Srikhola – Travel and Stay
Srikhola is a quaint little village in the district of Darjeeling. Trekking routes from Sadakphu and Phalutare there, that pass through Srikhola leading towards Manebhanjan. You can also come here by road from Darjeeling or NJP/Siliguri. From Sandakphu, the trek route is 16 km to Srikhola via Gurdum. From Phalut, you can reach Srikhola via Gorkey and Rammam covering a 36 km distance through vegetation and fauna of magnolia, oaks, chestnuts and rhododendrons, orchids, and many more. Many trekkers on the way from Sandakphu or Phalut prefer to stay overnight at Srikhola for a break.
You can sit and enjoy the beauty and the meandering Srikholariver. Srikhola has a wonderful wooden hanging bridge and offers a beautiful landscape adorned with wooden cottages and vivid flower gardens. Srikhola is situated at the foothills of Singalila National Park. You can visit the park and see animals like Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer, and many more. Consider yourself lucky if you can spot the animals. Walkthrough forests of various fauna and you can also go for fishing. Shovraj Hotel is the most popular hotel here and they provide fishing gear also. For sightseeing, you can various temples and monasteries in the nearby locations. Visit gardens of cardamom, peas, corn, etc. Go on for short trekking tours and visit nearby villages like Rammam village, Timburey&Gurdum village, and also the holy lake is known as JareaoPokhri.
April to May and October to November are the best times to visit Srikhola with little or no rainfall, relatively mild temperature and clear sky. In the winter month of December and January, the temperature drops down to minus degrees.
There is a nice GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) hut located next to Srikhola river. There are few private hotels as well. The best being Hotel Shovraj as mentioned earlier. It is located by the Srikhola riverside and consists of many rooms with attached bathrooms. They are cottages with river-facing balconies and restaurants as well. This is the best hotel in Srikhola. Shubhasish Sengupta who is the proprietor and owner of the property are the only Bengali family resident living permanently in the whole of Singalila Himalayan region where Srikhola is located. He has been running the hotel successfully since 2003. The hotel is more like a wooden country house.
Tshering Sherpa, a very friendly and cooperative man runs the budget hotel which is the next good option. The Goparma Lodge has 7 rooms including double, 4 and 5 bedded rooms with attached or common baths. Hot water facilities are provided. Both the hotels organize the local sightseeing tours.
There are shared jeep services at two times of the day, from Srikhola. One is at 6 am and the other at around 11:30 am. You can also ask your hotel to book a reserved Jeep.
Srikhola is not that popular a mountain hamlet. So do not expect great luxury accommodation over here. The hotels are mainly built for trekkers and budget travellers and offer basic and standard amenities. But as per the natural beauty is concerned, it is less than no other place in the entire Darjeeling district.