Srikhola is a beautiful scenic hamlet in Darjeeling District which falls in the trekking route from Phalut and Sandakphu towards Darjeeling and Siliguri. The small river following its meandering course bears the name of Sri and Khola in the Lepcha language means small river and hence the name Srikhola. This village is an admirable halt for trekkers coming down from Sandakphu or Phalut. It offers lovely natural beauty and peace and quiet for the tired travelers. Stay here overnight and start for Rimbik the next day to catch a conveyance to Darjeeling or Siliguri.
How to reach Srikhola
For trekkers Srikhola can be reached via Gurdum at a distance of a little over 16 kilometers from Sandakphu. If you are coming from Phalut, then follow the route through the forests of chestnuts, magnolia, rhododendrons and oaks of Gorkey and Ramman to arrive at Srikhola covering a distance of 26 kilometers. For non trekkers hiring a jeep or traveling in a shared jeep is the best option. The jeeps departing between 6-7am and 11-12pm will take you through Srikhola to reach Rimbik. Srikhola from Manebhanjan takes 3.5 hours on vehicle. The road is not in good condition so it is advised to hire a jeep or Tavera or trekker.
Accommodation in Srikhola
Accommodation in Srikhola is a plenty but there is a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration hut situated close to the river. Advance reservation is required to stay in the hut. Book the rooms or a dormitory from the GTA offices. The other lodging facilities include Goparma Lodge run by Tshering Sherpa and Hotel Shovraj. The Goparma Lodge is a budget accommodation with 7 bedrooms with attached bath and hot water provided in buckets. Hotel Shovraj offers a number of rooms for guests. Whether you are traveling alone, in a group or with your spouse only, this hotel provides clean accommodation facilities. The toilets are common however; there is a restaurant inside the hotel offering delicious food for the guests.
Attractions in Srikhola
Enjoy the scenic beauty of Srikhola while you are staying there on your way to return from Sandakphu or Phalut. You can laze around the bank of the meandering Srikhola River or take a stroll on the hanging wooden bridge. Sit outside the cottages savoring the view and fragrance of the flowers in the garden or visit the Singalila National Park to see Red Panda, Barking Deer, and Himalayan Black Bear. Take a walk through the rhododendron, magnolia and orchid forests or fish in the river. The hotel provides angling gears with which you can capture trout which is the most common variety in the river.
Once you are done with fishing, you can concentrate on bird watching. The hills are the best place to watch rare species of birds which are never found on the plains. Blue magpie is very common in this region. Ask the hotel manager for the route to the corn, pea and cardamom plantation. It is a visual treat. You can also trek to nearby villages of Timburey and Gurdum and Jareo Pokhri, the sacred lake.