony then Chayatal is the place you should be this weekend. waterfalls, monasteries, dense forests, rhododendrons, red pandas, water gardens, 65 species of different birds activities like boating village walks, trekking – the list is never ending in Chayatal, just a kilometer above Hee Gaon, this is one of the newest spots on the tourist map of West Sikkim. The twin villages of Hee & Bermiok are located at the foot of Chayatal. Nearby attraction include the Srijunga waterfalls; you can also visit the nearby Barsey Rhododendrons Sanctuary famous for Red Pandas & Rhododendron from Chayatal within 10 minutes climb by stairs on the slope of the hill. At this place enthusiasts can do trekking through a dense forest for 2 hrs. During the time of Rhododendron which is the month of March – April, this place looks like heaven with all the trees full with red flowers in full bloom. Sikkim Government has taken various steps to develop Eco-tourism as sustainable development in this place. Just beside Bermiok, is a small village known as Hee, from there a road towards the upwards section intersects to a nearby lake. The colour of the water is absolutely green. From Hee village cars are available that will take you to the lake. The name of the lake is Chayatal. From Bermiok to the left hand at about 8 km is the lake. The ambiance of the lake is very calm and quiet, very often numerous unknown Himalayan birds are seen those gather near the lake. As the cold winds blows through the long stretches of age old trees, the vibration gets visible in the lake. One will be amazed while looking at the water of the lake. From there at the fore front Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Kabru, Mt. Sinolchu and other peaks are clearly visible. Our naked eyes will stay amazed while viewing the endless beauty of Himalayan nature. At Chayatal, a big statue of Sirijongar is being established, the shadows of which falls on the water of the lake. In the Chayatal lake arrangement of boating are also available. As the sun sets in the evening, the changes of colour those falls on the peaks are worth watching. From here you can visit to the nearest Hee water park, which is about 6 km from Chayatal. The lake of Hee water park has emerged naturally from a waterfall. From Chayatal a trekking route has emerged that directly intersects with Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. On the same route at few steps further is entry gate of the sanctuary name, Red Panda Gate. The rote has ended up at Barsey through the dense Rhododendron forest. And if you are lucky enough, you will get to see rare species of Red Panda. From Chayatal you can visit Alley-Dara, there is an age temple in the caves, where gods and goddesses are worshiped inside the caves. From there a little further is the Alley-Dara view point. To the left of the view point is the wide range of Singalila National Park is seen and to the front is the Kaliz River and the hill top. From here Mt. Kanchenjunga is clearly visible. Here on the hilly slopes of Chayatal the locals grow elaichi. Chayatal is a paradise for nature lovers.
How to Reach: Nearest Railway station NJP (136 KM) & Nearest Airport Bagdogra (168 KM). From Siliguri via Jorethang – Soreng – Kaluk – to Hee Bazar, (the local market area of Hee village). From there leaving the main road, there is route to the left hand side. By that route one can reach Chayatal. Another route is from Siliguri SNT bus stand by share cars you can reach to Jorethang, from there again by share car towards Dentam or Uttarey up-to Hee Bazar. From Hee Bazar by local car you can reach Chayatal. But in the afternoon share cars from Jorethang upto Uttarey or Dentam becomes less available. In that case full car booking from NJP will be the best option.
Best time to visit Chayatal: You can visit Chayatal any time of the year. However, if you want to trek at Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary and see rhododendron in full bloom then visit during March- April. Also the Kalez valley Heritage Festival is held every year between 10th and 13th May.