Sittong, though the name is known to many as an upcoming tourist destination as Orange Village. Sittong is one of the very few untouched villages of the Darjeeling foot hills. From NJP railway station with in a drive by hired cars of about 65 kilometer Sittong can be reached. Sittong is at an altitude of about 4000 ft. With lush greenery on all sides with clear blue sky all over and just between a small paradise Sittong. Here at Sittong almost every house has their own orange garden. In the winter the valley becomes full of oranges all over. Sittong is the main contributor of the oranges of Darjeeling. There is a waterfall named Riang which is worth watching, in the winter the falls remains very calm and quiet but in the rainy season the current becomes very high. Here at Sittong in the season of oranges both men and women use to pluck oranges from the gardens and stock those at one place, one senior person among them use to separate those oranges according to their size and quality. From there village head used to pour those oranges in plastic crates and sends for packaging. These orange gardens are also given on lease according to their sizes and area. In the evening the valley becomes more lightens up by the lights of the small houses and homestays of the locals. And the sky becomes full of stars which to seems to be coming down to earth. There is a church at Sittong which is about 150 years old; in the month of December the church lightens up for the Christmas Eve. Near the Riang falls there are numerous flowers which are worth watching; from there a view range of Sittong Valley is clearly visible. Along with flowers numerous butterflies and birds are also seen. From there a little further by walking there is a small village named Chambi-Gaon, which is a perfect destination for nature photographers. From Sittong the nearest destinations like Kalimpong, Kalijhora, Latpanchar, and Namthing Pokhri are clearly seen. In the early morning the view of the small and colourful huts and houses of the locals on the valleys and hilly slopes seems like you are in heaven. In these hillyslopes the locals used to lead their daily lives and the area is surrounded by orange garden all over. On the way to Sittong one will come across small hamlets like Labda, Sebje, Cholombong, Sittong-I, Sittong-II. In the month between October – January the valley blossom up with full of oranges everywhere. Sittong can be visited from Mongpoo via Riang, Toubukhola, Bongkhola. Sittong-I is mainly the habitat of the Lepcha tribes. From Sittong there are several trek routes. On one side the route is towards Chatakpur Eco Village via Labda and Sinix and on the other side towards Kurseong through Bagora. Another nature lovers and bird watchers paradise is Latpanchar which is very close to Sittong. From there by car visit to the famous house of Rabindranath Tagore at Mungpoo is worth watching. There is a suspension bridge above the river Riang, from there a walking of half kilometer will reach at Sebje Basti which is the boundary of Sittong-I. Sittong is situated just at the right hand side of Teesta River. At Sittong there are accommodations of several homestays has grown up, the locals of this village use to give their houses on homestay basis for the tourists to spend their night. Spending one or two night at these homestays give an actual feeling of rural staying and one will get to know more about the lives and daily lifestyle of these villagers. As one step in this village, they are welcomed by the roaring sound of a water fall. At Sittong, one will also get to see the process of step cultivation on these hilly slopes. The main livelihoods of these villagers are Orange gardening, cultivation of Rai leaf, potatoes etc and tourism.
Things to Do in Sittong: Visit to the 150 year Old British Church is must, where you sit for long and find some solace. In the month of October – January, Sittong gets filled up with Oranges everywhere, on can pluck oranges from the nearest trees and enjoy the orange juice as much as possible. Through in the daily life we get to see and many oranges from the local market, but in the winter time visit the orange village itself and eating those oranges by plucking from the trees will surely mesmerize you. Then one can go for a village walk in the early morning, with the local villagers and get to know something more about theses Lepcha tribes. Then one can visit to the nearest Riyang River and go for fishing.
How to Reach: To reach Sittong, one can avail three different routes. 1 The shortest route is though Siliguri – Sevoke – Kalijhora – Latpanchar – Ahaldhara – Sittong, which is about 55 km. 2. The second route passes through Siliguri via NH 31 towards Rambhi – Mungpoo – Sittong. 3. And the third route passes through Siliguri – Kurseong – Dilaram – Bagora – Mungpoo – Sittong. This is the longest route.
Best Time to Visit: The best to visit, is the month of November and December, this is the best time to see the oranges, at this time of the year this region gets filled up with oranges. As Sittong is also on offbit destination, therefore it is a nice place for the nature lovers and bird watchers. After the rainy season Sittong gets completely filled up with greenness all over.