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This winter, head to Sittong - 'The Orange Village of Darjeeling'

6 December, 2023 17:27:39
This winter, head to Sittong - 'The Orange Village of Darjeeling'

Sittong is well known for its orange orchards

Come November-December and the verdant hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts are resplendent in hues of bright orange and wide beaming faces of locals reflecting their happiness and contentment.

Sittong, a quaint little village in Kurseong, has an overabundance of oranges this year. The fruit-laden trees in the orchards struggle to hold on to the ripe oranges and loads of them scatter on the ground, ready to be picked up. The markets of Siliguri are flooded with oranges. Excess production of this winter fruit has brought smile on the faces of locals. Their livelihood is largely dependent on the tourism industry which came to a standstill earlier this year following the wide-spread agitation. The people of Sitong are welcome tourists to their virgin land with their own produce.

Sittong is quite close to Siliguri. A drive down NH 10, via Mongpoo to Riyang bridge and the verdant greens beckon one and all. Surrounded by hills on all sides, Sitong is a riot of orange and green colours. However, not many tourists are aware of this ‘paradise on earth’ which was discovered only recently and hence very few venture to Sittong. It is a storehouse of natural beauty. There is a small Lepcha neighbourhood, which is surrounded by mountains and rivulets or ‘khola.’


There are no hotels in Sittong and homestay is the only option available. Different locations across Sittong have been cleaned and beautified accordingly to develop them as tourist attractions. Tents have also been set up on the banks of the Riyang River to quench the thirst of adventurous trekkers. The picturesque Riyang River, bamboo bridges, winding paths, tempting orange orchards, a small church amid bountiful nature are just some of the attractions. In fact, optimistic tour operators insist, if a visitor has ever stepped into Sitong, he/she is bound to return here again and again.

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