The Village of Wishes

The Village of Wishes
Sillery Gaon, North Bengal, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hidden among the mountains of North Bengal, this beautiful village is perfect for a quiet, serene getaway from the rush of city life.

Upasya Bhowal
June 17 , 2020
06 Min Read

Nestled among the mountains, almost 17km from Kalimpong is the Village of Wishes or Echey Gaon (Echey: Wish; Gaon: Village). This small, quaint village perched on the mountain slope is a riot of colours with its brightly painted houses and tiny flower gardens. With its breathtaking view of Mount Kanchenjunga and its rustic lifestyle, for the longest time Echey Gaon has been one of North Bengal’s best-kept secrets.

 
 
 
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Located at an altitude of 5800 ft, this hamlet is slowly gaining fame owing to its serene atmosphere and friendly people. If you are looking for a variety of restaurants and different shopping sprees on your vacation, then Echey Gaon is probably not where you will want to be. However, if you want to escape to the mountains for a while and stay away from the rush of a city, then make sure to include Echey Gaon in your bucket list.

 
 
 
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Although Echey Gaon is open for visitors all year round, the best time to go there would be during the winter season, from October to December. During this time, one can have a clear view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and its adjacent ranges.

A Delight For Trekkers

The view from Ramitey Dara

You can take multiple treks here. Some of the best include Ramitey Dara, Jalsa and Tinchuley. The Ramitey Dara trek will lead you to a view of the Himalayan Valley and the Teesta River taking its 14 turns through it.

Located about 6km from Echey Gaon is the Damsang Fort, which was built by a Lepcha ruler during the 1690s. Despite the fact that the fort is in ruins now, it is still a good place to stop by and take a glance.

Sillery Gaon

Some of the flowers found in the village

Another picturesque hamlet, Sillery Gaon, is located at a distance of about 40 minutes from Echey Gaon. A forest trek leads up to this hamlet. Nature enthusiasts frequent it often for the sheer variety of flora and fauna. This village is also very popular among bird watchers. Mt. Kanchenjunga is visible from Sillery Gaon during the winter months.

Accommodation

 
 
 
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Untouched by modernisation, both Echey Gaon and Sillery Gaon do not have big luxury hotels or fancy restaurants to boast about. However, there are multiple homestays dotted all over the villages. These  are not only comfortable but also well equipped to supply basic needs. You will get homecooked, simple meals. If you want to try something different, stop by the small momo shops in the villages. The home stays allow visitors to interact with locals and experience their lives.

These beautiful hamlets tucked away amidst the mountains are the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the cities. They are also very accessible. One can take a cab here from Kalimpong, NJP or even Bagdogra. The only drawback is that there are frequent power cuts, but thanks to the chilly weather, that usually poses no problems. 


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