Echhey Gaon is a picturesque village in the lap of Himalayas surrounded by dense forest of Juniper, pine and birch where you will feel detached from human civilization. With loads of greenery and peace and quiet, this old-world village has not been spoilt with materialistic pleasure of the city life. This is an ideal place for the nature lovers at an altitude of 5,800 feet none of the machines can disturb you from relishing the natural abundance of this village. Only 12 kilometers away from Kalimpong and cab fare is around 800 INR, this incredibly pristine hamlet is home to approximately 30 families living in peace and happiness. If you wish to share their happiness then definitely visit Echhey Gaon or the Wishing Village.
How to reach Echhey Gaon
Reaching the wishing village could not be easier than traveling in your car or a hired vehicle from Kalimpong. The route NH-31 through Pedong will take you to Echhey Gaon in no time. However, you have to first reach Siliguri to arrive at Kalimpong and from there travel only 12 kilometers to the beautiful and green Echhey Gaon. Since it is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination, there is a steady influx of vehicles to take you to the hamlet from Kalimpong.
Time to go to Echhey Gaon
The months of October through April are ideal to visit Echhey Gaon to enjoy your trip the most. Avoid the rainy season at all costs because landslide is rampant. During the winter season carry heavy woolen clothes to check the cold and if you are traveling in April, then light woolen clothes will be perfect.
Attractions in Echhey Gaon
The major highlight of this village is the sensational view of the Kanchenjunga and the canopy of Rhododendron. Savor the sight of the sun rising over the great Kanchenjunga from Ramitey View Point. You will have to admire the golden hue of the peak of the might mountain and also the panoramic view of the forest from Ramitey point. The sweet chirping of the birds and the Teesta River are delightful from atop. If you really want some activity, then trek to the nearby Sillery Village at a short distance of 2.5 kilometers from Echhey Gaon.
Accommodation in Echhey Gaon
Home Stays are the best accommodation facility in Echhey Gaon with prices varying between 900 and 1000 INR per head. The prices include a square meal served by the home stay owners. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are served to the guests prepared with the vegetables organically grown by the farmers in the village. Along with Bengali and Chinese cuisine, Lepcha food can also be ordered.
Photo Courtesy: Shantanu DebSingha and others