Orange garden at Shelphu near sittong

Witness the Orange Orchard in Shelphu?

Sittong and Shelphu are one of the most untouched tourist destinations yet to be discovered. These villages are situated on the foothills of the Darjeeling Himalayas. They are also famous as Orange Orchards of Bengal.

These scenic Lepcha villages of North Bengal are valleys in between the green hills. As the winter approaches, the air is filled with the exotic aroma of orange blossoms. In winter, it appears someone has poured orange colours on these villages. Along with the orange cultivation, organic farming and orchids are something you cannot miss while visiting these places.

If you are searching for a holiday destination that will let you spend some cozy quality time with your family, Sittong and Shelphu can be the perfect choice.

Getting there

These beautiful hamlets are a couple of hours drive from the Bagdogra Airport or New Jalpaiguri Station. The places have excellent road connectivity. Buses and taxis are easily available from the New Jalpaiguri Station, Siliguri, or Bagdogra Airport plying to these places. Shelphu is almost 48kms from New Jalpaiguri station.

Orange garden at Sittong

Major attractions

One of the primary reasons to visit these picturesque villages is to look at the orange orchards from close. It is during the winter months you will get to see the entire village covered with oranges. It is indeed an incredible experience, especially for those who have never seen the orange orchards before.

Another popular reason why many tourists now visit these places is for bird watching. More than 200 varieties of birds have been sighted in these and surrounding villages which include many rare as well as commonly sighted birds.

You may visit the Sittong Church or the old Monastery. From the Monastery ground you may get a view of the full Kanchenjunga ranges. The snow-clad Kanchenjunga is a beauty to behold.


Tourism has become popular in the last few years and therefore several places to stay have also emerged. Homestays and lodges are the common accommodations available in these areas.

If you are want to stay at Sittong, there are few good homestays available.

Sittong, orange garden of West Bengal

Sittong is a cluster of villages covering an extensive area, unlike other newly discovered tourist spots, and are like self-contained villages and tea gardens of the Darjeeling district’s Kurseong sub-division. Depending on the places you would like to visit in the region, you must travel between upper and lower Sittong

The area is famous for its orange orchards and gradually becoming a tourist attraction as people are eager to discover North Bengal in a new light by looking beyond Darjeeling. Tucked within vast stretches of pine forests, Sittong is a quaint hamlet dominated by Lepchas. 

Like many other places in the region, Sittong has an abundance of greenery lined with flowing streams that weave a magical appeal. The serene beauty of the surroundings and the surreal view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range makes a delightful treat for tourists in search of some peaceful place to de-stress and relax. 

How to reach Sittong?

All journeys to the hilly regions of Darjeeling start from Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri (NJP), and Bagdogra airport depending on whether you travel by air or rail. However, Siliguri is the starting point for traveling to Sittong, and you have three options of routes to choose from. 

The most preferred route is Siliguri to Sittong via Sevoke and Latpanchar because it’s the shortest distance – only 55 kilometers by road. Travel time is a little over 2 hours.

The second option is to reach Sittong from Siliguri via Rambi and Mongpoo, but it’s the longest distance (78 kilometers) and travel time is around 4 hours. You have to travel for the same time if you choose the third option of traveling from Siliguri via Kurseong, Dilaram, Bagora, and Ghareytar to cover a distance of 75 kilometers.

 Best time to visit Sittong

As happens with other tourist spots in the Darjeeling belt, the best times to travel to Sittong are more or less the same as that of other destinations in the region, like Takdah, Dawaipani, and Peshok. Although you can visit Sittong any time of the year except the monsoon (July to September), November, and December, despite being quite cold is the time for enjoying the splendid view of the orange orchards with the trees overloaded with oranges. Visiting Sittong during the orange season is truly an experience of a lifetime. Birds of various types crowd the place throughout the year, and Sittong is an attractive destination for bird watchers. 

Where to stay

The renovated church guest house is the most popular retreat for travelers who have the option of choosing some homestays that promise to play the perfect host. Regardless of where you stay, you get a feel of the local culture of the hill people who are highly hospitable and treat guests as their most revered patrons. You can taste the local cuisine prepared from fresh organic vegetables. 

Sightseeing in Sittong

From monasteries to tea gardens and from waterfalls to orange orchards, there is a lot to see in Sittong. There are a few viewpoints to enjoy the grand sight of the Himalayas, and visiting the cinchona plantation is an exciting experience.  

Going for treks and nature trails is an exciting option for adventure lovers. Must visit points at Sittong are below:

  • Ahaldara Viewpoint
  • Namthing Pokhri (Lake)
  • Jogighat Bridge
  • Orange Garden
  • Sittong Monastery
  • Kiwi Garden and Chinchona Plantations
  • Government Cinchona Factory
  • Rabindra Museum at Mungpoo
  • Mungpoo viewpoint
  • Kalijhora Waterfall