Tinchuley, a serene hilly hamlet near Darjeeling, offers a delightful escape amidst verdant mountains and picturesque valleys. Initially overlooked by most tourists, Takdah and Tinchuley were regarded merely as nearby sightseeing spots for Darjeeling or Kalimpong tourists. However, as these popular destinations became overcrowded, some adventurous travelers sought out alternative offbeat locations to reveal hilly peace. Consequently, Tinchuley, along with Lamahatta, Dawaipani, Peshok, Bara Mangwa, and Chota Mangwa, began to flourish. Among these, Tinchuley emerged as a favored holiday destination for peace lovers, while some of the others become part of Tinchuley sightseeing.
If you are planning your upcoming vacation in Tinchuley, this article will guide you through the must-see attractions in this charming hamlet. Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting Tinchuley sightseeing experience and plan your trip accordingly.
Tinchuley Village: An Introduction
Tinchuley Village is a fascinating place with an intriguing name. The village itself is nestled amidst three hilltops, resembling three ovens that are locally called “chulas.” This combination of elements gave birth to the name “Tinchuley.”
In recent times, Tinchuley’s tourism has experienced significant growth, thanks to the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The WWF’s primary goal is to develop Tinchuley into a model organic village, promoting eco-tourism, organic farming, and floriculture. With the assistance of the WWF, many villagers have already expanded their homes to provide homestay accommodations, getting financially benefitted from this eco-tourism initiative.
Tinchuley is an ideal destination to escape the hustling tourist crowds for a rejuvenating stay of 2-3 days. Here, you can immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of nature, interact with the warm-hearted villagers, explore the vibrant colors of natural flowers, wander through enchanting pine forests, and so much more!
Let’s embark on an exploration of the exciting activities and exclusive attractions in Tinchuley and its surrounding areas.
Tinchuley Sightseeing Spots
Certainly, the village itself takes the lead as the first entry on this list. As already mentioned, with its breathtaking landscapes, Tinchuley invites you to immerse yourself in its beauty. Simply, take a leisurely stroll along the hilly roads, traversing from lower to upper Tinchuley (or vice versa), and marvel at the lush green mountains and picturesque valleys that surround you. I especially can’t skip mentioning the incredible display of natural roadside flowers, adding a stunning touch to every turn!
Also, upper Tinchuley offers a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the opportunity to witness an exclusive sunrise.
While exploring the village, you can also visit Tinchuley Monastery, although it is often closed to tourists, likely due to the growing trend of aggressive photography even inside religious sanctuaries.
Most of the Tinchuley sightseeing spots are conveniently located within a 10 km radius, allowing you to cover the majority of them within a day, while a few specific spots may require a full day to fully experience. Let’s delve into the details.
Gumbadara Viewpoint is an exquisite Tinchuley sightseeing spot that offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the green canyon. From this roadside viewpoint, you can witness the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga mountain range on one side and the Sikkim mountains on the other, while standing above the floating clouds! The vast valley curving below, creating a stunning backdrop. The flow of constant chilling wind atop the hill adds to the exhilarating experience.
Peshok Tea Garden
Embark on a short downhill stroll (approximately 2 km) to discover Peshok tea garden, one of the most beautiful tea gardens in the Darjeeling-Kalimpong region. With its expansive beauty and serene surroundings, it may be considered among the top Tinchuley sightseeing spots, providing countless opportunities for capturing memorable photographs.
Afterward, you may plan to explore Peshok village. It’s not a popular place thus far but definitely the serenity is alive here. Also, you can opt for an overnight stay at one of the Peshok Homestays, immersing yourself in the tranquil ambiance of Peshok.
Lovers meet viewpoint
Continuing your day trip, the next destination is Lovers meet viewpoint. Here, you’ll experience a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent confluence of the Greater Rangeet river and Teesta river. This popular spot may get crowded during peak seasons, so it’s advisable to visit early to enjoy the view without unwanted distractions. Notably, Lovers meet viewpoint is conveniently close to Peshok Village, allowing for a seamless exploration.
Confluence of Rangeet and Teesta River
Have you admired the scenic beauty from above and now wish to witness it up close?
Then, embark on an additional trip to the bank of the confluence, where the sandy beach is embraced by the verdant hills of the eastern Himalayas awaits you. Sometimes local car drivers do not include it within Tinchuley sightseeing spots, but you can request them in exchange for little extra money.
If you’re an adventure enthusiast, consider enjoying a riverside camp here for an unforgettable experience. However, avoid visiting during hot summers or wet monsoons, as it may hinder your enjoyment. Opt for a river camping trip between October and March for the best experience.
Lamahatta Eco Park
In this part of North Bengal, Lamahatta Eco Park is the finest place to experience pristine beauty of Darjeeling hills. Unlike typical parks, Lamahatta Eco Park embraces its natural essence; the lower section of the park is thoughtfully adorned while rest of the pine forest left undisturbed.
