Rikisum is perched on the picturesquely located Pedong-Lava Road. Nestled atop a hill, with one of the longest views of Mt. Kanchenjungha this charming little hamlet will appear to you as a bit of paradise on earth. Rikisum is all about Mt. Kanchenjungha, an abandoned (some even say haunted) half – burnt British Bungalow, Elaichi farms and nameless villages. Pedong is located nearby and so is the Ramitey View point which is famous for views of Teesta River. Located 6000 feet above sea level, Rikisum offers some of the best sunset and sunrise experiences on the Eastern Himalayas. The view of distant mountains covered with thick virgin forest, the low-lying valleys and deep slopes will offer you an out-of-world experience. BOOKING DETAILS OF RIKISUM
Places to see in Rikkisum: Rikkisum is packed with impressive attractions. A trek to the Rikisum View Point and abandoned Forest bungalow along the thick pine forest is truly rewarding. A spectacular view of the sunrise with a distant sight of a part of Sikkim, Nepal and the snow covered Mt. Kanchenjungha offer a visual delight. Atop the View Point, you will find the remnants of an old lofty bungalow, which was built by the British in 1902. It is popularly known as the Rikkisum Forest Bungalow offering an extensive panoramic view. The dwellers of this village are a happy smiling lot. Round the day, they are engaged in farming of ginger and elaichi. Animal husbandry is another occupation of the villagers. The villagers also share a trading relation with nearby Algarah market.
Nearby attractions of Rikisum: Rikisum is very near to Pedong, which is admired by some amazing sunrise and sunset points. One very popular nearby sunrise point is Tinchuley. However, you need to hike for around 45 minutes to reach Tinchuley to savor the sunrise along with a splendid early morning view. As for sunset, nearby Crosshill is another ideal place for the tourists.
Rikisum is a nice base for exploring the neighboring destinations. The nearby tiny hamlet of Chuikhim is gradually gaining popularity for home stay tourism. Many tourists also set out to relish the visual splendor of the nearby Lava, Rishop and Lolegaon from Rikisum. The Buddhist monastery atop a hill in Lava is ideal for offering prayers. Pedong itself as a destination is incredible. The place admired with dense pine forests and meandering rivers and terrace fields offer a perfect ambiance for tourists. Ramitey view point, offering the longest view of River Teesta is another popular nearby destination.
You can also make trip to the picturesque Silence Valley, admired with thick pine trees. The place is also perfect as a picnic and a camping spot. A visit to the ruins of Damsang Fort, the sole fort in the Darjeeling district, which was the abode of the last Lepcha King-Gyabo Achuk and the nearby Sangchen Dorjee Monastery in Pedong will definitely arrest your attention. The inner walls of the monastery are admired with some stunning fresco paintings depicting Tantric Budhism. The Franco-Swiss Missionary Museum set up at Pedong on 20th January, 2005 is also a must visit for all travelers.
Make a trip to Crosshill, to savor the sight of the Chinese border and magnificent sunsets. Visit the Reshi River to unwind yourself. You can also enjoy bathing in the river or simply sit on a rock by the riverside. A trip to the Sillery Gaon, a village in the heart of the forest, consisting of 30 families is an enduring experience. Nestled at an altitude of 6000 ft, the place offers ultimate serenity to tourists.
Things to do in Rikissum: Rikissum boasts immense travel potential. The place is ideal for nature lovers, who could explore the thick forest, savoring the chirping of some most exotic birds. You can also enjoy rafting in River Teesta or chill out by the riverside. The Reshi River nestled on the border of East Sikkim and West Bengal is ideal for swimming, fishing or picnicking. A village walk is must for all tourists while in Rikissum.
How to reach Rikisum: The closest railway head of Rikisum is the New Jalpaiguri station. Try to avail the evening trains, which will arrive in New Jalpaiguri in the next morning and you can reach Rikisum in daytime. You can avail hired cars from New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri and Bagdodra. Buses services also run to pedong (nearest town to Rikisum) from Siliguri to Kalimpong in regular interval. Rikisum is just 1 hour journey from Kalimpong.
Best time to visit Rikisum: Rikisum welcomes tourists round the year. However, visit the place in March and April, to view the Rhododendrons in full bloom. The peak tourist season starts from October to February, when the Mt. Kanchenjungha is visible best.
Lodging and dining facilities in Rikisum: Rikisum offers homestay accommodation in rooms and cottages with double beds and attached baths. There are triple bed and four bed rooms available at the Rikisum homestay. The home stay also offers nice dining facility.
Photographs by Bhaskar Saha