Icchey Gaon or “Wishing Village” is a place where all your wishes to stay amidst untouched nature would come true. At Icchey Gaon, you can get a panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjungha, wake up to the call of unknown birds, take jungle walks through pine forests and stay in a village still untouched by tourist rush. Located at an altitude of 5800 feet, Icchey Gaon is close to Pedong. The homestay at Icchey Gaon is well-furnished with Double Bed and Triple Bed rooms with attached western bathrooms. At night, you can relish the twinkling lights of Darjeeling, Namchi and Ravangla from your homestay and the morning sky is ruled by the majestic Mt. Kanchenjungha. BOOKING DETAILS OF ICHHEY GAON
Places to see in Icchey Gaon: Some of the best viewpoints of the Kalimpong Hills are located a walk away from Icchey Gaon. Ramitey Dara viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view of the winding Teesta River, flaunting its 14 turns with the Mt. Kanchenjunga guarding it, is truly breathtaking. The hilltop of Tinchuley near Icchey Gaon also offers a great view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and the Eastern Himalayas.
You can also savor the wonderful view of Nathula and Jeep La from Tinchuley. A trip to the Damsang fort, located at a distance of 6 km from Icchey Gaon is also rewarding. However, only the ruins of the fort exist now. Conclude you day trip by admiring the fascinating beauty of the Silence Valley, a small forestland. Many tourists also visit the Jalsa viewpoint, a great place nestled within the Cinchona plantation with a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchenjungha, River Teesta and lush forests surrounding it. There is an old British Bungalow at Jalsa, which gives the place a mystic feel and reminds of the Sahibs and their trips to the Himalayas. You can trek to these destinations or hire a car for the whole day to go around these places too.
Nearby attractions around Icchey Gaon: This little village of Icchey Gaon is near to Reshi, Pedong, Sillery Gaon and Mankhim. A prime tourist attraction near Icchey Gaon is the age-old Sangchen Dorjee Monastery, located close to Pedong. This monastery is a 300-old structure, erected during the domination of Bhutanese in Pedong. The old section of the monastery flaunts an array of beautiful wall paintings, depicting Tantrik Buddhism. The center of attraction of the new section of the monastery is a mummified body of a Bhutanese priest. During April-May, the annual “Chyam” dance is also celebrated at this place with great pomp.
The Cross Hill near Pedong built in 1882 by Augstine Desdgodins is another popular destination nearby. The place is acknowledged as a site of pilgrimage by the Local Christian Community. Another wonderful location is the Shahid Park, which nestles 2 km away from Pedong Bazar. The park guards a stone, which has been laid to honor the memory of a local young soldier of Indian Army, Late Palender Raj who gave up his life at Thangdhar J & K sector (Kargil War).
Another popular viewpoint called Rikisum, which you will pass on the way from Algarah to Lava can also be visited in daytrips. The Kashyone village, located 8 km from Pedong Bazar offers a great view of the converging point of Teesta River and Rongpo Khola. The village is adorned with beautiful Cinchona plantation. Explore a little ahead top visit Ranibon – a preserved forest. The place also has a 300-year old Lepcha house, which exhibits the exquisite Lepcha craft works.
Reshi Bridge and Reshi Khola are also worth visiting, located at a distance of 15 km from Pedong Bazaar. Rishi and Mudum Khola merge together to form Rishi Khola just before the bridge. The place has a charming romantic ambience. The Aritar Lake or Lampokhri Lake is a stunning eco tourism spot, which nestles 16 km from Rishi Bridge in East Sikkim. The highest point, famously called Mankhim above Lampokhari offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Kanchenjungha on the southwest and Nathu La and Jelep La at the northeast. Another highlight of Aritar is Love Dara. Exciting day trips are also arranged regularly at Dello Hanuman Park, Rishap, Lava, Loleygaon and Sillery Gaon from Icchey Gaon.
Things to do in Icchey Gaon: Apart from enjoying the panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjungha and its changing colours during sunrise, Icchey Gaon is ideal to enjoy a nature trail along the beautiful landscape. You can enjoy a short trek of about 2.5 kms from Icchey Gaon to Sillery, via Ramitey Dara through alpine forest. The place is also great for bird watching. You can also plan a riverside picnic at the bank of Reshi River visit the local monastery.
How to reach Icchey Gaon: The closest railway station from the destination is the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and the Siliguri Railway Station. The nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport. Hired cars are available from both airport and railway stations to Kalimpong via Teesta Bazar. From Kalimpong you can take a pick to Icchey Gaon.
Best time to visit Icchey Gaon: Icchey Gaon welcomes tourist round the year. Winter is the best time for viewing Mt. Kanchenjungha. The monsoons fill up the rivers to the brim and gushing water, lush forests and wild flowers all around make Icchey Gaon a small paradise tucked along the slope of Himalayas.
Lodging and dining facilities in Icchey Gaon: Presently, Icchey Gaon offers only one home stay facility, which provides furnished rooms with attached western bathrooms. Necessities like hot water, electricity, transport facilities and guides for local trek are also provided. There are Double Bedrooms, Triple Bedrooms and even family rooms in the homestay. All rooms come with attached western bathrooms and clean beds. The food is essentially Indian and home cooked and the ingredients are mostly locally sourced and fresh.