To reach the sacred pond at the hilltop of Lamahatta Eco Park, you’ll embark on a hike. However, the trek route is straightforward, with manmade stairsteps and resting options along the way. Once at the hilltop, you’ll be greeted by a unique ambiance of misty pine forests, where clouds seem to mate together in a fascinating dance.
Rangli Rangliot Tea Garden
Next, you can venture to Rangli Rangliot Tea Garden, a mesmerizing spot nestled downhill just before Takdah. The vast tea garden with a mountainous backdrop creates an outstanding photogenic landscape. Additionally, Rangli Rangliot Tea Garden is a comparatively less explored place and hence mostly remains crowdless. This gives you the freedom to interact with nature and the surroundings.
For a magical experience, time your visit in the evening to witness a stunning sunset scene.
Takdah Orchid Centre
Takdah village is renowned for its Orchid Centre, which once ranked as the top Orchid Centre in entire Asia; also, certain portion of this served as a war base for the British soldiers during first world war. The historical importance and the expectations to experience a world-class orchid center attracts thousand of tourist every year.
Regrettably, in recent times, Takdah Orchid Centre has lost its former glory due to poor maintenance by the authorities, which is truly unfortunate. You can witness the scenario by viewing the following video.
If you plan to stay in Takdah or Lower Tinchuley, consider visiting this place due to its proximity. Otherwise, you can simply exclude it from your list of Tinchuley sightseeing spots, especially if you have limited time.
Note: Bara Mangwa Orange Garden is also listed among Tichuley Sightseeing spots, but you should visit there in winter.
Where to stay in Tinchuley (homestays info)
Nowadays, Tinchuley is overwhelmed with plenty of homestay facilities, many of which are conveniently located beside the main road (Takdah-Tinchuley Road). However, the comfort and guest-friendliness of each homestay may vary. Some homestays offer better positions and superior views, albeit at a slightly higher cost compared to others.
To explore the best homestays in Tinchuley, you can check out the following link:
Among them, Gurung Guest House stands out as a top-rated and highly popular option, although most of the time it tends to be fully booked, especially during peak seasons, and may be relatively more expensive.
Another excellent choice is Sinkawli Homestay, offering exceptional service, delicious meals, reasonable pricing, and a comfortable and peaceful stay experience. However, it’s situated in lower Tinchuley, and thus the Mt. Kanchenjunga view is not accessible from this location.
Foods in Tinchuley: What’s available?
The majority of homestays offer comprehensive accommodation packages that include meals. Typically, they provide morning tea, breakfast (options like luchi or bread butter), lunch (usually rice, vegetables, daal, chicken/egg), evening snacks (such as momo or pakoda), and dinner (with a choice of rice or roti, vegetables, daal, chicken/egg). This means you don’t need to worry about dining options outside.
However, if you are keen on trying some external food, you can head to Takdah market. There, you will find a few restaurants and stalls offering additional dining choices.
If you wish to taste local country chicken (deshi murgi), request your homestay owner prior to arrange your meal.
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How to visit Tinchuley
When to visit Tinchuley?
The ideal time to visit Tinchuley is from October to April. However, do note that October, December, and May are peak months when the place tends to be crowded with tourists (mainly from West Bengal); this also leads to higher homestay expenses and transportation costs. For those seeking a more serene experience amidst the tranquil Tinchuley hills, it’s advisable to avoid these peak seasons.
Furthermore, it’s better to refrain from visiting Tinchuley during the full-monsoon season as part of this area is prone to landslides.
Overall, Tinchuley emerges as a captivating destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst the scenic beauty of the green hills with a real canvas of Mt. Kanchenjunga at the backdrop. With its lush green mountains, picturesque valleys, and charming hilly village, Tinchuley offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of crowded tourist spots.
The sightseeing opportunities in Tinchuley are plentiful, from exploring the village itself to visiting Gumbadara Viewpoint, Peshok tea garden, Lamahatta, and other remarkable attractions nearby. Whether you choose to indulge in the breathtaking landscapes, interact with the warm-hearted villagers, or immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, Tinchuley guarantees an unforgettable experience for all who venture here.
Have a peaceful holiday experience ahead.
Dr. Suvankar Das is a scientific advisor by profession, associated with a CRO organization. He pursued his doctoral degree in Chemistry in 2015. Later, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher & scientist in a couple of institutes/companies.
Besides his scientific journey, Dr. Das is also a passionate traveler and travel blogger. He loves to share all his travel experiences with other travelers so that everyone can enjoy hassle-free holidays with their own tour plans.
He believes, the most beautiful thing in this world is the WORLD itself. so there is no way to live like a clock; rather live it like a compass!